John January of American Copywriter writes about his invitation to try a new cell phone and service from Sprint—free. He’s excited to give it a try. All Sprint asks in return is that John blog about his experience.
It doesn’t take a new phone to get me to blog about Sprint’s service. My recent experience trying to change my calling plan was enough to get me to do that. Last month I called to change my plan to include free national roaming. It took almost an hour on the phone with a CSR to get the plan changed (it was painful). And I had to agree to another 2-year service contract. As a customer, I was less than thrilled. (New customers get a new phone with a new service plan. I didn't get that).
When my bill arrived, I found that I had been charged for $50 of roaming calls, even though I had just called to request a change in my plan. It looks like the CSR switched my plan to one with free long-distance, not free roaming. The best part? The new plan is exactly the same as my old plan. Only I’m signed up for 2 more years, instead of seven months. You win, I lose.
Except when it comes time to renew, you’ll lose. What’s my future value as a customer? I plan on living another 40+ years, at $60 a month. That’s >$28,800. Plus any additional revenue from extra lines for my wife and children. And any other potential customers I’ll share my story with.