View Poll Results: How will the availability of SERO affect your decision to purchase a Pre?

Voters
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  • I have SERO & will purchase the Pre even if I can't keep my SERO plan

    9 6.92%
  • I have SERO & will not purchase the Pre if I can't keep my SERO plan

    48 36.92%
  • I don't have SERO but if it's not available with the Pre, I may not purchase it

    2 1.54%
  • I don't have SERO and am not concerned about its availability with the Pre

    44 33.85%
  • I just don't care

    13 10.00%
  • What's SERO?

    14 10.77%
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  1. #721  
    Quote Originally Posted by aero View Post
    Don't think that is the case. there is a lot of resentment of sero folks by people who don't understand sero was pushed by Sprint and kept Sprint from dying altogether.
    I would agree with this. My first cell phone was with Sprint, and I kept them for about 6 years, and then moved on to T-Mobile because they paid me about 200 bucks in one of those Amazon deals. I only came back because of SERO.

    IMHO there are always going to be the following groups of cell phone users:

    1) The category of people who choose their carrier because of the phone (this includes two disparate groups of people...early adopters, and bling bling trendy fashion people). Lets just say this group is 5% and growing.

    2) The category of people who choose their carrier because of the plan (most SERO users and me...until the Pre). Lets just say this group is 5% and shrinking.

    3) The category of people (remaining 90%) who just want a phone, just want to talk and text, and whose only information comes from what they get at mall kiosks or from the TV.

    However, there is something in the background that I don't think gets discussed often enough. The follow on effect of offering such a "backdoor" discount gives a carrier good word of mouth and a certain amount of "street cred". My impression of Sprint the first time around was that they were the carrier with the worst voice coverage, worst customer service, and worst overall reputation. While all of this might still be true, I have a positive view of Sprint now, only because of SERO.

    I didn't care about my phone until the iphone came out. It was a real game changer. When the Pre was announced, there was no doubt in my mind that was the ultimate phone for me.

    The point? SERO only helps Sprint grow and improve its reputation, and the number of people who have it is not significant. They still make money on us, just not as much. But if we whine and complain enough, they'll let us keep the plan because I think they realize what a boon it has been to their recovery plan.

    -IR
  2. #722  
    Quote Originally Posted by irelayer View Post
    I would agree with this. My first cell phone was with Sprint, and I kept them for about 6 years, and then moved on to T-Mobile because they paid me about 200 bucks in one of those Amazon deals. I only came back because of SERO.
    Wow. This is actually my story exactly (except I was with Sprint 7 years initially).


    However, there is something in the background that I don't think gets discussed often enough. The follow on effect of offering such a "backdoor" discount gives a carrier good word of mouth and a certain amount of "street cred". My impression of Sprint the first time around was that they were the carrier with the worst voice coverage, worst customer service, and worst overall reputation. While all of this might still be true, I have a positive view of Sprint now, only because of SERO.

    -IR
    Just my experience -When I went from T-mobile to Sprint, my service was much better. My speeds were much faster. My customer service was much worse.

    But I would never take CS into consideration in shopping for a carrier, as I only call them maybe twice a year it isn't worth paying more for good CS.
  3. #723  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardfan View Post
    I almost left sprint because they wouldn't let me switch to SERO. Can only be done online. Just not capable of making the switch. Lacked the technology so to speak or other such BS.
    What they did was offer series and sets of discounts to match it. at the time sero exploded into viral marketing I gave Sprint a call. I said I have three lines and this is how much they would cost on sero. Indeed at the time sero was being offered further reduced by company discounts and where I was contracting it was 22%. so I could have gotten three seros at $23.40 a piece or $70. Retention said, wait don't cancel, we can simply apply a bunch of discounts to take your three lines down to $70 with unlimited text and data.

    Quote Originally Posted by cardfan View Post
    I honestly think Sprint asked for bad customer service by offering these plans and others. They begged for bad customer service by making things entirely more complex than it needs to be.
    Offering such low plans on the sly and refusing to switch longtime customers was a bad recipe. They still do this of course.
    I agree. they created a culture of making your resigning like an afternoon buying a rug at a middle eastern souk. Is it greedy to get your rug for $100 if you know educated buyers can? Is it greedy to down what Sprint surely itself does with is own suppliers, vendors and employee unions and negotiate the cheapest possible prices?

    the fact is they save a boatload of money by making offers of deep discounts to retain you. their own accounting estimates a $320 acquisition cost for each new customers. In fact only a tiny fraction is handset subsidies. During the court cases over ETF suits expert witnesses in forensic accounting came in and looked at the gross imported declared value and the gross sales declared of handsets and came up with an average of a $14 subsidy!

    So most of the cost of getting a new customers (or losing a current one) is marketing, advertising, account set up, credit checks, losses due to customers bolting in first 30 days (this causes huge losses if you get a smartphone and then in 28 days decide to leave with no ETF as this also saddles sprint with all the costs and a used smartphone.)

    Sprint was number three and dropping in a three player zero sum slugfest for market share and the game is saturated (with exception of upselling to data). they bought nextel to try and get some business customers and that was a clusterfrak that existing non nextel customers paid for.

    their culture of dealing and low prices is something they needed and still need for survival

    Quote Originally Posted by cardfan View Post
    Sprint is still screwing up even in the advent of having "everything" plans.
    do you think so? I think coming in at 30% less than the competition is about the sweet spot for Sprint. I would not have sprint if it was only 25% cheaper, but 30% makes it a choice for consideration.the everything also eliminates surprises. The main problem I see for myself is that the everything family plans don't come near my current family plan.

    Why do you think everything plans are a mistake?
  4. #724  
    Quote Originally Posted by Beanis View Post
    But I would never take CS into consideration in shopping for a carrier, as I only call them maybe twice a year it isn't worth paying more for good CS.
    the problem is that sprint needed and needs to offer deep discounts to compensate for their poor reputation and third place position. they make offers for discounts to get a contract and then sometimes the system kills the discoutns leaving customers with higher bills than represented and causing the customers to call to protest charges and fix their bills continually. this had a lot to do with the the very bad CS rating they had.
  5. #725  
    I was editing and accidentally deleted..lol Oh well. Aero quoted me.

    Exactly though. Dealing with sprint is like buying that middle eastern souk, or a car, or anything where you know you can and should haggle. The other carriers don't offer the haggling option as much.

    Now i appreciate that (though when they refuse to haggle..arggghh..even though you know they do for others). I think you can, and i have, haggled prices where customers don't normally do this. That TV at Best Buy? It can be haggled down. Furniture? Same. The owner of a company where i started as an accountant really opened my eyes years ago. Vendors, leases, anyone she buys from. I'm surprised she doesn't haggle at the grocery store..its a part of her.

    But it does have a side effect of promoting bad customer service. In efforts to improve CS, some car lots put prices on the windows and that's it, no haggling. Which would seem to me that haggling = bad CS for a lot of customers.

    Still screwing up with "everything" plans because its just confusing. Everything implies..well everything (except tethering :P). I think many customers see it as 99 dollars and don't realize the plans start at 69 and probably don't get that unlimited text is included vs paying for it at at&t. There's even still those SERO plans for 10 dollars less if you know about em (which many don't know).

    So now Sprint has to train its low level CS how to deal with old plans, old plans with data, old sero plans, new sero plans, everything plans, and simply everything. And of course sprint eyes AT&T who makes at LEAST 75 a month on every iphone owner (which is simply awesome for at&t).

    Though they cost too much IMO, at&t is clever to announce...these are the plans we offer. You pick. No confusion. These are our iphone plans we offer..no confusion.

    Sprint similarly if it wants to treat the Pre differently from its other phones should then announce Pre plans with the 99 one called Pre Everything. These are what you can use...no confusion. Or use "smartphone" instead of Pre in it. I know its just a 6 months exclusive, but Sprint needs to milk it for all its worth. Set up displays and push the heck out of it.

    On the 149 a month, sprint card + simply everything plan....get with Dell or someone and promote that and offer a subsidized (free?) netbook or notebook. Personally, i think the notebooks (or netbooks) with an internal sprint card are pretty cool.
    Last edited by cardfan; 03/20/2009 at 06:45 AM.
  6. gbp
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    #726  
    Folks,
    You can pay may be 10 dollars to your existing SERO and get Pre.
    Many of you been long standing customers and as few folks mentioned talk to sprint , be prepared to pay 10 bucks more.
    I am not sure it works both ways , you can have Pre , SPRINT can retain you.
  7. gbp
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    #727  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardfan View Post
    I was editing and accidentally deleted..lol Oh well. Aero quoted me.

    Exactly though. Dealing with sprint is like buying that middle eastern souk, or a car, or anything where you know you can and should haggle. The other carriers don't offer the haggling option as much.

    Now i appreciate that (though when they refuse to haggle..arggghh..even though you know they do for others). I think you can, and i have, haggled prices where customers don't normally do this. That TV at Best Buy? It can be haggled down. Furniture? Same. The owner of a company where i started as an accountant really opened my eyes years ago. Vendors, leases, anyone she buys from. I'm surprised she doesn't haggle at the grocery store..its a part of her.

    But it does have a side effect of promoting bad customer service. In efforts to improve CS, some car lots put prices on the windows and that's it, no haggling. Which would seem to me that haggling = bad CS for a lot of customers.

    Still screwing up with "everything" plans because its just confusing. Everything implies..well everything (except tethering :P). I think many customers see it as 99 dollars and don't realize the plans start at 69 and probably don't get that unlimited text is included vs paying for it at at&t. There's even still those SERO plans for 10 dollars less if you know about em (which many don't know).

    So now Sprint has to train its low level CS how to deal with old plans, old plans with data, old sero plans, new sero plans, everything plans, and simply everything. And of course sprint eyes AT&T who makes at LEAST 75 a month on every iphone owner (which is simply awesome for at&t).

    Though they cost too much IMO, at&t is clever to announce...these are the plans we offer. You pick. No confusion. These are our iphone plans we offer..no confusion.

    Sprint similarly if it wants to treat the Pre differently from its other phones should then announce Pre plans with the 99 one called Pre Everything. These are what you can use...no confusion. Or use "smartphone" instead of Pre in it. I know its just a 6 months exclusive, but Sprint needs to milk it for all its worth. Set up displays and push the heck out of it.

    On the 149 a month, sprint card + simply everything plan....get with Dell or someone and promote that and offer a subsidized (free?) netbook or notebook. Personally, i think the notebooks (or netbooks) with an internal sprint card are pretty cool.
    Excellent post,
    Sprint's billing system is so messed up ($%@%ed) , they try to get NEXTEL's to use for both SPRINT and NEXTEL after the acquisition.
    I know for a fact from folks who were part of their billing system that the system is a mess.
    I even found mistakes in calculating minutes in the bill.

    Their automated system for calculating minutes is so messed up you will be confused if you keep checking the minutes used on a hourly basis.

    Added to this , the plans and complexity of the discounts SERO, COMPANY DISCOUNT, FLEXI PLAN makes the CSR's job a nightmare. Only a smart CSR can survive a customer phone call and answer any conflicting questions.

    Hesse did say that he needs to eliminate the confusion between plans. So the SE plans were introduced. But they haven't clarified the plan details for e millions of folks with SERO or company discounts.
  8. #728  
    So I think Sprint is doing random service checks with customers because I got one today from a young lady at Sprint. She started off asking basic questions about my service, if I was satisifed, anything they could do, etc...everything is fine so not much to talk about there.

    Of course, my one question was about the Pre. Since I have an unlimited data plan that is not an Everything Plan, I asked her if the Palm Pre would be available to me without signing up on one of those plans (I know, this topic has been beaten to a pulp on this and any other Pre-related board).

    Initially, she said that purchasing the Pre shouldn't be a problem since I already have unlimited data. I challenged her on it again saying that the release of the Pre seems to parallel very closely the release of the Instinct, with talk about Everything Plans dominating plan discussions. Her explanation was that because the Instinct was/is so data intensive (GPS, SprintTV, Visual Voicemail, Push-to-Search, etc...) that they required the Everything Plans. In my mind, I'm thinking, all of those applications/features, besides Visual Voicemail, don't require a user to actually use them. I challenged it again, saying that I was still skeptical.

    She put me on hold to speak with her supervisor, whom she said would be more privy to this information than her. Her supervisor advised her that it should be available to me because of my unlimited data plan.

    She would not put this in an email (advised by her Supervisor), which I understood, nor could she confirm release data or pricing. Frankly, I'm still skeptical, but this does add a glimmer of hope for those who have unlimited data and don't want to switch to the Everything Plans.

    I will add this last editorial. Sprint may not want to allow people to get this phone without an Everything Plan, but given the current state of the economy, their erroding market share, higher operating costs, lower revenues, and the need for Palm to succeed, there may be significant pressure to release it to the masses. Speaking of Palm, they are likely pressing for this to be released without an "Everything" requirement considering they NEED the maximum amount of exposure possible from this phone because without it, there may not be a Palm at the end of the year.

    All of these factors create a very interesting dynamic for the release of this phone. I hope they release it without a EP requirement, but if not, no big deal.
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    #729  
    Sprint already confirmed the pricing plans that you would need in order to get the Pre in the webcast
  10. #730  
    I have noticed that under my sero plan description it now says "casual data".
  11. #731  
    Quote Originally Posted by curiousobserver View Post
    I have noticed that under my sero plan description it now says "casual data".
    they may plan to in future to restrict casual data from unlimited, since casual costs less.
  12. #732  
    Quote Originally Posted by aero View Post
    they may plan to in future to restrict casual data from unlimited, since casual costs less.
    Can you, or anyone for that matter, elaborate on what the difference is between casual and unlimited data?
  13. #733  
    Quote Originally Posted by Reminiz View Post
    Sprint already confirmed the pricing plans that you would need in order to get the Pre in the webcast
    Yes, you are correct that they confirmed the phone would be available with the Everything Plans. They did not, however, confirm that it would not be available for users who do not have an Everything Plan, but have unlimited data...at least, they didn't in the way they did with the Instinct.
  14. #734  
    Not again. There are already multiple threads arguing about this. Please stop it!
    Bob Meyer
    I'm out of my mind. But feel free to leave a message.
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    #735  
    Really hope Sprint doesn't model the Pre after the instinct. For me personally, it'd cost an extra $50 per month for the Everything Family Data plan with the same minutes. Definitely a deal breaker because 3 of the 4 lines would probably never touch data and 2 of them already don't use the unlimited sms they have. It'd basically be like paying $600 for the Pre on my line (over 2 years).
  16.    #736  
    Quote Originally Posted by meyerweb View Post
    Not again. There are already multiple threads arguing about this. Please stop it!
    <<merged>>
  17. #737  
    I know we're all hoping Sprint honors existing plans.

    A quick question though. Did AT&T do any of that for the iphone? I'm thinking not, but not 100% sure. They listed their iphone plans and those were your options to pick from. All more expensive then i'd ever seen before. Others were quick to rationalize them by saying they were no more expensive than owning a blackberry on AT&T.

    Whatever. But Sprint has to realize, the Pre isn't the iphone. Palm isn't apple. Sprint is simply not going to get the revenue per plan that AT&T can get on their iphone plans.

    And what happens after 6 short months and webOS phones appear on other US carriers? This isn't a longterm deal like apple has going with at&t.

    A good suggestion IMO would be for Sprint to lower plans to current SERO (59, 79, 99), dump SERO, encourage people to have to change plans but honor past ones if push comes to shove. Get that 59 a month plan marketed and push its value over the competition. Sprint should be ecstatic to even get customers going on that 59 plan.

    Sprint has a mature 3g network with wide coverage. They can market better than simply showing Hesse around in black and white.
  18. haydur's Avatar
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    #738  
    Can we please make the OP's post more confusing by adding the "Requires activation on an Everything Plan" line from Sprint's Pre page?
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    #739  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardfan View Post
    I know we're all hoping Sprint honors existing plans.
    Nope. Some of us don't care.
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    #740  
    ^ Yep. Why should those who missed out on SERO care?

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