Sprint Making Major Changes – Shuts Down Premier Program, Cuts Back Return/Exchange Policy and More


As a Sprint customer, this is definitely NOT the news I was looking to hear today. Looks like Sprint is doing a bit of house cleaning and making a lot of changes in the form of a few cost cutting measures. Dead and gone is Sprint’s Premier program which recently saw a new tiered system into Silver and Gold members. Can’t say I’ll miss it.

Now this one is going to hit me a little harder. Sprint will also be doing away with their once amazing 30 day return/exchange policy only to cut it in half. The new policy is a mere 2 week or 14 days. However you want to look at it — it sucks.

But it’s not all doom and gloom for Sprint customers. Sprint will also be introducing a “New for You” program that allows customers to upgrade their device every 20 months. The downside? Well, it’s not really the same 2-year discount new customers get when purchasing a new device. After 20 months with Sprint, you’ll now receive $150 off the full price of a new device which could even be seen as less thanks to the increased upgrade fee, up from $18 to $36.

All changes should go into effect by tomorrow, September 15th. Can’t say things aren’t looking too good for ‘ol Yeller. If T-Mobile still had a future, I’d consider making the jump back on over to them. But now, seems the only real option would be Verizon. Don’t think I could handle that steep monthly bill though. Bummer.

[Via AndroidPolice]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Can we get out of our Sprint contracts without an ETF because of any of these changes?

    1. 1st pic. The FAQs section clearly states “No.” =(

    2. No it says on the first flyer that “…Sprint Preimier was a loyalty program and was never part of the Terms & Conditions …”

  2. My verizon bill is only 1
    $10 more than what my sprint bill woulda been

    1. I split a family plan on Sprint and everyone only pays $45 a month. Sprint doesn’t make you add a data plan for every line. We all share. =)

      1. yup, family plans is where you start to save the big bucks with Sprint. I got 3 lines (all smartphones), unlimited, and its 188 a month, and that includes all taxes and fees, as well as insurance on all 3 phones.

        1. got two evo 3d’s and 1 non-smart phone plus 23% discount as a kaiser employee…$143 a month! plus, sprint gave me the airave at 2 years for free since my area sucked with sprint signals, so now i can call (and receive calls from) anyone on any kind of line for free using my fios connection. :) good deal, no?

  3. Please excuse my language, but [iPhone] the iphone! I knew all this [iPhone] was gonna happen once there were credible rumors of that phone coming to Sprint. More bull[iPhone] to come. Just stay tuned.

    1. Yeah, I have a strong feeling this has something to do with the iPhone. It causes destruction and lameness wherever it goes =/

    2. I would have used Smurf, but iPhone came out equally if not more funny.

      1. I dont know…I think Smurf might have been funnier…lol

    3. What’s next? Charge $20 for sub par 4G instead of $10?

      Even with the $150 and $85 trade in, I’ll still be paying a lot of money to sell my soul for two years. For that price, I can buy a phone outright on T-Mob, pay $50/month for everything and roll the dice on who buys them.

      1. And you get decent 4G

    4. “Good thing I have my HTC evo3d, its a beast of a phone with its dual core processor. Sprint could charge me $500/month and it’d still be a great deal for owning this marvelous evo3d. Its the best phone alive and Sprint is the best company in the world for offering it. There will never be a better phone than this htc evo3d because it has 2 cores and it has sprint wimax and its called evo. I dont care about the ETF fee because I’ll take this phone to the grave.” -RIchardYarellRay

  4. Good-bye Sprint. It’s been fun.

  5. They probably realized they weren’t making as much money as they could have. They still have unlimited plans right?

  6. I think this change is to keep all the SGSII owners from trading in their phone for whatever is coming out in a month. I do not like the disappearance of the premier program, but I understand the change in the return policy. The new policy would allow them to introduce a new phone relatively close to the last new phone without a mass return issue developing. If Verizon had an awesome phone like the SGSII, I would think about switching, but they don’t and they no longer have unlimited data. Please do not change anything else Sprint or else it will quickly become the BIG 2 in the mobile industry.

    1. Bummer, I was going to get an SGSII and then switch to a Nexus Prime. Guess they were on to me (but I bet it would be more than a month till it comes out).

    2. I ordered SGSII on Saturday from Walmart and was told it would be shipped on Monday the 12th so I could have it by tomorrow. They claim to have not received the phone yet, maybe tomorrow. Is that just a coincidence? I don’t get a Sprint account until Walmart has the phone. I will fight hard to remain on the 30 day return.

  7. This tells me that since they are doing away with the Sprint Satisfaction 30 day and going with 14 on the day the Epic 4g touch comes out that the Nexus Prime is going to drop less than a month from the 16th but more than 2 weeks. They probably dont want 90 percent returns of the Epic 4g touch when people see how good the Prime is

    1. I like android as much as the next guy but do you REALLY think that is the sale/exchange combination they’re concerned about?

      Really isn’t fair when you think about it. There are going to be A LOT of people that don’t regularly follow tech sites that are going to get caught up in this.

  8. It’s still 30 days for returns in California, that’s the law for ALL Carriers.

    1. I am surprised they don’t note that in their papers up there, T-Mobile notes it on their web site (the 30 day return in CA thing).

  9. As a sprint customer, pretty disappointed although these changes are minor since I’m not premier gold. I wanted the 30 day return policy to get the epic touch 4g in Oct with the possibility to return it for the prime. Looks like that’s not happening. It still seems like they are sticking it to the customer though.

    What this really means is the timetable for the iphone release (~ 3 weeks from the SGS2ET4G).

  10. C’mon ol’ Yellow, been with you for 10 years, I know you got something new up your sleeve! You can’t fool me! :D

  11. This really sucks! I am a sprint costumer and Sprint is just becoming like Verizon, At&t now….if this is for the iphone ill be really pissed!

    1. There’s no reason for them not to. When you get fewer and fewer competitors there’s less of a chance someone will come in and undercut your pricing. Sprint still has the most favorable terms in comparison, but they aren’t as good as they used to be.

  12. Damn, i was just waiting for tomorrow to go back to sprint, i wanted the gs2 epic touch, but with all this i do not think so, it is too bad that again sprint choose the worst time to shoot themselves on their foot.

  13. Frustrating. If the T-Mobile deal with ATT doesn’t go through I’m probably going to switch.

    1. @Daniel Do you think things are gonna be better over T-Mo or ATT…those are both downgrade choices it seems…don’t you think so?

      1. I will never go with ATT again, that’s for sure, but T-Mobile always has great phones and they have better coverage in my stomping grounds.

        They also have good plans. This is all assuming they don’t merge with ATT, if you get my meaning.

        1. Yea, I gotcha. You may want to take a look at Lightyear ( http://www.LyRevolution.com ), they have the same coverage as Sprint & Verizon but better pricing, No Contracts & No Data Caps, good phone selection & even allow their customers to earn free unlimited service. Worth checking out…I’ve been with them for over two years now. Hope that helps.

          1. Thanks for the heads up, but they don’t have very good phones. I’d rather pay more and be able to have the top of the line phone, at least for a few months until something better comes out.

          2. You’re welcome. LoL…yea, as a fellow tech head, I know what you mean….but I get my unlimited service for free, so I (and many others) have learned to just wait a bit til it gets down to us, which they usually do. I’m looking forward to the iPhone coming our way too….of course.

  14. This was the only thing keeping me with Sprint, now i’ll start shopping around!

    1. @Juan What exactly was the only thing keeping you with Sprint?

        1. Ok, I see. Well, if you are shopping around you may want to take a look at Lightyear (www.LyRevolution.com), they have the same coverage as Sprint & Verizon but with better pricing, No Contracts, No Data Caps & even the ability to get service for free. If you’re main concern is saving money, it’s worth checking out. Hope that helps.

  15. Sprint is still good and way cheaper than verizon, my bill is 60 dollars less a month then it would be if i was with big red

  16. So my girlfriend has an upgrade on Oct. 1st, I’m not too sure what the difference between upgrading then and on oct 2nd… 20 months of what? :( im confused..

  17. Am I missing something or is this mainly a loss for Premier Gold members? Premier Gold members were getting a $150 upgrade credit every 12 months so this adds 8 months to that upgrade window. Premier Silver was getting $150 every 24 months, so this benefits them by giving them the same upgrade credit 4 months sooner.

    As for the $36 upgrade fee, that says for orders placed through Sprint.com. I think stores are already charging this fee, so anyone buying it anywhere other than Sprint.com was already paying it and it makes no difference.

    The big loss for everyone is the reduction of the return window to 14 days. I prefer having a full month and, I admit, I was thinking of using it to try the SGS2 with a “safety net” in case the Nexus Prime was released soon.

    These changes don’t sound like a reason to leave Sprint unless that return window is that important or you were Premier Gold.

    (PS: I “was” Premier Gold, so yeah, the 8 month upgrade delay is pissing me off. I was considering getting an SGS2 now and upgrading to next year’s Nexus, but now I may need to wait and get it this year.)

  18. couldn’t you buy a phone off amazon with their 30 day return policy and keep your orig phone as a backup?

    1. you can buy a phone off ebay and use it whenever the heck you want

  19. Sprint has been adding some customers lately but mostly in the prepaid dept (i.e Virgin, Boost etc) so they must be feeling really good and also the fact that they somewat successfully campaigned against ATT’s takeover of Tmo..I really think they are jumping the gun on all these takeaways (at least in customers opinion) little too soon.. If they would have waited for the their Wimax expansion and or LTE/Light Squared expansion. Since they have been charging people for 4G even in the cities they dont even have 4G. Even cities like San Jose that is supposedly covered on 4G it’s pretty lame unless you are downtown..

  20. This is exactly why I jumped ship the minute I heard about the fee increases! Glad I did, as legal has put a stop to it now!

    Let’s see… increased admin fees. New mandatory arbitration. Increase in ETF’s. Increase in upgrade fees. No more premier status. 4g fees that aren’t 4g fees for horrible speeds. The worst customer service!

    Sprint has lost all of it’s luster! They’ve totally done a 180 and have thrown their customers under the bus! I’m sure they’ll report high losses again this quarter, as they don’t care to keep people like myself with 13 years loyalty and 4 lines!

    If there keep it up, T-mo will buy them! lol!

    1. Lol, so true

    2. @Jeff Actually, their CS was ranked above all the rest & tied with Verizon. You also have to think about, would you want them to make little changes like that or would you rather them get rid of true unlimited data & raise their prices like Verizon & AT&T..or start throttling your data speed like T-Mo? Those little changes that they are making now are what is probably going to allow them to keep the truly unlimited data plans in a time that others have abandoned unlimited.

      But as an alternative, you have companies like Lightyear ( http://www.LyRevolution.com ) that have the same coverage as Sprint & Verizon, Unlimited talk that includes all lines(not just mobile) and unlimited data with No Data Caps & No Contracts, with pricing that even beats Sprint.

      I think Sprint has done a great job of keeping their customers from under the bus as much as they can & still be able to compete with the likes of Verizon & AT&T…all while maintaining their differentiator among the big boys, unlimited service. Give them a little credit. :)

  21. sprint you keep screwing with me i and i am moving my 10+ years of buisness to MetroPCS. And damn it give me my 4G service already!!!!!!

  22. If you think Sprint will not make changes to the UNLIMITED web access and internet you are nothing but an IDIOT. I give you within a year. They will follow the trend just like others. Why wouldnt they??? People are ok with losing yearly upgrade, fee hikes, no eliminating premier program all together, $10 for 4G than $10 for all smart phones so why not tiered data packages. Wake up…..

    1. The unlimited data is what keeps them apart from everyone else. Tiered would make them more expensive which would then hurt them. They raised fees just enough to still be a better option to verizon. Once they hit the same cost. . .why would you stay with sprint if verizon has better 4g coverage and service when they cost the same?

      And on the name calling: If you call people idiots based on their speculation that rivals your own uneducated speculation, well then you sir are an ASSHOLE.

  23. Sprint says that if you have been with 10+ years that you will not lose the yearly upgrade.

  24. Bleh, all this for the damn iphone.
    The iPhone 5 better be 4g with all the bells and whistles.

    Shafting the consumer doesn’t justify all the shananigins that the big four are enforcing on us.

    I wish a big company like Google or Facebook would enter the playing field and make a better, more affordable postpaid network to shaft the big four to conform to consumer needs.
    – gotta dream big

  25. They probably cut the return policy because there are so many people that get a new phone because they are tired of what they have, use it for a month, return it for the next best phone, when they really wanted the phone they just bought initially, not the one they returned. I bet it costs these guys a fortune with all of the devices that are returned because you bought it as a safety net, when you should have just stuck with your original phone until the phone you wanted came out.

  26. I absolutely guarantee you that the return policy has been shortened because so many people abused it, and it cost Sprint a TON of $$$. Each time a phone is returned, not matter why, it has to be refurbished, which costs $$. So, when someone has phone A, buys phone B because they are tired of phone A but really wants phone C, but can’t wait it out a month with phone A, so they buy phone B and return it- that has to be one of the major reasons that the policy has changed. People on here talk about doing this all the time, because they’re tired of their phone, want to try a different phone, with no intention of keeping it, even before purchasing it. I’m sure the iPhone doesn’t help the situation, but I’m sure that the volume of “frivoulous returns” is huge.

  27. If this effects my plan, I’m either rolling with T-mobile or Virgin.

  28. I wouldn’t be surprised if the return policy was changed because so many people use it to get a new phone as a bridge to the phone that is coming out within 30 days. I’m sure it costs the providers a ton of money to process all of the returns that people bought because they were bored with their current phone, so they bought an intermediate phone to hold them over until the phone they wanted came out. There are PLENTY of people on this site that do that- buy a phone that they have no plans on keeping, only to string themselves along until the phone comes out that they want.

    I would bet that it’s only a matter of time before unlimited data goes away. Yes people will be grandfathered into it, but i’m sure that unlimited data for grandfathered customers will disappear somewhere along the way (with all providers, not just sprint).

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