The Sprint Tangent

(You should have come from here) In between AT&T and Verizon, I had a brief dalliance with Sprint, but that did not go well.  I left AT&T because the coverage was problematic, especially as cell phones became more portable computers than phones.  AT&T never seemed to have 4G coverage in any place I ever went.  Meanwhile, Sprint had (supposedly) great 4G coverage in Las Vegas.  And they were cheaper than AT&T. 

Well in order to leave AT&T for Sprint, I had to wait to the day my contract expired.  That was the one time I didn’t get a new phone in less than two years.  Now, perhaps you’ll think I was crazy gong to Sprint, considering their reputation.  But I have an excuse.  A friend of mine had recently switched from AT&T to Sprint and loved it.  Not only that, this friend lives in Vegas and spends a lot of time in L.A., the opposite of me.  He said the coverage was always good pretty much wherever he went.  So I figured it would be good for me too.

But no, I had a lot of issues with coverage.  I couldn’t even make a clear call from my house, And in Vegas, the 4G coverage was flaky.  I was spending more and more time on the my laptp—and on the internet—while in Vegas.  This was before I started working for PokerAtlas, but I did have the blog by now, and I liked to update it while in Vegas.  Rather than pay for the hotel’s wi-fi, I wanted to use the phone as a hot spot.  The trouble with Sprint was, in the same hotel, the coverage widely varied.  I learned which wing of the hotel I needed to be in, but even then, I could never go more than a few hours without losing the 4G signal.

After about a year, I couldn’t wait to leave Sprint, but I was committed.  And then, about a year and a half into my contract, fate stepped in.  One day in Vegas I was staring at my phone waiting for the parking elevator to arrive (this was at the Orleans).  I saw a man in front of waiting for the same elevator, and when it arrived, I followed the guy without looking up.  For some reason, even though there wasn’t a lot of space between us, the elevator doors starting closing as soon as he entered and before I had.  I wasn’t paying attention and the doors closed on my arm—the one holding my phone.  I dropped it.

Now, I had dropped the phone dozens of times without any incident.  Until this time.  I picked up the phone and the screen was all cracked.  I could still see the screen but barely.  Damn.

I took it to the Sprint store and they said they couldn’t fix it.  Since I had insurance, I could get a replacement.  It would be a refurbished model and there would be a deductible.  I don’t remember the deductible amount but it was a lot.  I’m thinking like $100.  Seriously?

Another alternative was to call Customer Service and see if they would do an early upgrade, but that would mean I’d have to sign on for another two years with Sprint.  No way was interested in that.  I wanted to get out of Sprint as soon as I could.  So I asked how much to end the contract right now, what was the cancellation fee?  It was less than the cost of getting a replacement fee and paying the deductible…..I wanna say $75.  That didn’t sound so bad.  Seventy-five bucks to buy back my introduction to Sprint?  A bargain. 

I walked across the strip mall to the Verizon story and after an hour or so, I had signed up with them and had my Galaxy S3.  I loved the phone, and the coverage from Verizon was much better than either AT&T or Sprint, no question. 

1 comment: