Sprint Encourages Its Retail Stores To Lie

If you’re a current Sprint customer, watch out when you buy a new phone in a retail store. The store may try to trick you into signing up for a new contract, and Sprint, Inc, says it’s totally cool.

Here’s what one rep happened to tell reader Drew:

“Sprint allows the Sprint Store managers to set policies where they can insist on changing your plan when customers want to buy particular phones. The do that because they get a cash reward every time they get someone to change their plan.”

If you’d rather not extend the amount of time, you can call ahead and check out what a store’s policy is. Or you can upgrade your phone directly with Sprint by calling customer service.

Or you can revert to your old plan after using the phone for a month. Just be sure to mark your calendar. Obviously, Sprint is banking on people forgetting.

(Let’s see if the Sprint comments bizatch has anything to say about this one.)

Drew’s full story on how Sprint retail shook him down, inside.


Drew writes:

    “All the Sprint talk lately has forced me to spill my guts. I got this piece of advice straight from the horse’s mouth when I was on the phone with Sprint PCS customer service.

    Months ago, I had decided to replace my clunky old phone with something snazzy and new. I got a tip from someone testing a new Windows Mobile phone that it was a great phone and was going to hit store shelves in a few days. I figured the wisest place for me to buy a new Sprint phone was at the nearest Sprint Store. After all the testing, questioning, and button poking at the store, I had decided to take the plunge with the new phone. As they were ringing me up, they told me “You are also getting a free trial of this snazzy new phone plan. It’s completely free for the first month, and if you don’t like it, you can switch back to your old plan.”

    I knew something was up. “Thanks, but I’m happy with my current plan.” They told me that it was not an option. “We can not sell you that phone without a revised plan. It’s Sprint policy. You have to try the new plan with that phone, at least for the free 1 month trial. Then you can switch back if you don’t like it. Otherwise, we can’t sell you the phone.” So it’s policy. It’s required for me to get the new phone. I conceded in the interest of getting my grubby hands on the new techno-toy.

    A few months later, I was still with the service plan. I was on the phone with Sprint customer service, arguing a phone bill that exceeded $400 and I was telling this same story once I heard that my old plan “was no longer being offered.”. I heard a deep sigh over the phone followed by “I really shouldn’t tell you this…” I swear those were his exact words. He was feeling my pain! He wanted to come clean!

    “You were tricked into getting the new plan. Sprint allows the Sprint Store managers to set policies where they can insist on changing your plan when customers want to buy particular phones. The do that because they get a cash reward every time they get someone to change their plan.”

    “So I didn’t need to get a new plan with that phone?”

    “No.”

    “And I got screwed only because I was at a Sprint Store?”

    “…Yes.”

    The lesson I learned is that Sprint customers thinking of getting a new phone should do so anywhere but at a Sprint Store.”