Remember when Sprint said that it wouldn't be offering the tried and true two-year phone contracts anymore? Yeah, not so much. Fierce Wireless reports that the carrier is once again offering two-year service contracts, and the Sprint Wireless website bears this out. New phones are being sold with a significant discount, up to 100%, in exchange for customers signing a promise not to stop paying for 24 months. Everything old is new again.
If you'll recall, two-year contracts fell out of favor after T-Mobile made a big show of discontinuing them as part of its "uncarrier" initiative in 2013. Instead T-Mo started promoting a new payment program which allowed customers to buy phones in installments with interest-free financing, very much like European carriers have been offering for years. This meant that there's no real difference between buying the phone outright or paying in installments, at least in terms of price. AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint eventually followed suit, although leasing and trade-in programs have been introduced to incentivize brand loyalty.
All that being said, the subsidized model did offer significant savings (usually $300 or more) when buying a new phone, so long as you were okay with the contract that came along with it. That's the angle that Sprint is taking: a representative told Fierce Wireless that "we listened to our customers and are giving them more choices to get their new device." Sprint is still offering its financing, lease, and trade-in options.
- Fierce Wireless