We have a fairly extensive set of FAQs posted on our BYOD page at Sprint.com/bringyourownphone but we are going to compile a few of the less-common questions here as well. This list will grow over time.
Q . Can I activate any unlocked device on a Sprint account?
A. No, only certain devices are compatible with the Sprint CDMA and LTE networks. Typically, older non-Sprint phones are not eligible for activation. See the Bring Your Own Phone link at the top of this page for a complete list of eligible BYOD devices (not the same as open market). If the device you have is not on this list, a Sprint store may be able to assist.
Q. My phone should be eligible, but when I have try to activate it but I get the message that it's not eligible or not compatible with the network. What's wrong?
A. If the phone has never been activated on the Sprint network before, the system may recognize it without a ticket. Sprint Stores have the ability to submit a ticket to have your phone's information (IMEI/ESN) added to our database. Sprint stores can also get you a Sprint SIM or UICC card, if required. Agents on Sprint Community are able to submit a ticket to add a phone's IMEI to the database but cannot send you a SIM/UICC card.
Q. If I bring my phone over from another provider, will it work exactly like a Sprint branded device?
A. Most features of your device will work as they did on your previous provider but certain functions of LTE may not work exactly as before.
Q. I have a factory unlocked/open market phone, do I need a SIM card?
A. Your factory unlocked/open market device may need a Sprint SIM or UICC card. Please visit a Sprint store for assistance.
Q. I used to have Sprint but had my device unlocked for use on another domestic carrier (DSU). Can I bring it back to Sprint if I use it on another carrier in the meantime?
A. If your phone has been unlocked and used on another carrier, it may have been removed from our database. If you get an error message when attempting to activate, please see the answers above for more information.
Feel free to add questions as comments on this article, should you have any. As we answer questions, we will add them to this article.
Now that Sprint has discontinued the 2 yr upgrade, how can I purchase or upgrade a Sprint phone?
Customers have the following upgrade and phone purchase options available:
Sprint Flex Lease: Qualified customers can lease a Sprint phone for 18 months with the option to purchase.* When you reach month 18, you should notify Sprint that you would like to purchase your phone. Your remaining balance will be broken up in to 6 payments similar to your current lease payment. Alternatively, you may pay it in one lump sum
Sprint Flex Lease is compatible with iPhone and Galaxy Forever programs. Just make 12 payments and you're eligible to upgrade to the next device
Customers who are not on iPhone Forever or Galaxy Forever may add a yearly upgrade option for just $5/month
For more information, please see our Sprint Flex page
Full Purchase Price Customers may purchase a new or pre-owned phone at full Manufacture's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). If you pay full MSRP, you own the phone, you have no contract and no penalty besides service charges for cancellation
BYOD: Activate an unlocked device, either purchased from the manufacturer or a reputable reseller (use caution when purchasing pre-owned devices from private parties). See our Bring your own phone page
Some tips for customers considering the purchase of a pre-owned (used) phone:
It is best to go through a reputable reseller with accountability measures in place rather than a private seller. This helps prevent the purchase of a device that cannot be activated on your Sprint account due to various reasons
If you are activating a pre-owned Unlocked Device, be careful to verify that it's compatible with Sprint's network. In order to be compatible, the device must support CDMA and LTE signals. Finally, a device which was originally branded under another network may not support all the features of the Sprint network. For more information see our article on BYOD here
*There may be additional costs associated with upgrades including increased MSRP of newer devices.
*Sprint determines eligibility for lease and down payment on a case by case basis. This article is not a promise or guarantee of eligibility.
Can I get a new discounted (subsidized) phone, pay the subsidized price and accept a 2 year agreement?
Sprint, like other carriers, has discontinued the ability to upgrade via subsidy (discount with 2 yr agreement).
For information about your current device purchase/upgrade options, see my article here:
What are my phone purchase options?
Due to an agreement Apple, some fully eligible customers may be able to upgrade on a two year subsidized agreement if they purchase directly through Apple.*
* All customers who purchased devices with a 2 yr agreement and are on newer discounted plans (Unlimited Freedom, Cut Your Bill in Half) are subject to a $25 subsidized device fee for each device purchased this way.
As of 7/31/17:
Every My Sprint.com account password must meet the following requirements:
Length: 8-33 characters (cannot be the same as your username)
Must contain one of each of the following
One capital letter
One special character
You can't repeat a character more than 3 times (e.g. aaaaB12 would not be allowed)
You can't use more than 3 sequential characters (e.g., abcd1Co8, Coff7890 would not be allowed)
You cannot reuse a previous password
These special characters are allowed: . - _ $ * # @ ! +
Important: If you have not logged in to your Sprint.com account for more than 6 months, you will be prompted to reset your password, which will require a two step authentication process. You will receive a code (either by text message or email) which you will need to use to authenticate and complete the password reset process.
You may also be required to complete the 2 step authentication process if you are making changes to your Sprint.com account, or purchasing a device either online or through Telesales.
You may request a password reset through our Forgot Password page
I had a payment arrangement for the 15th of this month. My paycheck got here early so I made the payment on the 12th through the website. Do I need to cancel my payment arrangement?
If you have an existing Payment Arrangement, is it not automatically cancelled if the bill is paid manually through the website, My Sprint Mobile or at an Automatic Payment Machine. To prevent a second payment from being withdrawn from your account, you must cancel any existing Scheduled Payments at least 24 hours in advance.
If you are thinking of paying your bill manually within 24 hours, it is best to let the Scheduled payment take place as planned.
If it is more than 24 hours before the payment is scheduled to be taken, you may be able to cancel or modify the arrangement by logging into your My Sprint account > Payment Center > Payment Activity > Locate the Scheduled Payment > Click Modify or Cancel > Follow the prompts and agree to the terms.
To learn more about how to make a payment or payment processing times, please see our Sprint Payment Support page
My bill is due tomorrow but I can't pay until next week. Is there a grace period before Sprint charges a late fee?
Sprint applies late fees to any balance more than $10.00 that is not paid by the due date. There is no grade period before this charge will apply unless required by state law.
Some things to be aware of:
Disputed charges are not included in any late fee calculation
A payment arrangement does not prevent late fees from being applied
Installment Billing charges are not charged late fees
Late fees may vary by state or territory but are no more than 5% of the unpaid balance
Sprint does not charge a late fee on a previous late fee
To authorized a subscriber,
1. Go to www.sprint.com, click Sign In, enter Username and Password, click Sign In.
2. In the I want to list, select Manage who can buy in store on my account OR
Select Manage who can buy in store in the My Account Section next to Retail Purchaser.
3. The preferences screen will display. Select Add Delegate.
4. Enter the delegate’s name, purchase by date, and click Save.
Entering a date is OPTIONAL, selecting no date will mean the authorization remains active until modified by the account owner.
5. Review the consent and check the box to agree. Select Next.
(Review the Terms and Conditions and check the box to agree. Select Accept.)
6. Confirmation of your election will be displayed.
Important to know:
Delegates must be at least 18 years of age.
Delegates do not need the account PIN.
Delegates may only purchase in a Sprint Store.
Sprint Stores validate the delegates identification.
New accounts must be established for at least 30 days before an In-Store Delegate transaction is allowed.
Authorized User/In-Store Delegate is restricted to one device purchase (add-a-line or upgrade) transaction within a two-day period
What are 3rd Party Charges?
Third party charges are purchases made through Google Play or iTunes which have been billed directly to your Sprint account or debit/credit card. Charges can come from various sources including:
In-app game purchases (one time bundle or power-up purchases through games like Farmville, Clash of Clans, Angry Birds or Candy Crush)
Subscription services (Spotify, TIDAL)
Music, movie or other media downloads
Follow these instructions to block purchases on your Sprint account.
Block or unblock billing to your Sprint account:
Login to My Sprint (you may have to go through 2 step authentication):
- Click the My Preferences tab
Under the Limits and permissions section:
Block Apps, digital media downloads & third party charges
Select device and phone number to block or unblock and save changes
You may also use this method to unblock numbers if you wish to allow purchases billed to your Sprint account. This may be necessary if you want to sign up for certain subscription services through your Sprint account, like TIDAL streaming music. You can set each number on your account differently so you could, for example, allow purchases for yourself but block them for a child or other person on your account.
Bill to account is not available for tablets.
Your account has a set limit for purchases per bill period. Once an account has reached the limit allowed, you will be uable to bill to your Sprint account until your bill period ends.
You will still have the option to purchase content through Google Play or iTunes via Credit or Debit card through the end of the bill cycle.
Google has set a $50 per transaction limit for purchases. Purchases exceeding $50 must be paid immediately with a Credit or Debit card.
Prevent Google Play Store charges billed directly to debit or credit card
- Require a password or Authentication for purchases
- Use Google Play Family Library (use this to manage the Play Store for a child or other family member)
Prevent Purchases from iTunes
- Use Restrictions to Prevent purchasing on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch
- Apple Family Sharing (share content across different devices and/or family members to avoid duplicate purchases)
I'm on the Unlimited Freedom plan and I just signed up for Auto Pay. How do I get the $5 per line discount for Auto Pay?
Once you enroll in Auto-pay, the Auto-pay discount should apply on your next bill.
Keep your information and Sprint.com secure by checking in on your account settings and updating your information periodically. This prevents fraudsters from gaining access to purchase devices, file fraudulent insurance claims or simply view your personal information.
Here are are some helpful hints to verify, update and secure your Sprint.com account info:
Verify that your address and communication methods are correct. Log in to your Sprint.com account and go to the My Preferences section.
Notification settings: Update email or text notifications (be sure all the info is correct. Email is one of the fastest ways to be notified of changes to your account)
My account info: My address
Update your Sprint PIN and Security Q&A. This is not the same as your Sprint.com account password and should be updated periodically.
Go to My Preferences: All About My Account: Update account PIN
If you believe your account information has been accessed, you should immediately:
Change your Sprint.com password in Preferences: My Sprint: Change display name, username or password
Check for and delete any unauthorized profiles or In-Store delegates
My Preferences: Limits and Permissions: Manage who can buy in a store
My Preferences: Limits and Permissions: Manage access to my online account
This step is critical in ensuring the account is secure.
If you believe that you have been a victim of Identity Theft on your Sprint account, please check out the information and instructions available on our Support page.
Sprint advises all customers to change their passwords on all online accounts at least every 3 months. Additionally, try not use the same user ID and passwords across multiple websites. Choose something different for your bank and your Sprint account, etc.
I set up a payment arrangement and Sprint tried to take it at 1:00 AM when my check goes in at 5:00 AM. Is this normal? Sprint really takes the money in the middle of the night?
Sprint withdraws all payments at midnight of the day you select. Whether you have selected auto-pay or you've set up a future dated payment as part of a Payment Arrangement, the money will be withdrawn from your bank account before you get up in the morning on the day you agreed.
If your paycheck isn't usually deposited until later in the day or if you have to deposit the money by going to the bank, it is a good idea to set your payment up for the day following the one in which you expect to receive the money. Choosing the day following will help you avoid any overdraft fees on your account and help ensure that you can use the Payment Arrangement system in the future.
For more information bill payment options please see our Sprint Payment Support page
I have forgotten my Sprint account PIN and Security Question. How do I have that information sent to me?
If you know your Sprint.com account login, it's easy to retrieve your PIN and Security question:
Log in to your Preferences page here
Under All about My Account click on "Account PIN/Security question"
In the new Popup window, click "Forgot PIN" or "Forgot Security Question"
Your PIN/Security Question will be sent via your preferred communication method. If your preferred communication method is SMS, you will be asked to pick one of the phone numbers on your account.
If your preferred communication method is Mail and you need your PIN/Security Question right away, you may change it to email or SMS in your Preferences page:
Under Notification settings, click "Update email and text notifications"
Verify that your email address and phone number are correct in all of the fields listed
Under "Security and Usage Notifications" select either the text or email radio button
I cancelled Sprint services several months ago. Last week, Sprint took a payment out of my account. How did this happen when my account is closed?
When a Sprint account is cancelled with a remaining balance owed, either from billed charges or due to equipment that has not been returned, Sprint will make several attempts to collect the debt. Sprint will contact customers by phone and then by letter sent through United States Postal Service to the mailing address on the account.
If the balance has not been paid within 20 days of the letter, Sprint may deduct all or part of the remaining balance from any card previously used to make a payment. These payments, part of Sprint's Debt Recovery Program, as listed under Billing Relationship in our Terms and Conditions are not eligible for refund and cannot be backed out.
If you have questions about a payment deducted from your debit or credit card after you've cancelled services, you may contact the Debt Recovery Program at 1-855-696-7423 .
I want to add one of my family members to my Sprint account. She has her own Sprint account now, I just want to add her number to my bill to help her save money. How do I do that?
It is may be possible for you to add an existing Sprint customer's phone number to your Sprint account by performing a Change of Ownership. We have a Change of Ownership page with instructions and details.
Things to keep in mind:
In order for someone to take over responsibility for another Sprint phone number (and any lease or installment billing agreement), both people must have active Sprint accounts with no past due balance
If the device attached to the phone number is being leased or has an installment agreement, you will need to credit qualify for that responsibility and the terms may be different from the original account
Any loyalty or promotional credits (like BOGO credots) that are being applied to the line will be lost when the line is switched over to the new account. This change can't be undone
How can I have a credit on my account and a past due balance at the same time? I received a large credit towards my account last month so when I log in, so my balance shows -$100.14 due, but I just got a past due notice that says I need to pay $30 or I'll be disconnected. What's going on?
Your Sprint Bill invoicing can be broken down to three separate sections:
Services - Monthly Recurring Charges (MRC) like your rate plan, insurance and Premium Services like Premium Caller ID or Google play charges.
Equipment - This is the lease or installment billing charge you pay for your phone or for some accessories.
Service Credits - Any credit given to you for your service or promos you're receiving.
Service credits credits cannot be applied to your equipment charges. Instead, the funs from service credits will be applied to the Services (monthly rate plate, TEP, premium charges) portion of your bill but you are still responsible to pay your Equipment charges each month. This is why you may have a large credit and yet still have a total due on your Sprint bill.
Month 1 Bill
Lease Equipment Charge = $20.00
Service Charge for your rate plan = 60.00
Total Amount Due from you on your Sprint Bill= $80.00 ($20.00 equipment + $60.00 Service)
Month 2 Bill
Lease Equipment Charge = $20.00
Service Charge for your rate plan= 60.00
You receive a service credit of $100.00 for a special marketing promotion
$100.00 service credit is applied to monthly Service Charges (your rate plan) but not to your Lease.
Total Amount Due from you on your Sprint bill = $20.00 ($20.00 equipment + $0.00 ($60 monthly service charge less $100 service credit - you have a $40.00 credit to be applied to next month's SERVICE charges)
Month 3 Invoice
IB Equipment Charge = $20.00
Service Charge(rate plan) = 60.00
$40.00 service credit (from last month's service balance is applied to monthly service charge (not lease portion)
Total Amount Due from you on your Sprint bill = $40.00 ($20.00 equipment + $20.00 ($60 monthly service charge less $40 service credit from last month
You can always see your amount due by going to Sprint.com/viewbill or dialing *3 from your Sprint phone. If you are logged in to your Sprint account you can see your
For more information please see our FAQs about Service Credits
I managed to forget the password to my voicemail account, and would like an alternate way to change the password so I can access it once again. Can I change it from my Sprint.com account?
To reset your voicemail passcode:
Sign in to My Sprint with your username and password
Click the My preferences tab
Under Things I can manage online, click Change voicemail passcode. The Reset Voicemail Passcode window will open.
You can also do it from your phone-
To reset your voicemail passcode:
Select Account Information or Changes
Follow the instructions to reset your voicemail passcode
Try this steps if you are getting an error message: "Not Available. The account holder has restricted your access to this content." when attempting to access adult content:
From a computer Web browser, go to www.sprint.com .
Select Sign in/Register, enter the account administrator's username and password.
Select Sign in.
Select My preferences.
In All about my account section > Limits and permissions section, select Block Adult Content and Malware.
Select the device to filter Web content.
From Setting or Status drop-down list, select Blocked.
Note: Once a selection is made, the option to Not Set is no longer provided. Once you do this, please turn on and off the phone. This should resolve the problem.