Sunday, June 3, 2012

Oh Sprint...why dost thou spurn my affections?

A man should have a passionate relationship with his wife, his kids, his friends...but not with his cell phone company.  Then why is it that I have such a love/hate relationship with Sprint?  This weekend, Sprint did something that not only shows a lack of business acumen, but also just made me really grumpy.     This Saturday was the NEW release date for the HTC EVO 4G LTE for Sprint (a mouthful I know...more on the ridiculous naming conventions later.)  Like any good early adopter would, I went on down to the store to pick one up despite the fact that I knew I would have to pay full price for the phone since I wasn't eligible for an upgrade yet.  I know that $549.99 +tax is a big chunk of change, but I had the itch and it had to be scratched...TODAY...and nothing was going to stand in my way (or so I thought).  I walked into the store, filled with the electric anticipation that comes with purchasing a new flagship device.  Imagining the bright  720p screen, the snappy response of the dual core processor, and the blazing download speeds of LTE made my heart race inside my chest.  It's like a Porche for your pocket, and I was ready to break it loose.  The nice young man behind the counter pulled out the box, and asked for my number so he could begin my upgrade.  I responded that I wasn't eligible for the upgrade discount, and just wanted to pay full price for the phone.  Suddenly his face fell sullen, and he informed me that he could not sell me the phone for full price during the first two weeks after the phone's release.  It was strictly for new lines and upgrades with a new two year agreement.  Well, if it was a new agreement they required, I gladly offered to sign up for one.  Once again, the increasingly disappointed salesman informed me that there was nothing he could do to override the system and sell me the phone.  He suggested that I call Sprint Customer Care and 'buy out' the remainder of my contract so that I could upgrade my line.  After 45 minutes and different 4 Sprint Reps, I was finally told that I was not eligible to buy out my contract.   So there I was, offering to pay the unsubsidized cost of a new phone AND renew my contract, and there was nothing they could do.  Sprint's policy had effectively punished me for being such a good customer and buying phones too often.  Aren't early adopters EXACTLY the people that you want to have your flagship device in the first days after a launch that has already been delayed by two weeks?  After an hour of phone calls on my part, and 'let me try one more thing' on his part, the patient salesman suggested that I open a new line.  I would have to pay $20 monthly for it, but it would get me the phone today, and at the reduced price.  This was an absurd suggestion...What did I need another line for?   I just wanted that phone in my hand, and I wanted to go home.  Sprint created a policy that was designed to bring in new customers and retain current customers who are out of contract, but they forgot that the people they really need to retain are the people who buy new phone every year, and advocate the company to their friends and family.  What was a boy to do?   I couldn't buy the phone at any price just because I bought a phone within a year prior.  Sprint...why do I love you so much, when you hurt me so bad?

J

P.S.  If anyone wants the number of my new line..just let me know.

P.P.S.   EVO 4G LTE was totally worth it :-)




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