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Following AT&T & Verizon, Sprint Streamlines Phone Discounts - Premier program will have its wings clipped April 1

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First Verizon eliminated their New Every Two discount, then AT&T eliminated their new handset discounts as well. Now the always-humbly-named <a href="http://www.bgr.com/2011/01/20/sprint-tweaking-premier-program-april-1st-making-early-upgrades-more-elusive/#">Boy Genius Report</a> notes Sprint will be significantly tweaking their handset discount policies as well. Currently, any user with an individual line costing more than $70 per month, or a family plan line costing more than $100 per month is eligible to upgrade to a new handset at a subsidized price after just twelve months. After April 1, that's changing -- and you'll need to spend $90 on an individual plan or $170 on a family plan or have been a customer for ten years to get the same benefits:

On April Fools Day, the Premier program will be divided in to two levels: gold and silver. Users will automatically qualify for Premier s gold level if they have been a wireless customer with Sprint for over 10 years or have an individual monthly plan that retails for $89.99 or more before any applied discounts $169.99 before discounts for family lines. All other Sprint customers will be given silver level Premier status. Gold members will get all the benefits current Premier members receive: 25% off the purchase of 2 or more accessories, customer news letters, "just because" perks, first to buy offers, and the ability to upgrade a device after 12 months of service. Silver members will enjoy all the same benefits with the exception of the early upgrade option.

While it's nice that some carriers at least reward customer loyalty (something quite lacking in this sector), it's still part of a larger trend where customers are getting less but paying more. This news comes on the heels of Sprint expanding their "$10 because we can fee" to a significant majority of their users and AT&T raising rates on a wide variety of services.

Source: DSLReports.com

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