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Sprint's 'satisfaction guarantee' lets customers test out hardware, services for 30 days risk-free

post #1 of 17
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In what appears to be a response to T-Mobile's recently announced iPhone 'test drive,' Sprint on Monday said it will begin a risk-free program in which new customers can try out the carrier's network and services for 30 days.



Under the program's terms, customers who open new lines of service will have 30 days to try out Sprint's network and, if unsatisfied, the carrier will refund the cost of their handset and waive any accrued usage fees, including minutes, data and activation costs.

"We believe customers will be delighted with the Sprint retail experience, our customer service, and the performance of America's newest network," Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said in a prepared statement. "So we're guaranteeing it."

Both new and existing customers are eligible for the plan, though users already on Sprint's network will have to open a new line to take advantage of the initiative. The initiative looks to push users toward the carrier's new LTE network, which today officially added another 28 markets to the coverage list.

Sprint's announcement comes less than a week after competing U.S. carrier T-Mobile unveiled "7 night stand," a program that lets new users test drive an iPhone 5s for one week, including unlimited data.

Unlike Sprint's satisfaction guarantee, T-Mobile teamed up with Apple to provide customers with the latest iPhone hardware. According to T-Mobile CEO John Legere, the Cupertino company is supplying "tens of thousands" of iPhone 5s units to the carrier specifically for the "7 night stand" and will presumably do the same when a new version comes out later this year.

Sprint's satisfaction guarantee initiative kicks off on June 27. Those interested are instructed to visit a Sprint store or the company's website to sign up.
post #2 of 17
Boy, it sure would have been nice and saved a lot of trouble if AT&T had such a program, a couple years ago when I wanted to switch to their service. Turned out my home is in a dead zone for AT&T, and within a few days I had to switch back to Verizon, which was a bother. At least AT&T agreed, and Best Buy took the phone back. But that was a pretty hairy week.
post #3 of 17
Very glad to see T-Mobile making a huge comeback in the cellular market with everything they've been putting out recently.

Just wish their cellular service worked...
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post #4 of 17
I'm a Sprint user and I'll be the first to tell you the service is subpar. From East Los Angeles to Pasadena to the Inland Empire its horrible and unreliable. You have spots of LTE, but prepare yourself to be on 1x/3G for most if not all the time. If you dont beleive me check out their forums and @SprintCare on twitter.
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rmb0037 View Post

Very glad to see T-Mobile making a huge comeback in the cellular market with everything they've been putting out recently.

Just wish their cellular service worked...

 

Actually, we've had an overseas visitor to our work site for the past month, and as soon as he arrived we got him set up with a T-mobile SIM in his iPhone, and he's had great service ever since. Much nicer than having to put up with a disposo-phone for the month, and really not very expensive.  So I, too, am glad to see the smaller carriers apparently doing well now.  :)


Edited by TeaEarleGreyHot - 6/23/14 at 2:38pm
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrJesC View Post

I'm a Sprint user and I'll be the first to tell you the service is subpar. From East Los Angeles to Pasadena to the Inland Empire its horrible and unreliable. You have spots of LTE, but prepare yourself to be on 1x/3G for most if not all the time. If you dont beleive me check out their forums and @SprintCare on twitter.

Exactly, it sucks in the San Gabriel Valley.  Yet I keep getting emails saying they've upgraded the service over here and keep getting the 1x and 3G.   

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post #7 of 17
I agree with mrjesc. It's pretty bad. I finally, but very sporadically, get LTE. Normally at 3G but paying for 4G is dumb. If Verizon had an Unlimited Data option I'd go back.
post #8 of 17
I am highly amused that Sprint and T-mobil are doing this promo with iPhones instead of some Brand X crapola. I have a gut feeling that Apple pitched this to these carriers and got them to buy in without the competitors even aware it was happening... of course a high-end iPhone was the perfect lure too!
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post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

I am highly amused that Sprint and T-mobil are doing this promo with iPhones instead of some Brand X crapola. I have a gut feeling that Apple pitched this to these carriers and got them to buy in without the competitors even aware it was happening... of course a high-end iPhone was the perfect lure too!

Only T-Mobile is doing iPhone 5s.. because there are no catches, no service to signup for, etc.. they just drop ship you a phone.. Apple is providing the iPhones for free to T-Moble then then return them if customer doesn't want them..

 

Sprint, not stuck to just an iPhone, but you have to go through a whole signup process. Really, it's no different than their 7 days, just no restocking fee.. 

post #10 of 17

This is quite a bit different from the T-Mobile program in that Sprint still requires you to sign up for service, sign a contract, and pay for the phone and service plan up front. This just clarifies the refund policy.

 

The T-Mobile test drive requires nothing more than a credit card preauthorization, and at the end of the 7-day trial, you bring the phone back to a T-Mobile store. No contracts, plans, or up front payments. It's a much lower barrier for a consumer to try out the T-Mo service AND the iPhone 5s.

 

In the Bay Area, Sprint's service has been so spotty that they actually had fewer subscribers than Metro PCS (prior to the T-Mobile merger). Just in the 8 months since I went with T-Mobile, I've seen their LTE coverage expand quite a bit and have yet to drop a call (not that I talk  that much).

 

Even if Sprint did fix their coverage issues in my area, I would not go with them for the simple reason that they you cannot bring an unlocked phone onto their network. And if you purchase a phone for their network, they will not unlock it, even if you pay for the device in full and even if you complete the two-year contract.

 

Being able to use an unlocked iPhone while still having the option to switch carriers at any time was one reason I wound up going with T-Mo. If someone wants my business more, then my contract-free plan allows me to try other options on other carriers when they become available.

post #11 of 17
I hope [the T-Mobile Test Drive] trickles up to Verizon and AT&T. Logically I'd think it would behoove them since their coverage tend to be better then T-Mobile and Sprints, but that unfortunately is only a single metric.

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post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

I am highly amused that Sprint and T-mobil are doing this promo with iPhones instead of some Brand X crapola. I have a gut feeling that Apple pitched this to these carriers and got them to buy in without the competitors even aware it was happening... of course a high-end iPhone was the perfect lure too!

According to T-Mobile CEO John Legere, they pitched the idea to Apple first. This was a win-win for both companies, because the iPhone's user share on T-Mobile is a lot lower than with the other three major carriers. Apple provides the free test drive phones to T-Mobile, and for the time being, they are the exclusive provider for the trial program.

 

T-Mobile has set a goal of 1 million test drives, so that's a lot of customers trying T-Mobile's network for the first time AND a lot of customers likely spending extended time with the iPhone 5s for the first time.

 

The Sprint guarantee does nothing more than clarify their refund policy. You still have to purchase a phone, sign up for service, sign a contract, and pay for everything up front. Would potentially help Apple if Sprint only did this for the iPhone, but they didn't.

post #13 of 17

If you want to get technical, none of these "test drives" are risk-free, unless you choose to leave the phone in a box the entire time. There's always a risk you'll drop, break or damage any phone.

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post #14 of 17
Sprint sucks. Case closed. Data speeds are terrible.
post #15 of 17

Sprint and "satisfaction guarantee" in the same sentence? Seriously, Sprint is the only carrier without LTE in my area (Champaign-Urbana). Also not to mention that their 3G service sucks, not only for EV-DO Rev.A being so slow, but also for dropping packets and random timeouts even with 4-5 bars. Essentially data is unusable. All that crap with "Unlimited 4G data" moniker for $93+ including bullshit taxes and fees. Complete waste of money. Once my contract expires in October, I'm switching to T-mobile for good.

post #16 of 17
I used to have AT&T. I was lured to switch to Sprint by lowered costs. What a MISTAKE! Sprint service, at least in Chicago, is the absolute worst! Over the years I have had various carriers and Sprint is by far awful. At the end of the contract, I will switch to whatever carrier offers unlimited data. I hate that I gave up unlimited data when I was with AT&T as I was grandfathered in.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

I am highly amused that Sprint and T-mobil are doing this promo with iPhones instead of some Brand X crapola. I have a gut feeling that Apple pitched this to these carriers and got them to buy in without the competitors even aware it was happening... of course a high-end iPhone was the perfect lure too!

 

Pre-owned iPhones also retain almost all of their retail sale price. I don't think you can say the same for pre-owned Android devices, even Sammys S5. They may not want to volunteer their phones. Regardless, it sounded like T-Mobile was game if the phones were offered for the program.
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