AT&T to end trial of 'Plus' loyalty program March 31

AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) will end its test for its "Plus" loyalty program on March 31 and currently has no plans to commercially launch the program nationwide, a company spokesman confirmed. The program was started in early 2012.

AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel confirmed that the program will end at the end of the month. "We've started informing participants that the trial is ending," he told FierceWireless. "Their benefits will be available through May 31." The trial's end was first reported by Engadget.

The carrier started testing the program in a limited number of markets early last year to retain its most valued customers, but details of the program were always somewhat murky. The program launched across Colorado as well as in the Houston and Minneapolis markets.

According to reports from last year, some of the benefits of the program included a preferential number (1-855-ATTPLUS) for customer service, waived upgrade fees, waived activation fees (for a second line only) and 25 percent off non-Apple accessories.

Siegel said that AT&T does not have any plans to launch the Plus program nationwide "at this time."

Earlier this month at an investor conference, AT&T Mobility CFO Pet Ritcher said that the carrier believes that customers' shift toward its Mobile Share shared data plans and a new emphasis on services such as its Digital Life home automation offering will lead to lower churn and higher customer loyalty over the long term.

Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) decided in the fall of 2011 to phase out its "Premier" rewards program. Earlier in 2011 Sprint had divided its program into a "Gold tier" program and a "Silver tier." A chief benefit of the program's Gold Tier was that subscribers could upgrade their handset, at the fully subsidized price, after 12 months of service, a program called "New For You."

For more:
- see this Engadget article

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