Archive for July, 2009

Observations: Uses – July 25, 2009

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

Standard disclaimer: don’t take from my selections, ordering, headlines, etc. any indications of the interests or plans of my employer (if you do, you’ll undoubtedly be disappointed when they don’t play out.)

Observations: Uncategorized: July 25, 2009

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

Standard disclaimer: don’t take from my selections, ordering, headlines, etc. any indications of the interests or plans of my employer (if you do, you’ll undoubtedly be disappointed when they don’t play out.)

Observations: Services – July 25, 2009

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

Standard disclaimer: don’t take from my selections, ordering, headlines, etc. any indications of the interests or plans of my employer (if you do, you’ll undoubtedly be disappointed when they don’t play out.)

Psst… The Palm Pre is now available through Everything Plus

Friday, July 24th, 2009

If you haven’t yet discovered the power of Sprint’s Now Network, now’s a great time to join the fun.

The Palm Pre is now available for new lines of service with the Everything Plus Data plan. Everything Plus is an employee referral program that provides additional savings over Sprint’s already great pricing. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, I invite you to use my information (russ.s.mcguire@sprint.com and 383) at http://www.sprint.com/everythingplus to add a new line of service.

The Palm Pre is an incredible device. I had the chance to carry one for about a week shortly after it was launched and I can’t wait to when we’ve satisfied customer demand well enough to make it available to employees and I can get my very own.

Sprint’s price plans for a device like the Pre are also pretty incredible. In fact, with the Everything Plus Data 500 and Everything Plus Data 1000 minute plans, you’ll save $360 per year, or $720 over a 2 year contract compared to AT&T’s equivalent plans for the iPhone. With the unlimited Simply Everything plan, you save $600 a year or $1200 over two years. (The savings compared to Verizon’s data-inclusive “Nationwide Premium” plans are even greater.)

Frequently Asked Questions:

Here are a few questions I often get asked about the Everything Plus plans, and the best I can answer them. If you ask these questions again in the comments, don’t expect me to post your comment or answer your question any differently than it is here.

Can I really use your information to sign up for these plans? All employees at Sprint have been encouraged to tell their friends and everyone they come in contact with about these plans. For me, that includes all the readers of my blog. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, I welcome you to use my information to sign up for these plans. If you’re not a regular reader of my blog, I encourage you to subscribe to the blog either via an RSS-based newsreader (Feed) or via e-mail (from my blog homepage). Also, realize that this offer is only for new lines to Sprint – you can’t move your existing Sprint phone onto this plan, and it’s designed for signup through the web.

Why isn’t this plan available for existing Sprint customers? I don’t make the policies around pricing, but as I understand it, these plans are specifically designed to attract new customers to Sprint.

I’ve completed my contract with Sprint, so now I’m off-contract. Can I switch to this plan? No. This plan is only for new lines of service.

Why can’t I sign up for this plan in a Sprint retail store? If I get a new phone on another plan in the store, can I then switch it over to this plan? As I understand it, one of the reasons we can offer this great price is because it costs us less to signup new customers through the web than it does to sign up customers

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in our stores. If you sign up with a different plan in the store, you will not be able to switch to this plan later.

Can’t you help me switch my Sprint phone over to this plan? No, I can’t. At times, I have been asked by customer care if I support violating Sprint policies for a specific customer who is invoking my name. I enjoy working at Sprint and would like to keep working here, so the answer is no, I will not risk my job advocating a policy violation so that you can save $10 a month. I hope you understand.

Everything Plus Data plans start at $60. I can’t afford that right now. Do you have anything less expensive? We recently added Everything Plus Messaging plans to the Everything Plus program. These start at $39.99. They don’t include all the great features of the Everything Plus Data plans, but if you mostly use your phone for talking and messaging (e.g. texting), these too are a great deal.

What about family plans? Yes, Everything Plus includes Family Plan versions of both the Messaging and Data plans. These too are the best deals in wireless for those that want to do more than just talk. For example, the Everything Plus Messaging Family 1600 minute plan costs $79.99 per month for the first 2 lines and $9.99 for each additional line. The equivalent plans from AT&T and Verizon only include 1400 minutes and cost $119.99 for the first 2 lines. That’s a savings of almost $500 per year (and an extra 200 minutes per month). Stepping up to Everything Plus Data increases the savings to $600 per year!

Can I use my corporate discount with Everything Plus? No. No other discounts can be applied on top of the Everything Plus savings. It’s possible that your corporate discount will provide a better deal for your specific needs than Everything Plus. Do the math and choose the best plan for you.

Why isn’t the Palm Pre available to customers on the SERO plan? The original SERO plan was an unbelievably good value for customers. In fact it was such a good value for customers that, if they were using much data at all, the network costs made it a money losing offer for Sprint. We know that the Pre and other data-centric devices will naturally result in high data use which means that Sprint will lose money every month on these accounts. No business can afford to sustain that. Customers that are on the SERO plan can stay on the SERO plan, but Sprint won’t allow them to upgrade to a really small set of data centric devices and stay on that plan.

So, if I’m on SERO, how can I get a Pre? The one exception Sprint makes to existing Sprint customers switching their plan to Everything Plus is for SERO customers that want to take advantage of all of the features of Everything Plus Data or that want to use a data-centric device like the Pre. Current SERO customers can still get the best deal in the industry (Everything Plus Data) to go with the best device in the industry (the Palm Pre).

Can you help me with problems I’m having with Sprint? I hope so. Ever since the beginning of 2008, our CEO has made “improving the customer experience” our #1 priority. I hope you’ve noticed in terms of better support in all of your touchpoints with the company. But if you have any problems that still aren’t getting resolved, feel free to send me an e-mail at russ.s.mcguire@sprint.com and I’ll try to get folks involved who can get the issue resolved.

The Everything Plus page is telling me that access is denied. Have you used up all of your referrals? I’m told that there’s no limit to the number of customers that can sign up using my referral information. However, several people have gotten that error message. I believe you’ll also see a reference to anti-virus settings on that page. Most people find it easier to just try again from a different computer.

Observations: Applications – July 20, 2009

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

Standard disclaimer: don’t take from my selections, ordering, headlines, etc. any indications of the interests or plans of my employer (if you do, you’ll undoubtedly be disappointed when they don’t play out.)

Observations: Carriers – July 20, 2009

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

Standard disclaimer: don’t take from my selections, ordering, headlines, etc. any indications of the interests or plans of my employer (if you do, you’ll undoubtedly be disappointed when they don’t play out.)

Observations: Devices – July 20 , 2009

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

Standard disclaimer: don’t take from my selections, ordering, headlines, etc. any indications of the interests or plans of my employer (if you do, you’ll undoubtedly be disappointed when they

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Psst… Lower priced Everything Plus plans

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

Sprint has just introduced a few more options for the Everything Plus referral plan. These are new “Messaging” offers that don’t include all the Everything features (they don’t include unlimited data, TV, navigation, etc.) but are at a lower starting price.

The individual plans start at $39.99/month for 500 anytime minutes and unlimited messaging. Family plans start at $79.99/month for 1600 anytime minutes and unlimited messaging.

See more at http://www.sprint.com/everythingplus

Revolutions and Time Telling

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

For about a decade I’ve been talking about “bandwidth built in” and for that long I’ve been using the watch as an example.  I’ve used it several times in the past month, so I feel compelled to share it with all of you. :)

Usually when I talk about the Mobility Revolution, I put it in the context of the PC/Microprocessor Revolution and the Internet Revolution, but this story works better to talk about the Electrical Revolution and the Microprocessor Revolution.  It’s all the same, really.  It’s a story about how new technologies radically change how we interact with the world and the rules of competition across industries in ways that we could never have imagined.

If I were a technology visionary 100 years ago and I went to a watchmaker and said “in the future, virtually all watches will have electricity built in”, he would think I was crazy.  In his mind, he would imagine a power cord running to the watch and he would say that no one would buy such a product.  He also would recognize that electricity wasn’t even available in much of the U.S., much less the world.

Of course, today, that prediction has come true.  Not in the way that the watchmaker envisioned, but through powerful, tiny batteries.  No one expects to wind a watch anymore.  Electric watches have freed us from the effort of winding, and from the worry that our watch will run down and we’ll need to re-set it – or at least we only need to worry about it every few years when the battery dies.

Thirty years ago, if I’d gone to a watch maker and said “in the future, most watches will have a computer built in”, he would think I was crazy.  He’d imagine the computers of the day – huge systems that required raised floor, climate controlled spaces to operate, and he could not imagine how that could be associated with a watch.

I couldn’t quickly find stats to prove this, but I would guess that today, that prediction has come true – that at least a large number of watches sold today are either digital watches, or they are “analog” (they have hands), but they also have microprocessors within them playing some role (even if just for displaying the date).

A decade or so ago, I started saying that “in the future, most watches will have bandwidth built in”.  At the time, most people thought I was crazy.  They envisioned a modem (remember those?) with a phone wire (remember those?) hanging out, and they couldn’t imagine anyone buying a watch like that.

By the time I started talking about it, I’d already bought a Timex Data Link watch (I still have it around here somewhere).  So, I can’t claim to have just dreamed the concept up.  Since then, most of the watches I’ve bought have had some form of bandwidth built in, whether they be linked via satellite to the national atomic clock, or even Microsoft’s failed SPOT” technology.  Or my most recent exciting edition – a GPS-based exercise watch!

When I wear a watch that doesn’t have atomic time, I feel inadequate.  Even if I’m not traveling across time zones, simply giving up the confidence that my watch is perfectly accurate causes concern (I hate to be late for anything).  A brother-in-law who is a jeweler made a completely different observation about the atomic watch.  He said “wow, I bet they can make them really cheap that way.”  His point was that the mechanism in the watch doesn’t need to be very accurate, because the time is regularly updated with perfect accuracy, offsetting the deficiencies of the internal workings.

However, to prove my point even more than I thought…

Especially for young people, the majority of “watches” certainly have bandwidth built in, but not in the way I’d imagined.  I was just as bound by my foolish projection of current models into a future state as the watchmakers of old that I poke fun at in my story.

Today, for many people, the cellphone has completely replaced the watch.  My son may grow up never regularly wearing a watch.  (Since I have this fascination with watches, he’s felt compelled to wear one for a day or two at different times in his life.) For most people, the cellphone is always with them, it’s time is always accurate, it adjusts to new timezones (if it’s linked to the cellular carrier’s clock) – so why bind your wrist with some leather and metal?

Of course, this “bandwidth built in” is beginning to have a significant impact on the jewelry business.

What does “bandwidth built in” mean for your industry, your business, and how you personally interact with the world?

Observations: Uses – July 2, 2009

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

Standard disclaimer: don’t take from my selections, ordering, headlines, etc. any indications of the interests or plans of my employer (if you do, you’ll undoubtedly be disappointed when they don’t play out.)