I have been a Sprint customer for 10 years now. Obviously, I am pretty pleased with their service if I remained with them for so long. I do have one issue though. It seems like Sprint, along with many other companies, caters to new customers with special deals, while kind of neglecting existing customers. Don't get me wrong, the Simply Everything plan is a great plan, but after taxes and fees the bill is like $120.00. I believe that if you have a been a loyal customer for 10 years, you should get a better rate on the Simply Everything plan. Basically, anyone who has been a Sprint customer for a decade gets the Simply Everything plan for a flat $100.00, taxes and fees included. I feel that if you have been a loyal customer for 20+ years, you should get the Simply Everything plan for $90.00, taxes and fees included. I have discussed this with Sprint on several occasions, but I am just one voice. If I can spread my idea and the masses latch on, perhaps we can get Sprint to actually give it real consideration. In fact, with enough voices, maybe they will actually implement it.
The entire "Mobile companies cater to new customers" is a huge misconception. Generally in the mobile industry a new customer is someone who has been under their original contract with the company for less than six months. Lets examine a few of the reasons why new customers do not have it that great:
1) New customers pay activation fees of $36 per line that they activate
2) New customers are forced to pay plan proration on their first bill (even though they just instated service)
3) New customers may have to pay a service deposit that will not be refunded for 9Months to a Year
4) New accounts are often subject to "Account Spending Limits" which can cause suspensions when the account is not past due and force early payment on behalf of the customer. These customers are also subject to an extra $4.99 charge per month unless they consent to setting up their Sprint Bill on an auto-debit with their banking account. This Account Spending Limit can be imposed on the new customer for 9months to years depending on the customer's payment history.
5) New customers do not qualify for early handset upgrades, premier program incentives, payment arrangements (should something go wrong), or basically any of the bending backwards that Sprint would give to someone like you who has been with Sprint for 10 years.
10 year customers get a lot of benefits from Sprint. Once you have been with Sprint for 10 years: The primary line on your account (or every line on an individual plan) will qualify for their phone upgrades after 12 months instead of 22 months like a new account. You will no longer be subject to activation and upgrade fees (even if you paid an upgrade fee, the fee is only $18 compared to the $36 charged to new customers). You will get discounts on accessories and exclusive free digital content. It is more likely that Sprint will work with you in the even that you need a phone outside of your upgrade time. It is more likely Sprint will work with you on billing credits and payment arrangements. You will not have any deposits or account spending limits.
Does Sprint want new customers to feel like they will pamper them? Of Course! It is how they bring them to Sprint to begin with. Most of the misconception is driven by place like Radio Shack and Best Buy offering better contracted phone pricing to new customers than Upgrade customers (AT&T and Verizon also does this, Sprint rarely does this in store). But lets say a new customer got an extra $50 a phone over you who had chosen to upgrade to the same device. Lets also say you were both on a Everything Data 450 plan and lets see how it adds up:
New Customer 10 Year Customer
Activation Fee $36 $0
Plan $69.99 $69.99
Proration $17 $0
ASL Fee $5 $0
Phone $49.99 $99.99
TOTAL: $177.98 $169.98
Even given my conservative proration estimates and generous new customer discount on the phone you still would save more money as a 10 year customer than a new customer.
As far as plans go, if Sprint were to ever start offering all long term customers plan discounts it would certainly hurt business. There are several things you need to understand:
1) the services Sprint provides you monthly cost Sprint money
2) the reason you can enjoy MANY fewer dropped calls that the other big dogs is because Sprint invests tons of money into their network
3) the reason you can enjoy 4G in around 40 markets now is because Sprint invests tons of money into developing that network
4) the reason you can enjoy an Android or Palm WebOS handset is because Sprint dumped hundreds of millions of dollars into developing those systems.
5) Sprint is investing millions in moving customer service centers back to the United States and creating comprehensive training and quality assurance programs.
Sprint is wisely spending your dollars every day. If Sprint takes less dollars from you, then you will have fewer reasons to enjoy Sprint.
Sprint appreciates you. Do not let marketing dissuade you from understanding the facts.
Message was edited by: Wireless.O.G.
New customers on a qualifying plan get the same "Perks" as a 10 yr customer after 6 months! If said new customer has a good credit rating they do not have to pay a deposit or the ASL fee. So a 10 yr loyal customer is no different or special then a new customer in sprint's eyes.
To qualify for Premier, you must be a Sprint customer for at least 6 months, your account must be in good standing, and you must meet one of the three following criteria:
- Maintain a 3-mo average of at least $69.99 for individual plans; or
- Maintain a 3-mo average of at least $99.99 for shared plans; or
- Have been a Sprint wireless customer for 10 years.
I also disagree with the idea that new customers = old customers.
I have a $30/month 300 minute free and clear plan from April 2000. I have a $5/month data plan, $5/month for picture mail and free text messages with a bonus 60 free minutes. I also have a $5/month discount leaving me with a bill of $35/month plus taxes. I negotiated a way to get a smartphone in May 2008 and keep this plan. I have night and weekend start time of 8 PM and free roaming. But I don't have any of the extras that Sprint charges $70/month for. I average less than 200 anytime minutes and less than 300 night and weekend minutes per month.
I don't use a lot of data, in fact I average less than 20 MB/month! At most I use around 50 text messages per month.
But yet I know the story when I go to upgrade, I likely will not be able to keep this plan and will be forced to either pick their $70 plan, keep my phone and plan as is (no upgrade) or leave. So there is no incentive for me to stay, I can get what I want at Verizon (smartphone too) for $75/month. Plus get their network, a real network! If I stay with Sprint I would need an Airave, as they don't seem to care to upgrade their network, so I would end up paying $5/month for that. So what do you know, same price anyway!
Best of luck Sprint on keeping long term customers such as myself, you force us to pay double, we might as well leave.
I'd like to interject my thoughts on this discussion. There is a significant difference between the retention strategies being employed by Sprint & it's wireless competitors. To both AT&T & Verizon, new or upgrading customers do not pay a difference in handset prices. To emphasize this point, I just recently upgraded to the Samsung Moment. New customers pay only $99.99. I on the otherhand was initially charged $199.99 for the same device. I was lucky that Sprint had their phone buyback recycle program. Two devices knocked off almost 40 bucks. Still, even with that, I had to pay $180.50.
Even if a new customer is charged 36.00 for phone activation, $17 for Proration, $5 for ASL fee, & local taxes in the Dallas County area of 8.25%, the new customer comes up with a charge of $166.24. If there was no recycle program or qualifying device an existing customer would pay 199.99 for a Samsung Moment, doesn't have SEP & has to pay an activation charge of $18. 199.99, plus tax & activation charge comes to $234.49.
Last I checked my mathematics $234.49 > $166.24. That's a difference in upfront cost of 68.25. That cost right there could easily pay for some accessories & actually boost Sprint's storefront business rather than take away. In my case, being a Premier Status did not impact my sale except for accessories. I didn't buy any accessories that day. Only the recycle program if someone knows about it & being on the SEP, did I not have to pay activation charges at all. All I had to do is pay for the phone, recommit to 2 more years, & the deal is done.
The new customer still ends up $14 bucks in his pocket. Before anyone interjects, I know I'll get $100.00 back in 6 to 8 weeks via rebate. In a bad economy or even in a good economy, being without a hundred bucks for a few days, weeks, or even a month still hurts! The point however is clear. Sprint had a lot more customers in the past than it does now due to lack of customer service, lack of agressive retention policies, overselling phones & features, & woefully insufficient initial tech support. These systemic issues arise from a corporate culture that is disconnected with the real world.
The company I work for has a policy of treating each and every customer the same. Whether they are a lifelong customer or if it's their first visit, we do our absolute best to give those customers initial greetings, courteous service, the best possible deals, a thank you for the patronage, & a reminder to come back. That's why my employer has lasted over 100 years with a consistent tradition of service.
We don't see that coming from Sprint outside of a Sprint Store. Sprint.com doesn't have it. Buzz About Wireless does not have it. There were tons of problems that Buzz About Wireless could have springboarded to successful customer retention & that opportunity was squandered time & time again. We certainly haven't seen it from Dan Hesse, who refuses to acknowledge issues with one of Sprint's previous phones, the Instinct. There's a reason why Sprint hasn't turned a profit & we see it each day. I have to admit, the Sprint Store employees I've dealt with were superb. Great customer service, clean store, & seemed knowledgeable about their product. But I'm in a major market in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metro area. Outside of a major market, that same service isn't consistent.
My reasons for staying was the network here in Dallas-Fort Worth blows away AT&T, T-Mobile, MetroPCS, & others carrier's networks away. I've never failed to connect at 3G with full Power Vision in the Metroplex. Verizon has billing issues & charges more for an equivalent plan. The recycle program, good quality network with voice & data, local store-level customer service, consistent bill, & Sprint's committment to Android made me stick with them. But there is LOTS of work to be done. The first of which is treating old customers like new ones.
@jogomez721, nicely put.
I'm not at all sure what companies get from rebate programs. They still have to pay us the money back. However, they float the difference we pay up-front for a few weeks. Never understood why rebate programs are a good idea for a company or a consumer.
Wait? What? THIS is your advice from a call center? Seriously? Downgrade? Check to see if our employers offer discounts (which has more to do with our company's ability to negotiate with sprint outside reps than Sprint at all).
I epeciallly appreciate the inane "Downgrade" advice.
Downgrade to what exactly?
Some of us pay quite a bit (not me of course since I'm on SERO and the ONLY reason I stay), but you're advocating that people pay for LESSER services and plans? Excellent advice, give Sprint LESS money?
Is it any wonder why the call centers are usually the first to get blamed for bad advice?
"Sorry, But we actually dont have plans for long term customers!
We do how ever, appreciate your business, and will do as much as we can to retain your business..."
Excellent advice. Thanks for being up-front that Sprint cares nothing more than paying lip service to long-time customers.
Remind me again, beyond the lip-service why anyone should stay?
Can't be for:
Non-upgraded WM 6.5 (which every other carrier has done for the top of the line phone Sprint offers, the TP2)
crappy customer service (as is evidenced by this "CSR" posting)
unhelpful forums that are impossible to navigate and feel as though they've been hobbled together by some blind half-wit who hasn't a clue how to respond to customer's requests that it be made more user-friendly.
Excellent response. I'd expect nothing less from Spint (or someone who purports to work for them).
Sorry, But we actually dont have plans for long term customers!
WOW!!! If you read my post you will see that I have an old plan from 2000. All I want to do is to keep it. But in order to keep it rules keep getting placed on me that forces my rates to double. All to get nothing more in return from Sprint. It would seem to me, that you pay for a phone and pay for the service and that is that.
Why should I pay double Sprint, seriously answer the question (no one has answered it yet)??? I get a new phone and you want me to change my plan to pay double and you have people in call centers that are saying straight up that you basically don't value old long term customers.
So what does this mean, force us all on $70/month rate plans and then what next, double it again when you want to get rid of the 3G network in 5-10 years??? Call all the Everything plans obsolete??? I mean that is what you are doing now, to us old grandfathered people.
Where do you draw the line on shoving stuff that we don't want down our mouths???
Oh, Im sorry; haha I was actually working and did not have time to fully understand the situation.
Let me say, nobody is forcing you to move off your plan, We do how ever let you know, a few phones can not be added on your plan because of the data, I know your plan has data, it does not how ever have premier data, Customers argue this daily, and Im sorry, Only we the agent, really sees your account, you do not have premier data on your phones- period! You also have no way of adding this premier data on, without changing your plan to the Everything Plus plans.
The palm Pre; Pixi; Hero; Moment; Instinct; blackberries, all require premier data, honestly- In my own personal opinion, If I could give you these phones, I would- Your plan is fantastic, But we cannot add these on your account! The order will be canceled, you will not recieve your phone, we will then get in trouble, and honestly, its not worth risking our jobs for something we know cant be changed.
Im sure you would not risk your job, for something that cannot be changed.
I hope this clears things up, Im not saying your doing this; But for future reference to anyone on a sero plan, Please do not call in and demand we add these phones, and yell at us because we cant add them, Thank you.
Message was edited by: CaseyM
There it is, someone finally said it right. I've been with Sprint for about 14 years now and today I called to renew my second line and they would do nothing for me so I'm going to do nothing for them. I have had the free and clear plan with loyalty discounts and free add ons. I had 1200 anytime minutes and free internet and text for $22 month. (keep in mind I just used the phone for maybe 200 min a month) Then about a year ago when setting up my wifes line they asked me where I worked and I told them and the woman mentioed that I could recieve a 20% discount because of my employer. I asked her 3 times if it would force me to change my plan and she said definitely not 3 times. Well, I dont need to tell you what happened. I called sprint and told them that I was completely lied to after I logged in and to my horror saw my plan changed. Then I was hung up on by one associate and then finally when I called back a nicer associate told me that there was simply nothing they could do it was out of thier hands. TOTAL BS. They got what they wanted. Old customers forced into new plans. I did get that $20 credit for 2 years and my work discount making it unvialble for me to leave at that time. However, I had to buy a $375 dollar phone just to avoid an everything plan because I was able to keep my free internet. Now the wifes line is up again and they will not offer a customer of 14 years any discount when resigning his second contract? Hesse has trully F'd up this company. I ask you what is the major difference in holding on to loyal customer and signing up a new one. In business making a little less money on a old customer and at the same time keeping him from filling your competetor's pocket is a WIN/ WIN situation. Anybody that says different is simply a moron. I was always happy to be sprint customer because I thought that they cared just a little to have me as a customer. I had some free stuff on my plan but I rarely ever used it. They were never losing money on me before but I can guarantee they will in the not to distant future now. Now Hesse is on those stupid commercials talking about if you dont like us after 30 days you can get out of the contract. To my recolection it has always been that way. Nothing is new except the higher prices on the plans that they are despately trying to move old customers into. It is ridiculous if you dont want a entry level phone you must get the every thing plan. As for 4g, lets not mention that until 3g is perfected. I live in a major metro market and my $375 phone constantly loses the 3G connection. All things I was happily dealing with as long as I felt they wanted to keep me as a customer but if you want $100 a month for a cell phone you better be ready to give me performance somewhat close to what I could get with a bad wifi connection. Thanks Sprint CEO Dan Hesse for making this decision to leave Sprint so **** easy.
I have also been a very long time Sprint customer. In addition to my own line, I have 4 family members. For the past two years they gave me a credit of $20/month for a past mistake they made - the credit was not to have any expiration date, but all of a sudden it just fell off! So, even though I talked with a supervisor and "Retentions" they are willing to lose our business over $20/month!! So, I've been searching for a new company, and I think we'll be able to get a bunch of Iphones for less than we're paying now!!
i also understand the situtation. I have been a customer since October of 2000 with 5 line on the Everything Data Share, It would be great if Sprint would consider its longtime patrons a discounted plan for Premier member. A work discount is not cutting it any more. I tried switching to other companies but I felt it wasn't worth it. Sprint has the best plans around, but they still need work in customer loyalty. It took them a while just to get a program like this started.
My son has been on account since he was ten years old, 26 years old now and he wants an I phone on a different plan. He said he'd buy me an Iphone and pay for my phone bill once he switches but I wanted to stay with sprint. Called Sprint to see if they would waive his $100 cancellation fee and I would stay with Sprint. Guess what, after all these years with Sprint they will not waive his $100 cancellation fee so he can go and I can stay. Talked to someone in the store who told me to call in since she was "sure they would do something for me", talked to two people on the phone who said "maybe someone higher up" could do something for me only to get to the third person who just simply said NO. Not "I'm sorry", not let me ask a supervisor, simply "NO, nothing they can do. Unbelievable! Just waiting for the "how was your experience" telephone call...