It’s been several years since we received some good insider confessions from anyone at Sprint. So in the interest of keeping things up-to-date, a current employee of the wireless provider reached out to Consumerist to see if that original advice still holds true.
1. Get the Sprint Employee Referral Offer: This is a nice little friends-and-family type discount (see details here) that you can score just for knowing a Sprint employee. However, the Sprint rep tells us things have gotten a little more complicated since we wrote about this in 2007.
“This offer now requires the subscriber to have the last 3 numbers of the employee’s Corporate ID Number,” says the insider. “If you know a Sprint employee, you can ask them to retrieve this number by using Microsoft Outlook’s Address Book, finding the person, and clicking properties. This will show the desired Corporate ID Number.”
2. Play the Extended Service and Repair Program Game: Back in 2007, the former Sprint rep suggested a slightly sketchy way of replacing a lost or damaged phone cheaply — buy a broken one on eBay, activate it, and take it into the Sprint store to get it repaired or replaced on the spot under the ESRP.
But the new tipster has this to say about that: “This option does work, but you only get 3 repairs/replacements per line, so cancel the program on one line and put it on another. If you break a phone from a line that is not covered by the program, simply call in and ask them to “flip-flop” your phones and add TEP (Total Equipment Protection) they will gladly do it, then you can file your claim the next day.”
3. Buy your phone at the end of the month when the reps are desperate for commission on activations. The 2012 Sprint rep says this still holds true, but adds that your mileage may vary depending on what a particular sales rep needs to fill his or her quota.
“If they need new lines, they will throw offers to add new lines. If they need accessories, they will promote that offer,” says the current Sprinter. “You are bound to get some better deals at the end of the month, but it is always dependent on what the representative’s goals are.”
4. Cancel without an ETF by “moving” to the middle of the desert: The 2007 Sprint rep said one way to get out of a contract without an ETF was to first have your billing address changed to some place that isn’t covered by Sprint and then call to cancel because you can’t get service.
Five years later, the new rep says they have never actually had someone try to pull this on them — most likely because the white spots on the Sprint coverage map are fewer than they were in 2007.
“There are other things sales reps will try to do for you,” says the insider, “but I will always say anything is worth a try…”
5. Retention Specialists have power. Yes, agrees the new Sprint tipster, Retention Specialists do have the most power of the whole customer service area.
“The most important thing is to call customer care and threaten to cancel your line,” they explain. “The retention offers don’t come out as often anymore in retail stores, but there is always someone on staff in retentions on the phone.”
6. Get a big discount for working for a big company (or saying that you do): In 2007, our insider said you could get 7-28% off just by claiming you work for a company that does a lot of business with Sprint.
At the time, you didn’t even need to offer any sort of proof that you worked for one of these big businesses. But our new Sprint rep says this all changed recently.
“The customer must now send the paperwork and proof to a specialized department at corporate headquarters,” they explain. Regardless, the rep says you should try to find out if your company does business with Sprint because the corporate discount could save you a wad of cash.
Adds the rep:
“if you have any type of business yourself, you can always open the lines (or transfer them) under the business name (same plans available for business and family) and receive no activation or upgrade fees (now $36).
And one final tip from the new Sprint source:
It’s also a good idea to check out the offers online vs. in the store. If the offer is better online (usually waives certain fees) simply choose the “reserve in store” option and print it out and take it to the store to get the same offers in store.