We use SIM cards from the top 5 providers in the country for an entire year. We track things like dropped calls, call quality, network speed, signal strength, customer service and billing accuracy. Before you think this list is useless because it only covers 5 providers please understand that most of the prepaid phone services you might use like Cricket, Consumer Cellular, Boost, MetroPCS, Ting, etc… actually use the providers in the Top 5 category. For instance if you use Boost you are actually using Sprint’s network.
So without further ado I give you the each of the five providers, our comments, and then our findings 🙂
#5 Sprint – Coming in at #5 on our Top 5 list, is Sprint Corporation. Sprint is about 11 times larger than U.S. Cellular. They are fourth largest service provider in the United States. They have subsidiaries such as Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, and Assurance Wireless as well as selling wholesale access a number of other companies. They are headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas.
Last year at this time Sprint’s advertising shtick was farm animals and cutting the price in half. They are certainly well known to be a value brand, and used to be known for having ads saying they were committed to unlimited data. Alas they were not able to keep that promise and took the low road through loop holes by giving their customers unlimited 2G data after their high speed 4G LTE data allotment was used up.
This illustrates the type of behavior that is consistent with Sprint’s name recognition and brand value when we surveyed our readers. Complaints for aggressive collection tactics, poor service coverage, and jenky handling of vague open ended statements (like “Unlimited Data”) .
Their network speeds are decent, but their coverage and call drops are not. Our staff experienced more call drops with Sprint than any other provider. Factor that into what appears to be a poor standard for ethical practices experienced by Reviewboard Staff and their 1 star out of 5 ranking on ConsumerAffairs.com’s website (based on 729 ratings out of 3,553) that alleges that they do things from making false payment arrangement for their customers to selling bad phones that they won’t replace.
Our customer service calls were met with extremely long (sometimes 20 minutes) wait times and dodgy staff that weren’t interested in answering questions.
For these reasons we have ranked Sprint last on our list. We actually do not recommend them at all.