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Funny (not really) Sprint Story


DanielB
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So I go through quite a bit of devices.....I like to try new things constantly. The easiest way I've found to do this on Sprint (my carrier of choice) after consulting with Sprint employees is to maintain a Net10 burner phone, buy Sprint devices on Installment with a port-in, then port my number to the burner phone temporarily when I am ready for my next device. When I port my number out of Sprint, it cancels that line and the EIP is due - and I pay it immediately. Then, I place another order with Sprint and port my number back in. Again...this is a process endorsed by local Sprint store employees who have always been very helpful to me.

 

My Sprint account has now been fraud blocked....to the extent that Sprint store employees can no longer pull up my account. It doesn't even exist in their RMS system any more. I understand why they may be concerned, though I have now explained what I am doing and the endorsement by Sprint staff to Sprint corporate. So I would think that would solve the issue.. However, I feel like I am being given the run around to some extent. I finally got their attention on Twitter and spoke with a Tracy in the corporate office, and then someone named Nora Armstrong in the Executive and Regulatory Services office yesterday evening. They seemed to understand what was going on and indicated the issue would be solved soon, but no dice. Still waiting for a call back from Ms. Armstrong, as she told me she'd give me a call this morning, Eastern Time - we only 25 minutes left!

 

Anyway....anyone else ever run into something like this? Again, I understand why this activity might trigger a fraud alert. However, I have always paid for my devices and service promptly and wholly....I even asked Nora about this, because purchasing an unlocked device isn't an option for me as most are not compatible with Sprint.

 

I get that I'm the issue....not disputing that. Just wanted to share what is sadly a funny story and wondering if anyone else who is as much of a gadget nut as I (well over 25 smartphones owned this year) has run into something similar with Sprint? And if so, how was it resolved?

 

If this is all disjointed and makes no sense, I apologize in advance...about to head into a meeting!

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How often are you doing this? I could see it locking things up doing it every week but every few months or year?

 

Haha <sheepish grin> ...honestly? About every week or so...or every other week...over 25 devices this year alone. But I'm doing it the exact way Sprint store employees (including a manager with whom I am acquainted) told me to do it. I can't remember their reason, but they insisted EIP was better than buying the device outright and they're the ones who suggested the port-in/port-out process I am using. Never had an issue until now - and that coincided with my purchase of an iPad from Best Buy on Sprint Easy Pay so I'm even suspecting that might have caused some sort of red flag to set off in their system...was the first time I've purchased something from Best Buy like that.

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Ahhh, so you're buying them and selling them at a profit with quite a bit of frequency.  Hmmm, good luck with that.  I think you're going to have a tough time coming up with a legitimate sounding reason.

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Ahhh, so you're buying them and selling them at a profit with quite a bit of frequency.  Hmmm, good luck with that.  I think you're going to have a tough time coming up with a legitimate sounding reason.

 

Not necessarily at a profit. Just selling them to pay off the EIP. My reason is rather straightforward...I'm a gadget nut. Nothing nefarious. 

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Not necessarily at a profit. Just selling them to pay off the EIP. My reason is rather straightforward...I'm a gadget nut. Nothing nefarious. 

 

Well, I hope you can get it worked out.  Best of luck.

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Well, I hope you can get it worked out.  Best of luck.

 

All straightened out now! Ms. Armstrong even told me to keep her direct number handy in case it happens in the future. Very satisfied with Sprint. :)

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I hope you can get it to work out too. You've always been a great poster here, Daniel, so I'm sure there is nothing wrong with what you are doing. However, I'm not sure if Sprint or any carrier truly is able to accommodate this, no offense.

 

I won't even leave it to all carriers, but probably most every service providing companies.While not exactly the same system as yours, Comcast tried going after my grandparents for an internet modem they had from many years ago which they returned shortly after they received if. They likely gave it to a cable installer to take back after they left from doing some issue they had them out there for.

 

My grandfather died, and my grandmother moved to a new address where she had cable installed, but no internet service, just TV service. She wasn't given a new modem, obviously, and she didn't have the old one as they returned it while they lived at the old address prior to my grandfather's death.

 

So then earlier this year, after some years living at the new address, my grandmother died. Shortly after cancelling cable, Comcast sent a bill for an unreturned internet modem they were trying to charge my dead grandmother and in a sense, my long dead grandfather, since he was alive when that internet modem was returned.

 

Basically, Comcast had two opportunities throughout the years to claim an internet modem they claimed was unreturned. Once after the internet modem was returned, but perhaps not entered into their system, then again after my grandmother had moved.

 

Despite my mother not getting a proper response from Comcast customer service, my mother went into one of their local offices and a nice lady just went ahead and wiped out the charge. Otherwise, we would have sued them and the story would have been in the media.

 

Anyways, the thing I've learned from this along with many other incidents in life, is that companies just can't handle complex, let alone non-complex situations. They are quick to be confused, even if some of the employees seem understanding, as there was someone my mother had spoke with at Comcast throughout the process who agreed the charge shouldn't be there, still didn't help overall.

 

Even if some people at Sprint tell you that it's okay, well it may not be enough, which hopefully the matter doesn't escalate in a bad way. Just keep on staying alert, document everything, and hopefully everything will turn out well for you.

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Haha <sheepish grin> ...honestly? About every week or so...or every other week...over 25 devices this year alone. But I'm doing it the exact way Sprint store employees (including a manager with whom I am acquainted) told me to do it. I can't remember their reason, but they insisted EIP was better than buying the device outright and they're the ones who suggested the port-in/port-out process I am using.

 

And you take Sprint retail employees guidance as gospel?  What has S4GRU been advising you for years?  They are retail employees.  They do not have the knowledge on network deployment, SIM card compatibility, and now fraud prevention that you seek.

 

Personally, what you are doing is nucking futs.  Simplify the process.  Stop porting in and out every other week -- that is suspicious.  Buy your devices at full price.  Sell them when you get tired of them.  Rinse and repeat.

 

AJ

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And you take Sprint retail employees guidance as gospel?  What has S4GRU been advising you for years?  They are retail employees.  They do not have the knowledge on network deployment, SIM card compatibility, and now fraud prevention that you seek.

 

Personally, what you are doing is nucking futs.  Simplify the process.  Stop porting in and out every other week -- that is suspicious.  Buy your devices at full price.  Sell them when you get tired of them.  Rinse and repeat.

 

AJ

 

You are right....except I was told not to. Even just now on the phone, Nora advised to make no change to what I am doing as it is the best way to do it. 

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You are right....except I was told not to. Even just now on the phone, Nora advised to make no change to what I am doing as it is the best way to do it. 

 

A big corporation is a bureaucracy -- it does not handle unusual scenarios easily.  So, do not be surprised if you run into the same issue again in the future.  And I will leave it at that.

 

AJ

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A big corporation is a bureaucracy -- it does not handle unusual scenarios easily.  So, do not be surprised if you run into the same issue again in the future.  And I will leave it at that.

 

AJ

 

You are right again - she warned of such and said to call her directly if it happens again!

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In fact, I wish one could just buy unlocked devices that were compatible with Sprint's network. This would solve a lot of issues, both for me and - I am sure - others.

 

I am guessing that they want you to port-out/port-in so the sales associate gets the commission.

 

I am guessing that you don't need to port-out/port-in and it is more trouble than it is worth.  Are you getting some kind of deal on your payments as a new customer (I am just curious).

 

Very interesting story, thanks for sharing.  I've always just paid full price for a new device and have had to argue with sales associates to sell it to me off contract because they'd rather save it for a commission sale.

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The only reason the store employee and manager told you to buy on payments and with port in is so they get the commission on a new line and installment billing. Employees and managers make nothing on selling you a device at full price. You can buy from Sprint.com at full price.

 

Sent from my Sprint LG G4

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Here you go...

 

Nexus 5

Nexus 6

Moto X (2015)

Nexus 5X

Nexus 6P

 

Am I forgetting any?

 

AJ

That's not a great selection, especially considering almost ANY unlocked GSM phone will work on AT&T or T-Mobile. Not Sprint's fault, of course, but still unfortunate.

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That's not a great selection, especially considering almost ANY unlocked GSM phone will work on AT&T or T-Mobile. Not Sprint's fault, of course, but still unfortunate.

 

Will work, but how well?  Sure, almost any unlocked handset will do quad band GSM 850/900/1800/1900 and W-CDMA band 1/2. So, that has you covered for GSM 850/1900 and W-CDMA 1900 on AT&T or T-Mobile.  But not necessarily W-CDMA band 4 on T-Mobile.  And LTE?  That is a crapshoot.  Maybe no LTE.  Or maybe missing band 12 on T-Mobile and upcoming band 30 on AT&T.

 

You sound like you want an "anything goes" type of situation with handsets.  Because you switch so often -- too often, in my opinion, and you may have an addiction problem -- that "anything goes" idea might fit your use case.  If an unlocked handset were compromised in its band support and that affected your network experience, you would just sell the handset a week later and move on to your next prize.

 

However, that will not fly with the general public, especially on Sprint, which has a rather unique set of CDMA2000 band classes and LTE bands.  People would want to activate all sorts of partially compatible to completely incompatible handsets.  Then, when their service was not up to par, they would blame Sprint.

 

For a similar discussion on unlocked handsets, see this recent Reddit thread:

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/Sprint/comments/3qjyyr/submitted_a_complaint_through_the_fcc/ 

 

AJ

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Will work, but how well? Sure, almost any unlocked handset will do quad band GSM 850/900/1800/1900 and W-CDMA band 1/2. So, that has you covered for GSM 850/1900 and W-CDMA 1900 on AT&T or T-Mobile. But not necessarily W-CDMA band 4 on T-Mobile. And LTE? That is a crapshoot. Maybe no LTE. Or maybe missing band 12 on T-Mobile and upcoming band 30 on AT&T.

 

You sound like you want an "anything goes" type of situation with handsets. Because you switch so often -- too often, in my opinion, and you may have an addiction problem -- that "anything goes" idea might fit your use case. If an unlocked handset were compromised in its band support and that affected your network experience, you would just sell the handset a week later and move on to your next prize.

 

However, that will not fly with the general public, especially on Sprint, which has a rather unique set of CDMA2000 band classes and LTE bands. People would want to activate all sorts of partially compatible to completely incompatible handsets. Then, when their service was not up to par, they would blame Sprint.

 

For a similar discussion on unlocked handsets, see this recent Reddit thread:

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/Sprint/comments/3qjyyr/submitted_a_complaint_through_the_fcc/

 

AJ

 

It is undeniable that the carrier distribution model for handsets is going to fade. The onus is on manufacturers to meet the needs or wants of consumers....and things are moving this way ever so slowly. Look at Apple, HTC, Nexus. Not enough yet, but a start. Within the next two years, most phones will be purchased unlocked from non-carrier sellers (either directly from manufacturers or from other retailers). So I think things on this front are going to continue to change very quickly. It's an exciting prospect.

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It is undeniable that the carrier distribution model for handsets is going to fade. The onus is on manufacturers to meet the needs or wants of consumers....and things are moving this way ever so slowly. Look at Apple, HTC, Nexus. Not enough yet, but a start. Within the next two years, most phones will be purchased unlocked from non-carrier sellers (either directly from manufacturers or from other retailers). So I think things on this front are going to continue to change very quickly. It's an exciting prospect.

I do hope you are right about the carrier distribution model of devices going away. Especially as that should mean the reduction of corporate retail stores, which should mean the reduction in rate plan prices.

 

However, I'm not sure all carriers are going to want that, particularly AT&T and Verizon, both companies which are trying to go device heavy for many different "lifestyle" internet of things devices, etc.

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