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Sprint mocks Verizon for being 'twice the price'

Commentary: In a new campaign, Sprint insists Verizon just gets you hooked on expensive stuff. And it pitches an anti-discount store to drive the point home.

 Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

Verizon Unlimited logo and "hooked" customer


Sprint/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Verizon has often enjoyed posing on a lofty perch.

It's always styled itself as the best. Even now, when its competitors appear to be catching up.

For months, Verizon has been running a campaign with a big star -- Thomas Middleditch of "Silicon Valley" -- and a big logo featuring a big red check mark. 

Sprint's had enough of that.

In a new ad released Thursday, Sprint features Verizon's "Unlimited" sign and says the company's check mark -- cast about like so many fishhooks -- is merely a huge way to get you hooked on high-priced goods

Indeed, we see it snagging an unsuspecting customer and hoisting him into the air, leaving him helpless. 

But along comes former Verizon spokesman Paul Marcarelli, a man who's likely made as much money out of cellphone carriers as have their senior board members, after everyone got hooked on him saying: "Can you hear me now?"

"Looks like you got hooked by Verizon," he says to the hanging man and sounding like someone who's heard too many fish stories.

"Nowadays, every network is great, but Sprint doesn't cost you twice as much," says Marcarelli, as he cuts the man free. 

Verizon declined to comment.

However, Sprint wasn't done with the mockery. It then released video (see below) mock-advertising a store called "Twice the Price." 

A salesman, whose style will be familiar to many a late-night ad viewer, peddles goods that are all twice the price. And it's right next door to a Verizon store.

Still, in these days of contracts being a little yesterday and flexibility being today's standard, people seem to be weaning themselves away from Verizon's allegedly expensive enticements. 

In April, the carrier announced it had lost 289,000 customers in the first quarter. This was its worst quarter ever when it comes to subscriber numbers. 

Can it be that the thrill is gone? Or are the cheap thrills now just as good?

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