Sprint Nextel launched a new program, called Sprint Premier, giving service perks to loyal customers, as the carrier tries to maintain its subscriber base and boost customer satisfaction.
Saying, "loyalty pays," Sprint announced that it was offering the plan to any customers who had been with Sprint for at least 10 years or who are on an individual wireless plan of at least $69.99 per month or spend at least $99.99 per month on a plan that shares minutes for three consecutive months.
Some of the plan's perks include:
- Early Upgrades: Customers are able to upgrade their handset after one year, though for accounts sharing minutes, the early upgrade applies to the primary line and a new two-year service contract is required.
- First to Know/First to Buy: Customers in the plan get sneak peeks at some of Sprint's upcoming devices, including the Palm Pre, and are among the first to be able to buy them when they become available.
- "Just Because" Perks: Customers get special offers for trips, tickets to shows and sporting events.
- Anniversary Rewards: Customers can celebrate their annual Sprint anniversary with gifts such as free ring tones or free minutes.
The plan is clearly designed to boost customer satisfaction and retain subscribers. The carrier has been in a precarious position for some time, and is expected to announce a net subscriber loss when it reports its fourth quarter earnings and subscriber results later this month. Sprint recently announced it would cut 8,000 jobs and take other cost-cutting measures.
The carrier, the third largest in the United States, also said it would suspend its matching 401(k) program for the year as well as its tuition reimbursement program and would extend its freeze on salary increases. Sprint is expected to report its fourth quarter results on Feb 19.
- see this release
- see this post
Sprint launches flat-rate Nextel Direct Connect plans
Sprint Nextel to cut 8,000 jobs
Sprint's Hesse: call centers may close, but panic will not reign
Sprint may close call centers to cut costs
Analyst: Sprint will have large job cuts in 2009