Sprint’s new mobile plan not helping struggling image

by: William Neilson JrMarch 20, 2014

sprint logo


Last October at a meeting with executives, S0ftbank (Sprint’s Japanese corporate owner) boss Masayoshi Son lost his temper and slammed his fist on a table. Son was irate at the mobile carrier’s advertising and told the room that they were not doing enough to lure new customers due to their “loser” mentality. Soon thereafter, Sprint finished dead last in the Consumer Reports rankings for U.S. wireless service providers due to “dismal marks” for value, voice, text and 4G reliability.

Sadly, Sprint still does not seem to be in any hurry to change their image towards potential customers. Whether it is because of a terrible new mobile plan or their significant job cuts across the country, Sprint continues to struggle with changing their image as an over-priced and under-performing mobile company. Last week, Sprint cut 200 jobs in Kansas City, 240 jobs in Sacramento and 450 jobs in Fort Worth.

Additionally, Sprint is being criticized for their recently announced prepaid option named the “Smart” plan. According to a Sprint announcement, the Smart plan costs $45 per month and includes unlimited voice and text. Oh, and no data whatsoever. Therefore, all data consumption must be done over Wi-Fi.

Sprint says it is targeting people who are looking for savings but it is hard to see where anyone would save under this plan. As such, reaction to the plan has been incredibly poor. The Wall Street Journal deemed the plan to be the “Worst Deal Ever.”

There are a multitude of reasons why customers should stay away from this plan.

First, Sprint seems to be confused about the direction in which people are using their cellphones. While mobile data traffic increased 81% in 2013, voice minutes have been in steady decline since 2008. Therefore, it is a mystery why Sprint would introduce a plan that goes in the opposite direction of this trend. Customers are looking for plans that give them more data. Period.

Sprint seems to be confused about the direction in which people are using their cellphones

Second, Sprint seems to have made the Smart plan the most expensive of its kind. Virgin Mobile USA, a subsidiary of Sprint itself, has a plan that includes 300 minutes of talk time and unlimited mobile data with a price tag of just $35. Republic Wireless has a plan with unlimited voice and texts and no data for $10 a month. That’s the exact same deal as Sprint’s Smart plan on the exact same network for $35 less a month.

Third, Sprint also announced a Smart Plus option, which includes unlimited data for $60 a month. That is more than the $40 a month plan that another Sprint subsidiary, Boost Mobile, charges for its own unlimited voice, text and data plan (this price reflects a reward for on-time payments).

Fourth, if you want to buy this over-priced plan, do not expect to be using a phone released in the last few months. As the Wall Street Journal points out, customers who want the Sprint Prepaid plan must be happy using older model phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, the Samsung Galaxy S3, and a used Apple iPhone 4s.

Sprint had only one goal with this announcement and that was to introduce a prepaid option into its retail stores. Therefore, customers should stay as far away from this plan as possible.

  • Khalil


  • Bobby Wright

    Part of me feels bad that Sprint can’t get it together. The other bigger part of me is laughing at anyone willing to go to Sprint jail for two years.

  • ᕙ(⇀‸↼‶)ᕗ

    They can introduce whatever plan they want, but it still won’t fix their terrible network.

  • Mike B.

    Aio has an unlimited talk and text plan for $25 a month. On AT&T’s network.

  • carlos montes


  • jeddo45

    What Sprint needs to do us what T-mobile is doing. Get more customers, use that money to work on 4g LTE, and save money on the process for the next generation network. They week to still be in love with 3G.

  • Mark Washington

    Who made the decision and who agreed on it as a smart move ?

  • Replicant Jason Booth

    In a word, Sprint’s network is inconsistent.

    • EvenInTheDarkestHour

      True for voice in our area. But… Data is great and the plans are inexpensive. Not a bad enough experience to leave, not good enough to rave. Here’s to hoping tho…

      • Replicant Jason Booth

        Voice is your problem? But data is good? Wow a first. What’s your definition of good? I’m curious.

  • Brad Churchey

    Sprint isn’t doing anything wrong, just because they have a bad “image” doesn’t mean they aren’t doing their job who cares what other people that don’t even have sprint say, It’s mostly just lies and people saying how bad they are but it’s not true. I get amazing 4G connections and never have drop calls.

    • krym73

      I use to be a rep for sprint, and it was sad when customers had to leave and finish setting up their phones at home on their wifinetwork because they wouldn’t get no signal. In Los Angeles. Smh
      I even felt wrong selling family and friends on it.

    • William Neilson Jr.

      Speed tests, terrible customer reviews/rankings, etc….to me those are things that Sprint can in fact change if the proper investment is put into the product.

  • Oli72

    Thx u T-Mobile. Jump ship from a year ago. The b.s. plans. T-Mobile don’t need no merger with Sprint.

  • Johnny English

    The need to get real and drop Hesse the Mess as CEO. He has old school mentality and he hasn’t tried to improve the network. There are so many locations that don’t even have 2G data speeds or even data service that they haven’t tried to address. They flip to one technology then to another technology and they don’t keep focus.

    They need to work harder into getting LTE or better still stop working on LTE and focus on LTE-A in all locations and move from having standard voice to using just on a VoIP model so that regardless of whether they roam overseas they will be phoning on data and go to a ‘charge for data model’ using the data system for everything and eventually kill the CDMA network off. Eventually they will be ahead of the pack while the rest are dragging their backsides playing catchup when it comes to switching to LTE-A.

    In fact T-Mobile, if they were smart would switch focus to LTE-A themselves and move to that model as they start rolling LTE into those old 2G only locations and really get ahead of Verizon and AT&T when it comes to LTE-A instead of playing catch up all the time.

  • This might be just the plan for a growing number of subscribers who enjoy continuous access to WiFi hotspots, either Operators’ WiFi or third party hotspots. Lifestyle factors and rapid deployment of WiFi hotspots will influence the take up on these plans, in addition to the Operators’ bundling and pricing plans. The success of these plans may come as a surprise to Operators given that mobile data services raked in close to $900 m in revenues last year in US alone, accounting for more than 50% of their total revenues with expectations of reaching $1 billion this year. Will WiFi redefine Operators’ income strategies? If yes, it is time to overhaul Operator WiFi Services to attract a whole new subscriber base. http://www.policychargingcontrol.com