I want to begin this article by disclosing that I personally have Sprint, and while they have frustrated me on a regular basis and (IMO) overcharge me, I am overall happy with them as a carrier and do not have any intention of switching myself. That being said, I also don't live in KS or OK.
Sprint announced this month that Effective March 1st they intend to significantly reduce their coverage in Kansas and Oklahoma. The official information can be found at Sprint's Webpage here.
While they didn't say exactly why they're planning on doing this (undoubtedly the root reason is they feel this decision will increase their profits), Sprint did give a short FAQ about the matter. Personally, I felt the FAQ was somewhat ridiculous, so I modified it a bit to give people more real-world answers to their questions.
Sprint: "How will I know if I am roaming?"
Me: Most importantly, your data plan will be essentially useless. It's also likely that your call quality will suck and/or you won't be able to make calls. Don't depend on roaming if you anticipate a need to contact 911. Oh, your battery will probably last half as long.
Sprint: "What impact does the coverage change have to my wireless services?"
Me: What wireless service? Oh, you mean the wireless service you used to have? Yeah, you won't have that. (Sprint says you can contact their customer service at 1-888-211-4727 (4PCS) but good luck doing that on your cell phone).
Sprint: "Will this change have any impact to my bill?"
Me: technically, no - well, probably not. Most plans include roaming these days. But the services you'll be getting will significantly decrease, while your monthly bill absolutely will not.
Sprint: "Will this change have any effect on the way I use Sprint service?"
Uh, duh. See previous answers.
Sprint: "For additional questions, please Contact Us."
Me: Just not with your cell phone.
I'd like to add one other question that Sprint didn't include, which in my opinion they absolutely should have (I believe corporations have a duty to fully inform their customers of all their options and to help them make the best choice for themselves; I also recognize that that wouldn't be profitable, and don't expect any corporation to do it).
Sprint: "What if you don't want to be on a network that is going to suck really bad in your area?"
Me: Pay any amount currently owing on your account, contact Sprint, and tell them to waive your ETF and cancel your account. Don't take no for an answer. Unless you want to roam.
To check your area specifically, head over to https://network.sprint.com/search/ (a pretty nifty service) to see changes to your area network coverage over the last and next 6 months. Although that might only show updates. As the below picture shows, coverage in my area is pretty decent (which is why I won't be switching carriers). But if I lived in Oklahoma or Kansas, you'd better bet I would.
Co-founder and legal nay-sayer of OSBB. Owner of SCrApps Application Development, WebWorks aficionado, Open Source contributor. SCrid2000 on most blogs. I build awesome BlackBerry apps when I'm not doing legal work or spending time with my wife and two boys.
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