Sprint (s s) is the Rodney Dangerfield of U.S. carriers; no matter what it does, it never seems to get any respect. Even though the carrier has recently been upping its game with better smartphones, including the HTC Hero running Android (s goog) and the Palm (s palm) Pre and Pixi, that hasn’t stopped the defection of its installed subscriber base (LINK). So what’s a carrier like Sprint got to do to regain respect? Start the Sprint Premier program for its most loyal customers — which includes the promise of a new phone every year.
I’ve been a Sprint customer for less than a year, as I joined up when the Palm Pre was launched. I still have the Pre with the appropriate data plan, and according to the flyer I just received about the Sprint Premier program, I now qualify as a loyal customer, which the company defines as the following:
- You’ve been our customer for six months and maintained a monthly base plan of $69.99 for a single line or $99.99 for shared plans for at least three months.
— or —
- You’ve been our wireless customer for at least ten years.
The Sprint Premier program embers are eligible for, among other things, a phone upgrade every year instead of the standard two years. Sprint will even waive the $18 activation fee. This is a pretty decent benefit, especially for those of us who change phones as often as socks.
Let’s hope that Sprint can get some good loyalty going with this new program. I’m quite happy with the network performance, especially the 3G network. Though I can’t comment as to how good Sprint customer support is these days, as so far I haven’t had a reason to complain about anything.
Related research from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):