Charter offers up to $2,500 to buy out mobile contracts – Light Reading

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Charter Communications shed more light on its mobile contract buyout offer, announcing Monday that it will pay up to $2,500 to customers who switch to Spectrum Mobile.

Under the program, when a customer switches to Spectrum Mobile from another provider and purchases at least three lines (with at least one ported line), Charter will pay off their existing phone balance on ported lines up to $2,500 (with a maximum of five ported lines).

Switchers must also produce a copy of their latest mobile bill. Notably, leasing, interest fees and early termination fees are excluded from Charter’s new contract buyout offer.

According to a website about the program, Charter is providing mobile buyouts in the form of a Visa reward Virtual Card. Customers who switch have the option to bring their own phone or to buy new devices.

The fine print also shows that switching customers who cancel any of their qualifying lines within 12 months of getting their buyouts will be responsible for returning the entire buyout amount.

Spectrum Mobile customers must also subscribe to Charter’s home broadband service.

CEO hinted at the buyout offer last week

Charter President and CEO Chris Winfrey hinted at the coming mobile contract buyout offer last week at the MoffettNathanson Media, Internet and Communications Conference.

The offer represents “our opportunity from a subscriber acquisition standpoint to rip out multiple lines that are stuck in contracts…by these large MNOs [mobile network operators] that have locked up these devices and tied up these consumers,” he said then.

The switching offer is Charter’s latest tactic to lure customers from T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon, which also happens to be Charter’s MVNO partner. Charter ended Q1 2024 with 8.25 million mobile lines.

The offering also comes about as the rate of Charter’s mobile line growth shows signs of slowing – it added 486,000 mobile lines in Q1 2024, down from adds of 666,000 in the year-ago period.

Charter has upped its aggression in mobile with other programs, promotions and offers, including Spectrum One, a home broadband/mobile bundle that included a free mobile line for a year.

Last month, Charter introduced “anytime” device upgrades for customers on its “Unlimited Plus” plan, and launched a device protection plan for a flat fee of $5 per month per device.

Charter is also offering a free line of unlimited mobile for a year to Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) recipients as the program meets its likely demise. Charter reasons that the free line will help to offset the loss of the $30 per month ACP benefit.

“This [contract buyout] offer is another example of how we are driving exceptional value and convenience in the mobile marketplace, and we look forward to welcoming new customers with the best service, speeds and performance Spectrum Mobile has to offer,” Sharon Peters, EVP and chief marketing officer at Charter, said in a release.

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