Sprint ETF-free cancellations extended through March 15

By on February 6, 2009 at 10:18 AM.

Sprint ETF-free cancellations extended through March 15

Sprint just refuses to shut that door… Customers still looking for a way out of their contracts without having to drop some serious cash on an Early Termination Fee (ETF) have been given yet another opportunity to do so. Last month we told you about an extension through the end of January due to another increase the company made to its administrative fee (increase from $0.75 to $0.99). We’re not sure what the reasoning behind this latest extension is, but we have indeed confirmed with Sprint that the ETF-free cancellation period has been extended yet again, this time through March 15. We also confirmed that the administrative fee has not been readjusted – it still sits at $0.99 – so this extension pertains to the initial fee increase we reported. If you’re enjoying your time with Sprint and the extremely competitive rates the carrier is offering right now, you should definitely sit tight as it prepares to release the Treo Pro and more importantly, the Pre. If you’re having issues that Sprint just can’t seem to resolve however, the door is still open.

As always, we recommend contacting Sprint customer care via chat as opposed to calling them:

Go to https://sso.sprintpcs.com/sso/SignOn.do

In the sidebar on the right, click “Got questions? Click to chat.”

Thanks, kimberhvance!

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Sprint Nextel to eliminate 8,000 positions by March 31st

By on January 26, 2009 at 12:08 PM.

Sprint Nextel to eliminate 8,000 positions by March 31st

sprint

Sprint Nextel announced a plan today to reduce internal and external labor costs by $1.2 billion by eliminating 8,000 positions within the company. The layoffs are expected to be completed by March 31st and will effect all levels of the company. Of the 8,000 positions eliminated, 850 are part of the voluntary separation plan announced late last year. In addition to the layoffs, Sprint is also suspending the 401(k) matching program for 2009, extending the 2008 salary freeze through 2009 and suspending its tuition reimbursement program for the duration of 2009. Bad news for Sprint Nextel, even worse news for its employees. Our sympathies go out to those who will be affected by this difficult news.

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Sprint ups admin fee again, extends ETF-free cancellations through January 31

By on January 20, 2009 at 10:20 AM.

Sprint ups admin fee again, extends ETF-free cancellations through January 31

If you’re a Sprint customer right now without any major service issues, leaving the carrier so close to Pre-Day seems crazy. The most anticipated handset in recent history is on its way to your carrier, as an exclusive for the time being, and it’s coming along with an exciting new OS that will be embraced by developers around the globe. At the same time, there are a variety of reasons for wanting to part ways with your mobile service provider and if the Pre isn’t enough to keep you on board we have good news for you. It looks like Sprint has once again made a change to its Terms and Conditions, opening yet another door to escape from the carrier without having to pay an Early Termination Fee (ETF). Last month we learned that Sprint was increasing its administrative fee to $0.75, giving customers until January 1 of this year to back out without a penalty. It seems that $0.75 wasn’t going to cut it as Sprint has raised its fee yet again, this time to $0.99. Customers now have through January 31 to sever ties sans-ETF, so if you missed the boat last month you’re in luck. Though some customer care reps apparently aren’t yet aware of the change, we did confirm it with Sprint so keep trying and as always, contacting them via chat seems to go a bit more smoothly than calling them up. Do you plan to take advantage of this newly opened door? Hit us in the comments section and let us know why.

Thanks, S!

UPDATE: We posted a link to connect to Sprint customer care via chat in the comments but it is apparently buried well enough that people are missing it. Here are the details:

Go to https://sso.sprintpcs.com/sso/SignOn.do

In the sidebar on the right, click “Got questions? Click to chat.”

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Final call for ETF-free Sprint contract cancellation

By on December 27, 2008 at 5:45 PM.

Final call for ETF-free Sprint contract cancellation

Have you been itching for a way to escape the shackles of your Sprint Wireless contract, but aren’t willing to pony up the cash to pay off the Early Termination Fee? While Sprint’s impending doom may be a foregone conclusion, you can expedite your exit by exploiting yet another material breach in contract from the carrier. Subscribers are free to exit based on Sprint’s decision to raise their non-government mandated administrative fee from $.50-.$75. The change goes into effect on the 1st of January, 2009, giving you 4 days and some change to sever your ties. As with anything like this, your mileage may vary, but we have a hunch that if you’re persistent enough you’ll probably be successful. Anyone out there looking to jump on this opportunity? Where will you take your newly freed wireless number?

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Sprint BlackBerry Curve 8350i FINALLY gets official

By on December 15, 2008 at 11:18 AM.

Sprint BlackBerry Curve 8350i FINALLY gets official

It might not warrant quite the fanfare received by the coming of “the first touchscreen BlackBerry” but iDEN addicts will be excited to learn that RIM’s most advanced Push-to-Talk (PTT) enabled device ever is finally official. We showed you live images of the 8350i last month and since then we’ve received a constant onslaught of comments and emails wondering when this puppy might actually hit store shelves. At long last the mystery can be put to bed. As for the spec on this bulky beauty, here are a few highlights:

  • 4.4″ x 2.4″ x 0.7″
  • OS 4.6
  • WiFi and GPS
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • 2 megapixel camera
  • microSDHC support
  • International direct connect and Talkgroup
  • 1400 mAh battery

The BlackBerry Curve 8350i is already up for purchase on Sprint’s site and should be hitting store shelves this week. As for pricing, it can be yours for a very reasonable $149.99 with a two-year contract.

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Sprint to move forward with job cuts following VSP

By on December 10, 2008 at 8:44 AM.

Sprint to move forward with job cuts following VSP

It looks like Sprint’s Voluntary Separation Probgram (VSP) we scooped last month didn’t quite have the impact the company had hoped for. Surprising that employees didn’t jump at the opportunity to leave their jobs as the unemployment rate in this country continues to skyrocket. The deadline for Sprint employees to express interest in the VSP was this past Wednesday and just six days later, Sprint CFO Bob Brust began speaking publicly of impending company-wide job cuts at the UBS annual media and communications conference. Not good.

The philosophy has to be that a company never went out of business because it took too many costs out. A company goes out of business because you didn’t take enough costs out. As you take costs out, you can always overshoot it. In fact, if we overshoot it, you know you did a good job because the pain is so loud, and you can always go back in and add something. We are going to be in the mode of overshooting, so the number will be a big number.

Brust went on to state that Sprint execs would be presenting a plan to the board sometime next month so we can expect layoffs to begin shortly thereafter. Not that is has been any mystery that Sprint’s vitals are declining at frighteningly rapid speeds, but we were surprised to see Burst as vocal as he was. He was even quoted at one point as saying, “We’ve had a lot of trouble with the brands since the [Sprint-Nextel] merger because of dropped calls and bad customer service. As we spend more money on recapturing subscribers, we can get the brand back where it belongs… You’ll see a more aggressive advertising campaign.” Admitting to network issues and bad customer service? How uncharacteristic of a carrier is that? Perhaps it’s a sign of the sheer desperation within the c-suite at Sprint. Whatever the case may be, more rough times are undoubtedly ahead for the carrier and its employees over the coming months and beyond.

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Sprint’s head of CDMA hits the road

By on November 23, 2008 at 3:41 PM.

Sprint’s head of CDMA hits the road

Will Dan Hesse’s woes never cease? In a sudden move this past week, yet another member of Sprint’s top management decided he had enough and went running for the hills. John Garcia, the now-former head of Sprint’s CDMA business, abruptly parted ways with the carrier and left Keith Cowan, president of strategy and corporate development, to pick up the pieces in his place. Sprint has made no official statement on the matter, which leaves the press to fill in the cracks with speculation – never a good thing. Garcia’s departure is the latest in a continuing trend of turnover, both voluntary and involuntary, among Sprint’s top dogs. After posting a staggering $326 million loss this past quarter and internally announcing a voluntary separation program, the last thing Hesse needed was yet another higher-up heading for the hills. Hopefully Cowan will turn out to be a bit less of a flight risk and Hesse can go back to figuring out how to keep the remainder of his 50.5 million subscribers from jumping ship.

[Via mocoNews]

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Sprint announces Voluntary Separation Program; more layoffs possibly on the way

By on November 12, 2008 at 5:14 PM.

Sprint announces Voluntary Separation Program; more layoffs possibly on the way

In a move similar to what Dell is currently offering its employees, Sprint is also giving employees the option to voluntarily leave the company. While Sprint hasn’t announced anything officially, layoffs have certainly followed voluntary separations in the past. So far, this program is only affecting the Sales and Distribution channel and is not a company-wide offering. Whether it remains isolated in that division or spreads throughout the company is yet to be determined. The only exceptions to those who are allowed to opt-in are the retail employees (including managers) and executive and administrative assistants; that leaves everyone else in the sales division wide open. Of course, Sprint will not short itself where staff numbers are critical, so not everyone who wants to leave will be able to do so. In the meantime, employees considering a mutual termination have until December 8 to express interest. We feel for those who are affected by companies that need to put cost-saving or cost-effective programs into place, especially at Sprint where this is the third year in a row such a program has been offered. Let’s just hope it doesn’t lead to company-wide layoffs. Hit the jump for the official internal email sent to employees this morning.

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Sprint finally decides on ETF conditions and details

By on November 1, 2008 at 2:50 PM.

Sprint finally decides on ETF conditions and details

Just a few weeks ago, Sprint announced it would have details on how it’s dealing with early termination fees by December once its billing software was updated. It looks like Dan Hesse and his boys have been working on provisions really quickly! As of November 2, Sprint’s early termination fees will begin to decrease by $10 per month after the sixth month of service. However, this policy only applies to those who sign new contracts after November 2. If you signed up recently or are an existing customer and feeling a little jilted, all you have to do is renew your contract after November 2 and you will also qualify for the new ETF policy. This is probably a better idea for those who signed up recently rather than those who are nearing the end of their term, obviously. Just a few years ago, we never would have thought that ETFs would ever be prorated, but it looks like you can never overlook the power of lawsuits and hefty settlements!

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Motorola i9 for Sprint-Nextel gets FCC approval

By on October 22, 2008 at 2:33 PM.

Motorola i9 for Sprint-Nextel gets FCC approval

The FCC strikes again. Sprint customers who still get their iDEN on should be happy to learn the upcoming Motorola i9, first seen back in May with the name Motorola i890 “CABO”, has just made its way through the FCC approval process and it’s ready to go. Actually, the i9 is something a little new from Moto – no, Motorola isn’t dropping the RAZR form factor anytime soon but this time they’ve thrown some ModeShift into the mix. Yep, the cool backlit buttons found on the ROKR E8 and other models can also be seen on the i9. If you’ve yet to play with a ModeShift-enabled Moto, it’s actually pretty cool. Button labels are displayed via the keypad backlight and the labels and function of certain buttons changes according to the area of the UI you’re in. Toss some haptic feedback into the mix and you’ve got ModeShift. Other i9 spec highlights include a 3.1 megapixel camera, integrated GPS and stereo Bluetooth. No word yet on when the i9 might drop or where pricing will be but smart money is on a pre-holiday release.

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Sprint Nextel execs top list of most overpaid!

By on October 10, 2008 at 1:48 AM.

Sprint Nextel execs top list of most overpaid!

One would think that a company struggling and bleeding customers like Sprint would have executives bleeding themselves. Not so. Even after their obvious hardship to stay competitive, the fines and fees they’ve paid out for various reasons, like settling on litigation against ETFs, Sprint/Nextel executives are tops when it comes to compensation. It’s not a surprise that corporate bigwigs are still getting paid despite poor performance, but it does irk a few consumers. According to Standard & Poor’s index of large companies, Sprint had the worst pay-for-performance in 2007 — imagine that. Sprint spokesperson James Fisher said “It’s very important to consider that 2007 was a highly unusual year because of compensation that was paid to an exiting CEO, as well as sign-on compensation paid to a new CEO,” and continued their defense, “We had significant other severance charges for executive changes during the year.” Whatever dude.

Of course, there is a new CEO in Dan Hesse, a man who prides Sprint in the fact that consumers can e-mail him “directly” with questions and concerns. Hesse replaced Gary Forsee (We wonder if Forsee foresaw his own demise) who received $22.4 million in total compensation last year… got to love severance packages. Another $74 million went to the rest of the top management team. This kind of corporate behavior, amongst other things, is part of the reason we’re struggling and resorting to multi-billion-dollar bailouts.

Thanks, Marie!

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DNVR: a look into the DNC’s l33t Communications System

By on August 23, 2008 at 6:52 AM.

DNVR: a look into the DNC’s l33t Communications System

Although the winner of the Barack Obama Veepstakes is still a secret (not for long), Motorola is proud to announce that it is the official two-way radio provider of the Democratic National Convention. Why the Democrats are still using two-way radios, we haven’t quite figured out … but Moto tells us that the “mission-critical communication hardware” will include more than 900 iDEN (read: Nextel) Push-to-Talk units to connect the members “smoothly and efficiently”. We guess we won’t see Joe Biden toting a Curve around Denver while clutching a Louis Vuitton bag on CelebrityBlackBerrySightings.com!

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Sprint’s ’08-’09 roadmap: BlackBerry 8350i, Motorola i576, Motorola i950, and a lot more!

By on August 13, 2008 at 5:26 AM.

Sprint’s ’08-’09 roadmap: BlackBerry 8350i, Motorola i576, Motorola i950, and a lot more!

 

What would the world do without BGR? Well, you’d probably have a lot less broken AVAYA phones, less screaming, and just all around happier wireless executives. Oh well. We just got our hands on Sprint’s ’08-’09 roadmap, and there are definitely some goodies in here if you are a current Sprint subscriber. First up is the BlackBerry 8350i. That’s right Nextel-lovers, you’ve got a new phone to play with coming soon! Contrary to other online images of the device, it appears this BlackBerry does not have the hideous external antenna. The BlackBerry 8350i will have Wi-Fi, a 2 megapixel camera, GPS, and run OS 4.6 out of the box! Look for a Q4 release on that bad boy. For the rest of the goods including more lack-luster phones than you can count, hit the jump folks!

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