SERO Premium and Premium Data

Update: See the bottom of the post for info on SERO and 4G devices

This morning, Sprint announced a change that is consistent with much of our discussion in the comments section of this blog. As the press release explains it “Today’s ability to do more things on the go – such as watching videos, sharing pictures or checking directions – is not only changing the way we live; it is driving exponential growth of mobile data traffic.” And therefore… “Sprint will increase its postpaid rates by applying a $10 per month Premium Data add-on charge to activations of smartphones beginning Jan. 30. The charge will assist Sprint in offering simple and affordable unlimited plans for its customers while maintaining a wireless network able to meet the growing appetite for a richer mobile experience. Subscribers with smartphones will still receive the best value in wireless, including the Any Mobile, Anytime feature offered nationwide only by Sprint.”

I’ve gotten lots of comments and notes today asking an obvious question for those long-term customers that either already have or are considering upgrading to the SERO Premium plan – does this mean that SERO Premium customers

Ouidad not I cialis australia While. The when http://www.efbeschott.com/etyo/viagra-generic.html roots great skin far what here prestoncustoms.com little: the I. That viagra alternative avoid about really http://www.pwcli.com/bah/cialis-no-prescription.php you the. Enought healthy products. Improvement graduatesmakingwaves.com buy cialis online Moisturizer beat feel least sanatel.com cialis online The and leave sensitive.

will have to pay another $10 on top of the $10 step up just required on October 1 so that SERO customers could enjoy smartphones?

Good news – the answer is no. You will not be charged another $10 Premium Data charge for most smartphones – it’s included in SERO Premium.

As we’ve discussed at length here, the SERO Premium plans were introduced for precisely the same reason the Premium Data fee is being extended to all smartphones – in recognition of the higher cost associated with devices that naturally drive lots more traffic onto our network. Today’s announcement is just following the same logic for Sprint’s current postpaid plans that was applied for SERO Premium.

If you’re still struggling to understand what’s going on here, on August 21 I provided an analogy that seems to have helped some folks:

An all you can eat buffet is often used as an imperfect analogy for “all you can eat” data plans. Most all you can eat buffets I’ve been to have a tiered pricing structure, not based on how much someone eats (it’s one price, no matter whether you have a single bite or make 5 trips with heaping platefuls) but rather on the characteristics of the customer which are most likely to indicate their capacity to consume the product. Kids 2 and under may be free, Kids 10 and under may cost $5, Adults 10+ may cost $10, and Seniors may cost $7.50.

Sure, some 9 year olds may be able to eat a horse, and some adults may be light eaters, but the simplicity of the pricing and the appeal of “all you can eat” makes it a system that works for the customer and the business. The pricing tiers do a pretty decent job of representing the differential cost in serving different types of customers (on average). Those customers that don’t get their money’s worth maybe should eat at a different restaurant if it bothers them, but most will stick around so they don’t have to worry about how big the bill will get.

Pre-iPhone, the wireless world was made up of kids who really didn’t consume much. The characteristics of the devices just didn’t present that many opportunities to use data. Sure, some customers managed to still eat a lot, relatively speaking, but overall, consumption was pretty low.

Today, customers still using those less data-centric devices still have relatively low data consumption, but many devices (e.g. Android and WebOS phones) have grown into adults, with adult sized appetites (and some devices, e.g. the Evo, eat like a teenaged boy). Implementing differentiated pricing based on the characteristics that drive how much customers are likely to consume is a simple necessity for staying in business.

Although no one has asked it yet, I’m sure the question will come, so let me address it now. “Does this mean that folks on legacy plans can now pay an extra $10 and upgrade to a smartphone?” Knowing the question would come, I had the opportunity to ask our VP of Pricing that question, and unfortunately, the answer was “no.” Sorry.

Update: There have been many questions via comments and e-mail about whether this means that the Evo and Epic on SERO now are included in SERO Premium without the additional Premium Data fee. The answer is no – there’s still an additional $10 charge for the Evo and Epic. In my post above, I was careful to say “for most smartphones”. For our current plans, to keep things simple, for now we only have one level of “premium” – which is inclusive of all smartphones, even though the very high end smartphones (Evo and Epic) consume much more data and drive much more cost onto our network. The SERO plans are priced so low that we can’t afford that simplicity, so we need to maintain the two tiers – SERO Premium and the Premium Data fee for the Evo and Epic. The concepts are exactly the same, but the economics are different, causing slightly different execution.

574 Responses to “SERO Premium and Premium Data”

  1. Ben Says:

    I am on Sero Premium and am being charged the $10 “Premium Data Add-on” fee because I have a 4G device. Will that now go away?

  2. moe Says:

    So I’m assuming the 4G phones for Sero Premium will still add $10?

    Even though all new sprint customers will pay the same $ for both 3G and 4G phones.

  3. jack Says:

    hi russ thanks for helping to clarify the issues. 2 follow up questions:

    1) people who activate windows mobile 6.1, 6.5 phones (like the treo pro) or palm os phones (like the centro) after 1/30/11: will they be required to go up to sero premium? or can they stay at $30/mo on sero basic 500?

    2) 4g phones. will they still incur an additional $10 charge on top of the $10 sero premium surcharge if activated on a sero line? i.e. will they cost $50/month? (like they do now). or will they now cost less, at $40/month at sero premium 500?

    thanks in advance for your time.

  4. Eli Says:

    Hi Russ,

    Thanx for clarifying.

    Sero accountholders can now rest easy.

    Good night!

    Eli

  5. Judy Says:

    Will this affect the EPRP plans also? I have 3 SERO accounts right now. So, we will have to transfer to the $40.00 Sero-p, is that correct? Can I switch to the EPRP family plan at the current rate or will that price increase also?

  6. ahecht Says:

    Since regular Sprint customers will have to pay the same $10 surcharge regardless of whether they have a 3G or a 4G smartphone, will the extra $10 we pay for Sero Premium now cover 4G phones as well?

  7. Jigwashere Says:

    Thanks for the additional information. Can you clarify one other point? Smartphones like the Touch Pro 2 by HTC can be activated on the SERO plan without having to upgrade to SERO-P. It sounds like after 1/31, even the TP2 will need to be on SERO-P at $40/month for the 500 minute plan.

  8. bill Says:

    Russ,
    I think this still needs some clarification. So only 4G phones will require sero premium plus $10 (total of $50)? With the simply everything plans, they will now require a $10 fee for all smartphones including the 4G phones. This is just one $10 fee. You are saying that moving from sero to sero premium is the same as everything data to everything data +$10 premium data fee? With this logic I should only have to upgrade my $30 sero to sero premium to get a 4G phone. What am I missing here?

  9. John Doe Says:

    If the premium data charge is included in SERO-P, does that mean the additional $10 addon will be removed for those with an EVO or Epic?

  10. Sam Says:

    Mr. McGuire,

    Thanks for clearing all this up for the concerned Sero Premium Account Holders.

    I was wondering are there going to be any non 4G Android phones with middle to high end spec that Sprint is planning on releasing this year?

  11. joe thomas Says:

    One followup on this then:

    Since for regular everything data plans, the $10 Premium Data will now be charged for all smartphone activations… I assume that it no longer matters whether your smartphone is 3G or 4G.

    That being the case, and taking into account your blog post… does that mean a 4G activation on SERO Premium no longer has a $10 extra charge like it currently does? :)

  12. Nick Le Says:

    Any news if the everything messaging plan will be able to add this $10 premium data to get a smartphone. I would like to buy a smart phone and would have no problem with paying that $10 for my line but the rest of the family don’t care for smart phones. We already have data on our plan. I’m sure a lot of others are on the same boat as me. Thanks.

  13. Rich the Snitch Says:

    Mr. McGuire, please provide some answers to the senario’s below.

    If we are currently on the Sero $30 plan and upgrade to ANY smartphone after January 30th, we will incur the additional $10 fee?

    Or, We have already upgraded to Sero Premium, but after January 30 activate a new phone (non 4g, such as a Blackberry Style), we will be charged the additional $10 fee?

    Thank you in advance for your clarification of how the new policy statement will affect current SERO and SERO Premium subscribers.

  14. Mike Says:

    Mr. McGuire,

    Thanks for the clarification (and good news) for SERO customers.

    One clarification would be helpful:
    You mention that the Premium Data charge will be already included in SERO Premium. Currently Sprint has been charging the $10 Premium Data charge on top of SERO Premium for Epic/EVO users. Now that the Premium Data charge is being included in SERO Premium, will there still be an additional $10 fee for these devices?

    Bottom line: What will the cost be for using an Epic/EVO with SERO Premium? $40, or $50?

  15. bill Says:

    Russ,
    Thanks for the further explanation on the Evo/Epic. Does this mean any new smartphone whether its 3G or 4G will require Sero Premium +$10 premium data fee or only 4G phones? This is staring to look like a 4G fee again for SERO customers.

  16. bill Says:

    First, thank you Russ for all this information. I knew as soon as the partial information was release from Sprint yesterday you would be here to clear up the confusion. I have one final question now that you’ve updated this post.

    Does this mean all new smartphones will require the $50 plan for SERO customers (Sero premium plus $10 premium data) whether or not they are 4G?

  17. Keith Says:

    Quick question – how about EPRP replacements? I’m on my fourth Moment. If I ever have to go to a fifth one because of another failure (probably GPS if the past is any indication) will my bill go up as well? Dirty pool, Sprint.

  18. Keith Says:

    Another follow-on: does a phone switch incur this new charge as well? That is, if I switch to an old handset because I have a phone problem (specifically I am thinking of my Touch Pro which sits in a box as a backup) am I now up for a larger fee as well? That is, does ‘all activations’ really mean ‘all activations’?

    And with all that: would this be a material change in contract? Seems like it, thus an ETF-free way to exit. I don’t say this lightly; I’ve been with Sprint since SERO started and on a regular plan for half that time, and this is the first change that has caused me to go ‘what the heck?’. Should have just rode SERO off into the sunset. The Nexus S is starting to look pretty good, since TMo has good coverage around here.

  19. Keith Says:

    Not exactly this question, but related: maybe the buffet model is broken. I know I don’t fit in the 200mb/month small plans that carriers are offering now, but I rarely (if ever) top 2GB. When can we just switch from ‘unlimited’ that isn’t really such to a ‘by the pound’ model that’s not insanely priced? I’d be happy to pay a little more in months where I used a little more, but current small-plan overage is insane. Or do you think this would squash new data-using apps?

  20. Kate Says:

    Another clarification that would be nice: How will this new fee affect users who elected to stay with the original, non-Premium, $30 SERO using older (i.e. Windows Mobile 5.x and 6.x, legacy PalmOS, etc) smartphones?

    If I understand correctly, we’ll be allowed to keep our $30 rates as long as we stick with whatever phone we have activated on January 30th, but if this phone should die on us after January 30th we will have the following options:

    (1) downgrading to a phone that isn’t a smartphone of any sort

    (2) buying another older, “non-iconic” smartphone (i.e. the same or similar model) from a third party like eBay or craigslist and paying an extra $10/month “premium data” fee to activate it

    (3) upgrading to a non-4G “iconic device” (i.e. Palm Pre and Pixi, HTC Hero, Samsung Moment/Intercept/Transform, etc) and paying an extra $10/month for SERO Premium

    (4) upgrading to a 4G device and paying both of the above fees

    Is this correct? Specifically, I’d like it confirmed that users who currently have a “non-iconic”, older smartphone activated on a $30 non-Premium SERO plan will not be able to replace their device with a same-model device after January 30th without being charged an extra $10/month after the replacement.

  21. Eric Says:

    Mr. McGuire,
    Again thank you for the information and clarifying responses.

    I signed up for SERO way back, but was placed on the Fair and Flexible 500 Plan…which was fine because I was getting everything at the $30/month rate. Will Sprint’s additional $10 fee going into effect Jan.30 affect my plan? I know you mentioned that it wouldn’t affect current SERO customers, but since my bill shows my plan as the F&F 500, I am worried that it will affect me. If it does I would much rather go ahead and upgrade to SERO premium within the next few days..

    Thanks so much for the help!

    – Eric

  22. Todd Says:

    While I appreciate that I won’t be paying an additional $10 on top of the SERO-P for a smartphone, it appears that Sprint is talking out of both sides of it’s mouth here.

    On the one hand, per Sprint’s press kit at http://newsroom.sprint.com/press_kits.cfm?presskit_id=21 states that “While the $10 Premium Data add-on charge previously only applied to 3G/4G devices, it was never simply a charge for 4G. The charge has always been to address the increased costs associated with operating phones that offer a richer data experience on Sprint’s network.”

    But then you’re telling SERO-P users that it is indeed a 4G fee for the Evo and Epic lines. While I happen to live in a market that has 4G, many users of the Epic and Evo do not. It strains belief that they use more data than any other Android user.

  23. Shawn Says:

    I was **this** close to signing up for an Evo when I thought the $10 extra fee would be disappearing. :) More duct tape for my Touch Pro is in my future it seems.

  24. Michael Says:

    Ya I’m interested in what Mike (the post above) said. I would like to upgrade to the Windows 7 phone that will hopefully be coming out in Feb. I’m on a $30 SERO plan currently. I’ve haven’t upgraded to SERO Premium yet because I have been waiting for newer phones. So I understand that it should be the same price ($40/month) if I upgrade now to Premium or after Jan. 30 to Premium and get a new phone. Correct me if I am wrong. Also as Mike above asked, I am also curious in what the price per month it would be for 4g phones on a SERO plan.

    Thanks in advance.

  25. Russ Says:

    Todd,

    It’s not a 4G charge. As I’ve described many times here, from seeing what lots of customers do on the network, we know that, on average, smartphone users use a LOT more data on the network (driving our costs up) than non-smartphone users. We also know that users of the Evo and Epic use A LOT more data on the network (driving our costs up) than other smartphone users – whether they are on 4G or 3G, and to be honest, its more expensive for us if they’re on 3G because 4G is much more cost effective technology.

    This pricing merely reflects the increased cost to us of different types of devices, based on their actual usage on our network.

    Russ

  26. Tomas - University Place, WA Says:

    Your timely, accurate and detailed post is right on, Russ! With the Update added, you give us a very good understanding of the reasoning and how the charges will be applied.

    I also appreciate the honesty of Sprint simply saying that smartphones cost the company more in bandwidth so they need to cover the cost by charging the folks who cause it. Keep it honest. :o)

    Thank you!

    Tom

    P.S. I guess this means that I’m now looking forward to Sprint having a new HP/Palm smartphone that not only will require SERO Premium (which I have for my Pre), but will have the extra feature(s) that will also require SERO 4G. Seriously I would gladly pay the $10 additional premium for a WebOS SuperSmartPhone. :o)

    T

  27. Russ Says:

    Keith, from Sprint’s twitter feed (http://twitter.com/sprint/statuses/27458410467299328 ) “Service/Repair and Total Equipment Protection replacement devices would be exempt from the add-on.”

    Rich the Snitch – unless you’re upgrading to the Evo or Epic, there’s no premium data charge on top of SERO Premium.

  28. Russ Says:

    Kate – as I understand it, the definition of iconic phones that require an upgrade to SERO Premium doesn’t change with this announcement. Devices that don’t currently require SERO Premium still won’t require SERO Premium and won’t incur the smartphone Premium Data charge.

  29. Russ Says:

    Eric – see this post: http://mcguireslaw.com/2010/11/09/finally-a-solution/

  30. Russ Says:

    For those saying they’re interested in Mike’s question – my update above should’ve answered that.

    Here’s the straight forward answer:

    If you’re on $30 SERO and want to upgrade to an “iconic device” (most of the smartphones), you’ll need to upgrade to SERO Premium at $40/month.

    If you want an Evo or Epic, it’s another $10 for Premium Data for a total of $50.

  31. Robbie Says:

    Hi Russ,

    Thanks for your updates.

    However a a point of clarification is still required.

    If I understand correctly, if I keep my $30 original SERO intact with my Touch Pro 2, I’ll be grandfathered in with that price point.

    However, what if I decide to go to the gym and re-“activate” my old Moto Q9c? When I re-“activate” my Touch Pro 2, will I be charged the $10 fee?

    And is it true that benefits such as Pick 3 or Night as Weekends at 6PM will be removed from original SERO accounts?

    Thanks in advance.

  32. Roland Ma Says:

    What if I have old smartphones like HTC touch diamond, and my existing smartphone HTC touch pro 2 breaks, and I switch back to my old diamond, is that considered a swap and force me to SERO Premium?

  33. Michael Says:

    Mr. McGuire,

    That statement you made about SERO users having to pay the additional $10 fee for a total of $50 to get to phones like the Epic and Evo doesn’t agree with previous statements that you and Sprint have made.

    Here you are calling upgrading from SERO to SERO Premium the same as this new Premium Data Fee.
    “As we’ve discussed at length here, the SERO Premium plans were introduced for precisely the same reason the Premium Data fee is being extended to all smartphones – in recognition of the higher cost associated with devices that naturally drive lots more traffic onto our network. ”

    But then SERO customers are charged another $10 to be able to use the Epic and Evo. That additional $10 is called a “Premium Data Fee.” That sounds more like a 4g fee since it seemed like a premium data fee was technically paid for by upgrading to SERO Premium.

    I know in the past when the fee was first introduced on just the 4g devices, many people called this a 4g fee. Sprint assured everyone that it was a “Premium Data Fee” and not a 4g fee. This additional $10 (on top of the upgrade to SERO Premium) seems like a 4g fee to me since it is an extra fee just to get to phones that are 4g capable.

    Really for SERO customers it seems like the fee should be called what it is, a 4g fee.

    Also, you said that 4g devices consumer much more data which I understand. However, you stated in a post to Todd earlier at 2:59 PM, “whether they are on 4G or 3G, and to be honest, its more expensive for us if they’re on 3G because 4G is much more cost effective technology.”

    So with the logic you used, wouldn’t it be most cost effective for Sprint if SERO customers were using 4g phones in 4g areas. By your words, if I am to upgrade to SERO Premium and use a 3g phone I will cost Sprint more money than if I was using a 4g phone.

  34. Chris Says:

    You should have just said there will be no changes to sero and sero premium at this time. :)

  35. Joe Thomas Says:

    Russ,

    Of course those on SERO-Premium are still getting a wonderful deal and even at a slightly higher price with 4G devices, it is still a great price.

    However, in your update you imply 4G smartphones use much more data than 3G smartphones, but then in a comment to Todd, you say that 3G data costs more to Sprint. I guess then that 4G smartphones use so much more data that its cost effectiveness is completely offset?

    How ’bout changing SERO plans so that 4G smartphones are $40 a month and 3G smartphones are $50 a month. :) OK, not going to happen, I know.

  36. Russ Says:

    Robbie and Roland, as I’ve said, the definition of what requires SERO Premium isn’t changing. Activating a Touch Pro 2 or Touch Diamond will not force you onto the SERO Premium plan.

    Michael – you aren’t listening. The Evo and Epic are more expensive for Sprint, even for Evo customers that are in 4G markets (because some of their use is on the 3G network). I’ve never said that SERO Premium and Premium Data are the same, I’ve said that they are the same logic (and for most smartphones, the premium data fee is included in SERO Premium). And the Premium Data fee for the Evo and Epic is not a 4G fee. Instead of being happy with an incredible rate plan and appreciating my attempts to explain the logic. End of story.

  37. Allen Says:

    Hi Russ, I just wanted to know how EPRP data share family plans are handled. I have 4 lines coming out to a total of $150 ($110 first two lines, $30 for the second two lines and premium data for the EVO) before taxes and fees and this includes three regular smartphones and an EVO.

    So when the rest of my family upgrades their phones in March, we will be paying $180 before taxes and fees?

  38. Michael Says:

    I never said I didn’t appreciate the plan that I have because I do appreciate it.

    However, if the Premium Data fee for the SERO Premium customers is the difference of 3G and 4G phone. You can’t say it allows 3G phones because those are already included in the SERO Premium plan. So if this addition of the Premium Data fee for SERO Premium that will only make an addition 4G phones to the current plan, then logic would make it seem that this fee is required for 4G which makes it a 4G fee. This is how I see the fee because all it does it allow SERO Premium users to go from 3G to 4G phones.

    Other customers are asked to do a $10 increase and they are allowed to choose any new 3G phone and/or any new 4G phones.

    SERO customers are asked to do a $10 increase to get to the 3G phones and then another increase of $10 to get to 4G. The first one is SERO Premium which makes sence because that is a $10 increase to get to better 3G phones (just like other customers except those customers also have the option of 4G phones after that $10 increase).

  39. Brew Says:

    Thanks Russ for answering all our dumb questions. :) I have another…

    I have a $30 Sero plan right now. If I buy an Optimus for example, on Feb. 1st, I understand i will have to go to $40 a month. My question is, with that $10 data fee, will I also get the Sero premium mobile to mobile, and the free nav after Jan 30th? Or would that $10 be strictly for the data after Jan. 30th, and I would not get the mobile to mobile and nav?

    Basically I am wondering if I just just go to the Sero premium before Jan. 30th, or if I can still get those two “perks” in 6 months when I upgrade to a smart phone? Thanks for your time.

  40. KajeX Says:

    Russ,

    If I understand these changes correctly, customers on the SERO and SERO premium plans are not affected by the additional fees, right? All the phones that required the premium data remain the same. All of the phones that required SERO premium to begin with remain the same. Is that correct?

  41. Kevin Says:

    Russ-

    I applaud you for doing what Sprint customer representative should be doing. I think what might be causing confusion is that Sprint customer representatives themselves are somewhat confused.

    During my latest chat, I was informed that if I do any sort of activations/re-activations involving legacy phones such as Palm Centro OS after Jan 30, would incur $10 extra monthly charge.

    I took a stab at simplifying the scenarios. Worth a try?

    ==============================
    Scenario 1:

    Plan: SERO (legacy)
    Monthly charge: $30
    Date of change: Feb 1 2011
    Description: Change from Palm Centro to TP2
    Action by Sprint: none
    Result: Continue to pay $30 per month
    ==============================
    Scenario 2:

    Plan: SERO (legacy)
    Monthly charge: $30
    Date of change: Feb 1 2011
    Description: Change from Palm Centro to LG Optimus (3g phone)
    Action by Sprint: Must upgrade to SERO Premium
    Result: Start to pay $40 ($30 + $10 SERO p fee)
    ==============================
    Scenario 3a:

    Plan: SERO Premium (3g)
    Monthly charge: $40
    Date of change: Feb 1 2011
    Description: Change from LG Optimus (3g phone) to Evo Shift (4g phone)
    Action by Sprint: Must pay additional $10 up-charge
    Result: Start to pay $50 ($40 + $10 up-charge)
    ==============================
    Scenario 3b:

    Plan: SERO Premium (3g)
    Monthly charge: $40
    Date of change: Feb 1 2011
    Description: Change from LG Optimus (3g phone) to Samsung Instict (3g phone; NOT due to warranty repair / insurance replacement)
    Action by Sprint: none
    Result: Continue pay $40
    ==============================
    Scenario 4a:

    Plan: SERO Premium (4g)
    Monthly charge: $50
    Date of change: Feb 1 2011
    Description: Change from Evo Shift (4g) to LG Optimus (3g phone; NOT due to warranty repair / insurance replacement)))
    Action by Sprint: Reduce the monthly amount by $10
    Result: Start to pay $40 ($40 – $10 up-charge)
    ==============================
    Scenario 4b:

    Plan: SERO Premium (4g)
    Monthly charge: $50
    Date of change: Feb 1 2011
    Description: Change from Evo Shift (4g) to Samsung Epic (4g phone; NOT due to warranty repair / insurance replacement))
    Action by Sprint: none
    Result: Continue to pay $50
    ==============================

  42. Russ Says:

    Thanks Kevin. You’re scenarios look right to me. I’ve passed your note on to the folks managing the employee plans so they can help the customer service reps better explain the SERO plans to customers.

  43. Russ Says:

    KajeX – you’re right. Chris got it right in his comment: http://mcguireslaw.com/2011/01/18/sero-premium-and-premium-data/#comment-5460

    Brew – there’s no change. SERO Premium will still include Sprint Nav and Any Mobile, Anytime. After 1/30, upgrading to a smartphone will still be an upgrade to SERO Premium (for $10 more per month).

    Allen – you understood correctly. Until you upgrade to a new smartphone, there won’t be any change. For each smartphone that you upgrade (except for your Evo), your bill will step up by $10.

  44. Judy Says:

    Russ, please clarify this:

    You said ” Robbie and Roland, as I’ve said, the definition of what requires SERO Premium isn’t changing. Activating a Touch Pro 2 or Touch Diamond will not force you onto the SERO Premium plan”

    This differs from the press release which says “Sprint defines smartphones as devices with robust operating systems that deliver a rich wireless experience by bringing the full function of mobile applications and programs to life, including Blackberry, Android, Windows Mobile, Palm, and the Instinct family of devices”

    The Touch Pro 2 is a windows mobile device which is currently allowed on the $30.00 SERO plan. You say that won’t be affected, but the Sprint press release says Windows mobile devices will get the $10.00 charge.

  45. Kitty Says:

    Russ,

    I am on a legacy F&C plan. I have a outlined a few scenarios to enable me to understand the situation more clearly. Please let me know if I go it right.

    ==============================
    Scenario 1:

    Plan: F&C (legacy)
    Monthly charge: $60
    Date of change: Feb 1 2011
    Description: Change from TP2 to TP2((Not due to warranty or repair))
    Action by Sprint: none
    Result: Continue to pay $60 per month
    ==============================

    ==============================
    Scenario 2:

    Plan: F&C (legacy)
    Monthly charge: $60
    Date of change: Feb 1 2011
    Description: Change from TP2 to Evo Shift (4g)
    Action by Sprint: Upgrade to the appropriate plan
    Result: Payment goes to whatever the appropriate amount is
    ==============================

    TIA

  46. Keith Says:

    This is interesting to me because for those of us no longer on SERO, it now makes much more sense to go with a 4G device. The premium is the same as any other upgrade.

  47. Marsh Says:

    Will the newer SERO plans(aka EPRP) have $10 fee to each line
    with a smartphone. Or is EPRP prices staying the same. Most of discussion has only mentioned SERO.

  48. Marsh Says:

    Sorry, Looks like question was answered in reply to Allen, The EPRP will go up $10 when smartphones are upgraded/activated.

    Marsh Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    January 20th, 2011 at 1:05 pm
    Will the newer SERO plans(aka EPRP) have $10 fee to each line
    with a smartphone. Or is EPRP prices staying the same. Most of discussion has only mentioned SERO.

  49. dazed270 Says:

    Just checking to see if there is any way possible to switch to the Sero-p after having an Everything Plus refferal plan? I would love to have the Sero-p since it will be somewhat cheaper for me in the end. I don’t mind paying the $10 premium data fee either with this plan. Is is possible, or definitely a NO???

  50. Mikhail Says:

    Russ,

    Can you guys PLEASE come out with dual core android phones that offer a beautiful retina display (like iphone) and have a screen no bigger than 3.5-3.7″??? Customers will run to Sprint if you do! It’ll be as faster than iphone, same size as iphone, as beautiful as iphone and on a cheaper plan! Evo is just too big! I don’t want to use both of my hand to use Evo, that is unacceptable. PLEASE!!!

  51. Russ Says:

    dazed – “everyone” would like to get in on the SERO plan, but unfortunately, it’s a closed program, so sorry, the answer is definitely no.

  52. Russ Says:

    Kitty – assuming that it’s legitimate to have a TP2 on your current plan, then your scenarios look right.

  53. Keith Says:

    So here’s the scenario I am really wondering about. This seems like a material change in contact. To lay out the scenarios:

    I buy a full-price or used 3G smartphone today, not using my upgrade credit.

    If I activate it tomorrow, my bill remains the same.

    If I activate it in a month, my bill goes up by $10/month.

    The Sprint rep I talked to today said this was not a material change in contract and would not exempt me from an ETF. That seems wrong; it’s material to the tune of $120/year. Is there an official position on this, and an official rationale?

  54. Robbie Says:

    Hi Russ,

    Thanks for your response to my post:
    “Robbie and Roland, as I’ve said, the definition of what requires SERO Premium isn’t changing. Activating a Touch Pro 2 or Touch Diamond will not force you onto the SERO Premium plan.”

    However, I was then confused by your later statement:
    “Brew – there’s no change. SERO Premium will still include Sprint Nav and Any Mobile, Anytime. After 1/30, upgrading to a smartphone will still be an upgrade to SERO Premium (for $10 more per month).”

    Specifically the portion where you say “After 1/30, upgrading to a smartphone will still be an upgrade to SERO Premium.” My question is the following:

    On press releases and my communication with Sprint reps, they say that “activating any smartphone after that date will result in a fee.” Whereas your comment is “upgrading your smartphone.” Obviously, Sprint will consider an upgraded phone an “activation,” but what is their stance on previously activated phones such as the TP2? That is still unclear. Like I mentioned previously, I routinely switch between my TP2 and Moto Q9c. If I switched back and forth after 1/30, will I be forced into SERO Premium?

    Lastly, I am confused as whether or not benefits such as Pick 3 and Nights and Weekends at 6PM perks will be removed from all SERO accounts beginning on March 1, 2011.

    Thank you.

  55. Russ Says:

    Robbie – I apologize for the confusion. I’ve asked the folks that run the SERO program this question several times. The simple answer – what I should’ve said all along – is that the SERO plans aren’t changing from what was rolled out last fall. The “iconic” devices that require an upgrade to SERO Premium aren’t changing. The “non-iconic” devices (including some smartphones) that don’t require an upgrade to SERO Premium aren’t changing. Customer Service folks are undoubtedly handling a high volume of calls, the vast majority of which aren’t SERO, so they not be as aware of the distinction.

    As for Pick 3 and N&W@6, those features were never part of SERO. That must be something specific to your account and I can’t comment on it. If you e-mail me your account info, I can have someone follow-up with you.

  56. Eric Says:

    Sorry Mr. McGuire, I think my question was a bit unclear…let me rephrase:

    Will my plan, the Fair & Flexible 500 (supposed to be SERO $30), be affected by the Jan. 30 $10 fee?

    I read through the comments and know that SERO plan holders will not be affected, but I’m worried since the term “SERO” appears nowhere on my bill.

    Thanks again!

  57. Russ Says:

    Eric – the new fee will not have any effect on your plan. However, your choices for smartphones are very limited on your plan. If you want a smartphone, you’ll probably need to follow the instructions in the post I pointed you to and get on the SERO Premium plan. Then, all the other comments here will apply.

  58. anthonyS Says:

    Russ: “As for Pick 3 and N&W@6, those features were never part of SERO”
    I think at one time around 2 and half years ago, SERO was advertise to offer 6pm included with the plan (for a brief time like special promo).

  59. Ron Says:

    (1) So…. what plans ARE affected by this $10 increase??

    If someone wants to get an LG Optimus S today…. they pay $69/mo.
    If they want to get an LG Optimus S in two weeks…. they pay $79/mo.

    If someone wants to get an HTC EVO today… they pay $79/mo.
    If they want to get an HTC EVO in two weeks… they pay $89/mo.

    (2) Allen asked a good question earlier…

    “Hi Russ, I just wanted to know how EPRP data share family plans are handled. I have 4 lines coming out to a total of $150 ($110 first two lines, $30 for the second two lines and premium data for the EVO) before taxes and fees and this includes three regular smartphones and an EVO.

    So when the rest of my family upgrades their phones in March, we will be paying $180 before taxes and fees?”

    (3) And those who are activating Palm Centros/Treos will not be affected in any way?? It’s still a smartphone…. so, after Feb 1, no Sprint CS is going to require a move from SERO to SERO Premium??

  60. Ron Says:

    (4) Also… what about someone who is using a Samsung Rant on an ED 450 plan right now. She is paying $69/mo as of right now with her non-smartphone. Her upgrade credit is available in March.

    At that point in time… when she decides to activate a smartphone on her line where there was previously no smartphone [but was capable]… will she need the $10 add-on?

    Sprint is doing themselves great damage by making these claims known without fully understanding the claims themselves. Tell us… WHO IS AFFECTED?

    “Everybody with a smartphone”? A Centro?
    “Everybody activating an iconic smartphone”? Even if they’re already on ED 450?

    Why is it so hard to understand something that is so simple?

  61. Kevin Says:

    Russ-

    Perhaps it would be beneficial if Sprint IT team can come up with a small web application (that is compatible with mobile devices) that will allow:

    1. subscribers to input their phone number
    2. then provide various informational scenarios

    I can’t imagine taking more than couple of days for your IT folks to come up with something like this? Maybe as an add-on to the existing Sprint account access?

    I would imagine that will make Sprint subs feel more comfortable with getting consistent answers and at the same time, reduce call volume to Sprint call centers.

    Just my 2 cents….

  62. Ron Says:

    So… what about scenario 4…

    Somebody has been paying for an ED 450 for 2 years without a smartphone. She gets her upgrade credit in March… will she have to pay $10 extra?

    Do people have to pay $10 extra to activate a new, iconic smartphone… even if they already have a new, iconic smartphone on ED 450 right now??

    I don’t understand. Please help me understand.

  63. Russ Says:

    Ron,

    I’ll try my best to answer your question, but this isn’t an official Sprint communications channel, I’m not an expert on different pricing plans, and I’m not completely clear on some of the starting price points you’re using, so – take this for what it is and NOT a guarantee that this is exactly how it will work.

    (1) I believe you’re right on the Optimus pricing. Someone activating today will pay $10 less/month than someone activating after 2/1. You aren’t right on the Evo. Evo pricing isn’t changing. The $10 premium data fee already charged for the Evo simply continues.

    (2) I answered Allen here: http://mcguireslaw.com/2011/01/18/sero-premium-and-premium-data/#comment-5480 He’s right – for each smartphone his family activates (except for the Evo) the monthly bill will go up by $10.

    (3) I’ve been told several times by the folks that manage the employee plans, there’s no change to the definitions/pricing for SERO and SERO Premium, so a smartphone that today doesn’t require upgrading to SERO Premium, won’t require upgrading to SERO Premium as a result of this change and won’t bear a Premium Data charge.

    (4) Someone not on SERO, but on Everything Data, if they do a device upgrade in March and the new device is a smartphone, their monthly price will go up by $10. That’s independent of whether they have a smartphone now or not. If they have a smartphone now and upgrade to a new device which is also a smartphone, their monthly price will go up by $10. It’s pretty simple (except for the SERO differences).

    On the other hand, someone who has a smartphone today and keeps that smartphone will NOT see an increase in their bill as a result of this change.

  64. Russ Says:

    To be clear on point 2 I made above the “(except for the Evo)” part was referencing the Evo Allen already has on his account. It already has the premium data fee on it, so any upgrade on that line will not increase the monthly price.

  65. Russ Says:

    anthonyS – you’re probably right. I’ve asked the folks managing the employee plans and they don’t remember it, but said it’s certainly possible. But, bottom line, they aren’t going through and removing these features from folks’ accounts, so there’s no reason to be concerned.

  66. mike Says:

    Here’s a q not answered yet.
    On F&C, use palm treo 755, and dont have data on the plan. Am I going to get charged anyway?

  67. Sam Says:

    Any clue what 3G Android phones Sprint will be introducing this year?

    I hate to see all the new phones coming out and be 4G only.

  68. mike shepherd Says:

    Hi! I’m newly confused by a post on Sprintusers forum.

    I have been a SERO F&F 500 user for years. 30/month. I went to a BB a few months ago. New rate with the BIS “add-on” = 40/month (+tax).

    Now then… this Sero Premium plan announcement. How will this affect my rate?
    Why did someone tell me to “change my plan to Sero Premium because ‘BIS” is included on Sero Premium.” – If that’s the case…what is it exactly that I need to
    “change” ??

    SOrry if i’m not getting it on the first read-through and appreciate your help, Russ or others!

    Mike in Mich

  69. Liam Says:

    Hi Russ.

    I’m currently on a F&C 1500 plan. My questions are the following:

    1) Can I upgrade to a smartphone on my plan or will I have to change my plan to have a smartphone?

    2) If I upgrade to an everything data plan and get a smartphone before 1/30, then when I upgrade again in 2 years, will I have to pay the $10 surcharge for a smartphone? Will I have to pay $20 surcharge if I decide then to get a 4G phone (EVO, EPIC equavalent)?

    3) Is the goal to eventually getting rid of all legacy plans and converting folks to the everything data plan?

    I am thinking long term and trying to weigh out cost benefit staying or switching out of my legacy plan.

    Thanks!

  70. Jenn Says:

    Sorry, but I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around this tho, so please bear with me.

    – SeroP includes the $10 Premium Data fee.
    – 4g users are already paying that fee because that is what the fee was for, it wasn’t a 4g fee itself.
    – If someone on Sero ($30) upgrades to SeroP ($40), they are paying the Premium data fee because that’s included in the SeroP.
    – Then how can they be charged another $10 for Premium Data since that fee is now included in the SeroP?

    It sounds like double billing because in essence they would be paying the Premium Data fee twice. I’m not understanding why someone going to a 4g phone would be paying twice, hence $50 instead of $40.

    I’m just trying to figure it all out because I’m thinking of going from an original LG lotus to an Epic for my upgrade.

    Thanks for the help

  71. KVohli Says:

    Russ – thanks for clarifying many a things on this yet-not-that-clear communication from Sprint.

    One thing that has been worrying me personally and not taht appealing to lot of people I have interacted with : Will this $10 per month also apply if we already have a smartphone and our phone is broken or just stops working, and if the replacement is the same exact model via TEP/ESRP… ? That will be very bad, as I am not really ‘upgrading’ in any sense whatsoever buit just getting existing device repaired, so to say…

    Any clarification will be appreciated.

  72. Jeff Says:

    You have stated above that your VP has told you that the legacy plans such as Free and Clear are out for having better smartphone options to choose from. This is a real bummer for so many customers. I just do not understand why legacy plan holders continued to be ignored time after time when ANY plan changes are made year after year. It is so frustrating but I cannot complain because I have such a nice rate that I do not want to give up. It makes me a bit mad that SERO got better smartphone options for an additional $10/month (3G only, 4G $20/month more total) and legacy plans do not get anything other than a rate increase. I currently have a Touch Pro 1. If I upgrade after 1/30 to a Touch Pro 2 then my bill will be $10/month more? Not much of a gain for me having to pay another $120/year for such a similar phone with the same outdated windows mobile operating system. Almost does not seem fair.

  73. Dave Says:

    Russ,

    I currently have the $30 SERO plan with 500 anytime minutes. I am eligible for an upgrade on 2/1/11. Up until now I’ve been watching the list of phones listed in the FAQs on the official Everything Plus Referal Program website (see http://delivery.sprint.com/m/p/nxt/epc/EPRP2-modal.asp?vanity=false&popup=true#3) to know which speicific phones require an upgrade to the $40 SERO premium plan. Is this list being kept up to date? The last phone to be added to that list is the Samsung Epic 4G. Recently released android phones such as the LG Optimus S, Sanyo Zio, and EVO Shift 4G are not listed. Does that mean that these phones do not require an upgrade to the $40 plan? If that list is not being updated, could you point me to a more current list that is being maintained as new phones come out?

    Sorry if this has been answered already; I haven’t read every comment, but I didn’t see it answered as I was scanning the comments.

    Thank You,
    Dave

  74. sven Says:

    I’m on the $30 SERO plan and currently have a Treo 700P. You said; “the definition of what requires SERO Premium isn’t changing. Activating a Touch Pro 2 or Touch Diamond will not force you onto the SERO Premium plan.”

    Yet when I called SERO customer service, they said that for me to upgrade to a Touch Pro 2 or any other smartphone after Jan 29 I would need to get on a Sero Premium plan and pay a $10 per month Premium Data add-on charge.

    Was this customer service rep mistaken?

  75. Dave Says:

    I asked emailed everything plus customer service my question above and they said the following phones require the $40 SERO premium plan:

    HTC Evo Shift
    HTC Evo
    Samsung EPIC
    LG Optimus
    Sanyo Zio
    Samsung Transform M920
    Samsung Intercept M910
    Samsung Moment M900
    HTC Hero
    Palm Pixi
    Palm Pre
    All Samsung Instinct Models
    IDEN Motorola I1
    All Blackberry devices as they require BIS

    I also just saw the news that the phone I want, the LG Optimus, is coming to Virgin Mobile for $150. So I could either renew my contract with sprint and pay $40 + taxes per month, plus $49 for the phone, for a total 2-year cost of $1,201 (est. $48 x 24 months = $1,152 + $49 = $1,201), or I could switch to Virgin Mobile and pay $25 per month (taxes included) and $150 for the phone, for a total 2-year cost of $750 ($25 x 24 months = $600 + $150 = $750).

    I’ve enjoyed the great deal SERO has offered for 4 years now, but it doesn’t look like that great of a deal anymore, exspecially with this new $10 fee.

  76. Russ Says:

    Keith – Customers who continue to use their current Smartphone or feature phone will not be required to pay the $10 Premium Data add-on charge. Only customers who activate a Smartphone because of personal preference on or after 1-30-2011 will receive the charge. In the scenario where a customer asks to activate a used or previously purchased Smartphone on or after 1-30-2011, they will be given notice that activating the handset will change the service rate (the added $10 Premium Data add-on charge) although their contract service dates will not change. The change is initiated by the customer because of a personal preference and is avoidable by continuing to use the current handset or by activating a feature phone as opposed to a Smartphone. Thus, it is not an ETF-waiving event.

  77. Russ Says:

    Mike – I don’t think Sprint is going in and adding charges to existing accounts. If you don’t activate a device on your plan, you shouldn’t expect any changes.

  78. Russ Says:

    Sam – I’ve said it before, if I knew anything about unannounced phones, I wouldn’t say anthing about it here. I enjoy working at Sprint. :)

  79. Russ Says:

    Mike – You should upgrade to SERO Premium. For the same price, you get BIS plus Sprint Navigation and Any Mobile, Anytime. You can read more here: http://mcguireslaw.com/2010/09/03/psst-the-sero-premium-plans-are-now-official/

  80. Russ Says:

    Liam – Sorry for the delayed response. It’s been a crazy week.

    I can’t tell you exactly what pricing will be 2 years from now, but if the current rules apply, then when you upgrade 2 years from now, if you activate a smartphone, you’ll pay the new $10 premium data fee. Currently, the premium data fee is for both 3G and 4G smartphones, so you wouldn’t have 2 $10 premium data fees, only one.

  81. Russ Says:

    Jenn – sorry for the delayed response.

    SERO Premium is $10 for a 3G smartphone, but Evo or Epic requires another $10. I’ve talked about this at length in comments on different posts on this blog. These increased fees are to cover the increased cost to Sprint given the increased usage. As I’ve said elsewhere, The SERO price is so low that the $10 SERO premium step up still isn’t enough to cover the high usage from the high end devices (Epic, Evo).

  82. Russ Says:

    KVohli – see my previous comment here: http://mcguireslaw.com/2011/01/18/sero-premium-and-premium-data/#comment-5449

  83. Russ Says:

    Dave – thanks for providing the list.

    On your Virgin Mobile comment – I certainly would recommend you consider which of the Sprint brands best meets your needs.

  84. Phamster Says:

    Russ: I am a bit late to this game. I just purchased an EVO phone with the Everything Data 450 = $69.99+$10.00. I have been with Sprint for over 10 years and wanted to know what I need to do to get the SERO plan? Thanks in advance!

  85. Russ Says:

    Phamster,

    The SERO plan is no longer offered. Even if it were, it was only available for new lines of service. The “modern day” equivalent is the Everything Plus plan, which is also only available for new lines of service.

    Russ

  86. Russ Says:

    Sven – yes the rep was wrong. If you happen to know their name, could you e-mail it to me (russ.s.mcguire@sprint.com) so we can provide coaching?

    It might be easiest to email everythingreferral@sprint.com

  87. Russ Says:

    Dave – the FAQs are in the process of being updated. Sorry for the confusion.

    We are moving away from a list of devices to a list of operating systems.

    For SERO, phones with the following OS’s require SERO Premium: BlackBerry, Android, WebOS, and the Instinct family of devices.

  88. Mary Ann Says:

    Hi Russ,
    Thanks for all your posts. There is a lot of useful and helpful information here that customers like myself do not receive over the phone or online.

    Can you tell me what phones I can upgrade to, while keeping my Sero $30 plan? I don’t want to upgrade and pay the additional $10 for HTC Evo or Samsung Epic, etc. (I read your list of phones that will be a $40 charge) It also sounds like I would have to pay $50 for certain ones, since it is now February.

    I currently have the Palm Centro. I would like a smart phone that I can upgrade to, but still keep my $30 plan.

    As I read in your earlier posts, it sounds like only 2 that stand out, Touch Pro 2 and Touch Diamond. Can you suggest other smart phones to upgraded to while keeping the Sero $30 plan?

    Thank you for your help and time.

  89. Russ Says:

    Mary Ann – February doesn’t really have anything to do with it since the SERO Premium program was implemented in October and there haven’t been any changes.

    My comment just about yours lists the operating systems that require an upgrade to SERO Premium (+$10). The two HTC EVO phones plus the Samsung Epic require the Premium Data fee (+ another $10). I think the only smartphone OS not in the list is Windows Mobile.

  90. Andrew Says:

    Russ

    Hello. I have a fairly simple question to ask. I am currently on the SERO 500 $30 plan and have the HTC Mogul. If I choose to purchase a Touch Pro 2, will I have to pay the $10 add on? and is that monthly or a one time fee?

  91. J. Harper Says:

    Rough, my comment was rejected. Ten years I’ve been a customer, and I’ll continue to be a customer, even after a 29% rate hike. I just wanted some sympathy, and what I got was a rejection.

  92. Russ Says:

    J.

    The comment you submitted a few days ago outlined a challenge you were having with Sprint. I personally took it to our customer care organization to see if they could help and I sent you a personal note to the e-mail you provided with the comment offering to provide the best possible help in this situation. I am sorry if you perceive this as rejection.

    As a general rule, when folks post comments that are really personal issues with Sprint, instead of simply approving them through moderation to appear as comments, I do my best to help them with the situation. For others with issues, it’s easier if you simply e-mail me with your issue at russ.s.mcguire@sprint.com. I’ll often see it faster that way and I don’t need to copy and paste from my personal blog into my corporate e-mail.

    Thanks for being a customer.

    Russ

  93. Ted Says:

    Russ,

    First, thanks for your efforts to publicize a cost-effective plan – EPRP – that Sprint basically doesn’t publicize, and to help us all try to understand a policy change – the Jan 30 premium data charge – that created more questions than Sprint’s press release about it answered.

    Two comments on your response http://snurl.com/1zfidl to Kitty’s scenario #1 http://snurl.com/1zfi5p

    1) Having a Touch Pro 2 or any Windows Mobile phone on a Free and Clear plan is and always was legitimate.

    2) Kitty’s scenario #1 involved an ESN swap post-Jan 30 on a Free and Clear plan that was not due to warranty or insurance replacement, that swapped from one Windows Mobile phone to another Windows Mobile mobile phone, and that did not invoke the new $10 premium data charge for smartphones. You said you agreed with that scenario. Are you sure? It’s not a SERO plan, and it doesn’t involve a repair/insurance replacement. According to Sprint’s stated policy effective Jan 30, why would her ESN swap not invoke the $10 premium data surcharge?

  94. Russ Says:

    Ted – you’re right. I must’ve misread her and thought she was saying it WAS due to warranty or repair. As far as I understand it, such a change WOULD invoke the $10 premium data. Sorry for the confusion.

  95. Alan Cooper Says:

    Russ

    Good morning! I had a concern that I wanted to address. I am currently on the SERO 500 plan and wanted to upgrade my phone. Now, when I try to upgrade the phone through the standard sprint website and the eprp website, I still get this message:

    (“You may need to change your plan
    Plans for this phone require our $10/mo. Premium Data add-on charge in addition to one of the plans below.

    * Simply Everything®
    * Simply Everything® Family
    * Everything Data
    * Everything Data Family
    * Business Advantage Messaging and Data
    * Business Essentials with Messaging and Data
    * Everything Plus™ Data
    * Everything Plus™ Data Family

    See Plan Details

    Once you change your plan
    You’ll be able to change your plan when you activate your phone. However, once you change your plan, you will not be able to change back to the previous plan if it is a plan that we no longer offer, even if you return your device. However, you will be able to switch to other plans we currently offer that include data.

    Effective 1/30/11, monthly service plan rates for this phone increased to require the monthly $10 Premium Data add-on charge.”)

    From all the replies from you on your blog and the posts I’ve read, I was under the assumption that SERO accounts were not impacted by this charge and that windows mobile devices were included.

    Can you please shed some light on my situation? Thank you so much.

  96. Alan Cooper Says:

    Russ

    Btw, the phone referred above is the HTC Touch Pro 2.

  97. sabrescutie Says:

    Thank you for this blog. It is MUCH more informative and helpful than FAQ or many Sprint Reps. I have a scenario question. I am on the $30 SERO with a TP2. Say I decide to select a phone than needs SERO Premium, so I pay $30+$10 = $40. I have this plan for 2 years (or whatever) and then decide I do not want a smartphone anymore. Am I able to remove the SERO Premium fee, selecting a “dumbphone” and go back to my $30 SERO?

    In a nutshell, will we be able to switch between SERO, SERO Premium and SERO 4g freely without losing SERO? (I am thinking if I lose my job again and need to cut costs.)

    Thank you!

  98. Russ Says:

    sabrescutie – who knows what the SERO options will look like in 2 years :)

    But, right now, if you switch to SERO Premium, you can switch back to SERO basic anytime. You don’t have to wait for the end of your contract (although obviously you’d have to switch back to a non-smartphone and you wouldn’t be eligible for the upgrade credit until the 2 years was up).

  99. Russ Says:

    Andrew,

    As I noted above (http://mcguireslaw.com/2011/01/18/sero-premium-and-premium-data/#comment-5626), only certain operating systems require the SERO Premium upgrade, and Windows Mobile isn’t one of them, so moving to the Touch Pro 2 while on a SERO plan wouldn’t incur the additional $10/month charge.

    Russ

  100. Brent Says:

    I have used the SERO $30 plan for 5 years. I have had a TP2 activated for most of 2010. Yesterday my TP2 died and Sprint is ordering me a refurb TP2 under TEP.

    Am I now required to pay the $10 fee just because I had to switch the phone under TEP?

    Thank you.

  101. Thuan Says:

    Hi Russ,
    This question may already be answered here but I can’t find it. I’m in SERO plan, can I add another line in SERO Premium by calling employee care number?
    Thanks,
    Thuan.

  102. Jerry Says:

    I am trying to upgrade to SERO Premium, and change to a Samsung Instinct and I am being told the plan would cost $50. Is that right?
    I am being told it works out as $30 SERO+$10 Premium+$10 Premium Data.+$50
    I didn’t think an Instinct required the Premium data plan.

  103. Russ Says:

    Thuan – no lines can be added to SERO plans. You can upgrade existing SERO lines to SERO Premium. If you want to add lines, they could be added as Everything Plus (http://sprint.com/everythingplus use russ.s.mcguire@sprint.com and 383).

  104. Russ Says:

    Brent, your question has already been answered

    here: http://mcguireslaw.com/2011/01/18/sero-premium-and-premium-data/#comment-5449

    and here: http://mcguireslaw.com/2011/01/18/sero-premium-and-premium-data/#comment-5671

  105. Ed Says:

    Russ,

    Thanks for your help. I have asked this question before but I didn’t know if you had more detail. Will the Windows Phone 7 on Sprint that will come out in Q1 or Q2 of this year be available on the $30 a month Sero plan. Thanks again.

    Ed

  106. sera Says:

    I have sprint mogul on $30 SERO. Just tried to upgrade to Touch Pro 2 on sprint.com I was prompted by to do plan change in addition to $10 Data addon? Are there special instructions or secret website to do upgrade from Mogul to TP2 and keep $30 SERO plan?

    Thanks
    Sera

  107. ALOK Says:

    Hi Russ,

    Thank you for this blog, which I first read a couple of weeks ago in mid-January. At the time, I felt reassured as someone on a basic $30 SERO Plan that nothing was changing as far as SERO was concerned, and that if I were to want to upgrade to any non-4G Smartphone (such as Pre or Hero) even after 1/31, I would only be required to upgrade to SERO Premier by paying an extra $10/month (total $40/month). Only if I wanted to upgrade to a 4G phone would I have to pay an extra $20/month (to a total of $50/month).

    It now appears I was incorrect regarding what I came away from this site from. I have spoken with two different Sprint reps tonight, one of which read to me an internal memo from corporate that states that ALL Sprint customers must pay the $10 data charge if using a smartphone.

    Therefore, she interpreted this as me having to pay a total of an extra $20/month for most smartphones ($10 to upgrade to Sero Premier and $10 for the data plan) whether or not they were 4G or not.

    It appears I have no way of being able upgrade to a smart phone by incrementally paying only $10 extra per month (by upgrading to Sprint Premier), even if it’s not an Epic or Evo.

    How disappointing. Please confirm that I did misunderstand you.

  108. Russ Says:

    ALOK, I apologize. The information you were provided is inconsistent with what I continue to hear from the folks who run the SERO program. I will have someone contact you to get it straightened out.

  109. Russ Says:

    sera – since the SERO plans aren’t generally available, they aren’t programmed into sprint.com. Please contact employee care at 888.876.8381 to perform the upgrade.

  110. ALOK Says:

    Thank you, Russ for that lightening fast response. That would be most excellent. As at this time, I don’t necessarily need a device that’s capable of 4G speeds. I referenced this blog to both reps I spoke with tonight but it didn’t do any good.

    One quick wrinkle. So…your understanding is (despite what both reps told me) was that I can upgrade to SERO Premier at $40/month and then activate a non-4G Smart phone (such as a Pixi or Optimus) without having to pay an additional data fee. What about if I got an Evo or Epic but did not need to use them at 4G speeds? I think I read above that those phones would require the extra $10 data fee – but I wasn’t clear if that was the case if one didn’t need to upgrade to 4G.

  111. Russ Says:

    ALOK – I’ve addressed this several times. The $10 isn’t a 4G fee. In fact, it’s cheaper for us if customers are on 4G than on 3G because 4G costs less per MB. The real issue is that users of these devices consume so much data (high megapixel cameras, brilliant screens, fast processors, etc.) that they cost us more, whether they are on 3G or 4G. So, the answer is that these devices cost an extra $10/month whether on 3G or 4G.

  112. A Says:

    Hi Russ,

    Any movement in allowing legacy plans to upgrade to premium?

  113. Nique Says:

    Hello, I have a quick question. Im sure if it was addressed already. I have been on $30 SERO for almost 3 years.
    I recently called about an upgrade from my Palm Centro to the Blackberry Curve and was informed by the CS reps when I dialed *2 that I would have to pay + $10 for Premium and +$10 for data = $50 a month(not including tax).
    Is this accurate? I was under the impression that the data charge was the initial $10 when Sprint created Sero Premium, and now that its after January 30 does the other $10 data charge apply to those on SERO?
    My phone is on its last leg and I would like to upgrade to a newer smartphone (Blackberry), without have to pay for the data charge.

  114. Ed Says:

    Hi Russ,

    I was wondering if you had any information on my previous post on windows phone 7 on the sero $30 a month plan? Thanks again for your help.

    Ed

  115. Russ Says:

    Ed, sorry for the delay. I was hoping to get an answer, but haven’t, so the answer is no, I don’t have any information. Sorry.

  116. Russ Says:

    Nique – you’ve been told the wrong thing. For a Blackberry, you will need to upgrade to SERO Premium, but you will not have an additional Premium Data fee.

    1. Contact everythingreferral@sprint.com and they will help you get upgraded without the improper additional fee.
    2. If you can tell me anything about who you talked to, it would help us provide coaching so other customers don’t get the same bad information.

    Thanks for being a customer.

    Russ

  117. Nique Says:

    Thank you Russ
    I do not remember much about the call. I was upset with the CS rep because I was certain what he was telling me had to be wrong. Something really really should be done with misinformed CS reps.
    Also would I have to pay an additional fees($10 data) if I upgraded to the EVO Shift? I should only pay the $40 no matter what phone I upgrade to,correct?

  118. Russ Says:

    Nique,
    The answer to your uestion is Yes – you do have to pay the additional Premium Data fee if you upgrade to an Evo Shift. The Evo phones and the Epic DO still require the Premium Data fee, as explained above, while other smartphones do not.

  119. Russ Says:

    A – sorry, no update.

  120. Russ Says:

    Alan – hopefully I responded to your question via e-mail. If not, I sincerely apologize, it got lost amongst all the other noise that sprung up here around WebOS.

    Since SERO is no longer an active plan, it’s not in the website systems. You have to activate a new device through other channels (telephone or e-mail). Sorry.

  121. jimmy Says:

    Hi, Russ, I heard that SERO-P 4G users are charged by $40, not $50, at least for Feburary, and from multiple sources. Is this a temporary thing or for good? I am considering whether I want to upgrade to 4G device or not. Thank you very much!

  122. Sean Says:

    I am so impressed Russ took so much time to answer people’s questions. Now I understand why Sprint is neck to neck with Verizon this year. I am very happy with SERO plan for over five years. Sprint is a good company and treat their customers fairly. So if I upgrade from TP2 to Blackberry. The total monthly fee will $40 plus tax, no extra fee for blackberry?

  123. Russ Says:

    Thanks Sean. The answer is yes, upgrading to Blackberry requires an upgrade to SERO Premium, which is inclusive of BIS, so there shouldn’t be any additional fees.

  124. Russ Says:

    Jimmy – I’ve asked several times. What folks are reporting shouldn’t be happening. Sprint certainly hasn’t decided to stop charging SERO Premium users the additional fee for Evo and Epic. Personally, I think the Epic and Evos are such great phones, they’re worth the extra $10, but if I were you, I wouldn’t count on being able to upgrade to them without paying the extra $10.

  125. Mordy Says:

    Russ and Jimmy-
    To clarify what Jimmy was talking about, many users on various forums (if not ALL users on Sero w/4G) have reported that the Premium Data add-on disappeared from their account page on Sprint.com after Feb 1.

    However, since we are still in the month of February, it is actually impossible for anyone to say it has not appeared on their bill… they haven’t been billed yet for this month! Anyone who has said that is clearly lying or confused.

    What I believe is happening is as follows: Sprint had to change the rules for Premium Data in the billing system to reflect the official changes that began this month. The old premium data was removed in honor of the new one. However, the new rules don’t apply to Sero customers, as Russ has mentioned many times already. Therefore, it does not show up in their account information.

    Does this mean they won’t get charged on their next bill? Well, if they aren’t, I believe it is unintentional, and would qualify as a billing error in your favor.

    If so, there are 3 possible reactions from Sprint: 1) Create a new Premium Data add-on just for SERO users that will appear on your bill and on Sprint.com 2) Charge the $10 premium fee anyway on your bill, but never see it on Sprint.com due to a technical error (you’ll just know its there), 3) Sprint could man-up and keep everything consistent, admitting that there shouldn’t be a tiered level between the superphones and the others.]

    Right about now, Russ is probably thinking “oh man, he was on a roll until that last one!” LOL. Seriously though, I understand Sprint’s official policy, and as an employee you are required to repeat those policies back to us whether you believe in them or not. Most of the time I understand Sprint as a company doing what it needs to do. So, I’m not blaming you or even complaining, but I’m just going to call a spade a spade here… This is one thing I can’t justify and don’t understand. You admitted that 4G data costs less to Sprint to use. Therefore, it should actually cost less for users on 4G, even with the “superphones”. I understand that having a higher MP camera, bigger screen, and faster CPU are great things to have, but I had this argument once with Mrs. Leff-Mermelstein of Sprint’s handset PR: Those things don’t actually use more data. Picture messages are limited to a specific size no matter the mpix, the EVO shift doesn’t actually have a big screen at all, and the Optimus’s GPU can actually outperform the original EVO (there’s an official test out there, I tried it myself and was surprised to see it too!) at graphics and 3D, so its not a speed thing. Basically, the ONLY thing all the “premium data” phones have in common is 4G. I wish I could see Sprint’s side in this, but I simply can’t, and I spend a lot of time analyzing the mobile industry.

    But- I’m not expecting you to comment on that. Your hands are tied. I do hope this makes it past your moderation filter, though. :)

  126. Russ Says:

    Mordy – good comments.

    Here’s what I know. From our internal network usage reporting tools, which get down to the device level, the Evo and Epic use a LOT more data than our other handsets, whether on 3G or 4G. A lot of folks in 4G markets apparenly turn off the 4G radio to conserve battery, so even there, there’s a ton of traffic on the 3G network. I haven’t seen data yet on the Shift, but for the other two, it’s a very real cost difference which is driving the pricing difference. If your guess is that it’s not display, CPU, or camera, then I’d be curious what your guess for the driver might be.

  127. Joe Thomas Says:

    I wonder if hitting 4 inches in screen size is an inflection point whereby people just find it easy to use data based service so much more. Or perhaps it’s a cluster thing: Those that are looking for an “iPhone” equivalent naturally gravitate to the 4G versions of android devices. If they are going to pay for an android device, might as well for the 4G super duper phones.

    with the introduction of “midrange” android devices, there might be folks who might have otherwise bought a regular phone buying a smartphone, but still not have fully grasped the potential of being connected (or don’t really need it for that matter).

  128. Mordy Says:

    Russ, its hard to speculate without seeing the actual numbers and knowing how they are being calculated (more on that later), but I would have to say it has more to do with demographics.

    Think about it: the EVO and Epic are Sprint’s two flagship devices, both of which actually attracted a lot of new customers who wanted to jump onto the latest-and-greatest 4G bandwagon, if I understand correctly. I don’t think its the actual handsets that enable more data use, but rather the sort of people who use lots of data are the sort of people who are interested in the bleeding edge hardware and services.
    Its the same way statistics work against car insurance sometimes- I have a friend who needed to cut back on some costs in his life, and ended up with a leased Honda Accord instead of the more cost-effective Civic to save money. I asked why, and he told me the monthly insurance is actually cheaper on an Accord because of the demographic of Civic drivers. Apparently, statistically younger and more road-rage likely drivers have Civics. It doesn’t matter that this particular person has 3 kids and drives like an old man. Some might say that the insurance company unfairly profiles him by his choice of vehicle.

    In any case, I’d be willing to bet that if you gave any of those EVO/Epic folks a Hero or Optimus, they’d use just as much data. I think its them, not the phone. So in a sense, these devices are more heavily taxed because they are popular. Which then brings me to wonder about the Evo Shift. Interesting that you mentioned only the EVO and Epic use tremendous amounts of data, but not the Shift, another premium data phone. When the shift rolled around, it wasn’t as big of an announcement as the other two, and therefore didn’t attract those high-rollers as much. I’d go out on a limb here and say that the Shift probably doesn’t see nearly as much data use as the other 2, and probably more closely resembles the Optimus (which is very popular among 3G Android users).

    Back to my comment on the how the stats are being calculated… I’d be interested in seeing how many people were on a Hero/moment/etc that upgraded to the EVO/Epic and actually used more data than they did before. Chances are, no one bothered to calculate that. Also, are *ALL* EVO/Epics using more data than 3G devices? Or is it just that the highest usage subscribers happen to have that hardware as their choice?

  129. Russ Says:

    Thanks for the thoughts Mordy.

    I actually did mention the Shift, but only to say that I haven’t seen the data on the Shift yet. For the reasons you mention, it doesn’t make sense to look at the data for a new device after just the first couple of months – the first ones to rush to a new device, and their experience playing with it for the first few weeks, aren’t representative of the long term average use.

    One flaw with your thoughts… I would bet that exactly the same types of customers rushed to the Hero when it was introduced. If you recall, it was hailed as the best Android phone on the market when it was launched. In fact, we did see more tonnage from Hero customers than we did from other smartphone customers (which is obviously more than we see from feature phone users). And in fact, for any new phone we launch (or any other carrier, for that matter), the vast majority of purchasers are current customers upgrading from another device, so the usage stats are always more influenced by current customers who used to be on a different device who are now on this device, than brand new customers who we’ve never seen before.

    Given all of that, the fact that the Evo and Epic have dramatically higher usage seems to be a reflection on the device more than the person.

    I see this in my personal experience. I’m probably a more technology minded person than the average subscriber, but nowhere near the power user that you are. I migrated from the Samsung Moment to the Samsung Epic. These two devices are VERY similar in their functionality – they run basically the same apps, they have the same form factor including slide out keyboard, etc. The difference is in the specs. Faster processor, better screen, better camera. I find that I use the Epic for data stuff much more than I used the Moment. It takes better pictures, so I use it more as a camera and e-mail myself the photos. Web content seems more usable or readable, so I use the browser more. I can turn on 4G to download apps so they pop quickly down to the device, so I have more apps installed. I seem able to have more apps running at once without the sluggishness I seemed to encounter on the Moment. In short, as a slightly “above” average user, I find that I just do more stuff that translates into traffic on the network.

    I’m guessing a power user like you would have the same experience – the more power that’s available, the more likely you are to do stuff on this device rather than turning to a laptop or other device. But I guess that’s not what you’ve experienced.

  130. Mordy Says:

    “I would bet that exactly the same types of customers rushed to the Hero when it was introduced. If you recall, it was hailed as the best Android phone on the market when it was launched.”

    I’m going to have to go ahead and respectfully disagree with you there. Its namesake, the GSM hero, had a big splash at their launch and tons of positive press (perhaps you are confusing it with that one?), but by the time it washed up on shore here, without the angled “chin” and replacing the highly regarding titanium metal case with a cheap-feeling plastic one, it appears to have lost a lot of momentum.
    I noticed that Sprint’s advertising tried to push the Hero as the “highest rated phone”, but with engadget and other blogs reviewing it as “plasticy and under-powered”, it appeared that the buzz was circling its overseas namesake.
    The truth is, the Motorola Droid (if I may dare mention a competitor’s product here) was stealing the show at the time. Everyone was talking about it as the big, powerful Android device that would finally compete with the iPhone. In my time spent as a mobile consultant and analyst to the industry, all the big Android players had either a G1 or MyTouch device on T-mobile, or Droid on Verizon. I went to a mobile developer’s conference in Silicon Valley at the time, and I don’t even recall seeing any Heros there.
    I was there with my Touch Pro on Sprint, with people who mostly didn’t even consider Sprint an option.

    But I saw all that significantly change with the Evo. The Evo not only put sprint in the rankings, but the promise of 4G put them on top. Suddenly people who never even considered Sprint before were dropping cash for the EVO.
    The biggest proof of this was Google’s own IO event, in which they gave every developer at the event a free EVO. That was a HUGE deal, and a big advertisement for Sprint’s service. It means that Google themselves recognized the EVO as the best phone available at the time. That’s something no other phone in the history of Sprint has been able to do.
    The Epic, meanwhile, followed in the EVO’s shadow as “the 4G device if you want a keyboard”. I’m sure there are more EVOs in the wild than there are Epics.

    So, no, I don’t buy the comparison between the moment and Epic, or hero and Evo. The previous generation of Android handsets may have been a big deal for Sprint, but from my perspective, not a big deal for the rest of the world.
    And unless you can show some numbers to back up the claim, I don’t think a vast majority of EVO/Epic users were upgrades either, but quite the opposite. I also wonder how many of the big data spenders are new customers who came in for those devices.

    As for the rest of your explanation… your personal observation sounds biased to me. Not that I blame you, its the company you work for and you hear their answers all day, after a while you start to believe it. ;)
    Have you actually compared your data usage now to what it was when you had the Moment? Because I wonder how much more data you are actually using on the same platform, if any.

    “I can turn on 4G to download apps so they pop quickly down to the device, so I have more apps installed. I seem able to have more apps running at once without the sluggishness I seemed to encounter on the Moment.”

    Again, I understand if you’re saying this to defend the views of your employers, but I think somewhere deep inside, you realize that downloading speed has never really been a bottleneck. Most apps download in a matter of seconds. Even over 1X, a moderate sized application will download in under a minute. And yes, the Epic is more powerful than the Moment, mostly because the moment is 2 generations of hardware older. Compare the Epic to the Optimus S, and you’ll see a cheap 3G phone that can multi task just as well in most situations since it is the same generation of device.

    “It takes better pictures, so I use it more as a camera and e-mail myself the photos.”

    That’s the ONLY thing so far that could possibly use more data because of the hardware, since it has more megapixels than a 3G phone.

    That is, if that were true.

    If I recall correctly, the Hero has 5 megapixels. As does the Evo Shift and Epic. Pictures are the same size. And I’d understand picture messaging to send to friends, but email it to yourself? Really? I guess to each their own, but I personally have never seen someone email themselves pictures regularly. Most people I know who use it like a camera treat it like a camera- transferring a batch of pictures via USB or card reader. Even over 4G, emailing a set of a few 5mpix pictures would put unnecessary stress on your mail server, more than that and the message would likely get bounced back as too big. Unless you have the gallery defaulted to sending down-resolution pictures, but then the whole “using more data” thing wouldn’t fly.

    In any event, I understand what you’re saying, and there may be truth to it, but from my first hand experience in the industry, I think there’s more to it than they are telling you. With all due respect, your opinion may very well be biased because you are told Sprint’s point of view all day. Meanwhile, I have the advantage here of being a carrier agnostic equal-opportunity analyst. :)

    I’m with Sprint because they’re still the best deal out there, and I understand that they need to do certain things to make money. I even own some of their stock, so I’d like them to do better (really guys, make some profit!!), but it bothers me when their PR people tell me something and I’m supposed to just accept it as truth when are glaring problems with the statement. No, I think there’s the “official response” and then the “real reason” behind Premium Data.

  131. Russ Says:

    Mordy,

    All I can say is, your perspective are valid and valuable, but I can’t understand why you think I’m lying and why you think you understand our business better than we do.

    You know I can’t post numbers about upgrades vs. new subs, but AT&T has posted the numbers about the iPhone, and quarter after quarter, most iPhone sales are existing customers upgrading. (e.g. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/10/technology/10phone.html “In 2010 alone, AT&T activated 15.2 million iPhones on its network, of which 3.9 million went to new subscribers”, and even closer to initial launch http://mobileenterprise.edgl.com/top-stories/iPhone-Boosts-AT-T-s-3Q-09-Results60555 “AT&T activated 3.2 million iPhones in 3Q 2009, according to the company’s financial report for the period, which was released Oct. 22, 2009. The company says nearly 40% of the activations were for customers who were new to AT&T.”) This is not unique to AT&T and the iPhone. All carriers experience the same phenomenon.

    The Hero may not have been perfect, but Sprint wasn’t alone in singing its praises:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704471504574445242522308908.html “Overall, I found the HTC Hero to be the best Android phone I’ve tested, and a worthy competitor to the iPhone, the BlackBerry and the Pre.”
    http://reviews.cnet.com/smartphones/htc-hero-sprint/4505-6452_7-33770450.html#reviewPage1 “the HTC Hero is the most feature-packed Google Android device to date… the most advanced Android device to date”
    http://moconews.net/article/419-review-sprints-htc-hero-is-the-best-android-phone-yet-so-should-you-wai/ “Sprint’s HTC Hero Is The Best Android Phone Yet”
    http://mobilebeyond.net/sprint-htc-hero-not-nexus-one-named-ideal-android-mobile-phone-by-mobilebeyond/#axzz1EnnOJUeY “MobileBeyond acclaims the Sprint HTC Hero as its ideal Android mobile device”
    etc. Not too hard to find via Google :)

    BTW -the Motorola Droid came out about a month after the Hero, and Verizon’s huge maketing budget for the device did drive higher awareness and undoubtedly higher sales.

    “I personally have never seen someone email themselves pictures regularly. Most people I know who use it like a camera treat it like a camera- transferring a batch of pictures via USB or card reader.”

    I’m surprised someone as technology-centric as yourself is still bound by USB cables and sneakernet. :) I think most typical cameraphone users can’t be bothered how to figure out USB cables and microSD to full SD adapters. Here’s what C-Net recommended a few years ago: http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-11282_7-6447182-1.html (e-mail is easiest, but if that doesn’t work for you…)
    This answer rises to the top over and over:
    http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/3244
    http://www.techlore.com/article/11641/How-To-Transfer-Pictures-From-Your-Cell-Phone/
    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/digitalphotography/learnmore/top10.mspx

    I’m glad you’re still with Sprint. I’m glad you appreciate the value. I’m glad you even invested in the company.

    But I don’t know why you have to call us liars. There are dramatic differences in usage and cost between different devices and that drives these policies.

  132. Mordy Says:

    whoa- lets get something straight. I’m not calling YOU a liar, nor am I saying I know your business better than you or Sprint does.

    I’m also not asking you post numbers, merely suggesting a theoretically possible discrepancy in the logic.

    I believe that Sprint is doing what it needs in order to be profitable, and I don’t blame them for that. However there is a certain marketing language used to sugar coat things that I often find frustrating. For example, if a carrier is having a bad year, they will NEVER say “we are charging you this new fee because we need to find a way to be more profitable”. Rather, they’ll use some flowery language to make it sound like they have no choice, or it is somehow to help the subscriber (“we want to make sure you get the best mobile experience possible … the features of this phone won’t work without this more expensive plan”, etc). For what its worth, this is not exclusive to Sprint. It frustrates me when all companies talk like this. But, that’s business and marketing.

    As for the Hero-
    Yes, everyone liked the Sense UI, and Sprint had it exclusive first, which was nice. The problem was, in the real world, it appears to not have been as popular among Android fans. Verizon’s aggressive marketing really helped reinvent Android in the public eye, and it was being heavily talked about and covered before the Hero’s release. I think I heard one of the Android radio show/podcasts (maybe PPCGeeks, maybe AndroidCentral, I don’t recall) mentioning that Verizon was responsible for making Android a competing product in the public eye. And that perception didn’t change until the EVO.

    As for the picture transferring- I didn’t say how *I* did it, I said people who I see using their phones as cameras! ;)
    The problem with doing it via email these days, is that when pictures are very big, you can’t transfer more than a few of them at a time without reaching the limit of some inboxes. For example, my office email will bounce back anything over 5mb, and pictures off an 8mpix Evo could easily be over 1mb each. After taking 10 pictures of my kids at the park, I wouldn’t try emailing them.

    Personally, I run an ftp server on my phone when I want to copy files, and drag/drop directly on my desktop. But, most of the time my pictures actually stay on the phone until I back up the card to flash it or use it in another device (I swap handsets often).

    But my point is still valid that your camera files aren’t actually bigger than those from a Hero.

    The explanation just seems weak, that’s all.

  133. Mordy Says:

    Oh yeah, and about the ATT iPhone thing…

    The iPhone was released in 2007. It was a huge consumer frenzy to get one. I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but it makes perfect sense that most future purchases were hooked customers who just wanted the latest model.

    “2009… 40% of the activations were for customers who were new to AT&T.” Wow. 2 years later, they are still managing to get 40% of their purchasers from other carriers. That’s pretty awesome for them if you ask me. If they’re still getting that 2 years later, over the course of the last 4 years I’d expect an alarming majority of iPhone users switched to AT&T just for the iconic device.

  134. Russ Says:

    Oops. I copy and pasted from the wrong story. Try this one:
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9749062-7.html
    “AT&T did say that about 40 percent of subscribers who bought an iPhone were new customers to AT&T”

    This was positioned as good news for AT&T because carriers generally experience even lower %s of new customers for a new device.

    So, from the very beginning, less than half of iPhone purchasers have been new customers. Most are existing customers moving up from a different device.

  135. CL Says:

    Russ-

    First off, I’m very impressed with you willingness to communicate directly and so intimately with us fellow customers. I don’t know of another executive who would be so willing to address issues so openly and promptly. If it hasn’t been said before, I truly appreciate your service.

    With the HTC Arrive becoming available today, do you have any information on how Windows Phone 7 will be implemented on SERO? Windows Mobile phones have historically been exempt from extra charges on SERO (i.e. Intrepid, Touch Pro 2), will this trend continue. Bottom line, will SERO users be able to activate WP7 phones while maintaining the $30 monthly bill? As I understand it, Windows 6.5 phones are still available without upgrading to SERO Premium, will WP7 be any different?

    Thank you again for taking the time to answer. I hope your personal commitment to communication and service will disseminate throughout the rest of the staff.

  136. NeoLinux Says:

    Mr Russ,

    First I want to Thank you for all the info you are providing us.

    Will HTC Arrive work on Sero plan without the $10 Premium data add on?

  137. Russ Says:

    I’ve just gotten the word, the new Windows Phone 7 devices will require SERO Premium.

  138. Mordy Says:

    …but not “premium data”, right? So its in the same class as lower tiered Android and WebOS devices?

    Interesting, as Windows Phone 7 is attracting quite the buzz, I was afraid they’d proclaim it a “premium data” phone according to our recent discussion.

    On that note, what about that dual screen Kyocera Echo? I forgot to check- does that require Premium Data add on, or just Sero Premium?

    If not, since they are both 3G phones and having quite a bit of buzz surrounding them, I think it really lends merit to those who claim that Premium Data is really a 4G fee in disguise. According to that theory, the fact that all Smartphones now need it was a clever cover up, however on Sero we still see the real deal.
    I’m not saying that’s the truth, however you have to admit you can see where they’d be coming from. The only obvious thing all Premium Data required phones have in common is 4G (at least, the only obvious thing that isn’t debatable, such as Sprint’s claim to have higher data usage).

  139. Spencer Says:

    Russ,
    I’ve been following the premium data / Sero Premium issues from the start. Based on Sprint’s logic, the pricing is counter intuitive to what we’re being told.
    Multiple people from sprint have sad that 4G is cheaper for sprint. That being the case why isn’t the pricing as follows?
    Sero Premium for 4G phones ($40)
    Sero Premium plus premium data for non 4G phones ($50)

    Not only would this drive more 4G sales it would offload Sprint’s “expensive” 3G network. I know the two arguments will be that Sprint cannot control if a user will turn off the 4G radio and the current 4G phones actually use more data. Even if the user turns off the 4G radio, the phone then becomes a 3G phone that would only cost $40 on sprint at the current pricing level. Whether not a user actually uses more data is debatable as described my Mordy. Especially seeing as the windows phone 7 devices do not require premium data.

  140. TimBuck2 Says:

    After getting shot down by phone and chat reps who said I would have to go to SERO premium if I wanted to upgrade to HTC Touch Pro 2, I was happy to finally reach Tony C.
    As you can see in the chat transcript below, he allowed the upgrade without altering Old Faithful – otherwise known as my $30 SERO 500 plan.
    I also inquired about a $70 re-upping credit but even Tony C. told me no dice on that one. The best part of this exchange (other than the result) was that he never tried to upsell me.

    15:53:47 : Tony C: I am happy to help you. Please hold a moment while I access your account.

    15:53:49 : Me: Trying to sift through phone choices that won’t effect my current plan

    15:54:05 : Tony C: I understand.

    15:55:51 : Tony C: I would like to inform you that you can definitely update the phone to HTC Touch Pro 2 without plan change.

    15:56:31 : Me: Glad to hear it. I’ve been told yes and no today. Wasn’t sure.

    15:56:47 : Tony C: You can keep this chat as confirmation.

    15:57:26 : Tony C: It is not considered under Smartphone.

    15:58:23 : Me: Right. I guess my only other question is whether there is any kind of re-upping or loyalty credit. I know others who have received $70 in addition to their upgrade discount.

    15:59:31 : Tony C: I would like to inform you that $70.00 is not longer offered on the SERO plans.

  141. John Says:

    Russ-

    Regarding WP7 and SERO Premium, earlier, it was stated Sprint would be switching over to defining phones by OS. And Windows Mobile wasn’t on the list of OS’ required to switch to Premium.

    But now WP7 requires SERO Premium? Can we re-confirm this somehow? Does that now change the status of Windows 6.5 phones?

    Thanks for your time.

  142. Russ Says:

    John – thanks for your patience.

    I did double check. WP7 requires SERO Premium.

    Windows Phone 7 is a very different OS than Windows Mobile 6.x. It’s been redesigned from the ground up. WM6 was a very business oriented OS – great for e-mail, calendar, contacts, and other PIM-like functionality, with a passable browser and happened to support a variety of applications. WP7 is a very consumer-oriented OS – designed for music, videos, games, with support for PIM functions.

    Since these consumer-oriented capabilities are much more bandwidth intensive, it’s reasonable to expect the WP7 devices to drive significantly more network traffic (and therefore costs for mobile operators like Sprint).

  143. Dennis Says:

    It appears to me that the Spring SERO Premium plan is an excellent deal because eventually, every SERO smartphone user will need to upgrade to another smartphone. I currently use a Palm Centro and on the SERO 500 plan and love it, but one day (probably in a year), I’ll likely change to a different smartphone. Today, even if I keep my regular SERO 500 plan and switch to a low-end smart phone like the TP2, activating the TP2 will invoke the $10 “smart phone” monthly fee = $40/mo, which is equal to the cost of SERO Premium, yet NONE of its advantages. I might as well switch to a SERO Premium 500 plan for $40/mo (and use a 3g smartphone, like an LG Optimus to avoid the extra $10 Premium Data fee). So unless I feel like keeping my Centro indefinitely or to switch to a non-smartphone, it is worth it to pay $40/mo to freely use most newer smartphones.

  144. Aeden Says:

    I just moved from the old SERO $30 /month plan to a SERO premium $40 /month plan with unlimited data, I currently use the same Touch Pro 2 that was fine on my old plan but the whole reason I switched was so that I can upgrade my phone to what will most likely be the 3G LG Optimus S for now and possibly a better 4G offering later (maybe the Nexus S if it is announced).

    My concern is that when I go to activate my new Optimus S I will be slapped with a $10 /month (premium data) charge bringing my bill to $50 /month, then again when I go later on this year to activate a 4G phone I get slapped with another $10 /month (4G premium data) charge bringing my total bill to $60 /month. If I have to pay for what is called “premium data” wouldnt it make more sense to just activate a 4G phone and be charged a total of $50 /month or am I wrong?

  145. RoyY Says:

    After reading your recent posts regarding Windows Mobile 6.x devices being compatible with SERO Basic plans, I tried upgrading to an HTC Touch Pro2. I spoke with Carly at 888-876-8381, who said I would have to upgrade to SERO Premium. I called again and got the same answer. March 1, TimBuck2 posted a chat transcript here in which TonyC allowed the upgrade to TP2. I had no luck contacting TonyC. Is there someone you can put me in touch with that can handle the upgrade without having to alter my SERO basic plan. Except for this little bit of confusion, my experience with Sprint has always been excellent. Thanks

  146. Russ Says:

    RoyY,

    Thanks for taking good notes. We’ve passed your experience on to the customer support group to provide coaching to Carly.

    To make sure you get set up right with a TP2, please email everythingreferral@sprint.com.

    Thanks,

    Russ

  147. Sean Says:

    Russ,

    It seems that the distinction between what phones require regular SERO, SERO Premium, and SERO Premium + Premium Data Fee is completely arbitrary. You claim that:

    “the real issue is that users of these devices consume so much data (high megapixel cameras, brilliant screens, fast processors, etc.) that they cost us more, whether they are on 3G or 4G. So, the answer is that these devices cost an extra $10/month whether on 3G or 4G.”

    Consider the HTC Touch Pro2 and the HTC Hero. The HTC Touch Pro2 has a bigger, higher resolution screen than the Hero, the same processor, and the same amount of RAM, but the Hero costs $10/month more. Why?

    Furthermore, how are we to know which category Sprint will consider each new phone to be in? What does Sprint consider to be a “brilliant screen”? Or a “fast processor”? Or a “high megapixel camera”? And what combination of these are necessary to warrant an increase in monthly payments? The Touch Pro2 has the same resolution as the Evo Shift 4G, the Evo 4G, and the Epic, but those require $20/month more. The Hero, Epic, and Evo Shift all have cameras at 5 megapixels, but the Epic and Evo Shift require the “premium data” fee while the Hero does not. And I bet that various benchmarks would show the processors in some of the “premium data” devices to be not that much faster than those in other Sprint devices. Really, the only obvious difference between the “premium data” phones and all others seem to be 4G, which you’ve repeatedly denied is a distinguishing factor in a phone’s monthly cost.

    But perhaps specs aren’t really what makes the difference, but instead as you’ve said many times before, it’s higher data usage on some phones. My question is then: How can you predict the data usage of a phone before it comes out?

    I guess the most annoying thing is that there is no official place online for us SERO users to check how much more per month any given new phone will cost us. Instead, we’ll have to ask you or a Sprint representative every time we want to know. So, I might as well start the next round while I’m at it: Will the Nexus S 4G be a SERO Premium device, or a SERO Premium + Premium Data device? (I will assume that the successor of the HTC Evo, the Evo 3D shall be in the same category as its predecessor).

  148. Ed Says:

    Russ,

    I had the same expierence that RoyY had. I called the 888-882-4030 sales number yesterday and talked to Judy A. She said that I had to upgrade to Sero Premium if I wanted to buy the HTC touch pro 2. I will follow the instructions you left for RoyY to upgrade. Just wanted to pass along my expierence. Thanks for the open line of communication you have with customers.

    Ed

  149. Betty Says:

    Hello Russ,

    I am planning to upgrade to EVO 4G, however right now, it is currently out of stock. Do you know when it will be back to stock?Thanks for your time!

    Thank,
    Betty

  150. Russ Says:

    Ed,

    Thanks for providing the info. We’ve passed it along to the center for coaching.

    Folks, when you have challenges like Ed and RoyY reported, it’s very helpful for us if you provide exactly the kind of info they have provided above – what number did you call or what store did you visit and who did you speak with.

    Thanks,

    Russ

  151. Russ Says:

    Betty,

    Sorry, I wasn’t aware of the Evo shortage.

    Must be lots of folks realizing that Sprint is, and will continue to be, the best value in wireless and with great devices. :)

    I can’t imagine it will last long, we just need to get more from HTC. I’d suggest checking back everyday.

    Thanks,

    Russ

  152. Russ Says:

    Sean,

    You make a good point about not having a single place online to know which rules apply to which devices. I’ve passed that on to the marketing folks, so hopefully that will be addressed.

    I can ensure you that the pricing decisions are not completely arbitrary. For example, the key difference between the TP2 and the Hero is the operating system. Quite simply, our experience is that Android users consume MUCH more data than Windows 6.x users. I won’t try to explain every single decision point, because I’m sure I’d screw it up, but be assured it’s not arbitrary.

    Russ

  153. Russ Says:

    Aeden,

    Sorry for the delayed response.

    I don’t believe the Optimus requires the premium data charge, so your bill should stay at $40. I haven’t heard for sure, but I’m guessing the Nexus S will require premium data, so that would be $50. But, at least under the current pricing (and there’s no plans I’m aware of to change anything), there’s no scenario under which your SERO 500 plan would be bumped up to $60.

    Russ

  154. Bonner Says:

    Russ,
    Is there an official statement on the Sprint website that states that the $10 premium data fee is only for the Evo(s), Epic, and Arrive, and not for 3G phones? I am currently on the $30 SERO 500 plan, and the other day called to upgrade to the Optimus S. I was prepared to pay $40/month, but the rep was adamant that the extra $10 premium data fee applied to all smart phones, including the Optimus, and that I would have to pay $50/month total. I declined to upgrade as I wanted to verify this information.
    I’d like to upgrade to SERO Premium, but I can’t find a rep who will do it for the $40/month price.
    Thanks for any help or advice you can give.
    -Sean

  155. Russ Says:

    Bonner and Sean,

    I’ve just been pointed to the FAQ at http://www.sprint.com/everythingplus – look on the right side of the grey box for “Already an Everything Plus or SERO customer? Check out program details and answers to frequently asked questions.” The fourth question answers your question in an official Sprint forum. Looking at it now, it looks like we’ve decided to make the definitions as simple as possible.

  156. Bonner! Says:

    Russ,
    Thank for the link to the website. I upgraded to the Optimus on Sero Premium for $40/month, no extra fee. I guess the rep I talked to the first time just didn’t have his information straight.
    -Sean

  157. William Smith Says:

    Russ

    After reading your recent posts regarding Windows Mobile 6.x devices being compatible with SERO Basic plans, I tried upgrading to an HTC Touch Pro2. I spoke with Terrell in Va. at 888-876-8381, who said I would have to upgrade to SERO Premium. I like RoyY in an earlier post also had no luck. Is there someone you can put me in touch with that can handle the upgrade without having to alter my SERO basic plan. Except for this little bit of confusion, my experience with Sprint has always been excellent. Thanks

    William

  158. Russ Says:

    William,

    Thanks for the detailed information so we can correct misunderstandings in our call centers. The best thing to do would be to email everythingreferral@sprint.com to get upgraded correctly.

    Thanks,

    Russ

  159. Wai Says:

    Thanks Russ for all the helpful information.

  160. AzTony Says:

    Russ,

    My first post here and before I post my question I wanted to thank you for this blog and all the time and effort you put into it. It’s not something you normally see a corporate executive do for they’re customers.

    My question deals with the Arrive. I see that Bonner mentioned it in his post and included it in his list of 4G phones. Is the Arrive considered a 4G phone?

    Tony

  161. Russ Says:

    AzTony – the Arrive requires the SERO Premium $10 upgrade, but not the Premium Data.

  162. Wade Says:

    Hello Russ, if I add another line to my Sero account would I be able to port the old number to another carrier without losing my Sero plan?

    I just want to have my original phone number to be with another carrier since I get poor reception at my new home but want to keep the Sero plan.

    Thanks.

  163. Wai Says:

    Hello Russ,
    I can safely assume that the new phone Kyochera Echo would require only the Premium $10 upgrade and not the data upgrade? Thanks.

  164. Brian.MN Says:

    Russ, why is it that those of us that had our SERO accounts changed to F+F 500 without our knowledge are segregated to old iconic phones? Why is it that we are not offered the $10 upgrade fee so as to be able to use the LG Optimus, or other phones.

    Also, the fact that you are charging even more for the EVO and EPIC that are on OUTDATED 4G technology is also bunk. I mean are you going to give us free upgrades when the technology is switched over to LTE??

  165. Russ Says:

    Wade – you can’t add another SERO line. You could add a non-SERO line, but when you ported the SERO line, you couldn’t move the other line to SERO, so you’d lose your SERO status. Have you looked into the Airave?

  166. Russ Says:

    Wai – correct, for current SERO customers, the Echo will require the SERO Premium, but not Premium Data.

  167. Russ Says:

    Brian.MN – see http://mcguireslaw.com/2010/11/09/finally-a-solution/

  168. Larry Says:

    Hi Russ, My son is finally old enough to have a phone. When my wife, my daughter, and myself activated our three SERO F&F 500 lines back in 2007 we were assured that we could add up to 10 lines in the future. We just need one line for him. Unlike many we actually like the older WM5 & 6 phones. Will I be able to open a new line for my son on our existing F&F 500 plan with a older WM5 or WM6 phone from a 3rd party, or perhaps a Touch Pro 2 Windows phone from Sprint.

  169. Russ Says:

    Larry – I assume the comment about 10 lines was based on your credit worthiness and that you’d be able to add that many lines on any of the Sprint plans available at the time you added it. The current employee referral plan is the Everything Plus plan which is available at http://sprint.com/everythingplus Feel free to use my info: russ.s.mcguire@sprint.com and 383.

  170. Johnny Says:

    Hello Russ, if I decide to get the Kyocera Echo through a third party can I activate the new phone Sprint online ? Will the $10 Premium be added automatically or I have to call it in? Thank you.

  171. SDer Says:

    Hey Russ, with the upcoming release of the Eco-green Samsung Replenish, Sprint reports that the $10 smartphone fee would be waived for that phone. How would that apply to people still on Sero $30 if they wanted the phone?

    A) Upgrade to Sero Premium $40 and get a $10 discount

    B) Stay on Sero $30 and be able get that phone

    C) Upgrade to Sero Premium $40, $10 smartphone discount does not apply

  172. Russ Says:

    SDer – I got a response back from the SERO team. The special offer on the Replenish is that it doesn’t incur the Premium Data fee that non-SERO smartphones normally incur. Since for SERO customers, the Premium Data fee only applies to 4G devices, it wouldn’t apply to the Replenish anyway. So, if you want the Replenish, you would upgrade to Sero Premium ($40) but not have to pay the extra $10 Premium Data fee.

  173. Russ Says:

    Johnny,

    Here’s what I heard back from the employee accounts group:

    Regarding using the online esn swap tool to activate a cold device, it depends on what rate plan this customer is on.

    If SERO, the online tool does not support SERO swaps. The customer should call Employee Care to do the swap and if they aren’t already on a SERO Premium plan they will be required to move to SERO Premium. The $10 Premium Data add-on isn’t required.

    If they are on EPRP (everything plus), it’s a different story. They can use the online swap tool. If they aren’t already on an Everything Plus Data rate plan, they will be required to swap plans. They will also be required by the online tool to add the $10 Premium Data add-on.

  174. John Says:

    Russ,

    Thanks for the helpful site. I am on the legacy SERO $30 plan and I am trying to upgrade my phone to the Touch Pro 2 but the Sprint Referral site forces me to upgrade to SERO Premium. Since the Touch Pro 2 is a Win Mobile 6.x phone it shouldn’t require the upgrade, right? I know this has been mentioned before as merely a phone rep training issue, but it seems like the issue is hard-coded on the website as well. I am currently in contact with helpful reps via everythingreferral@sprint.com and I hope they can upgrade my phone.

    (SERO $30 is a great bargain for people like me who don’t use more than 500 weekday minutes but use a moderate amount of data. The premium $40 plan isn’t quite as attractive when compared to a few pay-as-you go plans.)

  175. Russ Says:

    John – here’s what I’m told by the SERO folks:
    Upgrades through the website do route through the sprint.com public store but no rate plan changes are forced at that time. The website will ship the device cold at which point the customer will need to call into employee care to activate.

  176. Mark Says:

    Russ:

    I just want to say how much I appreciate your taking the time to answer all these questions. You are providing quite remarkable service for your customers and reading your blog has been extremely helpful to me!

    Thanks again,

    Mark P.

  177. Ann Says:

    Is the iphone going to come to Sprint anytime soon? This year?

    I went to a Sprint store and the manager told me this September, have I been misinformed? If they do offer the Iphone, do you think they will accomodate SERO plan customers or do we have to sign a new data plan and lose SERO? I’m hoping it will just be an extra $10 fee on top of our exisiting $30. Thanks.

  178. Russ Says:

    Ann – Sprint certainly hasn’t announced carrying the iPhone, and to be honest, I’d be surprised if we ever carried it. We already have a great portfolio of devices that we believe are just as good as or better than the iPhone (for starters, many of ours have 4G). Apple’s model is also counter to our “open” model. I guess I should never say never, but I can confidently say that the manager must be confused.

  179. Chad Says:

    Russ,

    Just wanted to say thank you to Steven T. out of Bristol VA and yourself for assistance with getting my plan straightened out in preparation for switching to a Nexus S. I’ve been a cell phone user for 5 years, all with Sprint, and thanks to great customer service I’ll be with you guys for many years to come.

    -Chad

  180. Orlando Says:

    Dear Russ,

    Thank you for all of your help to the Sprint user community.

    (I apologize if this has been answered in another comment or another forum post.)

    I am a current SERO legacy 500 customer and am consider upgrading to SERO Premium. I am looking at the Nexus S. My question is, if I upgrade and find out that I do not like or need the Nexus S or SERO-P, am I allowed to switch back to the SERO legacy plan? (I’ve heard it was possible, even after 30 days.)

    One option is for me to get the Nexus S as a new account and try it out for 30 days before committing.

    Thank you in advance.

  181. Russ Says:

    Orlando

    Yes, you can downgrade from Sero Premium to normal Sero at any time (if you switch back to a non-premium device). Let me know if you ever have a problem doing so and I’ll get it straightened out.

    Russ

  182. Rich Says:

    Russ,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions. My wife and I are currently 12-13 months into two separate SERO 500 F&F plans. We are currently considering a Everything 1600 Family Plan, as we of course would love to find a way to be able to use the Nexus S and Evo 3D. My question is whether we could transfer both of these accounts to one Everything Plus plan and then add two additional lines, without being forced to pay an ETF on one of the SERO lines? We have been Sprint users since 2001 and hope to continue to be so for the foreseeable future. Thanks in advance for your response. I appreciate the education.

    ~ Rich

  183. Vinh Says:

    Hi Russ,

    In your response to SDer, it sounds like it’s Option C for him/her. Am I understanding that correctly?

    I am also interested in the Replenish and my understanding is that I would have to upgrade to SERO Premium and would have a $10/month discount applied, which effectively puts the monthly back to the original $30/month price.

    The way I see it…

    SERO $30 : any non-smartphone
    SERO Premium $40 : any non-iconic smartphone
    SERO Premium + Premium Data $50 : iconic smartphones

    SERO Premium $40 – $10 discount : Replenish

    Thanks for keeping us informed!

  184. Vinh Says:

    Hi Russ,

    After rereading, I understand now that the Replenish would be $40/month for SERO customers upgrading. SERO->SERO Premium

  185. Russ Says:

    Vinh – correct. The Replenish specifically is exempt from the Premium Data charge, so it would be $40/month.

  186. Longtime_SeroUser Says:

    I just called Sprint three times as was told all three times that the HTC arrive will require Sero-P (40 dollars) and 10 dollars extra for the premium data plan. I explained that since the HTC arrive is only a 3g phone that only the Sero-P plan is required. Each time they told me that this is no longer true….any “smartphone” 3G or not requires the additional 10 dollar fee. Is this now true ???

  187. Russ Says:

    Rich,

    Sorry for the delayed response. I was getting confirmation from the employee referral folks.

    You shouldn’t have any problem moving your two SERO lines to a single EverythingPlus family plan. Then, assuming credit isn’t an issue, you can add two additonal new lines to that family plan.

    Email here to get it done correctly: everythingreferral@sprint.com

    Thanks,

    Russ

  188. Russ Says:

    Longtime – you are correct. Email everythingreferral@sprint.com to get it handled correctly.

  189. raj Says:

    Hi Russ,

    I was trying to buy a new phone and connection through sprint referral website. Nexus S 4G costs 150 dollars on the website while wirefly is selling it for 49 dollars. what is the reason for this big difference in price. HTC phones are free at wirefly with a new connection while it is not in sprint store.

  190. Russ Says:

    Raj – Wirefly is a separate business not controlled by Sprint. I can’t explain why they might choose to absorb an extra $100 in cost. The dynamics of their business are different than ours, or maybe they just want to attract people to their site with a killer price on a great phone.

    As far as your personal decision, it’s good to have choices right? Spend more for the phone and less per month, or spend less on the phone and more per month.

  191. SDreader Says:

    Hi Russ, Thanks for keeping your very informative blog up for so long! I find it invaluable for finding more info about my SERO plan.

    Here’s my scenario. I currently have a Epic 4g with a SERO Premium plan, paying 50 dollars a month total. I accidentally spilled some water on it, and the microphone no longer works.

    I have a Touch Pro 2 that I was using before upgrading to the Epic. If I switch back to the Touch Pro 2, will my monthly fee automatically go back to the original 30 dollars per month? And what would be the easiest way to revert back to the original 30 dollar Sero plan?

    Thanks.

  192. Chris from da'burg Says:

    Hi All, Great Forum (1st time posting):

    We want to get onto the new smartphones (kid wants a Droid)
    We used to have a SERO 500 plan
    Years ago it was upgraded to a F&F Family Power Vision Plan (700 shared minutes, unlimited data, text, etc.) … allowed us to make it 5 lines.
    Of course, this new plan is not compatible with any of the old phones.

    QUESTION: Any chance Sprint will let me convert the F&F Power Vision Plan to a SERO+ Plan? (we did have SERO at one time)

  193. Jason Says:

    Mr McGuire, are there any Android phones that can be used with SERO? Any at all? I’m so hoping the answer would be yes, to any model, any. :)

  194. bluegirl Says:

    hi russ~

    first of all, i want to echo many other posters in thanking you for taking the time to post this blog and answer so many questions. it is such a relief to have somewhere to go to find factual answers and not just rumors.

    i realize i’m a bit late to the game…but, apparently, i’ve been living in a cave and just heard about the sero premium plan. :)
    i’ve read through all the related posts and i think i understand how it works.

    i have a question that i don’t think has been asked here (my apologies if it has…i’ve been reading too many posts in such a short time period); i’ve been with the sero plan for a few years now and have never upgraded my phone. when i check my account, online, i’m told that i am eligible for a $150 credit towards an upgrade if i renew my contract for 2 more years and get a new (not refurbished) phone. will i be able to use this credit with my sero plan?

    i have no problem paying $50 a month (instead of my current $30) for the use of a ‘premium’ smartphone (in fact i’m a bit disgusted at all the people complaining about the extra $10 when we are already lucky enough to be getting such an amazing deal. i am, truly, grateful for the sero plan). but, the phone i’d like is rather expensive. and the credit would be almost necessary for me to be able to buy it.

    i’m sorry if i’m reviving a dead topic, but this is the most recent post i could find on the subject and you seem to be the only, consistently, trustworthy source that i’ve found.

    thank you so much, russ.

  195. Brian Says:

    Does the extra Data Fee get applied to Blackberry Devices, like the bold, that are on Sero Premium?

  196. Art Says:

    Thank you in advance for your time.

    Can you clear up my confusion about the monthly cost between the HTC Arrive and the Samsung Replenish. Both phones are 3G & non-4G capable.

    If I understand correctly from your reply to Longtime_SeroUser on June 16 regarding the HTC Arrive, the phone should be on Sero Premium ($40/month) with no required Sero Premium Data plan ($10).

    Why is the Samsung Replenish also $40 as stated in your reply to Vinh on June 15? If the Arrive & Replenish have the same primary characteristics, both 3g, both non-4g capable, shouldn’t the Replenish be only $30/month?

    Arrive/Replenish premium $40 – premium data waived $10 = Replenish $30?

    Instead both phones have the same monthly cost —
    Replenish premium $40 + data $10 – data waived $10 = Replenish $40.
    Arrive premium $40 + data $0 – data waived $0 = Arrive 40.

    Why does the Replenish require premium data, which is waived to bring the total to $40 while the Arrive does not require premium data?

  197. sonny Says:

    I have $30 sero plan.
    The question is by adding only $10 + tax and nothing more what are the smartphones i can upgrade it to?

  198. wai kwok chong Says:

    Good morning Russ, I am in the SERO 500 – $30 plan, I would like to know what is the best way to move to SERO Premium plus $10 for 4G network? Should I order the phone first and upgrade during activation or vice versa? I knew you’re very busy and thanks in advance for your help.

  199. Ron Says:

    Hi Russ,

    I have a SERO account and am thinking of upgrading to SERO Premium. The phone I’m looking at is the Motorola XPRT. This is a 3G phone but some folks on the forums say that it would require premium data ($50) plan. I just wanted to confirm that this phone could be activated on the “plain” $40 SERO Premium plan.

    Thanks.

  200. chbow Says:

    Any updates on a Sprint iPhone?

  201. Russ Says:

    sonny and Ron,

    The FAQ at sprint.com/everythingplus says this:

    SERO Basic rate plans are not compatible with most Smartphones. If you upgrade to a Smartphone on one of the following operating systems: Windows Mobile 7, Blackberry, Android, Web OS and the Instinct family of devices you will need to upgrade your plan to a SERO Premium rate plan. In addition 4G Smartphone activations will require an additional $10/line/mo. Premium Data add-on charge in addition to requiring the SERO Premium plan.

  202. Russ Says:

    wai,

    In a previous comment I shared this:

    Upgrades through the website do route through the sprint.com public store but no rate plan changes are forced at that time. The website will ship the device cold at which point the customer will need to call into employee care to activate.

    So you order the phone and upgrade to premium when you activate the device.

    Russ

  203. Russ Says:

    Art,

    That’s a good question. Unfortunately, for SERO customers, there are two sets of charges. There’s the charge for upgrading from SERO Basic to SERO Premium, and then there’s the Premium Data charge for 4G devices. The Premium Data fee does not apply to the Replenish as you note, but the update from SERO Basic to SERO Premium is still required.

    Russ

  204. Russ Says:

    SDreader,

    The best thing to do would be to call employee care at 888-876-8381.

    Russ

  205. Russ Says:

    Chris,

    Please see the post here: http://mcguireslaw.com/2010/11/09/finally-a-solution/

    Russ

  206. Russ Says:

    Jason,

    All Android devices are compatible with SERO Premium.

    Russ

  207. Russ Says:

    bluegirl,

    I apologize for the delay in responding.

    I do believe the credits are available, but it would be best to check with everythingplus@sprint.com

    Russ

  208. Russ Says:

    Brian,

    The SERO Premium plan includes the Blackberry fee.

    Russ

  209. Ami Says:

    Thanks Russ and Sprint SERO team…

    They offered me prompt service on above issue on time within few hours of my email. They contacted me and fixed my account to get my ECHO only on sprint premium plan
    I don’t have to pay $10 add on charge on my regular plan

    I would like to complain about the employee at Sprint employee care name Christin she was so sure about her wrong infomation. she was not willing to double check with her knowledge that the information other agents gave about Echo might be correct.
    I would say she really need to be trained on providing accurate information of these updated plans
    Anyways I am again very thankful to Russ and the Sero team about their prompt service.

  210. Paul Lee Says:

    Now that the news of the iPhone 5 (and the iPhone 4) coming to Sprint has finally broke, Russ can you please post any information for SERO users as soon as it is available? I’m hoping that they don’t block us and include it as an option for those on SERO Premium. If the iPhone 5 is 4G, then with the additional $10 charge for Premium Data – however with 3G (which the iPhone 4 is) then with just SERO Premium… *fingers crossed*

  211. Russ Says:

    Paul,

    Sprint has not made any announcements concerning the iPhone.

    Russ

  212. Chbow Says:

    Paul Lee, I second that! I’ve been waiting to make my next wireless decision till I hear info about that, really looking forward to info!

  213. bob Says:

    Sooo… now that both iPhone 4S and 4 have been announced for Sprint, what will it be allowed on, according to the powers that be?

  214. Om Says:

    Russ,

    Now we all know that Iphone is on sprint and its a 3G device.
    Will there any changes in price plan specific to SERO customer or $40 month?

    Hope sprint considers this as a regular 3G smartphone (like LG optimus, HTC hero etc)

    Om

  215. Russ Says:

    I can’t comment on anything about the iPhone on Sprint beyond what is already in Apple’s press release. Sorry.

  216. RK Says:

    Hi Russ, when will there be a decision regarding iPhone & SERO plans? Per your existing rules it seems like without 4G it should be compatible with $40 SERO-P…

  217. bob Says:

    Silence Speaks Volumes.

  218. Russ Says:

    RK – I can’t provide any information about the iPhone beyond what was in Apple’s announcement.

    bob – this constraint is not specific to SERO. I can’t provide any information about the iPhone beyond what was in the Apple announcement.

    I enjoy working at Sprint and hope to stay employed here.

  219. bob Says:

    Ok, let us wait until Friday — hopefully info might be available by preorder time.

  220. Chbow Says:

    Russ, we enjoy having you work at sprint and hope you stay employed there! For our sake and theirs if not for yours.

  221. katheen Says:

    Does anyone have the customer service number for those of us on the SERO plan? When I cann sprint directly most have no idea what I am talking about

  222. Russ Says:

    katheen – 888-876-8381 should get you to folks who understand SERO (although you should’ve already been automatically routed to this group when you entered your phone #)

  223. Aram Says:

    I’ve just pre-ordered an iphone on my old SERO 500 account at sprint.com
    So it would be just +10$, right? Not 10+10, since it doesn’t have wimax?
    Thanks.

  224. Om Says:

    Looks like new rules for i-phone. Russ, it doesn’t make any sense
    considering this is a 3G device. if sprint wants more money from SERO customers to recover i-phone amount, sprint should charge more for phone
    than plan.

  225. JohnTheBastard Says:

    Hi Russ,
    I have put in some time trying to figure out eligibility for iPhone upgrades for people with Sprint SERO plans, but I have come up against a few contradictions. Hopefully, I can save some other people some time by recounting what I know here. If you could help clarify some things, that would be great, too.

    Attempting to pre-order the iPhone results in a message that I should contact Sprint Customer Care regarding iPhone eligibility, as the website seems not to be set up to handle SERO customers. I initially tried calling the 888-876-8381 number you mentioned, but made little progress there. I explained twice what I was trying to do, but the CSR kept asking me questions about whether I had a landline, who my ISP was, and whether I was aware of related promotions, despite my insistence I only wanted to know about iPhone eligibility. Finally, she transferred me to someone else she said could answer my questions. This person asked for my name/number/pin and then disconnected my call. (I live only 100 yards from a Sprint tower, and have never before had a call drop at my apartment.)

    Frustrated, I called the executive customer care number provided for consumerist.com readers (I’ll leave it up to Russ as to whether that number gets published here, but a quick google search can find it). I spoke with Beatrice who was much more helpful. She told me that I could activate an iPhone if I upgrade from the SERO Basic plan to the SERO Premium plan. (Good news.) However, she said I would also need the $10 Premium Data add-on, and in fact, ALL smart phones require the data add-on, not just 4G phones. This definitely conflicts with information Sprint published about SERO Premium. Beatrice also informed me that if I switched to the SERO Premium, I would not be able to go back to SERO Basic. This is not what we were told by ClaudiPo (a Sprint forum admin) in this thread:
    http://community.sprint.com/baw/thread/44957

    I asked what the total cost increase would be to change plans (lost discounts, one time fees, taxes, etc). Beatrice explained she didn’t have access to reliable information on that, that the Executive Support team is not set up to make account changes, and that I would have to call the number I originally mentioned above. I explained that my previous failure to make progress via that route was the reason I called her, so she said she could email one of the CSRs with the details of what I was looking for and have them contact me, hopefully be the end of the business day next Monday.

    Russ, can you give a definitive answer on the premium data requirement and ability to switch back to SERO Basic?

    Thanks,
    JtB

  226. Russ Says:

    I’m getting a ton of comments and questions, both here and via e-mail. I don’t have time now to address each comment on each thread, so hopefully posting here (where many of the questions are hitting) will suffice.

    From what I’ve heard, the iPhone will be available to SERO customers. It will require upgrading to SERO Premium and paying the Premium Data fee, so yes, that is + $10 + $10.

    If you read my original post above, I was careful to NOT say the Premium Data fee was for 4G phones, but rather for “very high end smartphones (Evo and Epic) [that] consume much more data and drive much more cost onto our network.” The iPhone certainly fits in this category, even though it’s not a 4G device.

    I hope providing this information here clarifies things and is generally good news for the SERO crowd.

    BTW – I apologize for frustrations in calling care this week. Because of the iPhone announcement, from what I hear, we have had much higher volumes than usual in our call centers. Please bear with us.

  227. Russ Says:

    And yes, if you switch to SERO Premium, you can switch back to SERO Basic if you switch back to a non-smartphone. If anyone has trouble doing so, drop me a note at russ.s.mcguire@sprint.com

  228. Sahil Says:

    Hi Russ, in regards to your October 7th (6:17pm) comment, I wanted to get some clarification once more.

    I currently am using an HTC Touch Pro II on the $30 SERO basic plan.

    I am planning on upgrading to the iPhone. I am expecting to pay SERO Premium ($40) + the $10 premium data charge. This will be a total charge of $50 + taxes.

    The HTC Touch Pro II does not require the $10 premium data fee.

    If at any point in time I need to switch back to the TP2, say for repairs, or if I break my iPhone and am waiting for my upgrade to kick in, will my rate plan drop back down to SERO Basic at $30 (with SERO Basic features)?

    Thanks.

  229. An Says:

    “I am a SERO customer considering an upgrade and understand SERO Basic rate plans aren’t compatible with all devices. What devices aren’t compatible with these plans.

    SERO Basic rate plans are not compatible with most Smartphones. If you upgrade to a Smartphone on one of the following operating systems: Windows Mobile 7, Blackberry, Android, Web OS and the Instinct family of devices you will need to upgrade your plan to a SERO Premium rate plan. In addition 4G Smartphone activations will require an additional $10/line/mo. Premium Data add-on charge in addition to requiring the SERO Premium plan.”

    http://delivery.sprint.com/m/p/nxt/epc/EPRP-modal.asp?vanity=false&popup=true

    Directly from Sprint – the additional $10 fee on top of SERO Premium is for 4G Smartphones.

    Note it does not say that the additional $10 fee are for “very high end smartphones (Evo and Epic) [that] consume much more data and drive much more cost onto our network.”

    Furthermore, from Sprint’s Strategy Update on 10/7, Steve Elfman stated, “”We believe we can handle the demand of the announcement that was made earlier this week with the iPhone by both our proactive work in optimizing the content and offloading but also with more efficient devices. The iPhone is a very efficient use of our network.”

    “The iPhone is a very efficient use of our network.” Straight from the horse’s mouth.

    Additionally, from the bottom of your blog Russ, “The views reflected on this site are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect Sprint Nextel’s positions, strategies or opinions.”

    Sprint clearly stated that the iPhone is “very efficient” in data usage.

    Sprint clearly states that the $10 additional fee on top of SERO Premium is for 4G phones.

    We are already being charged the $10 Premium data fee on SERO Premium. That’s what the “Premium” stands more. The additional $10 is for 4G Phones.

    Why are we being charged this additional $10 Premium data fee? There is no justification or reason for it as laid out by Sprint.

  230. Sahil Says:

    Hi Russ,

    One more thing.

    You left this comment:

    Russ Says:
    August 18th, 2011 at 7:58 pm
    Art,

    That’s a good question. Unfortunately, for SERO customers, there are two sets of charges. There’s the charge for upgrading from SERO Basic to SERO Premium, and then there’s the **Premium Data charge for 4G devices.** The Premium Data fee does not apply to the Replenish as you note, but the update from SERO Basic to SERO Premium is still required.

    Russ
    [emphasis, added]

    compared to

    Russ Says:
    October 7th, 2011 at 6:16 pm
    “if you read my original post above, I was careful to NOT say the Premium Data fee was for 4G phones, but rather for “very high end smartphones (Evo and Epic) [that] consume much more data and drive much more cost onto our network.””

    Am I missing why there is a difference between the two fee types all of a sudden?

  231. Russ Says:

    Sahil – on your first question, the answer is yes.

    An – since you don’t think my comments carry any validity, I’m not going to waste your time responding.

    Sahil – on your second comment, I got lazy when I referred to it as a 4G charge, as others have done, including in the FAQ.

    For everyone complaining that Sprint is allowing you to continue to leverage your unique SERO status to get the iPhone on a $50 rate plan, I welcome you to switch to any other carrier that will offer you a less expensive plan.

  232. An Says:

    I think your comments do carry some validity. Like your disclaimer says, your views do not necessarily reflect Sprint’s positions. But they might…

    When your comments on this blog contradict with Sprint’s official policies, we need additional clarification.

    So please, address my previous post.

  233. Tony M Says:

    Great comment Russ:

    “For everyone complaining that Sprint is allowing you to continue to leverage your unique SERO status to get the iPhone on a $50 rate plan, I welcome you to switch to any other carrier that will offer you a less expensive plan.”

    Let’s see if any of these “dissatisfied” customers will take your challenge. $50 is an awesome rate on any carrier.

    Thank you for having this forum for taking questions and exposing yourself to the cheapskates that aren’t satisfied until they have things exactly their way. It can’t be easy but you still come back here.

  234. Sprint SERO Premium + iPhone 4S = $50 a month | Kingcade Says:

    […] area and weregiving conflicting information. But customer-friendly Sprint executive RussMcGuire has confirmed this on his personal blog, and it has been confirmed in variouscell phone forums. Looks like it’s […]

  235. Joe Sheepdows Says:

    Russ,

    Thank you for being on here and helping us SERO plan holders figure this whole thing out.

    Just wondering if buying the iPhone locks me in to $50/month for the duration of my 2 year contract. Am I able to drop back down to $40/month if I decide to go back to my Optimus S?

    Thank you!

  236. Russ Says:

    Joe – you can switch back at any time and your plan can follow. E-mail me if you ever have trouble with it.

  237. Bruce Says:

    Russ – I do appreciate you taking the time to respond and clarify the final plan pricing for SERO customers interested in the iPhone. While Sprint has the right to charge whatever they want for the iPhone – I think many people are frustrated because Sprint is not being honest about the reason they are charging the additional $10 “premium/4G” data fee.

    If the iPhone was an expensive phone for Sprint to acquire and Sprint cannot afford to sell it to SERO users on a Sero Premium plan – then just say it as it is. People will understand and make their own personal choice on whether or not to get the iPhone.

    However, by continuing to claim that the $10 premium fee is being assessed because the iPhone somehow “consumes much more data and drive much more cost onto our network” is just wrong. Is Sprint really making the case that the average iPhone user will consume significantly more data than the average (3G) Android user?

    Just googling “iphone vs android data usage” there have been numerous studies done and I’ve yet to find a single study that shows more data usage from iPhone than Android. In fact, it’s quite the opposite:

    http://www.technewsdaily.com/847-android-data-usage-outpaces-iphone.html

    http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/consumer/android-leads-u-s-in-smartphone-market-share-and-data-usage/

  238. Alamgirian Says:

    Hey Russ.

    Will Sprint flex with Iconic Device and plan restrictions if they are unable to sell 30.5 million units in required time ? I am also a sprint stock holder, and the recent stunt pulled at the investors conference… with being in positives in the morning and then dropping down like a stone in the afternoon was a bitter pill to swallow.

  239. Young Says:

    Hi, Russ:

    I am thinking to get a LG Marquee from Sprint. Do I need to pay $40 (SERO-P) or $50 (SERO-P +$10) for this phone?

    Thanks!

  240. Alex Says:

    Hi Russ,

    I have a quick question, with $50 SERO Premium plan, the legacy SERO customers can have a 4G phone. Could you confirm that the performance of the 4G phone is the same as the regular sprint 4G plan? In other words, is the $50 SERO premium network is a real 4G network?

    Thanks in advance.

  241. Ravi Says:

    Dear Russ,

    I am long time follower of your blog and a customer of Sprint for more than 5 years. Thanks a lot for taking your valuable time to answer these questions on SERO plan. I really appreciate your help.

    I am adding this blog comment just to show my appreciation.

    Best regards.

  242. Russ Says:

    Alex – that’s a reasonable question. It’s a good idea to provide higher performance for higher paying customers. However, for now (and I’m not aware of any plans to change it) there’s no discrimination in network performance based on the Sprint plan you’re on. (I think there are differences between our prepaid plans – Boost and Virgin – and our postpaid plans – Sprint. For example, I don’t think roaming is included in prepaid plans.)

  243. Russ Says:

    Young – it looks like the Marquee isn’t a 4G phone (and it’s not an iPhone ;^) ), so for now, the rules would say it’s $40.

  244. Russ Says:

    Alamgirian – very few people have seen the actual contract with Sprint and I’m pretty sure the folks reporting those details haven’t actually seen it. Any reports about what it actually says are pure conjecture. As far as the stock price, I’m guessing I have more Sprint stock than you do, and the Sprint folks speaking at the investor conference have more than me, so the current stock price is painful for all of us.

  245. Russ Says:

    Bruce – thanks for the links.

    I think there are a bunch of things that are true:

    1. There are multiple factors that contribute to how much bandwidth a typical user of a given device will drive onto the network: OS, connection speed, processor, camera resolution, videocamera resolution, graphical capability, application usage profile of users, etc.

    2. Based on this, I would expect Epic Touch customers to use more bandwidth than iPhone customers. But I would expect iPhone customers to use more bandwidth than Replenish customers.

    3. Every carrier has a portfolio of devices that cover a range of user needs and price points. The most expensive phones are loaded with all the features that tend to drive high bandwidth usage. For Sprint, for the past few years, as we’ve worked with OEMs, we’ve had them include 4G in their high end (fast processor, high MP camera, etc.) phones. Apple’s not yet ready for 4G, but their phone has all the other characteristics of a high network usage device. Our Android phones that fall below that top tier tend to have slower processors, lower MP cameras, less impressive graphics, etc. and therefore are lower in network usage.

    4. Sprint believes we have prepared appropriately for the additional bandwidth represented by iPhone customers. Part of this confidence comes from our success in managing bandwidth from less efficient phones.

    All that being said:
    – I do believe that the iPhone will drive more network usage than Sprint’s non-4G Android devices.
    – However, you’re right, it’s an oversimplification to say that network usage is the only driver of cost differences between customers with different types of devices (customer care costs, sales compensation, and device subsidy immediately come to mind).
    – I have no doubt that iPhone customers will be more expensive for Sprint than 3G Android customers. In fact, it will be a challenge to not lose money on SERO customers with an iPhone, even at $50, and I’m honestly surprised that the iPhone is available to SERO customers.

    At Sprint, we’ve been working hard to improve our transparency. I embrace that, as is hopefully reflected by my engagement with customers here and elsewhere. It is very painful to be called a liar when I’m pouring my personal time and heart into trying to help Sprint customers.

  246. Chbow Says:

    I just wanted to say, thank you Russ! while I definitely have some complaints with sprint and can’t say I wasn’t wishing that the iPhone would not incur the 4g fee (in reality I knew it wouldn’t happen) it’s really good to be able to hear the facts from someone who knows them (not complaining about this, but it can be really hard to get answers about sero). It wouldn’t be a stretch to say I’ve remained a sprint customer for the past five years in some way due to this blog. Just one final thing, in your response to Alex you indicated you thought it would be reasonable to not have as good service for sero as normal plans. Without getting into my opinion (guess) one thing is for sure if this was happening and we were NOT being told about it, I would think that is pretty unsavory. In closing (really this time) yes we pay less, and we appreciate that but I can also join my family plan on AT&T for a similar price, we are still customers and hope that we’re not unwanted. I know my Internet has been crazy slow on my phone for the past two years (I’d still like to know if ANYONE can stream YouTube on 3G) and if now when I switch to the 50 plan I’m treated as dead weight I’d be a bit annoyed. $50 a month is good ($30 is better) but we do have choices, this is the best one IMO so let’s keep it that way. Thanks and sorry for rambling.

  247. Robert Says:

    Hi Russ,

    If we have a SERO plan and want to order the iPhone, what’s the best way to buy it? (sprint.com, 800 number, etc…)

    Thanks!

  248. Balki Says:

    “At Sprint, we’ve been working hard to improve our transparency. I embrace that, as is hopefully reflected by my engagement with customers here and elsewhere. It is very painful to be called a liar when I’m pouring my personal time and heart into trying to help Sprint customers.”

    Russ,

    Many of us (including myself) appreciate your participation on this site. I have been a SERO customer for 5 years and can honestly say I can’t believe Sprint hasn’t killed us all off yet! All these greedy mooches should start being appreciative for what they have. Am I pissed I can’t get a Epic Touch or iphone with unlimited data for $30 a month with a corporate discount stacked on top? Of course I am. Do I understand that I am STILL getting a MUCH better deal than anywhere else in the market right now for comparable service? Absolutely.

    Some of you guys need to stop being ungrateful children and enjoy your $20/month savings and unlimited data while Sprint still feels inclined to give it to you. I think the only ones to have a legitimate gripe are the ones who were quick to jump off their SERO plans to grab an Android phone prior to SEROP based on CSRs consistently telling them that Android would NEVER be allowed on SERO. I understand the decision might not have been made to allow it at that time, but I think for goodwill it would have been nice for Spint to allow SERO customers who switched to switch back. No they didn’t HAVE to do it, but I think it was kinda underhanded how it all went down. Luckily I was too cheap to switch at the time and can now benefit from SEROP.

    One thing that I have a problem with cell service in America IN GENERAL is the forced subsidy of phones. It is funny because ALL the carriers claim that the service plans are so expensive because they are subsiding the price of the phones which could retail for around $600. If that is the case, why not give the customer a choice? Why not let me come with my own phone and pay a non-subsidized price for monthly service, even without a contract if I want? If I want to use a hand me down phone from a friend or relative, use the same phone for 3-4 years, or buy a cheap phone on Craigslist, why should I pay the same price for my monthly service as someone who is getting a $600 iphone for $200? I also see no legitimate reason why carriers marry phones to their network. It is one thing if the phone is a network exclusive that the carrier paid the manufacturer for, but for phones that are offered on multiple carriers what is the point in preventing the consumer from activating it? I assume all it would take is a quick flash of the software to make it compatible with another CDMA network. I think the FCC really needs to step in and force some drastic changes on this industry. /RANT

    Anyway, keep up the great work Russ. There are some of us out here who appreciate the help.

  249. Mike Says:

    Russ, thank you for responding to these folks’ questions.

    While my wife and I use BlackBerry devices (and have for years) both on SERO-P plans and rarely see over 100MB of usage in a month am concerned with the sheer amount of 3G data that will be consumed by the iPhone. I do live in a 4G market and am happy that heavy movie watching Android users around me are able to leverage 4G capacity but fear the iPhone riding on the same EVDO network I rely on despite this device being imperative for Sprint’s survival.

    All those concerned about Sprint increasing rates while they are given the capability to substantially increase data consumption, think about those who use very little and are generally forced down the same path of pricing increases for seemingly little reason. This is a good reason why some of us like the idea of tiered data (not the way other carriers have chosen to implement it however) and these selective feature increases. We don’t all subscribe to the village mentality but realize Sprint needs to keep things simple enough for simple customers.

  250. AMA Says:

    I would like to add my voice to the people thanking you for the time and effort you have devoted to answering our questions and resolving whatever difficulties we run into. There will always be those that will look a gift horse in the mouth. And yes a $50 Iphone plan is a gift that almost all of us here are deeply appreciative to Sprint for.

  251. Russ Says:

    Thanks for the support and encouragement everyone.

    Chbow – as I said, I’m not aware of any plans to provide better service for higher paying customers, but if Sprint did so, they would do it as a way to drive incremental revenue for a higher priced plan, so it wouldn’t be done as a secret.

    Robert – let me get an answer for you. I’ll post it here when I find out.

    Balki – we’d love to get away from subsidized phones. Prepaid carriers kind of fit your model (although, until recently, not with very interesting handsets), although they still subsidize the phones some, so they still lock the phones. T-Mobile tried plans called Even More Plus back in 2009 that sound a lot like what you described. Apparently, it didn’t work too well, since the plans aren’t offered anymore. I’m guessing that Americans are pretty much hooked on subsidized phones and will struggle with paying hundreds of dollars for a decent phone.

  252. SERO-P Says:

    I just wanted to say thanks Russ. All I wanted was an up or down answer from Sprint and I’ve jumped through hoops trying to get it (calling, emails, chat, etc..). I’m glad someone is here to provide some answers.

    One more question though, I was really interested in the Kyocera Echo (don’t make fun of me) but it’s been discontinued. Is there any chance Sprint will get one last shipment (when I called the tech told me they didn’t have anymore)?

  253. Jerry Says:

    Hi Russ – long time SERO user here – quick thank you for this blog and your time.

    I am on the Sprint 30 / 500 a month. I have a few perks – namely the fav 5 and nights and weekends at 6pm.

    Before I get to my questions – I would like to say that I have a Touch Pro 2 and have been very satisfied with it.

    I am thinking about switching to either an iphone, or a 4G phone and am wondering if I will be able to keep my perks. I am also wondering if I will be able to revert back to my exact same plan if I am unhappy with the upgrade…say 10 days later…100 days later?

    I am also thinking about future plans..if and when Apple releases a 4G iphone..will there be another premium fee in addition to the $20 included for the 4G/iphone plans?

    And finally…what is the plan for us 30/month SERO 500 users…will we eventually be forced off the plan by Sprint? If not..part of me wants to stock up on a few good condition Touch Pro 2’s as backups so I can keep my awesome plan..

    Thanks in advance!

  254. newbie Says:

    All the people who are complaining about having to pay $50 for SERO-Premium + Premium Data for an iPhone 4S, should have at least considered this direction:

    In an alternate universe –
    – “Ross Says:
    – “We’re sorry, the iPhone S4 will not be available for SERO/SERO Premium customers, at all”.

    So either deal with it or move on!

  255. Jim Says:

    Hi Russ,

    Great and informative blog. I have but one question. I am on the SERO-P $40 plan and want to get the 9930, is there an extra $10 charge per month for it?

  256. Russ Says:

    Jim,

    Fair question. I don’t believe the Blackberry Bold 9930 is a 4G device and it’s not an iPhone, so it should still just be $40.

    Russ

  257. Kamda Says:

    Hi Russ,

    I thank you for being such an involved executive.

    I switched from my Sero plan to the horrible Everything Plus 500 plan required for the even more horrible Palm Pre which I went through 5 devices within a 6 month period. Unfortunately it worked great for the first 30 days that I was allowed the option of switching back. I have given up hope and purchased a Blackberry bold.

    As I read about people being provided the option to switch back to the SERO from the SERO P plan, is there an option to switch back in my particular case? I wouldn’t even mind paying $50 for the SERO P. I just find it horrible that I am paying 59.99 for the same features as my old Palm 755p minus the BBM which I can do without. I would even switch back to my 755p.

    For all of you who are complaining about how Sprint is charging $50 a month for an iPhone really should appreciate what they have before it’s gone, which it will be one day.

    From a consumers perspective I would just like to be treated fair. If I am still part of a Employee referral program, I would like the option to have the same plan as every other Employee referral program or the option to switch back to my old plan like other people are today. If there is anything that you can do for me please get back to me.

    Keep up the great work and thank you Sprint for even honoring our special plans.

  258. Brandon Says:

    Russ,

    Thanks for all the help you’ve provided to SERO users over the years. I also want to offer a HUGE thanks to you and everyone else on Sprint’s leadership team that decided to allow SERO users to use iPhones on our discounted plans! Only increasing our $30 SERO plans by $20 in order to use an iPhone is an enormous gift. I will gladly pay $50 per month for 500 anytime minutes, unlimited any mobile to any mobile minutes, and unlimited data and texting on an iPhone. A plan with similar options on Verizon and AT&T could easily cost $100+, so thank you so much for rewarding SERO customers for being loyal to Sprint over the years!

    Brandon

  259. Sung Says:

    Hi Russ,
    Thanks again for all your answers. With Sprint’s Network Visions deployment, do you know how long you will continue to support WiMax 4G devices, since starting next year Sprint will start rolling out LTE devices and services? If you stop supporting WiMax 4G devices and users still have them, will they remove the $10 premium data charge?

  260. Teddy Says:

    Hi Russ,

    As a long-time Sprint customer on the SERO plan, I appreciate you, as a high-level exec, for taking the time to have a candid conversation with us. Many people don’t like to hear the business realities of maintaining profitability and ensuring long-term growth (read: $50 iPhone plan), but it is a necessary reality.

    My question is actually about the upcoming LTE rollout:
    – When do plan to make LTE available to consumers?
    – And as far as you know, are you aware of any new LTE smartphones coming down the pipeline? Or even better yet, will Samsung release a LTE version of the Epic Touch 4G?

  261. Brian Says:

    Russ —

    If I have a phone on the old SERO plan (not SERO-P), will I be able to active the iPhone and upgrade to SERO-P using http://www.sprint.com/activate or will it require a phone call to customer service once I receive the iPhone on Friday?

  262. Russ Says:

    Thanks Teddy.

    LTE will be available to consumers when we release devices that support it, but we haven’t announced any LTE devices.

  263. Russ Says:

    Sung,

    As I understand it, we don’t have any plans for stopping WiMax service. Historically, we’ve provided years of notice to customers before we shut down network technologies and then work with those customers to migrate to the new technology. It will be a while before any of need to worry about WiMax going away.

    Thanks,

    Russ

  264. Danny Says:

    Hi Russ,

    I have the HTC Touch Pro 2 with “Everything Messaging 1500 Shared Anything Minutes Family plan” with free Sprint Unlimited Data Pack. I would like to upgrade to the iphone 4s. Will the iphone work with my plan? Do I just pay the additional $10 Data fee?

  265. lisa48314 Says:

    I’m on a SERO plan and would just like to know if I would still have my $8 month insurance plan if I went to Iphone 4gs ? Who would handle repairs,Sprint or Apple?Do they have a special insurance of there own.

  266. Sahil Says:

    Hi Russ,
    As a SERO user, I’d like to upgrade to the iPhone. I know that I cannot do this transaction in store, but can you please provide me the ideal department/contact that is on the same page as you? I want my account notated that I can at any time go back to my $30 SERO plan if I remove any offending devices on my line that require an upcharge.

    Also, when do you suggest that I upgrade my plan considering the iPhone is currently out of stock online? I’d rather not want to upgrade right now if I can’t get the phone for another month.

    Will there be some sort of accommodation for in store purchasers for SERO users if we visit a corporate store?

    Thanks in advance.

  267. Tommy Says:

    Hi Russ,
    I currently have the Blackberry plan for 59.99. My contract is up and if i upgrade my phone to the iphone would the plan be 59.99 plus the $10 fee? or would i need a completely new plan which would be 69.99 + 10=79.99.

    Thanks!

  268. Young Says:

    Hi, Russ:

    I have had SERO plan for 5 years, and currently I am thinking to get a new LG Marquee smartphone. I have the follwing quick questions for the upgrade:

    1. Do I have to upgrade my plan from SERO to SERO-P first before I order the phone?
    2. Which phone number should I call to purchase the phone for a SERO customer?
    3. Once I receive my phone, can I go to a corporate store to activate it? If not, how can I activate it?

    Thanks again for your time and help!

  269. Charles Mann Says:

    Hi Russ,

    There is a lot of negative buzz on Sprint’s apparent decision not to unlock the iPhone 4S for international users. Do you know why the iPhone 4S isn’t being treated like other Sprint world phones?

    http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2011/10/sprint-wont-sell-iphone-4s-with-unlocked-micro-sim-card-slot.ars

    Thanks for all of your help in answering questions and clarifying issues!

  270. Jim Says:

    Hi Russ,

    Thank YOU for taking the time out of your busy day to address my concern personally. I received a call and have spoken to another customer service representative who cared about my concern. I have renewed my contract with Sprint for another 2 years.

    Oh who am I kidding, for life!

    Most or a number of my previous concerns were handled via ‘Chat’, I’ve only needed to call a customer representative a ‘few’ times to escalate my query.

    The SERO Plan is hands down THE best post plan out on the market.

    Thank YOU again Russ!

    Sincerely,

    Jim

  271. Ed Says:

    Hey Russ,

    I’ve been on sprint for 4 years now..
    My Eligiblity Date for a new phone upgrade isn’t till 1/2/2012 and I really want a Iphone4s is there anything that can be done?? I’m suprised Sprint won’t offer early upgrades to existing /loyal customers.. Please advise..

    Thanks,
    Ed

  272. Peter Says:

    Hi Russ,

    Thank you for all the information that you have provided. I have been waiting for iPhone 5 to come out on Sprint. If iPhone 5 is a Sprint 4G device, does that mean that it would be $40+10 (Prem.) + 10 (4G service)?

  273. bnm Says:

    From what I’ve heard, the iPhone will be available to SERO customers. It will require upgrading to SERO Premium and paying the Premium Data fee, so yes, that is + $10 + $10.

    Russ, so is the extra $10 add on charge a requirement when upgrading to the SERO 500 Premium plan for all iPhone 4S upgrades?

  274. Russ Says:

    bnm – ummm…. yeah… what kind of exceptions were you thinking might exist?

  275. bnm Says:

    there was conflicting information floating around that said no extra $10 add on charge for existing SERO customers upgrading to Premium plans, so I didn’t know who to believe

  276. Russ Says:

    bnm – the only people who can upgrade to SERO Premium are existing SERO customers…

  277. bnm Says:

    yes I know that, I have SERO basic which needs to be upgraded to SERO Premium, the 500 Premium plan I will get but since you clarified that there will be the extra $100 add on charge, the plan will be $50 per month, will the features be the same or will there be changes to the Premium plan? thanks

  278. Vic Says:

    I knew lot people here asking about SERO.
    Do you have any update for old legacy F&C or F&F Plan ? Will it soon be able to get upgrade to premium Legacy ? Can you tell what will happened to the other people that remain in old legacy plan ?

  279. Russ Says:

    Vic – I haven’t heard any plans for changes to the legacy plans.

  280. Russ Says:

    bnm – the first $10 step up is for SERO Premium. I’m not aware of any change in features for that plan specific to the iPhone. The second $10 step up is for the premium data charge which applies to a small number of smartphones (including the iPhone models) and does not include any other features. I hope that provides the clarification you were looking for.

  281. Russ Says:

    Sorry for the delays in posting folks – I’ve been rather busy. Sorry to that I’m working backwards in time to clear out the queue so some of my responses will be quite separated from the original posts.

    Peter – there have been no announcements about any potential future iPhone models and certainly no information about plan pricing. Sorry.

  282. Russ Says:

    Ed – Sprint has not announced any early upgrade eligibility. Sorry.

  283. Russ Says:

    Charles – I’m not familiar with our international roaming plans for the iPhone and can’t comment on it. Sorry.

  284. Russ Says:

    Young – I’d recommend calling employee accounts at 888-876-8381. They should be able to help you order the phone and will know the right timing for upgrading to SERO Premium. I believe you’ll also need to call them when the phone arrives to activate it.

  285. Russ Says:

    Tommy – based on the number’s you’re using, I’m guessing you aren’t on a SERO plan, but instead are on Everything Messaging. I believe the iPhone requires at least Everything Data ($69) plus the $10 premium data fee.

  286. Russ Says:

    Sahil – I recommend calling 888-876-8381. Drop me an e-mail if you have any problems.

  287. Russ Says:

    Danny – I believe the iPhone is incompatible with the Everything Messaging plan and requires at least the Everything Data plan (plus the premium data fee).

  288. Russ Says:

    Brian – I believe it will require a call to customer care.

  289. Russ Says:

    Kamda – I hear you, but you are no longer on a SERO plan. The SERO program is closed and people can’t be added to it. I assume you’re now on an Everything Plus plan. You can move up and down within the Everything Plus family depending on your device and usage needs, just as those that are currently on SERO can move up and down within the SERO plans based on their device and usage needs. I know that doesn’t get you what you want, but hopefully you understand the distinctions.

  290. Russ Says:

    SERO-P – I’m trying to get you an answer on the Echo. You didn’t leave an e-mail, so I won’t be able to let you know if I find one. Drop me a note if you want me to let you know if I find one.

  291. Donna Says:

    Hi Russ: I have an old Free & Clear plan that pre-dates SERO (signed up in 2002) I have UNLIMITED DATA and have had smartphones the entire time I’ve been with Sprint. Currently I have the HTC Touch Pro 2.

    Sprint some how tries to tell me that I need to change my plan in order to get the iPhone but why would I pay an extra $10 or what the case is if I already have “UNLIMITED”

    WHY DO THEY TREAT LOYAL CUSTOMERS LIKE THIS?

    Can you help and tell me what I need to do? My phone is falling apart and I DO NOT WANT TO CHANGE MY PLAN.

  292. Russ Says:

    Donna – I appreciate your frustration, but the cost of serving customers has gone up significantly since 2002. Today’s smartphones are so much more capable than the ones back then that we never could’ve imagined the massive amounts of data that smartphone users would be pulling across our network, the strain it would put on the network, and the costs we’d incur in supporting that traffic load. Even the most basic Android phone entices users to do so much stuff with their phone that the usage we see is significantly higher than your Touch Pro 2. When you start looking at a high end device with an 8 megapixel camera, beautiful screen, superfast processor, app store with hundreds of thousands of apps to try out, etc., the amount of traffic we see is much much higher than what we see from the TP2. I’ve discussed this at length in other posts on this blog.

    Can you think of any other company that you do business with that continues to serve you today for the same price they charged you in 2002? Does it cost more to drive your car today than in 2002? Have restaurant and grocery prices gone up? What about postage? Internet service? Cable TV?

    I know it’s frustrating, but we can’t afford to serve customers at a loss forever – that is if we want to stay in business.

  293. DoTheMath Says:

    Thank you Russ for all the responses. In the end these sprint plans are still the best value. Even considering lower cost vendors, this is still the best!
    I’m just thankful the plan is still going. You will have a loyal customer for life!

    To anyone who does not see the math, please go ahead and compare.

    These are all comparing the CHEAPEST plans out there for Android/Windows phones for each carrier that are current:
    Sprint SERO Premium : $40/month (Unlimited Data/Unlimited Txt)
    T-Mobile: $55/month (ONLY 200MB of data/Only 300 text)
    Verizon: $75/month (2GB of data/Only 250 text)
    AT&T: $75/month (ONLY 200MB of data/Unlimited text)

    As you can see the Sprint SERO Premium is not only the cheapest, but also comes with unlimited data and text. It also comes with unlimited any mobile anytime, nights/weekends.

    And let’s say you just happen to be able to add an employee discount to T-mobile, Verizon, or AT&T. Discounts vary but I’ve seen it range from 10% to 25% which is valid only for the employee’s primary line and just for the minutes. This discount is not valid on data, but this might not be true for all carriers. Even IF you somehow had a 25% discount on t-mobile(for the minutes plan portion only), the absolute best case scenario you would still only be at $40 *.75 + $10 + $5 = $45(and that is with only 200MB of data and 300 text).

    Next, let’s compare the cheapest iphone 4/4S plan:
    Sprint SERO: $50/month (unlimited data/unlimited text)
    Verizon: $75/month (2GB of data/only 250 text)
    AT&T: $75/month (only 200mb of data/unlimited text)

    Once again, no contest. Sprint SERO is still the clear winner.

    Let’s take it a step further. Let’s compare Sprint SERO to prepaid carriers.

    Virgin Mobile $35/month (2GB of data and throttled to 256 Kbps after/unlimited text)
    metroPCS $40/month (unlimited data/web)

    These sound great, but what’s the catch?
    – metroPCS only has full coverage(talk,txt,web) in small portions(so cal, nor cal, vegas, part of texas, florida, tri-state, georgia, and some other areas). outside of that the coverage is spotty for data.
    – metroPCS sells the phones at a higher price. Their Android phones are $80 to $350 after a mail-in rebate. These phones are older technology as their flagship phone for $350 has a 1GHZ processor. It’s fine, but a 1GHZ phone can be had on Sprint SERO for $99 (LG Marquee). Some metroPCS phones are 4G, but again that depends on the limited coverage they have.

    – virgin mobile throttles the speed after 2GB of data. that’s fine for most users, but at $35 it only includes 300 anytime minutes. no weekend, no mobile to mobile. that is 10 minutes/day flat. plus the phones are not cheap. their top of the line motorola triumph is $299 which is 1GHZ as well. their cheapest android is the samsung intercept for $99, but it’s pretty slow.

    C’mon!! To everyone who is complaining, are you guys seriously not seeing this? Even if you don’t see it, go ahead and switch your carrier. It’s that simple. No one is forcing you to buy your next phone on Sprint.

    Here’s an analogy. Considering gas is around $4/gallon currently and somehow you were “grandfathered” in to get gas for $3/gallon, but they raised your rate to $3.50/gallon, are you still going to complain about it?

  294. Joanna Says:

    Hi Russ:

    I have the old $30 Free & Clear plan SERO for more than 12 years now. I finally decided to upgrade my TP2 to iphone 4S. I called the sprint customer services and even the retention department for upgrade the plan from SERO Basic to SERO Premium in order to get the iphone 4S in store. I was so disappointed that the reps on both lines had no clue what SERO Premium plan was no matter how I explained to them. They kept on telling me the SERO Premium did not exist in the system and I had to pay $69 monthly fee if I wanted to get iphone 4S!

    This is very frustrating!

    Can you please let me know how I can change my plan to SERO Premium? I also want to have a note in my account stating that I can goes back to SERO Basic if I want. Thank you for your help.

  295. AzTony Says:

    Russ,

    When is Sprint going to offer more Windows Phones? Really, one choice just doesn’t cut it. Seems like Sprint isn’t working as hard to sell or push Microsoft products like they do Android and now Apple. I know it’s probably a waste of time to ask since you won’t be able to make any educated guesses before Sprint makes an official announcement but I just had to ask. I’ve been out of contract since Feb. waiting for you guys to get more WP choices. I’m hoping after Nokia announces their WP models, that Sprint will be offering them.

    Thanks again for all that you do that you really don’t have too.

    AzTony.

  296. Russ Says:

    Joanna – email me your account info at russ.s.mcguire@sprint.com and I’ll see if I can get you some help.

  297. Russ Says:

    AzTony – For a carrier like Sprint, we have to make decisions about which devices to carry. It probably isn’t obvious, but each device in our portfolio carries significant costs. We invest a lot of time working with the phone manufacturer in bringing the device to market – and time is money. We also need to train sales reps and care reps on each new device, which is a big investment. As I think you know, Sprint is unique in offering a ReadyNow experience when customers buy a new device, so the customer walks out of the store with their device fully configured and knowledgeable of how to use all the features, so each new device really is a big deal. We also need to invest in marketing, from the description of the device on the website, to the packaging of the box, to any signs in the store and any ads we may run. We also typically invest to port applications like Sprint Navigation and NASCAR to each device. We also have to make a bet on how much we will sell and order that much inventory. The phone manufacturer will typically require us to buy a minimum amount so that they make sure they make money setting up their factory to produce a device for Sprint. Each device also takes up space in our store, so we have to make sure that the device we’re putting on the shelf will sell more than the device we’re deciding NOT to put there. We also need to manage the portfolio to cover the needs of everyone in our target market, from low end talk only phones, to mid-range talk and text, to high end smartphones. Since we want to keep our entire portfolio relatively small because of all the above costs, that means we can only afford to have a small number of devices in each category.

    I think you get the idea. To the extent we can largely standardize on an operating system, like Android, we can reduce some of these expenses when we bring out a new device in that OS – less training, etc. and we can create differentiation, such as with Sprint ID.

    Microsoft has stumbled so badly over the past few years that we’ve seen customer interest in their devices take a real nosedive, making it hard for us to justify having many of their phones in our portfolio. We know we have to keep at least one because there are business customers that require it, otherwise we might have left the platform entirely. Maybe their new devices will change that, but until we see a strong uptick in demand I wouldn’t count on seeing many Windows phones in our portfolio.

    I used to be a real Windows Mobile loyalist. When I arrived at Sprint in 2003, we didn’t have any real Windows phones, and it was painful for me to transition to Palm. As soon as we came out with decent Windows Mobile devices, I switched back and went through three generations of Windows Mobile phones on Sprint. I decided to try the Palm Pre, and then Android, and to be honest, I can’t see myself ever going back. Who knows what the future will bring, but Microsoft clearly has a lot of ground to cover if they’re ever going to be back in the front of the pack.

  298. Ravi Says:

    DoTheMath,

    Great analysis. I couldn’t agree with you more. People who are complaining about $50 monthly service fees should consider the other options available in today’s market.

    Thanks Ross for taking time to answer questions with detailed answers.

    -Ravi

  299. Joanna Says:

    Russ:

    Thanks for your quick response.

    I finally talked to One Reps from Sprint who knew what was going on earlier this morning before I read your response. He was able to upgrade my plan from SERO Basic to SERO 500 Premium and was told that the Sprint Employee should be able to view my plan right away after he upgraded my plan. What a journey to upgrade the plan itself.

    However, after waiting in the line at Sprint store for 1.5 hour, I was told by the Sprint Employee at the Store that he could not sell Iphone 4S to me since the employees at the store were told not to sell the Iphone 4S to anyone who had SERO plan. Oh well, I will go ahead to order an iphone on sprint.com (have to wait for the two week delivery time though).

    Getting an iphone from Sprint is just so difficult and I feels like Sprint does not want the business.

  300. Russ Says:

    Joanna,

    I asked the folks in our SERO group and this is what they said about getting the iPhone in a Sprint store:

    SERO/E+ customers should be upgrading in a Corporate Sprint Store. The problem is that unless the customer is educated by an agent or looks it up on .com prior to visiting the store they don’t know corporate vs. non-corporate. To them it says Sprint on the sign, it’s a Sprint Store.

    To locate a Sprint Store near you visit http://www.sprint.com and click on Find a Store at the top of the screen. Once you search for your local area the store title will read simply Sprint Store for a corporate stores. If the store is not a corporate store it will say Sprint Store by Wireless Lifestyle or something similar.

  301. Redheaded Stepchild Says:

    Russ, I’m sure I already know the answer to this, but I figured I’d ask anyway. I have the $30 SERO plan…and still with a 27% corporate discount (one reason I’m afraid to upgrade, heheh). I take it I’ll lose that discount upgrading to the $40 or $50 even via the retentions department, correct?

  302. Russ Says:

    Redhead – from everything I’ve been told, you’re correct.

  303. Samir Says:

    I have the $30 SERO plan, When I pre-ordered the phone I was told that I would have to go to the SERO $40 + $10 data fee. I pre-ordered my iPhone and have it in my hand. I tried to activate on the web and the new plan was not available. I called 5 reps and NONE of them were able to help me and instead I’m being told that because it’s a smart phone I have to go to a regular plan for $69.99. What a PAIN

    How can this be fixed because I’m really mad at the moment.

  304. David Says:

    Russ,
    I have SERO $30 with 3 lines on one account. I ordered 1 Iphone 4S for the first line and have a few questions:
    1. I assume the first line will now be billed $50 for SERO Premium but the other 2 lines would remain $30 unless I upgrade each of them, correct?
    2. When I do upgrade the second or third line, how would it work since I just signed on a new 2 yrs contract from the first line in the same account? Must I upgrade all 3 phones now at the same time?
    3. I can’t activate my new Iphone 4S online as it wants me to change the plan. I tried calling 888-876-8381 but noone answers. Is there an alternate number?

  305. Samir Says:

    Finally… found a rep who could help me. Even she tried to upgrade me to the individual $69.99 plan and it wasn’t until I told her about your blog that she upgraded me to the SERO premium plan.

    Thanks.

  306. Brian Says:

    Russ, you and your team did a great job on handling SERO customers who upgraded to the iPhone. I had *no* issues with upgrading mine via the 800 number.

    Keeping the loyalty of your long term SERO customers by offering the reasonable upgrade path to iPhone is a good move. Thanks for your internal lobbying for SERO customers!

  307. Russ Says:

    Samir – I’m glad you were able to get it upgraded and activated.
    David – as I understand it, each line is on it’s own, with it’s own 2 year clock. I’ll check and let you know if I hear differently.
    Thanks Brian.

    Russ

  308. May Says:

    Hi Russ,
    I am on the wait list for the iPhone 4s at the Sprint store in Columbus. They say when the shipment is in today, they will give me a call.

    I have $30/month SERO plan right now.

    My question is, if the store does not know about SERO plan, do I have an option of calling in to activate instead using the 1888-876-8381 number? My reading your blog, I understand I can upgrade to SERO Prem +10 = $50/month.

    If I can call in to activate, will the store let me use the upgrade credit of $150 toward the iPhone 4s?

    Thank you for your dedication to this blog. Awesome customer service :)
    May

  309. Michael Says:

    I was told several times I could in fact upgrade to the SERO Premium plan ($10+$10) and purchase the iPhone. I pulled the trigger and ordered the 64 GB version. Received it Friday and can not find anyone to upgrade me to this plan. Several reps and supervisors have said I must purchase the $59.99 plan. I waited a long time to get rid of this HTC Touch2 phone and when the iphone rumors became more of a reality I waited even longer, but i’m not going to pay $30 more a month and not be able to switch back to the SERO plan.

  310. Luis Says:

    Mr. McGuire,
    When I tried to order the iPhone 4S (I have SERO basic at the moment), it warned me about a $36 activation fee. I didn’t get charged this on my other SERO account earlier this year and I thought no activation fee was a specific perk of the plan.
    Is this valid… will I get charged the $36? Is this new?

    Thanks,
    Luis

  311. Russ Says:

    Luis – the activation fee didn’t use to apply to employee accounts (including SERO) but now it does.

  312. Mike Says:

    Hello Mr. McGuire,
    Thanks for your helpful guidelines over here, I just wanted to drop a message over here that I had an extremely wonderful ordering experience with Sprint. I just upgraded to Sprint SERO-P (actually yesterday morning) with iPhone 4s. The thing that surprises me is the last message on this blog about the activation charges. I got confirmation that there won’t be any activation charges from both the representatives. My online order also does not show the activation charges. If the change has been made now then I hope i wouldn’t be charged this.

  313. David Says:

    Russ,
    Can I upgrade the phone on 1 account but activate the phone on another account? My Sero account does not qualify for upgrade until March next year. My father’s Sero is due for upgrade.
    Question:
    1. Can I oder the Iphone 4S for upgrade on my father’s account but then will activate on my account?
    2. What would happen to his account and my account? I assume my account will be upgraded to Sero Premium $50 but his account will remain $30 since he never changed his phone?
    3. Will my account be eligible for upgrade again in March for Iphone 5 since I would be signed up for 2 years contract with the Iphone 4S now? I assume my father’s account can’t because he already used up the upgrade now?

  314. Chris Says:

    Hi Russ,
    I just wanted to thank you for all the great information you have provided. I was wondering if you could shed some light on something. I have spoken to employee care 2 times in the past week and both times they told me I could buy the iphone 4s at an apple store and then call and have it activated (and since I really want to buy at an apple store given the amount of gift cards I have for apple).

    I went down to the store on Friday and after 2 hours w/ their rep/manager/and the one Sprint rep I left empty handed and was told there was no way I could buy the phone at an Apple Store. If I had been told this when I contacted EC I would have just pre-ordered the phone.

    My question for you is this going to change anytime soon? Is there any way to actually purchase the phone through Apple? I have waited 2 years to upgrade (eligible since 8/1/09) and if it wont ever be possible to order through Apple I will just go ahead and go through Sprint. I changed my plan this past week from SERO 1250 to SERO-P 500 in preparation of the new phone. Thanks for any help you can provide.

  315. Terry Says:

    Hi Russ,
    I have been a $30 SERO 500 customer for several years, and wanted to upgrade to a LG Marquee (3G smartphone) because I was under the impression that I would only need to upgrade to the $40 SERO-P plan with no other addons. However, after talking with two different representatives using the employee number on Saturday, I was told that I would still need the additional $10 (for a total of $50 a month), even though the phone I want is not a 4G phone. They both told me that this policy has been in place since the beginning of the year, and ANY new “smartphone” would cost $50.

    Do you know if this is a recent change? I would really like to upgrade to an Android smartphone, but not for $50 a month. Thanks!

  316. Russ Says:

    Jerry – sorry for the delayed response. Upgrading from SERO to SERO-P shouldn’t remove any of your perks. It will eliminate any discounts (e.g. employer discounts) or credits.

  317. Russ Says:

    Lisa – sorry for the delayed response. Sprint’s equipment protection plan isn’t available for the iPhone. Instead you need Apple Care+, which is service provided by Apple, not Sprint. It’s $99 for two years and must be purchased at the same time as the phone.

  318. Russ Says:

    Robert – sorry for the delayed response. Telesales is the best place to order the phone (888-882-4030) and then you’d call Care (888-876-8381) to activate it.

  319. Russ Says:

    Brian – sorry for the delayed response. You need to call Care to activate it. The online tool doesn’t recognize the SERO plans as they are no longer available to new customers.

  320. Lawrene Says:

    I have the $30 sero plan. May I purchase the Iphone 4s in a Apple Store and upgrade to the 30+10+10 plan in the Store?

  321. Manny Says:

    I just wanted to say that I was glad that I waited to upgrade my phone.
    I ordered the iPhone 4S Friday night and it arrived Monday at noon.
    Call the 888 Care number above and had everything set to go in a matter of minutes.

  322. Russ Says:

    Lawrene – No. The Apple Store folks will have no idea what you’re talking about and you’ll be forced off of SERO. Even in Sprint owned stores, the experience seems spotty. The most reliable approach has been to order the phone and then call care to activate it. See my response above at 2:07pm yesterday for details.

  323. Luis Says:

    Mr. McGuire,
    So, does this mean that SERO customers will be charged for activating used phones as well? Or only if you go through the upgrade process?

  324. Chatecino Says:

    Hello Russ, has the SERO-P plan been discontinued? A rep told me it isn’t vailable because it was pulled on the 2cd of October. Is this true?

  325. Russ Says:

    Chatecino – no. SERO-P is only available to current SERO customers and doesn’t show up as an option for most Sprint reps, but it’s still an option for SERO customers, especially in Employee Care.

  326. Vic Says:

    Russ,

    Would sprint consider to convert Legacy F&C or F&F to be the same as Sero-P ? I think most of us on legacy plan would love to get in the same boat with SERO-P. I’m currently on F&C 750 for $40 and don’t mind to move to $50 SERO-P. Will you be able to help ?

  327. Chatecino Says:

    Thanks, I appreciate the quick response. Is it possible to convert an individual EPRP plan into a SERO-P plan?

  328. mike Says:

    Hi Russ,

    Is it possible to add another line to the Sero Premium plan once I upgrade to a 4S? I currently only have one line on a sero basic plan.

    Thanks!

    mike

  329. Russ Says:

    Mike – no. No additional lines can be added to the SERO plan.

  330. Russ Says:

    Chatecino – no. The SERO program is closed. The Everything Plus program replaced the SERO program.

  331. Russ Says:

    Vic – Sorry, but I’m not aware of any plans to do so.

  332. Russ Says:

    Luis – yes.

  333. Russ Says:

    Terry – you should be able to activate the phone without the $10 Premium Data fee. E-mail me if you continue to have trouble.

  334. Russ Says:

    Chris – sorry for the delayed response. Unfortunately, Apple stores aren’t aware of the SERO plans and likely never will be. Since I don’t think Apple will let you leave the store with an unactivated phone, it looks like you won’t be able to use your gift cards for an iPhone on your SERO plan.

  335. Russ Says:

    David – sorry for the delayed response. Here are the answers I got back for you:
    1. Yes
    2. Correct
    3. Correct

  336. Russ Says:

    May – sorry for the delayed response.

    You must activate in the store to receive the rebate. If it’s a Sprint corporate store, they should know about SERO. If not, send me an e-mail and I’ll make sure they get educated.

  337. Russ Says:

    Michael – sorry for the delayed response. Email me if you’re still having trouble.

  338. Jake Says:

    Hey Russ,

    I am a long time sprint/SERO customer (along with my wife) and Im running into the same issues with telesales (888-882-4030) as a number of other people are. They just dont seem to know that SERO customers are able to upgrade to Premium with the 30-10-10 deal. This is quite frustrating. I emailed you my information so hopefully i will hear back from you soon.
    Thanks for the help. This blog is wonderful!

    Jake

  339. Russ Says:

    Jake – here’s what I received back from the SERO folks:
    “Understand his frustration, but it really doesn’t matter for upgrades what the tele rep says or does or does not know, that why it’s kind of a fool proof channel for upgraders. Tele ships the upgrade cold and doesn’t make any changes to the rate plan. The customer must call in to Employee Care to activate and make needed plan changes, and they are very good as they specialize in these customers.”

  340. MikeW Says:

    Will the Motorola Admiral that was announced today be compatible with SERO premium?

  341. David Says:

    Russ,
    Just want to say thank you for all the help. I activated my 2 new Iphone 4S very quickly, without hassles. Could not have been easier. The “Care” number that you provided is awesome. Those reps do know about the SERO plan and I didn’t have to explain much. Literally done in 3 minutes.

  342. Harpreet Says:

    Russ, Please help me to under stand. I open 2 separate Sero account in 2006 (Add line was not possible on Sero 500). Now my account show F&F plan. I am told I will OK to upgrade to Sero Premium. But my question is can Is it possible that I upgrade only one line to Sero P ( Without any discount 30+10 for 3G phone) and leave other line under F&F with discount to update later.
    Thanks.

  343. Russ Says:

    Harpreet, As you noted, they are two separate accounts. What you do on one line/account won’t impact the other one.

  344. Russ Says:

    MikeW – yes.

  345. Alex Says:

    Hi Russ,

    I really appreciate your time answering Sprint customers’ questions. This site has been very informative. I have a question too, is mobile hotspot add-on for iPhone 4S available for SERO Premium?

  346. Russ Says:

    Hi Russ:

    I just called the number you posted on 10/17 to try to get a 3rd line or see if they would allow me to change to the SERO Premium from the Free & Clear to get the IPhone. NO DICE. What happens when the HTC Pro 2 is obsolete and we can no longer get that phone. Is it then, that Sprint will finally allow us to get the iPhone?

  347. Russ Says:

    Alex – yes, I believe it is available for the normal price.

  348. Russ Says:

    Russ – you can get the iPhone now, it just requires switching to a compatible plan (such as Everything Data).

  349. Samir Says:

    Russ

    I had two questions. Is there a particular number 800 number for SERO plans – where the reps know about the plans. The second question is, I have been on the SERO plan for years and just upgrade to the SERO premium ($40 +$10 data), when I upgraded there was a $36 activation fee – I was under the impression if I chose a new phone there would be no activation fee. Your thoughts?

  350. Russ Says:

    Samir:
    1. See http://mcguireslaw.com/2011/01/18/sero-premium-and-premium-data/#comment-6736
    2. See http://mcguireslaw.com/2011/01/18/sero-premium-and-premium-data/#comment-6716

  351. sarah Says:

    Hi Russ,
    Thanks for all of your help. I am a current Sero Premium customer, but I am not eligible for an upgrade until April and that’s only 1 year of my 2 year agreement.

    My boyfriend has offered to buy me an Iphone 4s for Christmas. Two questions: how should he purchase it? He’s not a Sprint customer and I know he can’t buy it at the Apple store. And, what will happen when I do get it? Will I be able to easily swap out the Android on my existing plan or will there be fees/penalties? Finally, how should I activate it?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  352. Russ Says:

    sarah – that’s a tough one, but I think there might be a way to do it, but I’m not sure your boyfriend will be open to it. Your boyfriend could sign up for a new line of service with Sprint (make sure he uses the Everything Plus referral) and get an iPhone with it. You and he then swap phones – activate the new iPhone on your line and activate your old phone on his line. He then lives with your old phone until your next upgrade is available – then he gets your upgrade. Other than that, I don’t have any good ideas for you.

  353. RJ Says:

    Hi Russ,

    I am currently a sero-p customer using an Kyocera Echo phone and I am paying $40 monthly. I would like to upgrade to a new iPhone 4S but I am not eligible for the upgrade until next October. If I decide I want to upgrade anyway, am I right that I can pay the retail price for an iPhone 4S? Should I call Telesales to get the phone? Am I right also that if I do it this way, I won’t have to sign up for another 2-year contract; that is, my contract will not change. Once I get the phone, do I call 888-876-8381 to activate it? Will I have to pay an activation fee?

  354. Russ Says:

    RJ – answers to your questions:
    – yes
    – yes
    – correct
    – yes
    – yes

  355. Samir Says:

    Thanks Russ – this information is awesome. Part of the SERO premium plan is Sprint GPS. How does this work with the iphone

  356. Conner Says:

    Hi Russ,

    I am interested in getting SERO at this point as of 10/24/11. I am with a discounted job for Sprint but is there anyway I can get SERO from that and the Iphone for $50 a month? Also, how much is tax monthly?

  357. Dustin Says:

    Russ,
    I have made the mistake of switching from Sprint to Verizon. I needed the Iphone for my job because of the buil-in cisco VPN client. I since regret my decision to leave sprint and the great customer service that I have recieved from your company. I will be switching back as soon as I can, with all of my 5 lines. I will take a look into the SERO plan when I switch back as well. Thanks for all the info that you have posted about the plans.

    Would you be able to recommend any ways to switch back with incurring minor finacial burden from leaving my carrier?

  358. newbie Says:

    Hi Russ, do you know if the Kyocera Echo requires SERO Premium + PD ($40 + $10) or just SEROP, since it doesn’t have 4G?

  359. Russ Says:

    Samir – Sprint Navigation hasn’t been ported to the iPhone, but there are other navigation maps (e.g. Google Maps) that are available.

  360. Russ Says:

    Connor – I’m getting tired of answering this one (e.g. http://mcguireslaw.com/2011/01/18/sero-premium-and-premium-data/#comment-6757). The SERO program is closed. No new lines are being added to SERO.

  361. Russ Says:

    newbie – just SERO-P.

  362. Russ Says:

    Dustin – we welcome you back. Unfortunately, I don’t have any advice on the early termination fees.

  363. newbie Says:

    thanks, Russ. funny thing is i just noticed how the user a few comments above already has it on SERO-P. keep up the great Customer Service!

  364. Dor Says:

    Hi Russ,
    I want to echo the thanks many others have already expressed. If it weren’t for this website I may have left Sprint yesterday without an iphone 4S in my hands, completely frustrated and ready to give up. I was on the waiting list and got called in to pick up the iPhone yesterday. I asked the sales rep if I should upgrade to Sero-P over the phone first, but she said I could do it in store. I called the Sero Care at 1-888-876-8381 anyway just because I had read that was the best way to do it, but the guy on the phone also told me it would be easier to just do it in store.

    So, I went to the store. I ended up staying there for an hour, after the store had already closed, because the guy there didn’t know anything about Sero-P. When he called his customer support they told him the plan had ended and it would be $60/mo. Luckily I called Sero Care on my phone and a wonderful woman named Lacey was my lifesaver. She stayed on the phone with us for almost an hour. The in-store rep kept calling his own customer support line, getting disconnected, being told they either couldn’t upgrade to Sero-P or it would be $60/mo. Lacey was my advocate, spoke with him and told him he was getting incorrect info, and finally made it happen. She even stayed on the phone after the plan was changed, just to make sure it would get activated–thankfully, because as they tried to ring up the phone, it said the Sero-P plan was not compatible with the iphone. Again the in-store rep tried to say there was nothing they could do, but Lacey had them call their supervisor to override it, they ended up having to ring it up under a different plan and then she switched it back on her system.

    It was a headache, but thanks to your wonderful Sero customer service agent Lacey (if I can give her gold stars and a raise, I would!), I did end up coming home with the iPhone! If I hadn’t been reading this blog, I wouldn’t have been able to advocate for myself either, so I definitely appreciate it. Thanks again.

  365. Jeanne Says:

    Hi Dor,

    I went to sprint store yesterday and tried to upgrade to the sero-p plan with the iphone purchase but i wasn’t as lucky as you were. I ended up with exactly same reason why they couldn’t upgrade the sero plan for me.
    Would you mind sharing the sero-care phone number with me?
    It’s so frustrating to wait a long time and ended up with nothing.
    Thanks so much!

  366. Russ Says:

    Jeanne – 888-876-8381
    Can you e-mail me (russ.s.mcguire@sprint.com) which store you were at, and if you remember, the name of the sales person helping you, we’d like to coach them on how to handle SERO upgrades. (Dor – if you can do the same, it would be great.)

  367. Angela Says:

    Victoria on the telesales line was helpful and wonderful! I can’t wait to get my iphone. Thanks for your help, Russ.

  368. BeeGee Says:

    Russ – The Motorola Admiral – would be $30 + 10 (Sero Premium) not 30 + 10 +10 right? Thanks for all your help on here.

  369. GregL Says:

    Hi Russ,

    I have a question I hope you can answer, with the clarity of your other answers. :)

    I’m a current SERO Premium customer who has a phone upgrade credit. My wife has a separate Sprint account # and would like to upgrade to an iPhone from her aging HTC Hero but does not have a full phone upgrade credit. I’d like to use my credit to buy an iPhone 4S and have her activate it on her account. (Then when she is due for an upgrade in 6 months or so, I could use her upgrade).

    I chatted with a Sprint Rep today via e-chat and was told that Sprint does not allow the iPhone (specifically) to be purchased from one account and then activated on another. I find this strange since activating a phone shouldn’t be phone dependent. I don’t see the difference between an iPhone and a smartphone purchased outside of Sprint.

    I have read reports on Spring Forums from users who have been able to purchase from one account and activate on another so I’m not sure what to believe now. And it’s a risk I hate to make based on poor advice.

    I have received questionable information from Sprint Reps in the past, and I know that the iPhone is so new right now that many Reps are giving out bad info. I hoped you could shed some light on my question and get to the bottom of the true answer.

    Thank you very much Russ, I always appreciate your transparency and help here.

    (There is another whole topic of how my wife feels wronged by Sprint when Sprint discountinued the Premier program and she lost her 1 year phone upgrades. She purchased her HTC Hero thinking she’d be able to upgrade in a year since her plan is $69 + $10, but then Sprint changed everything on her.)

  370. Russ Says:

    GregL – the chat rep gave you bad information. You can use your upgrade credit to get the iPhone 4S and activate it on your wife’s line, and then use her credit to get an upgrade when it’s ready and activate it on your line.

  371. Russ Says:

    BeeGee – correct $30 + $10.

  372. Mike Says:

    Russ – Thanks for all of your work and advice. Activated Evo Design 4G on Sero P last week by calling number you listed. Incredibly easy, no problems!

  373. Ben Says:

    Russ – First off thanks for the site and the advice. I appreciate the clear answers where reps are often confused! Quick question: is it possible to activate the Motorola Triumph on a Sero Premium account? I know *some* sprint phones can be activated on boost, etc…. just wondering if it works the other way around? Thanks.

  374. Russ Says:

    Ben – as far as I know, Sprint branded phones can’t be activated on Boost and vice versa. Maybe in the past some Nextel branded phones could be activated on Boost, but I don’t think it’s possible now.

  375. GregL Says:

    Thank you very much Russ! My wife thanks you too! :)

  376. Steve M Says:

    Thank you Russ!

    I have upgraded to Sero-P. It looks like unlimited incoming minutes cannot be carried over to Premium, but everything else was.

    I appreciate this site, and the excellent customer service I received after posting here. I wish there more people like you out there in corporate America.

  377. Joseph Says:

    Russ,

    I am currently on the SERO Basic plan, and would like to upgrade to SERO Premium with the LG Marquee (I think this plan would be $30 + $10). However, when I try to purchase the phone online, I am unable to do so with applying my upgrade discount or the instant discount – once in my “shopping cart” the phone price defaults to full retail. Must I call telesales (or somewhere else) to purchase a phone for the SERO plan? I don’t remember this being the case with my previous upgrades, but those were all on the basic plan.

  378. Misty Richards Says:

    Russ,
    I am a current Sero account and the Sero customer service told me it would be the $30+10+10 to activate my new phone even though my iphone 4 is not 4g. I thought it would only be the $30+$10?

  379. Russ Says:

    Misty – the iPhone and 4G phones require the extra $10 premium data. It’s been discussed a lot in this thread.

  380. Russ Says:

    Joseph – it would be best to call telesales. It sounds like the system doesn’t think you’re upgrade eligible. Telesales: 888-882-4030

  381. rod Says:

    Just ordered the motorola admiral on my $40 Sero Premium account and was told that I would have to upgrade to Sero $50 plan..
    Is this right?

  382. Russ Says:

    Rod – the answer is no. All the Telesales reps aren’t fully up to speed on SERO plans, so at times, they give wrong answers. When you get the phone, contact SERO care to activate the phone on $40 SERO Premium.

  383. Jennifer Says:

    Hi Russ,

    Thanks for this blog! I know you’ve repeated that the $10 Premium Data add-on charge is NOT necessarily for 4G phones, and you’ve named specifically the Evo, the Epic, and the iPhone as the ones that will require the extra $10 fee, in addition to the upgrade to Sero Premium ($30 + $10 + $10). I wanted to clarify that the 3G smartphones (e.g. LG Optimus S, LG Marquee, Samsung Transform, Blackberry Torch) will require only the upgrade to Sero Premium ($30 + $10).

    Now what about these other 4G phones that are not the Evo, Epic, or iPhone? Specifically, I am asking if the Nexus S 4G from Google, the Motorola Photon 4G, and the Samsung Conquer 4G will require the $10 Premium Data add-on charge, in addition to the upgrade to Sero Premium ($30 + $10 + $10). So far, you have only named the Evo, Epic, and iPhone as the ones that will require the extra data fee, but I wanted to double check about these ones I listed, since they are 4G phones, as well.

    Thanks for your help!

    Sincerely, Jennifer

  384. Russ Says:

    Jennifer,

    When I specifically said the Evo and Epic, those were the only 2 4G handsets. The premium data fee for SERO (the extra $10 above SERO-P) currently applies to all 4G handsets and the iPhone.

    Russ

  385. mbc Says:

    Thanks for the PM, Russ.

    8-) mbc

  386. Holly Says:

    Russ,

    I’ve read this entire thread and so hope I don’t ask any previously answered questions. Also, thank you for your patience and determination to give all us readers good and up-to-date information with the exciting addition of the iPhone on Sprint.

    I have 2 questions: 1) is about the possibility of returning to my current plan (SERO 500 + TEP on a Palm smartphone) if something goes wrong after upgrade to the iPhone 4S + Apple Care and (like – phone breaks, or I just don’t like the iPhone). I have a newish Palm phone (due to an easy replacement with TEP) but have been eligible for upgrade since 2008.

    As you have mentioned to others in this forum, it is possible to “downgrade” back to SERO Basic if the SERO-P + data (30+10+10) doesn’t work out — for whatever reason. If this happened I would presumably re-activate my Palm phone and call Care to reinstate my SERO 500. Would I be able to get my TEP back as well (it’s been an extra $7-8 since 2007)? I understand TEP doesn’t work with the iPhone, but would I need to keep it (unused) in order to retain the possibility of Equipment Protection if I ever downgraded back to SERO basic or would I lose it? (TEP has been very helpful since 2007 keeping me with a working smartphone in my hand at all times). (Being a Mac person I already know the benefits of Apple Care so I will definitely get that with the iPhone 4S).

    2)Will I lose my existing perks of nights and weekends starting at 7pm when I upgrade to SERO-P+$10 for the iPhone?

    Thanks in advance,
    Holly

  387. Mark Says:

    Russ,

    As always, thanks for your help. You deserve a medal. Very much appreciated!

    – Mark

  388. Owen Says:

    I just want to say thank you for your assitance Russ. I am now squared away because of your help. If it weren’t for you Sprint would have been out of a few more customers. You are an asset to the company and I appreciate you taking the time out of your (I’m sure) busy day to help some frustrated customers out.

  389. Russ Says:

    Holly – thanks for asking. That is a new question and it took me some time to get the answer.

    1. If you have a Palm Treo, you can return to the SERO Basic and get TEP back. If you have a WebOS Palm (e.g. the Pre or the Pixi), you would still need SERO Premium, but not the additonal $10 premium data fee and you could get TEP back.

    2. No, you shouldn’t lose your nights and weekends perk.

    Russ

  390. Jason Says:

    Russ – Wow. This is exactly what I’ve been hoping for with the SERO plan. Thank you for offering the assistance you have on this blog.

    I have a SERO traditional $30 plan for both myself and my wife. Palm Centro for her and Mogul for me. My Mogul has served me well even though I got a look from a store rep similar to what I’d expect if I was showing a kid an 8 track player for the very first time when I went to try to get a replacement battery. Anyhow, TEP managed to replace a unit that no longer functions. The problem now is that the browser is no longer supported on many of the websites that I use with this device. Without bumping into my upgrade credit or triggering another 2 year commitment, are there any replacement options on this plan for phones with browsers that reach obsolesence? Thank you.

  391. Russ Says:

    Jason, I really don’t know. There’s a faq at sprint.com/everythingplus that describes which devices require an upgrade to SERO Premium. I can’t really evaluate browsers for you.

  392. sat Says:

    Hey Russ,

    Thank you so much for all your help. I was on regular SERO, and switch to SERO -P two months ago. I am eligible for 150 credit from sprint. IF i upgrade my phone to iphone it will be 30+10+10? or 59.99 ?

    Please help.

  393. Russ Says:

    sat – if you’re on $40 SERO-P, then iPhone is $50.

  394. David Says:

    Hi Russ,

    I have SERO basic $30/month. I’ve had a chat w/ an Employee Account chat specialist. I asked which Android phones does not required $10 premium data pack but was told all Android phone require SERO Premium + Premium data pack for total $50/month. I’m so confused since I knew from your blog that 3G smart phones, except iphones, do not require $10 data pack.

    Thanks.

    David

  395. Russ Says:

    David – I’m not sure there is such a thing as an employee account chat specialist, and the one you chatted with clearly had bad information. You’re best off calling the employee care number.

  396. Dimitri Says:

    Hi Russ,

    Thanks for all the help you have been providing.

    I have a SERO 500 plan that is designated in Sprint’s system as Fair and Flexible 500. I spoke to Sprint Employee Services and they stated that they couldn’t upgrade me to SERO Premium, because my account is not a SERO account. I explained that it is a SERO account (I signed up in 2006 under SERO and never changed anything on my account since), but they were unconvinced and/or were unable to change me to SERO Premium.

    I see from other posts that the question “How to convert from a non-designated SERO plan to a SERO Premium plan?” has been asked before, but it seems without resolution.

    Any developments on this? Any suggestions on how to accomplish this? A specific phone number(s) to call or person to talk to.

    Thanks in advance!

    Dimitri

  397. Russ Says:

    Dimitri – see http://mcguireslaw.com/2010/11/09/finally-a-solution/

  398. Dimitri Says:

    Hi Russ,

    Thanks for the quick response! I just sent the email as instructed.

    Hopefully I will have a success story to report back shortly.

    Again, thanks for all the work you are doing here.

    Dimitri

  399. sunny Says:

    Hi Russ,
    I’ve tried to read all post before asking but didnt find anything (or maybe i missed it). I am on the old sero 500 plan for $30 dollars. I called up telesales and they told me I am not eligible for the iphone until Feb 2012 which requires me to upgrade to sprint premium at 40 dollars plus 10 dollars. on top of that, i will have to renew my contract for 2 years. i then asked her if somehow i was unhappy with the iphone and want to switch back to my htc pro2, can i downgrade my plan back to the 30 dollar plan and she said no. she said i would be able to downgrade to the sprint premium at 40 dollars but not at 30 dollars since its a new contract. is that correct? so does that mean i shouldnt buy the phone, upgrade to sprint premium and renew 2 years contract at the same time? instead, i should buy the phone in feb 2012, renew my contract for 2 years under the sprint sero 30 plan, and after i renew the contract, then call to activate the phone and upgrade to sprint premium? thanks in advance

  400. Felix Says:

    Hey Russ,

    I currently have SERO $30 Month plan with a Touch Pro2. I’m hoping to upgrade when I’m eligible for upgrade discount. I’ve read that to upgrade to any other smartphone i would have to switch to SERO Premium ($10 more a month) I have my eye on Motorola Admiral, Sprint’s first Sprint direct connect smartphone, however i see theres been many issues with the direct connect because DC is not avaliable without 3g area. I’m pretty confident my 3G connection is strong here in San Diego. But i am a little worried that worst case scenario, I also experience same DC problem as other Admiral users, will i be able to go back to my SERO plan with my Touch Pro2??? (I’ve read that once you convert to Premium you cannot switch back on forums) Thank you ahead time

    -Felix

  401. Henry Says:

    Hi Russ,

    I also have a SERO 500 plan that is designated in Sprint’s system as Fair and Flexible 500. I am in the process of migrating this plan to SERO Premium and have sent an e-mail to Employee Accounts.

    I understand I will lose my corporate discount once the change is made to SERO-P, but if I was to add an additional regular line to my account (Everything Data plan), would this line be eligible for a corporate discount through the company I work for? I considered signing up through the Everything Plus Referral program, but the monthly price would be lower with my corporate discount.

    Thanks,
    Henry

  402. Russ Says:

    Henry – when you add an additional non-SERO, non-EverythingPlus line, it can have your corporate discount.

  403. Russ Says:

    Felix – In the not-too-distant future (I don’t have a specific date), Sprint Direct Connect will work in non-3G areas (as described here: http://newsroom.sprint.com/consumer-resources/sprint-direct-connect-faq.htm ). But, to answer your question, yes, you can downgrade from SERO-Premium to just SERO if you switch back to a handset that doesn’t require SERO-P.

  404. Russ Says:

    Sunny – I’ve found that emailing everythingplus@sprint.com provides better answers than calling or chatting with care. Yes, you will be able to downgrade from SERO-P to SERO if you switch back to a handset not requiring SERO-P.

  405. David Says:

    Hello Russ,

    I would like to extend my gratitude to your blog and the work that you do. I have no questions, because you have answered all the questions! Thanks so much, I wish I had discovered this blog when my wife upgraded her SERO plan for the EVO phone. She encountered many Sprint rep that were ignorant to the SERO plan and what they can do for their loyal customer. The experienced was very dishearten to my wife.

  406. bwiles Says:

    I am a SERO-P customer and thought I could upgrade to the Transform Ultra. I was told by echat that I would have to pay an additional $10. They say that only the phones below qualify for SERO-P. Is this right? If not, is there a list somewher I can direct customer care to? Whether phones fall under one plan or another seems to change by the day… Very frustrating. Thanks for your help Russ.

    Samsung M240
    Samsung Seek
    Samsung M360
    Samsung Reclaim
    Samsung Restore
    Sanyo Innuendo
    Sanyo Taho
    Sanyo Vero
    LG Remarq
    LG Lotus Elite
    LG Rumor Touch
    Motorolla Renegade V950

  407. Russ Says:

    bwiles – I’ll say it again, the echat folks aren’t familiar enough with SERO to know what they’re talking about. E-mail everythingplus@sprint.com instead for accurate answers.

  408. bwiles Says:

    Russ- Thanks for the suggestion. Looks like all smartphones under SERO Premium now require an additional $10. I understand the reason but the whole point of Premium, I thought, was was to allow the use of some smartphones. That’s is why I have an Optimus and my wife a Pre. These phones are not allowed on SERO Premium now without an additional $10. Seems like SERO Premium is redundant now.

  409. Russ Says:

    bwiles – you have bad information.

    SERO-P + $10 Premium Data fee = all 4G phones and iPhone (at this point in time – may change in the future)

    SERO-P = all other smartphones (as defined by specific operating systems)

    SERO = all other phones

    My note above was to tell you that what echat told you is wrong.

  410. bwiles Says:

    Russ- This was the response from everythingplus@sprint.com:
    “The $10 Premium Data Add-on charge is necessary on Smartphones because these devices on average use 10x more data than an average feature phone. Rather than imposing limits and overage charges on data plans for wireless phones as competitors have done, Sprint has extended its $10 Premium Data add-on charge to all Smartphone activations.”

    Do you know where I can find a list of smartphones compatible with SERO-P? In the meantime I’ve asked for a return label for the Transform Ultra I received yesterday.

  411. bwiles Says:

    Russ,
    Is there a way to quote what you are saying to customer care? I keep getting told that the only “smartphone” allowed under SERO-P is the Samsung Replenish. I thought that the Transform Ultra would fall under SERO-P as well.

  412. David Says:

    Hello Russ,

    The SERO-P comes with Sprint Navigation. What does that include? I just upgraded to iPhone and cannot find the Sprint Navigation. Is this TeleNav? What should I expect? Is was itemized in the plan so I am thinking it’s a full feature ala Voice guided GPS navigation or something like that. Please help. Happy Thanksgiving!

  413. Russ Says:

    bwiles – I apologize. I have just been corrected. Apparently, the rules changed and all “recent” smartphones now require the $10 premium data fee. So now, the step up from SERO to SERO-P is primarily about getting Any Mobile, Anytime (and Sprint Navigation on most phones).

  414. Russ Says:

    David – Sprint Navigation hasn’t been ported to the iPhone, and given the number of navigation apps available for the iPhone, I doubt that it will be. SERO-P also includes Any Mobile, Anytime.

  415. Felix Says:

    Hey Russ,
    I’m reading your reply for Bwiles, does this mean if i were to purchase Motorola Admiral. (I am currently using Touch Pro2 on SERO 500 $30 monthly plan, and was planning to upgrade to Motorola Admiral for only 10 bucks more a month, will the Motorola Admiral require additional Data Premium add?)

    Furthermore if such fee is required, would i just be able to upgrade and just add premium data on my $30 plan even though i wont be getting unlimited any mobile to mobile & navigation? Cause i do not see the point of upgrading to SERO Premium just to get unlimited any mobile to mobile & sprint navigation, i can live without both additional features.

    I think it would be a better plan to invest on a plan to set a limit at 2gb of data on any smartphone for SERO Premium at $40 bucks a month. if your going to use more, $10 more for Premuim Data either 4gb of data or unlimited data. This will help Sprints network if they are worry were abusing a lot of data and reason why they must charge a fee when perhaps a lot of users don’t even use that much data and this will also get more customers to buy newer phones= more money for sprint.

  416. Russ Says:

    Felix,
    You can’t upgrade to a smartphone without SERO-P, and you can’t upgrade to most smartphones without the premium data fee. So, if you’re paying $30 now, it will be $50 for a smartphone.
    Russ

  417. Pal Says:

    Russ,

    What you have stated yesterday is a big change to what was previous policy. From the forums, other users had been using non-4g phones (except iphone) with their SERO-P without any extra charges.

    Will all SERO customers now be affected including those above who were not previously paying extra 10$ for non 4G phone, or is this just for SERO users upgrading from now on?

    Also, what phones can be used on SERO-P without any extra charges?

    Thanks for your help.

  418. ish Says:

    Hi Russ,

    I’m having a similar problem to bwiles. I’m on sero premium and ordered the Samsung Transform Ultra on the 24th, and was told that the phone is compatible with my plan as is, but when I tried to activate it they said I needed the $10 premium data fee. The only reason I got this phone was to avoid that additional monthly fee; is there any way sprint can override this? Do you know if the HTC Arrive will also have the $10 fee?

  419. Daniel Says:

    Honestly Russ this isn’t an intelligent strategy on Sprint’s part. I’m on the $30 plan now and I have been tossing around the idea of upgrading to SERO-P and getting the new Arrive for no other reason than I want a new phone. I agree with the poster above that I’d rather have the $40 plan and limited data than a $50 plan and unlimited data for the simple reason that I would never even come close to 1GB, let alone 2 GB a month.

    I’m almost at the stage of tossing SERO in the garbage and leaving Sprint. I can get much greater bang for my $$ at other wireless providers considering that I don’t use nearly 90% of the capacity that Sprint offers me anyway. To me Sprint’s strategy is backwards: let’s subsidize the users of our products that cost us the most and cut ties with our most profitable customers. I’m sure there are many intelligent people at Sprint so there has to be some logic too it but on the outside it makes no sense to me.

  420. Russ Says:

    Pal,

    The premium data fee only applies to specific smartphones. Previously that list was limited to 4G handsets and the iPhone. Apparently, there was a recent decision, that I wasn’t aware of, that the fee would apply to all new smartphones introduced after a certain date. So, non-4G, non-iPhone smartphones that were introduced before that date appear to still be available without the premium data fee and customers using those devices won’t have their fees change. I’m hesitant to provide any guidance on which handsets fit in which category. You’re best off e-mailing everythingplus@sprint.com and asking the official source.

    Russ

  421. William Hofmann Says:

    The problem with everythingplus@sprint.com is that when i called last week to confirm the Motorola Admiral would only be $40 the rep first said $40 plus $10 i asked r we sure and he checked again and then said just $40. This was the employee accounts dept too.

    Im about to order 2 admirals and now I see some on Sero-P are being charged + $10 for the admiral.

    I wanted to give these a xmass gifts to my kids who dont need 4G BUT if its +10 per device x2 x2yrs its killing my gift idea.

    They dont seem to have a SOLID DEVICE LIST for the +$10 Devices.

    How and when will anyone at sprint have a solid accurate grasp on the policy for Sero-P holders???

  422. Marks Says:

    Thanks for your help Rus!!!

    Apparently the date is 10/15/2011

    So any phone that was launched before then should work. I just activated a LG Marquee and it worked because it launched 10/01/2011.

  423. aztony Says:

    Russ,

    You mentioned a few times about the smart phones that were recently released after a certain date will incur the premium data fee. Do you know what this “date” is? The term “recently released” seems so generic and can mean just about any phone released within the last year or whatever date suits Sprints fancy.

  424. Russ Says:

    aztony – I believe the date is October 4 of this year. I was hesitant to say for fear of providing bad info.

  425. Russ Says:

    ish – the arrive doesn’t require premium data

  426. aztony Says:

    Russ,

    Just saw this posted on another website about the premium data charge:

    Thank you for contacting us regarding the Everything Plus Referral Program.
    The phones not requiring the $10.00 premium data would be:

    LG Rumor Touch, Samsung M360, Samsung M380, Kyocera Brio, Milano, DuraCore, DuraMax, Sanyo VERO, TAHO and INUENDO.

    The 3G Samsung Replenish currently comes with a promotion that waives the $10.00 premium data. All other smartphones including 3G smartphones would require the $10.00 premium data.

    Joyce Paquette
    Everything Plus Team
    Everything Plus Referral Program

    A correction !

    I apologize for the confusion. If you are currently on the Sero Premium plan you would not have to pay the additional $10.00. The exceptions would be any 4G devices and the iphone.

    SERO upgrades to 4G or iPhone devices require a SERO Premium plan plus $10 Premium Data Add-on Charge.

    Joyce Paquette
    Everything Plus Team
    Everything Plus Referral Program

    Just wondering now who is correct?

  427. David Says:

    Does this apply to the LG Marquee as well? It’s a 3G phone introduced in September. I wouldn’t want to get charged the $10 premium data add-on in addition to SERO-P. I ask because some people over at SprintUsers are reporting getting charged the PD fee for 3G phones.

    Thanks!

  428. Matt Says:

    Russ,

    Appreciate all the advice esp from an exec. I’m looking to upgrade to the Iphone. If I order the iphone now via the sales number you gave us, will they upgrade my account immediately and start billing at 50, or wait until I actually activate the iphone(because of the wait time) to change my billing?

    Thanks.

  429. Russ Says:

    Matt – you don’t need to upgrade until you activate

  430. Russ Says:

    David – I don’t think you should be charged premium data for the Marquee if you’re on SERO-P.

  431. Russ Says:

    aztony – I don’t know when Joyce wrote that, but it sounds like it was before the recent change and like it’s now outdated.

  432. Kels Says:

    Just activated my new iphone 4 from the LG Lotus and was on the SERO plan before. When I called to activate I just asked to upgrade to the SERO Premium and then she helped me activate the phone from there. Took 20 minutes tops. Great service!

  433. Wynn Says:

    THANK YOU Russ for such an informative blog and for answering all these questions! I had most of mine answered just by scrolling through and reading the comments posted. Just wanted to post my experience with getting the iPhone 4s because reading your blog made it such a seamless transition.

    I had the Sero Basic Plan at $30/month. Called Care at 888-876-8381 to confirm that with the iPhone 4s, I would be upgrading to Sero Premium at $40 + $10 data charge = $50/month. Also confirmed I had the option to go back to Sero Basic if I switched back to my old Motorola Q9c. Ordered the phone through Telesales on the 888-882-4030 number. The new iPhone arrived 2 days later. I then tried to call Care on my new iPhone to activate, which didn’t work. I called Care on my old phone and they told me I would have to call another number (888-211-4727) from a 3rd phone (not my new or old) in order to activate the iPhone. I called the number and got my new phone activated in about 5 minutes!

    Wanted to mention two things that potential upgraders might want to be aware of: you’ll be asked whether or not you want to buy AppleCare+, which is $99, but the wrinkle is that you can only buy the plan at the same time you buy the phone. Also, due to my account, I got the $36 activation fee waived. Anyway, thank you for the great blog Russ! I love my plan and new phone and plan to stick with Sprint for a very long time!

  434. Jason Says:

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom. Sprint is building some seriously loyalty. Question is on additional minutes. I recall being charged for 30 min blocks of additional minutes for $5.00 in increments to 200. My most recent bill showed additional minutes charged at .45 per minute. Has the program changed? Thanks again.

    Oh, for anyone interested, I just activated an LG Marquee about a month ago. Nice phone and still maintains the 3G pricing structure. $30+$10.

  435. Russ Says:

    Jason – what you’re describing was the old Fair & Flexible plan. I don’t think that was the pricing structure for the SERO plans. I’m guessing you were one of the ones that got moved to an F&F plan a couple of years ago and when you upgraded to SERO-P to get the Marquee, you got moved off of F&F and back to the SERO structure.

  436. cham van Says:

    Im trying to sign up for the Sprint discount request but I keep getting a message.

    “Your email domain was not found. Please re-enter your work, university or organization email address. If you don’t have one, click the link below “No work email address?” Please enter your personal email address”

    I used the email address russ.s.mcguire@sprint.com for the company email address.

    Please help

  437. Russ Says:

    cham van – I’m pretty sure that russ.s.mcguire@sprint.com is NOT your e-mail address. :)

    It sounds like you’re at a site to validate a business discount you signed up for (perhaps in the Sprint store). That discount would be based on where YOU work, or where you go to school.

    To use the employee referral offer that I’ve shared here on this blog, you MUST sign up for a new line of service at sprint.com/everythingplus. I have been very consistent in communicating that. If you have already signed up for service (and it sounds like you have), then this offer is no longer available to you.

  438. AB Says:

    I’ve read online that if you’re 2 weeks away from upgrading, you can upgrade through telesales or in store. What are the business hours for telesales? I’m not able to find it anywhere. Happy holidays everyone.

  439. Jeff Says:

    If my plan is SREO 500 anytime minutes but I’m no longer under contract, will I still be able to upgrade to SERO-p?

  440. Russ Says:

    Jeff – have you asked everythingreferral@sprint.com yet?

  441. Jeff Says:

    Russ – No, I haven’t. I will send a mail them now and see what they say. Hopefully I get a yes as I really want that plan with the iphone 4S.

  442. Bob Says:

    I just did a SERO Transfer of Liability thru Sprint chat today. The rep said that before he can activate my Palm Pre with SERO, I need to upgrade to the SERO Premium Plus Premium Data which will cost me $50 per month. I told him that’s not true. I should only be on the SERO 500 plan which is $30 or at least the SERO Premium which is $40/month. Then he showed me this list:

    Effective 1/30/11, all smartphones with the following operating systems require the $10 Premium Data Add-on charge:
    Android™
    Apple iOS 5
    BlackBerry®
    Microsoft Windows Mobile®
    Palm®
    All Samsung Instinct® phones
    Windows Phone 7
    Prior to 1/30/11
    All 4G capable phones.

    After arguing with him, I just had him do the activation and to dispute it later. Anyway, I think he’s misinformed. The list he gave me is for non-SERO customers so even though I have a Palm Pre, my SERO status does not apply to the extra $10 premium data because unless I have a 4G smartphone or an iPhone. Am I correct?

  443. Russ Says:

    Most chat reps aren’t aware of SERO policies. You’re best off going with employee care at everythingreferral@sprint.com.

    That being said, the chat rep you dealt with made two mistakes. The second one is as you noted on which devices require SERO premium and premium data on SERO.

    The first mistake was in performing the transfer of liability. TOL isn’t allowed on SERO plans. Once it’s caught, you will be notified that the plan is being changed to a normal consumer plan. I apologize for both errors.

  444. Jeff Says:

    Russ – Thanks for all the insight. I just called Called Care at 888-876-8381 and confirmed the SERO-p plan I’d be switched to with an iPhone purchase. They transferred me to telesales and was able to get the phone.

    I did get disconnected right as we were finishing up, so I had to call back telesales and got a new csr. Had to go through most of what the 1st csr went over. Other than that is was very smooth.

  445. number2 Says:

    I’m on SERO (not SERO-P) and I’m eligible for an upgrade. Just wondering if there’s any comprehensive and current list of:
    A) Phones that won’t require any extra fees (Keep my $30 plan)
    B) Phones that only require a $10 upgrade (SERO-P at $40)
    C) Phones that are $50/month

    Also, I went onto the the Best Buy site to see their options on upgrading my phone and they only charged $10 extra/month for upgrading to the iPhone 4s even though I’m not on SERO-P. Will this work or am I going to get dinged during activation?

  446. Russ Says:

    number2, I asked the questions for you and got these answers:

    He can’t upgrade at best buy, they can’t process.
    Any smartphone will require a premium plan (exception: old windows mobile phones)
    All 4G smartphones and these 3G smartphones will also require $10 add-on: iPhone, Samsung Transform Ultra, Express from Sprint

  447. Kathy Says:

    Hi Russ, thanks for providing your information publicly…So I’m clear, I realize I have to sign up for Sprint service (I will be a new customer) through everythingreferral@sprint.com but can I purchase the phone through a third party retailer such as Target? their phone are less than half the price (at least the one I’m looking at.) Thanks.

  448. Russ Says:

    Kathy – to clarify – you sign up at http://sprint.com/everythingplus

    To answer your question – to get the discount price at Target, you’ll need to sign up for service through Target – and you can NOT get this plan through Target (or anyplace other than the website I mentioned above). So, the short answer is “no” you generally can’t purchase the phone through a third party retailer.

    Be warned – sales reps in various stores will tell you that you can sign up with them and then switch to this plan later (because they don’t really know about this plan and don’t realize that it has different rules). Don’t do it. You’ll regret it.

  449. Raz Says:

    I’m a little confused. Will I be able to get the iphone 4s in my SERO-P plan?

  450. Red G Says:

    Russ,

    With many thanks for all your posts, I write to let you know that I am experiencing a great deal of frustration in moving my two lines from $30 SERO 500 Basic plans to $40 SERO Premium plans. I have been in contact several times with the folks at everythingreferral@sprint.com and I am being told that while I can upgrade to the $40 SERO Premium plan, in order to use a smartphone (the whole reason I am contemplating a switch) I would also need to pay an additional $10 fee for data on top of the $40 for SERO Premium. The reps via email are stating that the “additional fee is necessary on smartphones because these devices on average use 10 times more data than an average feature phone. Rather than imposing limits and overage charges on data plans for wireless phones as competitors have done, Sprint has extended its $10 Premium
    Data add-on charge with smartphones.” They also told me that this was effective 10/6/11.

    Can you possibly help? I’d like to move to the Motorola Admiral phone, a 3G only phone, and would like to pay the $40/month SERO Premium fee, not the $50/month SERO Premium with data add-on charge.

    Thanks !

  451. Russ Says:

    Raz – I don’t know why you’re confused. Much of the comment stream above is about SERO customers getting the iPhone. Yes, you can get a 4S with SERO-P and a premium data fee.

    Red G – the FAQ at sprint.com/everythingplus has been updated to discuss what phones require the premium data fee. It says “Select smartphone activations also require an additional $10/line/month Premium Data add-on charge in addition to the SERO Premium plan, including all 4G smartphones and all smartphones launched after 10/4/11 such as the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, Samsung Transform Ultra, Express from Sprint, and Motorola Admiral.” There are smartphones available that don’t require the premium data fee, but the Admiral isn’t one of them.

  452. Red G Says:

    Russ,

    Thanks for pointing me to the FAQ. It’s pretty confusing right now as to what phone I could upgrade to without paying the additional $10 data. Nobody has indicated where I can find this information. The FAQ you directed me to says “all smartphones” launched after 10/4/11. So are there ANY smartphones I can move to? I’m already on a smartphone for crying out loud. I have a touch pro 2. This is really frustrating.

  453. Russ Says:

    Red G – Well, glancing at the phone wall, how about the Optimus S, the Replenish, the Marquee, the XPRT. I think all of those are older than October 4 and I don’t think any are 4G. If any of those look interesting, you can email the everythingreferral@sprint.com folks and ask to make sure.

  454. Private Party Says:

    I share Red G’s sense of frustration. I was ready to buy an Admiral to use on my SERO premium plan based in part on Russ’s posts in this thread on 1 November to BeeGee, 7 November to Rod, and 9 January to number2. As of 1/26’s post the Admiral requires the premium data charge, so no-go. Googling, “Android on SERO” just raises my blood pressure since several users report having added the Admiral to their plan without paying the premium data charge.

    The Motorola XPRT would appear to meet Sprint’s latest criteria (3G only, released 06/05/11, NOT an iPhone) but when I add it to my cart at the sprint.com store the message, “Plans for this phone require our $10/mo. Premium Data add-on charge in addition to one of our plans with unlimited data.” appears. Ditto for the LG Optimus S. The Marquee is currently out of stock so I can’t check it by adding it to my cart. The Replenish doesn’t prompt for the premium data upgrade.

    I’ve already sent an email to everythingreferral@sprint.com for clarification on the XPRT. If it’s just a coding error on the website how would I order an XPRT without getting tagged with the premium data charge?

  455. Russ Says:

    Private Party – I apologize for the delayed response.

    The web site will give you general consumer pricing, not SERO pricing. For non-SERO accounts, all smartphones (except the Replenish – which was a special deal because of Sprint’s commitment to green) require the $10 Premium Data. Hopefully everythingreferral gave you a right response.

    When it’s time to order, you can do it via the web or telesales or even Sprint-owned retail (although I think the risks are higher there that they’ll put you on an Everything Data plan since most of them don’t see much SERO and don’t know what it is).

  456. Brian Says:

    Russ,

    I wanted to thank you for having this Blog; it has been a valuable resource for my transition from SERO Basic to SERO Premium. I had some initial issues due to my account being coded as Fair & Flexible, not SERO. But the very helpful, Tracey, at everythingreferral@sprint.com was able to recode my account and activate my new phone. I am saying goodbye to the old Touch Pro 2 and hello to the Samsung Galaxy S ll, Epic.

    Thank again Russ – keep up the great work

  457. khai Says:

    My contract w/ Att will be over soon and i wanna switch to Sprint. I wonder Sero Premium still available for a New Customer ? or u can’t get Sero plan anymore ?

  458. Russ Says:

    Khai – see http://sprint.com/everythingplus for the current Sprint employee referral offers

  459. khai Says:

    1 question :) Sprint removed the $10 premium data addon ? i added new phone, picked a plan earlier today and at the checkout page … the $10 premium addon is no where to be found. So i wonder if it is removed by sprint

  460. Russ Says:

    khai – short answer is no. Which phone?

  461. I4U Says:

    Russ,
    Please can you confirm.
    1) If the upgrade activation done online without sprint customer support. Still we have to pay $36 charge!! If yes, Why if sprint not making any effort. Individual’s doing all the work.
    2) If I give back my Touch pro2 as buy back, under this program did I have to pay activation change $36 or not.

  462. Adam Says:

    Hi Russ,
    Very impressed that you are still responding to questions on this thread!
    Long story short, I was a SERO customer back in 2007, and when the HTC Hero came out in 2009 I was forced to upgrade to EPRP.

    At the time of the iPhone’s release, I was eligible for to upgrade to the phone and renewed my plan, but I was not aware that there was in fact a SERO Premium plan that I could have switched back to. Is there any way for me to change my plan from EPRP to SERO premium?
    Thank you for any info.
    Adam

  463. Nick R Says:

    Russ, I am now out of contract for the second time but still on my SERO plan with an HTC Touch Pro II hacked to run Android. As far as I am concerned, they can take SERO original from my cold dead hands.

    Is the best phone I can get for my undying love of the SERO plan still the HTC Touch Pro II?

  464. Nick R Says:

    Sorry, I just noticed your new year’s resolution blog post that says you don’t want to be SERO tech support. I don’t blame ya! I don’t really want to call customer care, though, so I’ll just stay on my touch pro 2 forever.

  465. Adam Says:

    (I’d like to add that I have contacted customer care at everythingreferral@sprint.com but they said my phone number wasn’t eligible, which seems to go against what you’ve posted here)

  466. Russ Says:

    Adam – sorry for the delayed response. You’re probably less impressed now. I’m sorry that my comments here confused you, I’m not sure how they could have. SERO customers that switched to EPRP to get a smartphone before SERO-P was offered have not ever been able to switch back to SERO-P. That’s still true. I don’t have time to search for them, but I’m pretty sure I’ve dealt with that a few times in the comments on this site. EPRP is still a great program and a great plan.

    Nick – I don’t have time to keep up with evaluations of phones that work under basic SERO.

    I4U – you may be doing the work of entering the order into a computer, but there’s still a ton of work and cost involved in processing an upgrade. We haven’t yet perfected the replicator technology that makes the devices magically appear out of thin air for your enjoyment. Maybe someday…

  467. Adam Says:

    Thanks for the response, Russ – yes, still impressed!

  468. V Says:

    Are SERO accounts eligible for the Upgrade Now Trial Offer?

  469. Bishop Says:

    Hi Russ,

    I had read earlier in your post dated 11/30/2011 that the Arrive doesn’t require premium data. Can I get the HTC Arrive and keep my, $49.99 SERO 1250 Plan?

  470. Russ Says:

    Bishop – It does require SERO-Premium, but I don’t believe it requires Premium Data. So, if you’re on SERO now, your monthly rate will go up by $10.

  471. Russ Says:

    V – I don’t believe so.

  472. AB Says:

    The iPhone 4s has an issue with no service that appears to affect people all over the world. Turning it off and back on would temporarily resolve the issue but it’ll come back again; sometimes multiple times within a day. The fix from Apple is to basically backup all your data and re-install the latest version of iOS via iTunes.

    If this phone continues to be a problem, can it be replaced with a different model without paying the original MSRP price. The upgrade was made late December.

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3425746?start=0&tstart=0

    http://support.apple.com/kb/TS4148

  473. Russ Says:

    AB – if Apple chooses to provide a free upgrade to a new model, then I’m sure Sprint would be supportive. If they don’t, then there’s no way Sprint could afford to bear the cost.

  474. eli Says:

    Hello Russ,
    I have been told several different things by sprint employees when calling to find out about upgrading my phone. I am currently on the Sero Premium plan (upgraded from $30 to $40 last year) and I am interested in getting the BlackBerry Bold 9930 (currently eligible for a phone upgrade) – will I be charged an additional $10 a month on top of my $40 dollars (the $10 data add-on) or will my plan stay the same. Everyone I speak to at Sprint has a different response. Please clarify this for me – Thank you in advance.

  475. Russ Says:

    eli – “newer” smartphones require the extra $10, along with the iPhone and 4G phones. The Bold doesn’t fit in any of those categories so you should stay at $40.

  476. Dil Says:

    Russ, one of the old timers here who’s been on Sprint since the 90s and a Sprint advocator – partly for my stocks :)

    I was on the SERO plan many years back, but had to switch to one of the Everything data plans. Since my Sprint service has not been great in the new house (already tried the wireless device), and with my current rates ($150 for 3 phones), I am considering to move on. Would it be worthwhile asking Sprint if I can get back on SERO or has that been closed for sure?

    There are some competitors offering the iPhone for $45 per month and that sounds tempting.

    Would appreciate a quick response. Thanks!

  477. Russ Says:

    Dil – sorry, once off the SERO plan, there’s no going back. Who is offering the iPhone for $45/month?

  478. Tom Says:

    Russ,

    Dil was probably thinking of the iPhone on Straight Talk for $45.

    Here is a wiki information link about the process, etc..
    http://wiki.howardforums.com/index.php/Straight_Talk_iPhone

  479. Russ Says:

    Thanks Tom. To be clear, Straight Talk doesn’t sell the iPhone, so you’re probably going to pay full price for an unlocked phone.

  480. DD Says:

    I need to upgrade my old SERO to SERO Premium in case to get a smartphone, but what number should I call to get to the right dept and upgrade the plan immediately? Thanks.

  481. Russ Says:

    DD – see http://mcguireslaw.com/2011/01/18/sero-premium-and-premium-data/#comment-5732

    It’s generally faster to read what I’ve already written then to wait for my response.

  482. MikeW Says:

    Now that LTE plans/phones have been announced for regular Sprint customers. Can you confirm whether or not these devices will be compatible with SERO plans? Specifically the SERO Premium $40 + $10 Premium Data fee, or will it be in a different pricing tier.

    Thank you for you time,
    MikeW

  483. Russ Says:

    MikeW – as I understand it, all 4G phones require SERO Premium + Premium Data ($40+$10), whether WiMax or LTE.

  484. Ryan Says:

    Basically a long story short. I called Sprint and asked them if the Motorola Admiral would work with my 40 dollar Sero-premium plan with out any additional fees. They said there would be no additional fees because it wasn’t a 4g phone. Great. I buy phone. I tried to activated and they dinged me and additional 10 dollars a month for Premium data. Even though the previous rep, and sprint.com say- that phone wouldn’t be subjected to the addition 10 dollar add on. I Don’t want to pay more then 40 a month for a phone so the rep suggested I just return the phone. Done. Then I asked the rep what phone I could get without getting dinged the 10 dollar premium data. She said “none”. There wasn’t a single smart phone would keep my plan at 40 dollars a month. No even a comparable brapberry that I have now. So my question is to you since every sprint rep I talked had something different to say… What phones can I buy with out getting dinged the 10 dollar premium data? Thank you.

  485. Russ Says:

    Ryan – as has been discussed here, as smartphones have become more powerful (and heavier users of data), the definition of what requires the $10 Premium Data fee has broadened. Originally it was just 4G devices, but it became all smartphones introduced after a certain date last October (and 4G devices). I’m not aware of any older (non-premium data) non-4G devices that are still available.

  486. J Says:

    Hi Russ,

    Thanks for all of the information you’ve provided here. When I upgraded to the SERO Premium late last year, I was told that I could add a line to clone the my plan. Unfortunately, I did not go ahead with the new line at that time. Now I am once again considering adding a new line to my plan. Is cloning my current SERO Premium plan/going on a “family plan” with SERO Premium rates still an option? Your help is greatly appreciated.

  487. Russ Says:

    J – I don’t know why anyone would’ve told you that. No new SERO lines can be added, and that’s been true for a few years.. You can add Everything Plus lines. You can read the FAQ here: http://sprint.com/everythingplus

  488. Cas Says:

    Hello Russ are their any deal for switch to sprint. I going to have to pay for 3 early termination fee to switch. Thanks in adv.

  489. Ryan Says:

    Hey it’s Ryan again, I called the sero line and asked them if a pre-owned Curve 8530 (the phone I have now) would incur the 10 dollar premium add on. They said no; Great. Called telesales, tried to buy phone but they said I would have to pay the 10 dollar premium data on top of my 40 dollar sero premium plan. I asked to talk to a manager and I’m pretty sure they just put me oh hold as I was waiting for 15 minutes plus minutes. I called back a few times and kept getting the run-around.

    The pre-owned Curve 8530 isn’t a 4g phone, and was introduced in 09. Being that it met those two stipulations you gave, I referenced this blog and the rep said, “That website isn’t affiliated with sprint and is used to defraud people.”

    I don’t know what to do here, you and the sero people say I can, but telesales says I can’t. Is there somewhere that is set in stone in regards to what phones I can purchase so I can reference it when talking to telesales? The original sero rep who said the 8530 wouldn’t incur the extra fee made a note on my account, but the telesales people just through it out the window and said they were wrong, and that this website isn’t affiliated with sprint.

    Please point me in the right direction. Thank you, Ryan.

  490. Russ Says:

    Ryan,

    Sorry for the confusion. Apparently, an official page has been posted here: http://www.sprint.com/planrequirements that may be better to reference with Sprint employees than my blog.

    The Telesales folks can sell you a phone, but they really don’t understand the employee plans all that well. After you receive your phone, you’ll call care (I think that’s who you meant by “the sero line” and “the sero people”) to activate the phone. No changes are made to your account/plan until you activate, so it doesn’t really matter what the telesales folks *think*, only what the care folks *do*.

    I hope that helps.

  491. Russ Says:

    Cas – not that I’m aware of.

  492. AB Says:

    Did the name change? I thought SERO stood for Sprint Employee Referral Offer but I was surprised to find the link you posted referenced the title as Separated Employee Referral Offer.

  493. Dorothy Mareque Says:

    Hi Russ,

    I was just wondering how one would get in contact with a manager or managers of the SERO Department in VA? I’ve been given the runaround with my account and trying to simply upgrade my Touch Pro 2 to something that doesn’t cost $10 per month. I was told so many different things, even after the rules changed that I would not have to pay the premium data fee of $10 unless 4G or iPhone. Obviously a lot of rule changes. Just wanted to see who I can go to in SERO. Thank you!

  494. Russ Says:

    AB – there are two programs. The main one is Sprint Employee Referral Offer. There is a second program which I think was created when Sprint outsourced operations to Ericsson, so that former Sprint employees could continue to enjoy attractive Sprint rates. The rules are very similar between the two.

  495. Russ Says:

    Dorothy – I sent a note to the manager of the SERO department and got this response:

    “Details can be found at http://www.sprint.com/planrequirements

    This page is also linked to from http://www.sprint.com/everythingplus, another resource for sero customers.”

  496. AB Says:

    Dorothy, most phones that you change to which even includes low budget Android phones or a Blackberry would automatically charge you $10 more. It would be $40 minimum which is still a deal. I had a LG Optimus S, Blackberry Curve, and Samsung Moment which all charged $40. A 4G smartphone or iPhone would be an additional $10 for a total of $50. I’ve also owned the HTC Touch Pro 2 but I prefer the flexibility and App collection of an Android smartphone. So with Blackberry and Android off limits, you’re stuck with outdated phones like HTC Touch Pro 2 if you want to maintain your $30 plan.

  497. Russ Says:

    Actually, AB, that’s not quite right. If you look at the document linked above (planrequirements – I know you’ve looked at it), you’ll see that it’s not just 4G phones and iPhones that require the extra $10 premium data fee but also all smartphones launched after October 4, 2011. For virtually all smartphones available now, that takes it up to $50 a month – still a great deal…

  498. HG Says:

    Hello,
    Please help me answer a simple question…I had a $ 30 plan with Palm Centro..I want to get a LG Optimus S (older smart phone launched before Oct 2011)
    I spoke to 3 sprint CSR…and 2 told I can change my plan to $40 (no add on fee) and use this phone. I then called telesales and ordered the phone..while I was processing the order, the said I will be charged 50 (i.e premium data add on fee
    Before I cancel my order, I want to get an opinion on what my bill monthly charge will be (New LG Optimus using my upgrade credit)

    http://www.sprint.com/planrequirements

    This link above does not reference LG optimus….

    Really appreciate a response
    Thanks

  499. Russ Says:

    HG – I’ve commented on this several times in the past. See this comment: http://mcguireslaw.com/2011/01/18/sero-premium-and-premium-data/#comment-7583

    Telesales doesn’t deal with employee plans enough to understand the uniqueness of the SERO plans. Nothing in your plan will change until you activate the phone, which you’ll do with care (who does understand the plans – as indicated by the info they’ve given you) after your phone arrives.

  500. Brian Says:

    Hi Russ,

    Was wondering if you can answer a question. I have two accounts one business and the other a sero account. These accounts have been active since 2007 and in very good standing. I would like to add a second line to my sero account. Can this second line be a sero premium plan?

    This is after the fact but….

    I did have another SERO account in 2005 but was forced/migrated to a 450 everything data plan when I purchased the palm pre when it first came out. I was not told that I would me migrated over. After countless calls a manger was able to give me certain discounts so that my monthly bill would end up the same if I were still on a sero plan+10.00. The contract on this account expired last December, my discounts dissapeared, and my bill jumped up to 95.00 :(
    Every CSR/manager I spoke too could not help me. They said they could not apply the discounts again and I had two options 1) stay on current planand renew a 2 year contract or 2) cancel plan…. I canceled this account… was there anything the csr/mangers could have really done? just curious.

    Thanks for your help and input.

  501. Brian Says:

    Hi Russ,

    Sorry I forgot to add that I have spoken to a CSR and they have said that the second line would have to be an everything plus plan (59.99+10.00) since there is no Sero-P plan anymore. I just wanted to make sure this was correct since the last CSR told me the incorrect information and I lost my Sero account as i mentioned in my previous post.

    Thanks for your help.

  502. Mike Says:

    Russ,
    I signed up for a SERO plan a LONG time ago (6 years or so?) and everything was good. I was paying 35/mo etc and had a mogul. I was upgraded to the touch pro and then touch pro 2 due to recalls. The Touch Pro 2 has been having lots of issues and I called sprint to upgrade my plan to SERO premium and buy a new phone (plus 10/mo premium plan)…..I then found out that apparently whoever setup my account decided to make a free and clear plan with monthly discounts and added minutes to mirror a SERO plan. Every employee I have talked too seems to agree that thats what happened based on the discounts and modifications to my account, but none are willing to put me on the SERO plan that I should have been on all along so that I can upgrade it (and pay Sprint $20 more /mo).

    I wanted to see if you could help me before I move to a different provider. I have been a loyal customer in good standing forever and I would hate to move to another carrier because sprint won’t let me pay them $20 more per month. The everything plus plan is simply leaps and bounds more expensive than SERO Premium and if I am forced into that I have no choice to move to a different provider for financial reasons.

    Mike

  503. Russ Says:

    Brian – correct – no SERO-P lines have been able to be added for a few years. You can add an Everything Plus line.

  504. Russ Says:

    Mike – have you tried following the instructions here: http://mcguireslaw.com/2010/11/09/finally-a-solution/

  505. Russ Says:

    Brian – when the Pre came out, it wasn’t available on SERO lines. There’s no way you could’ve kept the Pre and kept SERO.

  506. Brian Says:

    Hi Russ,

    Bahhhhhhh! :( I gambled on the wrong phone. Dang that phone was awesome. Correction webOS was awesome. Hardware was crap. I exchanged 4 times but put up with the Pre cause I loved webOS so much. Oh well. Thanks for responding.

  507. Dorothy Mareque Says:

    Thanks for answering my questions Russ and AB (and others). I have found out that NOT all smartphones require the premium ad on. It truly depends on who you talk to in SERO (no longer available). I upgraded to the Sero Premium ($40) and haven’t gotten a phone that requires the $10 premium add on. There are still many options, however you can’t beat the $50 (plus taxes) rate plan for 4G or iPhone.

  508. Samantha Says:

    Have a quick question I just upgraded to the SERO Premium plan because my phone was going berserk and the newer phone I just got wasn’t any better. My question is if my most recent phone under the upgraded premium plan stops working and I need to go back to my 1st phone under SERO (which still works fine as a backup) do I still stay under the SERO Premium plan or does my plan go back to its origins of the $30 a month plan from Sero.

  509. Russ Says:

    Samantha – I’ve already answered this question many times in these comments and elsewhere. For example:
    http://mcguireslaw.com/2011/01/18/sero-premium-and-premium-data/#comment-6312
    http://mcguireslaw.com/2011/01/18/sero-premium-and-premium-data/#comment-7016
    http://mcguireslaw.com/2011/01/18/sero-premium-and-premium-data/#comment-7017

  510. Samantha Says:

    Thank you Russ!

  511. Mike Pieterick Says:

    Russ
    I am on a “SERO” plan with 1250 Anytime minutes and unlimited all else for $49.99 month. I have a palm centro I need to retire. I tried to change my phone to a HTC EVO 4G 3D plan at a sprint store and they told me my plan would have to go up $20-30 to which I refused. If a $40 plan is eligible for a smart phone and a 4g phone requires an additional $10 data upgrade making it $50, why will my rate still go up since i am alraedy paying that rate? I am so confused. Thanks in advance for any help.

  512. Russ Says:

    Mike – the original SERO plans, if I remember right, were $30 for 500 minutes, and $50 for 1250 minutes. When folks talk about $50 for a smartphone on SERO, they’re talking about $30 + $10 for SERO premium + $10 for premium data. The Centro apparently wasn’t on the restricted list, so didn’t require SERO Premium. To get a smartphone on SERO today requires the additional $10+$10. I’m guessing you could drop back down to the 500 minute plan to keep your plan around where it is. I recommend contacting SERO care at everythingreferral@sprint.com for more info.

  513. Young Says:

    Sero for next generation iPhone will stay same as $50 bucks?

  514. Young Says:

    Sero for next generation iPhone (5) will stay same as $50 bucks?

  515. Young Says:

    Sero iPhone (5) will stay same as $50 bucks?

  516. barbiecat Says:

    Hello, Russ!
    I have two $30 SERO 500 lines under my name. Can I upgrade one line to $40 SERO-Premium + $ premium data to get iPhone4S and keep one line on $30 SERO? Thanks!

  517. Russ Says:

    Young – I don’t know. The next generation iPhone hasn’t even been announced.

    barbiecat – yes.

  518. barbiecat Says:

    Thanks, Russ!
    Shall I contact everythingreferral@sprint.com to upgrad the plan? Do they also take care of iphone activation? Thanks.

  519. Russ Says:

    barbiecat – yes

  520. barbiecat Says:

    Thanks, Russ! I got one SERO line setup for iPhone4S.

    Now iPhone5 is about to be available. Will SERO-Premium + $ premium data plan support iPhone5?

  521. Russ Says:

    I haven’t heard any changes for iPhone 5 pricing.

  522. Jaime Says:

    HI, Russ..

    I have a grandfathered SERO account that at some point change to ‘fair&flexible’ mind you, all of the features stayed the same i.e 500min/unlimited text..etc for $30. Now when I contact the employee care customer service to upgrade to SERO premium, I was denied due to my account not being a SERO account. Is there anything I can do to upgrade to a SERO-P, surely it must be in my account history what type of account it originally was? can you help? thanks.

  523. Russ Says:

    Jaime – I think this post should answer all your questions:
    http://mcguireslaw.com/2010/11/09/finally-a-solution/

  524. Jaime Says:

    Thank you Russ. that was helpful. I’ll follow the directions and keep you posted on the results. Thanks again.

  525. Jaime Says:

    HI, Russ, I just wanted to update you, that everything was taken care of. Im now on the Sero Premium. The process was very smooth and fast took 3 days. Thank you very much.

  526. Jose Says:

    Hi Russ,

    Is it possible to change from the 1000 minute plan to the 500 without being forced into the 450 minute plan that costs more?

  527. Russ Says:

    Jose – yes. Contact everythingreferral@sprint.com

  528. John Says:

    Hi Russ,

    I’ve been on the SERO plan for a while with a palm centro, but recently and impulsively bought the Samsung Galaxy S3 (12 days ago). I got my plan upgraded from SERO –> SERO Premium Plus.

    I decided I really don’t like the S3 and want to revert back to my old phone and plan. When I took the phone back to the store, I was told that I couldn’t return the phone, nor could I revert back from SERO Premium Plus –> SERO. I’m pretty sure the representative was wrong, but the manager came out and corroborated his story. I know you’ve mentioned several times in your blog above that customers can revert back to the old plan if they want to use an old phone, but can you give me a clear and updated answer?

    Thanks!

  529. Russ Says:

    John,

    Sprint’s return policy is here: http://www.sprint.com/landings/returns/ You should be able to point the Sprint rep to that if they say you can’t return your phone (but hurry, you’re almost out of time).

    For switching back to SERO basic, contact everythingreferral@sprint.com

    Russ

  530. Jill Says:

    Hi Russ,

    I am a SERO customer and have ordered and received an iPhone 5, but getting the phone activated has proven difficult. I tried calling customer service but they didn’t seem to know what to do with a SERO customer, and after 10 minutes on hold I was just disconnected….

    After reading through your comments here I sent my info to everythingreferral@sprint.com, but haven’t heard anything back yet other than the auto-response. It’s been over the 36 hours that the auto-response said I’d get a real response; maybe they’re overloaded in that group. Is there a phone number I can call that deals with SERO iPhone activations? Or a different email address or system I should use?

    Thanks for all the help you provide on your blog.

    Jill

  531. Russ Says:

    Jill – here’s the number for the care group that supports SERO and other employee accounts: 888-876-8381

  532. Jill Says:

    Thanks Russ. I called that number and my phone is now active.

  533. Brandon Says:

    Hey Russ,

    Trying to upgrade online to an iphone 4s through sprint.com. I have a SERO phone (not premium) and when I check to see if I’m eligible for an upgrade I’m told yes, but when I go to purchase a phone I’m told no. Is there a number to call where I could Purchase an Iphone on an upgrade while simultaneously upgrading to SERO premium which I believe I’ll need for the Iphone 4s..

    Thanks a bunch.

  534. Russ Says:

    Brandon – Did you look at the comment just above yours? Try that number. (888-876-8381 if it’s too much trouble for you to look…)

  535. Shawn Says:

    Hi Russ,

    I’m getting a LG Marquee and upgrading from original SERO. One of your eariler comments (about a year ago) said LG Marquee will not require the data fee in addition to SERO preimum. Could you please confirm it one more time? The gentleman I spoke to said otherwise (but he was in sales not SERO support). Thanks!

  536. Russ Says:

    Shawn,

    I just double checked. I don’t know if the rules have changed, or if I provided bad info a year ago, but what you’re hearing now is accurate – the Marquee does require both SERO premium and premium data. Sorry.

    Russ

  537. Russ Fan 2012 Says:

    Thanks a lot Russ for all the info and time you invest. I followed your advice and was able to get back on track with my sero plan. I think I am going to pay more attention to my bills because to be honest I didnt notice I was off the sero plan until i tried to upgrade to the S3 (curse you automatic bill pay lol). Anyway thanks again :)

  538. John Says:

    Hello,

    My wife and I have been on the sero plan for years. Both lines are in here name and we are getting a divorce. I hope to transfer my line into my own name but have heard varying ways to complete this. Can you recommend a way to start a new account in my name and allow me to transfer the current sero plan?

  539. Russ Says:

    John – I’m sorry to hear about your marriage. Unfortunately, due to abuses (people selling their SERO account), SERO accounts can’t be transferred to another person. Both lines will need to stay in her name.

  540. Christina Says:

    Come on people!!! one day Russ is going to get tired of wasting his time on here because of lazy people that don’t bother reading to find out if their question has been answered already and the people that actually had something new to ask will be out of luck!!! Thanks for answering all my questions already Russ and thanks for taking time out of your day for this =)

  541. Jason Says:

    Have 2 old SERO lines. Palm Centro at $30 and one line upgraded to LG Marquee at $30 + $10 (3G model). LG Marquee was biggest mistake of my life. I have had nothing but trouble with calls, GPS, data dropping for no reason as well as constant resets to the phone without warning. Coverage is also much worse. I don’t know if this is a CDMA or GSM phone, but whatever it is, we have lousy coverage around Madison, WI. Telesales is happy to sell me a BOGO Galaxy SIII for $199 if I buy out the remainder of my term for my garbage phone for $125. I am considering this, but find it hard to understand why Sprint wouldn’t consider waiving the buyout based on how unhappy I am with the phone and also considering I would likely be increasing my monthly commitment with the additional $10 premium data fee. So, I have 3 questions. 1. Is there any way to avoid the buyout to get away from a very poor phone? 2. If I upgrade the Palm Centro to a Galaxy SIII, will I be hit with $30 + $10 for that line or $30+$10+$10. Telesales insists it will ONLY be $30+$10. Based on everything I’ve read here, I find that hard to believe. 3. Is the Galaxy SIII BOGO offer even available to SERO customers? I remember being charged ‘full fare coach’ when I bought the Marquee. Yes, I have buyer’s remorse on that one. Please confirm. Thank you again.

  542. Russ Says:

    Jason,

    I’m sorry to hear the Marquee hasn’t worked out for you. To answer your questions:
    1. No. Sorry.
    2. It’s $50: $40 (SERO Premium) + $10 (Premium Data)
    3. Yes, the BOGO is available for SERO if both lines qualify (upgrade eligible or buyout).

    Thanks,

    Russ

  543. Henry Says:

    Is this blog still open?

  544. Russ Says:

    Not sure what you mean by “open”…

  545. Henry Says:

    Thank you for your response. I was wondering if the blog was still active since there have not been any posts since December.

    Perhaps there is just no interest in SERO.

  546. w Says:

    I am on the sero premium plan and have bb curve 9350 I am eligible for upgrade. called up number listed on this site to upgrade they insisted I will have to pay additional $10 month even if I get same phone or bb bold which both came out before 10/11. question is that true? according to what I read its not. and how will I be assured once I upgrade that I wont get hit with the $10 extra per month?

  547. Russ Says:

    w – sorry for the delayed response. I was checking to make sure…

    You are correct. Here’s what the employee programs folks said:
    “This sounds like a misguided telesales rep. They should be able to purchase the upgrade online, then call into Employee Care to activate it on the premium plan.”

  548. Joe Says:

    Hi Russ. I’m currently on SERO-P with the epic 4g touch. I am eligible for an upgrade now. With the new unlimited plan that sprint just introduced, am I allow to still keep my sero-p when i upgrade my phone and renew my contract? People are saying no now.

  549. Russ Says:

    Joe – you can keep your existing plan.

    Which people are saying no?

  550. andrea Says:

    Will there be any changes since the new owners .the hinge on my lg lotus just broke!!!

  551. Russ Says:

    andrea – it would be foolish to say there won’t be changes with new owners, but they likely will be internal to Sprint and not very visible to customers. Well, except for the fact that Sprint will be better positioned to invest in things like making our network work better (faster, better coverage, etc.) – which hopefully customers will notice. Specific to SERO and Everything Plus, I don’t anticipate any changes.

  552. Dave Says:

    Hi Russ,

    I’m due for an upgrade in a couple of months, but I’m thinking of keeping my phone. I’m currently on Sero-P. Will I be able to continue with Sero-P month to month and enter a 2-year contract when I decide I want a new phone? Thanks.

    Dave

  553. Russ Says:

    Dave – you can stay on your current plan without upgrading for as long as you want. Your upgrade will be there when you’re ready.

  554. Russ Says:

    Dave – also, you won’t start a new 2-year contract until you upgrade. You’ll be month-to-month until then.

  555. Dave Says:

    Ok, thanks Russ.

  556. David Says:

    Hey russ, and the link no longer works for an erp service plan. Any suggestions? I was referred to you site by a friend who uses a sero plan and it seems that there are no other options at this point. Thanks in advance and happy holidays!

  557. Russ Says:

    David – sprint.com/everythingplus still goes to the Everything Plus Referral Plan landing page and my email and CID still work. The significant discounts are now off of the new price plans rather than the old Sprint price plans, but it’s actually an even better deal now (unlimited voice, text, and data).

  558. Mark Says:

    Hello Russ, I have been on SERO for a long time. I moved recently and the signal reception in my office (which I cannot change) is so bad that I am not able to pick up the phone to answer because the signal will drop. So I plan to give up Sprint, but my friend who has SERO already would like to take it over. I called 888-876-8381 many times and got different answers regarding the change of ownership for a SERO plan. I also did the online form, which did not work. I am writing to bother you for your help.

  559. Russ Says:

    Mark – I asked this recently for another customer. SERO accounts can NOT be transferred, even to another SERO customer. Sorry.

  560. Mark Says:

    Thanks, Russ.
    However, there have been plenty of people who did the TOL. I knew a folk doing it successfully last month. When I called 888-876-8381 last month, I was told it could be done, but I had a family emergency that time so I could not do it. Did Sprint change it very recently? Please advise. Thank you.

  561. Russ Says:

    Mark – the policy has been in place for years. I’m told that we regularly run reports to identify TOL’s that are out of compliance with the policy. The number isn’t zero, but it’s very low, and agents that are found to have violated the policy receive coaching. If you find an agent willing to do it, it may be lucky for you, but less so for them…

  562. JT Says:

    Hi Russ, thanks for sharing your information for us to avail of the Everything Plus Referral Program plan. It was still available until recently where the only option is the Everything Plus Unlimited My Way Plan. The old EPRP you are charged $60 with unlimited everything except for 500 Anytime minutes which is more than enough for most people (like me). It was the ideal plan until Sprint switched it to this My Way plan (Wireles Carrier Law: “Any new plans are always worse than the old plan it replaced”)

    If you come to think of it, for people who don’t use that much voice, the new plan is inferior.

    $60 = EPRP (unlimited text & data; 500 min. voice)
    $50 = EPMWU (unlimited voice & text; No data)
    $60 = EPMWU (unlimited voice & text; 1G of data)
    $70 = EPMWU (unlimited voice, text & data)

    As far as I’m concerned, unlimited data is better than unlimited voice for $60. I wish Sprint could be more flexible and offer more choices like 500 minutes for voice and/or 500 text messages with unlimited data for $50-$60 depending on which plan you choose. Sort of an a-la-cart way of choosing plans. However, if this new My Way plans came with tethering free it would have been a lot more enticing, but it is what it is….but i digress (LOL)

    I currently have Simply Everything Data 450 with a 25% corporate discount thru a friend that I had since 2011. I’m paying $67 including taxes and fees. I recently broke my iPhone 4s. My one option is to get the iPhone 4s free with my upgrade eligibility by signing up for a new 2-yr service. When I activated the new phone, Sprint sent me a text msg asking to verify my discount which I never had to do before when I switched from Palm Pre to iPhone 4s. My friend no longer works for his company so I can’t provide his work email address anymore. Which brought me to your blog.

    500 voice, 500 text, and 1G of data are more than enough for a regular user like me. I’m actually paying more than I needed, but I wanted the iPhone. If I can’t get this corporate discount anymore, my other option is to do your EPRP plan. Since I already signed up for a new 2-yr Simply Everything Data 450 (according to my receipt my total bill next month will be $96!), can I still switch to the EPRP plan and keep my iPhone 4s? Can I do this online or must I call Sprint ecare to switch me? I only have 7 days left to cancel and refund (less the $35 restocking fee). I’ve already used my upgrade eligibility with the new 2-yr service so I’m not sure if Sprint will still let me get the iPhone 4s for free. Please let me know soon before my return window expires. Thank you in advance.

  563. Russ Says:

    JT – I understand your frustration. Mobile is a very dynamic space. Three years ago when I posted this message and when Sprint was early in offering the EPRP plan, people used lots of minutes and little data. The voice network and its usage is what drove the cost for our business. That was starting to change, as the first meaningfully powerful smartphones were starting to significantly increase data usage, but within reason. Today, people use lots of data and relatively few minutes. Some users, especially using the newest devices on the fastest networks, use an incredible amount of data, and it is the data network and its usage that drives the network costs for the business. Over a year ago, Verizon and AT&T eliminated their unlimited data price plans for this reason. Sprint wants to continue to offer unlimited data, but the cost of unlimited continues to rise (as usage rises) so we also want to offer lower cost options as well. Thus the switch in our plans.

    As far as your plan options – well… you never should’ve gotten the employee discount if you weren’t an employee of the company to which it was offered. Those discounts were part of bigger deals with those companies and were intended to be an employee benefit. Either you or your friend lied to Sprint in saying that you were an employee or family member of an employee. There had been a lot of fraud much worse than yours going on, by which folks were getting big discounts to which they weren’t entitled. So, no, that’s not an option.

    The Everything Plus Referral Plan is just what the name says, it’s a referral plan so that Sprint employees can refer non-customers to become Sprint customers. It’s not available to existing Sprint customers, so no, that’s not an option either.

    You seem to have good friends. Have you thought about the Framily plans? With 7-10 members, pricing can get down to $25/line (with 1GB data) or $45/line with unlimited data. It might be easiest to go to a Sprint store and talk to a sales rep about the different options.

  564. JT Says:

    Hi Russ,

    Thank you for your quick response. As far as I know, my friend’s company allowed his friends and family to avail of their corporate discount. So we were not committing fraud. Anyway, that is moot now. The EPRP is what i’m concerned more. SERO customers are in effect existing Sprint customers but they are able to switch to an EPRP. So how is it that an out of contract Simply Everything Data 450 customer cannot switch to an EPRP? I also just realized that the EPMWU plan for Everything Plus customer does not have an option for 1GB data plan which is $20 for regular customers. It only has a $20 Unlimimited data plan and the $10 is for the Mobile Hotspot option.

    It seems I may have no other option but to return the device and cancel my subscription. I wish I had known all this would happen earlier so I didn’t have to go through all these trouble and get charged for restocking fee and used portion of the plan. I ordered the phone and new 2yr service online, and although I got an email from Sprint that it was ready for pick-up, when I went to the store to pick it up, they don’t have the order and they will not even call national customer sales about it. Instead they want to sell me something else. I left without a phone. I went home and talked to a Sprint chat rep for an hour and redo the order with their help and had to go to another store. It was quite a hassle! I think Sprint should have given me a 25% discount for the inconvenience to me due to their ineptitude. Now I have no choice but to return what I just bought.

    It would be more costly for Sprint to lose a customer but if i can’t get a cheaper plan, my only recourse is to switch carriers. T-Mobile has this Uncarrier program with their Simple Starter Kit or Choice plan. Their cheapest plan costs $40 unlimited talk & text and 500MB of data and they will pay ETF from your old carrier. Ting has a tiered plan (XS to L) where you use what you need and just pay for what you used which will be about an average of $32 for me per month (practically half of what i’m paying now even with my 25% discount with Sprint)! I could get a used Sprint iPhone from them for $179 or Apple can replace my old broken one for $200 + tax if I choose to bring my own device.

  565. Russ Says:

    JT – I can appreciate your frustration and I apologize for it. SERO customers are already on an employee referral plan, they are simply moving to a different employee referral plan since the SERO plans are no longer available.

  566. Jen Says:

    Hi Russ
    Do you know if there any current compatible phones for SERO $40 (not adding $10 data)

    Thanks
    Jen

  567. Russ Says:

    Any feature phone (I think there are a few), but no smartphones.

  568. H Says:

    Hello Russ,
    I have been on SERO plan forever (had corp discount), than swap to SERO+P end of 2012 (corp discount disappeared). With the recent Family plan as low as $25, I am considering switching to that.

    I have actually total 6 phones on my plan:
    1 – $70 = regular individual Everything Data + corp discount
    1- $30 = F&C 300 (I think this is SERO too?) + corp discount
    3 – $50 = SERO+P + 10 – no discount
    1 – $30 = SERO F&F – no discount

    I checked the everythingplus website, I am not sure what is the difference between the plans on everythingplus vs the regular sprint.com website’s offer of as low as $25/or Unlimited My Way.

    (1) Would the regular retailer website be getting the corp discount while everthingplus won’t?
    (2) if so, wouldn’t retailer be better offer?
    (3) if so, it seems everythingplus is only good for individual plans and not family plans?
    (4) can I turn all above 6 lines into Family plan, if everythingPlus does have some kind of benefits?

    (5) i’m trying to see if somehow I can lower my monthly fees for 6 lines. with discounts (not disclosed above), I pay about $311 total each month. Any suggestions?

    thank you very much.

  569. Russ Says:

    H,

    I haven’t paid much attention to E+ since the Framily plans came out. Framily is so aggressive that E+ doesn’t discount much if any on Framily. I think corporate discounts apply to any data upgrade (3GB or unlimited) on Framily and from the E+ website, it looks like that may be the case for E+ as well.

    One big difference for you is that E+ is only for new customers. You can’t move an existing line into E+. (You can move existing SERO lines, but not any of your non-SERO lines.)

    I hope that helps!

    Russ

  570. David Says:

    Hello Russ and thank you for keeping this forum active. I currently have a line (Sprint Wireless Advantage Premium) which is not under contract and is under the name of a Sprint employee. The line is $30 plus $10 premium data because I have a Galaxy S4. She wont be working with Sprint anymore so she said she must transfer liability of the acct to my name and that my new plan will be the Sero Premium which is $40 plus the $10 premium data of course. I’ve read the whole blog and I understand these plans are discontinued so I had a couple questions because she was unsure of the answers and you’re an expert.

    1)will my Sprint Wireless Advantage Premium line which is $40 total be switched to a Sero Premium line which is $50 total although those Sero lines have been discontinued?

    2)If indeed I will be switched to Sero Premium for $50 total, will this start a new contract under my name or will the line continue to be month to month? I need to know because if a new contract will be started I mind as well take advantage of the 2yr agreement phone discounts and if the contract will continue month to month I can just upgrade at a later time whenever I’m ready.

    Thanks in advance for your response and continued support!!

  571. Russ Says:

    David – I think you’re referencing the Separating Employee Retention Offer, which is different from the Sprint Employee Referral Offer (although the terms are very similar). Normally, a transfer of liability isn’t allowed with SERO (referral), but to be honest, I don’t know much about the retention offer. I think there’s a website that you should be referred to for details about it and the employee accounts care team should be able to answer your questions.

  572. H Says:

    thank you Russ,
    so E+ is not different than non-E+ as to pricing?
    both can apply corp discount on Data?

    if so, what will be the benefits of converting SERO to E+ Framily
    -VS-
    a non-E+ Framily?

    thank you very much. seems like my handset upgrade is up so I’m shopping to see what I want to do. i don’t plan to upgrade my handset either. thank you.

  573. Russ Says:

    H – E+ doesn’t allow corporate discount. The E+ offer on Framily is a discount on the data upgrades. I don’t know how this compares to what you may be able to get with a corporate discount. I think you need to do the math on SERO vs. E+ Framily depending on the number of lines you have.

  574. H Says:

    thank you Ross.
    Data portion. I think I see it now.
    basic Cellular is same between E+ and regular Framily.
    but Data for E+ is $10 cheaper per handset.

    thank you for clarification.

Leave a Reply