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Why Sprint Sucks Right Now | The TakeDown

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If Sprint's PR department is anything to be believed, Leading the world in 5G data development, and a Sprint and T-Mobile marriage of networks could make it the best wireless carrier available to consumers. On the surface, Sprint seems to have a lot going for it these days. It owns the two big prepaid carriers, it's coverage is the closest to Verizon in terms of overall range of cellphone towers, and it's the first thing that comes to mind when searching for a direct alternative to AT&T. To bad Sprint —as a company— sucked balls like marbles through a vacuum cleaner.

It's not just my opinion. Back in 2017, Sprint came in dead last in categories like talk /text, LTE coverage, AND customer support, according to Consumer Reports survey that year.

The company still hasn't changed much since 2017. The complaints people have are still very much there. Despite excellent marketing and brand recognition that could rival Jesus Christ, all the exposure in the world can't help a company with low quality coverage, Electronic Arts-style prices, and LTE internet slower than AOL Dial-up in 1997.

The LTE sucks.

This image was stolen courtesy of this Tech Quickie article.

This is the problem that holds back Sprint’s sister companies like Virgin and Boost Mobile. Sprint LTE is slow enough to make Internet Explorer in 1996 look like Usain Bolt running from Dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. Doesn't matter if the coverage is within 1% of Verizon if it feels like you're playing an underwater level in an old Playstation 2 video game every time you load a web page. That is, if it manages to load a page at all.

The Talk and Text is crap most of the time.

This image comes from an article on Even the prices displayed here are completely false.

Your mileage may vary, like I mentioned earlier, but Sprint has probably the spottiest network in the history of hotspots. I have accepted and received calls that sounded like T-Pain's Autotune in a tumble dryer, and had texts that took almost 3 minutes to send after I sent them. Keep in mind, I've been both a Sprint customer for well over a year, and a Virgin Mobile customer since 2014. They both share the same network, and have the same coverage and LTE speeds. Same with Boost Mobile. Same network, same performance. Having lived in both Portland Oregon and California's Orange County, and the coverage has been equally terrible in both places. Yet in Burbank California, and visiting relatives in rural Indiana, the coverage is pretty much spot-on. No dropped calls, or wonky texts.

Most Sprint customers you ask complain about serious reliability issues, especially when traveling more than a mile in any direction. It isn't terrible everywhere, but most of what you hear are complaints from customers who already pay a steep price as it is, and still get the kind of coverage you would expect from bumming your neighbor's Wi-Fi.

Infrastructure is bad.

This is the phone I was trying to get linked to the Sprint network. It's the LG Stylo 4+, and it's the last phone that sprint will ever contaminate in my house.

I opted for the Unlimited Kickstart plan, trying to bring my phone number From Virgin to Sprint, in order to upgrade to a much better  -unlocked- phone. I sit on the phone for about three hours, with customer service reps scrambling trying to figure out why the hell it wasn't working. After being transferred 4 times, someone apparently mentioned what should have been obvious to Sprint technical support, or even sales reps: The $25/month Kickstart plan doesn't work on phone numbers that were already on the Sprint Network. This included Virgin Mobile, which is Sprint's sister company.

So, in order to get my phone number out of the Virgin Mobile prepaid hell, the only other option was the Unlimited Basic; a plan that not only costs an extra $35 more than Kickstart, but added a credit check, followed by a $42 activation fee. So after paying over $100 the first month, I was expected to pay $64 a month for slow internet and talk that sounds like EVP monitors in a haunted house.

I don't even blame the customer care for how long this ordeal even took. apparently, their internal infrastructure is shitting its pants every time you ask it to do anything, and the fact that the terms & conditions of unlimited Kickstart weren't readily available to them -the one group of people who should know what it is- is actually embarrassing.

Website is a mess

If the navigation bar isn't changing faster than a Digimon evolves, half the time, it doesn't actually work. This thing has so many glitches and errors,  you'd thing the website was hosted by Ubisoft Montreal.

I couldn't see my own bill for nearly a month because the website was such an unreliable cluster F*** of errors and spaghetti code.

Having a bad network is one thing, but having both an App and a website less reliable than a heroine addicted roommate is another. This website has been having problems for literally years now, but Sprint is more concerned with going door-to-door and proselyting for the Galaxy S10 like a Jahovas Witness on a Saturday morning than actually fixing the damn problem.

Pricing is awful

If you were to go to Sprint's website right now, and look for the actual price of wireless service for an actual smartphone you actually OWN, you will be lead down enough rabbit holes to have a working map of the lost city of ZION from the Matrix Reloaded. Apparently, Sprint is so ashamed of their actual plan's prices, they would rather show you a collage of advertisements for the Galaxy S10, and how many fetishes the company seems to have for asking people to LEASE the damn thing, that you would have to be halfway --or more-- through signing up for a 2-year contract before you can actually get a straight answer as to what you're going to be paying. This is not surprising, considering smartphone LEASES seem to be the only way this company makes money!

I don't ask for much from my wireless carrier. All I ask is that I don't pay anywhere near $65 for wireless service, whether it's reliable or not. I could buy tablets and smartphones every month for the amount of money I pay in wireless service fees. I don't even pay $65 for high-speed internet in my own house, let alone slow internet on my phone.

Yet and still, the Unlimited Basic -The only actual plan they have for unlocked smartphones- is $65 freken' dollars a month, and goes up from there. Forget everything you heard about $40 unlimited, or $25 kickstart. It's all bullcrap. there will always be some excuse to get you sucked into the Unlimited Basic plan, and everything else is just a gateway drug until they get you hooked on that for two years. Unlimited Basic is their actual lowest priced plan, and everything else is just a two-year gateway drug until you end up on the $60 plan, because let's face it: that is the only way this company is making money.

Sprint already undercuts Verizon by a considerable margin, and out here in California, that's still less than what T-mobile is charging for the same plan. Thing is, Verizon -despite being a shady company in it's own right- actually has a reliable network, and T-Mobile doesn't ask you for your god damn credit score just to pay a phone bill.

That's another thing all together, which is why I would recommend against going with Sprint. Not only does Sprint send inquiries on your credit score just for signing up, (seriously, too many inquiries in a month could lower your credit score,) but it also expects a down payment/service activation fee just to get started, AND you're paying more than $60 a month just to have it. Every plan is on a 2-year contract as well, which leaves me asking: what year does Sprint think it is?

Everything about the way this carrier does business is stuck in 1996; a year when having a cellular device was treated as though you were leasing to own a nuclear warhead. The privilege of paying your own bill was treated like you were taking out a mortgage in those days. Nowadays, in an age where prepaid is king, companies who adopt this model of business -even when you're not even leasing to own the phone you're bringing to the network- are just being tacky at this point. It's no wonder this company is falling behind.

How sprint can fix itself

Every time Sprint is in a little bit of trouble financially, it buys out its closest competitor. It's been doing this for over a decade now. It bought out Virgin, then Boost, and now its merging with T-Mobile, awaiting approval from Congress, The FCC, and even the president. Yet, it isn't doing the one thing it should have done in the first place; fix its infrastructure.

You see, Sprint is a publicly traded company, and needs to dump money into acquisitions like Virgin, Boost, and even T-Mobile just to keep their shareholders happy, and not dumping stock by the time their quarterly reports get published. Don't quote me on this, but for all we know, this is technically Sprint inflating its numbers to give shareholders the impression that the company is worth more than it actually is. The problem is, if this theory is correct, it would explain bad prices, bad performance, and overall customer dissatisfaction in 2018; The company isn't interested in customers, so much as it's interested in shareholders. The fact that Sprint -one of the most recognizable names in mobile computing- managed to sink to the bottom of customer satisfaction, yet still has the balls to propose a merger with T-Mobile is evidence of the overarching problem with the company.

Sprint needs to fix its network FIRST! Not after a merger, not after another TV AD campaign. Other carriers like Verizon and even ATT know that coverage is the name of the game in the mobile carrier market. Anything less than three bars anywhere nationwide is unacceptable.
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