NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Sprint is offering up to $175 to customers who switch from other wireless carriers.
The credit is meant to "give customers a chance to try Sprint without having to worry about fees or charges for terminating their contracts with their current carriers," Sprint spokesman Lloyd Karnes said in an e-mail.
The offer is $175 for business customers who switch and buy any Sprint phone; $125 for individual customers who buy a smartphone; or $50 for individuals who buy a low-end "feature phone."
To get the credit, all accounts must be ported from existing contracts, and they must remain active for 61 days. A two-year contract is required.
The offer began May 4, Karnes said, but it wasn't widely reported until Thursday, when blog Spantechular posted a purported ad. The blog post had said Sprint was targeting only T-Mobile customers, but Karnes said the offer is valid for those switching from any rival carrier.
Sprint (Fortune 500) locked horns with T-Mobile earlier this week on Capitol Hill. At a Senate subcommittee hearing, Sprint CEO Daniel Hesse attacked the proposed AT&T ( , Fortune 500) purchase of T-Mobile, saying the merger "will turn back the clock to the time of Ma Bell.",
Sprint has offered credits like this before, but Karnes didn't deny that the looming merger helped inspire the timing of this promotion.
A T-Mobile spokeswoman called the promotion "a marketing gimmick" and "an attempt by Sprint to piggy back on the proposed acquisition to try and entice business users who have for good reason chosen T-Mobile."
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