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.
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.
How can I purchase or upgrade a Sprint phone?
Customers have the following upgrade options available:
Easy Pay/Installment Billing: Simply pay sales tax and possibly a down payment when the phone is purchased. The full cost of the phone is then broken out over 24 months, though customers on qualifying plans may be eligible to upgrade after 12 payments if they give back the current device.
It is possible to pay off the phone early either through smaller additional payments or a lump sum payoff. The phone would then be yours to keep.
Some tablets and accessories may also be eligible for installment purchase. See Sprint.com or a Sprint store for more information.
Lease: Well-qualified customers may lease a phone with zero down, though many customers do have a small down payment. Customers then make small payments monthly for up to 18 months, at the end of which, and are required to turn the phone back in to Sprint. If you choose to keep the device at the end of your lease, you'll be charged the remaining purchase price after lease payments. Lease is only available for newer iPhone devices at this time.
Customers currently on iPhone Forever leases may be eligible to upgrade to the next iPhone after 12 consecutive payments if they turn in their current phone. *
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): Customers may purchase a new or pre-owned phone at full MSRP. If you pay full MSRP, you own the phone, you have no contract and no penalty besides service charges for cancellation
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.
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
Can I get a new discounted (subsidized) phone, pay the subsidized price and accept a 2 year agreement?
The short answer is: No. Due to the changing needs of the wireless industry, including the drastic increase in device MSRP, Sprint, like other carriers, has discontinued the ability to upgrade via subsidy (discount with 2 yr agreement).
The long answer is: As mentioned, Sprint has discontinued the option to purchase a device for a reduced cost a point of sale in return for a 2 yr contract. However, 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.* The two year agreement is expected to be phased out of Apple sales eventually.
For information about your current device purchase/upgrade options, see my article here:
What are my phone purchase options?
* All customers who purchased devices with a 2 yr agreement and are on newer discounted plans are subject to a $25 subsidized device fee for each device purchased this way.