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Sprint preps $100 unlimited plan as subs tumble

updated 10:15 am EST, Thu February 28, 2008

Sprint Simply Everything

Sprint saw one of its worst quarters in recent history late last year, the company reported this morning. The phone provider drew a nearly $29.5 billion loss for the calendar quarter ended in December and noted that it had lost 683,000 customers over the same period versus gains from nearly all its rivals. This is only set to worsen as another 1.2 million are expected to drop subscriptions by the end of the current quarter, according to the carrier's guidance. The news is said to have surprised even new CEO Dan Hesse, who noted that Sprint had borrowed $2.5 billion and that it would take a long time to recover from its recent history.

"To be frank, the issues we face are more difficult than what I expected to find," he said.

The losses are said to be the result of multiple factors but often center around the company's customer support quality, which is widely acknowledged to have dropped off sharply in recent years.

As part of its response, Sprint says it will now offer a $100 unlimited calling plan for cellphones beginning this Friday. Known as Simply Everything, the service is set to exceed similar plans unveiled in recent days by other major American carriers, including AT&T and Verizon: data, text messaging, GPS mapping, and streaming services for both music and video are all included in the package. The upgrade applies to both normal customers as well as users of the push-to-talk iDEN network and does not require a contract extension for existing users, according to the company. Sprint also intends to offer a $5 monthly discount for each additional line added to the plan.

While not as aggressive as the rumored $60 calling-only plan, the number of features may instigate an expected price war between carriers as each tries to offer more features than the other. While Verizon's plan is normally limited to calls alone on traditional "feature phones," AT&T retaliated the same day by offering a similar plan for BlackBerries, the iPhone, and similar smartphones normally exempt from unlimited deals. A T-Mobile plan also introduced at the same time countered previous offerings by adding unlimited text messaging to its phone service.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. jeph4e

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2005


    Won't Help

    If their customer service didn't suck so bad they'd have some success.

    They are the worst - I wouldn't go back if it was free

  1. cblackmo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2006


    Not enough

    When you're as far behind the game as Sprint is, you can't come out with promotions in the triple-digit range. Anything "special" above $89.99 won't be special enough.

    People automatically equate $99.99 with $100 in addition to feeling a certain amount of patronizing insult from the retailer.

  1. psdenno

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2003


    I just renewed.......

    .... my plan last week and they are very willing to deal on phone price. I got a $400 Palm Centro for $49 after telling them I was willing to drop service and move to another carrier.

  1. UberFu

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2002


    i just love

    when a company reports a $29.5 Billion dollar loss - when they never had the money to lose in the first place_

    It's not like when Toshiba invested in HD DVD tech and now is cutting it's losses as it bites the investment_ Toshiba had moeny spent it on a gamble and the gamble didn't pay off_

    But Sprint is bitching about moeny it never collected from the customers it doesn't have?

    Boo-hoo for Sprint_

  1. cblackmo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2006


    long learning curve

    Congratulations on getting them to give you such a great deal Psdenno! Apparently it takes hemorrhaging subscribers for several months before they are learn from their errors.

    When I threatened to drop my service a few months ago, all I got was combative and condescending arguments from the cust.svc rep. She actually had the nerve to ridicule me and say "you'll be back", "the phones have been ringing off the hook from people signing up for new service". Quite a different tone from "here - take a new Centro for $50."

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: i just love

    when a company reports a $29.5 Billion dollar loss - when they never had the money to lose in the first place_

    That's business. I guess you also love when a company like apple adds the value of good will to their bottom line as well?

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2005


    Heeeeeere's Testie...!

    Grinding his little boy's axe about Apple. What has Apple ever done to you, kid? Cut off your allowance? Made you move out of your mom's basement?

    Seriously, wanna share with use where Apple allegedly adds the value of goodwill to their bottom line? Please?

  1. dampeoples

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Jul 2002



    This is an article about Sprint....keep clicking testudo, someone will eventually listen.

    I like my Sprint/Nextel phone, good service, good price, and never needed customer support except to upgrade recently, they gave me a sweet deal. I'm probably among the few, according to the numbers, though.

  1. zaghahzag

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2006


    but what 25billoin$?

    I don't understand. did they actually lose 25 billion$ Or did they just show that loss on paper?

    Also, i have sprint and they completely suck. They really stink. They couldn't turn off incoming text messages or reimburse me after I got like 500 from an automatic account that the person who had the phone # previous to me had used for some online dating c***.

    Then instead of reimbursing me, they told me i should pony up $5 per month for unlimited. I almost reached over the phone line and tore the heart out of the customer support person.

  1. michaelper22

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007


    iDEN Gets it Too!

    It's great to see that Sprint is paying attention to their languishing iDEN network that powers all of the walkie-talkie phones. To say the truth, I'm fed up with iDEN (slow data, virtually featureless phones), but I'm happy that Sprint isn't leaving Nextel users paying outrageous service rates.

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