6 Confessions Of A Former Sprint Sales Rep

Sprint has joined the ranks of cell phone providers whose former (and current) sales reps are beating down the Consumerist’s door, eager to tell all. Let us move without delay to the confessions of a former Sprint sales rep:

Get the Sprint Employee Referral Offer: “Get on the SERO plan! Sprint Employee Referral Offer. It’s a nice little plan designed specifically for friends and family of Sprint employees. They require that you have an email address of a Sprint employee, but that’s simple to get. Remember that business card the sales rep gave you, or should have given you if they’re were good. Take that name and use it, john.x.doe@sprint.com. To see the plans themselves or sign up, go to www.sprint.com/sero ($50/1250 minutes/7pm nights/unlimited vision)”

Play the Extended Service and Repair Program Game: If you’ve lost your phone or dropped it in water, you can buy a new “broken” phone on ebay, activate it, and take that one into the store for ESRP benefits, according to our tipster. “Phone doesn’t work? Water damage? What are you to do! Buy a phone on ebay, it doesn’t have to work so long as it hasn’t been flagged as lost or stolen. Get the phone activated and take it into the store. They’ll fix or replace it usually on the spot because you have ESRP. Now keep in mind, if you do this excessive times, we’ll refuse to service you (the system counts how many times you’ve had a phone replaced/serviced).” (This might be illegal somehow, we don’t really know.)

Buy your phone at the end of the month when the reps are desperate for commission on activations. ” Reps will always discount phones, they don’t make commission on the price of the phone, they make it on everything else. They’re also desperate for activations (best time to go activate is near the end of the month when they’re truly desperate). Add a few accessories or get that 2nd line, just return them later, you still get the awesome deal on the phone.

Cancel without ETF By “moving” to the middle of the desert: This is an old trick, but the tipster says it works with Sprint. “Want to cancel but are stuck in a contract and don’t care about keeping your number? Change your billing to e-billing (to avoid a paper statement), call customer care and have them change your address to an address not covered by the network (go on the website, find a hole, do a google earth search and find an address around there). Then say, “oh my, well if you can’t provide service to me there, I’ll have to cancel.” Sprint is now obligated to cancel your contract without a termination fee because if they can’t service you, how can they charge you for service? Usually they want to cancel your number, but you might be able to convince them that Company B has coverage and you would like to port.

Retention Specialists have power: Cancel everything that’s not required in your contract. There’s a retention offer waiting for you. Example: “there are retention offers for things such as text messaging (unlimited for $10 I believe), plans, services, etc. Just ask! “

Get a big discount for working for a big company (or saying that you do): “Get a discount because you work for the man! Are you an employee of a major organization? Tell Sprint you work for them then! You’ll get anywhere from 7-28% off of your monthly bill. Tip, Chase bank employees get the highest discount (I believe it was 28%). Even if you don’t work there, they don’t ask for proof that you do. “

Thanks to the Sprint Guy for these excellent tips! Where are you Alltel? U.S. Cellular? We’re listening if you want to confess… tips [at] consumerist [dot] com.—MEGHANN MARCO

(Photo:cmorran123)

Comments

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  1. Jae says:

    Does Sprint require proof of new address? when I was leaving verizon I know that they required some sort of proof of new address, usually a utility bill with name and new address on it.

  2. y2julio says:

    Woah, I like Sprint a lot more now :)

  3. redline13 says:

    I am on a SERO plan. It’s an outstanding value.

  4. y2julio says:

    Anyone know if they will actually contact the employee to see if they DO know you?

  5. mad_oak says:

    I like how Chase is an advertiser on this page and it is recommended as the best ‘place to work for’ for a Sprint discount. As for me… I do work for Chase, happy happy times!

  6. everclear75 says:

    I like reading things of this ilk.
    Now where are the Disgruntled T-Mobile CSRs that are willing to spill the beans??!???

  7. I gotta get a hold of that SERO plan. I wonder if changing will renew my contract?

  8. tmweber says:

    holy sero plan, that is a damn good deal. Looks like it’s Sprint when I move back to civilization (currently in the UP of MI using Alltel)

  9. channelx says:

    A simple google search will turn up a ton of sprint employee names and email addresses.


    Awesome….awesome to the max

  10. virgilstar says:

    Not sure about not having to prove who you work for. In store, I think they require your word ID card or something similar (paystub), and they photocopy it for their records.

  11. Erica H. says:

    So is it possible to take advantage of the SERO plan AND get the big company discount? I know it sounds improbable, but it never hurts to ask, right?

  12. Erica H. says:

    Is it possible to take advantage of a SERO plan AND get the big company discount?

    Any firsthand knowledge out there?

  13. Myron says:

    We despise companies that deceive but customers are encouraged to lie. Since when is it noble to lie about where you work or live?

  14. dwarf74 says:

    The extended service and repair plan actually is illegal. It falls under insurance fraud, which if I remember right, is a felony.

  15. kerry says:

    @virgilstar: Not always true. Many moons ago my dad got a phone with a minute-to-minute corporate rate. This was in the late 80’s, IIRC. Years go by, he quits his job with that corporation but doesn’t tell CellularOne. He gives the phone to my mom, years go by and then she gives it to me. Long story short, in 2002 my car gets broken into and the phone is stolen. My dad goes to Cingular (who now own CellularOne) to get a new phone and they ask if he still works for that same corporation. He says, “uh, yeah, sure,” and they give him the corporate rate without asking for any proof. I used the corporate rate on that phone for a couple more years before transferring the account to my name and getting a proper minute package. I don’t think most sales reps really care enough to check that you work where you say you do.

  16. Juancho says:

    @everclear75: Seconded! Bring us T-Mobile!

  17. JPropaganda says:

    I’m a little disappointed by the tips here. They tell me how to get a cheaper monthly rate but not a cheaper new phone. still, the SERO plans are nice.

  18. Outtacontext says:

    @JPropaganda: one of the best tips above is to call the retention department (now called “Account Services”). At the voicemail prompt just say “Cancel” and that should get you where you want to go.

    You have the best leverage if your contract is about to or has expired. Tell them you want “X” phone to re-up. If you get any hesitation, hang up and call back to get another rep in Account Services. When the first one balked at giving me two free phones (and good ones I might add) I did this and the second agent said “Sure, I don’t see any problem with that.”

  19. redline13 says:

    The following emails work at the Sprint SERO website:

    savings@sprint.com
    openaccess@sprint.com

    Enjoy!

  20. kevinb7852 says:
  21. yalej says:

    Just a word about the buy accessory/text plan to get deal then return/cancel “tip”. I do believe the rep only gets credit if you actually buy/use what you purchased. If you return it or cancel something, they get docked, so you’re just screwing them.

  22. MShelly says:

    Take my advice– DON’T SIGN UP WITH SPRINT AT ALL !!! The customer service stinks, their billing people don’t know what they are talking about (and don’t speak English anyway) I want to move to the Desert to get away from them

  23. Helvetian says:

    I think SERO AND company discount is pushing it. SERO is already deeply discounted.

  24. Keter says:

    The SERO site offers the same rate for mobile broadband you can get in the store. I think I’ll wait to the end of the month and see if I can get a discount on the card.

  25. sam23 says:

    You can get both the discount and the sero plan. Once you have the sero plan just use sprints email customer care (ecare). Say you work for so and so, give them some bogus work email and other basic info.

    If you want free texts, free nights/weekends at six: Email ecare say some other company is willing to give you unlimited txts for free, nights at 6 for free. You need to do this within the first 30 days because you can cancel. They will bend over backwards to keep the account.

    You can also double dip the discount with the phone rebate. Get a phone and use the discount it comes with. Then look on amazon for a discount and send it in. They will deny the other discount, so just call and complain and they will force it through.

    Then when you have the phone, find someone who has sprint and say they referred you and you will get a bonus 25 dollar gift card for you, and the person who said referred you to sprint. (dial #733 and enter the friends cell number and you’re done).

  26. Do2 says:

    Oh God… remember the story about a little bait and a big fish.

    If you get sucked into the Sprint world by these offerings after all you have read on these pages, you are desperate.

    However, if you do, we will look forward to your posts here and consider you pitiful.

  27. potskie says:

    I used to be a sprint employee myself and yup all stuff does work.I know for a fact that they never check for proof of employment they may ask you for your employee number for the corporate discount(depends on the agent) just make something up they cant verify it.The retention department is a funny department they have magical plans ive some plans come out of there that are a 10th of what they would normally be and you best leverage there is either after your phones busted or stolen and you say its worth the 150 to get out and go else where to save on buying a phone or just before your contract expires.

  28. -Rockstar- says:

    If I’m already currently a Sprint customer with 1.5 yrs left on my contract, is it possible to get onto both the SERO account and the Corporate account? Or could I at least swtich to one or the other? Thanks.

  29. Amber56 says:

    I took advantage of the 28% discount through my former employer, Best Buy. When I signed up for the plan, I had to give my store number and manager’s name and phone number, but I seriosly doubt Sprint took the time to check up on it. I just left Best Buy two months ago, and my discount hasn’t been taken away yet. I guess if it’s still there when I get my next statement, I can assume I’ll have it for as long as I have the plan.

  30. themacthinker says:

    Pretty good insight, thanks. I bet it can work for some competitors as well.

    ———-
    http://www.mostofmymac.com

  31. micturatedupon says:

    the answer to most everybody’s questions: yes.

    yes, you can have sero and chase/ups/la fire dept(all are 25% or above) employee discount(but you cant have two ‘jobs’ hehe).

    yes, you can switch to sero while in contract, no matter how long you have left.

    retention is awesome, however, be careful, some reps *will* cancel you if you get too aggressive.

    truly, with sprint, yes, you can;)

    ….except for the two no’s – sprint *does not* require proof of address when moving, and no, sprint does not verify employment info.

    but, if you want to make yourself feel better just in case, give them your home number, and make sure you have a generically professional message on it – (“hi, you have reached john doe, i’m not available right now, but leave a message, i’ll return your call at my earliest convienence”)

    the key, to doing all of these things, is persistence…because, there’s a good chance you may not get what you want with the first phone or ecare rep you speak with- just don’t be too pushy, and they won’t notate yoru account. give up on that rep, and try, try, try again – someone will let you get your way, 90% of the time.

  32. cde1948 says:

    I am disappointed that the only postings that deal with getting a good deal from the cell phone companies are to lie and cheat in order to steal service from them. I’m with Sprint and I would like to get a better deal from them but I am unwilling to lie to them, steal the addresses of employees that I don’t know or to use some other illicit way to get service from my company. I get so surprised at the populas that think this is ok to do. Sorry I like doing things the right way!

  33. rtg593 says:

    They never check if you leave a company of employment. My friend still get’s his 18% discount 3 years after the company went bankrupt in the local area! Also, everyone I know with them had to bring in a current pay stub to prove their employment.

  34. sharpcars2000 says:

    People who work for a “Ford Heavy Truck Dealer” get the MAX 28% discount. ALL Ford dealers sell “heavy” trucks. There are several thousand Ford Dealerships in the US. Sprint offered this to me after being with them for years when I was upgrading my phone b/c the email address had the word ford in it. Give them your home e-mail for billing purpose, tell them your a car salesman at My City Ford and someone told you that you may qualify for a discount. (go on the net for Ford Dealer’s name in your area) Give them your work e-mail as john@mycityford.com. They will not check anything, and after about 6 weeks, you will begin saving 28% off your total bill. My bill was like $110 now its around $80.

    Thanks for telling about this SERO plan….need an answer to ROCKSTARS question….??????

    If I’m already currently a Sprint customer with 1.5 yrs left on my contract, is it possible to get onto both the SERO account and the Corporate account? Or could I at least swtich to one or the other? Thanks

  35. kymatlo says:

    On the SERO website you cannot change a current Sprint plan to a SERO plan without purchasing a new phone. I just tried it.

  36. ksigtad says:

    @micturatedupon:
    very good info

    i worked for sprint in a call center and in a 3rd party store and all of this is pretty much true

    i used to use the moving out of area trick to steal away sprint customers when i worked in a verizon store
    porting numbers isn’t a problem either

  37. mrspapertiger says:

    if you already have an active contract with sprint, can you sign up for sero online, or do you have to call sprint customer service? also, if you do have to call customer servie. what type of friend/family proof do they ask for? is it enough just to give them the email addresses — savings@sprint.com
    openaccess@sprint.com — that get you the sero offers on the website?

  38. boogy says:

    When I go to the SERO site it says that it is only available to new customers or existing customers addind a new line. I am already a Sprint customer under a family plan. Can I still get in on the SERO plan and keep my same number?

  39. mike3277 says:

    I went to the sprint sero website and i typed in the email address and got everything. When I finally found texts, the only option available was 300 texts for $5.00. Is there anyway to get unlimited using sero?

  40. meeesh says:

    If you were to do sero, do you have to sign up the additional 2-year aggreement? or can you sign up for sero and use it until your current contract ends.

  41. thizbadgrrlizgoingtohell says:

    I work for sprint myself and you have to show proof that you work for said company to recieve their discount. You have to show pay stubs or ID badge, anything that will let them know that you work for that company. One tip for getting an awesome deal on phones and contract plans is to go somewhere other than a sprint store to get your account. BestBuy, Costco, Radio Shack, even the little Kiosks in malls have better plans than the actual Sprint store themselves. Also, BestBuy has instant rebates on their phones, they no longer deal with mail-in rebates and you can always talk them down on their phones.

  42. Too_Tired_4_This says:

    I’m a current Sprint subscriber. I went through the Sero process only to be told that they couldn’t transfer my current account. I could have the discount applied to a new line (and number), but not the existing one.

  43. homebuilder38 says:

    Is the SERO plan available for people who are already current sprint customers and if so how do i sign on? I tried the website that is above but it ran me thru as if i was signing up for new service, i didnt see where it offered to just change plans. Any help someone could give would be greatly appreciated

  44. homebuilder38 says:

    anyone know if you can sign up for sero and be an existing customer?….if so how?

  45. Greg L says:

    Sprint does NOT release for moving out of coverage and stopped doing so several months ago.

    SERO and NVP discounts are technically not combinable, but it is possible to find a rep that will add it anyway.

    SERO is the best deal going in wireless right now. Especially the $30 plan. If you need texting, tell them your old carrier offered unlimited SMS for $X a month and ask if Sprint has anything similar. You may be offered it for $8 a month.

  46. mrspapertiger says:

    Can an existing customer sign up for SERO through a phone rep?

  47. sassy says:

    The only way to sign up for the SERO plan through Sprint if you are an existing customer is to cancel your account and set up a new account on the inphonics website. If you are still in a contract you are charged a termination fee when you cancel your account. As for the company discounts, I am not sure how it works at the store, but if you call customer service to sign up for it, it will be verified with the employer that you do work for them, which is why it sometimes takes up to a month or two before you receive the discount, and if the employer does not verify it, you wont get the discount, now you cant just give them a fake phone number to verify it either as they do have all the contact information for the companies whose employees are provided with discounts. ALso if you are moving out of the Sprint coverage area, or even out of the country, they will charge you a termination fee if you cancel your service. If you are in the military and you are deployed(with papers to prove it) they wont charge you the fee.

  48. phoneboy says:

    Answers to your above questions are all pretty accurate:

    No they do not contact the employee on the SERO plan.

    You may be able to get SERO and a corporate plan , but are not supposed to because each plan is associated with a “plan code.”

    Changing from a base plan to SERO if you can find someone that knows how to do it will usually extend your contract, but if you’re happy with the service, so what?!

    Extended service plan is actually a pretty good deal on a high end phone like a Treo, not a cheaper consumer phone like a RAZR/KRAZR. In either case, invest $25-30 in a ruggedized case by Speck Products http://www.speckproducts.com

    Wireless card Pantech PX500 is “free” at http://www.sprint.com

    They rarely eliminate the employee discount, even if you leave for another company–there’s no way to know that you left.

  49. submetropolis says:

    If you’re fed up with Sprint and don’t want to pay a cancelation fee have your service changed to a the vacation plan. This will disable your phone and you pay a $5-10 monthly fee. Do this until your contract is up. 5-10 bucks a month is a lot better then $200-350 cancellation fee.

  50. Toya3000 says:

    I have a Sprint phone unfortunately. I tried the whole tell them your moving to a place where there is no coverage, to get out of your contract thing. It went all wrong. The customer service rep kept me on the phone forever. She obviously misunderstood me and kept asking how could she satisfy me. Her English wasn’t all that great either but she added an extra 100 minutes to my plan and took some money off of my bill. That was all good and cool but I’m still stuck with Sprint!!! Six months and counting until November 9th when my sentence with Sprint will be over and I’ll finally be free. Man I can’t wait!!!

  51. CPSHAboy says:

    File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. They will contact Sprint for you and get you what you want.

  52. vikonava says:

    I was a Customer Service Agent of Sprint I will keep my name unknown for security purposes…. last month I didnt want to continue working there, its a great place, lots of friends, but i didnt feel quite right helping people as I used to do… We are trained for 6-weeks before we end up getting calls, we are trained first of all to trick customers and sell them something, whenever an agent fixes your problem hear carefully at what they say at that point since its probably selling something… Since I want to get a balance on this, i will get you some tips to get free things from Sprint.

    When the agent customer service answers a call they cant transfer you to a supervisor, you have to say it twice before they can transfer you.

    If you want to cancel the contract before the ETF they will tell you to be transfered to another department probably “Accounts Management” which is not the case, that departments real name is Retentions in which agents are trained to give you free things for you not to leave. Agents are paid for every customer that doesnt leaves the company so probably they can offer you from Free Minutes or Discounts upto Free Cell Phones from $150-$175 dollars worth. In this department “Retentions” they CANT cancel your account if after that you dont take the offer they will transfer you to anotherrr person that will finally terminate the account.

    After hearing this you are more probably to get free stuff from Sprint, and i repeat ASK AT THE END NOT TO BE ADDED NOTHING MORE AT YOUR PLAN because i used on cusytomer service to get paid by every sell in which i ended selling 20 a day, getting almost 80 extra usd per day.

    Another thing they teached me was not5 to give adjustments for Sprint Pcs data or Internet, So I will recommend hen you get that case to ask for supervisor twice or tell you want to cancel so you are transfered to Retentions ;)

    Oh! And for new custoimers when you get activation fees on cellphones or upgrade fee when getting new phone, just call Customer Service with a good tone of voice and tell them that in store they didnt told you about those charges, since we are foced with that to give you an adj for the FULL quantity being charged on that.

    Any more info you want to get on this you got my mail :P viko.nava@gmail.com and i will be happy to help you out with your questions.

  53. misspvo says:

    i work for sprint and here’s a couple of other things..

    - sign up for TEP, it’s worth it. i work at a service and repair location and trust me, it’s a damn shame to see people coming in an paying $15-$55 (plus tax) to have their phone fixed. on lower model phones (those that don’t have the multimedia features), if you wanna keep the bill low, that’s fine but most definitely on the PDAs

    - since i do work for service and repair, reminder for PDA owners, PLEEASSSEE back up (hotsync) your phones information before coming in! the software comes with the phone for a reason! i hate watching people’s numbers, calenders, etc. get erased because of a technical glitch.

    - be nice to reps, we give you more if you act more humanely.

    things off of this article… sero is very amazing, not too sure i like the ebay idea (lost or stolen phone? SOL), retention has magical ways, and working for chase or boeing (hint), awesome savings.

    i can go on and on about the service and repair locations but in the end, most likely no, you can’t upgrade your phone or downgrade it because you don’t like it, i’m sorry. we follow a list, we’re unfortunately very precise. if you push the manager a little (and by a little, your phone better be dead and you shouldn’t be yelling too much), than you have a shot.

  54. Angrycustomer says:

    Sprint has poor, poor customer service and they are a bunch of Thieves. Switch to Verizon when you can, they are kind and do follow through with what they say they are going to do. We just had an experience that a rep indicated a charge would be removed, yet we still received a bill. When recontacted sprint, there was a notation in there system from the rep, however, they couldn’t do that, even though the rep said it would be taken care of. Now we owe another $200. What a bunch of thieves!!! I will provide as much negative feedback to as many people and as many ways I can to discourage signing up with this fraudulent company!!!

  55. @submetropolis: Too bad that when people think like you and are dishonest like that, it ruins it for everyone else. The vacation plan is offered for a reason. That reason is not a “contract loophole.”

  56. Dangerous340 says:

    Add me to the list of very pissed off/unhappy sprint customers. Everytime I added something to my account they screw it up and I get bogus charges on my bill. The newest started in October when the Centro phones came out. It is April now and I spent over 20 hours on the phone with sprint trying to get my account close as I can to what I had before the new phones. I now have to pay for data and text services that were included in my plan being told there is no way for them to return my old plan to the way it was Thier retentions dept supposedly got it close a month ago and were supposed to adjust some charges to get my bill down closer to what it was before. They were unsuccesful and when I tried again to get it fixed last night I was told they Can’t/won’t do it. They said they had all thier discount codes taken away from them and I can’t even get what I was promised on my last call nor will they do anythig to try to fix it now. I am sorry this rambles and the details would take a book to list. I just advise you to stay away!!! They seam good at first they suck you in and when you start to rely on them they screw you. I now have 5 phones with 1-2 yrs to go on the contracts I am going to eat alot of cash to get away from this sucky company. Thanx for the vent.

  57. MedwinPashosh says:

    @cde1948:
    The comment about all of these postings suggesting deceit to get a discount is not entirely true.? Such as, calling just before your contract is up to cancel in order to alert the Retention Dept.? This is just good ol’ fashioned bargaining.? Also, though I would not recommend lying about who you work for to get a discount, you could try and see of your real employer gets a discount.? Lastly, the SERO plan is for friends and family of Sprint employees so if you happen to be friends with or related to a Sprint employee, you honestly qualify for this discount.

    I was surprised to find out my employer qualifies for the discount plan, I just had to ask.

    There are honest methods to be gleaned fro this site if you put your mind to it.