Bummer – No More Free Phones From Sprint

Sprint is discontinuing it’s Ambassador Program – a nifty project where they sent new phones, with the Sprint service, every six months or so to a group of “influencers” in the technology space. Somehow I got on the list of people to get phones, and looked forward to some shiny new device coming twice a year.

They had unlimited free service. Since I already have a phone I like, I tended to give these out to visitors from abroad who needed a U.S. cell phone (probably not what Sprint was hoping for). That was about the extent of my participation in the program. If I had any specific feedback, it would be that the Sprint service is really, really spotty in northern California, and they don’t offer the iPhone, so I would never use it anyway.

I’ve been pretty hard on Sprint in my posts, and I was always a little surprised they kept me in the program. Well, today I’ve been booted, as has everyone else in the program. The party is over:

Greetings Ambassadors,

Thank you for your participation in the Sprint Ambassador program. We appreciate the candid feedback you have provided and are regularly using this information to offer our customers the best products and services available on the Sprint Mobile Broadband Network.

After careful consideration, Sprint has decided to discontinue our Sprint Ambassador program so that we may focus on other key initiatives for gathering customer feedback. As a thank you for your participation, the devices you have received through the program are yours to keep. However, the service on those handsets will be terminated on January 31, 2008.

If you would like to keep the existing phone number on your handset, you have the following options:

• If you have an existing Sprint account in your name, you can simply go to Sprint retail store or call Sprint Customer Care at (888) 296-8806 to transfer the number over. You will need your phone number and account password to facilitate the transfer.
• If you do not have a Sprint account and would like to open a new one, we invite you to visit a Sprint retail store for assistance and select from the many service plans that we offer.
• If you would like to transfer your Ambassador phone number to another individual’s account, BOTH PARTIES will need to need to visit a Sprint retail store to ensure a smooth transition.
• If you would like to move your Sprint Ambassador phone number over to another carrier, you will need to have the carrier you select call our Corporate Account team at (866) 657-6843. Typically, a consumer that wishes to port their number would just need their account number and password. Ambassadors are considered corporate customers and, as such, cannot make changes to their account without going through the Corporate Account team.

For the Sprint Store nearest you please visit www.sprint.com.

Again, to keep your current Ambassador phone number, you must act by 11:59 PM on January 30, 2008.

Once again, we truly appreciate your participation in the Ambassador program. If you have any additional questions, please send an email to AmbassadorProgram@sprint.com or you can reach Sprint’s Ambassador CARE team at (888) 296-8806.

Thank you!

Was it a useful marketing program for Sprint? I don’t know. Free products are great, but what people want is a great phone, perfect reception and decent customer service. Sprint doesn’t offer any of these. My advice is to fix those problems first, and send out free samples to bloggers only then.