- REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl
The time had come to make the switch from AT&T to Sprint as my cell phone provider.
I didn’t want to do it, but I had to for my budget.
I had been with AT&T since about a decade ago, when my family originally joined and I was rocking the Motorola Razr flip phone.
Now that I’m on my own and living in New York City, I had to think about the money I could save. ($50 a month – enough for a week’s worth of groceries.)
I was nervous about switching to Sprint because it is a much smaller company than AT&T. I worried that the reception wouldn’t be as reliable as the mobile stalwart.
Tweets like this also made me doubtful of the process.
— Juan R (@Johnny206) October 13, 2015
I learned that sprint has the highest coverage for the lowest price but horrible customer service #BCOMM271
— Gray Threadgill (@GRAY_goose67) October 14, 2015
But even worse was the logistical nightmare that occurred when I tried to actually switch.
Going to an actual mobile provider store, in my experience, is awful. There are wait lists for service, products are out of stock, and it’s just a nightmare.
- Getty Images
My first attempt at switching was almost successful – but the Sprint employee who was helping me realized he didn’t know how to do the very last step in the process. No one else was in the store, so he told me to go to a different Sprint location.
Cool. One hour wasted at attempt number one.
I unwillingly dragged myself to the next Sprint location – which was in a different neighborhood – waited 45 minutes, moved only two spots on the wait list, got too impatient, and left.
“Forget it. I’ll stick with AT&T and spend an extra $50 on my cell phone bill, whatever,” I told myself.
I got my next AT&T bill a month later and quickly changed my mind.
Off to attempt number three, which was exactly like attempt number two. Once again, the associate in the store was unfamiliar with how to complete the process.
You would think that Sprint would jump at the opportunity to help a customer switch from a dominant cell phone provider.
But apparently not.
- Getty Images
Attempt number four left me in the worst possible mood. Although though my mission was accomplished by the end of it, it was not an easy process.
Of course, I waited in line, but this time I stuck with it. I was determined to get this task, which had turned into a tedious chore, done.
Finally, I met with an employee who was savvy enough to complete my request to switch to Sprint.
The deal that put me through all this trouble was the “cut my bill in half” plan offered by Sprint. I brought my $102 AT&T bill to Sprint and they gave me a quote which cuts in half what I was paying for in data plan and services (such as equipment protection) with AT&T. Sprint even pays off termination fees from a previous provider.
- Reuters/Yves Herman
The only downfall with this transaction is that it could only be applied if you own an iPhone 5s, 6 or 6s.
I had an iPhone 5.
So I have to pay an additional $20 a month to upgrade and lease an iPhone 6 in order to apply for the “cut my bill in half” deal. Not the worst situation in the world, but a sneaky ploy by the company.
Although I’m now saving $30 on my current $70 cell phone bill each month, I left the store confused, frustrated and relieved that the process was over.
Now I’ll get to see if Sprint is a reliable provider.