Sprint CEO Dan Hesse says that recent price increases were necessary

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse says that recent price increases were necessary
Sprint has been receiving a lot of press lately, primarily for their criticism of the AT&T/T-Mobile deal. But they've also continued their impressive rise in customer satisfaction ratings, now tied for first with Verizon. But it's still hard for customers to be satisfied with increasing prices.

In January, Sprint added a $10 charge to their smartphone plans, and lengthened the time necessary to receive a fully discounted upgrade. But Sprint CEO Dan Hesse used the J.D. Power technology conference as an opportunity to address the price hikes: "Any time you increase prices you are not going to get a lot of high fives from the customer."

Hesse explains that the price hikes were necessary to continue to offer 'truly unlimited' service, without instituting data caps or speed throttling. We can't speak for everyone out there, but we'd rather pay an extra $10 per month, and know that we won't have our service limited just because we're addicted to mobile data.

Regarding their impressive American Customer Satisfaction Index scores, Hesse says that Sprint is proud, but the fact that people are surprised "tells me we've still got a lot of work to do on the brand."

source: Wall Street Journal

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37 Comments

1. joe567 unregistered

Sprin't increases of $10 was for Clearwire's paycheck..I dont get it..without clear as sprints backbone..3G would stay with them forever (sprint)

2. dude unregistered

wow your an idiot, do you really think sprint wouldnt have gone 4g if clear either wasnt around or they didnt partner together. If you think that would have kept them from getting 4g im sorry dude but your an idiot

11. ssjassassin

Posts: 108; Member since: Aug 31, 2009

Haha I agree with you, I also think that the price people get with sprint is better than Verizon or At&t so the extra cost seems fair.

24. Gawain

Posts: 437; Member since: Apr 15, 2010

Since Sprint owns 55% of Clear and Clear holds nearly all of Sprint's original 4G licenses... And joe567 is right, the $10 surcharge was done to add subscriber numbers to Clear, who is drowning in debt (like their parent co.) and needed to show growth so they wouldn't lose the ability to float bonds in the future (which might happen anyway). The one part where he was wrong was the backbone. Sprint is its own Tier 1 backbone, that was not spun off with the Embarq telco.

3. theBankRobber unregistered

Yup I agree with our CEO, everyone else will be capping and throttling their 4g speeds while just for an extra $10 you are 100% assured none of this BS will happen. Even with the switch from Wimax to lte won't affect us, and just think, EVERYBODY with a compatible device and a Netflix account will be using huge amounts of data. Since Thursday when Netflix got released I have used about 4gigs already, just streaming Netflix. Even with the $10, still beats the competitions price.

4. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

okay, first nobody uses 4 gigs of data... and it gets throttled at 5-6 depending on the carrier... anyways it is mostly verizon who does that

27. You're wrong. unregistered

I routinely use more than 8 gigs of data monthly. I rarely touch my laptop anymore. I have VZW, and have not been throttled yet.

32. jbash

Posts: 345; Member since: Feb 07, 2011

I also average about 8GB of data so dont speak on behalf of everbody.

22. JeffdaBeat unregistered

Stop drinking the corporate Kool-Aid. Sprint will get to a point where they cannot sustain unlimited plans and will move to tiered pricing as well. I remember when they were the only network left where you could have unlimited data on aircards while every other company had a 5GB data cap. They followed suit within 8 or 9 months imposing a cap. I think Dan Hesse and Sprint are both awesome, but the reality is, the population is eating more data than carriers can provide on an unlimited basis.

33. jbash

Posts: 345; Member since: Feb 07, 2011

they are unlimited on their 4g aircards

34. jbash

Posts: 345; Member since: Feb 07, 2011

there are* or they offer* (thinking, talking, and typing) lol

5. Sprint4Life69 unregistered

lucas you sir are an idiot. i use anywhere from 5gb to 15gb a month on my htc evo and not once have i ever been throttled

9. Madafada unregistered

I can back your claim. I use 10 - 25 gb per month on my EVO and it's still as fast as ever.

10. ecml

Posts: 129; Member since: Mar 23, 2010

If you're using 5gb-15gb a month then you need to be doing a lot of other things then being on your phone 24/7

13. obnoxious9162775

Posts: 32; Member since: Apr 25, 2011

Who says, you?, if they want to use data and that is their form of entertainment. Let them, who are you to judge what someone does or how much they do on their phone. Keep your mouth shut unless what you are going to say is useful. It just makes you sound IGNORANT!!!!!!!

23. JeffdaBeat unregistered

Actually, Lucas777 is right for the most part. The average usage for a smartphone owner is 500MB per month. It's only extreme that people use more than 1GB let alone 5GB to 15GB. Those are generally the users that AT&T, Verizon, and even Sprint want to cut off (Sprint did this with aircards back in 2008). So Sprint4life69 and Madafada, you are in the vast minority on your usage. I'd really like to know what you do on your phone for having used so much data. That's not a loaded question. I use my phone a lot and maybe it's because I'm on wifi sometimes, but I can barely use 1GB. How do you get to that much data from a smartphone?

28. pattypatterson

Posts: 48; Member since: May 28, 2010

Very simple and easy to understand the average person who has a smart phone and uses 500mb per month relies heavily on wifi anybody who uses more then 2gb per month does not have wifi at their house or job. The average person would foolishly pay a landline provider for internet and a mobile provider where a smart person would root and tether or use pdanet with their unlimited data no throttling no cap and the only carrier that you can do this on is sprint 1 mb download per second is plenty fast for any stream for my needs call me crazy but i would rather spend $10 more for truly unlimited then lets say an extra $50-60 on landline internet service at 8 mbps

12. obnoxious9162775

Posts: 32; Member since: Apr 25, 2011

I agree, Lucas777, you are an idiot. That's all, just an idiot, just had to get that out there. I am on AT&T, i would gladly pay more for unlimited data instead of being capped at 2g. So no matter who the carrier is, i think we all agree that unlimited for more price is the better choice. So my closing statement, once again is that Lucas777, YOU SIR, ARE AN IDIOT. But i mean it in the nicest way..... lol

6. Debbie unregistered

I remember the days of the $10 add on, at first every knew it was for the 4g since it was only added to the Evo/Epic, but Sprint call the $10 add-on "Premium Service". Then Sprint was going to get sued since other phones could have access the same service without the 10 fee add-on. So what did Sprint do, charge all Windows/Android/BB and Instinct phones with the 10 add-on. That was the end of that, but when it comes down to it, I also would rather pay 10 for true unlimited data then to be throttled or charged extra of over usage. I been with Sprint 13 yrs through good and bad times but when it comes to price plans and what they have to offer competitors have a hard time matching Sprint.

7. Carlos unregistered

For thoes of you that only use cellular service, but are not in the Business of cellular service let me help you see the big picture: During the telecommunication boom in the late 1990's, the Sprint Corporation stock saw a surge in prices, representing the company's most profitable time in its history. In the summer of 1999, share prices soared 62.5% from $42.84 on August 20 to $69.61 on November 5, representing the only time in the best decade where the company had outperformed the broad market. In mid-2000, the company's value crashed in line with the rest of the communications industry, closing at just under $20/share at the year's end. Prices continued to decrease through 2002 as the industry struggled, with Sprint Corp. reaching a low of $6.71/share in July 2002. The company was able to make modest gains from 2003 onward, although the share price remained relatively stagnant for the next 4 years, between $15-$25/share. The acquisition of Nextel Communications in 2005 did little to reinvigorate the stock price. Starting in 2007, the company's value again took a turn for the worse, crashing to just over $6/share in March 2008. With the market crash in late 2008 and the ensuing recession, shares only continued to worsen, reaching a startlingly low price of $1.35/share at the end of 2008 02/2009- Sprint is last in customer service ratings. 09/2009- Unlimited everything. They needed to gain customers back and the simplest way to do this: give away the farm up front and charge them on the back end. The all you can eat can only last so long. You need to add volume when your stock price is currently at $5.12, or risk getting bought out by a larger company or investment group. Trust me, Dan Hesse wants your money not your frienship. You will see prices go up, and data cap, or Sprint will go out of business. Now for thoes of you that use Sprint unlimited, enjoy while it last and good for you. Just don't start crying when it happens, all you have to do is follow the money to get answers, or call Dan Hesse after all mobile to any mobile if free for now.

8. Mookie Wilsonovich unregistered

^ This dude is good.

15. obnoxious9162775

Posts: 32; Member since: Apr 25, 2011

I agree, way to lay it down Carlos. You are the man my friend and you are right, its only inevitable for the caps to happen. Sprint has to, or they will go bankrupt. But once again, well said Carlos.

17. TOdoubleD

Posts: 114; Member since: Mar 28, 2011

Damn, that's long! You could've gotten your point across by simply saying I don't like Sprint, but I wish I weren't being capped and paying more. Those stock prices will really soar at the end of year, when Sprint and Google partner up. ;)

26. AndroidTroll

Posts: 359; Member since: Mar 05, 2011

Yes!! I'm not the only one who thinks/wishes that Google will buy Sprint!

21. bigbrothermotown unregistered

Carlos is RIGHT Sprint had to institute the 10 dollar smart phone fee BEFORE they start capping because if the would have done it the other way around, noone would pay an extra 10 bucks for data that is CAPPED.... Its going to happen Eventually

35. Wolves11 unregistered

NO one is going to pay $10 a month for capped data??? What about every person on AT&T at $30 a month? And now Verizon is to start throttling data, which if you ask, they have to tell you they do, at $30 dollars a month??? Have any of you ever shopped a family plan between the 3? Use their respective web tools and see what it would cost you to get apple to apples services. I came to sprint from AT&T, saves me 70 a month, so 840 a year.... and that counts my $10 a month on 3 smartphones...

14. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

Yes, it is questionable whether unlimited is sustainable. But given Sprint's current path and new interest it has drawn from wireless consumers, I think it would be cutting their throat to bait then switch. They don't need a resurrection of bad reputations. Sprint is under different management than their dark days. Dan is not new to the industry. I have had many carriers over my 23 years of being a wireless subscriber. So far, under this new management, I have never experienced better service..... Anywhere. I respect Dan's view on keeping it unlimited. Sprint certainly has the spectrum to hold the data consumption steady. Let's see how far they can take this. John B.

16. obnoxious9162775

Posts: 32; Member since: Apr 25, 2011

You are right Slammer, they do have the spectrum, but when they bring in more customers, that spectrum drops causing slower speeds, bad cell connection etc. When that happens, Its only inevitable for the caps to happen. Sorry Slammer, but its the truth and the true reality of the cell industry.

19. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

I don't think Sprint will have any problems with speed degradation. Sprint/Clearwire have roughly 150Mhz of spectrum holdings. Compare this to ATT and VZW each of 80 to 88Mhz holdings. This is a great time for Sprint/Clearwire to capitalize on their obvious advantage to handle data. John B.

29. CRICKETownz

Posts: 980; Member since: Oct 24, 2009

In downtown Chicago it get faster speeds on 3G than my girlfriend does on her EVO with 4G coverage. I thought that was interesting but hey guess its a positive thing for Verizon.

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