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A special plan for longtime Sprint customers

Journeyman

A special plan for longtime Sprint customers

I have been a Sprint customer for 10 years now.  Obviously, I am pretty pleased with their service if I remained with them for so long.  I do have one issue though.  It seems like Sprint, along with many other companies, caters to new customers with special deals, while kind of neglecting existing customers.  Don't get me wrong, the Simply Everything plan is a great plan, but after taxes and fees the bill is like $120.00.  I believe that if you have a been a loyal customer for 10 years, you should get a better rate on the Simply Everything plan.  Basically, anyone who has been a Sprint customer for a decade gets the Simply Everything plan for a flat $100.00, taxes and fees included.  I feel that if you have been a loyal customer for 20+ years, you should get the Simply Everything plan for $90.00, taxes and fees included.  I have discussed this with Sprint on several occasions, but I am just one voice.  If I can spread my idea and the masses latch on, perhaps we can get Sprint to actually give it real consideration.  In fact, with enough voices, maybe they will actually implement it.

44 REPLIES
Journeyman

Re: A special plan for longtime Sprint customers

Why would they care if you're a long-time customer? If you ARE a long-time customer it's pretty sure that you probably have a better plan that most of the newer customers out there. Do you for example, have SERO? If so, your plan is probably cheaper than most. They'd LIKE to get rid of older customers who have sweet deals and get new subscribers that pay more.

Of COURSE there's no incentive to keep older more loyal customers. We don't pay enough to make it worth their time. Loyalty is only worthwhile for a company if they make money off of it.

Journeyman

Re: A special plan for longtime Sprint customers

The entire "Mobile companies cater to new customers" is a huge misconception. Generally in the mobile industry a new customer is someone who has been under their original contract with the company for less than six months. Lets examine a few of the reasons why new customers do not have it that great:

1) New customers pay activation fees of $36 per line that they activate

2) New customers are forced to pay plan proration on their first bill (even though they just instated service)

3) New customers may have to pay a service deposit that will not be refunded for 9Months to a Year

4) New accounts are often subject to "Account Spending Limits" which can cause suspensions when the account is not past due and force early payment on behalf of the customer. These customers are also subject to an extra $4.99 charge per month unless they consent to setting up their Sprint Bill on an auto-debit with their banking account. This Account Spending Limit can be imposed on the new customer for 9months to years depending on the customer's payment history.

5) New customers do not qualify for early handset upgrades, premier program incentives, payment arrangements (should something go wrong), or basically any of the bending backwards that Sprint would give to someone like you who has been with Sprint for 10 years.

10 year customers get a lot of benefits from Sprint. Once you have been with Sprint for 10 years: The primary line on your account (or every line on an individual plan) will qualify for their phone upgrades after 12 months instead of 22 months like a new account. You will no longer be subject to activation and upgrade fees (even if you paid an upgrade fee, the fee is only $18 compared to the $36 charged to new customers). You will get discounts on accessories and exclusive free digital content. It is more likely that Sprint will work with you in the even that you need a phone outside of your upgrade time. It is more likely Sprint will work with you on billing credits and payment arrangements. You will not have any deposits or account spending limits.

Does Sprint want new customers to feel like they will pamper them? Of Course! It is how they bring them to Sprint to begin with. Most of the misconception is driven by place like Radio Shack and Best Buy offering better contracted phone pricing to new customers than Upgrade customers (AT&T and Verizon also does this, Sprint rarely does this in store). But lets say a new customer got an extra $50 a phone over you who had chosen to upgrade to the same device. Lets also say you were both on a Everything Data 450 plan and lets see how it adds up:

                              New Customer              10 Year Customer

Activation Fee          $36                              $0

Plan                        $69.99                          $69.99

Proration                  $17                              $0

ASL Fee                  $5                                $0

Phone                     $49.99                          $99.99 

TOTAL:                   $177.98                        $169.98

Even given my conservative proration estimates and generous new customer discount on the phone you still would save more money as a 10 year customer than a new customer.

As far as plans go, if Sprint were to ever start offering all long term customers plan discounts it would certainly hurt business. There are several things you need to understand:

1) the services Sprint provides you monthly cost Sprint money

2) the reason you can enjoy MANY fewer dropped calls that the other big dogs is because Sprint invests tons of money into their network

3) the reason you can enjoy 4G in around 40 markets now is because Sprint invests tons of money into developing that network

4) the reason you can enjoy an Android or Palm WebOS handset is because Sprint dumped hundreds of millions of dollars into developing those systems.

5) Sprint is investing millions in moving customer service centers back to the United States and creating comprehensive training and quality assurance programs.

Sprint is wisely spending your dollars every day. If Sprint takes less dollars from you, then you will have fewer reasons to enjoy Sprint.

Sprint appreciates you. Do not let marketing dissuade you from understanding the facts.

Message was edited by: Wireless.O.G.

Master

Re: A special plan for longtime Sprint customers

New customers on a qualifying plan get the same "Perks" as a 10 yr customer after 6 months! If said new customer has a good credit rating they do not have to pay a deposit or the ASL fee. So a 10 yr loyal customer is no different or special then a new customer in sprint's eyes.

To qualify for Premier, you must be a Sprint customer for at least 6 months, your account must be in good standing, and you must meet one of the three following criteria:

- Maintain a 3-mo average of at least $69.99 for individual plans; or

- Maintain a 3-mo average of at least $99.99 for shared plans; or

- Have been a Sprint wireless customer for 10 years.

Journeyman

Re: A special plan for longtime Sprint customers

I disagree.

i have a SERO plan, I pay less than $50/month. Under all the "incentive" programs listed here so far, even though I'm a "loyal" customer, i don't qualify for a single "incentive" to stay. My contract ended in December 2009. I'm staying specifically because of the cheapness of the plan and the fact that it's completely no hassle and no one is forcing me to another contract. Should however, another provider have a better phone (I have a TP2) and even if the plans were a little more expensive, I'd consider switching.

All the hype about subsidized handsets and customer loyalty programs all amount to nothing more than what's in it for me?

As for the ASL fees if a customer has bad credit, that is a very select type of customer and may not reflect most of them with plans. I don't pay any upfront fees, I have good credit, yet, Sprint has no interest in keeping me as a customer as i don't pay them enough. Now, as far as customers with multiple lines and who are paying for mutliple family plans, etc., I'm sure they may generate some revenue stream, they may get something for their time, but honestly, is the break big enough to incentivze them to stay? Or is it simply a general ennui that sets in to most people once they get a plan and sit back and think, "it's only $5 more" or "so, it's just another fee?" A lot of people don't really shop around and get plans based on what their friends have or what the commercials tell them is better or who has the shinier toy.

As I said, I don't pay any extra fees. I never go over my minutes, I use quite a number of text messages as it's included, and the most I surf is negligible compared to someone else who wrote they were downloading a 473Mb file to their phone directly. However, IF I see a better opportunity and with a newer (read Android) phone, I will switch.

If companies aren't loyal to their customers, their customes won't be loyal to the companies.

Oh, yeah, and customer service, does make a difference.

1) New customers pay activation fees of $36 per line that they activate [[ONE TIME FEE AND THEN WHAT? SEEMS SILLY TO CHARGE AN ACTIVATION FEE AFTER THE CUSTOMER IS ALREADY ACTIVE. MY FAVORITE HOWEVER, IS WHEN SPRINT SAYS TO UPGRADING CUSTOMERS "WE'LL WAIVE THE ACTIVATION FEE" WHAT?]]

2) New customers are forced to pay plan proration on their first bill (even though they just instated service) [[DEPENDS ON THE PLAN AND THE CUSTOMER]]

3) New customers may have to pay a service deposit that will not be refunded for 9Months to a Year [[ONLY IF THEY HAVE BAD CREDIT]]

4) New accounts are often subject to "Account Spending Limits" which can cause suspensions when the account is not past due and force early payment on behalf of the customer. These customers are also subject to an extra $4.99 charge per month unless they consent to setting up their Sprint Bill on an auto-debit with their banking account. This Account Spending Limit can be imposed on the new customer for 9months to years depending on the customer's payment history. [[ONLY IF THEY HAVE BAD CREDIT]]

5) New customers do not qualify for early handset upgrades, premier program incentives, payment arrangements (should something go wrong), or basically any of the bending backwards that Sprint would give to someone like you who has been with Sprint for 10 years. [[THIS IS AN IRRELEVANT POINT, WHY WOULD A "NEW" CUSTOMER WANT A "NEW" HANDSET IF THEY JUST GOT ONE?]]

New Customer              10 Year Customer

Activation Fee          $36                              $0

Plan                        $69.99                          $69.99

Proration                  $17                              $0

ASL Fee                  $5                                $0

Phone                     $49.99                          $99.99

TOTAL:                   $177.98                        $169.98

[[WAIT? WHAT? I SAVED A WHOPPING $8 OVER SOMEONE WHO JUST JOINED? AFTER 10 YEARS AND ONLY IF THEY HAD BAD CREDIT AND HAD TO PAY AN ASL? NICE NON-CONVINCING NUMBERS]]

As a long-time customer I expect that someone WOULD get a better break on a handset, instead we're expected to pay higher prices for something that we (having been customers and paying our bills to the carrier and showing that we're committed to staying with the carrier) should get. Instead we get the hairy handshake and a "thank you for being a loyal customer, would you like to pay more now?" Oh, and you fail to mention that the plans are constantly being "upgraded" which means that when you go to renew your "existing" plan it's most likely been phased out and we're forced to now pay sometimes double what we WERE paying (read SERO TO EVERYTHING PLUS). So tell me again, how is being a "loyal" customer so incentivized?

Journeyman

Re: A special plan for longtime Sprint customers

I also disagree with the idea that new customers = old customers.

I have a $30/month 300 minute free and clear plan from April 2000. I have a $5/month data plan, $5/month for picture mail and free text messages with a bonus 60 free minutes. I also have a $5/month discount leaving me with a bill of $35/month plus taxes. I negotiated a way to get a smartphone in May 2008 and keep this plan. I have night and weekend start time of 8 PM and free roaming. But I don't have any of the extras that Sprint charges $70/month for. I average less than 200 anytime minutes and less than 300 night and weekend minutes per month.

I don't use a lot of data, in fact I average less than 20 MB/month! At most I use around 50 text messages per month.

But yet I know the story when I go to upgrade, I likely will not be able to keep this plan and will be forced to either pick their $70 plan, keep my phone and plan as is (no upgrade) or leave. So there is no incentive for me to stay, I can get what I want at Verizon (smartphone too) for $75/month. Plus get their network, a real network! If I stay with Sprint I would need an Airave, as they don't seem to care to upgrade their network, so I would end up paying $5/month for that. So what do you know, same price anyway!

Best of luck Sprint on keeping long term customers such as myself, you force us to pay double, we might as well leave.

Journeyman

Re: A special plan for longtime Sprint customers


As far as plans go, if Sprint were to ever start offering all long term customers plan discounts it would certainly hurt business. There are several things you need to understand:

1) the services Sprint provides you monthly cost Sprint money

2) the reason you can enjoy MANY fewer dropped calls that the other big dogs is because Sprint invests tons of money into their network

3) the reason you can enjoy 4G in around 40 markets now is because Sprint invests tons of money into developing that network

4) the reason you can enjoy an Android or Palm WebOS handset is because Sprint dumped hundreds of millions of dollars into developing those systems.

5) Sprint is investing millions in moving customer service centers back to the United States and creating comprehensive training and quality assurance programs.

Sprint is wisely spending your dollars every day. If Sprint takes less dollars from you, then you will have fewer reasons to enjoy Sprint.

Sprint appreciates you. Do not let marketing dissuade you from understanding the facts.

Message was edited by: Wireless.O.G.

Please explain how offering a customer with 10 or more years would "hurt business" as opposed to the loss of 5+ million customers in the past 3 years.

One of the biggest expenses for any company is acquiring new customers, one of the smallest CAN BE retaining them.

1) Yes, it does cost Sprint money every month to provide services.  One such service is "customer service", something Sprint lacks.  Why should I continue to pay for somthing Sprint can't provide?

2)  Please provide a source for "fewer dropped calls" with Sprint.  If I'm not mistaken this was a pitch made by Cingular, and Sprint sued over it.  Based on what I remember from the decision, NO WIRELESS CARRIER CAN MAKE SUCH A CLAIM.  That is unless they want another lawsuit.

3) Again please provide a sorce for your information, because according to Sprint there are only 27 4G markets, and we can debate all day as to the accuracy of $G service.

4) Android was developed by Android Inc and Google and Palm OS by Palm.  Yes Sprint is part of the handset alliance, by they aren't responsible for the development.

5)  Sprint closed 20 call centers in the US last year, Please tell me where they spent "millions" moving any back to the US.

Sprint is foolishly spending money, and has recently had their bond rating changed to "junk".  Hesse has lost over 5 million customers and 86% of the value of the stock.  Preach all you want about Sprint, but the truth is he hasn't been able to turn the churn around.

At a time when the market is saturated, and customers are running in droves to other carriers, Sprint needs to address it's retention rate.  If they can afford to give away $20 credits for 24 months to new customers, they can afford to give something to 10 year customers, any one who believes otherwise is a fool.

Those are real facts, and I'm not into marketing

Journeyman

Re: A special plan for longtime Sprint customers

i agree  sounds like new customers have it made.

Message was edited by: dmom9272

Journeyman

Re: A special plan for longtime Sprint customers

I'd like to interject my thoughts on this discussion. There is a significant difference between the retention strategies being employed by Sprint & it's wireless competitors. To both AT&T & Verizon, new or upgrading customers do not pay a difference in handset prices. To emphasize this point, I just recently upgraded to the Samsung Moment. New customers pay only $99.99. I on the otherhand was initially charged $199.99 for the same device. I was lucky that Sprint had their phone buyback recycle program. Two devices knocked off almost 40 bucks. Still, even with that, I had to pay $180.50.

Even if a new customer is charged 36.00 for phone activation, $17 for Proration, $5 for ASL fee, & local taxes in the Dallas County area of 8.25%, the new customer comes up with a charge of $166.24. If there was no recycle program or qualifying device an existing customer would pay 199.99 for a Samsung Moment, doesn't have SEP & has to pay an activation charge of $18. 199.99, plus tax & activation charge comes to $234.49.

Last I checked my mathematics $234.49 > $166.24. That's a difference in upfront cost of 68.25. That cost right there could easily pay for some accessories & actually boost Sprint's storefront business rather than take away. In my case, being a Premier Status did not impact my sale except for accessories. I didn't buy any accessories that day. Only the recycle program if someone knows about it & being on the SEP, did I not have to pay activation charges at all. All I had to do is pay for the phone, recommit to 2 more years, & the deal is done.

The new customer still ends up $14 bucks in his pocket. Before anyone interjects, I know I'll get $100.00 back in 6 to 8 weeks via rebate. In a bad economy or even in a good economy, being without a hundred bucks for a few days, weeks, or even a month still hurts! The point however is clear. Sprint had a lot more customers in the past than it does now due to lack of customer service, lack of agressive retention policies, overselling phones & features, & woefully insufficient initial tech support. These systemic issues arise from a corporate culture that is disconnected with the real world.

The company I work for has a policy of treating each and every customer the same. Whether they are a lifelong customer or if it's their first visit, we do our absolute best to give those customers initial greetings, courteous service, the best possible deals, a thank you for the patronage, & a reminder to come back. That's why my employer has lasted over 100 years with a consistent tradition of service.

We don't see that coming from Sprint outside of a Sprint Store. Sprint.com doesn't have it. Buzz About Wireless does not have it. There were tons of problems that Buzz About Wireless could have springboarded to successful customer retention & that opportunity was squandered time & time again. We certainly haven't seen it from Dan Hesse, who refuses to acknowledge issues with one of Sprint's previous phones, the Instinct. There's a reason why Sprint hasn't turned a profit & we see it each day. I have to admit, the Sprint Store employees I've dealt with were superb. Great customer service, clean store, & seemed knowledgeable about their product. But I'm in a major market in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metro area. Outside of a major market, that same service isn't consistent.

My reasons for staying was the network here in Dallas-Fort Worth blows away AT&T, T-Mobile, MetroPCS, & others carrier's networks away. I've never failed to connect at 3G with full Power Vision in the Metroplex. Verizon has billing issues & charges more for an equivalent plan. The recycle program, good quality network with voice & data, local store-level customer service, consistent bill, & Sprint's committment to Android made me stick with them. But there is LOTS of work to be done. The first of which is treating old customers like new ones.

Journeyman

Re: A special plan for longtime Sprint customers

@jogomez721, nicely put.

I'm not at all sure what companies get from rebate programs. They still have to pay us the money back. However, they float the difference we pay up-front for a few weeks. Never understood why rebate programs are a good idea for a company or a consumer.

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