Home Hardware So, I Took A Little Trip to the Sprint Store

So, I Took A Little Trip to the Sprint Store

My wife dropped her phone the other day and it met an untimely end. Fortunately I pay for insurance on her phone. Not that she drops them often, but she’s hard on gadgets. So we headed to the Sprint Store to get a replacement. That part of the plan went off without a hitch. Phone swapped out. All is good. But while we were waiting for Sprint’s computers to process the information I got into a conversation with the manager of the store.

I asked the manager when he expected our area to get 4G service. That’s Sprint’s big push now, as it will be with all the major carriers soon. We’re in a small rural market. It took what seemed like forever for Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon to achieve 3G here and I certainly wasn’t expecting an answer that pointed to anytime soon. In fact I expected an evasive answer. I wasn’t prepared for this answer. The manager told me that last he was told our area wouldn’t be seeing 4G ever. “Ever?”, I repeated. “Ever,” he repeated.

I prodded a bit further and there wasn’t much more forthcoming. I asked if that made it hard to sell plans that offered 4G or the Sprint Overdrive. The answer was yes. So on returning home I decided to check into things a bit further. I called Sprint and asked them the same question. There I got a different answer but not one that is more comforting. I was told that they didn’t have any information that they could share on that. That was actually the answer I actually expected at the Sprint Store.

Perhaps this manager was just tired of answering questions about why you have to pay an extra $10 a month for 4G service on the EVO when we don’t have that service here. Perhaps the manager knows more about what’s happening or less. But it must be hard to pushing phones and plans when you know that Sprint’s big marketing push is a distant or non-existent reality for your service area.

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3 Comments

  1. JP

    11/05/2010 at 2:22 pm

    It’s really unfortunate that Sprint positioned this as a 4G tax, and then immediately backpedalled. If they were going to be reasonable, they should waive the additional $10 charge in areas that are not scheduled on Sprint’s roadmap to get 4G coverage at any time during the 2-year contract period.

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  2. Andy

    11/05/2010 at 4:02 pm

    Here’s a map showing unofficial 4G coverage from Sprint. I can confirm that the Bay Area is covered even though it officially isn’t.

    http://www.sensorly.com/Map/4G/USA/Sprint/wimax-sp

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  3. techgeek32

    11/07/2010 at 3:29 pm

    I live in Omaha, NE and have been told we won’t see 4G until maybe the end of next year or the following summer. I purchased two EVO’s last June and have recently replaced them because my wife and I got tired of paying the extra $20 per month. The video chat doesn’t work and the camera and video quality aren’t that big of a deal to pay the extra dough. I just read that Verizon is quietly releasing an unlimited plan that aligns with Sprint except for the anytime mobile to mobile, so I am thinking of switching all of my lines over to them if I can get that deal. Sprint used to lead the way with smartphone choices, but have fallen way behind Verizon and AT&T. With Verizon getting the iPhone early next year, the Palm Pre 2, Android Pro, and EVO equivalent without the extra $10 fee per phone it is a compelling option. I have been with Sprint for 13 years, but only because their plans have been so much cheaper. Now they are going to start nickel and diming customers to increase their profit margin, so I don’t feel any loyalty. I also wouldn’t hold my breath for 4G if you are in a rural area. You might have a better chance when Verizon rolls out LTE. I know that Verizon is the ‘Big Red Monster’ and I have used them before but Sprint is not giving me many reasons to stay. Good Luck!

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