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The iPhone 5 and Sprint Story

Part 1. From the old HTC to the new iPhone5

My son had a birthday this month and I decided to buy an iPhone 5 as a present. He’s been a Spring customer for the last 10 years and was happy with the service. So I went to the closest Sprint store and asked if I can upgrade my son’s phone as a birthday present. The Sprint guy asked me if I know the pin code on the account. I said that I didn’t and wouldn’t be asking my son about it cause it would ruined the surprise. Sorry, nothing can be done about it.

Following my rule that every rejection brings me closer to the goal I decided to call to Sprint’s customer service with he same request. The lady asked me about the pin, and when I said that I didn’t know it she decided to help, “Let’s see if you know the answer to his secret question. What’s his favorite hobby?” This was a no brainier, and I said “Music”. Great, the account security was easily broken and asked if my Son would be eligible for an upgrade. Yes, his current Android phone is 2.5 years old so this can be done. But the service representative mentioned that to get an iPhone5 for $199 I’d need to commit to a 2-year contract with Sprint with early cancellation fees of $350. This is a little to high of a penalty, but my son was already a Sprint customer and had no intentions to leave them anyway. Oh yeah, one more thing. Currently he pays $70 for his phone/data plan, but after switching to a smartphone (as if Android was not) it’ll cost him an extra $10 a month. OK, no problem.

The new iPhone5 arrived at my son’s place one day before his birthday and my wife and I received a happy thank you email from him. Late at night, while exiting the Subway in Brooklyn he was mugged by two Mexicans carrying knives. They grabbed my son’s backpack where his was keeping his new iPhone. This sucks. Big time. But the good news is that my son was not hurt physically other than a small scratch on his face.

Part 2. From the new iPhone5 to an old HTC

Calling to the Sprint customer service didn’t help and it’s hard to blame them for not being to do anything to their loyal customer of 10 years. So what’s the next step? Time to get back to an old Android for another two years waiting until the contract expires and buying iPhone 7. And this became the hardest part to do. While switching to iPhone5 took 5 minutes online, to go back to an old phone required the visit to the Sprint store (it was done in Manhattan). After 50 minutes of the manipulations made by a technician the old phone gained back its ability to make calls, but 3G was not comping up, and all the data (including photographs) where gone from the SD memory card. The technician said let my son go home promising that the phone’s data access will be recovered in a couple of hours. It never happened.
My son tried to call the Sprint customer’s service to remove the extra $10 of monthly fees added while upgrading to iPhone didn’t help.

Last week my son can home for a Thanksgiving weekend, and I suggested that we’d go together to the closest Sprint store to resolve two problems at hand:
1. Fixing the 3G data access
2. Reducing the monthly fees bat to $70 a month.

This line in the closest Sprint store was not that long, and after 15 minute wait