Sprint has upped the ante in the ongoing carrier price wars by announcing what it calls the “Cut Your Bill In Half Event”. This is an aggressive play by the nation’s third largest carrier to lure customers away from its competitors by offering service at half the price they’re currently paying. This move is the latest attempt to stay competitive by Sprint, who is the only major carrier currently losing postpaid subscribers, 336,ooo of them in the last quarter.
The new plan from Sprint is fairly simple. If you’re currently a customer with either Verizon or AT&T, and move your wireless service to Sprint, they’ll match your existing service level, including data plan, at half the price you’re paying now. For example, if you’re paying Verizon $140 for four lines plus 10 GB of data now, you’ll get four lines plus 10 GB of data from Sprint for $70. As added incentive, Sprint will also buy out your existing contract, paying up to $350 in Early Termination Fees per line that you transfer over.
The new plan kicks in on Friday, December 5th. If you have service with Verizon or AT&T and are looking to take advantage of this offer, here are the steps you’ll need to follow:
- Visit sprint.com/halfprice to upload a copy of your current bill.
- Bring a copy of your latest bill and all of the phones on your Verizon or AT&T account to turn in to your Sprint store.
- A Sprint representative will select the service plan that most closely matches the data allowance in your current monthly rate plan.
- Get your new phone with one of our leasing options, Sprint Easy PaySM installment billing, or pay full retail price for the device and we will waive your activation fee at $36/line.
- Customers also may take advantage of the Cut Your Bill in Half Event via Sprint.com. For more information visit www.sprint.com/halfprice.
There is some notable “fine print” in this offer. First off, Sprint will select a plan which most closely matches your existing data plan, so it’s possible you may end up with a slightly different amount of data from what you have now. All of these plans do include unlimited talk and text, though.
Next, if you’re on a family plan, all of you will need to move over to Sprint. And you’ll need to turn in all of your existing phones to Sprint. They’ll need to be in working order. And unlike T-Mobile, who offers a similar plan to get users to jump from their existing carriers, Sprint won’t give any trade-in credit for your old phones.
You’ll also need to buy a new phone from Sprint, at subsidized pricing, either for cash or through an installment plan.
With all of these stipulations, many users won’t necessarily see the level of savings that the marketing slogan suggests, particularly when you factor in the cost of a new phone, which could easily be $25 or more per month per line (that’s $100 for the aforementioned family of four) if you all get flagship phones. But clearly, Sprint is making a concerted effort to recapture some lost market share.
It’s also noteworthy that T-Mobile is conspicuously absent from the list of carriers from which you can switch to Sprint. The “uncarrier” seems to be firmly positioning itself as offering the best value in wireless pricing, and Sprint is certainly looking to compete with them. This summer, Sprint rolled out Unlimited Everything service for $60/month.
It’s not clear whether this campaign will be an effective move for the beleaguered Sprint, who has not only lost subscribers, but also announced layoffs of 2000 employees, after an earlier wave of 5000 layoffs earlier this year. They are certainly taking a good shot at Verizon and AT&T, both of which are known for higher pricing, but also have the reputation of generally more reliable service. And they’re certainly being noticed. Verizon also now offers $60 Unlimited Talk & Text and has more recently doubled the data allowances on their More Everything plans.
Whether the aggressive pricing will be enough to compensate for potential issues in service remains to be seen. But I certainly appreciate the additional pressure on the bigger carriers and hope this will help to chip away at their bloated pricing.
Website: Sprint Half Price Event