Is the biggest US wireless carrier starting to feel some pressure from its rivals? Perhaps. Today, as the next part of the company’s “better matters” campaign, Verizon announced that it will pay up to $650 to help you switch away from AT&T, T-Mobile, or Sprint.
A family of four, therefore, could get up to $2,600 from Verizon to “buy out your contract and cover early termination fees and device or lease buyouts from your old wireless provider,” the carrier said.
To get the discount, you’ll need to port your number to Verizon, trade in your current device, and buy a new 4G LTE smartphone. Verizon will give you up to $650 on a prepaid card to cover the installment plan balance, minus the device trade-in value, or up to a $350 via a prepaid card to cover your old carrier’s early termination fees (minus the device trade-in value).
Your existing phone needs to be in “good working condition,” and you have to keep your new Verizon line active for at least six months.
Verizon’s offer is just the latest in a long line of deals and offers from wireless carriers as they try to coax competitors’ customers to their sides. Earlier this month, T-Mobile offered free Hulu subscriptions to Verizon customers who jumped to the un-carrier. Last month, Sprint promised to cut data plans in half for those making the switch from Verizon or other rivals.
Despite the ongoing battle, not much has changed in the U.S. wireless market at the top: Verizon and AT&T are still by far the biggest carriers. But T-Mobile and Sprint have been duking it out (on Wall Street and on Twitter) in the last year, and T-Mobile snagged the upper hand to become the No. 3 U.S. carrier in August.
In addition to its cash-back offer, meanwhile, Verizon says that customers who switch from another carrier and choose its XL or XXL data backages will get 2GB of monthly bonus data as long as the device is active on the customer’s plan.
Marlene R. Hinojosa