Psst – the SERO Premium Plans are now official

The SERO Premium plans that have been getting lots of discussion in the comments section of a couple of related blog posts have now been officially announced by Sprint. You can see the announcement here and read the FAQs here (look on the right side of the page for a link to Frequently Asked Questions).

129 Responses to “Psst – the SERO Premium Plans are now official”

  1. Tomas - University Place, WA says:

    I suppose that those of us who were long term SERO customers, but were bumped to EPRP when we got a new handset, have no way of retreating to SERO now that Sprint has finally opened it up for their “premium” devices.

    If there IS a chance to move back to SERO, what level of Customer Service do we need to hit to do it?

    (This is especially valuable for those of us on a fixed disability or retirement income.)

    Tom

  2. Jason McG says:

    WOOT! Thanks Russ! Its good to see that the news has gone official. I am looking forward with great anticipation to getting Epics on the 1st of October!

  3. Derek Romano says:

    I currently have the $49.99 FnC 1250 plan… Would it be possible to elect to get the new $40 Premium 500 + $10 4G? Instead of Hiking my current $50 plan to $70 as I dont use my minutes…. As it may be considered a downgrade?

  4. Tracy Hill says:

    I love my Sprint service – I travel all over the country and it has never let me down – but I do think you are blowing it by not allowing existing customers the SERO discounts. The thing that Sprint should have learned from the existing era of social media/word-of-mouth marketing is that referrals from friends mean so much more than paid media. Your best brand ambassadors are your existing customers. Yet you don’t offer them the same benefits as new customers. For example, I looked into getting a SERO plan (thank you for being so kind, Russ), however, to get the plan, I would need to cancel my existing service (my contract had expired) and get a new number (I’ve had my existing number with Sprint for over 10 years). I did finally sign up for a new plan because I wanted the Evo, but you missed an opportunity to make me feel valued as a ten-year customer, and more importantly, to talk about how happy I am with both the phone and Sprint as a provider. In a social media-driven world it’s little things like that that will make your existing customers do things such as “like” your Facebook page, etc, which can start a genuine discussion about your products and services. And yes, I have been posting a great deal on my Facebook page about how much I love the Evo.

  5. bch580 says:

    This is great news. I’m eligible for an upgrade soon and will definitely be taking advantage of these new plans. My only question is will messaging be included or will it still be extra?

  6. mykie says:

    This makes me happy that I held onto my SERO plan as long as I did, and didn’t jump ship the moment (pun intended?) a shiny new phone came on the market!

    Though, I know a few previous SEROers who aren’t going to be happy…I don’t suppose they’ll have the opportunity to go back to their old plans will they?

  7. Becki says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I’ve already called my coworker that’s also held on to his Sero account through all the temptation of slick new phones. It makes suffering with my cracked-screen Centro the last few weeks much more worthwhile. I think I’ve convinced my husband to let me upgrade to the Epic, and I’m VERY excited.

  8. Sheep Dog says:

    Now how about all the long term legacy customers on Fair & Flexible and Free & Clear plans? These people stuck by Sprint with sub-par service for many years, now Sprint is going to let these customers move on?? What happened to loyalty, is it only a one way street? My guess is this will not get published or responded to. Russ, you know this situation is not a fair shake for loyal, long term customers.

  9. Russ says:

    Tomas and mykie – no, the SERO program is closed so reps aren’t able to move anyone into the program. Sorry.

    Derek – folks on a SERO plan can change their level when upgrading to the Premium. Especially with the addition of Any Mobile, Anytime, this might make sense for many.

    Tracy – I hear you. The economics of the plan only work if it’s only for attracting new customers. Since it goes against the principle of not treating new customers better than current customers, perhaps we should just stop offering the employee referral plans.

    Sheep Dog – I surprised you by posting it, now I’ll surprise you be responding. :) As I’ve commented before, the non-SERO legacy plans are managed out of a different group within Sprint than the one that’s been willing to tell me about the SERO Premium plan. They are much tighter with any information because of the broader competitive implications. I have no idea whether or not similar plans are being considered for other legacy plans.

  10. Sheep Dog says:

    Thanks for your response. You are a true gentleman. I am sorry to come off sounding gruff, but, I along with many other legacy customers are feeling frustrated and believe Sprint is being less than ethical in dealing with them. Thanks again for all you do!

  11. Derek Romano says:

    Thanks for your reply Russ, question I currently have a TP2 and I am trying to hold out for the WP7 releases to upgrade my phone I am eligible now for the upgrade. If I call when this is allowed on Oct 1st. to change my plan to the premium just to lock it in stone could I then later upgrade my device and receive a discount?

  12. Russ says:

    bch580 – messaging is included in the SERO Premium plans.

    Derek – you can upgrade to SERO Premium without upgrading devices and without resetting your device upgrade clock.

  13. Chris says:

    Hello,
    I’m a long time Sprint customer, been with them for around 14 years or so.

    2 years ago, I needed to get a new phone. I had heard about SERO and called customer service about it. At first the rep said that it was only open to new customers, and the only way I could get it would be to cancel my service and then sign up again.

    She then wanted me to hold on why she looked something up. She came back and said that she found a way to give me all the benefits of SERO, but it wouldn’t actually be a SERO plan. She said this would be a better solution since I could keep my phone number, and long term status. She said the only difference would be that it would not actually say SERO on my billing statement.

    So I said sounds great, and that’s what she did. So for over 2 years, I’ve had my Mogul, and I really need to upgrade. I really want an Epic, and would like to know if it’s possible for me to upgrade the same as actual SERO customers? I really hope there is!

    Thanks
    Chris

  14. Russ says:

    Chris,

    Thanks for being a long time customer and thanks for the complete description. Since you aren’t on an actual SERO plan, the SERO Premium is not available to you. There’s no word on whether similar plans will be available for other legacy plans. Sorry!

    Russ

  15. Vilma says:

    I have always had Sprint as my cell phone provider (since the 90’s..Sprint then Nextel which Sprint had acquired when I switched to them then back to Sprint). My SERO plan is one of the older ones. My nights and weekends begin at 9:00 p.m. If I upgrade to one of the new SERO Premium plans will my nights and weekends begin at 7:00 p.m.? I look forward to upgrading if this is the case.

  16. eltopo says:

    Thanks so much Russ. Really appreciate you engaging with the loyal Sprint customers and other people who have all these questions over the years.

  17. DJROCK says:

    i got an email saying i was a Premier customer

    Your Plan:
    SERO Fair and Flexible 500

    Status: Premier

    but,

    -my bill says Fair and Flexible Plan.

    am i a premier customer or not? do you know?
    —————–
    Also, i haven’t touched my plan in years, so i still have 9pm unlimited talk and 200 texts. is there any way of changing this?

  18. Mordy says:

    Russ,
    I know someone already asked you about new 3G Android handsets last time around (to avoid the extra fee of the premium 4G add on), but I’ve seen some info on the HTC Roadmap that points to a Sprint-bound Android device called the “Speedy”.

    I noticed a trend to bring smartphones down to the masses with more mid-level offerings (*cough*Samsung Intercept*cough*), so it might not actually be too crazy for the Speedy to be a decent spec’ed device without the added cost of the super-phones.
    Any idea whether or not the “Speedy” will be a 4G device?

  19. Russ says:

    Just a note – many of you have submitted comments complaining that legacy plans aren’t included here. There’s nothing new in your comments that advance this discussion, so I haven’t “approved” them, which is why you don’t see them here. (It may appear to you that they were deleted, but they actually were never posted.) As I’ve said before, this is not a public forum for you to complain about how Sprint is treating you, this is my personal blog. I pay, out of my pocket, for storage and bandwidth, and have no business plan for making money from this site, so I’m not going to approve comments that don’t advance the discussion but just drive up my bandwidth and storage costs.

    That being said, I have read your comments and passed some of them along to others inside Sprint, so hopefully your goal has still been achieved. If your objective was to have lots of folks read your publicly shared opinions, I recommend you post them on a public forum.

    Thanks,

    Russ

  20. Russ says:

    Mordy,

    I don’t know anything about a device being called Speedy. But if I did, I wouldn’t share anything about it here. These days, Sprint folks posting info about unannounced devices are getting fired and I actually like working at Sprint. :)

    Russ

  21. Sheep Dog says:

    Russ,

    What do you personally think will be more widely (globally) adopted WIMAX or LTE ?

  22. Mordy says:

    Fair enough. Don’t want to get Russ fired!

    In any event, its all over the blogosphere that HTC has some planned devices with codenames synonymous with “fast”, such as Blitz, Speedy, etc. The “Speedy” is rumored to be a Sprint device, and Pocketnow.com called it “the Evo’s little brother”, however the specs are somewhat vague so far.

    Truth be told, even if you *had* heard of it, chances are the Sprint branded name will be something other than HTC’s codename for it since I don’t think ANY htc devices kept their codename at launch (Touch/Vogue, Mogul/Titan, Touch Pro/Raphael/Herman, Touch Pro 2/Rhodium, etc).

  23. Dan says:

    Russ,

    Glad to hear the comments / suggestions are being passed along. You seem like you may help direct “the right people” to customer feedback more than most “public forums” will.

  24. Russ says:

    Sheep Dog – I think most telephone companies will deploy LTE. I think more independent providers will deploy WiMax. WiMax will also be used in private networks (e.g. campus deployments) and will be built into most laptops (e.g. http://www.electronista.com/articles/10/06/21/intel.notebooks.at.best.buy.get.wimax.modules/ ). So, both will be broadly deployed… (how’s that for a non-answer?)

    (I used to make the comparison to the late 1990s. The telcos said “ISDN is the answer for broadband. It fits our existing architecture and it’s a global standard.” Independent providers pushed DSL. The telcos wanted usage based pricing. The independents held onto an unlimited model…. I’m not sure it’s really a fair comparison, but still worth considering…)

  25. are-gee says:

    Russ – Thanks for your help with these updates. How does direct connect fit in with the new SERO premium plans – will it be included as it is now on the 500/1250 SERO plans?

  26. Prince says:

    This is brilliant! I was tempted to get any mobile anytime but I would have been required to change my plan. I love my 30 dollar plan and i don’t mind paying 10 dollars more for GPS and any mobile anytime.
    Russ, I have a suggestion, seeing that this will only be available on current sero customers, is there any way you can bring down the price of the regular any mobile anytime? My wife has been trying to get on Sero for a while and she can use a break.

  27. Prince says:

    Also, one more question, do you get to keep the time your anytime minutes start?
    Like some people have a 7 pm start other 6 pm. thanks.

  28. Dan says:

    I have to say, its refreshing that a “senior” member of an executive team actually takes time to communicate with the customers. I think it’s beneficial for everyone, and something more people / companies should consider.

    Looking forward to Sprint’s next announcement!

  29. Jorge O says:

    This is great to hear Russ.

    Not completely related, but is Sprint going to carry Windows Phone 7 devices this year? And if so will this upgrade still apply to those handsets as well.

    Thanks,

  30. Russ says:

    Jorge – I can’t comment on Sprint plans for devices except those that have been announced.

  31. Russ says:

    Prince – new customers can sign up with Everything Plus which generally cuts $10/month off the price of Sprint plans.

  32. Prince says:

    Dan, that’s what i have been telling people for years. In close to 10 years that I have been a sprint customer, i have never experienced a bad customer service. Now, I m sure there are some agents who care more than others, but I don’t think agents who don’t do their jobs right stay with sprint long.

  33. Russ says:

    DJROCK – Premier is different from your plan. Premier is the loyalty program. You can learn more here: http://premier.sprint.com/

    In general, to qualify for the Premier program, you either need to be a 10+year customer or have an individual rate plan with a base rate of $69.99 or more per month for a family rate plan with a base rate of $99.99 or more per month.

  34. Russ says:

    are-gee – Direct Connect is included, just like it is in the basic plans.

  35. Russ says:

    Prince and Vilma – SERO customers that upgrade to the Premium plan will have nights and weekends starting at 7pm unless they are already paying an upgrade for a 6pm start time (in which they can continue to pay for that upgrade). Of course, with the Premium plan, all calls to any mobile number (on any US carrier) don’t count against your anytime minutes no matter the time of day (Sprint’s exclusive Any Mobile, Anytime offer).

  36. Dan says:

    Russ,
    If a customer is currently on an “older” SERO plan that does not include text messaging, they would be able to get SERO premium and get messaging included, correct?

    Also, will a customer on SERO premium, if they want to, be able to return to a “standard” SERO plan at the $30 or $49.99 fee? Or, is this a “once your premium, your premium forever?”

  37. Russ says:

    Dan
    1. Correct
    2. You can return to standard

  38. are-gee says:

    Russ – what avenues will be available to get the new phones? Will the sprint.com web site be changed at 12:01am on Friday to be able to order the new phones? Thanks much for all of your help here… It is great to have a Sprint exec care about customers like this.

  39. are-gee says:

    Russ – can a phone be purchased online now and just wait until Oct 1st to activate? Thanks….

  40. Russ says:

    are-gee:
    The FAQ at sprint.com/everythingplus says this:
    You can upgrade through any of the following channels: any Sprint-owned Retail Store, Telesales (888-882-4030), or Sprint.com. You will not, however, be able to upgrade your device through a 3rd party dealer or national retail partner and you will not be required to provide a referring employee’s email address and CID in order to upgrade your device.

    Also – if it were me, I wouldn’t take the risk of ordering a phone in advance, although I’ve been told you can do what you’re asking, I just don’t think it’s worth the risk…

  41. chris r says:

    Russ,

    Great blog. Quick question. I have two accounts with sprint that are priced at $30. Over the years, the plan names have changed. One plan is titled SERO F&F 500, the other is Fair & Flexible Plan 500. I’m pretty confident they were both SERO at one time. I don’t imagine having a problem upgrading the one explicitly labeled SERO, but will I have problems upgrading the Fair & Flexible Plan 500? I’ve never had discounts attached or anything of the like. I just never thought to argue with Customer Service to have SERO added back to the plan level. I’m excited about Oct 1st, but since I primarily use the device that doesn’t have SERO in the name I’m wondering if I’m out of luck (the other device is on my account, but loaned to a friend).

  42. Russ says:

    chris r – you’re right, the SERO plan won’t have any problem. I’ve heard similar stories from others on a SERO plan becoming not a SERO plan. I’ve passed it along to the employee plan folks and they’re checking into it.

  43. Dan says:

    Russ,

    It seems when the billing system was changed over, some “SERO” customers lost the SERO name on their plan. I have seen some who posted that they were told not to worry about it, and didn’t as they were still paying $30 for 500 “fair and flex” as well as data and messaging.

    Would it seem fair that if a customer has a $30 plan for 500 mins “fair and flex” as well as data and messaging that it was SERO and got a different code during billing system changes? If so, is their a way for Sprint to look back and see what the customer had on P2K?

    Finally, shouldn’t you be enjoying your weekend? :)

  44. Russ says:

    Thanks Dan. I’m watching football as I check my messages, so yes, I’m enjoying my weekend.

    Some folks never had SERO but were given SERO-like pricing (SERO was only for new lines, but care let some existing customers get plan features that were just like SERO). Others apparently were SERO, then weren’t. They’re trying to figure out which is which and what to do about it.

  45. Larry says:

    Russ,
    I have been on SERO 500 since 2002, I’m out of contract. I’m planning on getting to updated SERO, my question is.. Will I be able to keep my same # with the new plan and contract.

  46. Russ says:

    Larry – if you upgrade your SERO plan to a SERO Premium plan, your phone # will stay the same. Thanks for your long time loyalty to Sprint.

  47. Xavier says:

    I’m happy to see this happen, although I’d be happier if I could get an Android phone without paying $10 extra for the Any Mobile Any Time service which I don’t need (since I never go over my 500 minutes).

    But my question is: will there be any new 3G-only Android phones which are worth getting, or will Sprint make all the new, good Android phones in 4G?

    If so, getting a good phone will actually be $20 extra per month, not $10, which is a much less exciting prospect.

  48. KrisH says:

    Russ,

    I was on Sero for a long time and upgraded to EPRP in order to run an android phone. Is there anyway to get on Sero Premium?

  49. Russ says:

    KrisH – no, unfortunately the SERO plans are closed to new subscribers, even if they were on SERO before. But the Everything Plus plans are still a great deal!

    Russ

  50. BrianM says:

    I am frankly amazed at how accommodating Sprint has been with SERO customers, and Russ has been with answering comments. There is really no reason for Sprint not to say “Sero is over, you have too pay like everyone else now.” I have stuck with SERO and my sad old phone because a plan upwards of $100 a month is just not feasible to me, and I almost exclusively use data and text. October 1 feels like Christmas morning to me. I can’t wait! I will replace my Motorola Q (!) with a Samsung Epic 4G, which is easily worth $20 more a month. It’ll still be about half the price my friends are paying for their iPhones. Thank you Sprint, and my employee friend Russ!

  51. Larry says:

    Russ,
    Thanks for the response to my question, Sprint has been good to me as a long time customer. Thats why I stick with the company.. The grass aint always greener on the other side….Thanks again…

  52. Brian D says:

    I too was on a SERO plan, and now that I have heard about the upgrades finally went and checked and my plan is also listed as F+F 500 with no mention of SERO….but this was ALWAYS a SERO account and was NEVER changed

  53. […] plan status for $10. Sprint calls it a new plan, Sero Premium, however insider Russ McGuire confirmed that it works more like a add-on, in that you can always revert back to the original […]

  54. Dan says:

    Russ,

    What channels can customers purchase upgraded devices at? It seems that some corporate stores are telling customers that they will not be able to purchase in store and will have to go online.

    It has been reported by some that in certain areas Store managers have refused to sell a “Hot” device like an EVO to an upgrading customer, reserving it for new lines of service.

    What is the official Sprint policy regarding corporate stores and device availability? Can SERO customers purchase in any corporate store as well as online / telesales? Can a Sprint store refuse to sell to an upgrade eligible customer simply because a device is “Hot” and they are claiming it is being reserved for new customers only?

    I appreciate your time and the replies you have given. I look forward to hearing what Sprint stores are supposed to be doing in these situations.

  55. Russ says:

    Dan,

    Your question is answered in the FAQ and I also already answered it above (http://mcguireslaw.com/2010/09/03/psst-the-sero-premium-plans-are-now-official/#comment-3897 ). If you have specific examples of stores violating policies by refusing to allow customers to upgrade to an available device, please e-mail me the details (russ.s.mcguire@sprint.com).

    Russ

  56. Bryan says:

    Dan,

    I am on a Sero 1250 49.99 base plan. I really only use about 100-200min a month, reset is sprint to sprint m2m and sms and data.

    My question is I see in one spot you say one could lower to the 500min sero premium plan to help off-set charges if not using our mins but i see a lot more information leaning in that these are going to be add-on features not actual plans thus how they could be reverted back to non-premium.

    Which is it? Are these TOTALLY new plans with same stuff or are they just add-ons? My concern if its an add-on how would we be able to downgrade if the sprint employee’s cant put people on sero plans?

  57. Russ says:

    Bryan,

    Sorry for the confusion. The Premium features aren’t an add-on. There are two separate plans, SERO Basic and SEO Premium. You can switch between them (except, of course, you can’t have SERO Basic with an iconic device).

    Russ

  58. Kelly Kamdesh says:

    Russ,

    Thank you for this wonderful blog. I currently have the SERO Fair and Flexible 500 plan. My goal is to get a Samsung Epic 4g on a SERO premium plan on Oct.1

    When i upgrade to the Samsung Epic through the channels you indicated – Telesales (888-882-4030) or Sprint.com, will I be upgraded to the SERO premium plan at the same time? In other words will the Telesales rep switch me to the SERO premium plan during the call? Or if I use Sprint.com, is there an option to switch to the Sero Premium plan on the site for existing Sero customers?

    Kelly

  59. Stephen says:

    Russ,

    How can we ensure that our SERO status won’t be lost as many people have claimed that it has happened to them? I’d like to update my phone to the Samsung Epic, but in the transition of upgrading my plan I don’t want to lose the SERO status. Please advise. Thanks.

  60. Justin says:

    Russ,

    I have a SERO Basic plan and have been with Sprint for many years. The base price for my plan is $30 and I added ESRP ($7) and on top of that I’m receiving a $10 monthly discount. Therefore my bill comes out to $28-29 a month give or take. Will I be able to keep the $10 monthly discount after I switch to SERO Premium and pay an additional $10 for 4g? Thanks!

  61. Russ says:

    Justin,

    No.

    See my post from yesterday: http://mcguireslaw.com/2010/09/17/important-update-to-the-sero-premium-faq/

    “SERO Premium rate plans will not be discountable – customers on current SERO plans receiving discounts above and beyond the already discounted SERO rate will lose those discounts when moving to a SERO premium plan.”

    Sorry.

    Russ

  62. Cina says:

    As far as losing discounts, I get an additional 200 anytime minutes to use each month on top of my SERO 500 minutes. Will I lose those as well?

    Also, I just wanted to make sure I am understanding this correctly, when I switch to SERO premium, I will be able to call any mobile number from any US mobile carrier unlimited anytime?

    Thank you so much. This is such a great blog and it is impressive to see someone with all the answers. Sometimes that is hard to find in customer service.

  63. Cina says:

    I am sorry, I have just one more question. I went back and checked my serive plan and it is listed as Sprint EMP Referral FF 500. I signed up with SERO but I think it is listed as a fair and flexible plan. Is this considered a plan that is upgradable?

  64. Bugs says:

    I am on F&F plan which is almost like Sero with unlimited web and messaging but it is not Sero plan. So based on all the above posts does it mean that I cannot upgrade my phone to the HTC Evo or Epic without having to change my plan? This is bad. Really Bad. I have been a Sprint Premier customer for over 12 years now and I feel I should be given some kind of previlige to be able to upgrade my phone without having to change my plan…
    Can you please look into this. Or if there is way then please do let me know.

    Thanks.

  65. Prince says:

    Russ, thanks for your patience with us. Question: if i decide to move back to the Sero Basic from Sero Premium, will i be able to get my corporate discount back?

  66. Craig says:

    Another SERO customer since 2005 who just logged into my online account to find my Plan Details listed as “Fair&Flexible 500 Access Chg”.
    Hopefully we get some clarity from the “legacy accounts” team on our eligibility for SERO Premium.
    The SERO plan was the primary reason I signed up with Sprint. If they need a perfect case example of a legacy account that was signed up through the standard SERO process but is now listed as F&F500 (likely when the new billing system was initiiated), please email me. I’ll provide any details necessary to expedite a solution.
    Looking forward to (hopefully) being able to upgrade to an EVO or Epic soon.
    Thanks again for providing this venue. It’s truly refreshing to see actual customer service in this age of outsourced call centers and non-answer answers.

  67. Russ says:

    Craig – the employee accounts team is working on it. At this point it looks like it might not be resolved before 10/1, but they’re working to get it done as quickly as possible.

  68. Russ says:

    Bugs – correct, if you aren’t on SERO, the new SERO Premium plan is not available. I’ve talked about how expensive it is for Sprint to have these new devices on our network. I’m not going to repeat it again here.

  69. Russ says:

    Cina – SERO Premium includes Any Mobile, Anytime, so the answer to that question is yes – call any other cellphone in the US and it doesn’t count against your minutes.

    I’m checking on your other questions.

  70. Russ says:

    Prince – Answer from the employee plan folks: No, you will be moved to a non-discountable sero basic plan.

  71. Russ says:

    Cina: Answer from the employee plan folks: Bonus minutes should continue, although once this sub has Any Mobile, the need should be less.

  72. Russ says:

    Kelly – answer from the employee plan folks: No – upgrades purchased through these channels are shipped “cold” and arrive inactive. When received, customer should call into Employee Care to activate the new phone – at that point it will be placed on the appropriate premium plan.

  73. Derrick says:

    Russ,

    My friend has an EVO but has switched to a different phone. I currently am on SERO Basic 500. Can I take his EVO and change to SERO Premium? Can I do this online, over the phone or in a Sprint store?

  74. Russ says:

    Derrick – not before October 1, then you should be able to call into Employee Care to activate it with the SERO Premium plan.

  75. Quasijedi says:

    Russ:

    Great blog. I have a few comments I’d like to share…

    1. I’m glad Sprint FINALLY decided that it was worth their time to create an appropriate SERO plan that allowed SERO customers to use these “iconic” phones.

    2. I’m seriously disappointed that old SERO customers that adopted one of the “Plus” plans cannot revert back to SERO. It just leaves a very, very bad taste in one’s mouth.

    3. I’m disappointed that current “Fair & Flexible”, “Free & Clear”, and “Free Incoming” plans have not been addressed. Granted, there are far more of us on these plans than on SERO plans, but still…no progress is stifling.

    4. Why bother limiting the handsets based on one’s rate plan anyway? Since all SERO plans had unlimited data and messaging, then how is that any different from today’s unlimited data and messaging? Sprint has done a lousy job explaining this difference. Actually, Sprint has never explained this difference. So, is this merely a money grab?

    Overall, I applaud the idea that Sprint wants to continue to have happy SERO customers and allow them a way to get access to these newer phones. However, Sprint has alienated the iDEN base so strongly without any regard to making any amends that it’s seriously disheartening. So…

    The Bottom Line:

    It’s a nice move by Sprint to offer a small olive branch to those of us that are on SERO plans. Sadly, it appears to be too little too late since many SERO customers have opted to go with one of the “Plus” plans. And for those of us Nextel subscribers…we continue to be snubbed and ignored. Guess that won’t ever end until the last of us Nextel users leaves, eh?

  76. Russ says:

    Quasijedi – great to see you on here.

    The only one of your points I’ll address is #4, although I’ve addressed it before.

    The simple fact is that there are HUGE differences in data use by users of different types of devices. I’m talking orders of magnitude. It’s not hard to imagine. Someone with a RAZR can only do so much, while someone with an EVO (with high megapixel cameras, HDMI connections, super fast processor, etc.) naturally is going to enjoy all that new power. For Sprint, that means an order of magnitude increase in our network costs for those customers.

    When we offered the SERO plan, we were crazy to offer unlimited data in a $30 plan, but setting that insanity aside for a moment, we had no idea that the typical usage of a subscriber would reach the levels we’re seeing with today’s Android phones (especially those with 1GHz processors and beautiful displays).

    The analogy I like to use is to an all you can eat buffet restaurant. Most such restaurants offer discounts to kids and senior citizens. Why? Because these customers typically eat less than teens and young/middle-aged adults. Another way of saying it is that these restaurants charge adults more because they typically eat more.

    Sprint has chosen to take this approach with SERO. If you want a phone that typically “eats more” data, then we’ll charge you $10 more per month.

    The alternative was either to continue to limit what devices SERO customers can use or cancel the SERO program altogether. There’s a strong bias against forcing migrations to new plans, and we heard the desire of SERO customers for new phones, so we went with the “pay more if you want to fit the heavy eater profile” approach.

    I hope that helps.

    Russ

  77. Tats De says:

    I have convinced 8 of my friends to sign up for SERO. Even when SERO was closed, I always fought for Sprint with my AT&T friends. I love Sprint and will not leave even if I could not upgrade, because I believe Verizon and AT&T are plain evil with their crippling H/W and overblown costs. However, I am a victim of auto-switch from SERO to F&F. I hope that we get a fair treatment. We may be 1% of customer base for Sprint. But to me, I am 100%. Please pay attention to us: we are more effective than thousands of TV advts.

  78. Bob says:

    The HTC Evo 4G is sold out online from Sprint. It has been sold out for several weeks. I called a few stores. Some of them have them in stock, but they all said that they cannot activate any phones for SERO. They said they cannot access SERO accounts. How can we get the Evo on Oct. 1st?

  79. Cina says:

    Wow, that was a great use of analogy (the all-you-can-eat buffet). It really puts things in perspective and makes it easier for people to understand why they have not allowed SERO plan holders to use the newest phones in the past. Sometimes it takes someone who is willing to explain things It is nice to see an employee take the time to help people truly understand the system.

    Thanks.

  80. Cina says:

    I apologize if I missed this answer in a previous post, but on October 1st will SERO users log onto their Sprint account online and be able to make this switch, or is there a number we must call? It would be nice to have a heads up as to what we need to do in order to upgrade so that we are not calling customer service and getting switched from person to person until we are connected with someone knows the answers. Thanks!

  81. Russ says:

    Thanks Cina,

    Here’s an answer from the FAQ at sprint.com/everythingplus:
    “You can upgrade through any of the following channels: any Sprint-owned Retail Store, Telesales (888-882-4030), or Sprint.com. You will not, however, be able to upgrade your device through a 3rd party dealer or national retail partner.”

  82. Russ says:

    Bob,

    SERO customers can upgrade their devices in any Sprint-owned Retail Store. Although the retail stores haven’t yet been trained on the new SERO plans (they’re getting trained this week), so if you’re asking them questions about it, they probably don’t know yet.

    (Note, new customers can’t sign up for Everything Plus in retail stores, so this isn’t a solution for new E+ customers wanting an EVO.)

  83. Corey says:

    Russ – Many thanks for being the consumer advocate within Sprint.

    As I’m reading the discussion here and on SprintUser forum , I see that many customers had SERO plans at one point, but was somehow changed to F&F, which by SERO Premium’s prerequisite, would not qualify. Some speculate that the P2K to Ensemble migration may have impacted these accounts.

    For these customers, they are unable to reach Employee Accounts (888-xxx-8381) since they’re no longer officially on the SERO plan.

    Any updates on how that’s being managed? Thanks.

  84. Russ says:

    Corey – thanks to the help of some folks who posted comments here, the employee support group has been able to confirm the issue. They’re now working on a way to simply and quickly identify accounts that were impacted and determine how to make sure they can regain their SERO status. If folks can be a little more patient, I’m confident it will be resolved, but might take a couple more weeks to get it worked out. Thanks.

  85. Corey says:

    Russ – Thanks for the update. I (and I’m sure the community) appreciate the transparency and update.

    It’s a bit comical that there are so many users (myself included) that are so passionate about this topic, but again, we appreciate your efforts.

  86. Matt says:

    Wa…I guess I am not alone after all. I am with Sprint for long time (10 years), and I am on the FC (1000 mins), and my wife also got her 1000 mins, both got unlimited data, 1500 txt msg, paying about $77 each month.

    I am looking forward to switch to a 4G phones, but I really want to keep my bills low. In my case, would that be possible for me to switch to the SERO (Everything plus data 1600 share, $109)?
    does this include roaming mins?

    What is the different between this plan vs the Sprint Everything family data (1500 mins- $129.99)?

    Oh..ya, I finally find a place to voice out.

    Thanks everyone,
    Matt

  87. Andrew says:

    I opened the SERO lines long time ago. I just checked the account and now it is called Power Pack Family 1000. I think the customer service changed it for the system migration issue in the last couple years. My question is: Am I eligible to upgrade to the new plan?

    If not, is it possible to trace back the record to show I was in SERO. I didn’t keep the statement.

    Thanks.

  88. Russ says:

    Andrew – thanks for being a long time customer. I’ve answered your question a bunch of times, most recently at 3:51 this morning.

    You are not eligible for the new plan with your current plan. We’re working on resolving it. Please be patient.

  89. Eric says:

    Russ – Like many other people before me I want to thank you for all your input and knowledge. From everything I’ve read on your blog this is completely untrue but I just got off the phone with a customer care rep that told me that all basic SERO costumers will be FORCED to go to the SERO premium plan and they will start to see the $10 charged added on the next billing cycle. It’s still a great deal either way, but that is not true is it?

  90. Russ says:

    Eric – “all” SERO customers certainly won’t be forced to go to SERO premium. Those that were already using Blackberries are being automatically moved to SERO premium, but at no additional charge (they’re already paying $10 extra for BIS or whatever it’s called). If somehow, a SERO customer is already using an iconic device, they might be automatically switched to SERO premium.

  91. Jason C says:

    Russ — thank you for providing an outlet for these unique support inquiries. I too am a past SERO–>F&F (accidental) convert and am looking forward to how Sprint can get us back to SERO so we can get SERO Premium.

    Also, I really wish people would take the time to READ THE COMMENTS before posting the same questions over and over. If I were you I would start deleting/not approving future repetitions–like you said at the top it just wastes time and bandwidth!

  92. MattG From NJ says:

    Hi Russ, I see that you’ve already responded to this, and I just want to make sure your answer still applies (because there is contradicting and confusing information on the sprint official forums) – Can a person on SERO F&F go to premium and switch back at any time?

    ClaudiPo’s post seems confusing – http://community.sprint.com/baw/message/218365#218365

    I’ve never heard of SERO Basic (unless they meant SERO with no extra discounts/perks).

    I appreciate all the information you’ve been able to provide to the community, and I’m getting more and more satisfied with the coverage Sprint is providing my area.

  93. Russ says:

    Sorry for the delay in responding to questions. I participated in an awesome event last night: http://sprint.eventready.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=reg.info&event_id=3783 which raised $950,000 for five great charities. (I didn’t get to play golf, it’s a busy time at work right now, but did get to attend the dinner.)

    MattG, to answer your question – I think you defined SERO Basic correctly. I have been assured that folks can switch back and forth between SERO Premium and SERO Basic. Of course, with Basic, you’re limited in devices you can use. If anyone ever has trouble with this, they can contact me.

    As a side note. In the last 24 hours, I’ve started getting some angry comments from folks complaining that Sprint doesn’t have a right to limit devices or raise prices or however it is that they’re representing these new options for SERO customers and that I’m lying when I describe why Sprint is doing what we’re doing here. As I’ve said before, I’m not going to “approve” comments that are hateful, complaining, or don’t otherwise help the conversation here. This is my personal blog, not a public forum. It’s messages like these that make me want to quit spending my personal time engaging with you folks here and trying to make your experience with Sprint better. It’s all the other great questions and comments I get from everyone else that keeps me here. Given the volume of comments I’ve been getting, I’ve probably missed a couple for which I apologize, but if you don’t see your comment posted, stop and ask whether it was written in a positive spirit to advance the conversation, and if it was, feel free to resubmit it. Thanks.

  94. Matt says:

    Thanks, Russ. Thanks for spending your personal time to answer to all the questions. By going thru the FAQ and the comment, I found all the questions and answers for myself. I really appreciate your help. Thank you so much for your time.

  95. Denny says:

    Russ, I read through this whole blog. Not much VP would spend time answering questions on a saturday. I really appreciated for you doing this for all sprint customers.

    I notice alot of question/answers about the HTC Evo and the Samsung Epic but there was nothing about blackberry.

    To get a HTC Evo on 4G Network it would be $40 Sero Premium + $10 correct?

    So for Blackberry would I need to upgrade it to the Sero Premium and add additional $10 for BIS or the Premium already include it. The reason I ask is because there was a post about someone on the SERO Basic Plan $30 and added $10 for BIS will be upgraded to Sero Premium automatically with no additional cost. My question is will there be an additional $10 charge if I upgrade to the blackberry now?

    Please let me know when you get the chance. Thank you.

  96. Jason C says:

    FYI everyone — I was able to convert my plan successfully today to SERO Premium. Like others, I was accidentally changed to Fair & Flexible at some point. When I called the Sprint Customer care (for EPRP customers) they fixed my account and then upgraded me to Sero Premium. After this I was able to talk to telesales and place an order for a Samsung Epic–should get here next week! Also FYI–you can’t purchase phones in store, have to order online.

    SOOOOOOO EXCITED! Thanks again, Russ.

  97. Mike says:

    Russ,
    I stumbled across this website today after getting told I did not have a SERO account. This was a surprise to me as I signed up for one and have never made a change other that asking if I was eligible for a discount. Apparently when they applied the discount, they removed any indication that the plan was a SERO plan in the system, although they can tell it was SERO earlier. Account services is telling me that I am ineligible for a upgrade to SERO premium (actually a supervisor (travis) said there is no SERO premium since 2008 and that I would have to resign up to join EPRP.

    I see that I am not alone and sprint is working on the issue. That is helpful to know that all hope is not lost for people in my situation. Thanks for running such a helpful blog and please update when more information is known about how sprint will deal with people in my situation.

  98. Russ says:

    Denny – As I understand it, the BIS is included in the SERO Premium, so if you’re on a $30 SERO plan today, it would just be $40, not $50.

  99. JamieP says:

    Hi Russ,

    Any update for us SERO folks that were converted to F&F 500 that would now like to upgrade to SERO Premium?

    Thanks!

  100. Russ says:

    JamieP – I’ll check on Monday. Stay tuned.

  101. Corey says:

    JamieP (and others with F&F SERO) – I’ve had success converting my SERO that was tagged as F&F 500 into a SERO-P plan. The challenge was getting to the right team/rep that understands that some F&F 500 were SERO plans.

    The key is to get to “Employee Accounts” department, who is equipped and knowledgeable to do so. However, if you call using your cell phone and asked to be transferred to Employee Accounts, the phone system will recognize that you are not an employee account. It believes you are a consumer customer. As such, it would be best to call from a landline, and asked to be transferred to employee accounts.

    Best of luck.

  102. JohnR says:

    Russ, it is great to see your responsiveness and dedication to Sprint’s customers.

    Could you provide a link to or directly respond with an outline of the differences in unlimited data on 3g/4g both on and off network between the older Sero F&F 500 and the new Sero premium? I heard some chatter on forums about losing unlimited with the new premium plan and I wanted to confirm before switching to an EVO on my two lines.

    Thanks veru much!

  103. Chuck says:

    Russ, I was an old SERO 500 account, and discarded it to get a Palm Pre.
    Is there any chance I could get my old SEO account back and upgraded to SERO Premium now?

    Should I use my Premier early upgrade and grab the EVO 4g before even trying?

    Thank you

    Long time sprint user, always pay my bill on time.

  104. jason lee says:

    Hey Russ,

    I read through this thread the best I could and did not find my question asked.

    Now that we are on a Sero Premium plan and no longer have phone restrictions, will we be able to upgrade the moment a new phone is launched or will we have to wait a minimum of 30 days like Sprint Wireless Advantage Club customers?

    Thank you for all your efforts here!

  105. Russ says:

    jason lee – I can’t say with confidence. There have been times when devices have been delayed to Everything Plus customers, but recently, Everything Plus customers have had access in the same timing as other customers. I would guess that SERO Premium device availability will follow the availability for Everything Plus.

  106. Russ says:

    Chuck – No. Once you gave up your SERO plan, you lost it. The program is closed. Sorry.

  107. Russ says:

    JohnR – I checked today. Nothing has changed. Our handset plans have unlimited data as long as you stay on the Sprint network. If you’re roaming off network, you’re limited to 300MB (which isn’t much, so watch the roaming). Also, phone-as-modem isn’t included. But all of that is true both before and after.

  108. Tats De says:

    Russ,

    Please do not forget us: the people who got switched from SERO to F&F500 by error/mistake. I am keeping my finger crossed.

    If Sprint decides that they will not do anything about these switched accounts, just let us know. The waiting game will be over and we will move on with our life.

    Tats

  109. Russ says:

    Thanks for the reminder Tats. I’ve heard that the employee plans group has set a goal for themselves of having a solution to share by the first week in November. Hang in there.

    Russ

  110. Andrew says:

    Hi Russ,

    Any update related to the legacy plan? I thought there is something for the first week of Nov. Thanks for checking for us.

    Andrew

  111. Russ says:

    Andrew,

    The news that was expected at the beginning of November was for folks who had previously been on SERO but had been switch off automatically. You can read that here: http://mcguireslaw.com/2010/11/09/finally-a-solution/

    I’ve never meant to promise any updates on legacy plans (I’m still not hearing anything from that group). I apologize for any confusion.

    Russ

  112. CeCe says:

    Hi Russ!

    I’ve been on the F&C 1500 plan for over 2 years. Any chance Sprint will open up the Samsung Epic phone to the legacy plans? Any suggestion as to how I can get that phone without switching to the Everything Plan? I currently own the outdated BB Pearl. What is my best option of an Android phone with my current plan?

    Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.

    CeCe

  113. Russ says:

    CeCe – if you’ve read the comments here, you know that the topic of a “Premium” plan for non-SERO accounts has come up often. I don’t have any news on whether such a plan will ever be offered.

  114. Tim F says:

    Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. I find your answers very informative.

  115. Johan says:

    Hi Russ.

    I have a Sero 1250. Can I uppgrade/change to the Sero Premium 500 and get the LG Optimus which does not require the 4G add on?

  116. Russ says:

    Johan – I don’t see why not. You certainly can upgrade from SERO 1250 to SERO Premium and you can switch from 1250 to 500 when you do that.

  117. KE says:

    I have a SERO plan that is listed as “Network Advantage SEROF&F 500” I have been told by 2 reps that this plan is not eligible for the premium data upgrade, because it is an Ericsson business plan. The account in question was originally a friends and family plan, and was converted to a SERO when I left Sprint (to go to Ericsson). It was never listed as an Ericsson employee account. Is this correct, and the plan is not upgradeable, or is it possible, and if so, how I go about doing so? Thanks in advance

  118. Russ says:

    KE – see my comment from just the other day on the topic here: http://mcguireslaw.com/2010/10/04/unfortunately-the-answer-is-no/#comment-5274

    Bottom line – Network Advantage SERO is NOT the Sprint Employee Referral Offer, so it is not eligible for the SERO Premium plan. In the comment linked above, I provide a phone number you can call to see what upgrades are possible under the Ericsson discount.

  119. Sam says:

    I have a Sero Premium plan.

    I see that Sprint is changing the 3G charges effective 1-30-11.

    From what I have read that Sprint will be charging a $10 “Premium Date add-on” for activations of any smart phone beginnig 1-30-11. I have also read that existing users will not be affected unless they upgrade or actiave another smartphone.

    Does this new policy apply to Sero Premium plan members as well?

    For example, I have a Blackberry 9650 and a Samsung Moment. I am currenlty using the Moment and if swithced back to the Blackberry on 1-30-11, would I be charged $50 a month instead of $40.00?

    Would then 4G Devices be the same price per month?

    Thanks for any help that you can provide on this issue.

  120. Justin says:

    Hi Russ! I just wanted to start off by saying thank you for all the invaluable information you have provided.

    Moving on, it’s been announced that Sprint will charge all new smartphone activations the $10 “Premium Data” charge starting January $30.

    I was wondering if this applies to the newly created “SERO Premium” category, effectively making all post 1/29/11 SERO Premium activations result in a monthly cost of $50 a month (before taxes and additional fees). Does it?

    Thanks in advance for your response.

  121. Justin says:

    Whoops, I wrote “January $30.” I did not intend to do that. Sorry.

  122. Michael says:

    I understand what you saying for the current SERO-P users. I have a normal SERO plan now. I’m really looking forward to the new Windows 7 phone for Sprint. Which isn’t released before the Jan. 30 date so I’m assuming sometime in February. I understand that the current SERO-P users aren’t charged extra. What happens to me if I upgrade mid Feb for the Windows phone? Will it just be $30 + $10 = $40/month from Feb and on? Also another situation how much would it be if I wanted to upgrade to the EVO or one of the other 4g phones? Is that an additional $10 for those or just $40 still? Sorry if this seems closely related to other questions, I haven’t received an exact answer although this (http://mcguireslaw.com/2011/01/18/sero-premium-and-premium-data/) post of yours did help some.

    Thanks for reading.

  123. David Lopez says:

    Another sad story: for some strange reason my SERO plan became Fair and Flexible 500, not sure how it happened? I haven’t touched the account in the last 5 years. Countless of hours of trying to convince CSR on the phone that I has once signed up for SERO yielded no resutls. Forget about signing up for SERO Premium, I dont qualify!
    To add insult to injury somehow my contract got extended in 2010 when I tried a touch pro2. I couldn’t deal with WinM6.0 so I promptly returned it to the store. But the contract remained EXTENDED to 2012! Ugghhh! Now I’m waiting for a callback to confirm the TP2 was returned. I feel its time to switch to another carrier.
    Sprint does very little for long term customers.

  124. Russ says:

    David – I’m sorry that you feel that way. Your SERO situation sounds like one that I’ve discussed at length on my blog. Have you tried the steps described here: http://mcguireslaw.com/2010/11/09/finally-a-solution/

    Russ

  125. Wai says:

    Thank you Russ for all the helpful information!!

  126. Martin Samir says:

    Hello Russ,
    I have been reading all this comment regarding the Sero plan. I was a 3rd party employee for sprint and a 12 years customer. I have less than $30 plan called “everything free and clear”. I love Sprint and I want to stay with them. but I am out of phone options. I am now stuck with a Samsung Intript that keep freezing on me all the time. every time I want to change phone they want me to change plan. I really don’t want to change my plan as I built this long term relation with sprint, I thought we should get a break for being a valuable customers. any thought about that? I hope you can direct me to get a good looking phone! :) and of course keeping my plan! Thank you

    Martin

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