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Sprint Targeting Rate-Plan Confusion With All-In Plan

Overland Park, Kan. — Sprint is challenging what it called its rivals’ confusing advertising with the launch of an $80 All-In plan that bundles the lease of select phones with unlimited talk, text and LTE data at $80.

The plan is available in Sprint-owned stores and Sprint-branded stores operated by retailers. The carrier declined to say whether the plan will be rolled out to other retailers.

“All-In Wireless counters the wireless industry’s current way of advertising by providing one clear monthly price for a smartphone and unlimited talk, text and high-speed data,” said Sprint. Consumers should “not be fooled by advertising gimmicks that only list the price of a phone or the price of a service plan, making it difficult to understand the full story,” the company contended.

Sprint enlisted soccer star David Beckham to promote the plan in TV commercials starting tonight during the U.S. Women’s World Cup Match on the Fox Network. In the ads, Beckham goes to the stores of Sprint rivals looking for a simple plan with a consistent monthly cost but looks confused and frustrated until he gets to a Sprint store.

Buying a phone can be one of the most frustrating experiences imaginable,” Beckham said. “People want simple, honest and straightforward plans, but instead they get confusion.”

Said Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, “If you went to a restaurant that advertised a cheeseburger for 99 cents, but when you show up, they said it’s an extra $2 for the bun or $1 for lettuce, you would feel misled. Yet, that’s what the industry has been doing with its wireless plans. Why can’t everyone just advertise the full price of both the plan and the smartphone – an All-In plan?”

Verizon, Sprint noted, advertises 10GB of data $80, “but they don’t mention as loudly the additional monthly charges, including $15 line access and $27.08 for the phone.” AT&”T frequently advertises 10GB of data for $100 per month but downplays the additional monthly charges including $15 line access and $27.08 for the phone,” Sprint said. And T-Mobile “is advertising four lines for $100 but doesn’t shout the additional $108.32 in monthly phone payments.”

Under Sprint’s All-In plan, consumers pay $20 per month to lease popular smartphones, including iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy S6, HTC One M9 and LG G4. Consumers pay another $60 per month for unlimited text, talk and LTE data. The prices exclude taxes and surcharges.

The lease lasts 24 months, after which the consumer does not own the phone but can lease another phone. Consumers pay $0 down and only a one-time $36 activation fee.

The carrier also outlined the plan’s data restrictions, which the company hadn’t previously announced for its current unlimited plans.  Streaming video speeds will be limited to 600Kbps at all times, the company said. Sprint also said it could terminate service if off-network roaming usage in a month exceeds 800 minutes or a majority of minutes, or if off-network data usage hits 100MB or a majority of kilobytes.

The restrictions are already part of two Sprint-exclusive plans launched at Best Buy.