I see many questions asked repeatedly about problems with phones, and thought a
"Repair FAQ" was in order. I have no association with SprintPCS and there is a
greater than zero chance there may be errors herein. I believe everything to be
correct, but use the information at your own risk.

What do I do if my phone goes bad/dies/stops working?

All new phones are sold with a 1-year warranty. If it goes bad in the first 14
days that’s your “Test” period and you are free to return it to Sprint
(or where you bought it) for a full refund or exchange for a different new
phone (although activation fees may apply). Between 15 and 365 days you return
it for repair or replacement, if it is replaced it will usually be a
refurbished phone and may or may not be the same model. Same rules apply to
your battery. Lithium Ion batteries usually last about 2 years, but not all do.
Usually they are also covered by the one-year warranty.

What does SprintPCS say about Warrantys?:
“The manufacturer of your phone offers a one-year limited warranty from the
date of purchase. To replace your phone under the manufacturer's warranty, a
Sprint Store technician must verify the defect. To locate the nearest Sprint
Store, dial *2 on your PCS Phone, say "Store locator," and follow the
instructions; or go to our online Sprint Store locator. (Note: Warranties are
exclusive to the manufacturer and only allow for same-model exchanges. Sprint
has no liability in connection with the manufacturers' acts and/or

What does SprintPCS say about repairs:
“If you are having trouble with your PCS Phone, visit a local Sprint Store
Technical Center with service capabilities for a phone evaluation to determine
if there is a problem. A Sprint Store must have service capabilities to repair
your PCS Phone.”

What about Equipment Replacement Program?:
In general they are a rip off, but only you know your loss history,
And for more expensive phones they may be a consideration, although
for a loss you have to file a police report, pay a deductible and accept a
refurbished phone.

The first thing to do for a lost phone is to Call your number, you may hear the
phone under a sofa cushion, or it may be answered by someone or someplace you
visited the day before that will be happy you called.

What does SprintPCS say about a lost phone?:
“If you lose your phone, notify PCS Customer Solutions at 888-211-4727. If
you have the PCS Equipment Replacement Program on your account, please call
lockline Insurance at 1-800-584-3666.
Important notes to remember when you lose your PCS Phone:
* You are still liable for the monthly recurring charges while service is
interrupted, including all charges for lost or stolen equipment before you
notified Sprint.
* You may be required to provide evidence of a police report or affidavit
for the loss or theft.
* When you reactivate your service you will be able to keep the same
phone number and monthly service plan.
∑ If you purchase another PCS Phone, you must pay a $35 non-refundable
activation fee unless you activate your phone online.”

What about annoying problems?

This can be exceedingly frustrating, especially if it is an intermittent
problem that cannot be readily reproduced for SprintPCS technicians.

Sometimes one of 2 types of firmware upgrades helps. Problems with not being
able to roam are many times alleviated by a “PRL” update (PRL = Preferred
Roaming List). SprintPCS has agreements with other cellular carriers to allow
your phone to work on other networks when outside of the range of the SprintPCS
network. You do not get to choose which carrier; it is determined by the PRL,
software inside your phone. The current version is 10021. Each phone also has a
version of its unique firmware. As phones are in the hands of users, often
times “bugs” are discovered and fixed, by a firmware update, but this has
to be done by a SprintPCS technician at the Sprint store. Selling is the top
priority at stores, so upgrades to firmware are usually not available in real
time, although sometimes one can drop off their phone on the way to lunch, and
pick it up on their way home. Sometimes these firmware upgrades solve your
problem and you’re done.

Information on Firmware and PRLs is available at http://www.sprintpcsinfo.com

If both a PRL and Firmware upgrade do not solve your problem, the problem could
be changes in the SprintPCS network (which Sprint may not admit to) or known
issues with your model phone. If the problem is bad enough go back to the
Sprint store, ask to speak to the manager, calmly explain your ongoing problem,
and document the PRL and Firmware updates/upgrades and insist on a replacement.
There is a common law principle called “Fit for Purpose” which means they
sold you a phone, it has to work. It trumps the Contract. If SprintPCS refuses
to help you (and that has happened) and the problems are too much too accept,
write a letter to your State Attorney General with a Certified copy to
SprintPCS HQ in Kansas City and demand to be let out of the Early Termination

Many folks insist the thing to do is to buy your SprintPCS phone from Costco or
federated or other big Department store that has a satisfaction guarantee.
Often those places will replce your phone or refund your phone in cases where
SprintPCS may have declined to help in the way you might have liked.

In some cases, you may just wish to buy a new phone: SprintPCS now allows any
customer to get new customer deals on a new phone if you have been using the
same phone for 18 months. You get the discount by rebate however.


Nov. 8, 2003
This FAQ is based on my experiences and the reported experiences of others as
posted in this newsgroup. The “what does SprintPCS say” is taken verbatim
from the SprintPCS website as of the day of this FAQ. SprintPCS is free to
change its policies at any time, and I make no guarantee as to what will happen
if one seeks a warranty repair or replacement, and cannot be held responsible
for your results. I believe it would serve SprintPCS better if it were not
secretive about these rules,
and was proactive about replacing "problem phones". Ap[parently there is a
secret list of phones that have "known issues", and if you complain, they will
be replaced, but only if you complain. I view this posting as helpful to
Sprint. I welcome ===constructive=== criticism and additions.

Personal insults addressed to the author will be ignored.

See More: Repair FAQ, with caveat for Scott and Steve