Sprint Will Give Us a Free Cell Phone For Our Honest Bile

Sprint just approached us to be “Ambassadors.” Basically, Sprint gives us a free Power Vision Phone and service for six months in return for our “candid feedback.”

The only thing is that Sprint Ambassador Team wanted us to be on the “Team” after visiting our blog; they are targeting us because we are bloggers. They say all they want back is our opinion, but we know they’re hoping to get a little linky and bloggy love too.

Other products that targeted bloggers include Maker’s Mark, Stormhoek Wine and Joseph Jaffe giving away a free copy of his book, “Life After the 30-second spot” to any blogger who will post about it after reading.

What do you think? Should we accept and put the “ass” back in Ambassador? Or refuse and avoid getting coated by the gunk inside Sprint’s pocket?

Also, if we join, we’ll have to walk around with a big yellow box around our head, like the fellow pictured. As well as endure, from what we’ve heard, substandard service.

It just so happens that our Verizon cell phone is totally busted and when we turn our pockets out these little moths flutter outwards and upwards.

It’s very important we maintain our aura of dubious authority.

Comments

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  1. limiter says:

    My suggestion is to take their phone and test Sprint’s support call center and see if you can get a feel for how good their customer service is.

    That assumes your account isn’t flagged… if they are unusually helpful or nice (or they forward you to the CEO every time you call) play pranks on them and record the messages and share with us all so we at least get a laugh out of it.

  2. Danilo says:

    What a situation.

    I ran away from Sprint after several years of service, finally fed up with the inept customer service.

    But if the phone is free and you’re going to be giving them free press, you’ll also probably be getting your very own AMBASSADOR HOTLINE with no wait times and people who still remember how to treat you like a human being.

    That’s, uh, not a bad deal. But then you’ll be stained, right down to your very soul. Consider it not lightly!

  3. RowdyRoddyPiper says:

    The full disclosure makes this legit. I don’t think anyone here is going to let it slide if all of a sudden no articles about Sprint or negative comments about Sprint are deleted. I’m pretty sure that your price is higher than cell service for 6 months, but who knows. The Moth invasion is a scary time.

    PS. What about after 6 months? Will you be able to port your current number over and then port it back should you choose not to continue with Sprint? Just a question you might want to resolve up front.

  4. Ben Popken says:

    Kerry writes in:

    “I got an email “invitation” to the Ambassador program, too. I run a tiny, personal website (http://www.stirwise.com, if you care) and I suspect Sprint emailed out those so-called invites to anyone who owns a domain. If you go look at the FAQ and terms and conditions on the Sprint site you’ll see that the invite only makes you eligible to be considered for a phone, it doesn’t guarantee you one. Likewise, they’re unclear about whether the service expires after 6 months or if they start charging you for it after 6 months, but require you to hang on for 1 year or something like that. The whole thing smells a little funny to me. Thankfully I just switched carriers so I’m not tempted to sign up.”

    Thanks for the info, Kerry. We think the matter bears further investigation and we’ll be contacting Sprint to figure out how the whole thing works. The pounds of flesh they extract after six months could do wonders for our waistline.

  5. Bunnyspatial says:

    Free stuff is free stuff! You write for an increasingly popular shopping related website. You are going to have to get used to being offered free things. A difficult burden to bear, but such is life!

  6. Amy Alkon says:

    People send me free books (“review copies”), and it doesn’t stop me from saying they suck when they do.

    If I suspect in advance a book is going to suck, but I need to write about it, I do prefer to buy it, but that’s just weird little former midwesterner me.

  7. Hawkins says:

    Your credibility is at stake. However, if you’re strict about full disclosure, I think you’re not risking anything.

    I believe that the guiding principle here, which is applicable in so many areas of life (airline delays, political contributions, sexually transmitted diseases), is: JUST FUCKING TELL US.

  8. Ben Popken says:

    A Sprint rep says that all these phones get the 816 area code, which is Kansas City, Missouri.

  9. Rick Dobbs says:

    816 is where they’re based.

    I’m sure the phone will be great and Sprint’s coverage is dandy. The customer service calls will be where you get your fodder.

  10. Joel Johnson says:

    Sweet. I’m from Kansas City. This means you’ll probably be family.

  11. SeekBalance says:

    I say take it. You’ve made us aware of it, and we trust the Consumerist to be honest (we should, right?). I’d be interested to know how their service stacks up these days. I left them for T-Mobile about 3 years ago. If it happens to be that you need a new phone and free service at this point, I’d chalk that up to luck. Like the others have already stated, just be clear up front on what you’re getting into.

  12. Tonya says:

    Consumer reports has this policy:
    “To maintain our independence and impartiality, CU accepts no outside advertising, no free test samples, and has no agenda other than the interests of consumers.”

    What are your personal feelings about independence and impartiality and where is the line is for you?

    By the way, it’s perfectly fine with me if you don’t feel the same as CU, and I’m not opposed to you having free samples as long as you are telling the truth about them and it doesn’t affect your judgment.

  13. non-meat-stick says:

    I don’t see how a little biased opinion could hurt. I say you take it, but I highly doubt it’s 6 months and you’re done. The free phone is nice. Write about it everyday, just a little quip. Nothing said will change my feelings on sprint.

  14. Ben Popken says:

    Ok, we’re going to do it. Having a new number wiill also provide a handy way of divesting ourself of unwanted friends and family.

  15. RandomHookup says:

    So what did Maker’s Mark offer you?

  16. AcidReign says:

    …..Read the fine print carefully. The “free” might go away with the first negative comment…

  17. Ben Popken says:

    Unfortunately, we are not part of the Maker’s Mark Ambassador program but some other bloggers are, like the one linked to in the post and we believe, Steve Rubel of micropersuasion.com

  18. guruscotty says:

    Go ahead – be an honest guinea pig. We don’t mid if you’re upfront from the get-go. Whioch you’ve already been.

    Salud!