voicemail_guy

Take Back the Beep?

Posted by voicemail_guy Jul 30, 2009

David Pogue wrote in his New York Times column today that cell phone users should ‘take back the beep’ – streamline their voicemail to keep the minutes of use down.  I completely agree – and I’m the Voicemail Guy at Sprint.  We want you to have the best experience you can with Sprint service.  Part of that is making voicemail as usable as possible for as wide a base as possible.  We have to assume everyone is a beginner, though, so we give them as much instruction as possible on how to use voicemail.  For our advanced users (and if you’re reading this, you’re most likely an advanced user), we have some shortcuts.  If you’d like to use the provided Expert mode, just follow these steps:

 

How to Streamline your Sprint Voicemail Experience.

 

To skip your Passcode**,
Dial into your voicemail, press 3 for personal options, select 1 for settings, then select 1 to skip passcode**.

 

To Turn off Numeric Paging option at the end of your outgoing out going message ,
Dial into your voicemail account, select 3 for personal options, select 1 for settings, then select 6 to skip the Numeric Paging option.

 

To turn on Expert Mode – this  helps you navigate more rapidly through the voicemail system by shortening the voice prompts you hear at each level.
Dial into your voicemail account, select 3 for personal options, then select 3 to turn on expert mode***.

 

To turn off message date and time
Dial into your voicemail account, select 3 for personal options, select 1 for settings, and then 3 to turn off message date and time.

 


To turn off caller instructions aka "TAKE BACK THE BEEP"

 

Dial into your voicemail accout, select 3 for personal options, select 2 for greetings, select 1 for main greeting, select 3 for add or remove caller instructions, then press 2 for do not play instructions.  (thanks StarmanDX)

 

 

 

**  If you choose to disable your passcode, your voicemail account will be vulnerable to unauthorized access.  Sprint strongly recommends that you use a passcode.  This is the best way to protect your account from unauthorized access.

 

Please note – these options only apply to Sprint CDMA voicemail systems, not iDEN or Visual Voicemail.

 

We're impressed with the response we've gotten on our community about this topic!  I've had the administrators stand up a new discussion forum, "Take Back the Beep" where you can post your comments and suggestions about using voicemail and making it better.

http://community.sprint.com/baw/community/buzzaboutwireless/general/takebackthebeep

 

 

I'll be monitoring the new forum and seeing what ideas and suggestions you have!

 


Thanks,

Jack

Overview

  • Sprint announced today (Tuesday, July 28) that it plans to acquire Virgin Mobile USA to further strengthen its position in the prepaid segment.
     
  • Following the proposed acquisition, Sprint’s prepaid business will include the iconic Virgin Mobile USA brand along with its successful Boost Mobile brand. These brands have complementary distribution and demographics and are positioned to co-exist — each will aggressively attract and retain consumers seeking great service for great value.

 

What’s Next?

  • The proposed transaction will go through the normal shareholder and government approvals process. Sprint expects the transaction to close in the fourth quarter of 2009 or early 2010.

 

  • During this time, each business will operate as usual and each business will operate independently until the transaction is completed.

 

  • Customers will not experience any change, regardless of whether they are Boost, Virgin Mobile USA, or Sprint postpaid customers.

 

Strategy

  • The acquisition of Virgin Mobile USA is a growth opportunity for Sprint due to the popularity of prepaid plans, and the transition of some customers from postpaid to prepaid. 

 

  • The prepaid business has been a key segment in the wireless market for Sprint since the introduction of Boost Mobile. Customers today are seeking the best value for great service and for many individuals prepaid plans are a great choice. Sprint wants to provide its existing and new customers with greater flexibility that meets their wireless needs and economic requirements. 

 

  • Postpaid will remain a key business segment for Sprint.

 

Read the press release

Today, we switched from a 10-point rating scale to 5. The 5-point scale is more common around the Web, and we wanted to make it easier to compare apples-to-apples when you're shopping around. Also, you get to supply your overall rating now, rather than having it calculated from your individual ratings.

 

Our community members had spent lots of time giving us helpful, honest reviews in the previous system, and we really wanted to bring those comments and ratings into the new community.

 

Rather than clear the slate and start over, we converted the old 10-point ratings to the new 5-point scale. So, did we just divide by 2? Pretty much. 8 becomes 4, 6 becomes 3, and so on. Odd numbered ratings were rounded up--so a rating of 9 is now 5 (4.5 rounded up).

 

This isn't us trying to pad the ratings. It's just...well...math. We compared old ratings and the new ratings, and found that this conversion didn't result in a big boost in the average rating that people gave a particular device. For instance, the HTC Snap saw an overall average rating increase by 0.3 points--which is the largest rating bump any one device got from the conversion.

 

You may disagree, or feel the 'new math' misrepresents your old rating. If so, let us know and we'll remove your old rating so you can submit a new one on the 5-point scale. Just send Will England (wengla02) or SarahKS a private message and let us know which review is yours.

 

Update July 30, 2009

 

Yeah, here’s another take on the ratings conversion. The old system did the math for you on the overall rating as an average of your other scores. The new system lets you put in an overall rating—but only whole numbers—and then averages those from everybody, which sometimes results in a decimal rating.  That’s where the difference between the old system and the new system is obvious.

 

ratings_first.jpgHere’s the breakdown on the HTC Snap. We took the individual overall ratings from the old Buzz, divided by two to get the new individual overall ratings, and then added those to find the average (rounded up to the nearest tenth) which gave us 3.8. If we had the ability to take the old overall BAW rating and divide by two it would have given us 3.5. That’s the 0.3 difference. Why didn’t we just go that route? Simply put the systems didn’t have a way to import the overall rating—we could only import the individual ratings and let the new system do its math.

 

Thanks for giving us the chance to “show our work.”  We want to be totally up front about this change. It came down to finding the best way to get the systems to talk to each other and keeping the ratings as close to true as possible.

A couple of years ago, some visionaries here at Sprint decided to launch an online user community and Buzzaboutwireless.com was born. Now Buzz is a lively online community where SprintNextel customers and wireless enthusiasts connect to share insights, ask questions, debate issues and rave/rant about Sprint products and services.

 

This redesign allows Buzz to be integrated with the Sprint.com website. We hope that being easier to find will encourage more customers to benefit from communicating with each other and with Sprint.

 

If you are new to the our community, please register so you can get to know others and let us know a bit about you in the 'Introduce Yourself' forum.

 

The employees that post here are not professional writers – most are volunteers that simply enjoy helping customers. We do have some Care Chat Reps available, but the focus here is on peer-to-peer support.

 

Heartfelt thanks to all of our current buzzaboutwireless.com members. Your participation is what makes Buzz so successful.

 

The site as it is today is not the final product. Expect additional features in the next few weeks and months. A couple of things currently in development are:

  • A cool widget you can use to personalize what and how Buzz displays for you.
  • A revamp of the ratings and reviews section that will include a feed from CNET and integration with the online store. We won’t be accepting new reviews until the new system is in place.

 

This is the first step in building out what we hope will become a best in class experience. It is an ambitious redesign and we do anticipate some problems immediately following launch.  Please see the post titled “New Site Known Issues and How You Can Help” for more information.

I will keep this post updated with any  issues that we are working on, but we could use your help. If you find a problem not mentioned on the Known Issue list, please send an email to buzz-admin@sprint.com with the following info:

  • The page URL (if possible)
  • A description of the problem or error message
  • Steps to recreate the issue.

 

Known Issues - Update 7/30/2009 10:45 AM CST

 

* We are still experiencing intermittent  performance issues.  The team is working 24/7 to get them resolved.

 

* You may get a "Some items on this page are insecure" error. This is due to the way stylesheets are being included; we're working on this.

 

* When you post a reply to a forum thread in BuzzAboutWireless, the page formatting will look odd for about 15 seconds, then refresh to show you your post.  We have identified the issue and are working on a solution.

Now through Oct. 31, Sprint is expanding the Referral Rewards Program, giving you the chance to earn a $50 Visa Debit Card – up to $600 a year for 12 referrals (or 12 new lines activated) – when you encourage new customers to sign up with Sprint. Once they switch, new customers will receive their own $25 Visa Debit Card for each new line activated. Additionally, for the first time, the Referral Rewards program includes new customers who sign up for mobile broadband connection cards. The changes make Sprint’s referral program the most lucrative referral rewards offer available among the national carriers today.

 

Learn more about Referral Rewards Program

Read the press release

Ericsson’s world-class, day-to-day network services expertise allows Sprint to focus on delivering a superior customer experience, innovative services and popular new devices

Sprint retains full ownership and control of its networks while continuing to drive all strategic decisions

News Highlights

Sprint (NYSE:S) is breaking away from competitors today with a unique wireless and wireline network services agreement with global leader Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC).

•The seven-year agreement, matching Sprint’s telecommunications leadership with Ericsson, enables Sprint and its millions of customers to enjoy a network services model that is proven successful worldwide and praised by business experts and communications analysts, as an operational best practice for network operators.

• Sprint retains full ownership and control of its network assets, and solely owns network strategy and investment decisions.

• Customers will continue to work directly with Sprint employees as their primary contact, as Sprint retains full control of the customer experience, customer technical support and services review.

• Sprint retains technology and vendor selections.

• Ericsson assumes responsibility for the day-to-day services, provisioning and maintenance for the Sprint-owned CDMA, iDEN and wireline networks.

• Ericsson will optimize Sprint’s multi-vendor inventory of assets such as spare parts and transmission equipment, and provide processes and tools for managing the national network platforms and operational support systems.

• The transferred employees will become part of Ericsson Services Inc., a wholly-owned Ericsson subsidiary based in Overland Park, KS, a move that retains jobs in the United States. No force reductions are currently contemplated as a result of this agreement.
Multi-Media
Video One - What's the Advantage of Network Advantage
Bob Azzi, Senior Vice President of Network, Sprint



Video Two - Why did we choose to partner with Ericsson
Bob Azzi, Senior Vice President of Network, Sprint



Video Three - What part of Network Advantage will our customers care about?
Tim Donahue, Vice President of Marketing, Sprint



Video Four How will Sprint talk about Network Advantage with its customers?
Tim Donahue, Vice President of Marketing, Sprint


Quotes
From Sprint’s Steve Elfman, President of Network Operations and Wholesale:
“No other U.S.-based carrier has followed through on the business-enhancing vision inherent in Network Advantage. Our best-ever network performance will become even better by leveraging Ericsson’s world-class leadership in network services, their proprietary tools, and the knowledge of more than 30,000 dedicated and highly-specialized service professionals to power Sprint’s Now Network.”

“Taking advantage of Ericsson’s global expertise to operate the tactical functions of our networks will greatly enhance Sprint’s business. Beyond the obvious network advancements, we’re now positioned to eclipse the competition by concentrating on our legacy of innovation – whether it’s revolutionizing the customer experience as we’ve done with Ready Now and our value plans, or delivering iconic, highly-sought-after products like Sprint Mobile Broadband Cards, the Palm® Pre™ and MiFi™. Further, our network powers Sprint’s one-of-a-kind wireline and wireless assets, such as our award-wining Unified Communications enablement, a robust integration of converged solutions that delivers unparalleled business mobility.”

From Ericsson’s Angel Ruiz, head of Ericsson’s North American Operations.
“Ericsson is excited about the opportunity to expand our successful business model to the U.S. allowing Sprint to operate more efficiently while focusing even more on its customers.” “Managed Services has been successful throughout the world. Measures that provide operators with reduced cost and improved efficiency have become increasingly valid and attractive. This shows that the trend of full-scope Managed Services with tier-one global operators is now happening in the U.S. We’re looking forward to the skill and competence that the Sprint employees will bring to Ericsson.”

Full Story
Sprint (NYSE:S) is breaking away from competitors today with a unique wireless and wireline network services agreement with global leader Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC).

The seven-year agreement, matching Sprint’s telecommunications leadership with Ericsson, enables Sprint and its millions of customers to enjoy a network services model that is proven successful worldwide and praised by business experts and communications analysts, as an operational best practice for network operators.

Sprint’s Steve Elfman, President of Network Operations and Wholesale, believes the historic deal, titled “Network Advantage,” catapults the company to elite status in wireless and wireline network effectiveness.

“No other U.S.-based carrier has followed through on the business-enhancing vision inherent in Network Advantage. Our best-ever network performance will become even better by leveraging Ericsson’s world-class leadership in network services, their proprietary tools, and the knowledge of more than 30,000 dedicated and highly-specialized service professionals to power Sprint’s Now Network,” said Elfman.

The move delivers operational efficiencies for Sprint while further expanding Ericsson’s network services business in North America. The agreement, with an option for renewal, will result in payments for services valued at between $4.5 billion and $5 billion (USD) over the seven-year term of the contract. The transaction calls for about 6,000 Sprint employees to begin performing their network functions as Ericsson employees sometime in the 3rd quarter.

Key elements of Network Advantage are:
• Sprint retains full ownership and control of its network assets, and solely owns network strategy and investment decisions.

• Customers will continue to work directly with Sprint employees as their primary contact, as Sprint retains full control of the customer experience, customer technical support and services review.

• Sprint retains technology and vendor selections.

• Ericsson assumes responsibility for the day-to-day services, provisioning and maintenance for the Sprint-owned CDMA, iDEN and wireline networks.

• Ericsson will optimize Sprint’s multi-vendor inventory of assets such as spare parts and transmission equipment, and provide processes and tools for managing the national network platforms and operational support systems.

• The transferred employees will become part of Ericsson Services Inc., a wholly-owned Ericsson subsidiary based in Overland Park, KS, a move that retains jobs in the United States. No force reductions are currently contemplated as a result of this agreement.
“Ericsson is excited about the opportunity to expand our successful business model to the U.S. allowing Sprint to operate more efficiently while focusing even more on its customers,” said Angel Ruiz, head of Ericsson’s North American operations. “Managed Services has been successful throughout the world. Measures that provide operators with reduced cost and improved efficiency have become increasingly valid and attractive. This shows that the trend of full-scope Managed Services with tier-one global operators is now happening in the U.S. We’re looking forward to the skill and competence that the Sprint employees will bring to Ericsson.”

Elfman added, “Taking advantage of Ericsson’s global expertise to operate the tactical functions of our networks will greatly enhance Sprint’s business. Beyond the obvious network advancements, we’re now positioned to eclipse the competition by concentrating on our legacy of innovation – whether it’s revolutionizing the customer experience as we’ve done with Ready Now and our value plans, or delivering iconic, highly-sought-after products like Sprint Mobile Broadband Cards, the Palm® Pre™ and MiFi™. Further, our network powers Sprint’s one-of-a-kind wireline and wireless assets, such as our award-wining Unified Communications enablement, a robust integration of converged solutions that delivers unparalleled business mobility.”

Sprint expects to immediately benefit from Ericsson’s leadership and best-in-class economies of scale in network services. Ericsson was the pioneer with leading global carriers in Europe as well as AsiaPacific and Latin America (full reference list) for this type of partnership and has more than 15 years’ experience in the field with hundreds of carrier contracts. Ericsson today manages networks that together serve more than 275 million subscribers worldwide. Additionally, more than 40 percent of all mobile traffic goes through Ericsson's networks. Its investments in best practices and tools will enhance Sprint’s business and bring scale and efficiency that will impact Sprint beyond what it could achieve as a stand-alone carrier.

Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995

This news release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the securities laws. The statements in this news release regarding network performance and capabilities, business and network efficiencies, new products and services, and the business outlook and performance, as well as other statements that are not historical facts, are forward-looking statements. The words “estimate,” “project,” “forecast,” “intend,” “expect,” “believe,” “target,” “providing guidance” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are estimates and projections reflecting management’s judgment based on currently available information and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements. With respect to these forward-looking statements, management has made assumptions regarding, among other things, customer and network usage; customer growth and retention; pricing; development, deployment and operating costs; availability of devices; the timing of various events and the economic environment.

Sprint Nextel believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable; however, you should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which are based on current expectations and speak only as of the date of this release. Sprint Nextel is not obligated to publicly release any revisions to forward-looking statements to reflect events after the date of this release. Sprint Nextel provides a detailed discussion of risk factors in periodic SEC filings, including its annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008 in Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors.”

About Ericsson
Ericsson is the world's leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators. Ericsson is the leader in 2G, 3G and 4G mobile technologies, and provides support for networks with over 1 billion subscribers and has a leading position in Managed Services. The company's portfolio comprises of mobile and fixed network infrastructure, telecom services, software, broadband and multimedia solutions for operators, enterprises and the media industry. The Sony Ericsson and ST-Ericsson joint ventures provide consumers with feature-rich personal mobile devices.

Ericsson is advancing its vision "to be the prime driver in an all-communicating world" through innovation, technology, and sustainable business solutions. Working in 175 countries, more than 75,000 employees generated revenue of SEK 209 billion (USD 32.2 billion) in 2008. Founded in 1876 with the headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, Ericsson is listed on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm and NASDAQ New York.
www.ericsson.com
www.ericsson.mobi
www.twitter.com/ericssonpress

About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two wireless networks serving more than 49 million customers at the end of the first quarter 2009; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT

Sprint Media Relations
James Fisher
Phone: 703-433-8677
E-mail: James.W.Fisher@Sprint.com

Sprint Investor Relations
Yijing Brentano
Phone: 800-259-3755
Investor.relations@sprint.com

Ericsson Media Relations
Kathy Egan
Phone: +1 212-843-8422
E-mail: press.relations@ericsson.com

Ericsson Corporate Public & Media Relations
Phone: +46 10 719 69 92
E-mail: press.relations@ericsson.com

Ericsson Investor Relations
Phone: +46 10 719 00 00
E-mail: investor.relations@ericsson.com
Message Edited by SarahKS on 07-09-2009 11:03 AM

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