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October 15, 2014

New Loyalty Program Rewards the Long-Time Sprint User

The business of mobile provision is a tight one these days; with four major markets going after market share, and a host of smaller businesses with different targets in the mix, there's little wanting for competition in the field. Sprint, meanwhile, is changing tack just a bit to go after a lucrative and popular market segment: the crowd that plans to stick with iPhone for much of its life. This is reflected in the plan's name; dubbed “iPhone for Life,” the plan has something of a particular focus: the long-time Sprint customer.

With “iPhone for Life,” users will be able to get their hands on an iPhone 6 for just $5 a month over and above the standard service plan. Only recently started and running through January 15, 2015, Sprint customers who get in on the plan get a $15 monthly credit dubbed the Loyalty Service Credit, and specifically to be applied to leasing the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. With the monthly credit applied, users essentially pay just $5 a month for an iPhone 6, or $10 a month for an iPhone 6 Plus. That's a fairly substantial savings; Sprint notes that, over the course of a 24 month contract, that's a $360 savings, and those customers who have existing plans and are happy with same can keep said plans.

So what's behind this new loyalty plan, geared more toward the long-term user? Sprint's base management vice president, Jim Curran, made the case that has been commonly heard for some time, but usually from those living the problem first-hand. Essentially, Curran notes, long-time customers have been given something like short shrift when it comes to special offers, as companies compete for newcomers yet don't give much consideration to the people currently making cash flow happen. As Curran puts it “We want our customers to know we heard them. Our long-term customers are among our most influential and passionate advocates we have and it’s important we recognize their loyalty. Our Loyalty Service Credit says that not only do we appreciate your business, you deserve the best-priced phone plan.”

That's something of a departure from current market strategies, for the most part, and it's worth applauding. While indeed, new customers are important to the long-term health of an operation, this needs to be balanced against the value of the long-term customer. The people that show up month after month, paying bills, are the ones who provide the resources for companies to conduct expansion operations. So for a company like Sprint to recognize that fact and offer a special deal to keep those customers around is a smart one indeed, and may even have a secondary effect; customers who see how well long-term customers are treated may well aspire to be long term customers as well, and that could encourage some mobility from other companies, who don't feel quite so well-served.

Only time will tell just what impact Sprint's “iPhone for Life” program has, but it's likely to prove a positive one for Sprint, and potentially, new Sprint customers eager to get in on the long-term benefits of Sprint membership.


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