William assumed that the mobile phone kiosk salesman was acting as an agent of Sprint, trying to get him to switch. The offer was too good to refuse: 25% off, without having to work for a specific employer or any other qualification. They paid an ETF to Verizon and jumped ship. That’s when they learned that the discount wasn’t for just anyone: it was an employee discount, and William didn’t work for the company the salesman had claimed that he did.
Just over two years ago I was on my way to the Verizon store to look at new phones for my wife and we passed a Sprint Retail Kiosk. The manager of the kiosk stopped us and asked if we were in the market for cells. I told him we had Verizon and that we wouldn’t leave verizon both because I had a line still under contract for a year, and Verizon was giving us a 20% discount for a job my wife used to have (Verizon allowed us to keep the discount). He immediately countered and said he could offer me a 25% discount off their Everything plan. There was no caveat to this, no employment requirement, nothing, simply said that it’d be 25% off. I took him up on the offer, canceled my verizon account, and paid an ETF for my line because with the discount it was worth the 120 dollars I would owe Verizon.
For 2 years with Sprint I had no issues with the discount, and since then have added two lines. I recently upgraded my line when Sprint “allowed” me to upgrade a few months early for a nominal fee. Nothing was asked about the discount, and I continued to get it. Yesterday I received a text from Sprint indicating I had until October 31 to prove I still qualified for my discount. I e-mailed Sprint and told them that I did not receive it as an employee discount, I was offered a discounted rate to switch my service to Sprint.
They responded with a roundabout “Tough luck:”
“Thank you for contacting Sprint. I understand that you are not able to
verify the eligibility for the discount provisioned on your account.
Unfortunately, the employee discount cannot be continued without the
successful verification for the eligibility of the discount. I
understand that a Sprint Associate offered this discount to you for
switching to Sprint. Unfortunately, this is not a valid discount on your
account if you are not an employee of the organization for which the
discount is provisioned. It will be removed once the time-frame to
verify is expired. I apologize for the inconvenience caused to you due
I think this should be a warning to potential Sprint customers out there. Sprint will do anything it takes to get you on board. Once you’re on board, don’t count on good customer service. I am currently exploring options, but am hoping I can get out of my ETF with losing the discount, but I’m sure I’ll have to fight for it, like everything with Sprint.
To be accurate, that’s like everything with all mobile phone companies. In a competitive marketplace, Remember that not everyone in a Sprint store or kiosk is a Sprint employee: the store may be a reseller of Sprint services, and not as accountable to Sprint Corporate for the wacky things they say to get you to sign up.