Q: Will Sprint Retain My Business?

I have two unlimited service plans from Sprint for myself and my wife. We pay in excess of $200 per month and we’ve been Sprint customers for a decade. We are the high-value post-paid customers that Sprint has been bleeding for the past couple of years.

I opted to stay with Sprint and bought the crap Palm Pre — sell your Palm shares now — instead of churning to AT&T to get the iPhone. Recently I discovered that T-Mobile offers the same service plan I currently have for two lines at $50 less per month.

It’s not the iPhone but I would be happy with the Nexus One, which is compatible with T-Mobile’s network. I’ve now talked to several Sprint reps and they’ve got nothing to offer me to retain my business. If T-Mobile pushed this plan aggressively on TV it would capture some new business. Indeed, it’s likely to capture mine.

Observing Sprint’s behavior is interesting from a customer service and retention standpoint. We’ll see how hard they work to keep me.

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse should be matching T-Mobile’s pricing because Sprint is a “value carrier” and not really competing with AT&T or Verizon, which are positioned as the premium US carriers. Sprint hopes that WiMax will enable the company to boast about speed and compete with its network. However the advantage if it materializes will likely be short-lived.

19 Responses to “Q: Will Sprint Retain My Business?”

  1. Mike Blumenthal Says:

    Interestingly in my area, there is very little T-Mobile representation or marketing yet they actually have better coverage than either Verizon or ATT

    …but the Nexus has proven a frustrating experience compared to the iPhone…way too many settings…the touch sensitivity is an issue…nice phone but as you have pointed out elsewhere its not the iPhone.

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    I agree Mike; among non-iPhones the N1 is a very strong phone. But still . . . And it’s certainly better than my crappy Pre.

  3. Soon to Be Ex-Sprint Customer Says:

    I just saw a commercial yesterday for sprint’s unlimited plan @ $69.(Will they let current customers get benefit w/o extending contract?)

    Their coverage in my area is better than Tmobile & ATT but their customer service is abysmal – even with dealing with the ‘escalation team’.

    I am counting down to the end of my Sprint contract – 11/11/10.

  4. Greg Sterling Says:

    Mine is up in July.

  5. Scott Bornkessel Says:

    Greg,
    The exact same thing happened to my wife and me when we went shopping for new phones and plans. We had been Verizon customers for about ten years, and she was going to move to Sprint for the everything-for-$99 plan. I tried to explain to Verizon how the cost of keeping a customer is about 1/10th that of trying to land a new one, but they just said, “there is nothing we can do.” So we moved. These are the same companies that have owned the user interface for every cell phone in US history – except for the iPhone (which I moved to). The experience on those phones explains clearly why they are failing to keep customers. They are tripping over dollars to pick up pennies.

  6. Greg Sterling Says:

    Yep. Agree.

  7. Rich H Says:

    …although the “grass is not always greener” Greg. I left Verizon’s superior network for the iPhone 18 months ago. True – a fantastic device, but the coverage is so horrible; my dropped calls ratio was measured at 5%-20% per-month! They’ve acknowledged the issue. I’ve tried to get out of my contract and return to Verizon (and the Droid) – but two replacement phones, two new SIM cards, a two-week “investigation” and 8-10 conversations later – I still wait for AT&T’s decision. I can only hope Verizon gets an iPhone later this year!

  8. Jon C. Says:

    I totally agree on what a “****” phone the Palm Pre is, tried to change phones with Sprint to possibly the Pixie, but was told I can’t change for another 1 1/2 years might be cheaper to pay the early cancellation fee. Never again with Sprint

  9. Greg Sterling Says:

    Jon:

    I despise it more by the day . . .

  10. Rich H Says:

    Still a huge opportunity however, despite the our “user” challanges…
    http://localsearchsource.com/2010/03/06/if-your-local-you-should-be-mobile/

  11. Matthew Brown Says:

    I am a sprint customer and I have liked the service. Even if I wanted an Iphone, I could not afford their ‘deposit’ because of credit.

    Yes I had the palm pre and I liked it but at the same time before my 30 days were up I could trade it in for the Hero which I did and never looked back. If the palm pre was the palm pre plus I think you would have better opinoin of the phone.

    I am not big fan of the slider of the pre plus the buttons were a little small for my fingers and the app store was not that great. Besides those, the little phone is a good phone and is actually the same speed as the nexus one/iphone running the snapdragon processor.

  12. Roni Says:

    Greg – I will have someone reach out to you so that we can hopefully find a wireless plan that you feel better meets your current needs!

    But I did want to point out that the T-Mobile plan referenced in your blog is a no-contract plan that does not offer a subsidy on the cost of the device. The cost of the Nexus One with this plan is $529.

    To purchase a Nexus One at the subsidized price of $179 on a T-Mobile unlimited talk, text and Web family plan, the monthly plan price for two lines is $179.99.

    Compare that with the Sprint Simply Everything Family plan with unlimited talk, text and Web is available for $189.98 per month for two lines. This plan ALSO includes the extra value of unlimited GPS navigation and exclusive apps like NFL Mobile Live and NASCAR Sprint Cup Live at no additional charge. Plus, the Simply Everything plan automatically enrolls customers in the Sprint Premier loyalty program for annual phone upgrades, discounted accessories, anniversary rewards and other benefits. And Sprint offers a much larger 3G coverage area than T-Mobile.

    Roni Singleton
    Sprint PR

  13. sagamore Says:

    Roni,
    I’m a Sprint Premier customer, through many years with one of Sprint’s now-out-of-date family plans. I keep looking, but I just don’t see any benefits from the Premier program. I don’t care about NFL or NASCAR and am not interested in free ringtones as anniversary rewards. I’ve never used the annual phone upgrade program because the only phones that I would switch to require new plans that are MUCH more expensive than what I’m now paying. Discounted accessories? Maybe I should look there.

    It’s really unfortunate that Sprint is requiring new (much more expensive) plans for some phones. Customers on the old family plans are stuck between staying with old phones (so much for annual upgrades!) or paying a LOT more per month for service that’s just about the same as they already have but with a nicer phone. The difference in monthly cost between these new plans and Sprint’s competitors is just not that great anymore. So people in my position can’t help but look for what phones and service might be available elsewhere.

  14. tina Says:

    I pay 54 a month for sprint and have the pixi …it includes unlimited everything! Except minutes too land lines like a house phone etc. Me & my brother share a plan and it’s way less then 200 a month also I had t mobile it was horrible service there was a day when my aunt was in the hospital and we were at home my moms cell wasn’t receiving calls or texts that entire day the texts were coming hours late!! We could of missed out on emergency calls

  15. Jane Says:

    I have a Sprint plan where I pay 50 per month for 750 anytime and 3000 nights and weekends and in my 50 p/month includes unlimited texts. I have a old plan.. I’ve been a customers for 9 years and not sure if they are giving me a good deal…any opinions on this???? I am contemplating on leaving and just going under my husbands Verizon plan. Tina ….the person who wrote on March 23….you pay 54 only for unlimited everything??? How???? Please let me know..thanks..and what is a Sprint Premier customer??? I’ve never heard of this… I feel like i’m not being treated well by sprint.

  16. Greg Sterling Says:

    Jane:

    T-Mobile’s pricing is the most aggressive. Sprint also has a $69 plan that probably meets your needs. But I’m not sure.

  17. MGiulliani Says:

    I have been with Sprint since 2005. I have a plan that gives me 1000 min + 200 bonus, unlimited data usage, 500 text, unlimited calls after 7 nights and weekenends for $59.00 and no roaming charges. I have been contemplating the Evo 4G. In a Sprint store the rep (I have known for 2 years) there explained because I have a unlimited data plan already I could upgrade to the new phone and pay an additional $10.00 and have the 4G for the Evo. 2 months later I go to the store on the launch date to get the phone w a $75.00 discount to resign my current contract as was explained by the rep two months earlier. They tried the bate and switch me to the everything plan and I was told the phone would not function on my current plan. Well my phone is a Touch Pro 2 and runs on 3G. Very upset I went to my office and emailed (————–) at Sprint Corp and explained my frustration. I then called the Sprint sales line and discussed this with a rep. He then put me on hold and spoke with Tech Support for 10 min, when he returned he states a tech engineer explained no difference in the phones except the additional 4g (when usage is available) come this November. Sprint mandates a $10.00 additional charge (above the plan) when you get service for this phone even if the 4G is not available in your area till Nov-Dec this year. I purchased the phone. I then get a call from a Rep of the (——) from the Sprint Corp email team and she defaulted to the same garbage the store rep told me because its for the enhanced experience of 4G and I would have to switch plans and pay the $10.00. SO I arranged another call w her on 6/9. I should have the phone by 6/7 or 6/8. I am highly interested in who is lying here, if I have found upon me activating the phone it works perfectly on my current plan I will then seek methods (Virally) to expose this on YouTube and mainstream sites across the web and seek class action advice. Its things like this that serve to lose long term customers and turn them into fighters for a cause. I have notified the Rep when we have spoken the call could be recorded for my purposes of call accountability by the Rep and copying of emails as well.

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