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To so many consumers, why is Sprint's name "mud"? (was: Sprint vs Carriers A,B and C)

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I have a question, outside of the data issue, Why is it that people refuse to be on sprint? I have seen people talk bad about Sprint more than T-Mobile.

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Same here no idea really... I say I have sprint and people almost feel bad for me lol.

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I get the same reaction people dont see how I do it. People speak about sprint like they are last on the list and sprint always get the short end of everything and I just do not get why it is like that. 

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For what it is worth...TMobile is an absolute joke in my area.  Much worse than Sprint's sparsely spaced network here which is definitely pretty bad. 

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I think the overall reason people think this way is the data issues Sprint has had for a long time. Hopefully, when NV is completed, public perception of Sprint will change, and personally hopefully that I'm able to return to Sprint and have a overall good experience, in which I can relay to others.

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About a decade ago, Sprint was the cat's meow with the most technologically advanced network and the coolest handsets in the US.  Then, VZW started pulling together the disparate pieces from its formative merger and flexing its economy of scale.  And Cingular did likewise by slurping up AT&TWS.  That was the beginning of the current epoch in the domestic wireless industry.  Now, Sprint carries the stench of years of struggles following those mergers and its unsuccessful Nextel merger in an attempt to keep pace.  That is what people with no frame of reference or short attention span know about Sprint.

 

AJ

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For what it is worth...TMobile is an absolute joke in my area.  Much worse than Sprint's sparsely spaced network here which is definitely pretty bad. 

Eh Here it depends. LTE is being added to local towers though

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Yeah that's basically it in a nutshell... Not to mention that pre Nextel merger Sprint had the reputation of being the 'ghettofabulous' carrier as they had the lowest credit requirements of all the postpaid carriers (unless you were basically an illegal alien you could qualify for service with no deposit--and even if you were, the deposit topped out at around 2-300 bucks)... they also had some annoying 'payday loan crowd' type practices like trying to force you through an automated system at all costs (she even had a name, Claire) and if you absolutely had to speak to a rep, it was like 3 bucks if they didn't deem your reason for speaking to them 'worthy'... So you had a mix of people who could qualify anywhere but loved the cool technology, plus those that probably should have been on prepaid--yet absolutely loved the 'bling' factor of said technology...

 

Once the Nextel merger happened, Sprint took over the Nextel credit requirements (probably the most stringent in the industry) - - which was a good thing, but by that point were letting their network stagnate to where people if faced with a 1000 deposit at Sprint or 500 at Verizon would take Verizon... back when Nextel was the thing to have, people with even just 'medium' credit would fork over a huge deposit just to have PTT.

 

 

Then the data issues began and it just snowballed...

 

I seem to run into 3 kinds of Sprint haters...

 

1. Eww Sprint is the ghetto carrier... drug dealers use Sprint.

 

 

2. Damn their data is slooowwwww. How can you put up with that?... or they were promised WiMax that never showed up.

 

 

3. I had Nextel... it was awesome. Then Sprint bought them and it went to hell. F Sprint.

 

 

It also didn't help that they decided to 'purge' a number of customers who called in to CS too often about stupid things, or people that asked for too many freebies/gamed the system around 2008. It was probably a good thing, but it was handled poorly, put a public relations PITA on their hands, and people still remember it--it was only like 10,000 customers--but I hate to say it, ghetto folk who feel slighted are some of the most vocal folk there are.

 

 

 

Once Sprint gets NV up and running WELL they need to launch one hell of a cool marketing campaign that fires on all cylinders and reaches across all media, both traditional, social, and even guerilla.

 

 

N

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I always get the comment of Sprint?  Your phone works here?1?

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If you read the majority of complaints that people have with Sprint, it is not about the voice reception issue but the data issues.  With the explosion in smartphones and mobile data usage, the Sprint haters all complain about the slow 3G speeds that have plagued the network for a couple years.  Its no secret that Sprint has neglected upgrading their backhaul on its Sprint towers from T1 to fiber until now while the other major carriers have spent the time to do so.

 

I think also since smartphones have become a big part of our daily lives that we use to get information, take pictures, watch video, etc people want to be able to do these activities quicker and slow data speeds won't cut it.  If Sprint had decent 3G speeds and did not have LTE rolled out in their area, the outcries would not be as bad since all we want to do is be able to browse the internet and watch video without buffering.  Luckily I have Wimax to hold me over until I can get a LTE phone but I feel for those customers who got a Wimax phone and never got Wimax rolled out in their area and have to deal with slow Sprint 3G.  I know things are slowly looking better as Network Vision gets rolled out all over the country but it just takes time and for some the waiting has gone over their threshold where they can't stand it anymore.

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Yeah that's basically it in a nutshell... Not to mention that pre Nextel merger Sprint had the reputation of being the 'ghettofabulous' carrier as they had the lowest credit requirements of all the postpaid carriers (unless you were basically an illegal alien you could qualify for service with no deposit--and even if you were, the deposit topped out at around 2-300 bucks)... they also had some annoying 'payday loan crowd' type practices like trying to force you through an automated system at all costs (she even had a name, Claire) and if you absolutely had to speak to a rep, it was like 3 bucks if they didn't deem your reason for speaking to them 'worthy'... So you had a mix of people who could qualify anywhere but loved the cool technology, plus those that probably should have been on prepaid--yet absolutely loved the 'bling' factor of said technology...

 

Once the Nextel merger happened, Sprint took over the Nextel credit requirements (probably the most stringent in the industry) - - which was a good thing, but by that point were letting their network stagnate to where people if faced with a 1000 deposit at Sprint or 500 at Verizon would take Verizon... back when Nextel was the thing to have, people with even just 'medium' credit would fork over a huge deposit just to have PTT.

 

 

Then the data issues began and it just snowballed...

 

I seem to run into 3 kinds of Sprint haters...

 

1. Eww Sprint is the ghetto carrier... drug dealers use Sprint.

 

 

2. Damn their data is slooowwwww. How can you put up with that?... or they were promised WiMax that never showed up.

 

 

3. I had Nextel... it was awesome. Then Sprint bought them and it went to hell. F Sprint.

 

 

It also didn't help that they decided to 'purge' a number of customers who called in to CS too often about stupid things, or people that asked for too many freebies/gamed the system around 2008. It was probably a good thing, but it was handled poorly, put a public relations PITA on their hands, and people still remember it--it was only like 10,000 customers--but I hate to say it, ghetto folk who feel slighted are some of the most vocal folk there are.

 

 

 

Once Sprint gets NV up and running WELL they need to launch one hell of a cool marketing campaign that fires on all cylinders and reaches across all media, both traditional, social, and even guerilla.

 

 

N

Well that makes alot of sense that the past has hurt sprint in the eye of customers outside of data. Now back when I was in high school I did hear someone say that sprint was for ghetto people and I never understood why someone would say that but I guess before the merger with Nextel that Sprint had low requirements to get service so anyone could just sign up with them like you stated. Sprint has some good things from the past but I guess the bad overweighs the good. I was talking with my friend who has verizon and he told me whats the point of have unlimited data if it not too usable except at night. He said I would go to tmobile before I go to sprint and and tmobile has less coverage. I do agree with him on the theres not point of having unlimited if you can barely use it. But I just hope that once NV is up and more stable that Sprint markets the heck out of it because in a way it will be their make or break for them.

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So you had a mix of people who could qualify anywhere but loved the cool technology, plus those that probably should have been on prepaid--yet absolutely loved the 'bling' factor of said technology...

 

Well put.  Your post, in its entirety, is a great thumbnail sketch of the history of what I still like to refer to as Sprint PCS.  I lived through all of those times as a sub for the past 13 years and can certainly corroborate your observations.

 

What is interesting is that T-Mobile seems to be taking up the mantle that Sprint PCS held for the first few years of this millennium.   Limited coverage, top shelf network technology, sexy devices, low prices, and liberal credit requirements (in this case, due to prepaid).  That attracts a polarized sub base:  the well off urban technophile and the sub prime urban ghetto dweller.  We know how that panned out for Sprint PCS.  We will have to wait and see how it works out for T-Mobile.

 

AJ

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Well put.  Your post, in its entirety, is a great thumbnail sketch of the history of what I still like to refer to as Sprint PCS.  I lived through all of those times as a sub for the past 13 years and can certainly corroborate your observations.

 

Yep... 13 year Sprint customer here too. I was emancipated at 16... guess who was the only carrier to give me service without a 1k deposit back then? lol

 

Actually I *did* drop a 1k deposit on AT&T between leaving USWest/Qwest (who did move me off my parent's bill onto my own account deposit free--but then I took a job at a place where I roamed on Sprint and Qwest didn't offer free roaming) and going to Sprint... AT&T had no service at my new job, even though their map said they did--so I left within my 14 days and went to Sprint since I knew they had coverage... even back then I remember I paid a 1k deposit to try AT&T because I had my own Sprint issue: They were sold mostly at Radio Shack... and even then (and definitely now) I equated anything sold at Radio Shack as "junk forced upon you by poor saps who will try ANYTHING to get you to buy a service plan on a $20 router" lol I ended up buying Sprint at The Good Guys, and was quite pleased that I could keep the grand I had to give to AT&T (I remember it took them 2 months to cut me that deposit check back after only 10 days of service lol).

 

Initially it was fun figuring out their quirks and getting discounts and deals (and I even got SERO on my existing account)... I still have a number of perks that moved through with SERO (and a few stuck with SERO Premium) in the P2K to Ensemble conversion, but if I had to dedicate that much time to messing around to save a few bucks today, I wouldn't... so where I'm at now is I told myself 6 months ago after really seriously pondering AT&T, I'd give Sprint one more contract term to blow me away with NV because I still have a great plan (not even "blow me away" so much as have decent OK service that doesn't make me think it's worth less than $50 a month)... otherwise it's back off to try AT&T again 13 years later (er 15 by then) with their killer fast LTE lol

 

Nat

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If you read the majority of complaints that people have with Sprint, it is not about the voice reception issue but the data issues.  With the explosion in smartphones and mobile data usage, the Sprint haters all complain about the slow 3G speeds that have plagued the network for a couple years.  Its no secret that Sprint has neglected upgrading their backhaul on its Sprint towers from T1 to fiber until now while the other major carriers have spent the time to do so.

 

I think also since smartphones have become a big part of our daily lives that we use to get information, take pictures, watch video, etc people want to be able to do these activities quicker and slow data speeds won't cut it.  If Sprint had decent 3G speeds and did not have LTE rolled out in their area, the outcries would not be as bad since all we want to do is be able to browse the internet and watch video without buffering.  Luckily I have Wimax to hold me over until I can get a LTE phone but I feel for those customers who got a Wimax phone and never got Wimax rolled out in their area and have to deal with slow Sprint 3G.  I know things are slowly looking better as Network Vision gets rolled out all over the country but it just takes time and for some the waiting has gone over their threshold where they can't stand it anymore.

You summed this up perfectly dude. Perfect

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Almost everyone around me has Verizon or AT&T. I have Sprint and get weird looks when I ask them about their cell phone or something. It's almost like if you don't have Verizon or AT&T you're an outcast but it is what it is haha.

 

Funny thing is, is that everyone asks me if I have unlimited data and I smile and say, "Yes I do!" knowing that they are stuck with 2Gb plan or whatever.

 

But seriously, I CANNOT WAIT for the 800 MHz to roll out in my area because I'm stuck with 1 bar of 3G , while Verizon and AT&T have at least 3 bars of LTE (iPhone).

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Its no secret that Sprint has neglected upgrading their backhaul on its Sprint towers from T1 to fiber until now while the other major carriers have spent the time to do so.

You summed this up perfectly dude. Perfect

 

I disagree on the "neglect" part.  Sprint put its eggs in the Clearwire WiMAX basket.  That was Sprint's proactive effort -- the opposite of neglect -- but it did not pan out.  So, to add insult to injury with the Nextel merger struggles, Sprint was in no position to add RF bandwidth or backhaul capacity.  That is not callous disregard; it is unfortunate circumstance.

 

AJ

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Yea, I don't really have a problem with Sprint's speed but for some reason there's a huge hate for Sprint on a lot of forums I visit:  Reddit, DSLreports, Engadget, TheVerge, etc. I don't understand when they complain about Sprint having crappy voice reception.  I thought Sprint had roaming agreements with Verizon.  So if you don't get Sprint reception it should go on Verizon's towers.  I know Sprint has problems and they are probably the slowest in data speeds out of the major carriers (at the moment) but they are unlimited but the other carriers also have their problems.

 

Verizon is expensive and their 3G speeds are as "sucky" as Sprint's 3G but their 4G coverage is huge.  Also, the only way to keep the unlimited grandfathered plan is to buy a phone at full price.

 

AT&T has HSPA+ and LTE but they cap at 2GB and throttle their grandfathered unlimited plans not to mention they are very expensive.

 

Tmobile has HSPA+, unlimited data plans, LTE, and prices comparable to Sprint,.  But as soon as you drive out of a metropolitan area you go to 2G or lose signal.

 

So my general response to people asking about which company they should go with is for them to go do some research on who has the best coverage for their region.  Sprint works pretty well for me in Socal/Norcal generally (even though SF has a lot of dead/slow data spots).

 

Maybe in a couple of years the perception will be turned around but who knows.

Edited by nebody00

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Yea, I don't really have a problem with Sprint's speed but for some reason there's a huge hate for Sprint on a lot of forums I visit:  Reddit, DSLreports, Engadget, TheVerge, etc. I don't understand when they complain about Sprint having crappy voice reception.  I thought Sprint had roaming agreements with Verizon.  So if you don't get Sprint reception it should go on Verizon's towers.  I know Sprint has problems and they are probably the slowest in data speeds out of the major carriers (at the moment) but they are unlimited but the other carriers also have their problems.

 

Verizon is expensive and their 3G speeds are as "sucky" as Sprint's 3G but their 4G coverage is huge.  Also, the only way to keep the unlimited grandfathered plan is to buy a phone at full price.

 

AT&T has HSPA+ and LTE but they cap at 2GB and throttle their grandfathered unlimited plans not to mention they are very expensive.

 

Tmobile has HSPA+, unlimited data plans, LTE, and prices comparable to Sprint,.  But as soon as you drive out of a metropolitan area you go to 2G or lose signal.

 

So my general response to people asking about which company they should go with is for them to go do some research on who has the best coverage for their region.  Sprint works pretty well for me in Socal/Norcal generally (even though SF has a lot of dead/slow data spots).

 

Maybe in a couple of years the perception will be turned around but who knows.

For some people the perception will never change. I understand peoples frustrtaion with Sprint and in the end you need to choose the carrier that is right for you. What drives me crazy are the so called experts/journalist that are clearly biased against Sprint. As long as those people maintain and project their bias as an expert opinion Sprint will have an uphill battle. But its not all bad when over 50 million people call you home!

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I think the perception can change--but it will take some huge work... Possibly 'the first 150 meg LTE network--and unlimited data' a couple years before anyone else.

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The biggest Sprint "hater" I know complained that he continually lost text messages. That he would try to text people, and they would never get them.

 

I was more inclined to believe that one or two people were just trying to avoid him, rather than a massive network-wide issue with SMS. Call me crazy.

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I disagree on the "neglect" part.  Sprint put its eggs in the Clearwire WiMAX basket.  That was Sprint's proactive effort -- the opposite of neglect -- but it did not pan out.  So, to add insult to injury with the Nextel merger struggles, Sprint was in no position to add RF bandwidth or backhaul capacity.  That is not callous disregard; it is unfortunate circumstance.

 

AJ

Or maybe bad planning and decision making?  Many companies including my own have been too enamored of outsourcing work and then Management acts surprised when the contractors (like Clearwire) don't perform.  My company lost billions (with a B) of dollars, years of schedule and prestige due to stupid management farming out too much work that we should have been doing and used to do ourselves.  It's management by buzzword and current fad. 

 

I jumped to Verizon for my personal phone almost two years ago.  Had to, Sprint data around here was just unusable.  Verizon is expensive (not on a grandfathered unlimited data plan but at least I'm not on a shared plan where they cut out discounts) but it works well.  I'm always having to turn on my tethering/wifi service so Sprint friends and family can use data when we're out.

 

T-mobile is no option, just 2G at my house even though OKC city limits extend 14 miles beyond my location.  Can't stomach the thought of AT&T with their past and current unsavory business practices.

 

I'm hoping that Sprint does well, still have 5 Sprint phones for family and use one myself to track LTE progress around here (which seems slow, watched pot syndrome I guess).  For lower cost would sure like to quit Verizon and just go with Sprint. 

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I have a question, outside of the data issue, Why is it that people refuse to be on sprint? I have seen people talk bad about Sprint more than T-Mo 

Word of mouth is either a great thing or a bad thing. For sprint, it was bad.

 

over the course of 2-4 years, Sprint lost some 2-3 million customers, for the reasons below.

 

1. customer service was horrid. If you had a problem for whatever reason and you needed to call customer service, the rep would either, A. not know anything, B.hang up on you every time you call or C. all of the above.

 

2. after Sprint purchased Nextel, they decided to consolidate both services into one billing system. for whatever reason, tons of billing errors occured. Both Sprint and Nextel customers a like were getting billed $200-$300 dollar more than what they should have paid on their monthly statements. When customers called sprint to get the issue corrected, they would not fix their bills and or get hung up on.

 

3. Network. When Sprint choose to go from being a long distance phone company to a celllular phone company, Sprint wanted to errect their network as cheap as possible. In a lot of cities, Sprint put up the bare minimum coverage in terms of number of  towers in one area. If tower signals dont overlap you experiance dead spots.

 

Summery.  Millions of customer left Sprint for the issues listed above. Those millions of people told their friends and family members not to get Sprint service and the work spread like wildfire.

 

When Dan Hesse took over Sprint following the nextel debacle, it was his mission to fix all the issues listed above. First he took care of the crap customer service. Now, Sprint is considered one of the best cstomer service experiance you can have.

Now that network vision is under way, this will address the service issue.

Keep in mind, changing public opinion is not easy and takes a lot of time to repair bad reputation. Also,even though service is getting a lot better in most areas, there are still ton's of bad coverage areas and will be at least a year or two before network vision will correct these issues.

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Network vision isn't going to correct the coverage issues they have in many cities. Actually network vision LTE makes it more obvious now with the LTE islands. Only new sites can fix the issue. Hopefully they will start addressing this next year as even 800 won't fix some situations.

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Summery. Millions of customer left Sprint for the issues listed above. Those millions of people told their friends and family members not to get Sprint service and the work spread like wildfire.

 

Your *summary* is not very *summery* here on, oddly enough, the first day after the solstice.

 

AJ

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Your *summary* is not very *summery* here on, oddly enough, the first day after the solstice.

 

AJ

 you are one of "those guys"

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