As if student rush tickets for NHL games, discounted museum entry and free transportation passes weren’t enough perks for people who spend most of their days sleeping in class and pulling all-nighters doing “research” (cough World of Warcraft), Sprint and Best Buy are teaming up to offer students yet another freebie: a free year of talk, text and data. Though it’s true that you don’t get nothing for nothing, this deal (after the catch) is still pretty sweet.
Sprint Student Deal: The Details
If you’re a student, buy a Sprint phone from a Best Buy store between now and January 4, 2014 and activate a Sprint Unlimited, My Way plan. You’ll then have 14 days to verify that you are enrolled at least part-time in an U.S. elementary, middle school, high school, college, university, or other accredited institute by filling out Sprint’s student verification form, and you’ll receive free talk, text and data. Here’s what the plan comes with:
- Unlimited talk
- Unlimited text
- 10 GB of data
- Option to add unlimited data for $10 per month
After 12 months the student’s account will be charged the full price of Sprint’s Unlimited, My Way plan (currently $70 per month for smartphones). Students are free, however, to terminate their line at any time, penalty-free. Sprint is also running a referral program where students can receive an additional 12 months of free service for every new line that activated on their account by January 4 (but no cheating – students only receive the bonus months if that line remains active on the account, and, although students are exempt new line holders will have to sign a two-year contract with Sprint).
So what’s the catch? In order to receive free service students have to buy a phone at Sprint’s “Student Offer Price,” which is basically Sprint-speak for list price. Think $700 for an iPhone 5s, $650 for a Samsung Galaxy S 4 and $600 for an HTC One. Students will also have to pay a $36 fee to activate their accounts and make good on monthly fees (up to $2.50 for administration, a USF charge of up to 15.6%, $.40 per line and area-based fees which tend to vary between 5 and 20%). Students will also be responsible for paying taxes charged to their account.
A Move to Score New Business
As smartphone users look for carriers with cheaper data plans, Sprint’s deal could be an attractive offer to get them to convert from the big guys at Verizon and AT&T. It’s also no coincidence that Sprint and Best Buy are introducing this deal at the same time other retailers begin to release teasers for Black Friday sales. Whether people will be willing to fork up the extra cash for a phone at Sprint’s “Student Offer Price” or sign up for a two-year contract to score Sprint’s referral bonus remains to be seen.
Do you think Sprint’s student deal will draw in new customers?