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December 2, 2013

Sprint Student Free (?) for All

Filed under: Electronics,Retail,Telephone — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:53 am

Best Buy recently sent out an email making an astonishing offer on cell service for students:

Sprint student offer

They are providing a year of free service. That means free unlimited calls, texts, and 1 gig of data ($10 extra for unlimited data). What a deal!

It says however, “with purchase of phone at Student Activated price.” What’s that?

*MOUSE PRINT:

Sprint student prices

The prices being charged by Best Buy for the phones appear to be full price, the same as what Sprint itself would charge. In some cases, the price appears to be $50 higher than buying from Sprint directly. The benefit for the student, however, is a free year of service, without having to sign a two-year contract.

So is this a good deal? The less expensive of the two Sprint plans that the student is required to sign up for is $70 a month (plus fees and taxes) if he/she had to pay for it. So that is $840 saved for the year, but the student is paying full price or slightly more for the phone. On the other hand, if the student were to get a fancy phone free from Sprint during a promotion, he or she would have to pay that $840 for service. So it appears that the student could save a little by taking advantage of the student offer, but not hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

Presumably in year two, the phone might be able to be added onto a family plan at discounted monthly rates, and then the savings would increase (or maybe just get onto a family plan to start with to save).

• • •

7 Comments

  1. It is a great deal if you don’t want the top of the line phone. Get one of the $300 to $400 phones and you’d save over $400 a year. Not bad.

    Plus, you don’t have to wait for a Sprint promotion to get a phone you may or may not want, plus, those promotions sometimes have “gotcha’s” as well.

    Comment by Tom — December 2, 2013 @ 9:06 am
  2. The Student Activated price had to be full price and maybe 50 bucks more just so they can get as much money as they can out of the deal. That free year of service looks very enticing up front before you see any price.

    Comment by Richard Ginn — December 2, 2013 @ 12:34 pm
  3. This seems like a good deal. I don’t see any “gotchas” in the terms of service either. It’s straightforward in terms of agreeing to the contract for additional lines. The student line still gets the free months as long as the referral lines remain active.

    Comment by Wayne R — December 2, 2013 @ 5:11 pm
  4. It might (or might not) be a good deal, but it’s sleazy advertising.

    I spot-checked four of these phone prices against Sprint’s regular (unsubsidized) prices, and the “Student Activated” prices were all $50 higher. To avoid sleaziness, the Student Activated prices would have to be the same as, or lower than, Sprint’s Regular Prices. Especially since the word “Student” almost uniformly suggests a lower-than-typical price — never an inflated price.

    Comment by Alan Mandel — December 2, 2013 @ 8:55 pm
  5. I will agree with Wayne that it is straightforward pricing, but I will also agree with Alan.

    Student pricing at least when it comes to computer software is always cheaper than retail.

    They could never sell the iPhone 5 at say 300 bucks in this model though. NO profit for anyone at that price.

    Comment by Richard Ginn — December 3, 2013 @ 11:51 am
  6. It sounds like a potentially good deal…too bad they had to wrap it in a deceptive promotion that makes it sounds better than it is.
    And what happens if your phone breaks/gets lost? I guess you have to pay a different insurance premium to cover that…some plans seem to have that built into the price of the 2-yr agreement.

    Comment by RobS — December 7, 2013 @ 8:46 pm
  7. It’s a better deal the cheaper the phone you get and the more you talk and text.

    Comment by RenĂ©e — December 9, 2013 @ 11:23 am

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