I was a Verizon customer for the past 12 years, but recently got suckered in by Sprint's "Free Year" which turned out, for me and my son, to be anything but. I have a backup phone with Freedom Pop which runs on Sprint, so I thought (mistakenly) that Sprint would be ok, forgetting that since my Freedom Pop plan is data limited (think maybe 3-4 GB/month), I pretty much just leave it on Wifi all the time. Ok, my mistake, I really, really should have burned a GB or two testing out that data connectivity more thoroughly than I did. Since my son and I prefer removable-battery phones, we both I still have Galaxy S5s, and these were not compatible, so ok, I just bought a couple more refurb Sprint phones. Fine. Had to order SIM cards too, still ok. It was a horrible, long drawn out nightmare where I spoke with I can't even count how many customer service reps, probably around the globe, and definitely almost around the clock, but our phone numbers were finally ported over. Ok, still fine, since I'd be saving so much money! Ummm, yeah. No.
Day 1 was ok, since we were mostly home and connected to wifi, not to mention it was late afternoon by the time the Sprint phones actually worked. Day 2 we went to a baseball game, and the signal was actually pretty good at the stadium. Day 3, a Monday (I'd deliberately waited until the weekend to deal with the porting, since it did, as expected, take up most of my Saturday), I dropped my son off at school, no signal. No signal on my commute, except for a brief flicker when I passed the state fair grounds, of all places. An MLB stadium, I can understand, but state fair is bustling just 2 weeks a year, with random events drawing much smaller crowds the rest of the time. But whatever. Anyway, get to work, no signal. So, no data when not connected to wifi anywhere but state fair and the baseball stadium...No. Just no. No matter how much money we'd save, for that kind of "free" we might as well not even have smartphones. Even dumb phones, really, since text and calling were also iffy, and this is right in the middle of a major city!!! One where Sprint assured me the signal was great!
Turns out that the free year plan includes NO roaming data, and as soon as your phone even thinks it might want to connect to a non-Sprint tower (which is always), off it goes. There was another plan I wisely chose to pass on, the $25/month/line forever (or until they decide to stop it, and/or the T-Mobile merger kills it, or Sprint mercifully, and deservedly, goes out of business) plan, that actually charges for roaming. Ha, this is the exact issue that caused my earlier breakup with Sprint, when I, back around the turn of the millennium, deserted AT&T for the lure of a no-contract, monthly plan (this was long before such plans were common, and prepaid wasn't even that widely available). One month, that's all I lasted, since I got my bill and saw $400 (not kidding) of roaming charges when I had never, not once, left my home area.
This time, we lasted just the 2 days, and Monday night my son and I went straight to our local Verizon store and practically begged them to take us back. It turns out our old plan was grandfathered, so we had to switch to a new unlimited data plan which might be a few bucks more, even, but by this point we didn't even care. Yes, a whole year with no cell phone bill would have been great, but then again, I could save even more money if I gave up our apartment and we moved into my car. Or if we gave up buying groceries and took up dumpster diving. Some lifestyle downgrades, if not necessitated by dire emergency (job loss, etc.), are just not worth it, and I consider Sprint's non-free non-data to be a downgrade I'm not willing to make, even if they pay me to switch, which may have to be their next step if their service and coverage continues to slide.
And the (I HOPE!!!) final chapter, today, a bill for the 2 days of non-service - turns out my allegedly free year wound up costing $40 for 2 days. Not even going to try to fight it, since I do not care to waste any more of my life on hold or being passed from rep to rep when I am 99.99999999% certain that they'd come up with some fine print justifying the entire amount. In fact, I'm fully expecting them to tack on another $5 since I cancelled my autopay, but I am not trusting that company anymore, ever. They fooled me twice ( thought surely the coverage and service must have improved in 18 years and in a different city? but noooooo), but there just isn't going to be a third time. SPRINT SUCKS.
Product or Service Mentioned: Sprint Phone Plan.
Reason of review: Bad quality.
Monetary Loss: $39.
Preferred solution: Full refund.
I didn't like: Coverage, Billing for undisclosed fees, Non-disclosure about no roaming data, Fact that all data was roaming data.