Despite the complaints of a vocal minority to our world-first Palm Pre review, Sprint appears to have listened.
As of today, the Palm Pre is now available to hard of hearing customers on the Sprint Relay Data Only plan. This is a $30/month plan that provides unlimited data and text messaging, as well as 5 GB of Phone As Modem service.
However, it appears that Sprint is keeping the offering to current Sprint Relay customers only. To purchase the Pre on this plan, you must have an existing Sprint Relay line of service (either in its BlackBerry, or Windows Mobile versions).
It is not clear how well retail personnel have been educated on this plan change, it was not relayed in launch information. Also not clear, is if this will cause issues in activating on the various Sprint account access tools.
In the world-first review of the Palm Pre, PhoneNews.com was critical of Sprint’s exclusion of Sprint Relay and SERO plans. Sprint previously promised SERO customers that they would not have issues with activating future smart devices.
Update: Sprint has confirmed to PhoneNews.com that new Sprint Relay customers can purchase the Palm Pre, on new lines of service.
27 responses to “Trolls Complained, but Sprint Responded: Hard of Hearing Get the Pre Too”
Does this mean that the sero plan is next on the list? I just played around with the pre at the sprint store and it is awesome. If tethering is available soon I will get it immediately. So far it looks like a cool phone. iphone better watch out.
We’re not betting on it. Sprint appears to be willing to bear the outrage, even if they realize it means not keeping a promise to SERO customers.
Every SERO customer that switches to Everything Plus, nets Sprint almost $1,000 extra (pure profit) over the course of a two-year contract.
If 1,000 customers have already defected, that just made Sprint a million dollars. We just don’t see Sprint going back and honoring their (explicit, stated, promised) commitment to SERO users.
The hard of hearing and data-only users were ones we were more outraged over, so it’s good to see Sprint take notice and partially correct the situation. This was a step in the right direction, but SERO plan holders shouldn’t feel new hope from this.
C’mon Sprint, honor your promise to us SERO members! We all want the Pre and you want us to stay customers b/c even just $30 a month is better for you than $0 per month as you might find when we jump ship to get our hands on the new iPhone-which Sprint & Apple have no intention of bringing us. At least give us our Pre to have something somewhat on par and keep us loyal.
[…] Data-Only people the Pre that they deserve. Most people on Relay Data-Only plans are deaf, and I was outraged when the Pre originally was forbidden to those […]
I’m ticked off to say the least, but I do not recall anyone from Sprint at anytime committing to honoring SERO for Pre. Where was this explicitly stated and by whom?
Because if it really was, then this should be posted somewhere for them to eat their own words.
It took me forever to get on the SERO plan, so I’m not about to leave it anytime soon, even if I have to get a HTC or Winblows mobile like a Treo Pro.
Askmrlee, search the news. We asked Sprint Media Relations for a statement on SERO, in the wake of Instinct being banned from SERO devices.
When Instinct launched, Sprint assured SERO customers that this was a single instance, and that smartphones would continue to be free-to-activate on SERO plans.
Edit: A quick search turned up this article. Please people, search.
@nick – You could keep your eye on the iPod Touch. It seems that bluetooth is comming to
the touch and that means you could tether it with almost any sero phone. I know Christopher
has said he thought apple would only permit voice bluetooth on the iPod Touch. But,
it looks like PAN may be an option. Hmm, I guess almost any sero phone if DUN is there, with
PAN a more limited list of phones.
My buddies and I cancelled our SERO lines over this mess. None of us were necessarily intersted in the Pre, but we decided that life is too short to have to sit there wondering “oh god does my horribly ****** plan support (new phone X) that’s coming out oh god I hope it does” everytime a device is released.
The folks who are turning around and handing Sprint $60/month for EPRP to be Pre customers make me sad. I’ve long been a Sprint lover, but when the company stops treating you like their full-priced customers it’s time to have some pride and stop giving them your business. Rewarding Palm with more money after the bait/switch/abandon mess they pulled with the Treo 800w and Treo Pro (800w owners know what I’m talking about) also seems really misguided.
In any case, my three buddies and I just setup an AT&T family plan. Thanks to a decent employer discount and AT&T’s $10/month data for unlocked phones, we’re paying $40.20/month per person for unlimited SMS, unlimited 3G data, and 350 minutes each with rollover.
Is it worth +$10.20/month to have access to unbranded UMTS phones and to (very, very quietly) show Sprint that we’re not interested in their games? Time will tell.
Yea, as a long time SERO customer it’s tough to watch such a cool phone beyond our reach. On the other hand, WinMo phones are getting better and better, and I’d rather have a touch pro than spend and extra $500 a year for the rest of by life. SERO is the best deal out there, it’s hard to bitch about it too much.
Stop whining about the lack of coverage about your “word-first” review. You had no photos, and you released no new information regarding the device in your “review.” I’m through with this site.
I am also a SERO customer. And there is no phone our there…and no ****** tactics that SPRINT can try that will make me give up my plan. I am staying with it…even though I have been waiting for PRE for last 4 months now.
Screw PRE, I will get an HTC Touch PRO2 now. Whoever is being tempted to start paying $70 just to get a PRE, please STOP, take a moment and think about what you are doing.
Don’t let SPRINT win this game that they are playing with you.
I have two SERO lines. One with a Touch Pro and one with a Treo Pro. Ratehr than change one and never get it back for the Pre I singed up anew $60/month ESRP account to try the Pre for 30 days. I am glad I did. The Pre I got has all kinds of defects in the lower part of the screens, the battery is much shorter than my Touch Pro (who thought that possible) even with tweaks. I also cannot search my email and according to Palm apparently never will be able to due to “synergy” (!?@ WTF). The GPS takes longer to get a fix than either type of Pro, and even though it shows more bars than my Treo the Pre actually gets worse reception.
I will cancel the ESRP and return Pre tomorrow. In my state they can’t even charge me the $60 but have to prorate it. Total cost for trying Pre will be $4, and that was not even worth it.
Don’t fell bad if you can’t get a pre on SERO, the think is a toy compared to what HTC is doing (for themselves and Palm). What for the HTC Touch Pro 2, it makes Pre look like something for your grandmother.
As far as I can tell the Pre has more hype and less capability than Instinct. It is a smartphone for sheep who are wowed by hype. Even the build quality screams cheap.
flower_power, iPhone OS 3.0 will enable Bluetooth for data… but only on Apple-approved uses. Meaning, it won’t have the Bluetooth DUN or PAN profiles.
Apple has managed to create their own profile, for data communication between Apple Mobile Devices.
However, Wi-Fi is much better for sipping an internet connection from your cell phone to begin with, so that’s not a huge deal. As we said in the Pre review, an iPod touch and a Windows Mobile phone could save you up to $960 (over the course of a two-year contract), versus owning the Pre.
Quick question….what makes you think that sprint won’t do the same for the HTC Touch Pro 2, like they are doing for the PRE, which requires a data plan. If you go to the sprint web page, and try to buy new HTC Touch pro, it only shows the simply everything thing, or the everything data plan. So they already phasing out the fact that you can’t use any other plans but the ones they are giving the options for.
Also I went to radioshack( I am SERO user as well) and radioshack said they can upgrade my phone, and they won’t change plans…and i kept asking if they are sure, because sprint is saying they will…she said that the current SERO users with the 30 month plans, need not worry for that they will only upgrade the phone, and will not even touch the plans.
Let me know what you think? But i will be waiting for the HTC Touch pro 2, in hopes that i can upgrade…but has anyone experience trying to buy at radioshack and getting it with their current sero?
Mikey D, while that has been long-feared, there’s minimal evidence at best that Sprint will blockade all future devices.
The Pre, like Instinct, is a high-profile exclusive device. The Touch Pro 2 is not.
We have not heard of anyone successfully activating a Pre on SERO… and we really don’t expect to.
I don’t want to try to get the pre at radioshack….and then it messes up,lol So i wish someone who is brave…wouild give it a try,lol. But for me, ill be waiting for touch pro 2, and see if i can buy with my sero…by chance does anyone know when its coming out for sprint?
@Dale Duck. I agree, my Touch Pro and SERO plan is a great combination. Honestly, Sprint is probably making a bigger deal out of this then is necessary. I would imagine there’s only a few hundred thousand customers on SERO to begin with, and the majority of savvy customers like us on SERO isn’t just going to pay double on our plan just for an exclusive device.
Sprint did do the right thing though by allowing the Pre to be activatied on the Relay plan.
I agree with alot of you. It is not worth it too loose the sero over the pre. With win mobile 6.5 coming out, i will be waiting for TP2. Sero is too good of a plan to loose for a phone. But then agin again it might be possible to get pre on sero later on. Either way Sprint will always be my provider as long as i can keep them. So far their CS has improved in the last 6 months which is good.
Let’s say there are 300,000 SERO customers.
$500/customer added profit per year of an Everything Plus contract (compared to SERO).
If every SERO plan holder defected to Everything Plus for the Pre, Sprint would make $150,000,000 in additional profit per year.
Granted, a lot of SERO customers won’t defect. But, we’re not talking pocket change here.
Our SERO plans already have unlimited data, so technically we have all we need for any of these phones. I bought a Touch Pro three weeks ago for a SERO plan, got the full rebate and everthing.
There’s nothing to prevent Sprint from embargoing all future phones from us if the want to, but I think alienating the most tech savvy group of customers (many of whom work in the industry and are in a position to recommend to co-workers and clients) would be a bad move on their part. Sprint allows the Touch Pro and Diamond on SERO, there is no reason to expect them to embargo the Pro 2, which is basically the same phone with a bigger screen.
I just went through the checkout process with my $150 available upgrade on my Sero plan and it let me keep my current sero plan. I didn’t check out all the way though so I don’t know if it would have let me. I will give it another try once there is a program that allows tethering on pre or I might just wait til the TP2.
Right, if Sprint were to bar all future smart devices from being activated on SERO, they would be shooting themselves in the foot. Even with Sprint’s recent customer service improvements, Sprint’s public image is still in the toilet. In my experiences, whenever someone finds out I have Sprint, they have only negative things to say about them.
I know they won’t since they didn’t with the Instinct, but let’s say about 3 months down the road when Sprint get’s the Pre stock issues sorted out, they should let us activate Pres on SERO to use as word of mouth advertising, since by then the hype from blogs and message boards will have died down.
Chris Price, you could look at it that way, or you could say that if those 300K customers jump ship after being fed up with Sprint’s games, it’ll be $108million in losses (not to mention another 300K of customer churn)… neither of which they can afford. The true number will likely be somewhere in the middle, but for certain they’re not going to be attracting more people than they’ll be losing with these stupid tactics. And especially with Verizon getting the Pre in 6 months (if all goes well). I too am a Sprint SERO customer, and I can’t stand my crappy HTC WinMo device. I wanted this Pre so badly, and now Sprint is screwing me and my family over. I’m strongly considering going back to my old carrier.
You’re quite right, I’m just outlining how Sprint sees it (I have no horse in the race, except to remind Sprint of their promise to SERO plan holders).
The way Sprint sees it, you’re not likely to switch. You’re on SERO, and you have the best deal ever offered in the wireless industry. They know you can sell that plan on eBay to someone, probably for a stiff premium. They want the cost-benefit analysis to be painful.
I could see Sprint dropping the Pre plan limitations, once the Pre (or possibly, Eos) is available on other carriers. That isn’t possible with Instinct (though Samsung does sell cheaper TouchWiz phones on most carriers). The Pre’s exclusivity will end some day… that’s the only hope I would hold out there for SERO plan holders.
I’ve always said that as long as you have an equivalent data plan, meaning the old Ultimate and current Pro data packs, and also know anybody else getting this not have any such restrictions other the a smartphone data pack. I think no matter how it’s done there will be complaints, just think SERO holders should stop crying because grandfathered plans are the true victims
I’m personally hoping that Sprint will allow the Eos on SERO plans. If they don’t I’ll just get the TP2 or maybe a BlackBerry. The only way I could see sprint allowing the Pre on SERO, was if they only allowed users to buy them MSRP or from a Craigslist/Ebay. They’d lose too much with discount prices.
I hope Sprint management is following this thread. You hear this Sprint? This barring of SERO customers from the Pre can either work out for you in increased profits or result in a devastating loss of profit. So it’s some profit or loss of profit. It’s your call.