Audio: Sprint Waives Activation Fee If You Ask Nicely

Looks like there’s yet another charge Sprint lets its retail stores charge you that is totally unnecessary.

In-store, Sprint will charge you a $36 activation fee if you get a new plan. If you call up Sprint, however, and request it, they will waive this charge.

Here’s a recording (1:23) reader Tedonion made of a Sprint rep revealing the unnecessary fee.

Moral of the story seems to be to never purchase Sprint products inside a Sprint store. Go straight to source and order online or over the phone.

P.S. Love the slew of phone calls you guys are sending in. Keep ’em coming!


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  1. Mike_ says:

    It never hurts to ask. I sweet-talked Sprint into giving me a free holster ($20 retail, $0.10 actual value) when I renewed my contract a few years back. It took some work to get them to finally deliver on their promise, but it did eventually arrive (and then break a few weeks later).

  2. snazz says:

    you should have asked for a discount off your bill… i agreed to extend my contact an additional 2 years and they gave me 15% off my bill each month during that time. i did this over the phone of course, sprint stores are bitches.

  3. snazz says:

    it seems to me that every fee with a cell phone is subjective and can be waived.

  4. tedonion says:

    snazz, no agreement was made with Sprint durring this call. Ended up with a free phone and 20% off for two years [new contract] thanks to the change in text messaging rates. (no activation fee or shipping charges of course) 5 months were left on the contract.

    I would have canceled the service, but there was not a better deal around than that which Sprint offered after it was clear I was in the right to cancel without paying an early term fee.

  5. baldguy247 says:

    This is very true, I got them to waive the activation fee last time I got a new phone at the store. I simply called the customer service line and laid it on real thick.

  6. ding says:

    Cingular does the same thing. I purchased a new phone locally – had been a customer for 10 years. Got home and started thinking about it and wondered why EVERYONE always gets a free phone and I don’t. Called the 800 number and they told me to take the phone back and order it online and it would be free. Did it – but it makes me mad that I wasn’t told of that at the store.

  7. Jim says:

    This activation fee thing isn’t necessarily so easy.

    I got a new Sprint phone in September (free, after much haggling and eventually telling the rep I needed to hang up as I had arrived at the Cingular kiosk). I wanted to stick with Sprint because I knew all their direct-to-person phone numbers and didn’t want to have to start all over again, and that was pretty much the only reason.

    The girl who sold me the phone told me I’d be charged $36 for activation, but all I had to do was call *2 and ask them to waive it. I did, it was, everyone was happy. They even advised me that the plan I was on was no longer offered and a much cheaper one would work for my account (my phone and my wife’s). So, no activation, and about $30/mo. off my bill.

    Then 2 weeks later, cell phone envy caught up with her, and my wife decided to upgrade after all. The kiosk where we got my phone didn’t have a phone she liked, so we went to a Radio Shack. The kid told her activation would be $18, which we found odd…shouldn’t it be the same as mine?, but shrugged it off knowing we could just call and have it waived.

    On the way home from the mall I called *2 again and got the activation Nazi, who assured me that I would absolutely be charged, and in a fair and just world, it could only be so. After audibly frothing at the mouth he told me for the 19th time I would be charged $36 on my next bill. I told him the kid only said $18. “He was wrong, it’s $36, and you’ll be charged $36.” “Uh, like hell!” Eventually a supervisor credited us $36 to cancel out the indelible charge because of the Radio Shack kid’s error in pricing. “You can’t simply call and ask to not pay for something, it doesn’t work that way.” “I just did it 2 weeks ago in less than 5 minutes on the other phone on this same account.” “Well, we see that and we’ll look into why that particular rep offered that to you. She was in error.”

    So, Sprint girl who kept me a Sprint customer by saving me nearly $70, I’m sorry if you were reprimanded for doing so.

    Everyone else, be prepared, it might not be as simple for you.

  8. lesliann28 says:

    I just tried to call and have them waive my activation fee on my Palm Treo 700wx. The service rep said it was a “valid charge” and the system “could not waive the fee.”

    …Figured since I’m paying over $80 a month they could extend me the service. Ugggh, I’m already hating this company after only one week.

    Maybe they have changed the policy for 2007?

    I’ll try again tomorrow.