updated 05:30 pm EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
Guarantee begins June 27 for new customers activating a new line of service
At Sprint's Happy Connecting event in Chicago, the company made a number of announcements, including a 30-day risk-free trial of the network. Building upon the expansion of LTE and Sprint Spark, the carrier is looking to give customers a satisfaction guarantee on its services. With a mobile data network that is witnessing a large expansion and overhaul of 3G services, Sprint is displaying faith in its network to customers.
"We believe customers will be delighted with the Sprint retail experience, our customer service, and the performance of America's newest network," said Sprint CEO Dan Hesse, "so we're guaranteeing it."
Sprint said that it will refund the cost of the device, and waive all activation and service charges, if a customer isn't completely satisfied with the experience. This applies to new customers and select corporate customers that activate a new account starting June 27. Existing customers adding a new line of service can also take advantage of the guarantee now.
Sprint's new approach is similar to what T-Mobile introduced with their Uncarrier movement. Offering to pay the "break-up fee" with other carriers or issuing free iPhone 5s models to prospective customers to try out, T-Mobile is experimenting with new ways to attract customers that harken back to the early days of national commercial selling. While the new risk-free trial is a step in the right direction, the company is making it clear that there are some limitations.
The carrier is looking to bring in any new business with the trial, and is only limiting it in an interesting way. The satisfaction guarantee applies only to the first 30 days of service, giving a much longer trial than T-Mobile. However, Sprint would still go through the motions of the new account or line process, unlike the T-Mobile program. If Sprint customers in the middle of their contract decide the network isn't working out, they will need to ride out the contract unless they pay the termination fee.
It's interesting that Sprint also applies the situation to where the service is purchased. These new lines need to be signed up at a Sprint store, a preferred retailer, online or through a call to Sprint. This means that those who activate service with a reseller may not be eligible for the satisfaction guarantee if it isn't a "preferred" location. Existing customers aren't listed as being able to use the preferred-retailer option.