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Early Upgrade


Early Upgrade

Am I able to get an early upgrade?


Re: Early Upgrade


Great question! When are you eligible to upgrade? You can check your upgrade eligibility by texting “upgrade” to 1311. A Sprint corporate store may have some kind of option or promo's they can provide too you for upgrading!

Thank you,


Sprint Social Care Team

Tuesday-Saturday 11am-8pm mst


Re: Early Upgrade

No, you can't unless you want to pay them an additional fee.  There is no flexibility on this, even if you would be, say, upgrading to a phone that also requires you to upgrade to a higher level of service.

In my case, I'm less than a month away from upgrade eligibility, I'd be upgrading to a smartphone, which requires a data plan, which I currently do not have.  In addition, my old phone is no longer fully functional (camera is dead).  No early upgrade, no consideration at all, unless I go to a store, and then I have to pay a $50 early upgrade fee.

When I asked why, since I'd be upgrading my entire service, they wouldn't want to waive that to start making more money from me that much sooner, since it's only 20+ days out, the service manager even suggested to me that they wouldn't make money, since I would be using a higher level of services!  I literally laughed out loud at this, and told him I didn't realize that Sprint had to build more cell towers and upgrade their wiring and servers to accomodate an upgrade that happens one month early.

Now, instead of upgrading in a month, I'm probably going to look to move my business to another company, since it's well known that Sprint's data network capacity is inferior to their two main rivals.  Why not?  Early termination for me is about the same as the early upgrade fee.

Nice work, Sprint.

Re: Early Upgrade


We don't want to lose you as a customer, have you looked at our buyback program? this will help off-set the costs associated with upgrading. Please keep in mind that every time you upgrade you are getting a discount on the new phone you're purchasing, the reason why the upgrade now can't be waived is due to the fact that you have not fulfilled your agreement. Most of these smartphones in the market retail for $550+, in most cases Sprint will cover half of the price if not more in return for an agreement.


Sprint Social Care


Re: Early Upgrade

"We don't want to lose you as a customer"

Of course you do.  Why else would you continue the previous precedent of treating me like I'm an idiot?  Yes, I got a rebate on the phone I have that is no longer entirely functional.  As I mentioned, upgrading to a new smartphone would require an upgrade in plan.

This means that my previous phone was not a smartphone.  It was a no-frills phone.  Like I said, I'm only one month away from upgrade eligibility.  You guys have long, long, long since made back any money from the discount on my very basic, not that expensive to start with, Samsung Reclaim.

Which, according to the link you gave me, has ZERO buyback credit value.  And you're trying to tell me that accellerating the upgrade by three weeks will put Sprint into the red because of the massive value they invested in a phone that, less than two years later, is deemed by Sprint's own program to be completely worthless?


The inflexibility is bad enough, but probably not enough to make me think about leaving.  What is infuriating beyond belief is the way the previous call center service manager, and now you, insult my intelligence in trying to defend that inflexibility. That's what is making me very seriously consider doing business with your competitors, who I consider to be not all that stellar as corporate citizens.

It's not like I purchased a top of the line smartphone before, and want a shiny new toy because I'm bored after a year.  I had a very basic model, the value of the discount was modest, the value of the phone at full price was a fraction of the discount you currently give.  I'd be purchasing top of the line phones, with a higher level of service plan, and am only asking for less than a month.

The main reason why I asked was my assumption that you'd want to start charging me at that higher rate.  But hey, you guys also have it equally expensive to terminate my contract five or six months early, or to spend that much to upgrade my no-frills phone 22 days early.  Which choice do you think looks more attractive to me?  I tend not to want to reward companies that insult my intelligence.


Re: Early Upgrade


I can appreciate everything you have stated and so does Sprint; we changed our upgrade policy from 22 months to 20 months and instituted a Buy Up policy (that you have stated you are eligible for) to facilitate obtaining a device early. Our policy change is our flexibility with regards to these types of issues.

Andrew B.

Sprint Social Care


Re: Early Upgrade

You changed your upgrade policy from 22 months to 20 months AFTER I purchased this phone, and did not grandfather in previous purchasers, so I have to wait the full 22 months, so the appreciation you mention doesn't actually apply to me.

So, we've shot holes in the idea that Sprint hasn't already recouped their discount investment made in my phones, and you haven't explained, at all, how Sprint would be harmed by selling me upgraded services three weeks earlier.

You mentioned a policy change that you didn't include me in.  Why?  Apprarently because I made the mistake of being a longer-standing customer than the program itself.  The flexibility you refer to doesn't apply to me.  Charging me $50 for 22 days doesn't seem like an especially "flexible" policy to me.  All you've done by bringing that up is reminded me how you'll charge me more to get a phone 22 days early than to dump the contract five months early.  Not a good move on your part.

So, the flexibility you mention takes the form of something that doesn't apply to me, or is rather draconian, financially.  If that "is your flexibility" then that is the problem, in a nutshell.

There is no business reason for not doing this, and none of the explanations given hold any water.  As a general policy, perhaps, but one I'd think that, when looking at the reasons and determining whether they actually apply here, should be subject to the smallest amount of flexibility. 

You guys should probably stop responding to this unless you have an actual solution, since you just seem to be making it worse when you dole out your pre-written scripts that don't apply to this situation.

Circling back to the original question, regarding whether the original poster could get an early upgrade, the offical answer made it sound like it was possible.  A more honest answer would have been "No, unless you wish to pay a substantial fee."


Re: Early Upgrade

So you sign a 2 year agreement, when that agreement is signed your upgrade date is set. 

Sprint holds up their end of the bargain giving you the discount on the phone.  You don't hold up your end of the bargain, 2 years of service and the upgrade date (as you want Sprint to change the agreement in your favor at no cost), and Sprint is the one that's being inflexible?

You could go to other providers but they probably have fairly similar early upgrade policies.


Re: Early Upgrade

This isn't some sort of moral crusade, A_R_A, I'm talking about making sense from a business sense.

I'm not asking for a concession where all the benefits accrue to me.  I currently do not have any kind of a data plan.  If I get smartphones, I will have to upgrade to an unlimited family data plan. 

Sprint makes more money by transferring me to a more expensive data plan sooner.  I benefit by being able to upgrade a few days earlier and not having to keep using a phone that has a non-functioning camera.  It's a win-win.  I'm not asking that they upgrade my phone and services and am not willing to pay more in the service upgrade.  So where's the inflexibility on my part?

If they said "it doesn't make business sense, but that's the way it is, because, like A_R_A we're willing to lose money to make a point," then they should just say so.

I'm not saying I'm going to take my business elsewhere just because they said no, but it makes logical business sense for me to do so.

If I want a smartphone and data plan upgrade now, Sprint wants to charge me $50 to do so.  I can reward them with the $50 AND all my upgraded service purchases for the next two years, or I can pay the $50, and their competitors get all the additional business for at least the next two years.  Which is the smarter way for a customer who disagrees with how they've been handled?

As I pointed out, the discount on the phone I had was one of the smallest ones out there, so it's not like they haven't recouped that discount, nor would it lose money for them. 

As I pointed out, my irritation isn't the answer "no," it's the insulting attempts to pretend that the explanations given make business sense.  It's also with the fundamentally dishonest answer given to the person starting this thread, where they pretend like there is a possibility that an early upgrade might be available.

You missed the point, entirely.


Re: Early Upgrade

So everytime a customer makes a threat to cancel, Sprint should just ignore the policies they have in place and give the customer whatever they want to appease them?  That doesn't make business sense either and no profitbale business is run that way.  Sprint does try to work with customers to get them early upgrades, hence them offering you the $50 promotion to upgrade early.  You're taking an: it's my way or the highway approach.  That's the inflexibility on your part.  Inflexibility on Sprint's part would be outright refusal to work with you at all.

It's not win-win. How are you determining whether or not sprint managed to already recoup the discount they gave you on your phone?  There's no way you could possible know this as you don't have enough information to make that determination. 

I get being upset that your upgrade date isn't for another month but be reasonable about it.  Why don't you look into doing things like selling your current phone privately to recoup some of that $50 early upgrade fee?

As for the other part of your post, the information the first person was given isn't fundamentally dishonest.  They asked if they had an early upgrade option available, the sprint rep suggested checking with a store.  Sprint does offer early upgrades, at a cost, but the amount it'd cost this customer (if it's available) can't be confirmed without looking at his account.  Which is why he recommended going to a sprint store (the early upgrade offer sprint has is a corporate store promotion).


Re: Early Upgrade

AndyM444 –

I can see your frustration. Let me try to word it in another way:

You purchased a car. You are coming close to the end of your 5 yr financing and your starter goes. You go to trade your car in even though you still have payments left on your financing agreement. Even though your car has little to no trade in value because model you purchased is now at end of life, what you owe on that car is worked into your new financing agreement for a new car. It isn't written off because the company has to make up for the loss they will receive for you to acquire a newer model.

It is the same as the early upgrade fee.

- *Kitty

Sprint Social Care


Re: Early Upgrade

No, knife56, they shouldn't "ignore" their policies, but they should take a look and see if the justifications for the policies make sense.  Have you ever worked in customer service?  Banks, for instance, will sometimes refund NSF or late fees, on a limited basis, even though the customer is "wrong" because it makes business sense to do so.

Again, please explain to me how, with this specific situation regarding - (a) the discount investment at stake with this phone, initially, (b) the potential earlier increased revenue, and (c) the amount of time before the actual date that is being requested.

Sprint makes money from people purchasing their plans.  In this case, they have put me in a situation where it is financially neutral for me to drop my contract 5 months early, or to stay with them and try to get a phone 21 days early.  Is that a smart business policy, in your mind?  What, exactly do I owe Sprint that considering dropping them over this is somehow "unreasonable?"  What, exactly, have they done to deserve special loyalty from me?  Again, you seem to be making it about right or wrong.  I'm talking about the cold-blooded, objective business case.  Both on their side, and on mine.

No, KiKi, that analogy doesn't fit, because the amount of "financing" offered different phones isn't the same.  If you have a $100 phone that is offered for free with a 2 year agreement, it's not the same "write off" if you get a $250 phone for $50 dollars with a two year agreement, using the exact same phone plan.  For instance, right now, getting the exact same service plan, if I was a new customer, I'd pay exactly the same $0 for a phone where Sprint eats $279.99, or $209.99.

Are you trying to claim that, after 19 months and 7 days of the exact same amount of payments from two different customers, Sprint would still not have recovered their full $209.99 or their $279.99, but would have recovered both the $209.99 and the $279.99 just 21 days later?  The math doesn't add up.

If it's built into the business model that the $280 investment is recouped after 20 months ($14 per month), how is it that the $210 investment, under the exact same plan costs, is not recouped after 15?

Again, I have to point out that I'm talking about my very specific situation, and you're trotting out hypothetical generalizations.  If my plan cost me more over time if I opted for a phone where Sprint eats a higher cost, that would make since, but that's not the case.  It doesn't fit.

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