Sprint's fledgling "Direct 2 You" smartphone home delivery service, which in April began delivering new smartphones to customers along with personal lessons on how to set them up and use them, is now being expanded to four more U.S. cities.
New and current Sprint customers in Atlanta, Boston, Houston and Philadelphia can now call and request a Direct 2 You visit from a Sprint representative, who will deliver their new phone and answer questions and provide advice on use and services, all at the customer's convenience, according to the company. Also provided are data transfer and phone setup services to help in the transition to a new handset. Apps, games and more are also transferred to make the transition smoother.
The no-extra-cost Direct 2 You services launched in April in Kansas City and have since expanded to Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Tampa and Washington, D.C., according to Sprint.
The Boston services are available in Boston and nearby Cambridge, Quincy and Lynn, while in Philadelphia the service is also available in surrounding communities including Camden, Newark and Trenton, N.J., and Dover, Del. In Atlanta, the services are also available in nearby Marietta, Conyers, Decatur, Roswell, Stockbridge and Lawrenceville, Ga., while in Houston the services will also be provided to customers in Pasadena and Pearland, Texas.
"We listen to our customers and strive to deliver the best customer service experience possible," Karen Paletta, Sprint's Northeast region vice president, said in a statement. "Whether it's at a child's soccer game, home or office, or a coffee shop, our experts will meet Philadelphia-area consumers where they choose—and at no additional cost. It makes buying a new phone a unique and stress-free experience."
The service was originally launched by Sprint due to customer requests, according to an earlier eWEEK report. Under the program, a company employee personally drives a new phone to a customer in a special Direct 2 You vehicle to make the move to a new device easier. Existing and new customers can use the service for phone upgrades, new tablets and more as part of a plan to take the buying experience to the customer, according to the company.
Sprint is planning to use some 5,000 Sprint Direct 2 You vehicles in major metropolitan areas of the United States by the end of 2015 as it continues to expand the program.
Customer feedback received by the company showed that customers are often short of the time it takes to obtain new smartphones and tablets in a brick-and-mortar store, according to Sprint. Others told the company that they don't want to order such devices online and have them delivered because they will likely need help with setup and use once they receive them, and they'll have no one to help them.
Sprint, the nation's fourth-largest mobile carrier behind Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile, often promotes new phone plans as it battles with its competitors to lure new customers with more data and lower monthly service rates.
In June, Sprint rolled out a new mobile phone plan, called All-In, that gives customers one monthly $80 price for a smartphone as well as unlimited text, talk and high-speed data, all for one fee that includes everything but taxes and fees. The All-In phone plans are meant to provide clearer pricing for consumers who presently have to price their smartphone payments, data plans and basic monthly mobile service plans individually, which makes it harder to figure total costs in a straight-forward manner, according to Sprint. The new mobile plan is especially notable because it includes unlimited high-speed data, which is hard to find from major carriers nowadays.
In April, Sprint unveiled WiFi calling capabilities for customers who are using the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S smartphones, according to an earlier eWEEK report. Sprint Android customers have been able to make WiFi calls since February 2014. The expanded service for iPhone owners can be used anywhere there is a WiFi hotspot, according to the company.
In December 2014, Sprint offered a special "Cut Your Bill in Half Event" for Verizon and AT&T wireless customers who switched to Sprint. The deal also matched a customer's data plan caps at half of their existing rates for new customers who made the service transfer. The Sprint half-price offer was not extended to T-Mobile customers, which is intriguing because Sprint tried and failed to acquire T-Mobile earlier in 2014.