Regional carrier C Spire Wireless is offering to pay the early termination fees (ETFs) of customers who switch over to the operator. C Spire is taking a page out of T-Mobile US' (NYSE:TMUS) book, which launched a similar offer in January.
C Spire said the EFT payoff will come in the form of a service credit of up to $200. In addition to paying off the ETFs of customers who switch, the carrier will also give customers a $50 bill credit as part of C Spire's PERCS rewards program, and an extra $100 for every third customer referral. C Spire's PERCS trade-in program will also give users up to $300 in credit for trading in their phone. C Spire spokesman Dave Miller noted that in 2008 C Spire became the first U.S. carrier to offer to pay off customers' ETFs if they switched.
"C Spire has always tried to cut through the tangle of confusion and uncertainty created by the plethora of early termination fees, charges and a dizzying array of costly service plans offered by competing providers," Miller told FierceWireless. "Consumers want simple, easy and fairly priced wireless plans and policies to match their shift to more sophisticated smartphones that perform more like small, mobile computers than traditional cell phones. To avoid the hassle and the inconvenience, many decide to stay with their current carriers even though better options exist elsewhere. Adding ETF to our arsenal gives consumers another reason to consider switching to C Spire and it removes a financial pain point and barrier to consideration."
Miller did not say how long the promotion would last, but he said that the carrier is "pleased with the response thus far and will continue to evaluate the need for continued use of this tool based on competitive market conditions."
In January T-Mobile said it would pay up to $650 in ETFs for customers who want to switch to T-Mobile and trade in their devices. T-Mobile has said the offer has no end date.
Miller also shed more light on C Spire's forthcoming $65 per month unlimited price plan, called "Unlimited Everything," that will include unlimited voice, texting, picture messaging, web, music and video. The plan, which will debut April 7, will come with free international text messaging to 140 countries and free access to the operator's PERCS program for discounts and rewards.
The $65 plan will be available to customers who are not on a contract and who have paid full price for their devices, or are on a monthly device installment plan, which will also become available April 7. C Spire currently has a $100 postpaid plan that offers unlimited voice, texting, picture messaging, web, music and online video.
Miller said that over time the company thinks the new $65 plan will become its most popular plan. The company said it will not discontinue the existing $100 plan.
"We will fully inform our customers, but will leave the plan choice, as we do today, to their individual discretion," he said "Our plans are easy, simple and flexible, but we will not require customers to switch to a particular plan."
Miller said "there is a lot of turmoil and change in the wireless industry today. With an array of offers from competitors, consumers can be easily confused and misled on carrier plans and policies that offer true convenience and value. At C Spire, we always want to bring our customers the best and most competitive plans in the industry. That's why we created the new unlimited everything plan."
- see this C Spire page
T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and C Spire cheer FCC's AWS-3 band plan
C Spire to introduce new $65 unlimited plan
AT&T's takeover of Leap leaves U.S. Cellular, other regional carriers with uncertain future
C Spire CEO: Streaming video day passes have cut churn by 20%
C Spire adds new unlimited plans, highlights 'passes' for video streaming
C Spire to expand local LTE service in Mississippi