According to an internal Sprint flyer obtained by Sprintfeed.com Sprint’s little instant rebate test is over. Earlier this year they temporarily suspended all mail in rebates and instead did everything instantly, Best Buy Mobile style. We aren’t sure the motivation for the initial test, or the motivation for bringing back the mail in rebate but people love instant savings.
Sprint is also changing to a prepaid debit card payment program similar to the one that Verizon Wireless offers their customers with mail in rebates. Some prefer the paper check so they can put the money in the bank while others prefer the prepaid debit card so they can use that money right away. Either way, a mail in rebate means Sprint has a little room to move in promotions.
It’s no secret that in using a mail in rebate program vs instant savings companies save money in those that forget to mail in their rebates or decide it’s too much trouble. If you’re strongly opposed to the mail in rebate you can often times get the exact same price on hardware or better at your local Best Buy Mobile which will never have a mail in rebate. In addition most mall based Best Buy Mobile’s will price match a carrier store if you just ask them.
Finally, as Phandroid’s Chris Chavez points out, the newly announced Motorola Photon 4G won’t be subjected to a mail in rebate as the price has been reported as $199 on a new 2 year agreement.