Switch to Sprint, cut your bill in half - KCTV5

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Switch to Sprint, cut your bill in half

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Sprint badly wants more customers. So badly that it's offering to cut Verizon and AT&T subscribers' bills in half if they switch over. (CNN) Sprint badly wants more customers. So badly that it's offering to cut Verizon and AT&T subscribers' bills in half if they switch over. (CNN)
OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV/CNN) -

Sprint badly wants more customers. So badly that it's offering to cut Verizon and AT&T subscribers' bills in half if they switch over.

The deal begins on Friday, Dec. 5, but is only good through the holiday season.

Here's how it works. Verizon and AT&T customers must upload their latest bill online and then bring a copy of it into a Sprint store on Dec. 5. The new plan will offer the same data allowance as the customer's current one. And it will include unlimited talk and text.

If the customer is currently paying $160 monthly for four lines, Sprint will charge $80.

Sprint will also buy the customers out of their current contracts, up to $350 per line.

It's the latest move in the price war going on in the U.S. wireless industry and it is aimed at the two biggest players.

Why such a promotion? Sprint officials say it's simple, they want more customers.

Jeff Hallock, chief marketing officer for Sprint, said they feel that Sprint has the best value for cell phone services and this is one way to prove it.

“Unlimited voice, unlimited text and whatever data allowances you have, we'll cut that in half. Fifty percent off. In fact we'll even buy you out of your contract,” he said.

Sprint brought in CEO Marcelo Claure this summer to lead the charge. Claure pledged to make Sprint more "aggressive in the marketplace" and the company has since overhauled its pricing.

But Sprint has a long way to go. Though its speeds are improving, it still has by far the slowest 4G network of its rivals. It was rated the worst cell phone service in the nation by Consumer Reports last year. On top of all that, it continues to hemorrhage money and lose customers.

Assistant marketing professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Atul Kulkarni discussed if he believes the promotion will work.

“This is probably one of the most aggressive promotions I've come across in the last 10 years,” Kulkarni said.

Kulkarni said Sprint has been losing customers each year and is down 1.8 million this year.

“Is this a sound marketing plan? Only time will tell us, I think. In the short run I definitely see some benefits,” he said. “Now how to still make money is the question.”

KCTV5 asked some of those customers if they would consider joining Sprint to cut their monthly cell phone bills in half.

“Up front, it sounds great. I've been a loyal AT&T customer for a long time, but you hear something like that and it sounds pretty good,” said Korrin Seavey.

“I have AT&T. My dad still pays my bill. It may be something he'd look into. I have to tell him about it,” said Clare Maples of Kansas City.

Kulkarni, who also teaches pricing and marketability, said Sprint will likely need to reduce its costs and that may be behind the scenes.

“Maybe they will put them on a slower network, maybe give them reduced customer support,” he said.

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