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  1.    #1  
    Is it time to start the deathwatch on Sprint? They've had nothing but bad news lately. Xohm, their 4G, WiMAX-based network is still in a sort of “coming soon” limbo, given that nobody is really sure whether or not their new CEO intends to keep it. They're also on the verge of hemorrhaging subscribers - the number of their customers who plan to switch *and* who are unhappy with their customer service are both off the charts. Now we hear this:

    Wireless phone company Sprint Nextel Corp. said Friday it plans to slash 4,000 jobs and close 125 retail locations to gird itself for an expected slowdown in subscriber growth and revenue. Shares in the company, which has been struggling to keep up with rivals AT&T Wireless and Verizon Wireless, fell 26 percent in midday trading. -
    That's 6 different kinds of bad news. It's a real pity, too, because we still think that Sprint has the best plans around as far as data and SMS rates go. ...But that hasn't stopped them from losing **683,000**, that's *six hundred eighty three thousand* subscribers last *quarter*.

    We joking claimed that Sprint is going to lose their spot in the carrier size rankings to Alltel soon and that Alltel might just have to buy them out. That's looking less like a joke and more like a premonition right now.

    So, Sprint customers: will you go down with the ship or jump off?

    Read more at http://www.wmexperts.com/articles/tine_to_start_the_sprint_death.html
    Last edited by Dieter Bohn; 01/18/2008 at 02:17 PM.
  2. #2  
    Geez give it a rest already. This is right up there with Palm is dead and the farkin sky is falling.
  3. #3  
    Have to say that it is somewhat concerning - I certainly don't want to be caught in a buy-out with a carrier I may not like. I have been one of the (few?) customers who has been pretty satisfied overall and I wonder if the grass is really greener elsewhere? I would pick ATT over VZW, but the cost is pretty significant compared to the great deal I have now - not counting ETF fees. But they have lost a couple of million customers in the past 3-4 quarters. Wow...

    Funny - Alltel would buy out the company they lease their bandwidth from!
  4. kvcobra's Avatar
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    #4  
    To ansqer the OP's question: not yet; it's too early.

    My reaction to the subject was the same as TreoTraveler's, although the content did wake me up a bit.

    Overall, I'm w/ Bubbatex. It's news, but the pros of sticking with Sprint clearly outweight the cons, and Sprint's ship is weathering far better than Palm's, at least for now.
    ... Als sie mich holten, gab es keinen mehr, der protestieren konnte.
    ... Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out.
    -- Rev. Martin Niemöller

    Clie T615C + Nokia 6360 (SunCom) --> Treo 650 (Sprint) --> Treo 755p (Sprint) + BlackBerry 7130e (VZW)
    Palm (aka Plantronics) Ultralight Wireless headset
    Helix Holster
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by bubbatex View Post
    I have been one of the (few?) customers who has been pretty satisfied overall and I wonder if the grass is really greener elsewhere?
    I have been with Sprint since something like 1997. Not out of any loyality. Every time my contract comes up, I go shopping for the best plan that includes roaming, data, SMS, etc... and everytime no one can beat the deal I can get with Sprint. So then I sign up again. I have had my share of issues, but they have never failed to (eventually) fall in my favor.

    I would be watching to see if there are any incentives to ride the transition if bought out or to jump ship...again just a matter of who is willing to offer the best deal.

    Quote Originally Posted by bubbatex View Post
    Funny - Alltel would buy out the company they lease their bandwidth from!
    Yes, that would be an interesting deal to watch happen.
  6. #6  
    Lord.

    Talk about living on the edge. . . . owning a PalmOS Sprint Treo.

    Damn it, I believe in Sprint too !!!!

    Cheers, Perry
  7. #7  
    I can't believe that Sprint can go belly-up, so this is the time to get in on their inexpensive plans; Retentions is giving out great deals and I bet that a new customer could get a bargain.

    I wonder how much money they could save if they just sold air and data plans-no equipment.
  8. #8  
    I guess to some people, price doesn't mean a thing if the CS people are rude and unknowledgable. I would think people would stay due to prices too, so it must be the people running the place scaring away customers. They are certainly doing something wrong that price can't overcome.
    HP has officially ruined it's own platform and kicked webOS loyalists and early TouchPad adopters to the curb. You think after you drop it like a hot potato and mention it made no money and is costing you money, anyone else wants it??? Way to go HP!!

    And some people are fools to keep believing their hype. HP has shown they will throw webOS under the bus and people are still having faith in them??? News flash: if it's own company won't stand behind it, it's finished!
  9. xdalaw's Avatar
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    #9  
    I sure hope it's not in that much trouble. I've only been with Sprint for a year or so, but am very happy with my service, my SERO plan, and even with my limited interaction with customer service.
    I previously had service with Cingular, Nextel & the old AT&T, and while each had their virtues, they each had serious issues, too.
    Palm III -> Handspring Visor Deluxe -> Dell Axim X5 Advanced -> Dell Axim X3i -> Dell Axim X50v -> Cingular 8125 -> Sprint Palm Treo 700Wx -> ->Palm Treo 700P (my wife's but I played with it ) -> Sprint Mogul -> Treo 800w -> Touch Pro & Treo Pro.
  10. #10  
    I think Sprint's trouble really is a testament to why mergers don't work half the time. They acquired a network which was aging and failed to execute the transition properly.

    You don't lose a majority of your market value by having bad, unknowdlegable service reps. There's something bigger to Sprint's woes.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by Perry Holden View Post
    Talk about living on the edge. . . . owning a PalmOS Sprint Treo.
    Bah, get the Linux one and give that one to your daughter.....it's only fashionable for a youngin' to keep a phonr 6 months anyway.

    As for the "impending death", let's be real 54 million subscribers is not that far below the 63.7 / 67.4 of Verizon and AT&T. Though ya gotta remeber too that 1/3 of Sprint customers are iDEN only. Nevertheless, I think several things hurt Sprint.

    1. Investing big bucks in being the 1st to get near saturation with 3G. Real hot topic here in "nerd central", but of little notice to the other 99.5% of the population. The "wow" factor of internet e-mail and web access is wearing off. It's a niche need and that niche is small. Now that everyone has it, it's not so unique anymore and peeps are finding that they really don't need to type out a 4 paragraph response with one thumb while standing, holding the strap,on a rocking subway train.....it can wait 10 minutes till ya get to the office.

    Businesses said, uhmmm.....it really doesn't make sense for everyone to have a Treo / Crackberry .... just the guys on the road all day. While I am currently thinking of dropping our land line service and installing an exterior / interior antenna and amp setup for the house, I am also thinking of dropping my MediaMax as 99/100 times when I see an e-mail in my Treo, I wait till I get to my laptop to answer it....or I just call them back.

    2. Being the cheapest......continually putting out plans with the lowest cost has them with the lowest income per customer allowing rivals to outspend them.

    3. With all that cash, AT&T / Verizon must outspend them I would guess, based upon what I see on TV, at least 5 to 1.

    4. Having less cash coming in while rolling out all those 3G upgrades means less money for new towers, less money for customer service, less money for quality control leading many to believe that their service was the cheapest but that they were getting what they paid for.

    5. The "all brands" brick and mortar" stores have been dropping Sprint faster than the the 2008 republican presidential candidates are dropping support for Dubya....at least around here. Way back when I went into an all brands store to buy a Sprint 650 when they came out. I was given a Treo to play with, turned on the screen....no signal.....went outside no signal.....walked back in the store and before I could say a word, the store owner said, "We are supposed to get the Cingular ones in January". That store no longer sells Sprint....At least 4 others that I know of within 10 miles or so of where I live (USA's 22nd largest metro area) have done the same. Hard to sell a phone where you get no signal at the very store it's being sold in. I have to travel about 4 miles to get a Sprint signal. Have verizon phone built into car w/ booster, have to travel 1.5 miles for signal. AT&T tower is 6200' from house.

    6. Sprint / Nextel - The association with Nextel and public annoyance to all the squawk while waiting on line at the deli has hurt their image. Kinds getting their 1st phones tell their parents, "I don't want the kind that makes those squawking noises." They have even become the **** of comedians like Joe Rogan who use lines like "What's with Sprint / Nextel ?.....whose stupid idea was it to put a walkie talkie in a phone ? Could we put even older technology in there ? How about jungle drums or smoke signals ?" And yes of course you don't have to get the feature with all Sprint phones but the association is still a negative on to the less informed regular customer.

    7. The iPhone. Even if the user doesn't want it, makes AT&T look like the "major player".

    Now I have friends in other parts of the country where they say the opposite is true, that they get much better sprint signals and I am sure that this is the case. I am not saying the other carriers are better, I am saying that they are perceived by the general public to be better.

    Most phone selection is not done on an actual review of features and performance but how the buyer perceives the device as part of their image. This is well evidenced by the fundamentalist fervor which peeps feel about their phone choices. The salesman who takes a client out to a fancy joint for lunch in his Lexus, wearing an armani suit, and paying with his American Express platinum credit card doesn't want to leave that Sprint Phone on the table. Why not ? He's trying to portray an image. he wants to portray that he is successful and can afford all this stuff, he also wants to show that he is serious about business. Don't ya watch TV.....Verizon is the "Business Choice", AT&T has the fewest dropped calls.....Sprint has, er.....what....I don't remember.....haven't seen a commercial in so long.

    I love Sprint's economical pricing plans. If I could get a signal I'd be using it. I negotiated one for my professional society similar to the one the realtors have which is talked about in many threads here at TC. We have 2700 members.....3 existing Sprint users have moved under the plan.....about two dozen existing users checked into it and the 24% was just about equal to what they were paying under a mid size corporate plan. No one has switched to Sprint in the 1st year of the plan being in place.....the second year is almost over and I should be getting data in a couple of weeks.

    I called AT&T, Verizon .....had AT&T regional account executives in my office. Showed them our Sprint deal and tried to get them to offer something similar. Their response was "You have 2700 potential customers, we have close to 50% of them alreday. Suppose we get a churn form our competitors such that we pick up a third of what we don't have with this deal, that's 25% of your membership. That's 16% more income we'd get out of this deal but to get it we get we give up 24% of our current income.....doesn't make business sense for us to do that.

    After all these years why hasn't AT & T and Verizon responded to Sprints lower plan costs ? Cause they didn't have to. Sprint went with "We got the most 3G" advertising plan and nobody noticed.

    Remember back in January 2006 or so when AT&T had like 50 HSDPA towers and was predicting they'd be done by end of year ? What happened ? They stopped building them and no one noticed.

    To recover, they outta do some Ross Perot style advertising.

    -Show peeps downloading a song or whatever and a scroll bar showing sprint finishing first with the progress bar image. Show graphical comparisons between Sprint 3G penetration an competitors.
    -Publicize their cheap plans, not make them some big secret like SERO and others. Then show the cost of the plan in similar graphic style like a progress bar showing a teenager's bank account going up and up each month with the money he / she saves on the Sprint plan.

    I hope Sprint doesn't slide as I think they are just about the only thing keeping the others from raising prices.

    BTW, here's the latest stats in millipons of customers I could find on the "Big 4" (AT&T / Verizon / Sprint / TMobile).

    AT&T - 65.7 (Added 2000k customer net in quarter, 585k from new phones)
    Verizon - 63.7 (Added 1800k customers net in quarter, 200k from new phones)
    Sprint - 53.96 (lost 370k customers net in quarter, 194k came in w/ new phones)
    Tmobile - 27.7 (too long to read )

    http://www.att.com/Investor/Growth_P...oad/master.pdf
    http://investor.verizon.com/news/view.aspx?NewsID=863
    http://newsreleases.sprint.com/phoen...oom&ID=1070801
    http://www.download-telekom.de/dt/St...pdf_472528.pdf

    Here's an interesting aside:

    Among the Big 4:

    96.1 GSM customers
    97.8 CDMA Customers
    01.2 CDMA / iDEN customers
    18.7 iDEN only customers

    Will USA GSM equal / pass CDMA this year (At least among the big 4) ?

    By my quick count among the other 14 US cell companies, CDMA has about a 18 million advantege still.
  12. #12  
    As long as my plans and data services stay intact I'm in regardless of who buys them out. I also shop around everytime my contract expires but Sprint always gives me the best price and coverage so I have stayed here since 2001. Now if they go the ways of the Evil Empire ATT/Verizon (data caps, ungodly expensive data plans, with zero reasons to justify the higher cost) then it will be a sad day as Tmobile or the regionals are not really options for me.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by xchpstang View Post
    Now if they go the ways of the Evil Empire ATT/Verizon (data caps, ungodly expensive data plans, with zero reasons to justify the higher cost) ....
    I have never understood where these "expensive" rumors come from.

    I pay $89.95 / month for voice on 5 phones with AT&T and have seven thousand + rollover minutes stored up.

    I pay $19.99 for unlimited internet and 200 text messages on my Treo 650 though I have never sent a text message in my life.

    My 17 year old son has an Apple iPhone ..... part of the $89.95 above is his share of the voice charge at $9.99 and we just put on a $5 adder to the unlimited internet / 200 text message plan so he would get unlimited text messaging.....So our bill is $89.95 (voice - 5 phones) + $19.99 (my data) + $24.99 (son no. 1's data) + $4.99 (son no. 2's text messaging + $0.00 (youngest's phone has no data capability)

    I recognize that Sprint has some special plans which can beat that, but I don't think the tag "ungodly expensive" applies.

    Now do I think that Sprint's low prices helps keep AT&T and Verizon from raising their prices ? Yes, certainly.
  14. JrrInTN's Avatar
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    #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by JackNaylorPE View Post
    I have never understood where these "expensive" rumors come from.

    I pay $89.95 / month for voice on 5 phones with AT&T and have seven thousand + rollover minutes stored up.

    I pay $19.99 for unlimited internet and 200 text messages on my Treo 650 though I have never sent a text message in my life.

    ...

    I moved from Verizon to Sprint last September. For two phones with unlimited data, I'll be saving well over $1000 per year after moving to Sprint. In my book, that would make the Verizon plan pretty "expensive"! Looking at the ATT Plans, I see I could get a "family plan" for $89, plus $20 per line for two lines for data = $129. I pay $60 for two lines with Sprint, so ATT is over twice the cost -- not quite as expensive as Verizon, but still over $800 more expensive than under Sprint.

    Actually, I think I've had better service and connections under Sprint than I had with Verizon. I'm very happy with them and sure hope they continue. Hopefully they'll get things figured out soon and start moving back in the right direction.
  15. #15  
    Seems like we ain't comparing apples and apples here. I just looked up all the carriers rates and they are all $89.99 on a 2 line family plan.

    The 1400 minute plan under AT&T is $89.99 for two phones.

    http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-pho...hone-plans.jsp

    The Sprint Power Pack Family Plans is also $89.99

    http://nextelonline.nextel.com/NASAp...itRegionAction

    Verizon has a 1400 minutes per month plan at $89.99 per month:

    http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/s...Id=2&catId=323

    Seems to me the only difference I can see between the plans is w/AT&T where it offers rollover minutes and the others don't mention it.

    Now of course you can be eligible for certain discounts as a long time customer, or member of a certain group with any of them under specific conditions but again, this isn't apples and apples.

    I tried to look up Sprint's currently offered data plans but the site now has obfuscated the options pretty well....I gave up after 10 minutes.
    Last edited by JackNaylorPE; 01/21/2008 at 01:41 PM.
  16. gatorray's Avatar
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    #16  
    Read the recent Consumer Report's review of cell phone plans and you get the idea that Sprint doesn't measure up to the others in many categories.

    I wanted to get SERO, but they have awful coverage in my area (my in-laws use Sprint). That, coupled with the bad review, convinced me to stay with VZN.
  17. raiderfan's Avatar
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    #17  
    Sprint wouldn't have to close stores if they would stop subsidizing that Okie Down Home Left Turn Only Auto Racing Stuff...........
    "Yet each man kills the thing he loves, from all let this be heard. Some do it with a bitter look, some with a flattering word. The coward does it with a kiss the brave man with the sword."
    -- Oscar Wilde
  18. #18  
    ^ ROTFLMAO I needed a laugh today....BWAHAHAHAHA

  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by raiderfan View Post
    Sprint wouldn't have to close stores if they would stop subsidizing that Okie Down Home Left Turn Only Auto Racing Stuff...........
    And the NFL and PGA Tour.........

    And as Jack said above, you can not find data package pricing on the website (I have the $15/mo PV plan, but I have it for free) unless you sign in or sign up it appears. If they would just focus on some fundamentals (why so many data plans?), not screw up billings and do some advertising that makes sense - they might do ok. Complicated plans and a crappy billing system is one reason people have to call and get crappy service. Eliminate the reasons people have to call you and half the battle is won.
  20. #20  
    Man, I tell you what, a buyout by Alltel wouldn't bother me in the least. At least then maybe my 6800 wouldn't count Alltel as roaming and freeze up on me.
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