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Can a money-back guarantee lure you to Sprint?

Sprint, which has made improving its customer service reputation a top priority, is putting its money where its wireless plans are with a 30-day moneyback guarantee.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

Sprint, which has made improving its customer service reputation a top priority, is putting its money where its wireless plans are.

The company said Wednesday that it will offer a full money-back guarantee if you aren't satisfied with the carrier's service before 30 days.

This move is the equivalent of an automaker offering a 100,000 mile, 10-year warranty after being dinged over quality concerns. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse every quarter mentions the carrier's progress on the customer service front.

Dubbed the Sprint Free Guarantee, the wireless carrier will do the following if a customer isn't satisfied in the first 30 days of service:

  • Reimburse you for the device purchase and activation fee;
  • Waive early termination fees;
  • Get a refund for monthly recurring charges;
  • Return taxes and Sprint surcharges;
  • And for good measure Sprint will waive the restocking fee.

As a consumer, that's a nice deal even though you should check out the fine print. Will it get me to try Sprint? The money-back guarantee certainly doesn't hurt. Sprint is removing one hurdle to at least trying another carrier.

Sprint plans to market its money-back guarantee heavily as it tries to get its subscriber base to grow again after multiple quarters of decline. The numbers have been moving in the right direction for Sprint, but haven't gotten over the hump to post subscriber gains.

For instance, Sprint lost 69,000 net retail subscribers in the fourth quarter. That’s improvement over recent quarters. In the third quarter, Sprint lost 135,000 retail subscribers. The company ended the year with 48.1 million customers, down from 48.3 million in the third quarter. Verizon Wireless had 87.5 million retail customers in its fourth quarter with 85.1 million with AT&T.

It's a lot like the unemployment figures. The job losses are "less worse" each month, but at some point that doesn't cut it. Sprint needs to deliver subscriber gains.

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