In the rapidly escalating cellphone holiday price war, T-Mobile US is offering a $200 credit to Sprint subscribers who switch to T-Mobile.
The volley follows Sprint’s half-price offer that it extended to include T-Mobile customers as well as Verizon and AT&T customers this holiday shopping season. Its half-off deal a year ago targeted only Verizon and AT&T subscribers.
Sprint’s half-off pitch was launched after T-Mobile unveiled its Binge On feature that allows customers to stream video from several different services without running down their T-Mobile plan’s data allowance for the month.
T-Mobile chief executive John Legere pitched the targeted $200 offer with a jab at Sprint’s network performance.
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“I cannot think of any wireless customers in more desperate need of some holiday cheer than those Sprint customers still hanging on over there,” he said in a company release. “Those poor people have put up with the nation’s slowest and smallest LTE network, and their carrier throwing out a deal-of-the-month for everyone except them.”
Sprint could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Sprint’s network has trailed its four national rivals but has made gains in the last year. Sprint says it has topped Verizon and AT&T in ratings by Nielsen.
Such back-and-forth bidding for holiday shoppers is one reason many wireless customers shop for new phones and new carriers during the last few months of each year.
T-Mobile’s $200 offer applies to any Sprint, Boost Mobile or Virgin Mobile customer who qualifies for a T-Mobile Simple Choice postpaid plan. Postpaid wireless customers typically are able to pass a credit check and generally produce higher revenues for carriers than prepaid wireless customers who pay for service before using it.
An announcement from T-Mobile said the $200 offer requires the Sprint, Boost or Virgin customer to surrender a phone. It also comes in addition to $650 the company offers to pay early termination fees to entice rivals’ customers to switch.