This FAQ is in no way authored by Sprint Spectrum, Sprint or Sprint PCS unless
otherwise expressly noted. By reading on, you agree that you are fully aware of
this. I see many questions asked repeatedly about repairs, and thought an
"Unofficial Repair FAQ" was in order. I have no association (i.e. never been
employed or received any remuneration for them) with SprintPCS and there is a
greater than zero chance there may be errors herein. My only association with
SprintPCS is as a current customer interested in the vagarities of its
policies. I believe everything to be correct, but use the information at your
own risk. This FAQ comes not from SprintPCS, so it is unofficial, but
apparently has useful information some SprintPCS apologists are upset about
being made public, and one even threatened me with by forwarding this FAQ to
SprintPCS legal. Haven’t heard a peep from them, cause this FAQ is all true
to the best of my knowledge.

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. Some places offer
30-day return privilege on phones, but you’d still only have 14 days to
cancel a contract if the new phone also came with a new contract with

What does SprintPCS say about Warrantees?:
“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 I believe 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, and sometimes not even the same model.

The first thing to do for a lost phone is to Call your number, you may hear the
phone ringing 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.”
The $35 fee does not currently apply to those with Business Accounts.

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 help. Problems with roaming 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

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 replace your phone or refund your money 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.
If you are on a business plan, check with your company’s SprintPCS
representative. They may have discounts or special deals or freebies on soon to
be discontinued phones.


Nov. 18, 2003
This Unofficial FAQ is based on my experiences and opinions and the reported
experiences of others as posted in this newsgroup. Always go by the latest
dated FAQ and ignore all earlier ones. The “what does SprintPCS say” is
taken verbatim from the SprintPCS website, and include those portions of text
within quotation marks. 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". I believe there is a secret
list of phones that have "known issues", and if you complain, they will be
replaced, but only if you complain. The Sanyo Black 8500 was such a phone. It
would not work in Analog Roaming mode, and would be replaced IF YOU ASKED. 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: Cell Phone Repair FAQ