Sprint Corp. is dangling new iPhones and a $15-a-month credit in front of its current subscribers in a new attempt to cut down on customer defections.
The limited-time offer opens Sprint’s iPhone for Life deal to existing subscribers.
Sprint has been luring new customers with the plan, which includes a new iPhone 6 for $20 a month, plus the cost of wireless service. At the end of two years, customers will get a new iPhone and keep paying the $20 a month, or they can keep and use the old iPhone by paying Sprint for the phone’s remaining unpaid value.
The new offer to existing customers is the same iPhone for Life offer but comes with the $15 monthly credit that reduces the cost to $5 a month. Sprint’s announcement said it amounts to $360 over the 24-month term of the iPhone for Life cycle.
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Sprint is making the offer to existing customers who take up the iPhone for Life offer by Jan. 15. It is available to customers who currently have service through one of four plans: Unlimited My Way, My All-in, Simply Everything and Everything Data (share) rate plans. Customers would have to choose to keep their existing service plan and continue to make the service payments.
The offer covers most of the Overland Park-based company’s existing subscribers, said Roger Entner, an industry analyst at Recon Analytics. It’s an effort by Sprint to keep them from jumping to another carrier, which the industry calls customer churn.
“Sprint needs to get its churn under control,” Entner said.
Keeping customers has become increasingly important now that most potential wireless subscribers already have service. Gaining customers has come down to taking them away from another carrier.
AT&T, for example, has touted a dramatically lower churn rate in the last several months. Entner said the company helped push its customer loss rate down by letting existing customers switch to its Next plan and save $20 a month in the process.
For Sprint and AT&T, these offers potentially reduce the revenue the company collects from customers but seeks to avoid losing them.