Help me "negotiate" with Sprint.
May 28, 2009 11:27 AM   Subscribe

My contract is up with Sprint and I've decided that if they'll offer me some goodies, I'll stay with them. I've been with them for 9 years. What do I ask for? Where to start from negotiating-wise?

I want the new Pal Pre.
I would like it for free.

I would like a cheap plan.
My current plan is the Fair and Flexible plan: $50 for 750 anytime minutes, nights & Weekends after 9:00 are free. I pay $5 for 300 texts and have free Sprint to Sprint.

I understand that if I have net access with my phone I'll have to pay more for the data. I'd rather not start paying the (quite reasonable, really) $99 per month for the unlimited. Is it realistic to ask for my same rate with the data plan thrown in for free?

Anything else I can ask for that I'm not thinking of?
posted by kristymcj to Work & Money (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You're not going to get the Palm Pre for free. You may get the "instant rebate" that's being offered at bestbuy (bringing the $299 cost down to $199 without having to do the mail-in rebate). You may get a deal on the data plan.
posted by Oktober at 11:30 AM on May 28, 2009

I'd might also be useful for you to price out what you'd get/pay if you jumped ship, so you have some ammunition when talking to their retention department.
posted by jrishel at 11:39 AM on May 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

Sprint will require "Everything" plans for the Palm Pre, the cheapest being Everything Data 450 for $69.95/month. That's unlimited data/text with 450 minutes of talk. I've heard that Sprint retentions can add monthly credits to your account, so they may be able to do that to get an Everything plan down to what you're paying now. I wouldn't bet on it, though, especially as Sprint's current data plans already tend to be at least $10 cheaper per month than the other carriers' comparable plans.
posted by zsazsa at 11:43 AM on May 28, 2009

Howardforums would be a great place to ask this question. They have a board dedicated to Sprint, and there are always discussions about what long-time customers can ask for and have a chance of getting.
posted by zippy at 11:46 AM on May 28, 2009 [2 favorites]

I get the call usually anywhere from three months before to six months after my contract is up, offering usually around $100-$150 of rebates/free phone/whatever to re-up for two years. I haven't actually paid for a new phone in years - but I don't get the fancy ones, either.

I've never had to go looking for them - they come to me.
posted by restless_nomad at 11:52 AM on May 28, 2009

When I wanted to switch from a flip phone to a BlackBerry, AND get discounts, I just emailed customer service. I told them that i have been a loyal customer (though certainly not for nine years), and always paid on time. I also said that I would be spending more money with them for a BB data plan ($30 extra/month) and getting a loyalty discount could really help me. I also told them what great service they provide (heh) and how I would LOVE to tell my friends and family to switch to Sprint.

Now, I get a 10% discount on my fair and flexible plan ($40) and then a 10% discount on my unlimited data plan ($30) each month. (Previously, I had some issues with them at some other point that entailed a lot of back and forth and little resolution. I finally emailed someone off the of the board of directors about how I would appreciate getting unlimited texts each month for free because I told them they put me through the wringer. So I also have free unlimited texts each month for as long as I remain a Sprint customer.)

You know what? It all worked. All you have to do is ask and have testimonials to back you up.
posted by wocka wocka wocka at 12:01 PM on May 28, 2009

I've been with T-Mobile for 6 years. They have an "Unlimited Loyalty" plan for long-time customers. To help you compare, it is unlimited calls (days/nights/weekends) for $49.99. I added 400 domestic messages for $4.99.
posted by Houstonian at 12:19 PM on May 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

Oops, and with that plan, I could have added unlimited data for $24.99, unlimited BlackBerry data for $34.99, unlimited messaging for $9.99. Hope this helps you!
posted by Houstonian at 12:22 PM on May 28, 2009

I'm on the SERO plan which is now mostly defunct - but if you really want to shoot for the stars give it a try. $30 a month - unlimited data/text, 500 minutes, unlimited nights and weekends.
posted by getawaysticks at 1:10 PM on May 28, 2009

SERO won't work for the Pre.
posted by k8t at 1:31 PM on May 28, 2009

I doubt Sprint will give you anything for brand new phones/plans, especially one hyped as much as the Pre. You might be able to get a discount/free accessories, but thats about it.

When the iPhone first came out, there were no concessions from AT&T and all discounts including corporate/education were nixed, no matter how long you were with them for.
posted by wongcorgi at 2:51 PM on May 28, 2009

I posted the question on howardforums. Thanks for the tip.

I hadn't thought of accessories. Maybe I can score something there.

@rishel: other carriers WILL be more expensive, so I think that's not where my (minimal) power lies. Other plans have a certain beautiful, shiny, high-status phone that may-or-may no have neato apps.

@ restless_nomad: I went swimming with my phone in my pocket last week, so I'm not in a "waiting" position. It works, but I have to *almost* yell.
posted by kristymcj at 3:29 PM on May 28, 2009

Advice from HowardForum:

if you could reduce your AT min usage by getting 7pm instead of 9pm NW, AND further reduce it by getting Pick 3 (free calls to/from 3 of your most used numbers, for free).

Then you could probably shoot for the standard $69/mo SEP with 450AT, data and text, 7pm NW, Pick 3, maybe a small recurring credit (say $10/mo), and then the Pre for the std $199 with maybe a one-time equipment credit (say $50-75) to help out with the Pre. (you didn't say if you're off contract or whether you are due for an equipment upgrade (22mos since last one)).

For the record, I AM up for an equipment credit.
posted by kristymcj at 7:23 PM on May 28, 2009

Check out and - you might be able to get a new phone with a contract extension.
posted by bbyboi at 10:58 PM on May 29, 2009

Apologies for the late response; I just came across this topic while querying the Pre.

As post-launch has made clear, Sprint won't be budging on lowering the pricing on the device or on the required plans. You could check out SprintUsers as well for additional advice, but I haven't come across any cases where it's been discounted beyond the $199 asking price.

Looking at your current plan, I'd say your best option is to inquire about the Everything Plus Referral Program. Unlike the original SERO plans, this is compatible with the Pre. You'll have to reduce your minutes usage and pay an additional $5/mo, but in exchange, you get 7pm N&W, unlimited text messaging, and unlimited data. For more details:

Last 3 of CID: 383
posted by pinsomniac at 7:28 PM on June 27, 2009

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