Amazon Prime video and music streaming, as well as two-day Prime package shipping, are now available to Sprint mobile customers under an $11-a-month add-on option for new and existing Sprint customers.
The new service, which was announced by Sprint on March 31, allows customers to sign up on a month-to-month basis so they can stream unlimited Amazon Prime video and music using their Sprint mobile data plans. Also included is Amazon's Kindle Owners' Lending Library, unlimited photo storage and early access to Amazon discounted Lightning Deals.
To add the new service to their accounts, Sprint customers can visit a special Website, call 1-(800)-SPRINT1 or visit a Sprint store to sign up. The customer will then receive a text message with an activation link to complete registration.
"Amazon Prime is another example of the innovative options that Sprint delivers every day to its customers," Marcelo Claure, Sprint's CEO, said in a statement. "With this monthly add-on, Sprint customers will have great flexibility and will have the opportunity to easily access Amazon's full entertainment package on America's fastest LTE network."
Amazon Prime membership is also available directly from Amazon for $99 a year.
"We know customers love shopping on their mobile devices and having access to entertainment at their fingertips while on the go or at home—so we're excited to team up with Sprint to introduce this special Prime offer," Jeff Blackburn, senior vice president-Amazon Business Development, said in a statement. "With the convenience of Amazon Prime, Sprint customers can enjoy popular movies and TV shows, including award-winning Amazon Originals like Mozart in the Jungle, Transparent, and Tumble Leaf, and access to more than a thousand Prime Playlists or Stations with Prime Music."
In March, Sprint began offering a new 30-day satisfaction guarantee for new customers who want to try Sprint's mobile services and network without the risk of having to waste a lot of money to switch carriers. If the new customer isn't satisfied with Sprint's offerings, the company will refund the cost of the Sprint device and service charges paid by the customer.
The new service guarantee will be available for a limited time to new customers and eligible small-business customers who activate a line of service with Sprint through a company-owned store, a "preferred retailer," online at Sprint.com or by calling 1-800-SPRINT1. The guarantee also is available to existing customers who add new lines of service.
It's certainly not the first time that a mobile carrier has offered a service guarantee, but the length of the 30-day guarantee is notable.
Since September 2015, T-Mobile has offered a "lifetime coverage guarantee" that gives a full refund for service and device costs within 30 days of signing up, according to T-Mobile. After the 30 days, if a customer wants to switch to another carrier T-Mobile will unlock their phone and let the customer use it with another carrier, though they will have to continue making payments for the device until it is paid off. T-Mobile previously offered one-week and two-week trial periods in the past, including a two-week trial period for Verizon customers in May 2015 as part of a limited-time "Never Settle … for Verizon" promotion, according to an earlier eWEEK story. That offer poked fun at Verizon's ad campaign that urged prospective customers to "never settle" for what the wireless carrier claimed were substandard mobile services offered by its rivals.
Sprint and T-Mobile have been tussling quarterly for some time for the No. 3 spot in the robust U.S. mobile market behind Verizon and AT&T. All four companies continuously promote their own services over those of rivals, offering customers hefty incentives at times to switch carriers, including half-price service deals, switching fee refunds and other benefits.
New customers who come to Sprint from AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile are also eligible to take advantage of Sprint's 50 percent off deal, which cuts customer bills to one-half of what they were paying with their previous carrier, with some limitations. Sprint will also cover switching fees up to $650 per line for new customers.
In November 2015, the company added more cities to its fledgling Direct 2 You smartphone and tablet delivery service area, expanding the availability of the free delivery and phone training services for its customers across a larger swath of the United States. Sprint Direct 2 You services, which send out trained Sprint employees to deliver new smartphones and tablets to customers along with personal lessons on how to set them up and use them, were added in Charlotte, N.C.; Cincinnati; Las Vegas; Nashville, Tenn.; New Orleans; Pittsburgh, Pa.; and Salt Lake City. The delivery and training are provided at no extra charge.
The Direct 2 You worker also will transfer all content from a customer's old device, including contacts, pictures, games and apps, to the new device to make the equipment swap easier.
Sprint launched the initial Direct 2 You program in April 2015 in Kansas City and soon expanded to Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, Tampa, New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Boston, Houston and Philadelphia.