Ad Watchdog Says Sprint Should Stop Calling Itself ‘New’ And ‘Improved’

Is Sprint really the U.S. carrier with an all-new network infrastructure and the most improved customer service in the industry? Their ads would have you think so, but competitor T-Mobile complained to the self-regulating watchdogs over at the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council. Here’s what they found out after investigating the claims that Sprint makes in its ads.

What are those claims? Here are a few that T-Mobile cited in their complaint:

  • “[A network] that now delivers faster speeds, better call quality and fewer dropped calls.”
  • “Now is the time to try America’s Newest Network. Why? Because at Sprint, when we say America’s Newest network, we mean a brand new network. We started from the ground up and built an all-new network that now delivers faster speeds and better call quality.”
  • “Sprint is the most improved U.S. company in customer satisfaction, across all 43 industries, over the last six years.”
  • Of course, anyone who watches ads critically knows that “most improved U.S. company in customer satisfaction” probably means that company has gone from bad to merely mediocre. NAD’s analysis shows that even that isn’t true in the case of Sprint: while the company’s customer service ratings with the ACSI went up from 2008 to 2011, this figure conveniently ignores ratings since 2011. It will probably not surprise you that Sprint’s customer service rating has gone down during that period, which is conveniently left out of the statistic.

    What about the claims that the network is new, though? While Sprint has been working hard to upgrade its network for the last few years, alienating current customers in the process, they’ve been upgrading it. Using words like “new” and “from the ground up” implies that Sprint tossed out the entire old network and started over from nothing. While Sprint’s LTE service has vastly improved, that doesn’t make it new.

    In a statement, Sprint told NAD that it would take the group’s findings into consideration for future ads.

    NAD Recommends Sprint Discontinue ‘New’ Network, Customer Satisfaction Claims, Following T-Mobile Challenge [ASRC]