Do NOT shop at the Sprint Store for a new iPhone.

Do NOT shop at the Sprint store for Ting.

Got tax return money and decided that my wife and I could use an upgrade. We both have been using used phones on Ting for a while, we are very happy with the service. We both wanted the pleasure of being the first owner of a new phone. Off to the Sprint Store. We both bought the iPhone 5s. Paid full retail price for them ($1208.37 after tax, including the screen protector for my wife's phone).

Call ting Friday night to activate. Nope, do not pass Financial Eligibility. Huh? I did not get a subsidized phone, I paid full price, what do you mean THEY don't approve the use of my phone, they don't own it, I do. Ting has to call Sprint on Monday morning to get the hold removed.

The weekend passes. I get the phones as set up as I can without service. Hours are spent programming numbers, and downloading apps.

This morning call Ting. They call Sprint. I'm told this:
"Purchasing device directly from Sprint will not be able to be activated on any other network other than Sprint (this is the case for all Apple devices)."
"My suggestion to you is that you return the phones to the Sprint store and purchase them from the Apple store -- they will be about the same price."

That is all well and good, except a few things.

1) Why did Sprint not tell me this when I told them what I was doing?

2) Why are there not size 72 font flashing red letters on the BYOD page saying DO NOT BUY A PHONE FROM SPRINT STORE?

3) I'm stuck liable for the $35 return Restocking fee per phone, plus the un-returnable screen protector, so I'm out $110 unless I can convince the Sprint Store to waive the restocking fee and to return an un-returnable item when I go return these phones.

I like Ting. I'm happy with Ting. I don't understand why I can buy an un-subsidized phone and not use it however I want. I don't understand why Sprint does not want to sell me $1200 worth of seems that businesses stay in business by selling things, and a $1200 sale that they don't have to support after the sale...that seems like a win.

Bob Browning



  • Rob Lake from Ting posted here.

    Here is what he said about buying a phone from Sprint.

    Sprint has advised us that they're is not meant to be a channel for acquiring devices for services like Ting. As a result, devices bought directly from Sprint at full price will fail FED unless activated on Sprint a year or more earlier.

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  • This is fully consistent with all my dealings with Sprint. I bought my iPhone 4S from them (this is quite awhile ago) and after 2 years asked them to either unlock the phone or give me a better contract, since I had clearly amortized the phone by then. They basically told me they have the right to keep gouging me forever. They did offer to give me a new phone and keep gouging; but what I wanted was the phone I was already happy with at a sensible price. Tough for me. 

    The only regret I've ever had using Ting is putting money in Sprint's pocket. I've since upgraded to an unlocked phone from Apple -- and put in a GSM (T-Mobile!) Ting SIM. 

    I'm sorry to hear about your experience.

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