Story Time – Sprint and the $75 Touch Pro2

24 Sep 2009
Author: Joel The Great  |  Category: Story Time  |  Comments (2)  |  Add Comment

Now I have had my issues with Sprint before (Here, Here, and Here).  But surprise surprise, Sprint has redeemed itself and made me a huge fan again!  Go Sprint!

So gather around for story time kids. Today’s story is about lies, bad customer service, horrible grammar, and how Sprint is my bitch.

A long time ago, in a far away land,  our hero, Joel The Great, signed up for a cell phone plan with Sprint.  This specific plan is called the Sprint Employee Referral Offer plan (SERO).  The SERO Plan was the cheapest, greatest plan in the land of Cell Phone plans.  $30 a month, 500 minutes, unlimited data and text.  (Unfortunately the SERO Plan is no longer offered, as of about a year ago)

So after the end of Joel The Great’s initial 2-year contract, he was looking to get a new, better phone.  This is when the Evil Cell Phone Wizard, Sprint, announced the Palm Pre.  A very new, and advanced phone with which Joel The Great could greatly use to his advantage.  So Sprint released the Palm Pre out to the whole kingdom, but not really.

Joel The Great rode up to the gates of Sprint’s lair, and asked one of the guards (Customer Service Rep), about the Palm Pre, and his ability to acquire this great new piece of technology.  That is when one of Sprint’s evil henchmen, Marketing Department Monster showed up.  “SERO PLANS CAN’T HAVE THE PALM PRE!!!” it bellowed from it’s high tower!

Joel The Great began a battle with the Marketing Department Monster, which was documented in this post: Sprint’s Marketing Department – Destroyer of Dreams

Defeated, Joel The Great sulked off to his home to wait, and plan a new attack.  Joel The Great heard of a mystical device to be released in the future.  Possible release days of the mystical device came and went, but Joel The Great remained patient.

Then, within the first half of the 9th month of the year, the HTC Touch Pro2 arrived in all the land of the Cell Phone Empires.  The Evil Wizard Sprint placed a $350 (after $100 mail in rebate) price tag on the great mystical device.

Joel The Great, being the cunning man he is (read: asshole), decides to go toe-to-toe with some of the Evil Wizard’s warriors.   First he gathers intelligence, such as if the Marketing Department Monster has limited the Touch Pro2 to specific plans.  Thankfully, the Touch Pro2 is available to all.

Not being pleased with the extremely high price tag of $350 after rebate, when the Palm Pre was down to $150, Joel The Great began his attack.

He decided the best way to attempt to obtain a great phone would be to use the great messenger known as ‘E-mail.’

The messaging began simple, Joel The Great offered The henchmen of the Evil Wizard Sprint $50 for the Touch Pro2.  The messaging was rather boring in the beginning, things like verifying account numbers, plan details, the ability to negotiate and so on.

Then it got weird.  One CSR would contradict what another CSR said.  Then Joel The Great was told the Touch Pro2 was not available on the SERO Plan!  This means someone was lying!  So this set off a flurry of emails asking to be escalated to one of the Commanders of the Evil Henchmen (Supervisor).  After a little back and forth, Joel The Great raised his offer to $75 as a sign of good faith that Sprint would negotiate, and get this issue resolved.

Then it happened.

When talking to the Commander, Joel The Great received an email that contained this great line: “You are suggesting that you only pay $75.00 for the device, but this is an offer that we will be able to honor for you.”

OH MY GOD!  There was a weak spot in the armor of the Commander, someone forgot to include the word ‘NOT’ in their sentence.

Joel The Great took out his bow, placed his best arrow into it and fired off what he hoped to be the killing shot. (He sent an email): “Thank you for helping me out! I gladly accept your offer to upgrade for $75 to the Touch Pro2”

He also included details such as a quote of the Commanders comment on how they would honor the price, and asking what can be done so he can obtain the mystical device as soon as possible.

The arrow Joel The Great shot flew straight and true.  It hit the commander in the weak spot and across the land you could hear the cry of the fallen commander.

After going over a few details, an arrangement was made.

Joel The Great stood triumphantly on the hill, holding his Touch Pro2 which only cost him $81 (after taxes and fee’s) that Sprint sent overnight to him, while keeping his SERO plan.

The End


Summary (Non-story version):

I decided to email Sprint customer service to attempt to negotiate a better price on the Touch Pro2 since $350 was just way to much money for a new phone.  This was sparked by my previous posts where Sprint wanted me to ditch my SERO Plan to be able to have the Palm Pre.  But going from $30 a month to $60 a month for the same service is just crazy, so I waited for them to come out with a new smartphone.

They finally came out with the Touch Pro2, I couldn’t afford it, and they lowered the price of the Palm Pre.  I weighed the options of emailing them.  If I succeed, I get a great phone at a great price, if I fail, nothing changes, I just wait to be able to afford a better phone in the future.

So after emailing them back and forth, one of the Supervisors messed up and forgot to include the word ‘Not’ in their sentence.

This is where Sprint amazed me.  They did not contest it, they did not try to withdraw the statement.  When I called them on it, they took full responsibility and followed through.  This is amazing!

So I managed to renew my SERO account for 2 more years, and ended up paying $81 for the HTC Touch Pro2. That’s over 80% LESS than the initial, before rebate price.  FANTASTIC!

Sprint has earned my trust again, and I am now a happy customer.

2 Responses to “Story Time – Sprint and the $75 Touch Pro2”

  1. g00ber Says:

    congrats.. this is a huge YMMV

  2. C.Darrow Says:

    . Just proves “when you have the law on your side, pound on the judge; when you have the facts on your side, pound on the jury; when you have neither the law or the facts on your side, pound on the table.”
    . Good deal. Makes me wonder what the mark up is on their phones? General rule the diamond you buy at the jewler (retail $3K) probably had a wholesale cost of $900. A 300% + mark up)