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Dear Sprint: I Am This Close To Dropping You

Posted by on October 16, 2011 at 9:28 pm

I’ve been with Sprint for eight years and it’s only been in the past two that I’ve really thought about phones and data plans. Y’know, the things you should really be paying attention to. My first phone plan was $35 a month with a candy bar phone I kept in the center console of my car most of the time. When I got my Palm Pre in 2009, I got into their exclusive Premier plan which allowed me to get a new phone annually at new retail rates. So after a year, I got my Samsung Epic. Then they cleaved the Premier service into two tiers and I fell into the smaller bucket. And now there is no Premier plan. So now I have to pay full retail price plus activation fee to get the shiny new phone of my dreams. Honestly, I’d rather pay the termination fee and switch to another carrier. And I’d save money, and I’d have…

So here’s the sitch:

SPRINT

Pros:

  •  Unlimited Data (too bad I only use 600MB/month and they’re gonna drop it someday)
  • Eight years of loyalty (doesn’t seem to mean much)
  • I like Sprint
Cons:
  • Apathetic toward getting Windows Phones.
  • Paying full retail rate every other year to get a new phone when I was getting regular rates every year. Weakest sauce.
  • Paying $10 extra a month when I upgraded to my Epic because it featured a WiMax radio. Unfortunately, there has, and never will be a WiMax tower built here in the Springs. Not even our trip to the Phoenix Comicon earlier this year, a much larger metropolitan area, whet my phone’s appetite for 4G.
  • LTE still far away, eventually rendering WiMax useless.
  • FULL RETAIL RATE FOR A NEW PHONE.
VERIZON
Pros:
  • Big carrier with a massive network
  • LTE
  • Great Android phone selection
Cons:
T-MOBILE
Pros:
  • Cheap plans
  • Great selection of Windows Phones
Cons:
  • Smallish network
  • Merging with AT&T? Maybe?
  • $220 termination fee to drop from Sprint
  • 4G coming, uh…
AT&T
Pros:
  • Best selection of Windows Phones
  • Really good selection of phones, period
  • Popular, I suppose.
Cons:
  • Their network.
  • $220 termination fee to drop from Sprint
At this point, it seems like a fool’s errand. Am I destined to jump from carrier to carrier to get the new phones I want at the prices I desire? Do I sacrifice my network quality for a better selection of the phones I want? There doesn’t seem to be any rewards for loyalty with any carrier now. I really just wanna pay $200 for a new phone in the next two months and not $700.
Is this so hard?

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  • Johnny

    Carriers make more money bringing in new customers than they do retaining existing ones.  They do what the money tells them to do, and so there is no benefit for customer loyalty.

    The carriers might give you some lube to appease their reaming if you scream loud enough.  But even then, it’s usually a small consolation.  You’re getting screwed either way, so you might as well pay the cancellation fee and get what you want out of it.

    • Anonymous

      I know and that’s why it’s so painful. My flaw is being loyal.

    • Nick, Johnny is trying to tell you nicely that Sprint knows that you are on their network and they hate you so they won’t get anything you want until you leave them and then they will get the exact phone you want and drop their prices just to spite you!

      • Anonymous

        That didn’t work three years ago when I threatened to leave to get an HTC Diamond!

  • At this point Sprint is banking on “all the new customers that they will be getting” to add to their subscriber base. What they aren’t seeing or refuse to see is that about a quarter of their customers that want the Iphone but can’t get it because they are not due for an upgrade are leaving to Verizon to get it at a discount. I am sure some will pay the etf but then there will be the ones they pissed off that won’t pay just to spite them lol. So we will have to wait and see what happens at their next quarterly  meeting where we will find out if it added subscribers or alienated them and lost some more for yet another quarter. On another note Sprint shouldn’t have been banking on the Iphone alone reading the customer boards hoards of people will be returning them due to the slow data speeds. So slow in some places that Siri will not work as it needs a data connection.

  • Anonymous

    With 10+ years invested in Sprint, and too lazy to change carriers, I’ve come to a conclusion that Sprint senior management hasn’t a clue.  Their site documentation is usually out-of-date or inaccurate in most cases, and tech support leaves a lot to be desired.  Sprint it appears would rather lose a long time customer and invest their time and money in getting those new 2-year agreements.  I’ve written to them many times, but only get some lowly CS clerk sending me some patronizing boilerplate reply. I have wanted to upgrade to a new android for years, and eyed the EVO for months, but Sprint’s limitations on price with a two-year agreement renewal, was a poor incentive.  If reception and functionality is adequate with Sprint as your Carrier, when it comes to the new purchase or contract renewal for a new phone I recommend NOT using Sprint, use wirefly, amazon, or in my case wait for Best Buy to run their Sprint specials.  I have my new Android and love it, Nexus_S 4G, and better yet with the price of “free” with agreement renewal from Best Buy.

  • Anonymous

    Where do you get your information from man?? You don’t have to pay full retail price for a new phone. You get full upgrade pricing after 20 months of your contract.

    • Anonymous

      Hey bro, you read the article? I was getting $200 phone every year thirteen months ago. Then I got a $75 discount, then I got nothing. This is where I’m at.

      • Anonymous

        Yes I did read the article and you wrote this, “Paying full retail rate every other year to get a new phone when I was getting regular rates every year. Weakest sauce.” you do not pay full retail price every other year. You get full upgrade discounts every 20 months. Which honestly, every other carrier gives you full upgrades after 22 months so i don’t understand why you are even considering switching.

  • Brandon Kessler

      Firstly, Colorado Springs Features At least 1 WiMax Tower, if not 2.  There’s one downtown off of Tejon St, and I think either PPCC or Ft Carson have one as well, because I can receive WiMax on my Nexus S 4G over by the airport.  If I’m grabbing the WiMax from Downtown that far away, then my phone is even more awesome than I thought.
      Secondly, Even with the $10 a month charge for a 4G phone, Sprint Family Plans are still cheaper than AT&T/Verizon by $10 a month. Single User plans, I think, are the same, or close to.  The Only Thing I do like that Verizon/AT&T does is include Tethering in their Higher tiered Data plans, where Sprint Charges $30(!) a month.  As far as LTE goes, Sprint is switching from WiMax to LTE over the next few years, which means their not expanding their WiMax spots, but doesn’t mean they’ll phase them out immediately.  Sprint has a plan for LTE somewhere around 2014, if I remember correctly.  The only other carrier I would consider switching to would be T-Mobile, and that’s only if ATT doesn’t by them out.  Trust me, coming from AT&T over to Sprint was far better.  Just don’t use Tech Support from Sprint and life is good.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, I don’t get jack from WiMax and I work not far from downtown. Of course, I’m never downtown or PPCC, either. Sprint plans to build out LTE hardcore starting next year to play catch up. I’m weighing my options, though…

    • Ansrgal

      Boo Hoo, Mean Sprint (or any other carrier)  will not hand you a $700 device for $200, upgrade their network, give you low unlimited rates and hire enough tech support folks to be at your beck and call 24 x 7.   Please tell me how they are supposed to make up that $500 over a 12 month contract?  They aren’t in business to lose money.

      • hooks

        fine if they dont do it they lose a customer…

      • Anonymous

        And yet they were doing it until 13 months ago… they had a program for loyalty. Eight years with a carrier is an eternity. Reward it, don’t toss it out.

  • Paul

    Yes, the Premier Plan being dropped was a total bummer.. But I really don’t understand what this article is trying to say? I mean, other than that every other carrier has a better selection of windows mobile phones…woo, cool?  Why would anyone want one?? They are WAY behind the times, always have been.. Plus, not able to access low level hardware to do fun things!?..lame. I mean, most of the time you get what you pay for, right?..Pay for a brand new windows mobile phone such as the htc hd7s with a single core 1 GHz processor, 5MP camera, and 25% less battery capacity verses a brand new samsung epic 4g touch with 1.2 GHz dual core, 8MP camera, and about an ounce lighter. Sounds amazing…just look at the Galaxy S III specs!! Sure they have made their mistakes, but I mean really.. I have done my share of “speaking up” with sprint customer service, always with fair outcomes. 8 year customer as well.. Just my two cents…

    • Anonymous

      You don’t like Windows Phone, that’s fine. They get much better battery life and until Android 4 drops, isn’t nearly as slick or presentable as Windows Phone.

      • Paul

        The fact of the matter is the current android phones and now the iPhone 4S both have far more advanced features. I would bet that 90% of people would agree with me. I’ve never heard of a windows phone selling out like the iPhone 4S because it is way more slick or presentable, lol. In combination with a very reliable network?..there is no doubt most would regret switching.

  • hooks

    just put ur current sprint on boost mobile. $50 a month unlimted everything. problem solved

    • hooks

      * sprint phone

    • Anonymous

      The monthly rate isn’t the issue, though: it’s the phone cost.