Sarah:We're excited to have Nancy A. McBride, National Safety Director for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children with us today.
Sarah:Nancy is the National Safety Director for NCMEC and authors many of the child safety publications, including Know the Rules…Abduction & Kidnapping Prevention Tips for Parents and Guardians, When Your Child is Flying Unaccompanied, For Child Safety in Amusement or Theme Parks, and For Going To and From School More Safely. She is a frequent lecturer on the issues of child safety and exploitation and is often a guest on television and radio programs dealing with child exploitation.
Sarah:Sprint has been a supporter of Internet and Wireless Safety with the 4Net Safety (4netsafety.com) program that opens the lines of communication about internet safety between young people and the adults who care for them.
GamersMom:How many teenagers are online?
Nancy:93% of all teens 12-17 are online.
Bette:I keep reading and hearing about cyberbullying. Can you tell me more about it?
Nancy:Cyberbullying is the use of Internet technology such as cell phones, laptops, and gaming devices to bully and harass. It may involve actions such as hacking victims’ accounts; stealing victim’s identities and impersonating them; and, creating hate pages.
Bette:Since this bullying has been in the news a lot recently is it widespread? Do you know how many kids have been affected?
Nancy:1 in 5 teens have cyberbullied someone; 1 in 10 have been cyberbullied.
GrouchyDad:My kids (10 and 12) keep pestering me for cell phones. I say they are too young but all of their friends have them and they're pretty responsible. Is there a recommended age for kids to get phones?
Nancy:There's no set age; it depends on your child's maturity and the rules you set up for cell phone usage. It's a great tool if used properly.
NormaC:Can you tell me what sex texting is?
Nancy:Sexting is the sending of sexual messages or images through cell phone texts. It can have serious consequences for teens. They may lose jobs, school positions, and future opportunities. It can permanently damage their reputations and make them the target of bullying and cruelty. Also, sexting is illegal when it involves the image of someone underage, even when youth take and disseminate images of themselves
GrouchyDad:What about social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter? What age do you recommend?
Nancy:You need to check with the site and see what the age requirements are and then talk to your kids about what is and isn't appropriate to post. Social networking sites can be a great form of self expression but don't reveal too much!
kb:What practical steps can schools can take to educate parents about Internet safety and what is an example of how addressing student internet use off-campus can impact safety on campus?
Nancy:Great question. Netsmartz.org and nsteens.org have great resources for helping teach teens, parents and other caring adults about Internet safety, including how your behavior when you're online off campus can impact what happens at school.
NormaC:I have 2 teenage boys. How in the world do I talk to them about sextexting?
Nancy:Be open with them and discuss the consequences of that behavior. What a teen does today like send an inappropriate photo can have a huge impact on them later. Be honest and really have a discussion not a lecture.
GamersMom:Do the game companies do anything to protect our kids from creep? My son is addicted to World of Warcraft.
Nancy:Check out the rating of the game and make sure the sites have moderators and a method of reporting abusive comments. Talk to your kids about not sharing too much information and being careful what they say or do with someone they meet online and remind them not to respond to any bullying remarks; ignore and report it.
Jenn:what is the best web filtering system?
Nancy:We don't recommend any specific filtering system; check out getnetwise.com.
Meredith:What is/where are the biggest threats to kids?
Nancy:We know there are people online who mean kids harm, but sometimes kids can put themselves at risk by revealing too much, talking inappropriately or provocatively with someone they don't know or agreeing to meet in person. Teach your kids to be careful of how they respond to people online and to always tell an adult if they feel threatened or frightened by anyone online.
Nancy:Going back to the filtering question, just to be clear, getnetwise lists all of the different filtering systems and check out your parental controls.
embarrassed:I caught my daughter sending inappropriate messages and photos to her boyfriend through her phone. Is there anyway to delete them or will they float out in cyberspace forever?
Nancy:Unfortunately, photos and messages cannot be deleted once they're posted online; there may be a record of them. If they haven't been sent to anyone else, and if they are delted from both phones, they will be gone.
kb_1:Some kids think adults worry too much a bout safety, is there a good Website to refer kids to where other kids provide tips or advice about staying free of online dangers; some age-appropriate stories kids can take a look at?
Nancy:Absolutely; nsteens.org provides real life stories and interactive activities to keep kids engaged and help educate them about Internet safety in a fun and informative way. Teens can relate to the characters, and the real life stories send a valuable message about responsibility and consequences from kids who have gone through it.
Nancy:The site also features videos called Teens Talk Back that gives teens a forum to express themselves. If your kids are younger, they'll love netsmartzkids.org with Clicky, Nettie, andf Webster who take children on wonderful adventures and teach them important safety rules along the way.
TanyaT2:have you seen an increase in internet crimes against kids in the last few years?
Nancy:The crimes in terms of predators have not risen. We have Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces all over the country who investigate these crimes and have made significant arrests and prosecutions.
Nancy:social networking sites are making efforts all the time, but nothing beats your involvement in what your kids are doing online. Using the parental control devices is a good way to start; make sure you have your kid's passwords, check out their sites, and create your own. Sometimes the best way to communicate with your kids is by doing what they like to do. Remind them that if they don't want you, their teachers, or anyone else to see what's there, don't put it up. Be sure to use privacy settings and choose your friends wisely!
Marky:Are there any efforts underway to work with social network providers to put some type of notification or approval from parents whenever a friend is added or requested. I think it is too easy for kids to just friend someone without the parents even knowing
Nancy:Sorrry folks, user errro; here's the question for this answer.
googleeyes:If i think my son/daughter is on the receiving end of texts etc of someone i thinkg is a sexual predator, what should i do?
Nancy:First, don't delete anything. Report to your electronic service provider and law enfocement. You can turn off the monitor, but they may need what's on the screen and in the computer. Reassure your child that you are doing something about it.
Meredith:If I find out my child is experiencing bullying online, what do you recommend is the best approach?
Nancy:Talk to your child about the bullying and report it to authorities. Many schools have policies now that deal with cyberbullying. Teach your child not to respond, don't delete it and save all the messages.
Miles2Go:How has sites like facebook and myspace increased the danger for kids?
Nancy:First, I'd like to say that social networking offers kids a great form of self-expression and creativity. Just like anything else, what your child posts online and how they act, has a lot to do with any risk they may encounter. Talk to them about being discreet in what they reveal and make sure that anything they post could be seen and approved by anyone.
googleeyes:Is software like netnanny enough for internet surfing? What else should I do?
Nancy:Nothing beats your attention and supervision. Tools are great, but they should be part of your whole safety plan. Check out netsmartz.org for more tips and conversation starters to get the ball rolling.
Juju:how much access should I give my teenage daughter to facebook?
Nancy:You need to make sure your daughter understands some of the risks and consequences and that you have total access to what she's doing. You can become her friend, just don't embarrass her with too much attention.
Quorra:Have cell phones helped find missing children...have you seen a rise in this?
Nancy:We definitely know that technology plays a tremendous role in our ability to help locate missing children. GPS on phones can be helpful, and wireless Amber Alerts are critical in getting the word out quickly about a missing child. We know the public helps us find missing kids. It only takes ones person calling in the right tip.
Quorra:Have you seen a correlation between gaming and online cyberstalking?
Nancy:There are some risks that kids may face when gaming, because they don't know who is on the other end. They need to be mindful of their behavir and report anything that is frightening or threatening to a trusted adult.
Juju:can I block access to the web on my kid's phones so they cannot get to facebook?
Nancy:The best way to answer this question is to go directly to your cell phone provider and find out what features they offer to help you.
mom4boys:my kids like to play online games. How much personal info is too much? Is sharing their city and state safe or should we tell them not even to do that?
Nancy:Kids need to be careful about what they share concerning personal information, because a savvy person can take the information and find out more about your child by asking some specific questions. It's always better not to reveal too much to people online. They can still have fun playing the game.
Quorra:What is your opinion about video networking ...such as YouTube and the preteen/teenage ages?
Nancy:YouTube video blogging and posting of videos is a common practice, but on YouTube, there may be inappropriate content, which can be flagged by any user.
mom4boys:I feel like I need to learn a whole new language when I read text messages. Is there a guide somewhere?
Nancy:Kids like to use acronyms when they're online. Check out netlingo.com for the latest list.
eeowyn01:How often do companies use social networking as a part of the weeding out process for potential college graduates? How concerned should my kids be about that as they look for jobs?
Nancy:It is becoming a more popular practice for college recruiters, potential employers, the Armed Services and others to check out social networking sites to get a good picture of a potential candidate. Your kids may not be thinking of their futures, but you are. Have the talk about responsibility and possible consequences. Something they do today could have lasting effects on their future.
Nancy:Tomorrow we are launching some exciting updates on NSTeens.org. This website is specifically for tweens and teens and offers animations and real-life stories that help them make safer choices online. The latest video is “Mike-Tosis” which demonstrates just how fast and far information travels online. There’s also a new educational game Cyberbully Zombies Attack where students defend their school against cyberbully zombies using NetSmartz tips like ignore the messages, block the cyberbully, and tell a trusted adult.
Sarah:Thanks so much for your time Nancy! This has been a great chat! Any last comments you want to leave us with?
Nancy:My pleasure, Sarah, and one final thought. Remember, just because your kids are older doesn't mean they don't need your experience, attention and good judgment. Keep the lines of communication open; it makes a big difference in your child's life and how they respond to different situations they encounter.
Below is the transcript from the Feb. 9th chat session with Russell Hantz, the winner of last season's Sprint Player of the Season on Survivor: Samoa and cast member for Season 20, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains.
mdfphoto:Russell, first of all, you clearly should have won last season and those who voted against you were jealous. How was it merging the personalities of everyone on the villian side and were you able to play a similar game of mulitple alliances? Or, was everyone more on guard? Russell:I don't think I was more on guard, b/c I knew was so much better than anybody who had ever played.
Izzy:Do you perceive yourself as the biggest villain? Russell:I think I'm more the biggest strategic player to play the game.
Tyler:Do you think you will be able to beat Rupert this season? Russell:Rupert's not a strategic, of course I can beat him!
Izzy:How or what is your strategy to finding the idols? Russell:Never quit looking...they have to be there somewhere and I'm going to find them.
stormy:omg Russell you made me love Survivor all over again! Noone in that game played a better game then you.
Russell: They dont say Im going on survivor and making friends w/everyone (unless they plan to backstab everyone, or their just plain dum) Your great and I hope to see more of you.
stormy: Now that your secrets are out, do you have anything else up your sleeve that they may not be expecting? Will you trust another blond? I adore you. I will be rooting for you all the way, you are a HERO. Stormy Russell:No I wouldn't do another dumb blonde girl alliance, because they AREN'T dumb this time around. My game will be different....watch and see.
mdfphoto:was there a "hero" that was should have been a villain Russell:Rupert! Belive it or not, I think he's a villain.
cbwife:How will you top your game now that everyone has seen how you play? Russell:Align myself with someone strong to help me play strategically. I don't want to be the only one playing the game again. Nobody was playing last season but me.
mdfphoto:is there a player that you have actually developed a friendship with Russell:I would say Monica. We talked after the game and I did apoligize for what I said to her.
cbwife:How are you going to handle "The Dragon Slayer"? Russell:I have to be careful with the DragonSlayer because I am the Dragon, but I also am a king.
Drake:Natalie White, when you hear that name what runs through your mind? Did she earn that $1million check? Russell:NO WAY she earned the check and deserved to win the game. She didn't earn it AT ALL
Mayday:Who do you see as your biggest threat in the game? Russell:Boston Rob. He's considered one of the best players to play the game I want to see how good I really am.
mdfphoto:after being on Survivor twice, would you ever do it a third time Russell:I respect the game to much....but we'll see
Tyler:Last season you were very close to winning. Do you think people this season already know your strategies? Russell:They know how I played, but I switched it up. I wouldn't ever play the same way twice.
TSIZZLE:THINK YOU CAN WIN THE MILLION THIS TIME? Russell:I KNOW I can win it.
MustangMom:do you think folks would be surprised to learn about your support of St. Judes? Russell:I think some will be surprised, but that's the real me.
Mayday:Do you believe the game is too much considered with popularity and doesn't give credit for strategic players? Russell:I think the sad think about the game is that it turned into a social game. But in the future, I think that will change based on how I played. People will use me a MODEL. I think I changed the game.
ReadytoWin:What are your plans after this season? Russell:I want to do The Amazing Race. Maybe with Richard Hatch! How good would that be?
kotie68:How was your body holding up after such a short turn-around? Russell:I was mentally there, but physically I was weak and lost.
TSIZZLE:WHO DO YOU SEE AS THE WEAKEST THREAT?
Russell:I would say Randy. He's a jerk half the time and players like that go fast in the game.
TSIZZLE:What did your family think of you on the show? Russell:My kids love it. My grandmother is 90 and a extreme Catholic and she LOVES it.
cbwife:Has being on Survivor changed your personal life? And, if so, how? Russell:Yes, it changed my life because of all the attention I'm getting. I'm not used to that.
Russell:I played football, track and was powerlifter
izzyks:After all of the betrayal, why do you feel people still trust you? Russell:They still trust me, b/c I'm beleivable.
izzyks:Are you as shrewd in business as you are in the game? Russell:That's why I'm so successful in my business b/c I give my heart and soul to everything I do.
Mayday:Do you think you will ever go back to the normal 9-5 work week again? Russell:NO WAY!
izzyks:So tell me what you think about Jeff Probst? Russell:I think Jeff's a brilliant person and he should always win the Emmy. There is no host out there that can manipulate people the way he does. If he wants to get something out of you he will.
Tyler:Where are you from? Russell:Born in a town called Vinton, LA. Live now in Dayton, TX.
cbwife:What do you think about the Saints since you are from LA? Russell:I think they were the best team and I think the city needed it.
kotie68:Is it safe to assume some socks get burned or water is somehow lost again this season. lol Russell:I don't play the same game, but I still make them suffer a little out there.
SorryRuss:What would be your advice in deal making? Russell:Good question! The main thing is to get them to buy what your selling. If you can't do that, then you ain't going to go far in the game.
Crowzer:Do you think your relative anonimity to most of the other all stars going into this season is an advantage? Russell:I think that it's a huge advantage for me. It's like when your crossing a road and don't look both ways. I'm the 18 wheeler that's coming.
kotie68:What are the 3 keys to making it a long way on survivor, other then outwit, outlast, outplay? Russell:You have be good at playing the social game. It's sad but true.
Tyler:What made you join Survivor? Russell:I really wanted to go out there and see if I could manipulate people to do what I want to do.
Sarah: We have 2 minutes left.
Endorphin:how do you feel about the jury's ultimate power in the endgame? Russell:I think it needs to be changed and the public should have a say in the jury vote. Although they gave me Sprint fan favorite so I must have been doing something right! Mayday:How much of the real you are we seeing on the TV? Or is just an act? Russell:I am that agressive in real life, but I'm not going to burn anybody's socks! kotie68:Most of us are pulling for you at survivor fandom Russell, have anything to say to your hard core loyal fans? Russell:I appreciate my fans because I'm the first villain ever to get fan favorite. I see that they respect the game and that's why they voted for me. That vote to me was almost as good as winning the game.
Sarah:We're thrilled to have David Owens, VP of Consumer Marketing here with us to chat about Sprint's exciting device line-up. I will be reviewing your questions prior to sending them to David, so please stay on topic. For questions related to device issues, please visit the Sprint.com online community.
David:Thanks for taking the time to participate in today's chat. I look forward to your questions, so let's get started.
Ace:Will Sprint be getting any blackberries with wifi this year?
David:today sprint offers the BB tour which includes wifi.
Will:We're going to have far more questions than David can answer in just one hour; David will be posting more answers to your questions over the next few days on the Sprint Community!
David:hang on a minute i went a little fast, we are adding wifi to tour and will have other bb products that include wifi going forward
AdamJaworski:When will Sprint release Android 2.0 for the Hero and Moment?
David:part of the beauty of android is the ability to upgrade the os and we will work to do that quickly but it was important to be out early with both Hero and Moment. Both products are getting great reviews
boliviano3:I'm sure this has been asked already but will Sprint be coming out with the HTC HD2?
David:I can't talk about our 2010 roadmap specifically but I can tell you Sprint has a robust 2010 roadmap with HTC. The roadmap will lead the industry in a host of capabilities and will be on the android platform
AdamJaworski:What's the word on Windows Mobile 6.5 updates for the Touch, Diamond, Touch Two, etc?
David:We are working on 6.5 updates and are in the testing phase. Plan on early 2010.
lwatcdr:Does the Samsung Moment come with a compass?
David:The compass application is available in the android market. It is also available on the Hero. Both products have the hardware to make sure the compass works effectively
Ace:Will Sprint be getting any touchscreen blackberries like the storm 2?
David:Not commenting on 2010 roadmap, but we'll have a robust BB line-up.
kevd:David, can you please discuss price point on Android-based devices? When do you see Android addressing the low-end smartphone or high-end feature phone segment price point of $100 at retail?
David:We're pretty aggresively priced now, but as we see volume across the industry, you'll see opportunities for price declines and promotions.
FJDave:Hi David. Thank you for taking time to come here and chat with us customers. Regarding the new Samsung, how will it compare to a Blackberry 8330? I am a Blackberry and Palm Treo fan, and I know nothing about the new Andriod OS or the new Samsung with physical keyboard. Thanks for your time!
David:The beauty of the android OS is the application integration with google and also the android market that provides over 10K applications (many of which are free). The other great thing about android is the host of hardware options you will have. For example, we have the HTC hero that is 100% touchscreen with a great customizable ui structure. We have the Samsung moment that has a full qwerty keyboard and new display technology for a crisper screen.
G-189339073:Are there any plans to bring back a tethering add on to the everything data and simply everything plans
David:not at this time.
MikeL:How are you feeling about the WiMax (4G) alliance with Clearwire, and what are the implications for the upcoming fall lineup? (Sorry if covered already)
David:Great alliance. Initially lots of traction in MBB cards, handsets and non-traditional devices will come in 2010.
CaseyB:Any chance of a touch-screen phone that does not require a data account?
David:yes, you will see touchscreen products early in 2010 that are non-PDA. We still believe customers will want to explore data services but there will be options.
Sarah:Just an FYI to those sending account and phone related issues - I am not sending those through to him. Please post those issues in the online community.
G-189628820:what (if anything) is sprint doing to help grow the Palm app store?
David:Adding another device, the Palm Pixi. It takes awhile to build scale and an ecosytem. They're making great progress as of late. Great showing at the Developer's Conference.
tlevelle:Are you saying that the 2010 roadmap is Android only??
David:No, you will a broad array of android products, we have a strong BB roadmap and will continue to build on our Brew platform (for feature phones). Remember, about 30% of the market is buying smartphones so we need to address all audiences.
boe:Would Sprint be willing to explore beta testers for community members who really care about phones - we see the same issues on many phones such as BT not getting tested and so Sprint releases phones with issues which could be avoided if they were beta tested by a more thorough evaluation. Sprint could be a prefered business phone provider if the phones they released worked great even on launch day
David:It's tricky. Our development timeframe is compressed to get products to market. We do pretty extensive alpha and beta testing both internally and externally today.
ajaxxx:are there any new phones launching this holiday season we can look forward to?
David:Wow, we have announced the Palm Pixi (nov 15th launch), the HTC Hero, The Samsung Moment, the samsung Instinct HD. The reviewers are saying Sprint has the best line-up for holiday of any of the carriers so we are really happy with the lineup.
scooter:Any new direct connect phones in the future
David:Yes, exciting stuff coming, but not announcing details today.
MAGGIE:What month (approx) will you be releasing the new line up for 2010?
David:We don't announce the line-up, but rather announce products when close to launch. We've got a few things we'll announce in the near future that bolster our already robust line-up.
Hans:Have you seen a significant increase in new consumer accounts since the addition of, "Any Mobile, Anytime"?
David:Any Mobile has been a huge success. We can't share the results but the product is meeting our business case expectations and don't forget we gave this to millions of existing customers and the feedback has been tremendous.
Omaraye:I am an early adopter of the Airave, does Sprint have any plans to upgrade this device to support data as well as the already supported voice?
David:We haven't announced anything formally but believe this technology has incredible value for customers and continue to look at ways to deploy the next generation.
tlevelle:What market segment would you say is the focus for Sprint's 2010 & beyond phone line-up? It clearly does not seem to be the professional community, correct?
David:Hmm, we hit a little bit of everyone. Great business devices with WinMo, BB, webOS, 4G, and Mobile Broadband devices. Great devices for early adopters with Android and 4G. Great fashion and green devices. Great value and text messaging devices. Great Direct Connect line-up.
Tina:I would like commend Spring on the new plan mobile to mobile any network. Im a Verizon customer but will be switching as soon as the new Tour is available.
David:The tour is availble now and thank you for your comment. It is great that you see the incredible value sprint has in its plans and look forward to having you as a customer.
mznette:What will be the best phone for a person looking for a lot of apps and being able to take good pics/video, watch videos and listen to music. also allowing multiple app usasge at one time?
David:Android and webOS (no video), BlackBerry and WinMo also great. Palm Pre and Pixi are great multi-taskers.
h:Will there be an advertizing campagin for the Hero?
David:Definitely. From both HTC and Sprint. Watch for commercials and print soon.
Will:We've got about 30 minutes left - and over 100 questions in the queue! David will be trying to get as many answered as possible, but we can't answer them all. Check the Sprint Community over the next few days for more answers from David and team to your questions!
tlevelle:Which of Sprint's current phones do you feel best addresses the business customer's productivity needs?
David:It depends on what specifically you are trying to address. The beauty of WebOS (Palm), BB (RIM) and android (Samsung Moment and Hero)is they all provide great business capabilities. We also have the HTC Touchpro 2 which is a great windows device. The issue is around personal choice and what you like. Do you need a keyboard, enjoy touchscreen, have applications you are looking for. If you come to our store we can help make sure you make the right choice.
gb:Will Sprint be offering an international phone with the Android OS?
David:Certainly a possibility but nothing this year. Intrepid, Tour, and Touch Pro2 are best international options today.
skeptic:will you have any decent non-flip/non-slide/nonsmart phones???
David:The Sanyo 2700 sounds perfect for you
jacoro:Why will the HTC Touch Pro 2 not be available in stores?
David:Channel decision for now. Available in direct channels today.
widjit:what are the possibilities of a snapdragon based android phone
David:We don't make our decisions on processors but more about the device in total. That said, the moment has a 800mhz processor that is fantastic.
QDW:When will the first Windows Mobile 7 phone be available?
David:Planned for 2010, more dependent on Microsoft's timeline though.
bniel:Any idea on a release date for tour with WiFi - contract is up and my boss is really pushing my to get an iPhone
David:stay firm, we will have BB options with Wifi soon.
royals122:Verizon and T-Mobile seem to be running many ads featuring their android phones. With Sprint's exciting new Android phones coming out on the market, why don't I see any advertising about them? Thanks
David:Coming real soon. Hero has sold incredibly well without advertising, but you will see significant advertising very soon.
it:when will the new blackberry that runs on 4g network be coming out?
David:Not commenting on 2010 roadmap. 4G handsets are planned though.
Dave:Do you have any phones with GPS capability
AdamJaworski:Will there be any more iDEN network handsets coming out?
David:Launched a couple lately including Clutch. More coming soon.
msk:Will the smartphone lineup for Fall require an Everything plan?
David:webOS, Instinct, and Android lines.
KEVINPK:I am a Sprint Premier and have been with Sprint for nearly nine yers I thank you for all the positive things that are and will continue to happen
David:Spread the word!
G-188345290:why should I choose sprint
David:This is a softball. Thank you.
David:Great 3G network - PC world just ranked us #1 in 3g reliability. Also, we are 2X the size of ATT and 14X the size of Tmobile's 3G network
David:Best Rate Plan Value - we save customers significantly every month vs. ATT and Verizon. With our new Any Mobile Anytime, customers get an unlimited wireless experience including unlimited calling (wireless to wireless), unlimited text and data for under $70 per month. For families of four, we provide an unlimited wireless experience for each family member for $42.50. It can't be best.
David:We have the best device selection: Per earlier questions: We offer the pre, pixi, Tour, HTC Hero and Samsung Moment. The best in the industry.
David:Thanks again for the question.
dennyd:With the huge impact that the device subsidy has on Sprint's P&L, will we see non plastic devices designed for long term use?
David:We do rugged today. Seems people want new technology every couple years. It's a balancing act.
JamieLynn:Radio shack has the samsung moment available, why is it not on sprint.com yet?
David:Coming soon. Really soon.
UtahMoon:What does the android OS offer to an average user looking to upgrade their phone.
David:Apps, customization, great Google and Outlook integration.
HD2:David you did not answer question about holiday season, is there any phones coming that we dont know about for this holiday season?
David:Pixi and Moment coming. Couple others up our sleeve. Check back often.
MAGGIE:Do you have a newsletter or email circulation that details new phones and their release date? If yes, how do we sign up?
David:You can sign up to learn more on our pre-registration sites and sprint.com (check at the bottom or www.sprint.com/moment).
tlevelle:Generally speaking, how much of your lineup is based on industry/management decisions rather than customer demand? Clearly, there's a phone that's creating a lot of buzz that Sprint seems to be ignoring so far.
David:Lot's of factors go into device selection and development. At the heart of our decisions are customers needs.
bless_you:Any Wimax phones coming soon?
David:Definitely in the 2010 plan.
sasquatch537:I am in the market for a phone upgrade but read about the Droid coming out from one of your competitors which has a bigger screen 3.7 and flash for the camera do you have any phones that match that
David:Yes we do.
David:The Samsung moment has a 3.1 screen but with new technology called amoled for crisper display. Also includes flash and a full qwerty and I would put up against the Droid anyday. Also, per earlier messages you will pay signifantly more each month with Verizon. The savings range but would be more that $500 over a contract is my guess. Make sure you factor in total cost of ownership as you make your decisions.
clockcycle:Will SERO customers be able to upgrade to HTC Hero, Samsung Moment, etc, without changing their plans?
David:No. Android, webOS, and Instinct require Everything type plans.
gee23:is nextel coming out with anymore blackberry's like the curve
David:We can't cover the roadmap for any of our devices specifically but will continue to build out a robust line-up for Nextel.
andy:Do the Sprint executives look at the community forums to see what their customers really want?
David:Sure. Objective is to meet needs of customers and community feedback is critical.
AdamJaworski:Will the Android updates to 1.6 and 2.0 be over the air, or will I have to go into a store for the update?
David:Likely to be a wired update (due to size) but you will be able to do online at sprint.com.
trdfjboys:Why does Sprint require certain plans with certain phones?
David:For our data intensive phones, we thinks it's critical to have plans that support all of the phone's capabilities.
vic:Applie is really popular, but I am loyal to Sprint. I wish sprint had more appliations that can be used with what people do daily. Example I play golf, I wish I could download the GPs for course like Apple allows. Will sprint be getting more applications that people actually want?
David:Buy a Android product (Samsung Moment or HTC hero) and you will have access to over 10K applications in the android market.
buddy:how does the pixie compare ot other devices?
David:pretty comparable to Pre with all of the benefits of webOS in a really trim and affordable package.
Sarah:We've got about 7 minutes left.
JamieLynn:What is the Samsung Moment?
David:A new device that runs on the Android operating system. It launches in all channels on November 1st.
David_1:What can a customer do to convince Sprint into releaseing a particular smartphone?
David:Submit feedback. We make decisions based upon a number of factors, but customer input is critical.
Darius:For touchscreen phones, do you see Sprint going more with capacitive than resistive screens ?
David:Capacitive seems to be hot, but some needs for resistive and stylus use.
boe:Thanks for the reply about beta testing - I would suggest you do beta testing with the community at the same time so that it doesn't change your release schedule and perhaps could reduce it as issues are discovered sooner. You'll see a hundred posts about issues on the first day of release on ppcgeeks.com and pdaphonehome.com that should have been caught by the existing beta testing group but aren't. If clients felt more confident about the business phones working properly you could probably increase your market share.
David:We'll consider it. Thanks.
AdamJaworski:Will Sprint be getting the iPhone next Spring?
David:We don't discuss our roadmap but have great products to compete with the iphone. Also, you pay a huge tax to own the iphone. If you compare like unlimited plans, with Sprint you save $1200 over two years.
nz3i:Will the Samsung Moment launch on November 1, and where will it be available?
David:yes, all participating sprint channels.
Marion:Will there be more phone where you don't have to purchase a data or simply everything plan. Most of the new phones requiore this and I do not wish to change my plan
David:Actually, only 5 current phones have the requirement. We do it on data intensive phones.
msk:Why do all new smartphones, like the Pre and Hero require a customer to get a new Everything plan? I like my plan and I don’t want to change plans. If I’m forced to change plans with Sprint, I’m certainly going to look first at other carriers and their available phones. This may be a reason why so many sprint customers are leaving Sprint for ATT and Verizon. Remember they have the iphone and Android too…
David:We require a data plan because we want you to use the phone for all its services. ATT and Verizon have similar requirements they just charge you a TON more.
David:Also, it is about the customer experience. We don't want you to get an overage charge because of data usage and be shocked and frustrated. Requiring the plans make sure you have a great experience. We saw some of our highest Csat on the instinct product because of this requirement.
ajaxxx:i'm torn between the htc hero and samsung moment. can you offer any insight to help my decision?
David:Sexy UI, customization, and 5MP camera...Hero. Full QWERTY and great display...Moment.
pnutku:Any new colors for the htc hero soon?
Mashie:Can you comment on your current and future Windows Mobile strategy?
David:WinMo 6.5 and 7.0 as soon as possible, but dependent on Microsoft. It's an important platform for us.
hawaiijoe:Please compare the new devices with the iphone and the new droid phone from verizon...how is sprint going to compete?
David:We complete very well. All have advantages but for example iphone had a huge advantage with their applications, that got neutralized with the Android products and the launch of Android market. Come to our store and we can show you the value we provide.
OH:will you be releasing a device in the near future that will be a more cohesive blend of the best features from the hero and moment? Fast processor, bigger screen, flash and 5mp camera with editing functions. Smooth features and latest android software among other things?
David:Sure. Keep in mind that these devices have been in market for less than a month. Androd is an important platform.
Pnyce973NJ:Verizon plans to release an Android with a Buit in MIFI? Is that something we can also expect from sprint?
David:A feature we are considering for future devices.
pnutku:Will the release of 2.0 be over the air or will we have to go to a sprint store for the update?
David:it will be a wired update but can be done via sprint.com
David:I am out of time but want to thank all of you for the questions and appreciate and value your feedback. We will do this again soon.
Sarah:Thank all of you for joining. I'll post the transcript shortly.
Sarah:Welcome and thank you for joining our chat! We're pleased to have Ralph Reid, VP of Corporate Responsibility with us to discuss Sprint's leadership in environmental stewardship.
Ralph:I'm glad that you've joined us today to discuss Sprint's environmental initiatives.
MaggieD:Why should I care about Sprint’s environmental efforts?
Ralph:Consumers have the power to choose who they do business with. We hope consumers will value our responsibility efforts and that it will supplement their decision to come to Sprint or stay with Sprint as a company they can feel good about doing business with. We see a shift in consumer values, particularly among today's youth, toward enviornmental and social responsibility.
MONEYB:Why do you think it’s important for Sprint be environmentally responsible?
Ralph:As a Fortune 100 co. with a large network and about 42,000 employees, we have a significant environmental impact. Sprint must respond accordingly by managing its own impact and providing customers with tools to help reduce theirs, as well.
hooman:How can I tell if you’re being environmentally responsible?
Ralph:We have committed to publicly reporting on our corporate responsibility efforts and have two primary places you can check - sprint.com/green and sprint.com/responsibility. We first published our responsibility prioriities and goals starting in late 2007 and have continued to update our information on a regular basis.
pickled76:What are you doing different than the other mobile phone companies?
Ralph:Sprint has taken a more action-oriented approach. We established our 4 environmental priorities in 2008: greenhouse gas reduction, use of renewable energy, phone recycling and deployment of env responsible products and services. We now lead the industry in each.
mx1987:What are the most important environmental issues that Sprint is addressing?
Ralph:Greenhouse gas reduction, use of renewable energy, phone recycling, and deployment of environmentally responsible products and services. We're also working to reduce our overall operational waste, reduce our network and IT e-Waste, manage our water and paper consumption, and improve the environmental knowledge responsibility of our employees.
Paulo:Why should I care if a phone is “green”?
Ralph:Greener phones have fewer potentially hazardous substances (an important safety factor for device manufacturing, recycling and refurbishment), are energy efficient (which reduce carbon input and help keep your electricity bills down), use recycled and renewable material (like the corn-based plastic in Sprint's Samsung Reclaim), are more easily recyclable, and have more sustainable pkg.
dotts:Is phone recycling important and if so why?
Ralph:Reduce the volume of e-waste sent daily to our landfills. An estimated 140M devices are ready for retirement each year. Only 10% are currently recycled according to EPA estimates. E-waste poses special hazards for landfill management. Recycling your phones allows them either to be reused or broken down with the reusable components repurposed for new products. This reduces the need for virgin materials and often decreases the amount of energy used in the manufacturing process.
Matt:Is Sprint a member of the US Chamber of Commerce? If so, how do you juxtapose their climate change stance vs. your own?
Ralph:Good question. Sprint is not a member of the US Chamber of Commerce. However, we are currently working on a formal position on climate change.
Hamburgler:What are Sprints plans for increasing alternative engery consumption?
Ralph:We are currently the leader in the U.S. of actual renewable energy deployment. Currently 80% of our power at our Overland Park, KS Campus World Headquarters is from renewabale energy sources. Our plan is to increase our renewable energy over the next 10 years by 10%.
Matt:Have you produced a carbon baseline for your operations?
Ralph:Yes. We produced our baseline in 2007. It was 2.1 million metric tons and have established a goal to absolutely reduce our emissions by 15% by 2017.
IKE_7700:With all the talk about identity theft I feel weird about recycling my phone. Is it safe?
Ralph:It's always good to be concerned about personal privacy, and that's a key tenant of Srint's wireless recycling program. Our policy is to erase all personal data from phones collected through these programs. We ensure this through contractual agreements with our recycling vendors and regular audits of their operations.
Hamburgler:Has the Samsung Reclaim done well enough to incent more environmentally friendly phones in the Sprint portfolio?
Ralph:The Samsung Reclaim has done and we have announced that we will increase our product portfolio.
Ralph:As clarification to an earlier question about alternative energy consumption, Sprint is the U.S. leader in our industry.
gnatkat:does Sprint have any leverage to get phone suppliers to use less packaging for their products?
Ralph:Yes and we have included sustainable packaging requirements in the environmental specification document that we provided to our suppliers last week.
ScottSClark:What's sprint doing about toxic compounds used inside a cell phone - any efforts to reduce the poisons?
Ralph:Sprint has outlined its plans for a new environmental product and accessory design process online at http://bit.ly/hHlnV. One of our goals is to work toward products that are free of potentially hazardous materials. Sprint's Samsung Reclaim is a good example of a step in that direction -- it's free of PVCs and phthlates, with neglible BFRs associated with the chip set. We'll be working with our manufacturing partners to meet and exceed this efforts with future devices.
gnatkat:What can an individual do to encourage other companies they do business with to "think green"?
Ralph:Vote with your wallet. Buy products that are aligned with your environmental values, and give feedback to the companies you support. Consumers are the true regulators in this sense. By being vocal, you'll help drive the future actions that corporations take.
MD:What efforts are Sprint employees doing at your World HQ (as well as retail stores) to be environmentally responsible?
Ralph:On Earth Day 2008 we rolled out Employee Awareness Campaign on 5 Greens Things Employees can do. 1. Manage Your Power 2. Minimize your trash 3. Be a smart commuter 4. Print less 5. Recycle Electonics. In addition we have a green parking program.
John:Can you tell us how deep into the network are you pushing green initiatives. I see competitors with green fleet orders, or working with vendors for "less heat" compontents, or different energy sources for cell sites. Can you be specific at all regarding Sprint initiatives and if there are any 1sts (aside from the handset/accessories) I'd rather hear about what you are doing to green the network.
Ralph:Stay tuned. We're working on all of things that you've mentioned as well as sustainable tower efforts. We'll be sharing more in the next six months. Announcements on Sprint's environment progress can be found http://twitter.com/SprintGreenNews. And for more on Sprint's 1sts, see http://www.sprint.com/green.
Matt:Do you have a sense for what % of your customer base factors Sprint's environmental initiatives into their decision to use your services or those of a competitor?
Ralph:While Market Research states that environmental buying decisions are growing, we have yet to do the research on our customer base.
Sarah:We've got about 5 minutes left.
Hamburgler:Can you be more specific about exactly what action you took to reduce greenhouse gas?
Ralph:Sprint's made significant strides toward energy efficiency in its commercial bldgs and network sites. One example is a reduction of diesel fuel as backup power in our network cell sites, replacing where possible with hydrogen fuel cells. We've also consider our vehicle fleet reducing its size, the engine size and even driver behavior with an eye towards efficiency. For additional information, see http://www.sprint.com/responsibility/environment/climate.html.
G-187347030:Good afternoon Mr. Reid, My question is what steps is Sprint taking in the Chicago market as it relates to "environmental responsibility"? And with those steps taken in the Chicago market, who is Sprint partnering with from a business standpoint and are there opportunities for a small emerging firm such as mine?
Ralph:Currently we are addressing our environmental responsibility at an Enterprise wide basis and not at a market level basis. We will continue to execute against that plan and feel that markets where we have operations will benefit by our environmental stewardship.
G-187211099:What is Sprint doing to maintain Green when it comes to Battery waste?
Ralph:We currently include device batteries as part of our phone recycling program. In addition we offer battery recycling in general for all employees.
ThinkGreen:What is Sprint doing to force handset makers to use universal accessories?
Ralph:The use of interoperable accessories is one of the objectives covered by Sprint's new environmental product and accessory design process (see online at http://bit.ly/hHlnV). We have shared these expectations with our manufacturers. Their ability to meet this other objectives will be reflected in the way that Sprint rates their overall performance as suppliers.
Sarah:Thanks to everyone for participating. The transcript will be posted shortly and I'll be updating it with additional answers to questions we didn't get to. Also for those of you posting device and account related issues, please go to our online community.
Since we ran out of time, Ralph sent the answers to some of the questions we didn't get to during the chat.
ThinkGreen:Has Sprint seen any economic advantages with the Green Initiatives?
Ralph:Yes -- the most obvious examples are increasing our commercial building, data center and network energy efficiency, increasing our worker mobility (reducing real estate costs), and reducing our paper and water use.
ScottSClark:How does Environmental Stewardship have anything to do with maximizing shareholder value?/span>
Ralph:We think it can do both. Many have the misconception that going green always means adding costs, and thus potentially lowering shareholder value. That's simply not the case. Many of the efforts Sprint has undertaken lower costs in both the short term and long term. The best examples are energy efficiency and waste reduction. We also believe that strong sustainability efforts also build brand reputation, which can lead to increased shareholder value.
ScottSClark:cell phones are short-lived products that present the clearest threat to humans and the environment when they are being created or destroyed. What's Sprint doing to increase the service life of phones?
Ralph:Good question Scott. We're working on some of the challenges here, but admit we don't have all the answers yet. First I should mention that Sprint offers comprehensive service and repair coverage that enables you to extend the life of your phone. Generally, Sprint is able to service phones for up to 3 years or more after they have been introduced. In addition, we're working on both the front-end and the back-end of the lifecycle. On the front-end we're asking our device manufacturers to design with recycling in mind. That means the devices are made of more recyclable components and easier to disassemble and recycle. Most phones today are difficult to disassemble, magnifying the potential hazards in the recycling process. On the back-end, we have strong controls in place for how our recycling partners manage their processes and a Zer0 e-Waste policy they must adhere to. We agree phones should have a longer life that the 18 month average consumers have adopted today. We're thinking through some options that could begin to change the model.
John:Speaking of "providing customers with tools..." can you be specific? Are other initiatives being rolled out other than paperless billing, etc.?
Ralph:Yes - in addition to paperless billing, many of our customers are using applications such our GPS, location-based services to reduce their carbon footprint, are moving to a web-based customer service and sales model (and avoiding the trip to the store), buying eco-friendly accessories, using the one-click tile with green tips from Discovery.com on our new Reclaim phone, and taking advantage of our free wireless recycling programs. We are interested in hearing from our customers regarding additional applications they'd like to see us offer for a more sustainable planet.
John:Speaking of "providing customers with tools..." can you be specific? Are other initiatives being rolled out other than paperless billing, etc.?
Ralph:Yes - in addition to paperless billing, many of our customers are using applications such our GPS, location-based services to reduce their carbon footprint, are moving to a web-based customer service and sales model (and avoiding the trip to the store), buying eco-friendly accessories, using the one-click tile with green tips from Discovery.com on our new Reclaim phone, and taking advantage of our free wireless recycling programs. We are interested in hearing from our customers regarding additional applications they'd like to see us offer for a more sustainable planet.
Susan:can you speak to the deployment of environmentally responsible products and services? Are there more handsets besides the new Reclaim that will be available?
Ralph:Right now, our most eco-friendly device is the Samsung Reclaim. When we launched the Reclaim, we also announced a set of environmental design criteria we'd be using for future devices and accessories: http://bit.ly/hHlnV. We shared our first pass of environmental specifications with our vendors last week and expect to refine them over the next month or two. We intend to make our entire product portfolio more environmentally responsible through this process.
Luke:Being that I am currently pursuing an MBA with a track in Environmental Management, how do you foresee the job market in the future? Does Sprint currently have plans in looking for those with such educational background?
Ralph:We see the green job market growing and CR positions expanding as more corporations add sustainability-focused positions. We predict that centralized Corporate Responsibility teams will remain small, but that functional sustainability positions will be added. You're going into a great field.
Matt:If GHG reduction is a priority for Sprint how are you advocating for federal legislation on the issue?
Ralph:GHG reduction is a priority for us. We are currently developing a formal climate change position. We do expect to support national as well as global regulatory efforts to reduce GHG emissions.
ScottSClark:Your latest 'smart' phones go through power like crazy, lasting only 6 to 8 hours on a charge. What is Sprint doing to make cell phones more power efficient?
Ralph:One of the six priorities we've established for our handset vendors is energy efficiency. This includes both charger efficiency and battery efficiency.
gnatkat:Why should any company feel the need to have a "position" on climate change?
Ralph:We can't speak for other corporations, but can speak for Sprint. We believe climate change is part of a global environmental crisis and that as positive global citizens, we need to participate in the discussion.
Jean:Companies are increasingly becoming "greener". What will Sprint have to do to ensure it has an edge on the competitors?
Ralph:Continue to listen actively to our stakeholders and take action based on their input. We started out with a strong materiality assessment which helped us frame up the issues that were important to our stakeholders and also to our business. That's how we selected the priorities we're still working on and our goals. If we keep the dialog open, we hope our efforts will continue to be on track and provide a competitive edge for us.
Flo:What is your short and long term roadmap to sustainability?
Ralph:Our short-term and long-term map are guided by our priorities and goals which can be found on www.sprint.com/responsibility. The majority of our sustainability efforts are guided by these priorities and goals. As stakeholder input dictates or as unique opportunities are presented, we'll expand our efforts appropriately.
Luke:How does Sprint currently handle the issue of a green supply chain with their suppliers and retailers?
Ralph:We are just beginning our formal effort in this area. We've made the most progress with our handset and accessory manufacturers through our environmental specification work, but are also working with our supply chain team to integrate environmental criteria into our RFP and contract process.
tashd:How do you guys plan on converting to a more "GREEN" company and will it make the phone more expensive when you do so?
Ralph:We do not expect to increase the costs of our devices to cover incremental "green" costs. We believe that customers want to see more environmentally friendly devices, but for the most part are not willing to pay a premium to achieve that. We are working with our suppliers to identify cost effective yet green alternatives for key materials and components.
Sarah:Hi Everyone - Thanks for joining our conversation today with Fox Sports Insider, Jay Glazer. We'll be starting in about 2 minutes.
Sarah:Has Brett Farve's performance so far this year surprised you and do you think we'll see the Vikings in the post season?
Jay:I'm not surprised about Favre because in that offense, everyone loads up to stop Peterson and Favre has one-on-one matchups with those speedy wideouts. Perfect fit
longtimefan:Was wondering how much truth to the joe Thomas to the Packers rumor are real and if we can expect a trade involving the Packers will go down today?
Jay:Just got off the phone with Packers people, they haven't had Joe Thomas trade talks, at least not to this point.
longtimefan:What's your take the multiple roster moves the Patriots have had today? What about Adalius Thomas?
Jay:There's a TON of trade phone calls being made today but nobody seems willing to really step to the plate. as the deadline approaches, making a deal will seem more attractive
G-170604728:With obvious offensive line and running back needs do you see and hear of any chatter in regards to Green Bay making any deadline deals?
Jay:the packers are doing their due dilligence and talking with teams about those positions. problem is, on a day like this when someone calls, those fielding calls usually tries to fleece those making the calls. happens all the time in this league
G-170558716:With the recent Antoine Winfield injure, how about the Vikes making a play for Ronde Barber? Say for a 3rd or 4th rounder?
Jay:Ronde would love that but I just got off the phone with the Vikings and they have had no calls so far
ChargersGriff:What the latest news on the Chargers?
Jay:just got off the phone with Merriman, he hasn't heard a darn thing but is as curious as we are.
ryan_the_great:what are the odds that terrell owens gets traded
Jay:Baltimore called about him last week and Buffalo told them they have ZERO interest in trading him. Why? I have no idea. They should try to get a pick for a guy who isn't doing much up there
JeffreyLattie123:Is Zorn out of Washington at the end of this season, or sooner, and who is likely to replace him?
Jay:Washington has simply placed a band-aid on the situation by stripping Zorn of his duties. They had the guy there two years ago in Gregg Williams but Vinny Cerato made sure he would NOT be the guy. Now they'll overpay for one of the big name coaches again. Vicious cycle of failure
malahide:wheres brady quinn goin?
Jay:The Browns would love to get a good offer for Quinn but so far have not. Personally, if I were the Rams, Seattle, Panthers and anyone else in need of a young QB prospect of the future, I'd jump on it. He has talent but has had little coaching since he came into the league. With the right coaching I still think he can be solid
baybucs:Have you heard anything about the bucs looking to trade clayton or Ruud ? Maybe the bucs will make a move for a pass rusher or DT like Dorsey but we will not give up a first
Jay:They like Ruud but would like to unload Clayton and his salary. He certainly has not responded on the field as they had hoped he would
GregNice703:What took the Pats so long to release Galoway, were they hoping to possibly trade him?
Jay:Yes, you always try to get something, even if it's a seventh-rounder rather than just dump a guy
NJGiantsFan:Jay, you always have such quality info from around the league. How do you do it?
Jay:Much appreciated. I work my ass off, my phone is married to my ear and I never, ever, ever try to burn anyone. I try to build up trust and hope my guys come through for me and thank GOD they've done that a lot for me. thank you for the compliment
BuntySoap:Do you think Mendenhall should be the featured back for the Steelers?
Jay:I do for now as that toe injury to Parker is very limiting. I've had guys like Deion Sanders and Eddie George tell me they've had toe injuries that are so bad it used to wake them up at night in agony. Plus, Mendenhall is hot, you don't go away from that
GMEN:Jay, what do you take from the giants/saints game last week? Are the saints that good or are the giants slightly overrated?
Jay:The Saints are that good! They have gone from a finesse team to a violent team. Football is still a game of violence and they have completely changed the attitude there. Sean Payton called me after the game and sounded more like he won the UFC heavyweight title instead of a game
Persuazn:Are the Bucs looking to trade Barrett Ruud? There were reports that Indy and the Eagles was asking about him.
Jay:Those two teams are, in fact, calling around about LBs, calling everywhere. Ruud is a very under-rated player on a defenisve unit that has no identity and a huge lack of mental toughness
Allen:Any Chiefs news?
Jay:Scott Pioli will always try to get a lot for a little. I know people have called about a few guys but nothing has moved yet. They've told teams tho to look at their roster and pretty much everybody could be had but Cassell. I think they also want to keep Jamal Charles
G-170514935:How many contacts does the best in the business have in their Blackberry? PS Thats not directed to Mortenson.
Jay:hahahaaha. Thousands. Problem too is that half these players change their phone numbers every few months so I have like 6 #'s for some guys and forget which is which. I got through 3 before I get the right guy and in the meantime call people who yell that they are not FRIGGIN SUCH AND SUCH!!!!
G-170514935:Who's the biggest name your hearing out there now?
143Cardiac_Kats:Is Andre Smith going to be able to come in and be an effective part of this Bengals line or is it simply too late in the game for him to catch up to speed?
Jay:That line is actually playing very well right now. I do think he will be a very good player in this league once he has a full off-season with his team and a full training camp. But as of now? He's too far behind
NJGiantsFan:Was the Giants defense taking the day off against the Saints, or are they simply over-rated?
Jay:If the Giants can't get pressure they get exposed. Now, with that said, they also won't be facing a guy like Drew Brees week in and week out. But the Saints game plan was to actually attack them through the air
keithkdj:any truth to dolphins trading for derrick johnson or dwayne bowe
Jay:There was a strong rumor last week that they had actually traded for Bowe and that proved to be nothing but a rumor. The Chiefs actually like Bowe but if someone makes them an offer they can't refuse, sure it could happen. Derrick Johnson has been on the block for a couple of weeks
143Cardiac_Kats:Is there a chance Jim Tressel may ever try to step it up to the "big leagues"
Jay:Hey there, i recognize you from my twitter page! hahahaha. Personally, I like Tressel a lot. I've met him a bunch of times through Eddie George and he's such a class act. However, college coaches don't work in the big leagues. They don't udnerstand how to value a player in the age of the cap and free agency and they try to bully these MEN as if they are kids. Their act simply doesn't work up here. Plus, they often don't get the best of staffs
gmen_1:Do you think the Giants are still an Elite team in the NFL after last weeks big loss?
Jay:Elite? Yes, The top? Obviously not. I think even if this game were in NY the Saints would have still take it to them
boogler:I know your a fan off mma so is it a foregone conclusion that Machida dominates Shogun?
Jay:I believe so. I think style wise it's a great matchup for Machida. Personally, I think Machida's biggest problem could come from a guy with a style like Randy Couture. Someone who will smother him against the cage, dirty box, drop elbows and never tire
cremond28:do you see MIA making any kind of moves today
Jay:I can see them working something for a wideout
malahide:Jay any Raiders news?
Jay:Yes, they are still bad. Sorry Raiders nation but successful teams are run well from top to bottom
BROWNSFAN89:Could the Jets and Browns be looking to make another deal?
Jay:Just got off the phone with the Jets, they have had ZERO calls from anyone of substance and I asked if they would call the Browns about Shaun Rogers to replace Jenkins and received an emphatic NO
G-170514935:What's the status of Jeff Fisher? Is he going to last the season? It looks like his team just quit.
Jay:Guys, Jeff Fisher didn't suddenly become a dumb you know what overnight. He's still one of the best coaches in the NFL but the TItans clearly have problems. Fisher is not one of those problems
malahide:Steven Jackson to the Pats..any truth to that rumor?
Jay:I've heard that one too. All I can say is other teams who have called about Jackson have been rebuffed loud and clear
baybucs:i think merriman needs to go and be a 4-3 DE to jump start his play
Jay:I didn't see the game last night but listened on my Sprint phone on NFL Mobile Live. I have learned that the Chargers in fact are willing to trade him for a first rounder
baybucs:where will the team for LA come from?
Jay:Hopefully Jacksonville. It's a shame their attendance
malahide:what do you think about Rampage goin hollywood....bad idea for his career in mma?
Jay:Bad for his MMA career but good for his life. The $$$'s he can make could be huge for the future. He's hilarious
sndvl99:What is your thoughts on ESPN's practice of "confirming" other reporters scoops? I got Mort to answer this question in a chat. Now your turn.
Jay:I think it's crap. We'll all have scoops, if we get beat, we get beat. Oh well
KC_Fan:What model of phone do you use?
cipher:Is Jim Zorn as bad as we are led to belive. Our does Dan Synder blow his salary cap on one player instead of looking at the big picture?
Jay:Jim is simply not a head coach and when he go the job he put too much on his plate. These guys have no idea how much comes across their desk as a head coach.
Sarah:We've got a hard stop at 1:10, so we won't be taking any additional questions after 1:00.
Michael:Any Carolina Panthers trade rumors that are credible?
Jay:THey do NOT want to trade Peppers, unless somebody comes up with a huge blockbuster offer. but why would they now when they could have before the season?
cremond28:Jay, Historically, has Parcells and Co ever made any trades at the deadline mark
Jay:They are definitely talking to teams today
143Cardiac_Kats:Do you think Chicago is giving this Ocho tweet fest any attn or is it going on deaf ears?
Jay:That team can care less. They are business-like.
tj:Jay, Do you see the eagles makin any moves?
Jay:they are looking around for linebackers
malahide:where do you think Merriman would make a good fit?
Jay:I keep hearing NE but I'm being not being sold this is going to happen. Would San Diego trade him? I think for the right offer, like a solid first-rounder
craiggo:what is up with the eagles and their poor play...coach's ego or bad prep
Jay:Just bad play and a ton of overthrown balls
Bears:According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer the Browns will listen to offers for almost anybody including Joe Thomas
Jay:One team told me Cleveland told them they aren't willing to trade Shaun Rogers but another team told me he can be had. There is sooo much BS about this time of the year
143Cardiac_Kats:Isn't their a TE out there who could help Cincinnati? To say their TE play thusfar has been lackluster would be a DRASTIC understatement.
Jay:They are calling around for a TE. Heard they called Dallas for Bennett, who definitely has talent
BROWNSFAN89:Are the browns looking to pick up more draft picks?
Jay:always. mangini wants to bring in as many guys as he can and make them "HIS" guys
CEGiov:Hey Jay, are there any other NFL players with personalities similar to Jared Allen? He seems like the coolest guy ever.
Jay:Oh trust me, there is nobody else in this league like my demented lil buddy. Make sure you watch him with me every week on The After Party with Jay Glazer presented by Sprint (nice plug, huh mondays at 1 EST on foxsports.com
Jay:I'm getting the hook here folks. I appreciate you guys all jumping on board with me today. I'm headin to Vegas in an hour to go have some fun. Make sure you keep up to date with Sprint NFL Mobile Live. I honestly can't believe how much we can do now with our phones. It's ridiculous. Take care folks. See ya on Sundays
Sarah:We've run out of time, so I am sorry if we didn't get all the questions answered. A big thanks to Jay and all of you for joining! We'll post the transcript shortly.
Bob:Hello. I'm Bob Johnson. Good afternoon and welcome to our online chat. As Chief Service Officer, I'm responsible for a team of Customer Care and Technical Support professionals dedicated to doing all we can to ensure that our customers enjoy the best experience possible, whether wireless or wireline, voice or data, consumer or business. We've make a lot of changes in the past year and I'm pleased with the progress we're making. I probably won't be able to answer questions about someone's individual account or service situation, but will do my best to respond to your questions about Customer Service improvements and the direction we're taking for the Customer Experience at Sprint. I'm looking forward to our conversation.
linhnguyen42:(Pre-submitted question) How is Sprint helping to change perceived customer service vs actual follow through of customer service? I get friendly reps, they mostly have been cordial…but only once has my issue actually been resolved. The two major things are following through with an airave and the referral gift card. Sure, the referral gift card may seem small, but when a company can't even get that resolved, what kind of confidence do I have in resolving larger issues, like competing against Verizon and AT&T?
Bob:We know that customer perceptions are slow to change, and that when we process millions of transactions, some are not going to go smoothly. But with the kinds of continuous improvements we’ve seen overall, we know we’re providing much better service to our customers than in the past.
Bob:I’m very proud to say that our customer-focused strategy has led us to 20 straight months of improved customer satisfaction and first call resolution. During this time we have improved our Web site, enhanced training among our customer care staff, and offered the most comprehensive combination of wireless services at a very competitive price.
Bob:For airrave we have a dedicated toll free number for service issues, and for gift cards our agents have documented procedures to troubleshoot any problems you are having. Or you can request help at www.sprint.com/referafriend.
Bill:Do you personally call customer service and pretend to have a problem... to see how it is handled?
Bob:yes... actually I do I call customer service personally as I have multiple lines on my account. Additionally I regularly do side by side observations while sitting next to agents in our call centers.
Mani:Bob. I am pleased at the changes I have seen at Sprint. The customer service has improved greatly. However the quality of the handsets is not so good. I have the HTC Touch Pro and I will be returning it for the 3rd time in less than a year. Not good at all. What can you do to improve on this?
Bob:Thanks for acknowledging the improvements in Care over the last couple years. As for handset quality, we work very closely with all our manufacturing partners to ensure our new handsets are launched with zero defects. Occasionally, when problems surface we want to work with you to ensure you get a working product in your hands as soon as possible. As for your particular situation, I would encourage you to go to sprint.com and make an appointment at one of our service and repair locations or call Customer Service and we can make the appointment for you.
dholmes:Does Sprint currently (or plan to) outsource their customer support to companies operating overseas? Other Tech. companies have gone this route with varying levels of success.
Bob:We have found the best approach is to have a balance of domestic and offshore based support depending on the type of call or issue. This gives us the greatest flexibility for both effectiveness and efficiency.
WW:Do you see customer service becoming a differentiator for Sprint?
Bob:My hope as we continue our performance improvement trajectory is that Sprint's customer care is a differentiator and is known as both the reason customers come to and stay with Sprint.
MarcMandel:As a long term sprint customer I've seen steady improvement in the customer experience, but still too often feel as though CSRs are being graded on speed as opposed to accuracy. I feel rushed through a call even though the reason for the call may not have been dealt with. Is this true, or just a perception?
Bob:we feel one of if not the most significant drivers of our performance improvement has been placing the priority for our agents in two major areas: first call resolution and customer satisfaction. In fact, we find that our best agents in first call resolution are also our most efficient.
Shelly:What will Sprint focus on in the next year to improve the perception of bad customer service?
Bob:The critical factor for improving perceptions of customer service is continuing to deliver high quality service on each and every call. As we do this, both you our customers through positive word of mouth and the recognition by objective third party studies that measure customer service, will jump start the improvements in perception.
bru-ster:There’s been a lot of buzz about consumer services lately – Apple has their MobileME service, Microsoft offers MyPhone, Nokia’s OVI… even heard that Best Buy is jumping in big with a FREE service called mIQ. What will Sprint be offering to customers to keep them connected?
Bob:Sprint has always long been committed to offering mobile content and applications to our customers when, where and how they want it. Our new Android devices – the HTC Hero and Samsung Moment are examples. Think of the Android devices as a way to easily replicate your PC on a wireless phone - if you know how to use Google, or Gmail or Google maps, then you already know how to use an Android phone. The Palm Pre, with its WebOS operating system offers a similar experience.
jchoffman4:Why do you charge a $35 restocking fee even when you have sold a phone to a customer that does not perform well. Specifically, the Palm Pre' which does not load any Java pages, but crashes instead, does not have a strong enough antenna to pull in a strong signal, and has a screen which frequently goes completely blank? This policy seems unfair, unless you disclose ever issue with your products to the customer before purchase.
Bob:The $35 restocking fee is charged when a customer returns a non defective device at their convenience, for example if the color or interface is not to their liking, within 30 days of purchase. This fee covers the costs we incur to make the device ready for another customer as a replacement device. We cannot resell it as a new unit. The fee is is not charged for 30-day exchanges under certain circumstances such as if the phone is defective or if the phone was not activated and it is returned within 30 days and service is deactivated.
Person:With all of the recent plan enhancements, such as anymobile (which is automatically added to everything data), how are customers responding? Are you seeing an uptick in post-paid subscriptions with new plans?
Bob:While this most recent plan change is only a month old, we are very pleased with all the initial responses from both our current customers enjoying Any Mobile, Anytime as well as new customers signing up for Sprint service.
Nxtl4me:1) My experiences with Sprint-Nextel customer service have been good lately in most regards, and I agree that in many areas CS has improved measurably, but it is a fact that the issue of reporting network-related problems is still a brick wall. What is the justification for telling the front-line telephone answerers to not take network complaints seriously, and many times to actually refuse to take the customer’s complaint info and enter a network trouble report? 2) Why has Sprint-Nextel refused to implement Push-To-Smart-Replies on the Nextel iDEN network? This capability has been on the shelf and ready to implement on iDEN for at least three years, and it is an incremental improvement that can be had for very little cost. Why has Sprint-Nextel chosen to withhold this added value from the Nextel iDEN user base? 3) Is there even an inkling of hope that Sprint will sell the Nextel side to another company at some point in the future?
Bob:Always good to see one of our regulars here in the live chat...First let me apologize for any information that was provided to you inaccurately. Our agents are trained to identify, diagnose and resolve any network issues that are reported by customers. For example, agents are supposed to check the Sprint coverage tool to ensure that there is good coverage in the customer’s area, and will check our network outage board to ensure there are no issues in that area. And yes, they also can put in a trouble ticket for the customer should the customer still be experiencing problems. We remain committed to the Nextel National Network. We continue to invest in it and we’ve expanded our handset lineup by launching several iDEN devices in 2009.
Person:Your smart phone lineup has been greatly unfolding over the last couple quarters, with more to come, obviously. From a customer calling in, are you seeing any network congestion issues and complaints coming into customer care regarding network issues? That is - are you seeing the same or similar issues as to At&t with it's bottleneck network as a result of smartphones?
Bob:Our 3G voice and data network has proven to be the most reliable of any wireless carrier and I am happy and proud to say we have not experienced these issues.
Bill:Have customer service imporvments led to a reversal in lost customers? Are the customers coming back now?
Bob:We think the key to attracting and retaining customers is to combine the power of the NOW network, the best price plan lineup in the industry, extensive product portfolio and first rate customer service. With all of these factors on the upswing at Sprint, we have seen positive momentum with our customer base.
agentneo:I have to give credit to customer support because of their improvements, but what other things do you have in mind to make customer service better?
Bob:Thanks for your support. We plan to continue the progress we are making by focusing on our agents and providing them the tools, coaching and training to help them resolve your issues the first time every time.
matt:I would like to know if Sprint has any plans to improve coverage (especially 3G coverage) in Huntsville, Alabama. I would also like to know if there are any ways to report coverage problems and if not, if there are any plans to introduce ways to report coverage problems. Ideally one would also be able to track progress on resolving coverage issues as well.
Bob:Customers can contact Customer Care or press *2 on their Sprint phones to report any coverage issues.
Bob:You can go to our coverage map tool at www.sprint.com/coverage to not only view current coverage/signal strength but also recently added towers as well as plans for future build-out in your area.
kjamison:As a 11 year sprint customer I will say Sprint has made a right turn in the customer service area from a 2/3 years ago. More friendly and willing to help in the areas they can provide immediate assistance. My question is, Why the major price difference in the HTC Touch Pro 2 versus other carriers? And our we truly eligible for the Mobile windows 6.1 to 6.5 update free?
Bob:When comparing similar smart phone plan costs against Verizon and AT&T, Sprint saves you more than $355 annually for Everything Data plans featuring unlimited mobile to mobile calling (with 450 and 900 Anytime calling minutes), and more than $715 annually for Everything Unlimited plans. We encourage customers to do a true comparison of the total cost over the life of the contract and we think you’ll find that the math stacks up in Sprint’s favor.
Bob:The HTC Touch Pro2 has the hardware and software requirements to support a future upgrade to Windows Mobile 6.5. It would not be unforeseeable for Sprint to deliver a software upgrade in the near future that allows migration from 6.1 to 6.5.
calebsquires:Due to the court decision regarding iPCS and the sale of its iDEN network in the Midwest markets by January 2010; is Sprint really going to find a buyer and sell off the iDEn network, or will Sprint finally acquire iPCS?
Bob:In June 2009, Sprint Nextel publicly announced its process to find a buyer and divest the assets affiliated with the iDEN network/ Nextel National Network in the impacted geographic markets. The process, including any subsequent transaction, is expected to be fully completed ahead of the court-ordered end date of January 25, 2010. Parts of Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska and a small portion of Indiana, Missouri and Wisconsin are impacted. For our customers in these areas, it remains business-as-usual with regard to service in their area. Sprint is seeking a buyer and plans to divest its iDEN assets primarily located in parts of Midwestern states. Sprint will work with any future operator to ensure a seamless transition for our customers and their businesses. We do not expect any disruption of service during or following any transaction.
skip:I haven't seen improved cust svc or first call resolution. I never get the same answer twice and what the rep's promised in presales is not delievered and I all i get is an apology and told the rep mis-spoke. very annoying and not very credible
Bob:My team has taken tremendous pride in the improvement in the last two years. I am disappointed that you have not found that to be the case. I want to be sure we do what is necessary to make you a satisfied customer. We will reach out to you via private message here in the community.
Sarah:Thanks to everyone for the great questions! Bob will continue to answer a couple more but we'll be closing the chat at 3:00. A transcript of the chat will be posted shortly.
Bob:We are going to pull one more question right now.
Person:Do Sprint Premier customers always receive help from domestic call centers? How does Premier service differ from standard service, if at all?
Bob:As a matter of fact, most of our Premier customer calls are answered in North Carolina by agents who have been specially trained to meet the needs of our Premier customers.
Bob:Thanks for your time and participation today. We continue to make real progress and we’re gaining quickly on our competitors in customer care performance. In addition to 7 consecutive quarters of customer satisfaction and first call resolution improvements, we’re answering customers’ calls faster, usually within 30 seconds or less. Also, the number of calls we receive per subscriber is significantly lower, an indication that we are eliminating the reasons customers to call us with service issues in the first place. Have a great day. Bob
Question:the quality of cust svc still leaves a lot to desire. Many many times I get different answers to the same questions, and sold a phone and package thats not what the svc rep promised. I know you cant comment on individual package but this is very annoying and NEVER occured when I was Nextel. this leads to credibilty and I just don not see it with sprint - either on the phone or at a store.
Bob:I can't comment on your specific situation, but would invite you to contact us again if you're not completely satisfied. And while I hope we can work out any issues to your satisfaction, you're always welcome to take advantage of our 30-day risk-free guarantee.
Question:What are you doing to improve service in the stores? The store reps don't seem to know very much about the phones and I often get different answers from different people.
Bob:Through our innovative "Ready Now" program, sales reps in the stores are trained to thoroughly explain service and device features so that customers leave feeling confident and comfortable about their purchases. We also have expanded in-store service and repair to reduce the need to send phones out for repair and to reduce wait times. In-store kiosks let customers quickly check network coverage where they live, work and play. And we launched a sales worksheet to ensure that customers know what they purchased at the time the sign up for service. Laptop Magazine recently mystery-shopped our retail stores and we received an A- in service, tying us for first place.
Question:I've noticed that JDPower has now placed you above At&t however they still seem to be adding more customers than all of the US wireless companies. What are you doing, from a customer-facing perspectice, to deploy customer solutions, and customer innovations over other wireless companies. It appears innovation trumps company ratings (according to stats from JDPower).
Bob:We are working in all channels to improve communications between customers and our shore/Care reps to ensure customers are clear and comfortable with their transactions, service and products. For example, in Business Care, we have expanded our dedicated support services to include all business customers with at least 25 wireless devices. For consumers, soon after a new customer activates service a Sprint Care rep will call to welcome the customer to sprint, thank them for their business and ensure that the customer fully understands the products and services they purchased. Other examples include our industry-leading customer loyalty program -- Sprint Premier -- and Sprint Plan Optimizer, an online tool that allows customers to analyze their own wireless usage trends to determine if their current plan is the best "fit" for them.
Question:i have heard you say that all these CS efforts will take time before they prove out in customer satifaction, have we reached that time yet?
Question:Hi Bob. I've read about the progress being made at Sprint in Customer Service. How or when do you think perception of you customers will catch up to your improvements?
Bob: I'm optimistic that we will continue to see encouraging signs of change. For example, for 2Q 2009, Sprint had the most prepaid net adds of any carrier in the past three years. We also reported the fewest postpaid deacts since the merger with Nextel and we had the largest sequential decline in both postpaid and prepaid churn of the large carriers.
Question:Do you feel the process to become a developer for Sprint should be simplified to encourage participation??
Bob:Sprint has created a simple and easy program for developers. Sprint’s Application Developer Program is an open forum designed to give the developer community the tools they need to create innovative applications for Sprint devices. Developers simply register at http://developer.sprint.com. In addition, Sprint holds a yearly conference designed to educate developers on all the different platforms they can use to create applications including Android, WebOS, Java and more. This year’s conference is in Santa Clara, Calif. on Oct. 26 – 28. Developers can still register to attend at http://developer.sprint.com/devcon2009.
Question:20 months of improved cusstomer sat and FCR is a terrific record. What are some of the things that you track to measure customer sat?
Bob: Thanks. The team and I are proud of our record of seven consecutive quarters of improvement. Among the customer satisfaction indicators that we track are customers' satisfaction with our representatives -- both in stores and in our call centers, as well as their perceptions about our IVR systems, hold times, online and self-service capabilities. One of the most important factors in customer satisfaction is whether or not we are able to resolve their issue on the first contact.
Question:Where do you see the biggest problems to customer services? Is this at customer contract renewal, or at another stage of lifecyle?
Bob: The trend toward use of smart phones and their associated applications is contributing significantly to greater complexity in the customer service function. Smart phone users tend to call Care more frequently and resolving issues involving data-centric applications often requires specialized training and advanced technical expertise on the part of our representatives.
Question:How is Sprint able to offer the prices much lesser than at&t and verizon?
Bob: I can't comment on specific pricing strategies, other than to say we're committed to offering a great price/value proposition for our customers.
Question:I have recently called into Care with a billing issue. In the past - I would wait an excruciating amount of time and the rep would be difficult to work with. Mind you I am patient and not one to call in very often at all. I called a couple months ago and a couple months before that and the last few experiences have been extremely pleasant. The new commercials click with me. Your phone line-up is stronger than ever. I have 1 line (used to be 2) and am contemplating the MIFI and bringing back my other line to the Android device. HOWEVER - I have reservations due to Sprint continuing struggles, take-over talk, financial issues, non-expanding network, and Wimax (not being mainstream in a few years compared to LTE). Obviously there are many facets you are not at liberty to discuss. Can you expand and put some of at ease with some of the concerns?
Bob: I understand your concerns. But the facts are, during the last 18 months Sprint has had three areas of focus: Improving Customer Experience, Strengthening the Brand, and Enhancing Profitability. We are making major progress on all three with significant progress on improving our financial stability. In spite of a very difficult economic environment, during the last three quarters Sprint has stabilized cash flow, reduced debt, increased liquidity and improved operating performance.
Question:Are there any new handsets that we can see around Christmas?
Bob: I won't scoop our marketeers, but stay tuned.
Question:What is Sprint's take on allowing VOIP calling services over 3/4G? AT&T recently enabled this.
Bob: Sprint is a strong proponent of “open.” That means that we support the open Internet model in which the carrier does not stand between a customer and what he or she accesses and downloads. We reserve the right to intervene to protect the network from harm, but, so far, we have not had to block or prohibit an application, such as VoIP. We want our customers to be able to get access to what they want and enjoy a true Web experience on their mobile device. For Sprint, it’s not about blocking competing apps. We want customers to make the choice.
Question:Your chat today may focus on customer care hopefully you can still cover the customer experience as whole. I am a Sprint customer and not to recently have I looked at prices of your phones. My question is why is company owned stores and Sprint.com nearly always higher then a big box retailer? I noticed in a Best buy ad they were nearly giving your blackberry curve away but since us usually go to the company owned store I went there for the same product yet was told I have to pay $149.99 for the same product? I understand customer service is better at the Sprint store but its not worth paying $150 just for 15 minutes of good service. Can you please explain why the difference in prices and why?
Bob: Third-party retailers such as Best Buy set their own prices for Sprint phones and, as such, it's not unusual to find disparity between prices on their shelves and in Sprint's stores.
Monica:Hey this is Miss Sprint Cup, Monica Palumbo joining you for a live chat! You may have seen me in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Victory Lane, and now is your chance to get the inside scoop about what is going on in the garage, on the track and under the hood. Thanks for hanging out with me today!
Will:ProTip: If you logged in with a 'space' in your username, please reconnect and use a username without a space. (yes, another bug...)
SarahKS:What do you do as Miss Sprint Cup?
Monica:It is an all weekend event! I mainly spend most of my time out at The Sprint Experience in the Midway hanging out with race fans, interviewing drivers and showing off Sprint's latest products. As Miss Sprint Cup I also help out at pre-race, wishing the drivers good luck and congratulating the winning driver in Victory Lane. Not a bad job, right?
wirelesswonder:Have you been a NASCAR fan for a long time?
Monica:I am a born and bread Charlottean, which is the heart of NASCAR. I have always been a fan, but didn't become die hard until the last 3 years.
Leigh_Ann:What is your favorite track?
Monica:I have two...and they are extremely different. I love both Bristol and Infineon Raceway.
G-142878828:Hey Monica a Twitter fan of yours here =) Thanks for taking the time to answer questions. Just wondering what the most rewarding part of being Miss Sprint Cup is, and what is your favorite part about being Miss Sprint Cup?
Monica:My favorite part about being Miss Sprint Cup is traveling to all these race tracks! I would never be able to go to all these cities if I didn't have this job. Meeting so many new people every weekend and seeing familiar faces makes the experience even better!
Monica:Thanks for following us on Twitter! Every weekend is rewarding, really. It is a total dream job. I have to say that last week's visit to Walter Reed Medical Center in DC was by far the best experience I have ever done with this job. Very humbling.
wirelesswonder:Who is your pick to win the Sprint cup this year?
Monica:It looks like a coin toss between Mark Martin and Jimmie Johnson. However, Tony Stewart is gaining ground. It would be cool to see Mark Martin take home his first Sprint Cup Championship!
wengla02:How do you get chosen as Miss Sprint Cup?
Monica:It was a series of interviews. I think people believe there is some sort of contest or pageant, but it was more like any normal job interview...so no firesuit competition!
mapmonkey:Do you have a favorite driver?
Monica:I don't have just one! I like to pull for a handful...some of my favorites are Allmendinger, Truex Jr, Stewart, Vickers, and Martin.
bobd:Have you ever driven a race car and what kind of car do you drive when at home?
Monica:I have never driven a race car...I would LOVE to though! Maybe one day I can do the Richard Petty Driving Experience. My everyday car is an old SUV with 151,000 plus miles on it! Time for a new ride.
Brad:Are you in any movies coming up?
Monica:No movies coming up....just staying busy with NASCAR! At track I am behind the camera a lot, which keeps me on my toes, taking videos for the fans that we post to our Facebook site (www.facebook.com/misssprintcup) and on nascar.com
JayfromAtlanta:Just wondering how much fun Anne Marie is to have as a Co-Miss Sprint Cup and if both of you are at each race?
Monica:Anne Marie is a ton of fun! We absolutely love working together at the track (which is about 5-10 races). It is always nice to have a teammate there to help with all the activities we have going on and it makes it more fun!
T-Furg:How many races will you have been to once the season is over?
Monica:I will average about 23-24 races out of 36.
T-FURG:Are the drivers pretty nice to be around or do some live up to their bad boy reputations
Monica:They are all super nice guys. I think they are super competitive on the track but once they step out of the car they all seem to get along.
IMCAmodRacer719:Having done some racing of my own I know how hot those driving suits are, out on the track you are focused on other things, but when you climb out you sure notice how hot they are, it must be miserable having to wander the pits all day in those things, lol.
Monica:Yes, they are hot! Especially down in Daytona in July. However, your body adjusts to it and now they have come in handy since Fall is here. Kansas was freezing this past weekend!
Lizard02:What is the most memorable experience you've had as Miss Sprint Cup and what are you most looking forward to?
Monica:The experiences I have had are endless, from traveling, getting to know the drivers, meeting new people, going to all the tracks, having a famliy away from home, and of course meeting Tom Cruise this year. I am looking forward to California this weekend. I used to live there and can't wait to see familiar faces!
sal:Hi Monica is it possible to get an autographed picture of you?
Monica:I’d be happy to send you an autographed hero card. Just send a self-addressed, stamped 8 x 12 envelope to:
Monica:10115 Kincey Avenue, Suite 210
Monica:Attn: Miss Sprint Cup
Monica:Huntersville, NC 28078
sal:How does all that champagne sprayed on you feel.
Monica:Other than making my hair shiny, it causes my eyes to sting. Sometimes I can't see for a minute after. That is why you always see the drivers wiping their face.
T-Furg:Since you are a native to NASCAR country, whats your opinion on fans from around the rest of the country? Are thay as die hard as the ones from the southeast?
Monica:They sure are! One thing about race fans is that they are some of the most loyal people around. I meet people every weekend who have driven miles and miles and miles to get there. It shows a lot about the sport! Let's go racin' boys!
Sarah:Thanks to everyone for attending today's chat. We got a lot of great questions, but unfortunately we've run out of time.
Sarah:Thank you Monica!
Sarah:We'll have the transcript posted shortly.
Leigh_Ann:Can anyone become Miss Sprint cup?
Monica:If you’d like to be considered for a Miss Sprint Cup position, please send your resume/headshot to:
Monica:Attn: Miss Sprint Cup
Monica:I became Miss Sprint Cup after a year of working in the sport. I did mobile marketing for Bobby Labonte and then heard that this program was interviewing people.
Monica:Huntersville, NC 28078
Monica:10115 Kincey Avenue, Suite 210
Monica:Oops - that didn't post right. Sorry! If you'd like to be considered for a Miss Sprint Cup position, please send your resume/headshot to: Sprint (Attn: Miss Sprint Cup), 10115 Kincey Avenue, Suite 210, Huntersville, NC 28078.
Monica:I just want to say THANK YOU for taking time out to chat with me today! If you want to keep in touch check out our pages: www.facebook.com/misssprintcup and www.twitter.com/misssprintcup Hope to talk with you all again soon! M
Get the inside scoop on what’s going on at the track, in customer care, with devices and in the environment
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – October 5, 2009 – Sprint.com - one of the 200 most visited Web sites according to online benchmarking data(1) – is going to soon have even more visitors. This month, Sprint (NYSE: S) kicks off a series of live Web chats with company executives and special guests in an effort to continue its commitment to engage online visitors.
The series begins on October 6 at 12 noon CT with Miss Sprint Cup, Monica Palumbo, an official ambassador of Sprint to NASCAR fans. The schedule for the October live Web chats are:
• Miss Sprint Cup, Monica Palumbo, “Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup”, October 6, 12 noon CT • Bob Johnson, Sprint chief service officer, “Customer Care Improvements and Direction”, October 13, 2:30 CT • Jay Glazer, Fox Sports NFL Insider, “Let’s Talk NFL”, October 20, 12 noon CT • David Owens, Sprint vice president, consumer marketing, “Exciting portfolio of new devices”, October 21, 12 noon CT • Ralph Reid, Sprint vice president, corporate social responsibility, “What Sprint is doing to be more environmentally responsible”, October 28, 12 noon CT
From making appearances at every NASCAR race to celebrating in Victory Lane, Miss Sprint Cup has a growing legion of fans. She’s signed more than 20,000 autographs in 2009 and has more than 80,000 followers on various social media sites. Some of the questions Miss Sprint Cup will answer for participants during the Web chat include: questions about her job, the sport of NASCAR and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ drivers. Chat participants have the opportunity to submit questions in advance by going to: http://community.sprint.com/.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of the Sprint Web Chat Series and am honored to be the first to participate,” said Palumbo. “As an ambassador for Sprint and the sport, I am lucky to meet race fans all over the country. Talking with the fans is one of my favorite parts of the job, so being a part of this chat series will give me another opportunity to interact with the loyal and passionate NASCAR fans, as well as those Sprint customers who are curious about what we do.”
“With some of the recent changes we have made to sprint.com we have seen a great response to the openness of the online community,” said Mike Cooley, Sprint’s vice president of sprint.com. “Many of our executives are excited to interact directly with customers about topics the community wants to hear. This is a great way for customers to share their views directly and for Sprint to share the tremendous progress we’ve made, all in an open forum.”
In September, Sprint announced various enhancements to sprint.com across community, support, shopping and self service taking place in phases throughout 2009 and 2010. Sprint moved its online social networking community of more than 50,000 registered members, www.buzzaboutwireless.com, directly onto the company’s corporate Web site. The site has more than 25,000 customer-generated Ratings & Reviews across 126 devices integrated into the core Sprint shopping experience which can be found at www.sprint.com/phones.
To access a live Web chat, go to http://community.sprint.com/ on the day of the event. A complete transcript of each Web chat will be available on the community site following the event. Sprint will announce additional upcoming chats at a later date.
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 almost 49 million customers at the end of the second quarter of 2009; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The company’s customer-focused strategy has led to improved first call resolution and customer care satisfaction scores. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.
1 Based on competitive benchmarking intelligence by Compete, an online benchmarking vendor (May 2009)
Let's make Monica feel welcome by submitting some questions prior to the chat event on October 6th at 12pm CST.
Put your question in comment to this post and we'll add them to the list. Will and I will review the questions prior to sending to our guest, so please don't ask personal quesions or anything inappropriate.
After nearly a year, we're bringing back the live (moderated) chat events! We have a new solution that should be able to handle all your questions. If you remember, last time we did this the response was so great you crashed our computers!
We'll be kicking off our chat series with a bang next week, and continuing on with some great guests - both from Sprint and some special surprise guests!
To participate in the chat, just visit the Chat with Sprint page and click the start link. This will open up a new window with our chat system in it. Enter your handle and you're good! No registration, no login, no email needed, just a browser and some time. You can ask questions anytime, but they won't show up until we clear them and our guest gets a chance to answer them. We always have more questions than we have time to answer, so we'll post additional answers to questions with the transcript.
Steve Elfman will respond to questions about the growth potential of wireless data and the value of delivering customers a Web 2.0 experience on their mobile devices today. He also will share insights from his keynote at the 8th annual Application Developer Conference, which is being held on Dec. 10-12.
Tristan : Thank you all for attending this Live Chat event. Thank you Steve for taking time to answer questions from Buzz About Wireless members about the Sprint Application Developer Program. The chat is now open so please submit your questions.
Steve Elfman : Hi – this is Steve Elfman. As the president of network operations and wholesale, I am responsible for product development and technology, our networks, our wholesale business and Sprint.com I’m delighted to be joining you for this chat. I am, and Sprint is too, a huge proponent of “open.” That means we want our customers to be able to get to anything they want and enjoy a true Web experience on their mobile device. We know that Sprint doesn’t have all the answers to what our customers want. That’s the developer community’s area of expertise – and we want them to be profitable and succeed! A year ago I was a member of the developer community, trying to develop apps that Sprint customers would enjoy. I understand first-hand the pros and cons of working with carriers to develop apps. I am eager to see what you’re thinking. So, let’s get started!
Mr.CSU2011 asked: What are your plans for a handset based application store on the Instinct, or other phones?
Steve Elfman : We don't have immediate plans , we are evaluating several options now. However, being more Open and providing tools for discovery (Search for instance) we expect developers will be able to get access to our consumer base.
John asked: Will / does the ADP program include development tools for WiMax devices?
Steve Elfman : We have announced and launched a dual mode aircard giving access on your laptop to th web. We have not announced any specific WIMAX devices - stay tuned.
ceiring asked: How does this new 'openness' help developers get access to the 'cool' APIs?
Steve Elfman : We will have enhanced "cool" API's that will provide capabilities such as : Customer status, location, preferences, specific Sprint customer insight. You will begin to see this in '09 on the Sprint Titan platform.
KillerBeagle asked: I understand you have some platforms going forward that have some degree of openness. However, what about very current Java platforms such as the Instinct whose useful APIs are almost all locked?
Steve Elfman : For Instinct Launch we needed to move quickly for competitive reasons. However thru PDP we do provide access to all API's on the handset. The Platform enablers that we announced yesterday Ulocate and Wavemarket don't require PDP to participate. more info can be found on http://developer.sprint.com
Hector asked: You currently carry 51 different handsets, each with a unique software stack and value proposition. Are you suggesting you have a plan for developers to write apps that work on all 51 phones or just a grouping of phones that have some common API?
Steve Elfman : We have heard that - and btw, I was on the other side and had to have games developed for many - so we are working on reducing the variability.
Will asked: Are there plans to put a more discoverable version of the Digital Lounge on the handsets, instead of the Text-Only WAP version?
Steve Elfman : We have been looking at options, but think that investing more in being open makes most sense - so we will provide more choice for storefront apps.
Bill asked: I've read some people having difficulty getting accepted into the ADP and Premiere developer program; what's being done to streamline the application process?
Steve Elfman : So > 95% of the applicants have been accepted. If you have ideas for streamlining we are all ears.
d0lph1nK1ng asked: Would you please open up the Instinct APIs so that it does not cost $3,000 in order to write an application that uses something like the GPS?
Steve Elfman : GPS rules are govened by privacy - the enablers program is another approach for you to have access to LBS - on the instinct
Wayne asked: Sprint's been very open about allowing third party software to run on the handsets. Are you working to leverage any relationships, like with http://instinct-software.com/ ?
Steve Elfman : Great example of a 3rd party storefront - this is Open - try doing this on an iphone
Paul asked: Steve, For those looking to develop applications for the recently announce Sprint Titan commercial platform, do you expect Sprint will create a showcase or otherwise help promote such applications?
Steve Elfman : Yes - we are planning on a storefront for Sprint Titan content.
SamsungFan asked: What's the process to get an application in the Digital Lounge? How long would it take? Do I have to pay that $5,000 I've heard about?
Steve Elfman : Well it won't cost you $5000 and you can get on the Digital lounge - but the issue is there are lots and lots that are in the Queue - so not as fast as an Open environement.
kbrooking asked: Does Sprint plan to offer additional MVM type devices in the future?
Steve Elfman : Majority of Power Vision and Iden devices support MVM. We will continue as we launch new devices.
kbrooking asked: Are there any plans to offer an SDK in the future for the Airave devices?
Steve Elfman : We are currently evaluating this as we bring Femtocells to market.
ProtoDev asked: PC's and now Handsets (well, the iPhone and Symbian) have always had a huge shareware / garage developer community, with lots of the 'killer apps' coming from non-professional developers. Is this new openness going to help the small developer to gain access to support, documentation and resources?
Steve Elfman : Indeed - Sprint Titan platform - developers can leverage existing code that will be available opensource. A developer can borrow and share code to build apps. We will also be developing a sandbox for developers for free - yay
Mike asked: How does the new Titan program help Instinct developers - anything similar for the Instinct?
Steve Elfman : Not currently - stay tuned
asked: Great news on “Sprint 3G Data Service Speeds Top AT&T and Verizon in Download Performance Test” by Gizmodo. Are there any plans on making the location based services available through data/air cards?
Steve Elfman : We were really excited about this. YEs we are working on a set of LBS API's
philtom asked: How about Android vs MIDP devices? Does Sprint have any plans to pursue one over the other? Or is it just too soon to make decisions regarding direction? As a developer, I wonder where to put my resources.
Steve Elfman : We have plans to pursue Android, but it is not an or condition but rather and And
Levi4u asked: With all the money spent on advertising the Instinct, Why are you skipping over developing APPs and now putting your resources into titan? We kept our phones with the understanding sprint was going to support it.
Steve Elfman : Instinct is our leading data centric device that has driven data adoption. With latest software release - Instinct supports running most java apps.
David asked: Are there any plans on organizing a open developer conference by Sprint?
Steve Elfman : good question - stay tuned
David asked: Are there are plans on making MS-Assisted location fixes from Sprint Windows Mobile devices?
Steve Elfman : Under development
Jimmy asked: Is there a better way to upload apps other than Rumkin? Are you going to put an app uploader on your site, so we can run our own games, etc?
Steve Elfman : There is a free uploader supporting both CDMA and IDEN available on the ADP website.
Hector asked: I finally read your press release while waiting...looks like your are supporting Windows Mobile devices first with your 'open' announcement...why WM? that's already the most 'open' platform you sell, out of the box.
Steve Elfman : Sprint Titan enables features not supported on Windows Mobile out of the box, we will be deployuing on other platforms going fwd.
philtom asked: My understanding of PDP pricing is basically $2500 per certified application (with the intial $5k including two apps). How are future releases of that application handled? What charges apply for the certification of each version?
Steve Elfman : Its $5k/yr + $1k per app. Take a look at developer.sprint.com for the details.
Rick asked: What are some of the open initiatives on iDEN side?
Steve Elfman : We r looking at enabling downloads from any website and also enabling Push to talk in the Java App.
ProtoDev asked: Since you're focusing on the open (build your own store) side of things, will Sprint be putting any of their marketing muscle into helping third party stores or applications get visibility?
Steve Elfman : This is a good question - we are contemplating this right now. No answer today
Ron asked: Are there any plans in managing a free/open storefront by sprint? Meaning, any developer can submit an app to the storefront that customers can download at no cost?
Steve Elfman : I think we have answered this. There are other 3rd party sites to allow free content to customers - not something we have immediate plans to offer.
T-Mobile Customer asked: We've got the Android G1 phone. Dan said it's not ready for prime time. When will Sprint have an Android handset?
Steve Elfman : We are not announcing our specific roadmap and timing.
Hector asked: Will you have more intelligent devices coming out that support Java SE (superset of ME, sophisticated development, less memory limitations, etc). After all, your goal is to tap desktop developers.
Steve Elfman : Sprint Titan offers a development environment that mirrors the desktop. Web development and java script are your friends. go to developer website for more details
Web2.0 asked: Sprint has lots of data and info stored in their website (MySprint) that I'd like to use. Are there any plans to open up API's into MySprint so I can build mashups with address book, call data, text messages, etc?
Steve Elfman : good question - currently Privacy laws make this difficult to make available.
Tristan : Thank you all for attending and asking a bunch of great questions. As usual we didn’t get to all of them. We’ll work with Steve to get responses to those and post them to the forums in the next couple of days. Thanks again and happy holidays.
Join Tony Jackson to discuss the recent Sprint announcement that it would be reinforcing its existing roaming policies as well as modifying the terms and conditions for connection card, data access and phone-as-modem plans in an effort to deliver the best possible customer experience to our mobile broadband subscribers while continuing to manage our costs for the benefit of our customers and shareholders.
Tristan : Welcome everyone. Today we have Tony Jackson, Director of Customer Experience at Sprint, to discuss roaming and roaming and data usage policies. The chat is now open so enter any questions you have for Tony. We'll get started with some of the pre-submitted questions and answer the live ones as they come in. Typically, we receive more questions than we can answer in the live forum. If we don't get to all of your questions today we'll gather up all of those we missed and provide a response in the Announcements section of the Forums in a few days. Thank you for joining us Tony.
Tony Jackson : Welcome! I look forward to chatting with you, our valued customers, over the next hour... tj
Anonymous asked: how does Sprint plan to differentiate the product from it's competition? AT&T has announced network upgrades (yawn) and free wi-fi across it's hotspot network for its broadband subscribers (yay!). Even the regional carriers such as Cricket want a slice of the data market by offering a mobile broadband product in select markets that undercuts the incumbents in price for local coverage. What is Sprint to do to be worthy of my business?
Tony Jackson : We do feel we have some great advantages today over our competitors... Sprint has the largest mobile broadband network – leading competitors in the number of square miles, cities and airports covered. Compared to ATT, Sprint covers three times as many cities and almost twice as many people... Sprint is the only carrier to offer GPS service on its Mobile Broadband cards and USB modems... Sprint also offers a unique portfolio of mobile broadband security features... Sprint is a Mobile Broadband leader and was first to market with Rev A service and devices and the first carrier to deploy a wireless data network. tj
Anonymous asked: I've been reading up on all the postings regarding the new cap in place but have not found any reference to how this will affect my current data card plan (unlimited data in US/Canada/Mexico, currently playing $109.99). When reviewing my online account pages under "Usage Summary", I see that my data usage in Canada is listed by the website as "Vision Data Roaming" versus "Vision Data" when the card is used in the US. If the new terms considers my usage in Canada as "non-roaming" then I should be fine within the 5GB cap. However if my NORTH AMERICA plan when used in Canada is considered "roaming" off-network, then you can imagine how quickly 300MB can be used up with even my casual business usage. Bottom line: am I exempt from this new data usage policy because by definition, I am subscribed to a “North America” plan? When I subscribed, I was told that no roaming charges or data caps would apply, when data usage was in Canada or Mexico.
Tony Jackson : The 300MB roaming usage limitation does apply to the North America Plus Connection Plan, which includes Canada and Mexico in the bucket of usage included. In addition, all off-network “domestic” roaming situations to include travel to destinations like Puerto Rico would be considered part of the 300MB roaming usage limitation. tj
Tristan : I can answer a few of the general questions. 1. There is no audio portion to the chat. the chat is only online. 2. Tony is writing an answer to one of the questions as we speak so we are still here.
JohnS asked: Many of us use wireless as the only reasonable option to obtain high speed 3G internet. But we would like the option to pay more per month to download more. I hope your board can consider allowing us to stay with Sprint selling some of us more than 10 to 20 Gig a month. To me 5 Gig for $60 is way too expensive. 5 Gig should be about $38-40 per month!
Tony Jackson : We are considering new connection plans for mobile broadband cards, USB modems and embedded modems that will include overage charges.
EVDOinfo asked: Is sprint actively notifying ALL customers who exceed 5gb per billing month, and if so, what exactly is being told to these customers?
Tony Jackson : As you know, today the phone-as-modem option cannot be added to the Simply Everything plan. We are always evaluating our policies but currently do not have any plans to change this policy.
Tony Jackson : Clarification... prior answer was specific to SE and phone as modem. Answer to the 5Gb question shortly...
Tristan : For clarification SEP is Simply Everything Plan and PAM is Phone as Modem.
Tony Jackson : Re: Is sprint actively notifying ALL customers who exceed 5gb per billing month, and if so, what exactly is being told to these customers? Yes, are / will be reaching out to notify and educate affected customers about the 5GB T&C... note these customers number
Tony Jackson : Note that I've received several phone as modem questions. Given the complexity of some of these questions, current internal discussions and my / our desire to address more fully than what can be accomplished at this time, we will post more info to this site in the coming days as follow up.
Tony Jackson : Re: Is sprint actively notifying ALL customers who exceed 5gb per billing month, and if so, what exactly is being told to these customers? Yes, are / will be reaching out to notify and educate affected customers about the 5GB T&C... note these customers number
Bill asked: Will Mr jackson address first off what the "new changes are" I have only heard speculation & rumoors so far. What ate the FACTS?
Tony Jackson : Sorry... In some ways, the roaming limits aren't new. Our phone plans have for some time specified that the company could terminate service of customers who used either more than 800 minutes, or a majority of their minutes or a majority of their data usage in a given month while roaming off of Sprint's network. The restrictions exist because excessive roaming creates significant operating costs. For the same reason, we have introduced new connection card and phone as modem plans, which include similar restrictions -- 300 MB while roaming or 5GB overall. To ensure that all customers have a good overall experience, we may, from time to time, terminate customers who exceed these limitations on a regular (2 of 3 consecutive months) basis.
Sprint NEXTEL_loyal asked: How far over the 5gb do you have to be to get contacted? Do business plans have no cap? How is the usage metered? Download? Or entire time connected to the tower?
Tony Jackson : Consistently exceeding the 5GB limit will trigger us to review and take appropriate action by contacting the customer and working to resolve the issue. Existing business contracts that are signed prior to 7/13/08 will remain under existing terms and conditions for each contract. We are not currently metering usage with a rate, but do understand usage and display that usage for customers on Sprint.com. Usage is determined based on the kilobytes used by the customer once connected
Tristan : There have been a few questions about how quickly we are answering questions. Tony and his team are discussing the answers to each of the questions to ensure they are providing accurate information. We'll work to get through all of the questions but if we don't we'll post responses to those we miss in the discussion forums.
redhatnick asked: No one seems to know what happens once you exceed the 5GB limit? Is it a per/GB fee? I've heard things from Sprint will not take any action unless it's in excess of three consecutive months, and the like, but I don't see this written down anywhere. I feel vulnerable because I don't see it written down anywhere in marketing materials or on the Sprint site so I feel that should I keep my mobile broadband card, I could become victim of some new policy I didn't know or thats recently invented. I'm disappointed I had to find out about the 5GB/cap from a leak in the mobile community, then buzz, and then finally in my bill.
Tony Jackson : The new 5GB cap became effective mid July this year. Customers exceeding this threshold for 2 of 3 consecutive months will be contacted to inform / educate. New overage pricing structures -- e.g., $ / MB -- will be coming soon.
asked: What 5gb T & C? Mine say unlimited
Tony Jackson : A new 5GB cap for connection cards and phone as modem was communicated in mid July -- superceding prior plan wording and terms / conditions... Now consistent with our competitors.
redhatnick asked: Just to clarify as well, there is no such thing as being grandfathered in where the unlimited would still apply after the June notification?
Tony Jackson : That is correct... no grandfathering
Tony Jackson : Regarding sizing of impacted customers that was cut off in a prior response... We are focused on improving our customers' experience and on building customer loyalty. The fact is, however, that the small segment of customers -- well less than 1 percent -- who exceed our roaming and total data limits on a regular basis place a strain on our network resources and our customers' braoder experience.
paul aaa asked: I currently live in a "dead zone" or "hole" as Sprint Technicians have called it. On order to use my phone in my home I must "ROAM". When I leave the house I put it Back into Sprint Only. My concern is surrounding the recent change to my phone that allowed Sprint Only/Automatic/ or Roam Only. I recently updated my Touch & Mogul to WM 6.1 and the Roam Only feature has been removed. Sprint has now made my phones unuseable in my Home. The phone now keeps cycling back and forth between Sprint/No Signa/ & Roaming and can't get a consistent lock on either Sprint or Roam. Why would Sprint Allow such a crippling change to be made to an existing phone that allowed one to select Roam only, I have that all new Sprint phones will also only have Sprint or Automatic and the Roam only option will no longer be available.
Tony Jackson : We understand that this situation is causing inconvenience in your home. This change was made to address those subscribers not as disciplined as yourself - those that would leave their phones in Roam Only at all times. When a customer roams on another provider's network, Sprint pays the provider for that usage. As you can probably guess, this can get very expensive for those customers choosing to use another provider's network at all times. You can try setting your devices to Sprint Only. We have been told by a number of customers that their phones hold onto the Sprint network better in this setting.
asked: Can you please explain the old rules an the new rules. I am confused. This session is useless right now
Tony Jackson : The company is modifying the terms and conditions on connection plans for mobile broadband cards, USB modems and embedded modems, as well as phone-as-modem plans to limit off-network roaming to 300MB per month and on-network total data usage to 5 GB per month.
Tony Jackson : Thank you all for participating in this Buzz Chat today! I realize that we may not have been able to get to all of your questions in the hour that we’ve had, but as Tristan mentioned, we’ll try to answer as many of those that have been submitted and re-post them in a few days. Before we wrap up, I would like to stress that while some of our customers may not have been entirely happy with some of the changes to these policies, I want you to know that this was not a decision we took lightly and we spent a considerable amount of time considering both customers’ interest and our responsibilities to our overall business operations. However, please know that we have been listening to your concerns and questions and are always evaluating our policies. As I said earlier, we are considering some new connection plans that will include overages and hopefully enhance your overall customer experience. I appreciate your time today and we appreciate your business!
Tristan : Thank you everyone for participating. Thank you Tony for your time and answers. We received many more questions than we were able to answer in the chat. In the next week we’ll work to get answers to those questions posted to the Announcements Board in the Discussion Forums. Check this thread when you have time. http://community.sprint.com/baw/community/sprintblogs/buzz-by-sprint/announcements/blog/2008/08/22/baw-live-on-sprints-roaming-and-data-usage-policy
Learn how your business can establish a business continuity plan and how Sprint’s services can help you bring your operations back to “business as usual” in the face of a crisis.
Tristan : I'd like to thank our ERT Communication Experts for joining Buzz today to discuss business continuity planning. The chat is now open so please submit your questions.
ERTExpert : We know people in areas often hit by disasters, such as hurricanes, take time to think about personal preparedness: an evacuation plan for their family, food and water, medical considerations, communications, critical contacts and back up plans. But what about small and mid size business? Is your business prepared? • Oxford Executive research – Reports a loss of shareholder value averaging 15% after one year for “non-responders” in a crisis. At the same time they report a gain of 10% for “responders.” • Touch Ross Research reports only a 10% survival rate for companies incurring a major disruption who do not have a business continuity plan. They also report that 1 in 5 companies will incur such a disruption. • Gartner reports less than 25% of global 2000 enterprises have a business continuity plan, only 50% of those have been tested.
Jimbo asked: When there is a major emergency and communication is critical, is it Sprints priority to keep the Nextel (IDEN) towers operational more so over the Sprint (CDMA) towers and if so, how is that determined? For instance if there is a reasonable amount of coverage on IDEN and CDMA in the area of the emergency, do you try to maintain both networks, or just try to focus on one or the other, regardless of wether or not the towers are co-located? Any information on this is greatly appreciated. Thankyou!
ERTExpert : We equally and aggressively work to maintain service on both networks and we have the personnel, infrastructure and back-up systems in place to ensure this. Our performance has been proven even recently during floods in the Midwest, when both of our networks continued to operate at "business as usual" levels.
asked: What percentage of cell sites have backup power and for how long (days) is that backup power available?
ERTExpert : All of our cell sites have some form of power backup in place. One of the primary reasons for the loss of wireless service in a hurricane or major disaster is the loss of commercial power to the cell site. We continue to take steps to reduce the effect of power loss on our wireless networks. For example, in 2007, we invested $59 million for hurricane preparations in storm-prone coastal communities. This investment included the installation of permanent generators for critical wireless sites and network facilities as well as investment in additional portable generators and Cell Sites on Wheels (COWs) – mobile cell sites that can be deployed in impacted areas to restore service quickly. This equipment provides backup to the networks in the event of power outages or other damage that could result after a disaster or crisis event. In 2007, we installed permanent generators at more than 1,000 additional sites in hurricane-prone communities in Florida and at more than 1,300 sites throughout the Southeast and Gulf Coast, including Florida. We also added more than 450 new sites throughout the state of Florida to our Sprint and Nextel networks in 2007.
LES asked: How is Sprint Nextels ERT team any more prepared than the other companies like Verizon and AT&T for hurricanes and other disasters? Do you do soemthing differnetly? Thanks for your response.
ERTExpert : Sprint Nextel has a unique emergency response team with *dedicated* personnel (not volunteers), equipment, and infrastructure assets able to respond 24/7, 365 days per year to disaster, crisis events and/or large national pre-planned events. These assets include Satellite-based Cells on Light Trucks (aka SATCOLTs), which can be deployed to remote and urban areas to provide mobile cell site infrastructure, or to reconstitute the network in the affected area. This is not just microwave or T1 capabilities, these vehicles provide those in addition to satellite backhaul capabilities when terrestrial T1 and microwave are not feasible. In other words, these vehicles allow us to connect back to our network and provide service to our customers in 3 different ways: Satellite, T1, Microwave.
ga8trgrl asked: Power outages were a big problem after the Florida hurricanes. What can you tell me about how they will impact my Sprint phone. I rely on it for personal and business use.
ERTExpert : We have personal hurricane preparedness tips in our Hurricane Information press kit at www.sprint.com/hurricaneinfo. We encourage our customers to keep their wireless phones and several backup batteries fully charged in the event of a hurricane or possible loss of power. In times of commercial power outages, a car charger for your phone should enable you to recharge the battery. We also recommend you keep your phone and accessories in a sealed plastic bag to avoid water damage, and load your family's and other important numbers in your phone (also write them down). An interruption of commercial power can impact wireless calls, but we have invested significant resources in backing up our network, and we always pre-stage backup generators when a hurricane is anticipated (i.e. in Florida) to help mitigate any impact from power outages.
Racer X asked: Do you pre-position people and equipment in advance of an event like a hurricane?
ERTExpert : Yes. Doing so is what makes us so successful in keeping our networks up and running. When we know a hurricane is going to hit, we take every effort to pre-stage the appropriate resources so we can activate our recovery efforts to assess and recover assets (for example, cell sites, switches, retail stores, etc.) Another important role that we play is to provide critical infrastructure to emergency responders (i.e police, fire depts, national guard). We consider ourselves the experts and the industry leader.
ga8trgrl asked: I've heard news reports where they suggest sending text messages in the aftermath of a storm rather than make a cell phone call. Why is that? Are text messages more reliable?
ERTExpert : Yes, text messages are a great option in the aftermath of a storm or during mass calling events because they use less bandwidth than a voice call, and they are a good way to connect with someone during times of network congestion. Text messages will also "buffer", which means they will be stored in the system until the recipient is able to receive the message (for example if the recipient's phone is off or out of battery). The network will continue to try to re-send the messages for several days until they go through.
Bobby in NC asked: Can you describe the coverage area provided by each COW and SatColt? I watched the videos. Very Nice! Just curious about what type of square mile coverage comes from these vehicles.
ERTExpert : Thanks! These vehicles provide up to 3-5 miles of coverage depending on the surrounding terrain and buildings.
SMS9Z asked: Do you use and offer special handsets and devices to communicate during emergencies and events or ones that consumers/businesses have available via Sprint? Which ones do you use?
ERTExpert : We're big fans of Motorola iDEN (Nextel) devices with Direct Talk (which is an off-network walkie-talkie solution that can be used in an out-of-coverage area), as well as PowerSource handsets which provide dual redundancy on both the CDMA (Sprint) and iDEN (Nextel) networks. The Emergency Response Team offers a product unique to Sprint called an "ERT Go Kit". These Go Kits allow our customers to have emergency handsets and/or EV-DO wireless cards pre-activated and kitted in a ruggedized StormCase(tm). The great thing about these Go Kits is you have the devices on hand and ready that can be instantly activated in times of crisis or during an event when you need to augment your communications. You don't pay the monthly service costs until you need it. These Go Kits are available to our business and public sector customers.
asked: Where the problem is primarily flooding that takes out land lines that are servicing cell cites, how are these cell sites replaced temporarily? With COWs on the perimeter of the affected area?
ERTExpert : There are several options. We have the ability to bring the cell site back up with a flyaway satellite kit, or we use a COW or a Satellite Cell on Light Truck (SATCOLT). One of the things that sets Sprint apart from other wireless carriers is that we have the ability to backhaul via satellite using SATCOLTs and flyaway kits to bring sites back up.
Tristan : Thank you all for attending. We've run out of time. There were a few questions that we were not able to answer. The ERT team is going to write up those responses and post them to the announcements section in the discussion forums.
Sprint's Vice President of Business Marketing, Tim Donahue, will be on hand to discuss Nextel Direct Connect, the industry’s leading push-to-talk service, and the expansion of Sprint’s portfolio of Nextel Direct Connect capable phones.
Tristan : Thank you all for coming to another Buzz About Wireless Live Chat. Today we have Tim Donahue, Sprint’s Vice-President of Business Marketing. Tim is here to discuss Nextel Direct connect. The chat is now open. Welcome Tim!
Croft asked: With the new qChat how do you all plan to compete with Verizon's new BREWchat, and AT&T's Kodiak network?
Tim Donahue : Sprint has some distinct advantages with its PTT portfolio regardless of whether a customer is using iDEN or CDMA. These things would be sub-one second set up which is two to five seconds faster than any of our competitors; access to the largest network of PTT users (approximately 18M) and the largest selection of PTT-capable handsets, especially those that are ultra-rugged. Sprint also offers advanced applications such as land mobile radio interoperability, Direct Talk (six miles line of sight if towers are down), etc.
Ironhelix asked: What plans does Sprint have for PTT-enabled PDA and smartphone devices? Right now the PTT PDA segment is sadly neglected, with only the old Nextel blackberries (7520 and 7100i)
Tim Donahue : We appreciate this question – lots of our customers have been asking for the same thing. Sprint plans to launch a full QWERTY, iDEN BlackBerry with Wi-Fi data capabilities in the fourth quarter of 2008. This handset will resemble the form factor of the Curve. Another participant had asked if our existing CDMA Curve would be upgradeable to PTT. The answer is no.
WhenItsWireless asked: Tim, is there a national deployment schedule for HPPTT published anywhere? eg. Can I find out when/if it's coming to Portland, Ore?
Tim Donahue : Just verified (via PTT) with my launch team that Qchat launched in Portland, Oregon on June 15. We have not published a national rollout schedule but do have plans to begin selling the Qchat phones in 10-15 additional markets later this year. Keep in mind that the Qchat PTT service is available anywhere Sprint has EV-DO Rev. A coverage. Detailed coverage maps are available at www.sprint.com/coverage.
Bobby in NC asked: Hi Tim. Thanks for taking the time to speak to us. Is the new QChat NDC interoperable with existing Readylink PTT?
Tim Donahue : No it is not but the QChat PTT service is interoperable with iDEN PTT.
Chirp asked: Hi Tim. Can you discuss SN's plans for the iDEN network?
Tim Donahue : Despite what you may have heard or read Sprint continues to invest in the iDEN (Nextel) Network and plans to launch approximately 10 new iDEN devices over the next 12 month, this includes the iDEN BlackBerry mentioned previously. The iDEN network is now operating at best ever levels for blocks and drops. This is based on our investments and quality initiatives.
Will asked: Will Direct Talk be available on CDMA phones? How's that possible?
Tim Donahue : Great question! As with any portfolio of devices different PTT phones will do different things for our customers. For example, all of our iDEN phones will do Direct Talk and support land mobile radio interoperability while our CDMA phones will have the same great PTT services and have more robust data capabilities. The best device all depends on what an individual customer needs. This is exactly why we are leveraging both the CDMA and iDEN networks and launching new handsets for both platforms.
Will asked: OK, you'll have a iDEN BB - what about QChat Treos or WinMobile?
Tim Donahue : At this time these are not on the roadmap for 2008 but we appreciate the suggestion and are keeping this kind of feedback in mind when making decisions for the future.
Tim Donahue : We’ve got lots of pricing questions so we’re going to try and summarize both. One: NDC is included in our Simply Everything plans. Two: starting June 15 you can mix and match our CDMA and IDEN plans if you are a family or small business. Three: Business Essentials (for small to large companies) includes mobile-to-mobile, unlimited PTT and Group Connect in the rate. Previously you had to choose between unlimited PTT and mobile-to-mobile (one or the other) and Group Connect was a per-use charge instead of being unlimited. Finally, there was a question about the additional $10 to add NDC to your plan. We’ve actually increased the value. We reduced the add-a-phone cost by $10 and included unlimited mobile to mobile.
Robert asked: With the qchat phones available now, any word on how they are performing? Any customer complaints that you know of?
Tim Donahue : Early feedback is that the user experience is consistent with our iDEN phones for call set-up times and interoperability.
Steve asked: Hi Tim. I'm with a former Nextel dealer and excited about the new Qchat devices, but haven't seen any advertising yet. Any plans to promote them?
Tim Donahue : We will promote the portfolio of Nextel Direct Connect (NDC) devices including Qchat and iDEN. As I referenced before different devices meet different needs. It’s not about one device or one platform but rather the portfolio as a whole.
Chirp asked: So, a launched Qchat market means that Qchat coverage is comparable to iDEN coverage? An unlaunched market means that I can use a Qchat phone there, provided there is Rev A coverage, but the Rev A coverage may not yet be comparable to what I'm used to with iDEN?
Tim Donahue : We are selling Qchat phones in markets where we strong EV-DO Rev. A coverage but the Qchat phones will work for PTT anywhere we have EV-DO Rev. A coverage. They will also work for voice and data anywhere we have coverage period. Details coverage maps are available at www.sprint.com/coverage.
quasijedi asked: Ok...Tim, I'm not exactly understanding your point about "increased value". If I purchase a PTT capable phone, outside of the Simply Everything plans, it appears that in order to use DC, I'll have to pay an added $10/month when historically, Nextel offered nationwide PTT free. So, where's the incentive to use PTT then for newer customers?
Tim Donahue : The increased value comes from the fact that mobile to mobile is included. Previously you had to choose between mobile to mobile or unlimited PTT. You didn’t get both. If this is an add-a-phone plan then you save because the add-a-phone cost is down by $10 (previously $20). Lastly, there is certainly value in PTT. We absolutely want customers to realize there is value and the net increase in cost relative to the other value blocks is marginal. Appreciate the perspective.
Robert asked: I have read online that alot of analysts are saying that running cdma and iden is costing sprint alot of money and that sprint is losing money. Can you say how long you will keep iden going and if you will try to encourage iden users to switch to qchat?
Tim Donahue : We are not proactively moving customers from iDEN to Qchat. We continue to invest in both networks and launch devices on both platforms because we recognize the benefits both platforms bring to customers depending on their individual needs.
Tim Donahue : Thanks for joining us today. We appreciate your questions and suggestions. Based on what you’ve heard today around network performance and new, compelling devices we wish you happy chirping. For questions that did not get answered during today’s session please check back as we will be posting answers to those later next week. Best regards, Tim
Tristan : Thank you all for attending once again. Tim, thank you for joining us and answering questions from our Buzz About Wireless members. We did manage to get more questions than we could get through during the event so I’ll pull those together and Tim’s team will write up a response. Check the announcement for the chat in the Forums’ Announcement section for the reply. Our next chat event with probably be with Sprint's Emergency Response Team. I'll post more details as the event gets closer.
Join Jerry Adriano, VP of Customer Experience, as he fields questions from Sprint customers and BAW members about Sprint’s efforts to make improving the customer experience priority #1. And, get a sneak preview at other soon to be launched policies and programs.
Tristan : Welcome everyone. I'd like to thank Jerry for coming back to talk with Buzz Memebers. We're ready to start.
Jerry Adriano : Good afternoon! I look forward to answering your questions today.
Anonymous asked: Overseas Support. I'm trying to be brief, I am considering cancelling my service due to the reps overseas (Phillipines). I am tired of rude reps with accents that are too thick to understand. Please bring Call Centers back to North America.
Jerry Adriano : We are implementing changes across all our call centers, both offshore and in the US that will improve the quality of the interaction with our representatives.
quasijedi asked: Hi there Jerry. It's nice to see Sprint execs of all levels taking the time out of their day to spend with some of their customers here online at BUZZ. It is a welcomed breath of fresh air, IMHO. Now, much has been talked about improving the customer's experience with SprintNextel, from the initial point of sale, to the use of data services, to placing calls (or using Direct Connect), all the way to the interaction with customer service representatives. It seems like over the initial 2 years or so post-merger, management simply ignored the problems, while Dan Hesse (and Paul Saleh before him) seemed to take a different view on the customer experience: both wanted the customer to have as great of a positive experience as was humanly possible. And that brings me to the question that I would like to pose: Does SprintNextel envision a point in time of creating and adopting some form of Customer Bill of Rights, like some companies in the airline industry have done? It seems like it would be yet another powerful, and fast way to let the public know that SprintNextel is the leader in the wireless telecom/data industry, and that it takes such a positio n seriously. What are your thougths about such a proposition? Pros/Cons?
Jerry Adriano : We have developed a set of customer commitments that we are rolling out to all of our employees that will serve as the framework for how we interact and treat our customers. At some point down the road, we will roll these out directly to our customers.
Tristan : Good afternoon WinterZ and Julie in KC. thank you for attending.
buzzian asked: Mr. Adriano, I've spent over a week now trying to remove my credit card from online billing. I've spoken to different low level customer service agents who told me it can't be removed. I've spoken to two different executive customer service agents. Both told me it would be removed, but it still shows when I go to the pay now option online as a credit card on file. Is it my imagination the it should be this difficult to remove a credit card on file. By the way, I made a one time payment over the phone never knowing that it would even show up online. I'm not happy about this at all. Do you have any ideas. Your help would be appreciated.
Jerry Adriano : I apologize for the problem with having this issue resolved. Please email me your contact information to email@example.com and I will have someone contact you to resolve
Steven asked: Mr. Adriano, thanks for taking time out of what could only be a busy schedule to take input and give feedback on the Customer Experience. I do have a concern though. A few weeks back it was reported on several tech blogs about a loophole in which the account manager login on Sprint.com could be compromised with, and this is the scary part, incredible ease. It also states that the individual who discovered the flaw contacted Sprint about it and his concern was brushed to the side. What is Sprint doing NOW to ensure that this or any other security risks are dealt with the importance they deserve. Thank you.
Jerry Adriano : Whenever customers contact us with issues like the reported issue with the logon to sprint.com, we immediately validate whether we need to take action. We are working with our outside verification partner to continue to enhance the level of security.
geardiary.com asked: Will the QChat feature be implemented globally across all future Sprint phones?
Jerry Adriano : Direct connect is a critical differentiator for Sprint and now that it is available on CDMA we will begin expanding its availability across the handset lineup.
Rick asked: When will all Sprint customers be on a single billing platform? It seems to me that many of the customer service problems stem from poor handling of billing problems...
Jerry Adriano : We are in the final stages of the billing platform conversion and the conversion of our customers to a single platform will be completed in the next 60 days.
Dan asked: How difficult do you think it will be to change customer perceptions about Sprint? Specifically, there are countless tails of customers experiencing varous billing issues that are not resolved in the first contact with customer care.
Jerry Adriano : We need to prove to customers that we have improved the experience before their perceptions will change. In the latter half of last year, we dramatically decreased the hold times for Care and began improving on other key metrics like first call resolution. Generally speaking, we expect a 3-6 month lag in perception from the time the actual operational performance improves.
kboogie asked: Thanks so much for taking the time to do this, I think its great! My experience in the launch of the Sprint blackberry curve 8330 has been tough. What is Sprint doing about providing consistent information to the csr's so customers are not hearing different launch dates? So far we've heard 4/16, 4/17, 4/20/ , 4/27, 5/1, & 6/1. How will Sprint improve the consistency of information? Also, is there a firm date when the Sprint Blackberry Curve will be launched? If so, what is it? Thanks again?
Jerry Adriano : We have a launch readiness process that was implemented at the beginning of the year and as part of that process, we are not launching products or services until we are fully operationally ready to deliver a great customer experience. As a result, we will occassionally have products and services that are not launched on the originally planned date, like the Curve.
Craig T asked: Jerry. Kudos on finally allowing self provisioning of devices, i.e. ESN swaps. This provides the convenience of swapping between a work smartphone and a weekend flip-phone something the GSM technology naturally provides. :-D Question on CALL FORWARDING charges -- is Sprint ever going to offer this feature as solely tied to voice plan minutes like the other major carriers. The $.20 per minute forwarding charge is unfair, especially when you want the convenience of an office handset while at work.
Jerry Adriano : Thanks Craig. We don't have any firm plans to change the call forwarding rates, but we are evaluating at this time.
quasijedi asked: Jerry, times for CS calls appear to be dramatically reduced compared to this time last year. What do you attribute such improvements to? What do you think would make the greatest impact at this point on improving the CS experience for customers? Thank you for your time.
Jerry Adriano : We have reduced call answer times through a staffing ramp that we completed last year and by eliminating customer calls by directly attacking customer pain points that were driving calls.
WinterZ asked: What do have to look forward to in the future of sprint/nextel/boost?
Jerry Adriano : You will see continued focus on improving the customer experience across all touchpoints. One example is that beginning in the next week, we will start providing confirmations for transactions that customer complete with our representatives.
Wayne Schulz asked: Will Sprint SERO ever expand to a regular offering -- it's starting to be unevenly applied - some CSRs want email referrals - others don't care -- the only thing that is certain is everyone (including me) thinks that it's the best plan out there.
Jerry Adriano : SERO is a referral program, so all reps should be requiring the referral. We don't have any plans to change it from a referral program.
Craig T asked: One other question... How soon can we get our hands on AIRAVE. I'm ready to drop my home office line the second this product gets released in my area (Northern NJ).
Jerry Adriano : We plan to launch AIRAVE in the second half of the year. I don't have a firm launch date to share right now.
Suavechef asked: Thank you for your time. Are we ever going to have one simplified phone number to call customer care?
Jerry Adriano : *2 will connect you to Care, *3 to payments and *4 for minutes used and your balance. Of course, we also encourage customers to use the self service tools available at sprint.com, including chat, which we rolled out earlier this year.
Julie in KC asked: As VP of Customer Experience at Sprint, can you point to some accomplishments that you are most proud of in the past year?
Jerry Adriano : A sampling of improvements to the customer experience in the past year have been stabilizing service levels in customer Care, rolling out enhanced self service tools like online ESN swaps and echat, eliminating the need for a contract extension when changing your plan and rolling out a "red carpet" service philosophy in our retail stores.
Will asked: What's your response to the new Push-to-* services offered by the competition? Will Sprint be stepping up the message?
Jerry Adriano : Sprint is the leader in direct connect/ push to talk services and we will continue to maintain our leadership position with the launch of direct connect on CDMA. We have recently introduced 3 new commercials that feature direct connect and are pretty funny, while highlighting the instantaneous, sub-second capabilities
Dan asked: Concerning the 'Jessica' online chat controversy a few weeks ago it was illustrative in the sense NOT that there was a single bad apple who didn't take pride in their job. The thing I found most interesting is that Sprint contracts with a third party to handle these online help sessions, and that the third party company has no access to customer data and really could not offer more help than just reading the various FAQs on the Sprint web site. Not empowering a CSR (even a third party) to take ownership of a problem, and give them the power to fix a customers problem, is only compounding the customer frustration issue. For those unaware, the 'Jessica' instant message issue was when a third party support representive was asked if they could port a household line, and the answer given was, "Are you nucking futz?"
Jerry Adriano : Unfortunately, "Jessica" did not provide the level of service that we expect from any of our representatives and the appropriate corrective action was taken. Our representatives have access to the customer systems needed to complete transactions for our customers.
sprinter asked: Will the launch readiness process potentially delay the launch of the Instinct?
Jerry Adriano : At this time, we are not aware of any issues that would delay the Instinct launch, but the Instinct will be put through the same rigorous launch readiness process.
qtrinch asked: Can you give a status update or time line of when MMS/Picture mail should be available on PDA/Blackberry devices?
Jerry Adriano : I will check on this and provide a follow up answer.
asked: Jerry, what would you suggest Sprint employees and vendors could do to help improve customer experience outside of their daily job responsibilities?
Jerry Adriano : All employees and partners need to understand that the customer experience is the sum of all customer interactions a customer has with Sprint. We need to take the customer commitments that we are rolling out to employees and have them be the guide for our behavior and decisions
LK asked: how do you expect Simply Everything pricing to affect customer experience?
Jerry Adriano : In addition to providing all the messaging, data and voice that you want, the simply everything plan should allow customers to have a consistent bill each month since they don't need to worry about overage or casual charges.
Richard C asked: Will Sprint add better controls on who can call or text lines on my account, including online tools to add numbers to an allow or block list? Today, Sprint offers up to 50 block list for texts. In some cases, it is easier to control who can call or text your phone than who cannot call/text your phone. Of course, all Sprint related text messages or calls should be able to text/call the customer's phone indifferent to the allow/block list.
Jerry Adriano : We have outlined a series of improved account control capabilities that we plan to start developing later this year. I don't have any firm launch date yet.
Jerry Adriano : Thank you for the great questions and for being Sprint customers. I was unable to answer all the questions, but we will try to follow up with a post of answers to those that we didn't get covered. We look forward to continuing to improve the customer experience for you.
Tristan : Thank you all for joining. Thank you Jerry for attending. I look forward to the next event.
Tristan : We had a few questions that did not get answered. Jerry and his team will look those over and provide a follow up response in the Announcements section of the BAW Discussion Forums.
Sprint's acting Chief Marketing Officer John Garcia will be on hand to answer questions about Sprint's announcements made at CTIA, including the new Samsung Instinct handset and Nextel Direct Connect.
Tristan : Thank you all for joining our second live chat with acting Chief Marketing Officer John Garcia. Today we'll be discussing recent announcements from CTIA including the Samsung Instinct and Nextel Direct Connect. Welcome John.
JGarcia : Hi. It’s John. I enjoyed our live on-line chat two weeks ago, and received such a positive response, that I thought I would come back again and answer any questions you might have coming out of last week’s CTIA soiree . It was a great week in Las Vegas – albeit it very busy – for Sprint. I hope you’ve seen some of the coverage on the upcoming availability of Samsung Instinct – exclusively from Sprint. WOW! What a great reception we’ve had! To date we already have more than 40,000 pre-registrations for the Instinct (at nowisgood.com). The Instinct also won three big awards: CTIA’s “Best in Show” award; “Most Innovative Product at CTIA Wireless 2008” by LAPTOP; and CNET recognized Instinct as the “Best Cell Phone” in their annual Cream of the Crop CTIA 2008 awards. We also had several other big announcements: upcoming availability of the BlackBerry 8330 Curve and two new Nextel Direct Connect® devices, the Sanyo Pro-200 and the Sanyo Pro-700. These new Nextel Direct Connect devices will expand the reach of the industry-leading Nextel Direct Connect push-to-talk (PTT) service and will incorporate the speed of Sprint Mobile Broadband and Sprint’s largest voice calling area. And Sprint’s CEO, Dan Hesse, was a day one key note speaker. So all-in-all, a very, very good week for Sprint.
Quasijedi asked: John, there have been major discussions over how SprintNextel markets its products and services. One of the biggest complaints I've had since the merger is that it appears that none of the products are being marketed in a way that zeros in on the target population. For example, Nextel's Direct Connect had the neon highlighted vehicles as animals which most closely would appeal to kids under the age of 10, yet historically Nextel has always targeted (and done so successfully) the business market (25-45 yrs). Even the newest one featuring the firefighters using Nextel's Direct Connect seems to miss the mark: after all, why would people in the same room use PTT to talk to one another??? Granted, the new black and white firefighter commercial is a tremendous improvement over the neon laden version of the past, but does SprintNextel plan on showcasing how their products can serve the general public in real-world situations? It seems like Verizon and AT&T do EXACTLY that while SprintNextel instead promotes comedy or advertises to kids.
John Garcia : Our new Nextel Direct Connect ads are intended to demonstrate the advantage of instantaneous, sub-second connections for work groups that rely heavily on efficiency. We recognize that critical work teams, like firefighters, steelworkers, construction workers, and other first responders view the push-to-talk service as an industrial tool. The ads hopefully use humor to increase appeal and memorability.
Erica asked: I have noticed that ALL the other carriers have animated text (text that displays movement). I first thought that it was the phones that I had at the time. But it's an issue that Sprint has with the network. Is this something that Sprint is working on and if so when will this be avaiable. This is really a GREAT feature. Thanks in Advance.
John Garcia : Thanks for the input. We don't currently have this in our plans, but we'll look into it.
Steve asked: PictureMail is not available on PDA-style devices - I have a PPC-6700 with WM 6.0. And this device, when I purchased it said it was PictureMail compatible; but while using it I have learned otherwise. And I am wondering if/when Sprint is going to allow the higher end PDA devices to partake in the PictureMail features (since we are pay ing fo r it; although we can't use it). It would seem like a logical thing do to, since the Instinct is coming out soon; just allow PictureMail on the PDA-style devices. If a business doesn't want their employees to have access to this feature then they can request it be removed. But please, don't penalize all of us PDA users, for a few people's wants/needs.
John Garcia : We're working with Microsoft to build a PictureMail application that will work on their Windows product to give you a similar experience as our other products. As some of you may be aware, currently, you can actually do this on a Windows product, but you have to do it through e-mail or Bluetooth. We realize this is cumbersome. We're working to enhance this for you soon.
Steve asked: And I have to say that I really like the new advertising that Sprint has. Its getting better! Keep up the great work on that. And the new phones which are coming out are awesome too. And customer service has greatly improved too (this e-mail service, online ecare chat, buzzaboutwireless forums, and the overall *2 customer service representatives have improved their quality of service!).
John Garcia : Thanks, Dad!
Rama. asked: Are there any special plans or service bundles designed for the Instinct that will provide additional value. Is the Instinct start of the next generation devices coming on the network?
John Garcia : Our Simply Everything-type plans were designed with phones like the Instinct and PDA devices in mind. Because we recognize the $99 rate plan isn't right for everyone, we're offering rate plans for as low as $69 with the same data offering but fewer anytime domestic voice minutes. We've improved the usability, discoverability and easy input that we hope you'll notice on the Instinct. These will be key compenents of our next set of handsets.
Jason asked: At CTIA it was announced that the Pro series phones will be released in April. Can you give us a release date or is that not available yet? Rumor had said the release was pushed back.
John Garcia : Our plans are still on track. Keep your eyes on our Web site VERY soon for more details.
Steve asked: As far as I understand, all Sprint phones from here on out will have the Direct Connect (qChat) feature embedded into them. So does this mean that all plans will also have the Nextel Direct Connect feature included (as mobile-to-mobile is now)? What about people who upgrade to a new Nextel Direct Connect phone, and have an old grandfathered retentions plan (as myself). I really want to upgrade to one of the new Nextel Direct Connect phones, but I do not want to loose the plan I have. So would there be a way in which I could get the Direct Connect feature added to my current plan, so I don't have to change the plan I am on.
John Garcia : Not all devices will have the Nextel Direct Connect (NDC) feature. We'll have about 7 new ones this year with that feature. I encourage you to talk with a store or service representative to see if your plan is the best fit for you now. We have some really great options that may suit your needs better. We'll look forward to talking to you soon!
Will asked: Over in the forums, there's a lot of discussion on MMS/ Picturemail for the Blackberry phones. Will Picturemail be available for the Blackberry line this summer too?
John Garcia : Yep.
Jared asked: I appreciate you taking the time to speak with us Mr. Garcia. As a Sprint customer and stock holder the success of this company means a lot to me. Can you possibly elaborate on the end goal for CDMA direct connect (ie: is the plan to eventually convert all iDEN users over?) and how does Sprint plan on re-introducing Push To Talk back into the mainstream? Likewise, will we see an increased marketing campagin (much like what will happen with the Instinct) for these services - given the strength Sprint has in the PTT arena. Will we see a larger marketing push in general for Sprint and their products & services? Thanks for your time and effort!
John Garcia : We continue to support the iDEN network, and it's performing at best-ever quality levels. We know it's an essential tool for workgroups and believe our new Qchat products will offer additional capabilities that larger groups will find interesting. The ad campaign that you'll begin seeing, similar to the firefighter ad, is intended to remind our customers and potential customers of the value of instantaneous PTT. There is no plan to force migrate customers, but we will make sure they're aware of all of our capabilities so that they'll make the best choice to meet their needs. Thank you for your continued support.
Quasijedi asked: During your previous stint on BUZZ, John, you mentioned that SprintNextel had no desire to be first, but to be the best. That's commendable, but I think it assumes that the two must be mutually exclusive, and we know that they don't have to be. I recall that Nextel had an internal mantra of "Be First. Be Better. Be Different." To a certain extent, I think that the new Simply Everything plan truly embodies that line of thinking. Promoting SprintNextel as the Now Network also appears to embody that same mantra. Are we to assume that SprintNextel is utilizing such a mantra for everything it now undertakes? And, if so, would it be safe to say that Sprint is now Nextelizing itself?
John Garcia : We do believe we can be first, best and different, and at times many companies are tempted to be first while sacrificing the rest. That's not our intent. We don't sell phones, we sell a phone experience. This means we must address all customer touchpoints from selling to providing information on how to use the service, availability of upgrades and getting our customers on the best rate plans. We hope that you'll see more evidence of this approach as we go forward.
wireleguru asked: The Instinct is being positioned as the iPhone replacement as are many other phones. The iPhone however has a strong platform play behind it with the launch of the iPhone SDK. Are there plans to offer alternate platforms for widget development on the Instinct
John Garcia : While we recognize the iPhone does have the advantage of a standard op system, it's limited to Apple. The Instinct is a Java-based device that allows for an open platform, but the operating system isn't as open as we hope it to be inthe future. We're working with Google and other developers on Linux-based operating systems that we hope will provide an even higher level of partnering with integrators.
Bobby in NC asked: Hi John. The Instinct made a big splash last week at CTIA. Now we see the Nokia Tube in the works as another "iPhone killer." Is there an announced date for the Instinct to be available? Will Sprint aggressively market the Instinct? How do the Instinct and Tube compare?
John Garcia : Instinct will be available by the end of June and you can pre-register for it on www.nowisgood.com. I'm not familiar with the Tube capabilities, but the ingredient advantages of the Instinct compared to some phones will be the speed we can deliver on our fast, 3G network.
Will asked: The Airave was announced last year, but I still don't see it available - I and several other folks would like to get this so we can shut off our landlines and go exclusively Sprint. What is the timeline?
John Garcia : We're still trying to determine the final elements of the offer. It would be interesting to get input from this group to see what you think the price should be. (Free is not an answer.)
Abdul PW asked: Will (or does) Sprint offer Family plan versions of the Simply Everything plan? Are additional lines under the master account discounted from the $99.99 amount?
John Garcia : There are discounts available now that are, perhaps, more suited to businesses. We appreciate your input on this as we continue to refine our offers.
Thomas asked: Now that Verizon is actively marketing a Push-to-Talk services does Sprint have any plans of opening Direct Connect across carriers?
John Garcia : We have already opened our networks to local mobile radio services (LMR), primarily for public safety users. We do not plan to open our PTT networks to any other carriers.
Dan asked: The instinct I believe has a lot of potential going up against the iphone. The iphone i see as a formidable competitor for years to come because it's essentially an OS platform on a phone that will forever be updated and improved. Has Sprint designed the instinct to be such a phone that can take frequent updates to improve functionality? For example, can the instinct be updated in the future for full outlook functionality similar in fashion as the iphone was?
John Garcia : Yes. Most of our phones have software upgrades that are pushed to them or available over the air, including the Instinct.
Eastwind asked: In a prior question you mentioned you were working with Google to develop a Linux based OS for Sprint phones. How far along is that process and when, generally, do you think it may be deployed?
John Garcia : I'm not at liberty to discuss this, but we continue to be very active in this area with Google, other developers and handset manufacturers. You can expect us to launch a Linux operating phone only in a way that is customized to take full advantage of Sprint's Now Network. Similar to the earlier questions about PictureMail, we recognize customers want pre-packaged applications on our phones to make them instantly useful. We plan to take this same approach going forward.
Jared asked: Mr. Garcia, can you possibly expand on how Sprint Nextel Corp. is going to regain some of the momentum it has lost over recent quarters? There are many misconceptions floating around about Sprint Nextel as a company. It seems every other day we hear of another buyout rumor from Wall Street speculators or that WiMax is a total failure given the recent delay to summer just to name two. How is Sprint going to communicate to the general population that they are more than simply a wireless company (that's only the tip of the iceberg given Sprint's position as a Tier 1 backbone provider, large holdings in fiber wire, etc.) but a top notch service provider? All too often Sprint's advancements and position as a leader get over shadowed or pushed aside in favor of some of the other wireless providers, this in turn has left many ignorant to some of the great things the company can do for end users. How can we fix that?
John Garcia : Although you won't see Dan Hesse in many more of our commercials, we thought it was important to use him to launch our Simply Everything plans to demonstrate a change in our approach to the marketplace. I agree with your optimism and hope we can show you that Dan's announcement of Simply Everything is just the beginning of Sprint fully leveraging these oportunities. Thank you for your support.
Steve asked: Why has Sprint made is so hard to obtain a Preffered Roaming List (PRL) update. I know that with Verizon and a few other CDMA carriers you are able to dial a code, and obtain the update that way. As far as I know, with Sprint I have to dial *2, and then talk to a customer representative to get my account flagged to be updated - which is somewhat inconvenient, and it also creates a longer queue for other customers who have billing issues, or service questions. It would seem more efficient to just get the PRL updates automated.
John Garcia : We plan to improve the process by making PRLs available through the device. More to come.
JGarcia : I appreciate your time today. Great questions, and your input is valuable to us. Thanks for your interest!
Tristan : Thank you all for attending another successful Buzz About Wireless Live. Thank you John for your time. Remember to continue the conversation in the Forums on Buzz About Wireless.
Sprint's acting Chief Marketing Officer John Garcia will be on hand to discuss Sprint's new Simply Everything plan, Sprint's brand promotion, and answer your questions on these topics.
Tristan : I'd like to welcome everyone to another Buzz About Wireless Live session. Today we have John Garcia, Sprint's acting Chief Marketing Officer. Please submit your questions for John and we'll add some of the pre-submitted questions as well. As John responds, the question-answer pair will appear below. Let's get started.
JGarcia : Hello, everyone. This is John Garcia. Thank you for joining the live chat today. I'm looking forward to it.
Jo asked: I travel on business and my phone is, therefore, a “must have.” Unfortunately, my phone (a Palm) died on a recent trip and when I returned I went to the nearest Sprint store (approximately 20 minutes away – so pretty convenient) to find out what had happened and whether it could be repaired or whether I would have to replace it. I was told at that store that I’d have to go to another store because their tech support had been “taken away.” I had to drive an additional 25 minutes to reach the closest store at which tech support was provided. Questions 1: Why don’t you provide tech support in all of your locations?
John Garcia : Sorry about the inconvenience. We try to put tech support in our busiest stores, but recently have initiated a review to make this available in more stores. We hope to have tech support closer to you in the near future.
Chris asked: Hi John, I understand Sprint is updating its marketing message can you give us a hint as to what the new TV commercials will be like? Thanks
John Garcia : Currently, you will be seeing commercials featuring our Simply Everything rate plan with a new tagline of "Welcome to the Now Network." This is an evolution of our Sprint Speed theme with what we believe is a more understandable explanation of the benefits of being on the Sprint network. Our network is very capable of instantaneous messaging, both on push-to-talk and a variety of data services. We believe the Simply Everything plan removes many of the cost barriers and allows customers to enjoy the full benefits of our capabilities. Soon you will be seeing a new series of our NDC commercials which speak to the benefit of instantaneous connectivity for work groups that rely on efficiency. These work groups are the core users of PTT. Today you will see a television ad featuring our CEO, Dan Hesse, discussing the plan's benefits.
Jessica asked: Regarding the new 'Everything plan' -- Why was this plan so unprepared for. Something like the day it came out, us agents knew about it, and we couldn't even sell it online yet! Now you can't even upgrade to it online! If your going to advertise something, it just makes sense to have all sales departments able to sell it equally.
John Garcia : In an efforrt to ensure flawless execution, we did not make the Simply Everything plan availble to all channels. It's important that customers receive an excellent experience. We apologize for the delay. We want to ensure customers receive a great experience in each channel.
quasijedi asked: There have been a couple of things that people are still looking forward to. First among them is Sprint's upcoming April launch of Q-chat on CDMA. The second has been what SprintNextel is planning to do with Xohm and how soon it will be before a hard launch. However, there have also been rumors going around on various message boards and forums that Verizon is getting ready to launch a new campaign for their own "Push-to-X" service...and some claim that Verizon is actually going to launch Q-chat as well. Additionally, SprintNextel was last, by 2 weeks actually, in launching their own "unlimited" plan. It appears that SprintNextel has the ability to be competitive, but if it continues to be last in offering something comparable to the competition (or if it's first, but the service isn't up to par), then how can SprintNextel hope to change the image that the public has if it, an image that isn't at all very flattering or positive?
John Garcia : The point is this. In the past we would launch things just to be first. It's not important to be first to us. It's important to get it exactly right. As we did with Simply Everything we will do with Qchat. It's a exclusive technology to Sprint. It will provide the same gold-standard connection that our iDEN technology currently provides. We believe it will be one of our major points of differentiation along with the large group of PTT users already in place, allowing you to communicate in less than a second with millions of other users. On Xohm, we've soft-launched in Washington DC, Baltimore and Chicago with employees and we're continuing the build out in those markets as we move toward commercial launch. Infrastructure and preparations are also occuring in a number of other cities.
Olga asked: How much demand are you seeing for your "Simply Everything" plan? And what customer demographics, do you think, is interested in it?
John Garcia : Based on antecdotal information from customers, we believe we have launched a rate plan and service that is very attractive. Check out what they're saying: "Sprint's Simply Everything plan allows me to take advantage of all the latest technology at reduced costs. It's a win-win situation" - Tony Billinger of Titusville, Fla. "I'm already seeing benefits. Being able to send text messages and e-mails without worrying about my usage has made it much easier for me to stay in touch with clients and co-workers" - Eric Ridley of Phoenix, Ariz. Sprint is removing the barriers that limit what our customers can do with their phones. Customers want more than unlimited voice. They want unlimited capabilites without the worry of additional expense. We are wokring to ensure that nothing stands in the way of our customers getting the right customer support, the right phone, the right services and the right plan at the right price - all right now.
Stacey asked: How long is the $99/month plan for. Is it for the duration of a service contract?
John Garcia : Yes - we're offering it for the duration of a contract. Existing customers are free to change to this plan without having to extend their current contract.
jack asked: What is Q chat that I see reference here and in other Sprint Press. Can you please explain?
John Garcia : Qchat is a new push-to-talk technology that has been in development for several years and exclusively available to Sprint. It allows sub-second connectivity for connecting with other users, but the service is provided on our CDMA mobile broadband network. This allows customers a variety of new handsets and, importantly, access to higher data speeds and applications.
Bailey asked: Hello John, thanks for making yourself available. I'm curious to know more about when the general public can expect to try Xohm and what packages / prices will be available.
John Garcia : We appreciate your interest. We are still in trial mode. Please keep an eye on our Web site for more details that will be available as we launch markets and we feel confident our pricing and packages will be very competitve and appealing to you. I wish I could say more, but as you can imagine, this is very confidential information.
Scott asked: With the new plans. Will roaming, unlimited texting, Calls after 7 P.M. be included? I hate paying a extra $5 bucks for the things that I want and having to pay for things that I thought were included.
John Garcia : The Simply Everything plan includes unlimited calling, making your night and weekend start time irrelevant. The four additional new plans, which feature 450/900 anytime minutes do include both mobile-to-mobile calling and 7 p.m. start times. For all plans, domestic roaming is also included, so you'll never see a domestic long distance or domestic roaming charge.
Garrett asked: I saw the YouTube commercial on the front page of this site that goes into the details of all that is possible with our Network from Music to TV, Navigation and web. Is this type of commercial also going to be featured on TV? I think this is a great communication to potential customers about all the things we can do with Sprint's network and is a big improvement from some of the recent TV ads in terms of content.
John Garcia : We are going to continue to focus on more of the "how-to" to get the most out of our applications and services. We're looking at a lot of different ways to do this - think online and other ways. What you are referring to is not, however, one of our television commercials.
Toby asked: John, i was wondering how the Everything plan fits in with the Airave plans and product evolution?
John Garcia : Our Airave product is still under development and its primary purpose is to improve the wireless signal within your home so that your wireless phone can become your only phone. Airave also allows customers to have unlimited calling at home. We think this product is a nice addition to Simply Everything in that it makes your minutes available where you need them most. We've also experimented with Airave minutes not counting against your plan minutes, but with Simply Everything you don't have to worry about your plan minutes at all.
Jo asked: What is being done to improve the in-store experience - to streamline service and sales and exceed customer expectations?
John Garcia : Here are a few things we're doing: -point-of-sale worksheet enables our sales reps to more quickly and accurately walk customers through what they are buying and provide an estimate of monthly expenses -e-Ticket software allows store staff to quickly assess and manage handset issues in the store -in-store kiosks where customers can quickly and easily check network coverage -a designated host to assist customers as they enter the store in a virtual queue that allows customers to browse and shop while waiting for a sales rep -Sprint launched the ability for customers who buy Sprint products through telesales or the web to return them to any company-owned store, making it easier and more convenient for our customers
David asked: I have heard that you will be improving customer service. Do you have any details about how you expect to accomplish this?
John Garcia : Unfortunately, as our services become more complex, they are harder to service. We hope that simpler plans such as Simply Everything and our new data plans that include most of the popular services will aid in this effort. Clearly, customers want us to answer the phone quickly and answer questions or fix their problem on the very first call. In addition to simpler offerings, we're undergoing extensive training along with improved systems to achieve the goal of handling customer issues on the first attempt. Additionally, we have an online chat Care capability that is growing in popularity. I believe there is a link on this site that will get you to there. We've also instituted a "welcome call" process for new and complex orders as kind of a double-check to ensure orders are properly set up. We hope these and other efforts will help us meet your expectations.
steve asked: John just wrote : "We are going to continue to focus on more of the "how-to" to get the most out of our applications and services" So where is picture mail and sprint tv on my mogul? I also want to get the most as well and need Sprint to offer it to us Mogul/Touch users
John Garcia : We love our Mogul users because you give us such great feedback. I hope you've noticed some of the upgrades to the software (including Rev A speeds and GPS capability) we've posted on this site to improve the capability of your handset. We are working more directly with Microsoft and continuing to work with all Microsoft handset developers to make our essential applications, such as Picture Mail and Sprint TV, available to you in the out-of-box experience. Please look for additional upgrades to the Mogul software this summer, when more of this capability will be brought to you. Once again, thank you for your detailed feedback. We benefit from it and enjoy hearing from you.
Tristan : We are working on the questions we have received and trying to answer as quickly as we can. As we can, we are consolidating questions. Thanks you for your patience as we continue.
Tristan : We are working on the questions we have received and trying to answer as quickly as we can. As we can, we are consolidating questions. Thank you for your patience as we continue.
jesse asked: John: Yesterday I received a marketing call from a Sprint Rep. They asked me if I was going to stay a customer. Further, she began to offer 10% off on my bill if I renew my contract for another 2 yrs. She did not mention your new plan at all. Have the marketing people being advised about your new product?
John Garcia : Thanks for your feedback. We believe everyone has been trained on the details of the plan, but based on your question, it sounds like we need to go at it one more time. If you're interested in the plan, click on the "chat with Care" link and let them know!
Jesse asked: Accoringing to the article in the USA Today, Sprint is allegedly "trying to make up with customers", is the simply everything plan your answer to this?
John Garcia : We're very appreciative of all of our customers' business and hope we can meet expectations at every contact. We believe Simply Everything is really about removing the barriers of worry to allow customers to experience the full potential of what wireless service can do for you today. On average, Sprint customers are the heaviest wireless data users in the industry. The customer acceptance of using these applications, matched with improved user interfaces and the speed of Sprint's network have combined to make this service available to customers beyond just the early adopters. For most people on this site, it is likely you have been using these services for some time now, but for others it's a new experience and gaining in popularity. Beyond our SE plan at $99.99, we've introduced two other plans that feature the same attractive, unlimited data package including applications that previously required a premium. These other plans, while limiting the anytime minutes, hopefully make these data and push to talk services more universally available. As a reminder, the data service includes push-to-talk, making these plans attractive to both CDMA and iDEN users.
sharmil asked: The message of openness this website conveys about Sprint works for me and many people I know. I want to be able to trust the brand and company I support and purchase from. Your presence on this forum along with that of others from previous Live events are a testament that senior management at Sprint is making a strong effort to reach out to subcribers and non-subscribers to build that trust. What other such efforts are being made for brand and trust building?
John Garcia : Our brand is our most precious asset and we truly believe that it is a reflection of our reputation in the market. Although we get a lot of positive feedback about our fast network, our popular applications and the efficiency of our push to talk network, we recognize that our reputation is on the line every time we interact with one of our customers. The members of BuzzAboutWireless are likely our most engaged and sophisticated users. We appreciate your feedback and encourage you to continue to use this site as a way of communicating with us. Although I personally do not monitor this site daily, I am given summaries and critical comments which do influence our decision-making. As we continue to lead with both innovation and quality, we will continue to look to leading users to help us move the brand forward. Thank you for your time and energy today!
Tristan : Thank you all for your time. For any questions that we didn’t get to or account specific problems please go to forums.buzzaboutwireless.com and we’ll continue the conversation.
Sprint’s director of corporate strategy, Russ McGuire claims that mobility is having as big of an impact on how we live and work as the Internet did 10-15 years ago and the PC did 20-25 years ago. Agree? Disagree? Tune in and ask your question!
wengla02 : Greetings! We will be starting the chat at 3:00 PM Eastern time. Stay tuned to chat live with Russ McGuire.
wengla02 : If you join prior to the chat starting, you may need to refresh your browser after 3:00 PM to view the start of the chat. Once the chat begins, new questions and answers will automatically refresh on your screen. No registration required - enter your question below!
wengla02 : Greetings, and welcome to Russ! We're 'on the air' a bit early, so feel free to submit your questions.
rmcguire : Hi everyone. It's my pleasure to be with you today for some Live Buzz!
Brandon asked: What is Sprint doing, going forward to make mobility simpler for personal users?
Russ McGuire : Thanks for the question Brandon. Using a cellphone for talking or texting or even e-mailing is already pretty simple, but what we're excited about is helping folks take mobility even further. As I see it, there are three big challenges to capturing the full power of mobility. 1. Billing fears. How many times have you hesitated before trying something on your phone because you were scared how it would show up on your bill? 2. Discovery. There's lots of cool stuff out there for mobile phones, but most of it is hard to find. 3. Usability. A cellphone screen and keypad aren't the most powerful user interfaces. As you probably saw, starting last Friday we took a huge step towards addressing the first point with our Simply Everything pricing plan. We're also wrestling with the other challenges, but they aren't quite as easy to address. Stay tuned.
Bill asked: How will ubiquitous wireless access impact Sprints' strategy to make money in the market? Internet is now a 'utility' and ISP's have had to turn to other models. What will happen when wireless data / voice / etc is a 'utility' function?
Russ McGuire : Thanks for the question Bill. Throughout history, utilities have tended to be pretty profitable businesses. :^) That being said, you raise an excellent point that we in strategy certainly are thinking hard about. The main point I'd make about the Internet as utility is that the telecom industry, to a large extent really messed up when the Internet entered the public consciousness. We had on what I call our "Big Bell Dogma" hats - basically saying "we've always done it this way..." (you can read more about my Big Bell Dogma thoughts in my book or on my blog at www.lawofmobility.com). And because of that we turned our back on the innovation that was happening and lost the opportunity to participate in the value creation. Really for the past decade, Sprint has been working to embrace the mobile ecosystem in a way that telcos never did in the Internet. We see a valuable role for ourselves, but we also see others bringing tremendous value way beyond what we could control or dictate. We need to continue to refine that model as the industry matures, but my hope is that we can retain a role that's more than just a dispassionate dumb pipe. Thanks!
wengla02 : Once a question is submitted, it's entered into a queue for Russ to review and answer. Please, only submit questions once - we are getting them, and Russ will answer as many as time permits. Thank you!
joe asked: clearly, sprint is losing ground quickly to other carriers, what will sprint be doing near term to adress the 1+millions of customers it intends to lose this quarter? Can sprint keep surviving much longer?
Russ McGuire : Thanks for your concern Joe. I don't think it's our "intent" to lose all those customers, but we are facing up to the reality of our current position and setting expectations, especially with the investment community. But the rest of your question is right on. The challenges we face are complex and the speed with which we can stem the tide is further challenged by the realities of the industry. For example, we believe that our network in most parts of the country is pretty much on par with our competitors. However, your perception of our network may be based on your experience a year ago or it may be based on your current experience in a specific geography where our network ISN'T as good as others. Or maybe your perception is based on what a trusted friend told you based on his experience a year ago or in a tough geography for Sprint. Bottom line, it takes a long time for perceptions to change and we have a lot of damage to undo. Some other challenges are a bit harder to fix - they involve not just making monetary investments, but changing the way people (employees) think and act - it's a culural challenge - and that too takes time. I believe we're making many of the right decisions today to turn the ship around, but it's a big ship, and because of that we're setting the appropriate expectations on what we're likely to see over the next couple of quarters. Thanks again.
Matt asked: How is Sprint addressing the LTE/Wimax battle? It appears that LTE will be the dominant technology in the future. NTTDoCoMo, China, and many big carriers are on board with that tech. Is Sprint investing in a smaller technology?
Russ McGuire : Great question Matt. As I think you know, we're making a big bet on WiMax. Stacey Higginbotham had a great post at GigaOm.com today about this 4G rivalry (http://gigaom.com/2008/03/05/a-little-4g-sibling-rivalry/) and she makes some good comparisons between the two technologies. One of the huge realities is the time to market difference. We are launching WiMax NOW, in fact we have networks live today in Chicago, Baltimore, and Washington. LTE is still years away and we don't think our customers should have to wait. Another point she makes is the different standards bodies involved. I think if you look at the players that are lining up behind LTE, you'll see lots of "Big Bell Dogma" players who like the comfort of going with a technology that fits with how they've always done business. I would almost compare it to the battle between ISDN (a telco standard) and DSL (more of an Internet standard). Telcos wanted to charge by the minute for QoS and customers wanted unlimited best effort big broadband. I'm sure that LTE will be wonderful when it gets here, but for now I'm thrilled that we're going with WiMax.
Cory asked: Time and time again, we see Sprint delaying new services, such as HPPTT, the Nextel Direct Connect service, brought to the Sprint side. With Sprint knowingly having internal problems and outward appearing plagues, why do we not see Sprint moving faster, say, at Sprint Speed?
Russ McGuire : Hi Cory. Thanks for your note. As I think you recognize, Sprint is often on the very leading edge with new technologies and we work to bring the benefits of those technologies to market as offers for our customers. Unfortunately, sometimes the deployment of a new technology doesn't go quite as smoothly as the vendor promised. ;^) In the past, our bias has probably been a bit more towards cutting corners to get the product out there anyway. For a while now, though, we've put more emphasis on making sure the product is really ready for customers. In fact, no product can be released unless the head of customer care says it's ready for the market. I agree that sometimes that means that we're missing the expectations we set on timing, but we'd rather do that than miss the expectations we're trying to build for product quality. Thanks.
quasijedi asked: Hey there Russ. What do you see as the biggest challenge that SprintNextel faces with regards to improving their corporate image as well as performance overall?
Russ McGuire : Great question. Specifically as it relates to corporate image, I'd say that our biggest challenge is in presenting a clear value proposition that really resonates with our customers needs and desires. If you've been around here long enough, you know that "Yes you can", "Power Up", and "Sprint Speed" may not quite accomplish those goals. Of course, we also have to deliver on that value proposition, so it's more than just picking cool words, so we have work to do, but since you asked me to pick one, that would be it. Thanks.
Christopher asked: I used to work with Sprint, and I recall a strong suggestion not to 'blog' about work. How do you get away with blogging basically about what Sprint and the other digital mobility companies are doing?
Russ McGuire : A couple of years ago Sprint corporate communications developed an official blogging policy. I waited until that was complete before launching my blog. According to the policy, I need to make sure that it's clear that what I'm saying doesn't reflect the company's positions, strategies, or opinions. I obviously also need to make sure I'm not sharing any non-public information. So, I'm very careful to stay within that policy. I also do all of my blogging outside of my working hours, so there's no conflict with doing my job. On the upside, participating in the blogosphere has enabled me to build relationships and gain perspectives that have been very valuable to Sprint in doing my job, so I hope that Sprint appreciates the benefits of employees participating in blogging. Thanks.
quasijedi asked: We all know that Sprint is negotiating with Clearwire with regards to Xohm (i.e., Sprint's WiMAX network). Are there any plans to negotiate with other companies that will offer WiMAX, such as British Telecom, Orange, O2, etc?
Russ McGuire : The logic behind a deal like we originally announced with Clearwire makes tons of sense - you get more coverage without having to spend as much capital to build network. The devil is always in the details - how much will it cost, how will the two companies work together, etc. I think the logic should apply to carriers in other parts of the world, but obviously we haven't made any announcements about such deals.
n2suntzu asked: Russ, It is great to hear you speak of culture. I wonder what are the specific initiatives Sprint is engaged in to change the culture. What are the specific measures Sprint intends to use to determine progress in this area?
Russ McGuire : Thanks for the question. Culture is obviously a really really hard thing to change. For starters, our new CEO, Dan Hesse, has worked to identify the 10 cultural imperatives that will drive our company forward. He took an internal survey with 10's of thousands of employees responding as part of that, and he's building messaging around those imperatives into every communication with employees. But, as you can guess, employees would often love to change culture faster than all the layers between them and this new CEO, so the hard part is changing how we as a company think, speak, and act in our everyday activities. That will take time and attention.
Quandry asked: Hello Russ. Glad to see some big shots taking time for their customers. I can tell you this - Sprint to me means poor customer service, but a great voice network, and superior data network. Now, to that end - I find myself questioning all of the time, wanting to move to VZW with all of my other converts to a much more "successful" and visibly superior company than to stay with one that cannot get anything right. Can you provide some specifics as to what Sprint is doing today to create change, (mainly internally?)
Russ McGuire : Thanks for sticking with us this long. What I hear you really asking is, what are you doing to make the customer service experience not be so bad? There's so much that goes into that. We have a new SVP of Care, Bob Johnson, who has spent most of the past few years on the front lines working in business and consumer sales, so he hears customers' pain. He is implementing a broad range of changes that range from staffing decisions to the metrics used to measure performance to policy changes to systems improvements. As I've heard Bob say, our care representatives don't wake up wanting to make our customers miserable, we need to implement the changes required so they can delight our customers. In part, this too gets back to cultural changes and policy changes that don't filter through the organization overnight. I'm already hearing stories from customers that are delightful stories, but it will take time for that to be the overwheling majority and even longer for all of us to get past our perceptions based on painful experiences. Please keep hanging with us!
wengla02 : We will be wrapping up the chat in 15 minutes. If you have any questions for Russ, be sure to submit them soon, so he'll have time to answer.
brandon1 asked: Since the new CEO has come on board, there is much rumbling about changes internal and external. Can you address these specifically as it relates to customers? How will I benefit in the end with changes, and what will be addressed this year?
Russ McGuire : Thanks for the question. Optimally, changes should be driven by strategy (did you expect the strategy guy to think otherwise?) - how do we intend to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace. How you answer that question should drive all forms of decisions - how you organize, what policies you change, where you focus product development, what partnerships are critical, who on your management team needs to go, etc. Dan Hesse hasn't waited until the strategy is locked down and board approved to start making some of those decisions. Hopefully the changes will start to become increasingly apparent to you. We are challenging industry conventions around pricing (and look at what that's done to the industry) and what role data plays in that. We're making changes in our care organization that should directly improve your experience. You should expect to see changes in virtually every part of our business which should deliver on a clearly differentated value proposition - but I recognize that much of this will take time to perceive and enjoy. Thanks.
Hunter asked: iPhone, iPhone, iPhone. This is all I hear and see these days, and it's only been out since last June, and only on at&t. Is there anything Sprint can do or willing to do to compete with this device? To many people I know, it's all about the device, and for those loyal to Sprint (far fewer these days) they find it harder and harder to stick it out with Sprint with inferior product lines.
Russ McGuire : Apple did the industry a great service by raising the bar on usability and Internet access. All of us in the industry are very focused on reaching for that new standard. Stay tuned and see how we do.
Quandry asked: Thanks for reply Russ. Daily - it is harder for me to stick it out. A couple bright spots - BAW and Chat with Customer Care work great for me. But when I also get news of buyouts, mergers, Google buyout, etc., it makes me want to jump ship since my 3 lines are no longer in contract. I need to know that Sprint is stable and will be with us as an American company first. Obviously - buyouts, hostile takeovers, etc., happen everyday and hard to predict... Address this please!
Russ McGuire : I don't believe that the challenges that face Sprint would be easier for anyone to solve under different ownership. We have a new team that has a plan (that will take time) to solve the problems. Beyond that, I can't speak to what any other company will choose to do. But I hope you can continue to hang with us.
coreyaj asked: The telcos have collectively taken that first step down the slippery slope of unlimited voice and data plans…. While it is true that the industry is maturing and the natural product life cycle was going to eventually bring us here anyway, do you see a problem with the pricing point of Sprint’s unlimited offer? Do you think Sprint has done a good job thus far communicating the value add to the customer of Sprint’s unlimited plan compared to the competition?
Russ McGuire : Thanks. I hear two questions here - what about the Simply Everything price point - and - has Sprint done a good job communicating what's different from other unlimited plans? On the first question, we did a lot of analysis around pricing options before making any decisions on pricing. There are a ton of variables that come into play - how many customers will buy up to a higher price, how many will buy down, how much will network usage increase, how much will customer satisfaction increase, will calls to care be reduced, will we attract custoemrs from our competitors, etc. I think the offer we have in the market is compelling and differentiated, but I also believe that it will create value for our shareholders. I think it's a good price. Have we yet clearly communicated how our offer is better? I think we've done a pretty good job in what we've done so far, but we're just getting started. We haven't yet reached most of the market with the core messages, but stay tuned!
wengla02 : Thank you all for your great questions - we've reached the end of our scheduled time, so no more questions will be accepted for Russ. However, Russ has agreed to stay a bit later to answer the questions already submitted. This has been a great event, thanks to you, our Buzz readers and contributors!
zeedo asked: Marketing is horrible. Everytime I turn around, there hasn't been a clear message, tv ads are junk, internet ads aren't too bad. When will we see a new marketing message and will it be clear, to the point, and powerful?
Russ McGuire : Zeedo, thanks for the question. I appreciate your input. Our new CEO has been pretty clear in communicating that he basically shares your opinion, so you can be sure that our messaging will be changing soon and we all hope it will be clear, to the point, and powerful. Thanks.
Brandon asked: Mobile data - what strides are going to be taken to command the lead in this arena? To take share away from traditional land line internet data, that is.
Russ McGuire : Thanks for the question Brandon. I think there are a couple of things we're doing that could have a big impact on Internet cord cutting. One is our new Simply Everything pricing. To the extent that the mobile Internet on your handset is what you need, the compelling combination of voice, data, messaging, navigation, etc into an unlimited plan could drive decisions in the market. More significant will be the launch of Xohm, our 4G network, which will deliver a multi-megabit Internet experience over a wireless connection to your home or wherever you go. I believe that Xohm represents a pretty compelling reason to change how people connect. Thanks.
Brandon asked: What is Sprint doing today to survive and overtake the top 2 phone carriers in the US?
Russ McGuire : The most important thing we can do to turn our company around and beat our competitors is to give customers a compelling reason to choose Sprint - to choose to stay or to choose to move to Sprint. We believe that our focus on giving customers the freedom to do everything you want right now is translating into reasons for customers to choose Sprint. Whether that comes from the freedom from billing fear that Simply Everything provides, or the immediacy of our sub-second Nextel Direct Connect push to talk capabilities, or the data transfer speeds on our EV-DO or soon to come Xohm WiMax network, or the cool apps on your phone for NASCAR or NFL fans, or whether it's the great mobile business applications that our partners have developed on Sprint so you can get your job done right now. Whatever it is, we believe that we're delivering the power of mobility in a way that can directly impact how each of us lives and works in revolutionary ways. Thanks for asking.
Brandon asked: What communications does Sprint see big uptake in, (Direct Connect, Txt, mobile live video, traditional phone call) going forward?
Russ McGuire : Brandon, I like this question because it represents the critical point I think we've reached. Your question was about communications, and up til now mobility has largely been about communications. We believe that mobility is in the midst of turning that corner from simply communicating to all of life. In the same way that the Internet started as communications, but today is integral to almost everything we do, I believe that mobility is at that tipping point of moving from just being about communications to being built into how we live our lives and do our jobs. If I try to categorize that down to a product category that we can measure, I'd almost have to just say "IP". It's about the mobile device becoming yet another IP endpoint that supports a broad array of applications and the network carrying a tremendous amout of very productive and entertaining packets. I hope that answers your question.
Brandon asked: Are there any means to simplify the user experience on phones, data, settings, message interaction with others, and move that logic to the network; this would also enable matriculating current phone settings to a new phone, without all of the initial user setup.
Russ McGuire : It's a good thought. It's always a debate between where data and functionality should reside. For example, since the PC revolution, software has mostly resided on the client side - sitting on the hard drives on our PC, but recently there's been a shift towards web-based applications that reside in the network. A similar move could make sense in mobility, and I'm sure it will for many applications, but there will still be some applications or data that make sense to keep locally or perhaps mirrored in both places. I'm sure we'll observe lots of dynamic changes around these trends over the next few years. I appreciate your thoughts on how this could translate into meaningful value for our customers. Thanks.
quasijedi asked: Russ, you claim that mobility is having as big of an impact on how we live and work as the Internet did 10-15 years ago and the PC did 20-25 years ago. To me, the internet and PC has roughly equal impact. But let's put it all in a larger perspective. Will mobility have as much impact on the way we live/work as say the telephone or the television....or the automobile?
Russ McGuire : I like big thinkers. Thanks for thinking that big. In my book, I actually lay out six technology inventions that have brought us to today: the Gutenberg press, the Steam Engine, the Telegraph, the Microprocessor, the Internet, and now Mobility, so I put mobility in pretty big company too.
brandon1 asked: Russ - I know it's past time to accept new ones... but I wanted to say that as a customer, I appreciate you taking additional time, afterwards to address already asked questions. Thanks! Please find a way to make these events happen more frequently for some of the big guru's at SprintNextel! I think it is valuable info for customers to know what is going on with Sprint and the views and steps it is taking in the future for it's userbase. Thanks!
Russ McGuire : Thanks Brandon and thanks everyone for the great questions! Russ
Meet with the Director of Product Commercialization - responsible for communication and training for all of our handsets. Chat starts at 11:00 Eastern!
wengla02 : Welcome to Buzz About Wireless Live! Our guest today is David Owens, our Director of Product Commercialization. He's in charge of training and communication for all of our new handset devices. Feel free to ask David any questions; I will be your moderator today and pass questions on to David. You'll see his answers posted with your question shortly. No need to refresh the page; the answers will appear automatically. We'll be live for one hour.
David Owens : We have in the past made the decision to not use our picturemail platform on the PDA OS's. There are many ways to share pictures from a PDA which is the method we are using today. We consistently evaluate our options though
mluria asked: Hi David, glad you are answering our questions. My question is this: Why doesn't Sprint's smartphones offer MMS when US Cellular, Alltel and Verizon do? I refer to the Blackberry 8130 and the Moto Q and Q9c
David Owens : We have in the past made the business decision to not use our picturemail platform for PDA OS's due to complexity. There are many ways to share pictures on those platforms which is our recommended approach. PDA's receive MMS messages with no issues.
Greg asked: Is there any reason I shouldn't buy a Mogul? I have read lots of bad stuff on here about it. Also did the Vision plans recently change?
David Owens : There is no reason not to purchase the mogul. We had a maintenance release that causes an issue for a subset of our customers. They have been able to go back to the orginal software or get a new maintenance release that is going up this week. That said, it is a great product overall.
tm asked: what special holiday pricing are you going to have for the lg muziq for a new line
David Owens : We have in the past run that device at $49 with a two year contract. It is not unusual for us to do that during key holiday periods but I don't have specifics other than that.
John asked: Are there plans for new Nextel PDAs? I like to see a new Blackberry but any other devices would be great to know about.
David Owens : Our plans for PDA's include in 08 launching CMDA devices with nextel direct connect service. That means you will have the same PTT capabilties but on the CDMA network.
mluria asked: David, Will we see a price reduction on the Pearl since Verizon is currently offering the phone for $199 without a rebate and $149 with $50 dollar rebate?
David Owens : We currently offer our 3G pearl at $199 and at this point have no plans to reduce pricing but that changes as we look at different marketing windows. That said, our pearl has full track downloads and streaming TV so we believe it is a great buy at $199.
Allen G asked: Where can we find detailed specs on your phones? The stuff on Sprint.com is good, but limited. I usually end up going to PhoneNews or another third party site to find out stuff like bluetooth profiles, technical capabilites, etc.
David Owens : Best place to go is our ADP site. it is at developer.sprint.com
wengla02 : Don't forget, we have an audio podcast on the Buzz Homepage from David!
ebig asked: Hi David. Great to have you here. It looks like the VZW Voyager offers a lot of iPhone qualities but with the full hardware Qwerty keyboard. Any phones like this coming in Sprint's lineup?
David Owens : You will see products like this from Sprint and in fact already have with the Touch by HTC. It is a great product for customers looking for both business and consumers services but with a UI that more closely resembles the iphone.
Toph asked: Will the new Direct Connect work between CDMA and IDEN handsets? Can I chirp my Sprint friends with my IDEN handset?
David Owens : All the nextel direct connect handsets will interoperate with iden handsets. Chirp away!
jelliot asked: When will the Airave be available nationwide?
David Owens : We aren't providing a hard date but it will be sometime in 08.
Jim asked: Will the new Direct Connect work with my old Nextel handset? Is the new Direct Connect "QChat" like we've been hearing?
David Owens : Qchat will be called Nextel Direct Connect (as a service) and will interoperate between the CDMA and iden handsets.
Justin asked: When will the Xohm network be expanded beyond the pilot cities and how soon will we see phones that operate on this platform?
David Owens : You will hear more public announcements on Xohm and the footprint in the coming months but in regards to handsets that is not the near term focus. The near term focus for Xohm is embedded modules (for PC's, camera's, game stations, etc.) as well as connection cards both single mode (meaning just Xohm) and also dual mode (meaning xohm and 3g). You will see those in 08.
Kristin asked: Are their plans to make Sprint Navigation available on the Windows PDAs like the Touch, Q and Mogul?
David Owens : Yes, it is already available on the Q9C and will be enabled in Q108 on Mogul (through a Maintenance Release) and on Touch (through a maintenance release) mid 08. You can also use it on the original Q with the purchase of a external GPS antenna (called a puck).
redhatnick asked: David, there has been some information released on the future update for the Mogul including GPS. Can you elaborate some more of how a customer will be able to take advantages of the GPS capability. Will we only be able to use GPS with Sprint Navigation?
David Owens : The GPS maintenance release (mr) for mogul in Q108 will include GPS and Rev A. Once you get the MR you will be able to use Sprint Navigation.
jaxn asked: When ETFs are less than phone discounts on high end phones the incentive is to leave Sprint. Why doesn't Sprint balance that by offering hardware discounts for existing customers?
David Owens : We have handset upgrade programs (and we are increasing our focus on these programs)that provide credits that improve your cost for the device. The combination of that and extending your contract should address your issue in also all cases.
Jason asked: Is it possible for the centro to have GPS?
David Owens : Yes by using an external GPS antenna (known as a puck).
G2 asked: Have the PDA/smartphone data plans changed recently? It seems unlimited text msg has been forced into the plan and no longer a seperate feature.
David Owens : The powervision pro pack is $30 and includes text messaging and data services but you still can buy text messaging separately. The issue is you don't get the mail in rebate on the device by just buying text messaging.
Clay asked: What will Treo (i have a 700) be doing to keep up with the new phones like iPhone?
David Owens : Palm is doing a lot of work to change their hardware look and feel as well as their OS to improve the overall design of their devices. You will see this in 08.
mluria asked: How much testing is going into the phones that Sprint is releasing? Currently on Sprintusers.com there is a topic about how the Sprint Navigation is not working with the 8130 and CS and techs are stating that the service doesn't support the 8130 (pearl)?
David Owens : We do a tremendous amount of testing but to your question on navigation issues with the 8130 that is news to me so I will look into it. Thanks for the comment.
jaxn asked: Can you address Verizon's "Any Apps, Any Device" announcement? Is Sprint going to move in that direction as well?
David Owens : We have already moved in that direction both with our Xohm initiative, our Google open handset alliance initiative and other work to open up our internet experience on the handset. This has been our position for some time.
Yolan asked: Are you going to be adding more phones to the direct connect line that is a combination of Nextel and Sprint for those of us who love the Nextel direct connect? I need to get a new phone, but have been holding out hoping there would be more choices in that line than just the ic902.
David Owens : You are talking about the Powersource line-up that includes the 502, 602 and 902. We do not plan to add additional devices that use both networks but will launch our new Nextel Direct Connect service on the CDMA platform in early 08. You will see a host of new devices that support this service.
wengla02 : Sorry about the site glitch there - we're under pretty solid load! (excellent news!)
Stewart asked: Can we expect to see a full screen QWERTY keyboard for the Touch, in a future firmware release, making it similar to the i-phone TM?
David Owens : yes.
Stewart asked: Is 802.11 wireless circuit just turned off on the Touch or has it been removed prior to the street release? Can it be turned on in a future firmware release?
David Owens : 802.11 is not supported on the CDMA version of the touch.
Dave asked: Does Sprint have an Android-based device in the pipeline and when would we see that?
David Owens : No comment but great question.
RoyK asked: Any info on the Amazon eBook product? Will we see more devices using the Sprint EVDO network?
David Owens : You will see lots of products that either use embedded modules with EVDO or Xohm (or both). It is a big growth category.
rvoko asked: What do you think of Verizon's recent changes to open their network to devices and applications?
David Owens : I can't wait is see what it actually means and what is delivered.
Greg asked: Will Sprint ever open up the network to "any app any phone" like Verizon recently did?
David Owens : We have a very open approach as demonstrated by our Xohm product and also our open handset alliance with google.
wengla02 : We'll be closing the question input in 5 minutes; David has agreed to answer any questions left in the stack before he leaves.
redhatnick asked: David, how exactly does Sprint decide what accessories goes in the box. For example, Verizons Motorola Q came with a holster, while Sprint's did not. On the flip side, Sprint's Mogul came with headphones and word is Verizon's XV6800 probably will lack them. How does this work?
David Owens : We manage it based on target audience for the device. Historically, Sprint has been much more comprehensive on in box offerings but we also have to manage cost.
Dave asked: Why are we seemingly going to blackberry devices that are strictly CDMA? I can't find a Nextel blackberry anywhere on the site, which is frustrating for me because I utilize the direct connect extensively and I just like the blackberry product. Second question; why are lots of the blackberrys being sold now at Sprint the "double tap" keyboard - it takes away the qwerty which is the reason most folks like the blackberry. Seems like a bad business decision based on something other than the customer's wants.
David Owens : We have the 7100i product which is suretype but is on the Nextel network. We launched the 8830 worldphone which is a great CDMA device with full qwerty. We plan to launch a CDMA device, full qwerty with the nextel direct connect service on it next year.
Kevin asked: Currently there are issues with SERO plans and the Blackberry services. Including reps not know about the new plan. How do we get this addressed?
David Owens : I recommend going to the SERO site or go to the team in HR that manages SERO.
mluria asked: Can customers help Sprint test phones? IE: If we find a major bug (for example: the mogul BT issues), how can we make sure that you have all of the information you need? And make a work around?
David Owens : Post it for us on buzzaboutwireless. We use this site to get data like what you mentioned.
redhatnick asked: Can we expect the Touch to get Rev A at the same time as the Mogul or will the Touch receive it only after the Mogul gets bumped to Rev A?
David Owens : Mogul will happen first with Touch to follow.
wengla02 : Thank you all for participating; we'll be closing the chat session now.
David Owens : Thanks to all the people that submitted questions or listened to the session. I look forward to doing this again in the near future.
Live (moderated) chat with Will England, your Buzz About Wireless administrator.
will : Welcome to our first live chat. I will be your guest and moderator for today. We are scheduled to run for one hour. Please ask any questions you'd like - I will do my best to answer them. Our topic today is BuzzAboutWireless.com
will : As I receive questions, I will answer them. Your question won't appear on the screen until I post an answer to it. The chat session will automatically refresh every five seconds.
will : Just a note - please keep the language in your questions and comments clean... Thanks!
Tomas asked: Will this sort of thing be "regular" feature of BAW, Will?
Will England : Yes, I hope it will be. We're trying to invite more Director-level and above Sprint people to take part in the chat, and I should be hosting at least a monthly 'state of the site' chat.
Tomas asked: What are the limitations to the chat format. Will people (hopefully) be blicked from attaching or posting large screeds, images, etc. so that what you and we see is only text?
Will England : So far as I can tell, this chat allows 7-bit plain text only. No attachments, no HTML, no SQL injection. Plus every chat question or comment has to be approved by a moderator before the guest sees it, then the chat guest has to choose to answer it. It's not as live and immediate as, say, IRC, but it is considerably better than interleaved comments on a blog post.
anon asked: ";show tables;
Will England : Like I said, no SQL injection. :-)
IronHelix asked: This format seems useful for very popular, mass events like when the execs visit. Will BAW ever be starting a normal user chat room (good) or IRC room with web client (better)?
Will England : We've talked about that internally; it's possible we'd open up an IRC channel. More likely we'll look into a web-based solution for unmoderated user chat. Definitely on the table...
Tomas asked: What do you see as the "focus" of a chat feature? Will it be some place for us (the end users) to gather feedback and quick direct answers about Sprint Nextel (or whatever specialty the "guest" has) or will it be more for the guest to "present" something, then for users to "ask questions" or "comment" on it?
Will England : Tomas - good question! A lot of that will be up to the guest. Our intention is to bring a level of transparency and focus on the executives - both for you as Sprint customers to ask direct questions, and as the Sprint Executives to see what real world customers are asking. We may use the live chat as a presentation tool, although it's not ideal for that.
IronHelix asked: also i'd like to suggest turning on timestamps if it's an option... i don't really know how long this has been going for. It would be helpful for people just joining to see about how long between posts it is...
Will England : Good idea - I'll look into the code for that. See if they are stored off in the DB.
Tomas asked: Will there be a "log" of the chats for others to be able to see what transpired (or will users have to screen-capture anything they want to save)? Any progress on getting BAW to be "Newest Post" oriented instead of "first post" oriented on it's presentation?
Will England : Yes! This chat, and all future chats will have the transcript available for all to see in the future. Regarding 'Frist Post' on the forums; we're unfortunately at the mercy of Lithium. All their customers are on one codebase, and they don't like to make changes out of sequence. They have a release coming soon which may address that.
IronHelix asked: This chat format will probably be much more useful for a live chat with an exec... now that it's here will we see a greater frequency of live events? My suggestion would be one every 1-2 weeks, and don't just take the execs, lower down people are just as interesting- for example i think someone from the Mogul group would be of interest these days (assuming they don't run the other way and hide when they see Tristan coming with the invite...)
Will England : Laugh! That's a great idea. We're slowly getting the idea of direct customer interaction through to other groups, like Product Management. We hope to have an event at least every month with a Director-level or above exec.
will : Question to the room: How's the layout / font sizes look?
IronHelix asked: readability is nice, although this might make a long page after an hour or two (especially with the slightly bigger font for the questions)... however in firefox it doesn't fill to the right of the window. It keeps a column clear for the righthand content, not sure if there's a way around that... want a screenshot?
Will England : Ok - thanks. The right column should be empty anyway, in case we ever get something cool to put over there. (free stuff, polls, a better login box) Appreciate the feedback.
Tomas asked: *mutter* OK, though it does make the "recent" feature, which only lists threads by most recent first post and ignores older threads with active posts, uh, "less than user friendly" and exceedingly difficult for an average user to track discussions. . Layout is OK, though it requires a LOT of scrolling down as the discussion progresses. . Font size is modified here on my 'puter by my having set a "minimum" size globally so I can see things. (Remember, too, that text often appears much smaller on a Mac since it follows international standards...)
Will England : Tomas, I agree. I use the 'recent' feature and I have the same problem with it. We've brought it up to them a few times. I'll make a formal case of it and post their answer to the board when I get it. Glad the font size isn't too big - I'm using a Mac to develop with, and I often forget that fonts are smaller here.
IronHelix asked: 1x per month with a director or above would be awesome. Ideally maybe one big one and 2-3 little ones per month, little ones being product managers and other such things. I'd imagine some of the guys in charge of sprint.com and maybe a few CS supervisor type people would be popular. also with the righthand column- its not a huge deal. the format of the question boxes is IMHO very readable, the boxes make it easy to track a question and its response, much moreso than a normal IRC log. While it's not quite as live or direct as an IRC, this is actually probably the most useful/readable format for a live event that i've seen in quite a while. also i agree with 'recent' bit- on my front page the 'my subscriptions' continually shows the first ~10 threads I posted in... not helpful.
Will England : Great! Thanks for the comments. I'm glad the design is agreeable to you.
Tomas asked: I see that somewhere in the formatting that line feeds or paragraph spacings (double line feeds) in the questions are eaten. To prevent the need to scroll forever as the text input box might be put at the top of this page, with the answers below in "newest first" order, but that also might confuse people.
Will England : Yup - all formatting is stripped, even in my answers. No way to get a hard line break at this point.
IronHelix asked: also a very small comment- after posting a question, the page refreshes and you are at the top. Ideally it should scroll you back to the bottom again... not a big deal tho
Will England : You and Tomas have the same concern; I think a bit of anchor magic and a 'view latest' link at the top shouldn't be too hard to pull off.
Tomas asked: Quick question you don't have to answer/display, Will: What's your title in the Sprint zoo? Just wondering where you fit in the hierarchy. (You have what could be a VERY interesting and sometimes very frustrating job in dealing with BAW...)
Will England : I am a "Program Manager II" ( I think). This week I am in the Sales and Distribution org., although that changes very very frequently. It is a very interesting and challenging job, but really quite rewarding.
Tomas asked: BAW is presented on the Sprint Nextel Support pages as the last resort for folks who can find the answers there. Links are all over the place to come here to get an answer from the company. Does that represent the ACTUAL view of the company, or is it just a 'tease' for the customer?
Will England : Good question! And I really have no idea. We are working to make it a place to get official answers, in addition to all the great work you people do in helping solve problems. There isn't a high-level strategy with the site yet; it is still grass roots. We get links posted where we can to drive traffic and make this a 'fait accompli' when the CEO finally notices it.
Tomas asked: Now that our time for this test is about up, and other than minor quibbles it all looks great, what is YOUR feel of how this first public beta went, Will?
Will England : I have been very pleased at how well the chat component works. It's nice when something works the way you want it to, first time out of the box. Thank you for your help!
will : Thank you all for participating in this chat; I do appreciate the questions and feedback. We'll be wrapping up now. Be sure to join us tomorrow for David Owens, Director of Product Commercialization!