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  1. #1
    Rob Stampfli
    Guest
    I signed up for Sprint PCS 5 years ago through a corporate
    discount program offered through my employer. I bought a
    Motorola StarTac phone at that time, and it has served me
    faithfully since then. However, it is now getting flaky --
    it sometimes doesn't want to charge the battery and, more
    critically, the ear-piece speaker sometimes doesn't want
    to work -- no audio unless I fiddle with the up/down buttons.

    I'm happy with my plan. It nominally costs $30/mo (it's
    the old 300 minute national roaming plan from 1999), but
    with the discount, the total bill is about $26.

    What is the most economical way of upgrading the phone?

    Buy one off Ebay? If I do this, can I activate it without
    incurring any additional fees? (I thought you used to be
    able to do this over the web, but I cannot find it now.)

    Visit the Sprint store?

    Visit Radio Shack, Circuit City, etc?

    Buy a phone off sprintpcs.com?

    Call retention and tell them to either cut me a deal on
    a phone or I'll look elsewhere?

    Seems Sprint has some good deals on phones, but only if
    (1) I sign a contract, (2) I have a $35/mo plan or better
    which I don't, and (2) if I sign up for their PCS VISION
    package which I don't want.

    So, what's my best options?

    Thanks in advance,
    Rob



    See More: Need new phone - how best to proceed?




  2. #2
    Steve Sobol
    Guest

    Re: Need new phone - how best to proceed?

    Rob Stampfli wrote:

    > I'm happy with my plan. It nominally costs $30/mo (it's
    > the old 300 minute national roaming plan from 1999), but
    > with the discount, the total bill is about $26.
    >
    > What is the most economical way of upgrading the phone?
    >
    > Buy one off Ebay? If I do this, can I activate it without
    > incurring any additional fees? (I thought you used to be
    > able to do this over the web, but I cannot find it now.)


    That's how we upgraded my wife's Kyocera 2255 and she is still on the same plan
    you're on.

    Vision is no big deal, you can cancel any time during the free trial.

    --
    JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
    Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / [email protected]
    PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
    Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.



  3. #3
    Bob Smith
    Guest

    Re: Need new phone - how best to proceed?


    "Rob Stampfli" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I signed up for Sprint PCS 5 years ago through a corporate
    > discount program offered through my employer. I bought a
    > Motorola StarTac phone at that time, and it has served me
    > faithfully since then. However, it is now getting flaky --
    > it sometimes doesn't want to charge the battery and, more
    > critically, the ear-piece speaker sometimes doesn't want
    > to work -- no audio unless I fiddle with the up/down buttons.
    >
    > I'm happy with my plan. It nominally costs $30/mo (it's
    > the old 300 minute national roaming plan from 1999), but
    > with the discount, the total bill is about $26.
    >
    > What is the most economical way of upgrading the phone?
    >
    > Buy one off Ebay? If I do this, can I activate it without
    > incurring any additional fees? (I thought you used to be
    > able to do this over the web, but I cannot find it now.)
    >
    > Visit the Sprint store?
    >
    > Visit Radio Shack, Circuit City, etc?
    >
    > Buy a phone off sprintpcs.com?
    >
    > Call retention and tell them to either cut me a deal on
    > a phone or I'll look elsewhere?
    >
    > Seems Sprint has some good deals on phones, but only if
    > (1) I sign a contract, (2) I have a $35/mo plan or better
    > which I don't, and (2) if I sign up for their PCS VISION
    > package which I don't want.
    >
    > So, what's my best options?
    >
    > Thanks in advance,
    > Rob


    To follow up on Steve's post, eBay may be ok, but there's no guarantee or
    warranty offered on used phones, if that matters to you. SPCS is not always
    the cheapest when it comes to buying their phones. I'd suggest you also look
    at the Best Buy, Office Warehouse, Costco and the other big outlets, when
    the phones are on sale. Check with Amazon.com as well. Give them a call and
    ask what the price would be without initiating a new contract and whether
    you can qualify for their $50 rebate.

    Bob





  4. #4
    Rob Stampfli
    Guest

    Re: Need new phone - how best to proceed?

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Bob Smith <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >To follow up on Steve's post, eBay may be ok, but there's no guarantee or
    >warranty offered on used phones, if that matters to you. SPCS is not always
    >the cheapest when it comes to buying their phones. I'd suggest you also look
    >at the Best Buy, Office Warehouse, Costco and the other big outlets, when
    >the phones are on sale. Check with Amazon.com as well. Give them a call and
    >ask what the price would be without initiating a new contract and whether
    >you can qualify for their $50 rebate.


    One problem is that everyone seems to be pushing the current Sprint
    $150 rebate. I really don't mind the contract if it saves me $150,
    but if you read the fine print, the rebate is claimed to only apply
    to plans that cost $35/mo or more, and only to non-corporate
    accounts, so I doubt I can use it. Without that, none of the
    phones I've seen are competitive.

    Two questions: I really don't mind the StarTac -- I've learned
    how to use most of its features by now -- but it does not have
    the tri-mode (1900Mhz CDMA, 800Mhz CDMA, AMPS) that the newer
    phones have. How important is 800Mhz CDMA if I generally leave
    my phone in Sprint-only mode to avoid roaming charges?

    Also, the fine print claims there is a $36 phone activation fee.
    Now, five years ago, the activation fee was waived for corporate
    accounts, but maybe this has changed in the interim. Is it
    possible to swap phones today without paying the activation fee,
    and if so, how?

    Thanks,
    Rob



  5. #5
    Joe Gill
    Guest

    Re: Need new phone - how best to proceed?


    "Rob Stampfli" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > Bob Smith <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >
    > >To follow up on Steve's post, eBay may be ok, but there's no guarantee or
    > >warranty offered on used phones, if that matters to you. SPCS is not

    always
    > >the cheapest when it comes to buying their phones. I'd suggest you also

    look
    > >at the Best Buy, Office Warehouse, Costco and the other big outlets, when
    > >the phones are on sale. Check with Amazon.com as well. Give them a call

    and
    > >ask what the price would be without initiating a new contract and whether
    > >you can qualify for their $50 rebate.

    >
    > One problem is that everyone seems to be pushing the current Sprint
    > $150 rebate. I really don't mind the contract if it saves me $150,
    > but if you read the fine print, the rebate is claimed to only apply
    > to plans that cost $35/mo or more, and only to non-corporate
    > accounts, so I doubt I can use it. Without that, none of the
    > phones I've seen are competitive.
    >
    > Two questions: I really don't mind the StarTac -- I've learned
    > how to use most of its features by now -- but it does not have
    > the tri-mode (1900Mhz CDMA, 800Mhz CDMA, AMPS) that the newer
    > phones have. How important is 800Mhz CDMA if I generally leave
    > my phone in Sprint-only mode to avoid roaming charges?
    >
    > Also, the fine print claims there is a $36 phone activation fee.
    > Now, five years ago, the activation fee was waived for corporate
    > accounts, but maybe this has changed in the interim. Is it
    > possible to swap phones today without paying the activation fee,
    > and if so, how?
    >
    > Thanks,
    > Rob


    My personal experience has been on my corporate account:
    3 phone 'swapouts'. 1 new phone added 10/03 - $0 activation charge
    That was this... this is now ... YMMV





  6. #6
    Steve Sobol
    Guest

    Re: Need new phone - how best to proceed?

    Joe Gill wrote:

    > My personal experience has been on my corporate account:
    > 3 phone 'swapouts'. 1 new phone added 10/03 - $0 activation charge
    > That was this... this is now ... YMMV


    I asked for and received a credit of my activation fee when adding my second
    line with Sprint this summer. Wasn't a shared plan - the new line of service is
    a completely separate line. Sometimes, if ye ask, ye shall receive.


    --
    JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
    Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / [email protected]
    PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
    Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.



  7. #7
    Bob Smith
    Guest

    Re: Need new phone - how best to proceed?


    "Rob Stampfli" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > Bob Smith <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >
    > >To follow up on Steve's post, eBay may be ok, but there's no guarantee or
    > >warranty offered on used phones, if that matters to you. SPCS is not

    always
    > >the cheapest when it comes to buying their phones. I'd suggest you also

    look
    > >at the Best Buy, Office Warehouse, Costco and the other big outlets, when
    > >the phones are on sale. Check with Amazon.com as well. Give them a call

    and
    > >ask what the price would be without initiating a new contract and whether
    > >you can qualify for their $50 rebate.

    >
    > One problem is that everyone seems to be pushing the current Sprint
    > $150 rebate. I really don't mind the contract if it saves me $150,
    > but if you read the fine print, the rebate is claimed to only apply
    > to plans that cost $35/mo or more, and only to non-corporate
    > accounts, so I doubt I can use it. Without that, none of the
    > phones I've seen are competitive.
    >
    > Two questions: I really don't mind the StarTac -- I've learned
    > how to use most of its features by now -- but it does not have
    > the tri-mode (1900Mhz CDMA, 800Mhz CDMA, AMPS) that the newer
    > phones have. How important is 800Mhz CDMA if I generally leave
    > my phone in Sprint-only mode to avoid roaming charges?
    >
    > Also, the fine print claims there is a $36 phone activation fee.
    > Now, five years ago, the activation fee was waived for corporate
    > accounts, but maybe this has changed in the interim. Is it
    > possible to swap phones today without paying the activation fee,
    > and if so, how?
    >
    > Thanks,
    > Rob


    SPCS does charge an activation fee on new accounts or on additional lines
    being added to a new account. As for customers who are just replacing the
    phone on their current account, there is no charge to make the change.

    Bob





  8. #8
    _bent
    Guest

    Re: Need new phone - how best to proceed?

    Ask about the waiver for the activation fee.. I just added a second line,
    no activation fee...

    Burt


    "Bob Smith" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > "Rob Stampfli" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > > In article <[email protected]>,
    > > Bob Smith <[email protected]> wrote:
    > > >
    > > >To follow up on Steve's post, eBay may be ok, but there's no guarantee

    or
    > > >warranty offered on used phones, if that matters to you. SPCS is not

    > always
    > > >the cheapest when it comes to buying their phones. I'd suggest you also

    > look
    > > >at the Best Buy, Office Warehouse, Costco and the other big outlets,

    when
    > > >the phones are on sale. Check with Amazon.com as well. Give them a call

    > and
    > > >ask what the price would be without initiating a new contract and

    whether
    > > >you can qualify for their $50 rebate.

    > >
    > > One problem is that everyone seems to be pushing the current Sprint
    > > $150 rebate. I really don't mind the contract if it saves me $150,
    > > but if you read the fine print, the rebate is claimed to only apply
    > > to plans that cost $35/mo or more, and only to non-corporate
    > > accounts, so I doubt I can use it. Without that, none of the
    > > phones I've seen are competitive.
    > >
    > > Two questions: I really don't mind the StarTac -- I've learned
    > > how to use most of its features by now -- but it does not have
    > > the tri-mode (1900Mhz CDMA, 800Mhz CDMA, AMPS) that the newer
    > > phones have. How important is 800Mhz CDMA if I generally leave
    > > my phone in Sprint-only mode to avoid roaming charges?
    > >
    > > Also, the fine print claims there is a $36 phone activation fee.
    > > Now, five years ago, the activation fee was waived for corporate
    > > accounts, but maybe this has changed in the interim. Is it
    > > possible to swap phones today without paying the activation fee,
    > > and if so, how?
    > >
    > > Thanks,
    > > Rob

    >
    > SPCS does charge an activation fee on new accounts or on additional lines
    > being added to a new account. As for customers who are just replacing the
    > phone on their current account, there is no charge to make the change.
    >
    > Bob
    >
    >






  9. #9
    John Richards
    Guest

    Re: Need new phone - how best to proceed?

    "Rob Stampfli" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
    > One problem is that everyone seems to be pushing the current Sprint
    > $150 rebate. I really don't mind the contract if it saves me $150,
    > but if you read the fine print, the rebate is claimed to only apply
    > to plans that cost $35/mo or more, and only to non-corporate
    > accounts, so I doubt I can use it. Without that, none of the
    > phones I've seen are competitive.


    Switch to a non-corporate $35 account. After the rebate clears,
    ask for a corporate discount. After the discount, your net cost
    increase will be only about $5 per month, which is easily offset
    by qualifying for a $150 rebate on a new phone every 18 months
    (18 X $5 = $120).

    --
    John Richards



  10. #10
    MikeRaphael
    Guest

    Re: Need new phone - how best to proceed?

    I'm in the same situation, but my phone is still ok.
    My contract is up and I'm on my original $29.99 for 300 min. + free n/w.
    I asked at the store about the 18 mo. upgrade and was told I'd have to
    upgrade to a 35/mo plan.
    So, for now I'll wait until the phones dies.
    Or, if they call to renew the contract I'll ask for a new phone or won't
    renew and see what happens.

    Mike

    "Rob Stampfli" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I signed up for Sprint PCS 5 years ago through a corporate
    > discount program offered through my employer. I bought a
    > Motorola StarTac phone at that time, and it has served me
    > faithfully since then. However, it is now getting flaky --
    > it sometimes doesn't want to charge the battery and, more
    > critically, the ear-piece speaker sometimes doesn't want
    > to work -- no audio unless I fiddle with the up/down buttons.
    >
    > I'm happy with my plan. It nominally costs $30/mo (it's
    > the old 300 minute national roaming plan from 1999), but
    > with the discount, the total bill is about $26.
    >
    > What is the most economical way of upgrading the phone?
    >
    > Buy one off Ebay? If I do this, can I activate it without
    > incurring any additional fees? (I thought you used to be
    > able to do this over the web, but I cannot find it now.)
    >
    > Visit the Sprint store?
    >
    > Visit Radio Shack, Circuit City, etc?
    >
    > Buy a phone off sprintpcs.com?
    >
    > Call retention and tell them to either cut me a deal on
    > a phone or I'll look elsewhere?
    >
    > Seems Sprint has some good deals on phones, but only if
    > (1) I sign a contract, (2) I have a $35/mo plan or better
    > which I don't, and (2) if I sign up for their PCS VISION
    > package which I don't want.
    >
    > So, what's my best options?
    >
    > Thanks in advance,
    > Rob






  11. #11

    Re: Need new phone - how best to proceed?

    On Mon, 29 Nov 2004 09:14:50 -0500, "MikeRaphael"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I'm in the same situation, but my phone is still ok.
    >My contract is up and I'm on my original $29.99 for 300 min. + free n/w.
    >I asked at the store about the 18 mo. upgrade and was told I'd have to
    >upgrade to a 35/mo plan.
    >So, for now I'll wait until the phones dies.
    >Or, if they call to renew the contract I'll ask for a new phone or won't
    >renew and see what happens.


    You could try what I did.
    My dad lost his Sprint phone. (we later found it).
    I called in to cancel his service since he had no phone.
    They sent him on right away, free. No contract. Nothing.
    It was fine.




  12. #12
    Colin William
    Guest

    Re: Need new phone - how best to proceed?

    "MikeRaphael" <[email protected]> wrote ...
    > I'm in the same situation, but my phone is still ok.
    > My contract is up and I'm on my original $29.99 for 300 min. + free n/w.
    > I asked at the store about the 18 mo. upgrade and was told I'd have to
    > upgrade to a 35/mo plan.
    > So, for now I'll wait until the phones dies.
    > Or, if they call to renew the contract I'll ask for a new phone or won't
    > renew and see what happens.


    Don't wait for the phone to die. That's the position I'm in. I'm 5 months
    into a year long contract and my phone died today. I have a $30 plan that
    I've had for almost 5 years. After much time on the phone with them, my
    options apparently are:
    --Pay $150 for a new phone (that's their lowest priced phone) that may not
    work in my home (signal is not strong here)
    --Upgrade to a plan with even more minutes I won't use ($35) for another
    year to get a rebate on a phone that may not even work in my home
    --Keep paying a monthly service fee for a phone I can't use
    --Downgrade to a $15 a month plan for a one year commitment on a phone I
    can't use (seriously, they offered me this)
    --But a used phone somewhere

    I am tremendously frustrated that almost 5 years of loyalty counts for
    exactly nothing in this domain. Someone who's paid $35 a month for the last
    year and a half can get a new phone, but my paying $30 a month for 5 years
    counts for jack diddly squat.

    My inclination is to buy the cheapest used phone I can find, and leave
    Sprint when my contract is up in June. The hell with them.

    Colin





  13. #13
    John Richards
    Guest

    Re: Need new phone - how best to proceed?

    "Colin William" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
    > I am tremendously frustrated that almost 5 years of loyalty counts for
    > exactly nothing in this domain. Someone who's paid $35 a month for the last
    > year and a half can get a new phone, but my paying $30 a month for 5 years
    > counts for jack diddly squat.
    >
    > My inclination is to buy the cheapest used phone I can find, and leave
    > Sprint when my contract is up in June. The hell with them.


    I'm pretty sure the other carriers have similar policies. At $30 per month
    in revenue, Sprint barely breaks even on your plan. Why should they go
    even deeper in the hole and offer you a rebate? They're not a charity.
    The only reason they offer the starter plans is the anticipation that you'll
    upgrade in subsequent years.

    The $5 extra you'd have to pay is a good deal if you buy a new phone
    every 18 months: 18 X $5 =$120, for which you get a $150 rebate.
    Cell phones tend to wear out after 18-24 months of steady use.

    --
    John Richards



  14. #14
    Colin William
    Guest

    Re: Need new phone - how best to proceed?

    "John Richards" <[email protected]> wrote
    > I'm pretty sure the other carriers have similar policies. At $30 per month
    > in revenue, Sprint barely breaks even on your plan. Why should they go
    > even deeper in the hole and offer you a rebate? They're not a charity.
    > The only reason they offer the starter plans is the anticipation that
    > you'll
    > upgrade in subsequent years.


    Do they really only break even? I hardly use any of my minutes, so all they
    need to do is maintain an ccount in the computer and send a bill every
    month.

    > The $5 extra you'd have to pay is a good deal if you buy a new phone
    > every 18 months: 18 X $5 =$120, for which you get a $150 rebate.
    > Cell phones tend to wear out after 18-24 months of steady use.


    I'd get the $150 rebate if I re-upped for 2 years. Re-upping one year at a
    time I only get a $100 rebate.

    Colin





  15. #15
    Bob Smith
    Guest

    Re: Need new phone - how best to proceed?


    "Colin William" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > "John Richards" <[email protected]> wrote
    > > I'm pretty sure the other carriers have similar policies. At $30 per

    month
    > > in revenue, Sprint barely breaks even on your plan. Why should they go
    > > even deeper in the hole and offer you a rebate? They're not a charity.
    > > The only reason they offer the starter plans is the anticipation that
    > > you'll
    > > upgrade in subsequent years.

    >
    > Do they really only break even? I hardly use any of my minutes, so all

    they
    > need to do is maintain an ccount in the computer and send a bill every
    > month.


    Yes, on a $30/mo. customer, they barely break even. SPCS makes their money
    on the higher plan accounts.
    >
    > > The $5 extra you'd have to pay is a good deal if you buy a new phone
    > > every 18 months: 18 X $5 =$120, for which you get a $150 rebate.
    > > Cell phones tend to wear out after 18-24 months of steady use.

    >
    > I'd get the $150 rebate if I re-upped for 2 years. Re-upping one year at a
    > time I only get a $100 rebate.
    >
    > Colin


    Well, it's up to you then on what to do. If you don't want to go on a two
    year agreement, then buy a used phone or one of SPCS's lower end phones, and
    just do an ESN swap.

    Bob





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