Humberto Saabedra is the Editor-in-Chief of AnimeNews.bizPhoneNews.com and an occasional columnist for Ani.me. He can also be found musing on things at @AnimeNewsdotbiz

39 responses to “Sprint Rolling Back Smartphone Restrictions on SERO Beginning October 1st”

  1. Nanfy

    Hmm, Given Sprint’s shady history we have to wait to see how things pan out. I’m highly suspicious of the $10 premium for Sprint TV/Navigation access, Any Mobile Anytime and another $10 monthly premium for 4G access on supported devices. I understand (but disagree) with the 10 dollars supposed 4G access fee, but is the sprint tv/navigation and any time any mobile option a requirement?. Is it 10 dollars for both, or 10 dollars each. If sprint is going to require the 10 dollar tv/nav fee assuming it does come with anytime any mobile along with the 10 dollar 4G access its not that great of a deal anymore. There is no need to pay for the nav fee on any android phone since google maps with free nav is good enough.

    Another wait and see game, courtesy of sprint.

  2. VW

    What is your source? Is it the rumors floating around or more substantial. Also are other legacy plans ie power pack family eligible as well?

  3. JJ

    And to think I just got rid of my sero because they wouldn’t allow android. This is unbelieavable. They probably knew this and still told customers to change since there is no way of getting the plan back. So instead of paying $50/month for the evo I am stuck paying 79.99 with $10off for next 2 years. I wonder if there is anyway to get them to get my old plan back. At least my wife still has her sero plan.
    If they don’t want to give me my plan back or compensate me I will just take my wifes plan for myself and get her on the $25 virgin mobile plan. Then they will loose another postpaid account. I guess we will see if this turns out to be true.

  4. Charles

    I just confirmed this information is correct with employee accounts. finally!!

  5. bottomline

    Great news!

  6. JJ

    I spoke with an executive from the office in jacksonville a couple weeks ago and he said that windows 7 would work with sero. I hope it will still work with it without the $10 charge. I hope they only charge for android. Either way this is great news.

  7. Smart Phones and Legacy Plans and rumors...

    […] sources are "confirming" this now. Is there truth to any of it? Sprint Rolling Back Smartphone Restrictions on SERO Beginning October 1st | PhoneNews.com Rumor Confirmed (sort of..) – Android phones will be available for SERO 10/1 – SlickDeals.net […]

  8. JJ

    Just spoke with a sprint rep about 30 minutes ago and they told me that I can switch back to the sero plan if I decide to not switch my everything data to an everything family. They said due the changes coming up they are able to switch people to sero if necessary. So far so good. Sprint just keeps getting better.
    That means that for just $40 I can have a sprint hero or the new moment and anytime anymobile with sprint nav and sprint tv. This is awesome.

  9. Chuck

    JJ, take what that rep told you with a huge grain of salt. Switching back to an expired price plan might not be that easy. Not saying its impossible, but I am sure you will encounter a ton of roadblocks along the way. Having a rep tell you this in July will not help you in October when the time comes to actually do it.

  10. Chuck

    Actually, the more I think about this. I think phonenews.com has it all wrong. The email Sprint employees got specifically only talked about changes to the SWAC (advantage club) lines. Those are the plans that are no contract, no credit check, and under the SSN of a Sprint employee. The SWAC plans are changing, but I think SERO is renaming exactly as it is right now. And I think the $30 SERO plan will still be restricted from Andrioid, Instincts, and Web OS devices until the end of time. I think people are getting their hopes up and this will end very badly in October when the truth comes out. I mean, it just isn’t Sprint’s way to renege on something like this. I think they are staying hard on the SERO restrictions and wont budge from that.

  11. bottomline

    Hey chuck, theres no need to rain on everybodys parade. I just spoke to a sprint supervisor a few hours ago & he confrmed what phonenews is reporting. He stated,
    1) October 1st, the restrictions on all legacy plans will be lifted.
    2) All android devices(evo,epic) will cost $10 extra per month.
    3) Information will be printed on upcoming bills.
    Have a nice day……

  12. Chuck

    Well, like I said: All employees got the email about SWAC changes which include the $10 add on for “iconic” device. This is the only email references plan changes and it did not mention SERO at all. It was strictly for SWAC. Something this big would have been communicated at the same time I would think. Why mention the Advantage Club plan changes and leave out all the other stuff? Just doesn’t make sense.

    And, I am not raining on any parade. I am just tryong to give people a realistic expectation. I hope I am wrong, but I dont think I am. I think this rumor got way out of control and Sprint isnt helping themselves by spreading the wrong info. But, we’ve since this kind of thing happen before where people have been told a certain device would work on SERO or their legacy plan before. And everytime, they’ve come to find out the truth.

  13. Christopher Price

    Sprint sometimes mis-communicates between SWAC and SERO. We’re contacting Sprint to try and get an official statement. We had hoped to have heard that by now. Sometimes we have to report what is mis-communicated, in order to evoke a response from a company. Generally however, SWAC device changes have stayed in-line with SERO, and many employees have reported to us that they were communicated that this change affected both plans.

    Bottom line, if the report is in error, it is due to Sprint’s continued difficulty to identify SERO as a consumer plan internally (ask anyone with SERO when they get transferred to employee/business customer service).

    And, again, we’re working on getting an official statement, which will hopefully get some official answers.

  14. JJ

    @chuck
    The rep I spoke with yesterday was willing to switch me back to sero yesterday. I just didn’t do it because the family plan will be cheaper with my corporate discount. Also I don’t think this info is incorrect. I’ve already spoken to 2 different reps and they confirmed that sero will be allowed android phones for the fee. Plus all this information is going to be included in the bills the sprint rep said after double checking the info. So you can sit there say this is a rumor and that it won’t happen but most people that call sprint about this get the same answer which agrees with what phonenews states in this article. So unless you have proof that this won’t happen I would stop saying otherwise. If it ends up not being true then good for you.

  15. Chuck

    JJ,

    First off, I hope I am wrong about this and SERO is changing. But, I really dont think I am. I dont want to poop in the punch bowl here, but I do want to warn people who think this will happen in October to expect nothing to change. I am just trying to warn everyone that some misinformation is out there and to take a wait & see approach to it all.

    As for your specific situation, like I said, its July. Whatever is said in July will be meaningless come October. They can promise you the world and then not deliver on it. Its happened countless times before and will happen again I’m sure. The September bills should have some kind of communication on this matter (at least it will for SWAC plans). If you dont see anything written in your September invoice, I would take it as a sign that SERO isnt changing. Again, I hope I am wrong on this, but the only thing employees have seen regarding changes has strictly been in reference to SWAC, not SERO. If SERO was truly changing, I think we’d see something official released, at least internally to back that up.

    You say you want proof. Well, of course, I cannot provide you with access to internal only documents. I am not trying to break Sprint’s code of conduct. I am simply trying to inform you and others to the truth of the situation. Lets see is Christopher Price provides any more details on the matter. Until then, I will do as you wish and not comment any further. Good Day sir.

  16. vw

    It makes sense for this sero move to happen in October, simply due to the possibility of the iphone coming to vz. Frankly Sprint better lock in as many customers as they possibly can, even if they don’t maximize profits. I believe it is true, and I think Sprint will make an official announcement in the very near future. After all if this rumor turns out not to be true, many customers are going to become disillusioned. Sprint better come out sooner rather than later and squash this rumor if its not true. It will only hurt them to leave this rumor unchecked.

  17. Don Louie

    Will this apply to Free & Clear, Free & Clear America, Fair & Flexible and Power Pack plans?

  18. bottomline

    @ Don Louie
    Yes! I spoke to a Sprint supervisor a few days ago & he said it would apply to all legacy plans, starting october 1st. Unfortunately, because Sprint has not made an official announcement yet, he couldnt notate it to my account. Apparently, its just a matter of time.

  19. DB

    I tried calling and asking if webos and andriod will be available on my account(SERO) soon, and the rep told me that she’s heard that rumor, but nothing is confirmed. Oct seems so long away for confirmation. I wish sprint would just issue an official statement LOL.

  20. Sprint Vet

    I spoke with a senior rep today and they indicated this change was coming.
    Chuck (commentator above) I think you are wrong and perhaps new to Sprint. Sprint doesn’t announce this kind of change on the bill a month or two before, or at all. Don’t forget, Sprint announced no smartphones would be allowed on non Everything plans and then relented, BUT they did so with no “announcement” on a bill or otherwise. You are a low level employee and low level reps are the last to know anything.

    Here is the problem in a nutshell. Sero is not a huge number of users, but Everything plans are still NOT the majority of contracts, and upwards of 55% of customers are refusing to go to Everything Plans on renewal. The difference is the other plans, such as Friends and Family, Free and Clear, and fair and Flexible, which when combined with SERO are the majority of contract customers. When you consider Sprint has the highest proportion of non contract customers of the big three the problem is even more striking.

    Sprints only growth potential is in conversion to data, they have not been able to do anything but lose when it comes to overall market share. The sticker shock for families on Free and Clear, Friends and Family and Fair and Flexible is huge. You could have a family of three on a Fair and Flex paying $85 and getting unlimited text and unlimited data on a Windows Mobile smartphone, they may have insurance, bringing them over $100, which is a very healthy account, but for whom one user wanting an EVO would mean going to $146 on ED (everything DAa) in the middle of a recession.

    On top of that there is the looming WM7 @4g introduction which creates a big problem: The threat that a HUGE amount of those customers will bolt for iPhone in the Fall when windows7 comes out. Sprint has millions of Widnows6(x) in the hands of those customers. Many on non ED plans. Many are on small business plans that look and work exactly like non ED plans (Win6 allowed, but no webOS or Android). Win7 will be just as data hungry as Android or webOS. Ask yourself will Sprint force ALL smartphones to go to ED or leave for ATT or Verizon when those millions of users, especially high profit, LOW CHURN low churn families will then be seeing themselves near iphone cost territory for one if not all of their lines?

    With the changes in October, what Sprint will be doing is getting another $10 for moving people to 3g smartphones, and $20 for moving people to 4g smartphones (of which there will be quite a few in the next two quarters. This is good for them and good for the customer.

    Once the TP2 is gone and W7 is out Sprint will be MORE EXPENSIVE than Verizon for families of three or four wanting one smartphone. They need a strategy for allowing those people to go for a smartphone — especially given those families will never come back, even if they go to two or three smartphones later.

    This change in October is no rumor, it will also not be acknowledged by Sprint until the day it occurs. Get high enough on the Spritn food change and people know bout it, and it is NOT the SWAC change which is related but already public due it it only affecting employees of Sprint.

  21. vw

    Good soliloquy, but I dont see too many family plans with only one data package, which would be required for Vz plans to be equal to the cost of sprint phones. In addition you are comparing one data package vs 3, plus the vz plan wouldnt have vz navigator on all three lines unlike Sprint. And God knows what VZ’s 4G plans are going to look like *gulp*

    Nontheless Sprint has to do more to keep their customers happy so I think this will be a good thing. I think this is also in direct fear of the iphone coming to vz. Good strategic move for Sprint.

  22. Sprint Vet

    First I didn;t get an explanation from Spritn corproatre, they just told me that it i is likely.

    And on Sprint, there are many family plans with one line with data. Most sprint users are not on the Everything plans. That is Sprints problem people are rolling over the old plans, which everyone can do.

    And the issue is not only about 4g, it is about 3g. 4g will be $20 more per line, which will make them competitive again with Verizon, 3g smart phones, of which many will not be EOL for over a year as they were just introduced, will also approach competitiveness for Sprint for people who just want one line with smartphone.

    And again Sprint would be best not doing anything to confirm this publicly, I don’t mean October, but ever. Sprints culture is to hold benefits close to the vest and have people get those benefits through retention offers when threatening to quit. That has always worked best for them.

  23. fred

    @VZ “It makes sense for this sero move to happen in October, simply due to the possibility of the iphone coming to vz”

    I don’t think that is the problem. From my local sprint store the problem seems to be that people on family plans and older plans are not switching to Everything plans becasue they make no financial sense. He told me they constantly are just renewing older plans. So I think this a problem with shortsightedness by Sprint with these ill conceived Everything plans.
    These plans are also a nightmare for the majority of families who only want data on some of the lines, in which case VZ is cheaper and ATT is more competitive.

    JJ do not switch out of sero, you wont get it back. No one should switch out of their older plan of any kind. The new plans are a failure, and all phones will be available on the older plans, but if you switch you will never get it back. Hold off.

  24. Flower Power

    It seems this may not be all good news.
    There may be changes to the base plan rate structure even without the 10 buy up.. If the F&F minute buckets over the plan minutes is changing to say, a flat 45 cents/minute.

    Then all the affected folks should be able to get out of their contract early and should be notified of this change.

  25. JJ

    @flower power
    Where did you get the information that the base plan rate is going to be changed? I hope you have a source and aren’t just saying it for no reason. Please provide source as we would all like to know. Thanks

  26. Flower Power

    hi jj,

    I saw a forwarded email over on mobitweak. This was talking about the changes to the SWAC plans. I thought this could be applied to the SERO plans as they are so similar. There are differences between the plans such as no contract on the SWAC.

    Here is main part of the email…

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

    Attention all Sprint employees:
    Starting with October bills, there will be several rate plan changes that will affect all Sprint Wireless Advantage Club subscribers.
    Summary of changes:
    · Sprint will introduce the new Wireless Advantage Premium Plans, which will add an additional $10 Monthly Recurring Charge for subscribers who have “iconic devices” (see below for a list of affected devices)
    · These Premium Plans will include Any Mobile, Anytime and Unlimited GPS Navigation, which can be worth more than $10 in value to your subscriber
    · For all Advantage Club customers, regardless of device, the overage rates will change from the legacy Fair and Flexible structure to a flat per-minute rate of $0.45/min for those on 500-minute plans or $0.40/min for those on 1000-minute or higher plans.

    These changes are intended to bring Advantage Club pricing more in line with our consumer pricing approach, while preserving the rich discounts offered through the program. For subscribers with iconic devices, the new Wireless Advantage Premium rate plans still represent a 57% savings over Sprint Everything Data rate plans and even more savings over comparable competitor rate plans.

  27. Flower Power

    jj,

    As a follow up. I am not concerned about the base plan change.
    There is a history of different SERO plans with folks being allowed to stay on legacy plans.

    Someone asked Russ S. McGuire about staying on their legacy plan and he said they could keep their existing plan.. (included below)

    -=-=-=-=-=-

    # Ralph Kaz Says:
    August 9th, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Hi Russ,

    Are either of the SERO up-charges ($10 or $10+10 for Evo) mandatory? Can I keep my current phone & SERO plan without adding these fees?
    # Russ Says:
    August 9th, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Ralph – great question. If you don’t currently have one of the iconic devices (and you shouldn’t), then, as I understand it, it’s purely optional whether or not you step up to the premium plans (with their choice of devices).

  28. Sprint Confirms October 1st SERO Changes | PhoneNews.com

    […] previously reported by PhoneNews.com, the Iconic Devices Premium SERO plan will allow current SERO customers to upgrade […]

  29. john

    I work for Sprint in Account Services and the only change coming is that our advantage lines ( lines under employees ssn) are going to have the $10 buy up for droids or pre and bb are already paying this so they will stay the same in cost but will get the any mobile anytime and the nav/ tv premeir and an additonal $10 for the evo, epic… sprint is staying to the everything plus that new cust. are getting to have the phones but your best bet is to get the everything data plans up to the 900 min. and get a nice discount through nvp discount which is an employer…. sory to give the bad news but all this info you all are excited about is wrong. You can always get a touch pro 2.

  30. vw

    Dude if you worked for Sprint you wouldnt be calling them Droids, so your comments are worthless

  31. john

    what ever beleive what you want I’m talking street talk ask me any qustion and i will answer anything

  32. john

    the only reason i found out about this i got a call today that the guy told me about this talk and showed me the website its all bogus

  33. vw

    Heh ok well regardless I upgraded already so it doesnt matter to me. I apologize for being rude

  34. john

    No it’s cool the funny thing about this it says to call “employee care”…. Why would SERO plans call employee care? Eployee care doesnt handle Sero accts. Even our advantage lines have gone up in price w/o all the buyups for “iconic devices that would mean you guys w/ Sero plans would be paying about the same cost as us employees if this were to happen.

  35. JJ

    @John (supposed sprint employee)
    So your saying that sprint is not going to allow any android on sero? If so are you saying that sprint and phonenews.com are liars and this change won’t take effect? How is the 900 everything data better than the sero? In october it will cost only $10 more for anytime anymobile.
    You really need to do your job and do a little more research. Then again what more can you expect from sprint customer service. It takes me 3 or 4 calls to resolve an issue. The last person I will listen to about sprint is a sprint employee. I know its sad but its the only way I can get things resolved and my issues fixed.
    You are really unbelievable John. Get a grip and hopefully a little more knowledge.

  36. Sprint Opens Dedicated FAQ Page for Forthcoming SERO Premium Plan | PhoneNews.com

    […] has opened a dedicated FAQ page for the forthcoming SERO Premium service plans, which we have previously covered in-depth.  The page breaks down the most common questions related to the offering and […]

  37. Sprint Ex Employee

    Here are the facts….Enjoy…These are 100% True and are off of sprint internal website…. :)

    How do I know if I am an existing SERO or Everything Plus customer?
    You are a SERO or Everything Plus customer if you are on one of the following rate plans:

    Everything Plus Data 500 Minutes/1,000 Minutes
    Everything Plus Data Family 1,600 Minutes/3,200 Minutes
    Everything Plus Messaging 500 Minutes/1,000 Minutes
    Everything Plus Messaging Family 1,600 Minutes/3,200 Minutes
    SERO 500 Minutes/1,250 Minutes
    SERO/Everything Plus 5GB Connection Card

    What is the difference between Everything Plus and SERO?
    The Everything Plus suite of rate plans are currently the only rate plans available for employee referral sales. SERO rate plans were offered as part of Sprint’s employee referral program though July 2008. SERO rate plans are no longer available for employee referral sales.

    I am a SERO customer considering an upgrade and understand SERO rate plans aren’t compatible with all devices. What devices aren’t compatible with these plans?
    The Samsung Instinct, Samsung Instinct S30, Samsung Instinct HD, Samsung Moment, HTC Hero, Palm Pre, Palm Pixi, HTC EVO 4G and Samsung Epic 4G are not compatible with current SERO rate plans. If you are considering an upgrade to one of these devices, you will need to also upgrade your rate plan to one of the Everything Plus Data (Individual or Family) rate plans. HTC EVO 4G and Samsung Epic 4G also require the $10 Premium Data add-on. Effective 10/1/10, new SERO Premium rate plans will be available which will be compatible with the devices listed above. Only customers on a current SERO rate plan as of 10/1/10 will be eligible to swap to a SERO Premium plan.

    What are the plan details of the new SERO Premium rate plans?
    As of 10/1/10, there will be two SERO Premium plans available, SERO Premium 500 at $40/month and SERO Premium 1250 at $59.99/month. SERO Premium plans will match current SERO rate plans with two added features, Any Mobile Anytime and Unlimited GPS Navigation. SERO Premium rate plans will be compatible with all devices offered by Sprint. Only customers on a current SERO rate plan as of 10/1/10 will be able to swap to a SERO Premium rate plan. 4G handsets such as HTC EVO 4G and Samsung Epic 4G will also require the $10 Premium Data add-on.

    I am a customer considering an upgrade and understand Everything Plus Messaging rate plans aren’t compatible with all devices. What devices aren’t compatible with these plans?
    The Samsung Instinct, Samsung Instinct S30, Samsung Instinct HD, Samsung Moment, HTC Hero, Palm Pre, Palm Pixi, HTC EVO 4G and Samsung Epic 4G are not compatible with Everything Messaging rate plans. If you are considering an upgrade to one of these devices, you will need to also upgrade your rate plan to one of the Everything Plus Data (Individual or Family) rate plans. HTC EVO 4G and Samsung Epic 4G also require the $10 Premium Data add-on.

    As a SERO/Everything Plus customer, are there restrictions on where I can upgrade my device?
    Yes. You can upgrade through any of the following channels: any Sprint-owned Retail Store, Telesales (888-882-4030), or Sprint.com. You will not, however, be able to upgrade your device through a 3rd party dealer or national retail partner and you will not be required to provide a referring employee’s email address and CID in order to upgrade your device.

    How frequently can I upgrade my device?
    SERO/Everything Plus customers are part of Sprint’s New For You program and qualify for a discount after only 12 months. The amount of the discount depends on the length of your contract and the number of months you have had your current device. For more information on the New for You program and to see if you are eligible for a discount, please click here. Note SERO customers are eligible for the New for You program and are excluded from the $39.99 minimum monthly charge restriction.
    Do SERO/Everything Plus customers qualify for Sprint Premier?
    Sprint Premier is our unique loyalty program that rewards qualified customers with free gifts, discounts and upgrade eligibility every 12 months, among other perks. Existing SERO/Everything Plus customers qualify for Sprint Premier if they have maintained a minimum monthly recurring charge of $69.99 on a single line or $99.99 on a family/share plan for 3 months – or if they have been our loyal customer for 10 years or more, regardless of monthly charges. For more information on Sprint Premier, click here.

    How do I change my rate plan if I want to upgrade my device to one of the devices listed above?
    If you need to change rate plans to one of the Everything Plus Data rate plans due to an upgrade to one of the devices listed above, your rate plan change will be transacted at the same time as your upgrade if you upgrade through Sprint-owned Retail Store. If you upgrade via Sprint.com or Telesales, your upgrade will be shipped inactive, requiring you to call Sprint Care at 888-876-8381 to activate your device and change rate plans.

    I want to change rate plans, unrelated to a device upgrade. Can I do this? How?
    In order to change your rate plan, please email everythingreferral@sprint.com or call Sprint Care at 888-876-8381. Keep in mind the following: new SERO Premium rate plans will not launch until 10/1/10. Only customers already on a SERO rate plan will be eligible to move to the new SERO Premium rate plans.

    As a SERO/Everything Plus customer, can I add an additional line or lines to my existing SERO/Everything Plus account?
    Assuming your credit score allows additional lines on your account, you may add additional lines on one of the Everything Plus rate plans only. SERO rate plans are not available for new lines of service. To add a line to your existing account, please call Telesales at 888-882-4030. Note, you do not need a referring employee’s email address and CID in order to add a line to your existing account.

    I have a general question related to my SERO/Everything Plus account. Who can help me?
    Sprint Care will be happy to assist you. You can email any account-related questions to everythingreferral@sprint.com or call 888-876-8381.

    What self-service tools are available?
    Manage your account online: Go to Sprint.com/mysprint

    Pay Bill/Check Usage: Use *3 to pay your bill, and *4 to check minutes used

    Rebate status: Go to Sprint.com/rebate to verify the status of a mail-in rebate

  38. unhappy

    Called customer service 2x already and nobody knew anything about a change in policy taking place oct 1st. If anyone is able to upgrade a legacy plan please post any information related to the upgrade. I held out switching to an Iphone and now it looks like there will not be no upgrade for older plans. Thanks in advance for any information that may help.

  39. DJL

    I called them yesterday and you can go ahead and change your existing SERO plan to the new SERO premium rate plans. It’s fully up and running, so you should be good to go.

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