View Poll Results: What is the biggest problem facing Sprint in relation to future subscriber growth?

Voters
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  • Customer Service

    28 16.00%
  • Network Issues

    23 13.14%
  • Handset Technology

    32 18.29%
  • Targeted Advertising

    60 34.29%
  • Bad Prior Experience

    83 47.43%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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  1.    #21  
    What do you think Sprint can do to wrangle some of those disillusioned customers back?
    I likey take apart thingies....
  2. Ghost13's Avatar
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    #22  
    Its all about how they advertise. They need to make it clear they are not the same old Sprint so many left in the past. Unfortunately I'm not creative enough to help them with this so I guess they will have to rely on the Ad company or division they pay the big bucks to
  3. #23  
    I was a Verizon customer (and a fairly satisfied one) for over ten years. I came to Sprint last fall because I was interested in the Pre, and because of the results of the PC World survey last year that proclaimed Sprint had the best network.
    I gave it a try because I found that, despite a significant discount from Verizon through my wife's employer, we could save about a third off our previous costs, plus get more services (data on all phones, not just mine, unlimited text, navigation, etc.) When we discovered the service was roughly the same (except for issues inside structures) AND then that we were entitled to an even larger discount from Sprint through the same employer, we were hooked.

    CS so far has been excellent, far better than when I had a Nextel from Sprint through my company, resolving the only issue we've had with a single exchange of emails. I think it is just a matter of time healing old wounds, and steadily beating the drums. Really the only place I consistently have a service problem is inside my home. It simply sucks, but Verizon wasn't much better until the last few months I was with them.

    Of course, a few more stories in the technical press like last year's PC World survey wouldn't hurt either.
  4. #24  
    Quote Originally Posted by da1Bear View Post
    I was a Verizon customer (and a fairly satisfied one) for over ten years. I came to Sprint last fall because I was interested in the Pre, and because of the results of the PC World survey last year that proclaimed Sprint had the best network.
    I gave it a try because I found that, despite a significant discount from Verizon through my wife's employer, we could save about a third off our previous costs, plus get more services (data on all phones, not just mine, unlimited text, navigation, etc.) When we discovered the service was roughly the same (except for issues inside structures) AND then that we were entitled to an even larger discount from Sprint through the same employer, we were hooked.

    CS so far has been excellent, far better than when I had a Nextel from Sprint through my company, resolving the only issue we've had with a single exchange of emails. I think it is just a matter of time healing old wounds, and steadily beating the drums. Really the only place I consistently have a service problem is inside my home. It simply sucks, but Verizon wasn't much better until the last few months I was with them.

    Of course, a few more stories in the technical press like last year's PC World survey wouldn't hurt either.
    As I said, indoor penetration is an issue. You need to install a femotocell like an airave to fix it if it's just at your house, but it doesn't help when it's in an office or other larger structure. Sprint's service just won't work as well because of the kind of spectrum they have.

    Folks can blame marketing and such all they want, but the proof of the pudding is in network service. The sooner Sprint realizes they have to solve the hard problem and not think it's just marketing, the sooner they'll be able to make real progress.
  5. #25  
    I left AT&T a little over 10 years ago because of coverage issues, and have never looked back. SPRINT has been excellent in all respects. My biggest complaint has always been SPRINT not having cool phones, but Pre fixed that. Free mobile to mobile regardless of carrier has made the deal even sweeter. I for one have enjoyed my experience.
  6.    #26  
    Did I hear correctly that AT&T does unlimited mobile to mobile (any network) as well? When did that happen?
    I likey take apart thingies....
  7. Ghost13's Avatar
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    #27  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikesm View Post
    As I said, indoor penetration is an issue. You need to install a femotocell like an airave to fix it if it's just at your house, but it doesn't help when it's in an office or other larger structure. Sprint's service just won't work as well because of the kind of spectrum they have.

    Folks can blame marketing and such all they want, but the proof of the pudding is in network service. The sooner Sprint realizes they have to solve the hard problem and not think it's just marketing, the sooner they'll be able to make real progress.
    I see your point about poor penetration and can't really speak to all the tech details on why or how, but I've never had any issue with coverage even indoors. Aside from reading a few issues in this forum I haven't really heard any complaints about sprints coverage including indoors. Instead I continue to hear how bad their CS was and I emphasize "was". So to rule out adverting and getting people to buy into the improved Sprint would be a big mistake.
  8.    #28  
    I have heard that the biggest problem with AT&T (Especially with the iPhone), is indoor penetration. I don't have that problem with my Pre, except at home where my AirRave has virtually eliminated the problem.
    I likey take apart thingies....
  9. #29  
    Sprint has two problems:

    They haven't had ANY desirable phones on their network until recently..

    and

    The stores can do whatever the hell they want. [Most are not corporate stores so are more concerned about $10 than saving a customer]

    AND, an extension of that, the stores and *2 have NOTHING to do with each other and have NO communication between each other.
  10. yoshk's Avatar
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    #30  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikesm View Post
    .....Also, with the exception of the Pre, the don't have a modern highend handset. No iPhone, no Droid, no NexusOne. Ok, they do have the best HTC windows mobile phone. Big deal. Plus, if you want a Pre, you have be on an example do it all plan, which they don't require on normal handsets.....
    HTC Hero and Samsung Moment are both Android handsets on par with the Droid and Eris. Sprint's lineup of phones is excellent right now. HTC Touch Pro 2, two Android handsets, the WebOS handsets, plus the Tour and new Curve round out Sprint's phone lineup.
    Store Manager, Authorized Sprint Retailer and Authorized Service Center for Sprint/Nextel devices. Please post inquiries to the "Ask a Sprint rep" sticky on the CDMA North America forum.
    Rocking the Evo Shift 4G till Pre3 lands.
  11. #31  
    Ive been with sprint for 7 years and its going great they have always taken care of me and i love the stuff i get for being sprint premier. But if sprint wants to climb higher in the ranks it has to do better with advertising. Ive only seen a few commercials for the palm pre and any other device for that matter. They really push on their plans which are great in comparison to anybody else. But people really dont care about plans if they dont see any good phones. Sell the phones and people will come. People love the iphone cuz of its hype and will pay $150 amonth for a limited plan. why? Cause they were lured into buying that phone now they have no choice. They need to push thier phones and the plans will come with. they do go hand in hand right? besides thier line up of handsets has gotten a lot better.

    like YOSHK said:

    HTC Hero and Samsung Moment are both Android handsets on par with the Droid and Eris. Sprint's lineup of phones is excellent right now. HTC Touch Pro 2, two Android handsets, the WebOS handsets, plus the Tour and new Curve round out Sprint's phone lineup.

    and dont forget the suPREme
  12. yoshk's Avatar
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    #32  
    Quote Originally Posted by Mattykinsx View Post
    .....The stores can do whatever the hell they want. [Most are not corporate stores so are more concerned about $10 than saving a customer]

    AND, an extension of that, the stores and *2 have NOTHING to do with each other and have NO communication between each other.
    Unfortunately 3rd party dealers have extremely limited options for helping customers. Especially since Sprint continues to squeeze our profitability at every turn (I can't help you if I go out of business). I do everything in my power including giving away inventory that I know Sprint will never pay me for. I have a district rep who I can contact concerning helping folks with credits and the like, but some customers simply aren't satisfied with my telling them I'll be sending a email to someone and I can't blame them.
    My main way of helping customers is with my TIME. I will spend hours trying to resolve a problem for a customer, and while this doesn't make me any money, it does help with customer satisfaction and it's what I would want someone to do if I were in the same situation.
    Another issue that 3rd party dealers have is that Sprint doesn't give us access to account notes. We can't make notes or even see notes that have been entered by another agent, that limits our ability to help some customers who have a history with Sprint and more information would be helpful.
    When you speak to someone over the phone (*2) they are supposed to take detailed notes which can be referred to to by a Sprint corporate store and the store is supposed to take the same detailed type of notes. Rarely do these notes get taken properly so many times a customer will end up going round and round with a issue.

    All of these issues are something that could be fixed, and I send emails and talk to everyone at Sprint I have access to concerning exactly these issues. At some point someone will take notice and the experience will improve for me and you.

    The customers who visit my nearby Sprint Corporate location are MUCH happier visiting my store instead.
    Store Manager, Authorized Sprint Retailer and Authorized Service Center for Sprint/Nextel devices. Please post inquiries to the "Ask a Sprint rep" sticky on the CDMA North America forum.
    Rocking the Evo Shift 4G till Pre3 lands.
  13. #33  
    Quote Originally Posted by Palmzero View Post
    Ive been with sprint for 7 years and its going great they have always taken care of me and i love the stuff i get for being sprint premier. But if sprint wants to climb higher in the ranks it has to do better with advertising. Ive only seen a few commercials for the palm pre and any other device for that matter. They really push on their plans which are great in comparison to anybody else. But people really dont care about plans if they dont see any good phones. Sell the phones and people will come. People love the iphone cuz of its hype and will pay $150 amonth for a limited plan. why? Cause they were lured into buying that phone now they have no choice. They need to push thier phones and the plans will come with. they do go hand in hand right? besides thier line up of handsets has gotten a lot better.

    like YOSHK said:

    HTC Hero and Samsung Moment are both Android handsets on par with the Droid and Eris. Sprint's lineup of phones is excellent right now. HTC Touch Pro 2, two Android handsets, the WebOS handsets, plus the Tour and new Curve round out Sprint's phone lineup.

    and dont forget the suPREme
    The space is moving pretty quickly. The nexusone will be on VZ and AT&T this quarter. The Droid is a nice handset, but the nexus one takes android to the next level - very fast. Still no iPhone, and no Pre plus either.

    To change the public's perfection, Sprint must lead for awhile in handsets, and they have shown no ability to do so.

    It's very hard to change people's minds about being a 2nd tier carrier. You have fewer customers so you have to spend a lot more money on handset exclusivity deals. A small user base also makes it hard to justify fringe coverage improvements.

    All the scale economics that work for AT&T and VZ work against Sprint. I do not believe they will ever break out of this to attain parity with AT&T and VZ. At this point they don't have enough cash to do a breakout deal, and most innovations they field can be copied by VZ and AT&T pretty quickly.

    With all you can eat voice pricing coming down at VZ and AT&T, it puts a further squeeze on Sprint. There isn't a good ending to this show.
  14. #34  
    My personal opinion is that Sprint needs to improve their handsets and then advertise to continue to combat the negative customer service perception.
  15. #35  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikesm View Post
    Sprint's coverage in the parts of the SF Bay Area that I usually travel in is noticeably worse that VZ and AT&T. The roaming to VZ is a mixed blessing, as the constant hoping between Sprint and VZ in a marginal coverage area kills battery life. My AT&T handset shows good signal in almost all the areas that Sprint has issues with.

    In building coverage is also notably worse than VZ and AT&T, and that's due to the fact that Sprint has no low frequency spectrum that penetrates buildings well. AT&T and VZ have all of the old 850 Mhz band, and they also won 700 Mhz spectrum in 2008 as well. Sprint does have some spectrum down low that iDen runs on, but they don't seem to have a plan to convert that to CDMA.

    Also, with the exception of the Pre, the don't have a modern highend handset. No iPhone, no Droid, no NexusOne. Ok, they do have the best HTC windows mobile phone. Big deal. Plus, if you want a Pre, you have be on an example do it all plan, which they don't require on normal handsets.

    So yeah, Sprint's cheaper in some cases, coverage is much worse than AT&T and VZ, and the one advanced handset they have is now being sold as an upgraded model on VZ and will soon be sold on AT&T.

    I think it's pretty easy to see why they are a 2nd tier carrier. It's hard being a CDMA player and not having the scale of VZ.
    Just wondering where you are in the SF Bay Area. I live in the East Bay and the only spot I've had signal issues was a supermarket in San Jose and this one part of San Pablo Dam Road(where every carrier seems to drop their calls anyways). Otherwise, my coverage and network quality from Sprint totally blows the doors off of AT&T. I had an iPhone and the network was slow, with huge latencies and it was just sad. Only other carrier I'd go for is Verizon.

    Sounds like Sprint is making headway though. They REALLY need to shake off their bad customer service image, and hire a new marketing department on some level. I like their commercials but they REALLY need to emphasize price. And mention the fact that their 3G network footprint is huge compared to AT&Ts? Oh, and more flexible pricing options. That's one of the bigger ones too. But, they're trying to turn themselves around, and I think we'll see Sprint definitely take off later in the future.

    EDIT: Handsets are a huge one too. They need some brand-name handsets. And a bigger selection at that. Verizon and AT&T have a bunch of cell phones which I figure attract a fair amount of customers.
  16. gryn's Avatar
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    #36  
    If Sprint started to patch up their coverage areas wouldn't they need higher price plans and eventually be on par with Verizon but with less customers?
    I'm fine with this playing field (yes I live in a city so I rarely have coverage problems) with AT&T being an exception that I want nonexistent.

    Eh, but what do I know? Too simplistic yeah?

    oh and I agree that advertising needs to step up, hopefully pushing their plans and prices more aggressively, why not? Especially with lay-offs left and right they'd be a little more appealing.
    Last edited by grynv; 02/02/2010 at 07:56 PM.
  17. #37  
    Quote Originally Posted by beret9987 View Post
    Just wondering where you are in the SF Bay Area. I live in the East Bay and the only spot I've had signal issues was a supermarket in San Jose and this one part of San Pablo Dam Road(where every carrier seems to drop their calls anyways). Otherwise, my coverage and network quality from Sprint totally blows the doors off of AT&T. I had an iPhone and the network was slow, with huge latencies and it was just sad. Only other carrier I'd go for is Verizon.

    Sounds like Sprint is making headway though. They REALLY need to shake off their bad customer service image, and hire a new marketing department on some level. I like their commercials but they REALLY need to emphasize price. And mention the fact that their 3G network footprint is huge compared to AT&Ts? Oh, and more flexible pricing options. That's one of the bigger ones too. But, they're trying to turn themselves around, and I think we'll see Sprint definitely take off later in the future.

    EDIT: Handsets are a huge one too. They need some brand-name handsets. And a bigger selection at that. Verizon and AT&T have a bunch of cell phones which I figure attract a fair amount of customers.
    Ignore Mikesm -

    He doesnt use Sprint, knows nothing about Sprint...As a matter of fact I would go as far and say he works for Verizon...

    From even before the Pre was on Verizon he was in here bashing Sprint left and right in every post and trying to Prop up Verizon to Sprint users as if we're as mis-informed as the customers he runs lies on to gain as customers for his commission check.

    Sprint is perfect in SF, damn sure is better than ATT, anyone actually in SF would know this.
  18. Ghost13's Avatar
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    #38  
    +1
  19. #39  
    Quote Originally Posted by powerbyte View Post
    What do you think Sprint can do to wrangle some of those disillusioned customers back?
    Several things they could do:

    1. Pull off this rumored partnership with Walmart and 4g towers. IF that turned out to be true it would be huge. It would greatly expand their coverage in many areas and, like it or not, walmart is making the move on electronics and you need to be part of their offerings. HOWEVER, the walmart salespeople are going to have to be trained a lot better than they are now, they don't know squat about what they are selling at this point on ANY phone. In our area, I know that having Best Buy handle the sprint phones has helped a great deal. The BBy people, however, are VERY knowlegable about the sprint (and other) phones and can actually help you out. In fact, Sprint tech support recently sent me to a BBy to have my daughter's Moment reset since neither of the Sprint stores in town (including the one with a full repair shop) had the right computer software to do the reset. [as an aside, BBy could not get the phone to reset even though they did have the software, they were not doing something right so they said, "would you like to wait while we get on the phone to Sprint to find out what we are doing wrong or would you just like to swap for a new phone" Nice service!!!). Also when you buy from BBy, you don't have to mess with those stupid mail-in rebates. IF they could get the same kind of relationship with walmart, that would be huge.

    2. Find an ad guy that doesnt suck.
  20. #40  
    Quote Originally Posted by Blackbeauty212 View Post
    Ignore Mikesm -

    He doesnt use Sprint, knows nothing about Sprint...As a matter of fact I would go as far and say he works for Verizon...

    From even before the Pre was on Verizon he was in here bashing Sprint left and right in every post and trying to Prop up Verizon to Sprint users as if we're as mis-informed as the customers he runs lies on to gain as customers for his commission check.

    Sprint is perfect in SF, damn sure is better than ATT, anyone actually in SF would know this.
    Oh please - stop being so clueless.

    If you read my all my posts you'll see I got the Pre the first day it was available, and have been on Sprint since then. My family is on AT&T primarily - my wife has an iPhone, and I carry two handsets, one primarily for data and one for voice (the Pre doesn't support voice dialing which is essential for me). I used to carry a RAZR in addition to my Pre, but now I have a NexusOne as my primary voice handset, but I use it in edge mode instead of 3G (since the pre-release hardware I have doesn't support 3G on AT&T's bands).

    I certainly don't work for Verizon. I never have. I've never had any Verizon wireless service at all in fact. I do work in the wireless industry (not for a carrier), and but am close to Palm and Google for that matter (that's how I got my nexusone).

    As for coverage, in many parts of Menlo Park and Woodside, Sprint coverage is pretty dodgy. On Sand Hill Rd specfically, VZ and AT&T's signal is great, but Sprint is pretty marginal - especially inside buildings. Their coverage in SF is pretty good, as well as in San Jose and Berkeley by my own experience, but that's not where I spend most of my time. There is a reason they haven't launched commercials with their own 3G map. It will not be a lot better than AT&T's... Believe me, if it was a good story, they would be telling it. Go look at it yourself - it's not anything to write home about.

    I wish Sprint would be more competitive and more competent. The country needs a real competitor to AT&T and VZ. But you Sprint fans bristle when someone provides data that says they suck in a lot of ways. Well tough - this is a Pre fans forum, not a Sprint one.

    Most of the country agrees with me by the way - compare the number of customers on AT&T and VZ to what Sprint has, even though Sprint is arguably cheaper in many ways. This is not because people are irrational. It's because of Sprint lagging in advanced handsets and coverage. Obviously they don't have the iPhone, but no manufacturer wants to launch on Sprint compared with T and VZ because of aggressive marketing budgets, and network coverage. Palm was weak when they cut the Sprint deal, but the Pre has been reasonably successful and I doubt they will have to do that again.

    Sprint can fix this of course, by spending a ton more money on handset deals. But then they don't really have that kind of money to spend. Coupled that with a declining sub base that makes it hard to invest in building out more coverage, and you have a mess on your hands.

    I don't see how Sprint breaks out of being a 2nd tier carrier, though I wish they could. If someone has some ideas on how to do that let's here them. But the surest way for Sprint to die is by them ignoring the facts about why people don't pick them.

    As for BlackBeauty, you should really be listening to that Pam Tillis song "Just call me Cleoptra everybody, cause I'm the queen of denial...".
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