On Thursday, Sprint (Overland Park, Kan., U.S.A.) a U.S. mobile operator, announced that it would be discontinuing its Premier program by gradually phasing it out over the next few months. The Premier program, implemented in 2009, allowed customers of over 10 years or customers who spent a certain amount of money per month on their wireless plan, privileges such as early and discounted phone upgrades and trials of unreleased products.
“We remain committed to ensuring that customers are satisfied with their purchase,” says a Sprint spokesperson. “We’ve instituted these changes to create parity with the competition and continue to be able to invest in areas that matter to our customers.”
This move by Sprint comes at a time when the mobile operator is looking to join Verizon and AT&T in selling the Apple iPhone. Sprint refused to make any comment on rumors of its potential iPhone sales.
“This was a difficult decision, but we needed to take some actions now so that Sprint can continue offering other things out customers have told us that they appreciated most,” says Sprint in a blog post.
Among the actions Sprint listed was unlimited pricing plans, a “selection of 4G, Android and other devices” and network upgrades.
“[Sprint] will continue looking for ways to allow our customers to enjoy certain benefits, such as being able to buy or trial some future devices first and take advantage of promotional accessory offers,” says the blog.
According to Sprint, the program will be phased out so that no new customers can join the program, and those who are part of the program have until the end of the year to get an upgrade and redeem the other benefits they are entitles to under the program.