Wireless carrier Sprint has energized its Referral Rewards incentive program with a limited time offer, beefing up the credit given to subscribers who encourage friends to sign on to the service.
Customers who refer a friend to Sprint before March 31 will be eligible to receive a $100 Sprint Referral Rewards Visa debit card worth $100, while the new subscriber will get a card worth $25. The standard reward for referring a new Sprint customer is a $25 debit card for both the referrer and the new member.
To claim the reward, new subscribers must buy and activate a Sprint or Nextel phone by the end of the month, and must use their phone to call Sprint within 15 days of turning on service, offering the Sprint phone number of their referring friend.
Sprint customers can go to the Web site landing page to submit the e-mail addresses of their friends. Sprint will then e-mail an invitation to join the service, including news of the $25 debit card reward for registration.
Both rewards cards will be mailed out once the new account has been active for 30 days.
Restrictions on the Referral Rewards program remain in place, stipulating that accounts are limited to 12 referrals per year and that customers cannot refer themselves for the program.
Sprint’s Referral Rewards program has been problematic in the past, with some customers paying off the cost of their service with credits earned from fraudulent referrals. Sprint cracked down on those abuses with tighter controls and a minimum continuous service requirement. But the tradeoff cost the carrier some consumer interest in the incentive program.
Sprint’s enhanced referral program comes after the carrier reported losing 1.3 million subscribers during the fourth quarter of 2008.
In early February, the company also rolled out a Sprint Premier Customer Loyalty program aimed at retaining its most desirable users. Customers who have maintained continuous accounts with Sprint for 10 years, or who spend at least $70 a month on an individual plan or $100 a month on a shared-minutes plan, will receive special rewards such as discount pricing on service upgrades and first look at new products on the network, such as the long-awaited Palm Pre smartphone.