Verizon: Here’s the Truth About Sprint 4G


Today is a historic day in Mobile Tech Manor. It is the first day in a decade that I have no service on the Verizon (s vz) phone network. I canceled my long-time account as I signed up for Sprint (s s) 4G service to go with my Palm Pre voice line on Sprint. It wasn’t a move I made lightly, I tested the Sprint 3G and 4G networks and decided the Sprint service was a better value for me. I entered the Verizon store to cancel my voice and data lines with mixed emotions. The lying I was blasted with by Verizon employees made the process much easier on me than I thought it would be.

I entered the Verizon store and was signed in to wait my turn for service. I told the guy I was canceling my service and didn’t need a salesperson. He immediately sent me to a second salesperson and explained that I wanted to cancel my service. They both then asked why I would do that. I explained I signed with Sprint for the 4G service, and that I was switching as Verizon had nothing comparable at this time.

They both stated, eerily at the same time, that the Sprint 4G was not really 4G, it was “only WiMAX.” I replied that I knew that, but it was much faster than the EVDO 3G service of Verizon. Then they both asserted that the Sprint WiMAX service was not available “anywhere in the U.S. outside of Houston.” I looked at them and told them that was not true. Sprint has rolled out the 4G service in at least 11 cities across the country.

Then they argued that Verizon’s LTE service was almost ready for launch, and would be launched covering the “entire U.S.” all at once. I asked for them to put that in writing, and that stopped that claim in its tracks.

They took me to the Customer Service department, which I’d asked for upon entry to the store, and handed me off to “Steve”. Steve pulled up my account on the system and asked why I wanted to cancel both lines with Verizon. I explained once again that I had already signed up with Sprint, mainly for the 4G.

He called a manager over to the station who looked at the screen and then informed me that the Sprint 4G service was not available anywhere in the U.S. outside of Houston. I was getting ticked off and told him he was blatantly lying to me about that. He then told me that Sprint’s WiMAX was only a little bit faster than Verizon’s 3G. I told him he was lying yet again. Then he told me that Sprint’s 3G network was “nowhere near as fast as Verizon’s 3G network.”

I’d had enough at this point and I informed him that the Sprint 3G was the same EVDO technology that Verizon used, and it was just as fast. I asked to speak to the division manager to complete my business. At that point they tapped a few keys on the screen and informed me I was duly canceled. The whole thing left me with a very bad taste in my mouth for the way Verizon conducts business. Which is a shame after a decade of happy patronage.

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I am fairly certain that this same situation would happen at any store you go in to cancel their service. Sprint, Verizon, Alltel, AT&T…they will all tell you ruthless lies to get you to stay


Actually, Sprint is probably the only carrier that will actually try to offer you something to entice you to stay. Recurring credit on your monthly bill, additional airtime minutes at no extra charge, etc…


Be sure to confirm that they actually closed the account. I had a similar experience when returning a MiFi and while they gladly accepted the return and noted on the paperwork that they were closing they account, they did not terminate the line and I got a bill the following month for the active line. Getting that taken care of was another frustrating hour on the phone with VZW.


I wonder if you could cancel it via calling their customer service line instead. The internet is a good equalizer, that these bad experiences are exposed for all to know. Next time when asked, you can say “must there be a reason?”, then you say, “no right? Because I can.” They just want to drag you along, drag you along, drag you along, no end in sight. But your purpose is to cancel, get a confirmation of some sort and get out.

In our country, Fido is notoriously of not cancelling the actual account after telling the customers that it’s done.

Roger A

You must live in Canada.. I know Fido well.. Aka Rogers.

My roommate had Verizon and the guy at Sprint said, “…just have us do the port when you are ready. Talking to Verizon they will tell you anything to keep you, especially if they lose you to Sprint, since we run the same technology, have coverage in almost the same areas and offer better plans. Its doubtful Verizon can offer you anything comparable but likely will increase your bill by offering you a “free data plan” for 3 months” after that its $60 more!”

Sure enough my roommate was like “They already tried that crap” and ported over immediately.


Funny enough, I had the opposite experience moving from Sprint to T-Mobile when I got a Nexus One. My brother-in-law wanted my Blackberry, so I wanted to see if I could port my number away without canceling the service (i.e. get them to assign a new number). The rep I talked to said “they don’t normally do that” but escalated the issue and got his manager to OK it based on the fact that I’ve been a Sprint customer since 1996 or so. My brother-in-law is now a happy Sprint customer using my old phone and I’ll probably be switching back when the HTC Evo comes out.

Buford Wilson

You didn’t need to pick a fight with them.

As Mr Churchill once said, if you’re about to kill somebody, it costs you nothing to be polite.


Lol cancel service with anyone. Pretty much the same experience across the board. There are some exceptions, but I find this depends more on individual representatives, and less on company.

Daniel Markham

I think you are liable to find this sort of tiered gauntlet anytime you want to end service with a company that is subscriber based. I’ve been through the same thing with Cable and satellite TV service. I suspect, should you ever want to leave Sprint, you’ll get the same treatment.


My experience when I was thinking of leaving Sprint was to get all sorts of offers: 5% loyalty discount, additional $50 off the new phone I wanted, plus $50 off the next month’s bill (essentially getting the phone for free), plus no activation charge for the new phone. I stayed with Sprint and everytime I renew I get another loyalty discount. Never treated rudely. My partner tried the same with Verizon and got no deals.


I tested MiFi the other day in SF. Here are my results Via Twitter
trevorpressman @Verizon MiFi vs. @Comcast WiFi vs. @ATTNews 3G iPhone speedtest showdown. AT&T not so shabby. If I could only make calls


Wow…just wow Verizon. I left V about 5/6 years ago for…get this…coverage. I just couldn’t get coverage at my project site for those 18 months I was there and my main office….in the SF Bay Area if you could believe that. I switched to Sprint and couldn’t be happier since.

I rarely get dead spots and 1x coverage, but it does happen…although Sprint will roam on Vzw where there’s no signal, so I’m good.

Value wise, no carrier can touch a 5-smartphone plan with unlim data/text/navigation for $170/mo…ALL 5 LINES (yes, I do have loyalty discounts in my package). That also includes all mobile calls to ANY US carrier for FREE (Sprint Any-Mobile) and each line has it’s own Pick-3 free calling (like T-mo’s Fav-5). Also, the main line on that account has every 12mo upgrade eligibility.

Again, for the savings, Sprint is really hard to leave.

As for V, if they do get the iPhone…expect the arrogance to be kicked-up a few notches.

Roger A

Call Account Relations (Cancellations) and without threatening to cancel, simply ask them if your Pick 3 on each line can be upgraded to Pick 5. I heard they dont offer it to people who cancel anymore, but since you already have Pick 3 on your line, you may be able to upgrade to Pick 5. Just ask them politely. If not, no big deal, sounds like you have an amazing plan!


the fact is that when a better device will pop there you will switch again. its a shameless strategy that works. they loose less customers by lying and postponing.
i am coming from a country where all service providers behave that way regarding service cancellation … my strategy is to get into the shop with a recorder and inform the rep that i am recording. it simplified things for me in the past.


Similar experiences here. When I was 20 years old and on a family plan, I went in to a verizon store to port my contacts to a new phone. This service was complementary under the plan we had at the time. I told the employee what I needed. He proceeded to try and sell me my own plan with a new phone for the next ten minutes. I walked out and said I would do it by hand.

Ricky Cadden

I sell phones for a living (AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon) and had a customer tell a similar story the other day. I had convinced him that, for his family of 4 to have BlackBerries, Sprint was the clear choice (it is), and that he should switch from Verizon. Apparently, he left my store and went to Verizon to see if they would match or offer him something to stay.

He came back to let me know that when he laid out the deal to the Verizon guy, and asked if they could offer some reason for him to stay, the guy blatantly said, straight-faced and to his face, ‘No, we don’t have to match Sprint because we’re better than them.’ Un-freakin-believable.

In all my dealings with Verizon, while friendly, they really come off as incredibly arrogant.


When I walked into a Verizon store to see what it would cost me to move from a Pre to Pre Plus back in January they told me that a comparable plan to simply everything would be $50 more than Sprint. They’re only reasoning for the higher price was that they had better coverage. The Verizon reps had an air of superiority. Compared to a colleague of mine who has Verizon he’s had more dropped calls. Plus if you have a simply everything phone plan your broadband card or MIFI you have unlimited Internet for $59.95. No 5GB cap.

When I deal with Sprint customer service they treat me like a valued customer, and really go out of there way to ensure that I’m satisfied with the service I think because they are the #3 carrier and they want to move up the the ranks where as Verizon is more like we are #1 we don’t have to do a damn thing because you should want to be our customer.

Roger A

Sprint still has a 5GB cap on all data plans.

3G ONLY Data Plans are $59.99 with a 5GB cap on network and 300MB roaming cap.

3G/4G Data Plans are $59.99 with 5GB Cap on 3G data on network and 300MB roaming cap, Unlimited 4G on network.

Simply Everything does not grant one “unlimited” data for use other then on the phone. Tethering, or Phone-As-Modem is NOT included in this plan. It also will not work without things like “tether” aka Tetherberry, or PDAnet, and even still Sprint reserves the right to charge you per kb $0.03 if they detect any device other then your phone is accessing the data.


If you could…eehhmm…tether, say a Palm Pre, the 5GB cap would not apply. It’s for data cards only. There is no cap for smartphones.


Sprint does not place a cap on a broadband card of any kind 3G/4G as long as you also have a phone with them as well.

I’m not tethering my phone this is CDMA so in order to do work and be on the phone simultaneously I would need a broadband card.


Actually, ask James about this he has a MiFi and Palm Pre.

If you login to your account and select detailed usage it will state UNLIMITED.


All mobile companies train their staff to try and retain customers, so don’t get mad they are just following their training and just doing their job. Its just annoying for everyone else, when you made your mind up, and switched supplier.

Secondly have you unlocked your verizon mifi unit, it maybe handy to do so. I always unlock my mobile devices as soon as I can.


Roger A

CDMA devices are not able to be “unlocked” so to speak. While you may know programming codes, and MSL codes, these all are worthless pieces of knowledge since the carrier networks ban foreign ESN/MEID numbers that are not branded for the respective carrier. Sprint phones will not work on Verizon and Verizon will not work on Sprint, but if you program your MSL with the right information and get a PRL in there, you can use MetroPCS. This is because MetroPCS is the only carrier CDMA-wise that will input any foreign owned ESN/MEID numbers into their database.

So, unlocking a Verizon MIFI to use on Sprint would be pointless as Sprint bans all ESN/MEIDs to any device that is NOT Sprint branded.


Alltel used to allow foreign ESNs on their network also. But Verizhell took them over, and now won’t even allow Alltel ESNs on their network. I just kicked VZW to the curb, along with a brand new VZW Touch Pro 2.


verizons 4g stantard LTE is planned to launch Q4. LTE is faster than wimax and is becoming the worldwide standard. But can’t beat sprints prices though


lte and wimax are extremely comparable in terms of speed. What isn’t comparable is the amount of spectrum that Sprint and Verizon have on which to deploy these techs. Sprint has (on average) 5 times as much as Verizon. I’ll be heading that way when it rolls out. Don’t even get me started on pricing


I had the same experience when I left Verizon (Cellular One back then) and moved to AT&T (Cingular back then); and again when I moved from AT&T to Sprint; and again when I moved from Sprint to Verizon. Sounds like you don’t get around much. I look forward to your post when you leave Sprint.

Ken Jackson

I left Sprint for ATT. I was actually disappointed in the opposite direction. Sprint didn’t fight at all for my business. They were just like, “Why are you leaving? Anything we can do to keep you? Enjoy your time on ATT?” I was expecting like a $200 credit to get me to stay or something. But all things considered, the experience wans’t as bad as this one!


It all depends on who you get at the store and your ARPU. If you have a high-value account, you usually get freebies thrown your way. Also, the in-store reps seem to have less ability/desire/pull to retain your patronage.

I find that I can get more value calling or delaing with Sprint over their ‘Chat’ support option. Plus, you have a written record on the chat log you can refer to if they reneg or tell you otherwise of an offer that was negotiated.

Roger A

I didnt threaten to leave, I just told them I wanted Pick 3 and got it. During some mistake charges I was upgraded to Pick 5…both times were free mind you. I was also given 60 Bonus Minutes that never expire (even if I change my plan) because I had issues. $50 credits here and there, activation and upgrade fees waived here and there. All in all my time with Sprint as a service has been great. My time with Sprint as a customer has been decent. However, only ONCE have I had a problem with Sprint employees lying to me about this and that, and comparing their network to T-Mobile, which while partly true in speed terms, when it came to GSM phones this guy knew nothing and compared them to CDMA – totally different.

Expecting any retention from Sprint is not likely. They dont care if people want to leave really, because those people who leave are also the biggest complainers who likely wont stay loyal in the long run.


You are very, very fortunate James to have a popular blog where you can spill the beans on what really happens, albeit to a sizable/knowledgeable audience.

I could share with you a more horrific story regarding my experience with T-Mobile back in 2009. Long story short, the matter is now in front of a commissioner. Yes, that’s right – lawsuit.

Cell phone service providers care NOTHING about a customer’s business – they simply don’t have the faintest idea of how to respect a loyal customer, and I can attest to that for a fact. All they want is your wallet, period, and they will lie their asses off to get it. Oh, and don’t think the mighty FCC is immune either – they’re in bed with all of them and just as dirty!

Your experience James further drives home the fact that a big stake of the complaints the BBB receives are regarding cell phone providers, and that volume has been increasing.


heres how you should have handled it…

“Sir, may i ask why you want to cancel your service with us”

“just because i want too”

you dont have to explain yourself to anyone. hell in the US you have the right to remain silent in a court of law in your own murder trial, i am sure the same remains at the VZW store!

Pam T.

Ouch, thanks for the warning, James! I plan to drop my VZW aircard as soon as Sprint turns 4G on in St. Louis and I’ve had a chance to compare speeds and accessibility. I guess none of those service guys ever read the tech blogs to stay current on the technology.


You know it’s funny you posted this James, I canceled my Verizon line two weeks ago over the phone. The lady asked me so many questions about why I was canceling and if I wanted to turn the line into a data line or this and that, she told me that since I bought my phone from Best Buy I will probably be receiving a bill from Best Buy for canceling the service as well.

I basically told her to stop talking and just do her job and cancel the line. After my rude response, my line was canceled within a few seconds and I was finally off the phone with those jokers.


I waited 30+ minutes today to get my Eris Android phone switched out due to a busted volume control. The “salesman” I got was so arrogant I had to walk out of the store, plus they did not have any Eris in stock. This is the third time I’ve been mistreated. If I had another coverage choice at my house I would say adiós Verizon.


I’d have used that Verizon voice line to cancel.

I am also surprised they didn’t make any retention offer.


Verizon sales people are clowns hired right from Ringling brothers. One guy told me that Droid blows iPhone out of water. He continued with “Android has more apps then iPhone app store”.
Well,, hmm, well, hmmmm, okay.

Droid Does

Droid does blow the iphone out of the water. It’s faster and is capable of doing more. The market is growing at @10k apps per month with open source software and that blows away anything apple has to offer with their Nazi tactics for applications. By year end at current progression droid apps will surpass iphone. Quantity doesn’t mean quality so iphone is just a name, a status symbol tied to the worst network in the nation. Nothing to brag about…..

Not the droid your looking for

Droid is faster at what and capable of doing more of what?
Why point out that “at current progression droid apps will surpass iphone” then add (accurately) “quantity doesn’t mean quality” you sound more like a fanboy than the apple fanboys. Use what works for you and let other people use what works for them. I for one am glad to have options.


Droid does blow the Iphone out of the water. It is faster at playing my music while i browse the internet and have my photo gallery on one of my cutoms laid out screens. It is better at taking pictures at night. It also has an app for guiding you on the road built in for free. It is also quicker at downloading since most Iphone have spotty 3G. You are right though, we should use what works best for us. us who rather be free to do what we want and not have others dictate what we should or should not do….

Robert G

Epic FAIL Verizon, Epic FAIL… Makes me even happier that I’ve been a T-Mobile customer for 9 years.


I worked for an Authorized Verizon retailer for about 10 yrs. Of the 4-6 employees that worked there we all were very much into what was going on in the business as well as other gadgets. It always amazed me when i would walk into a Corporate Verizon store & i would hear some of the crap coming out of there mouths. I would have to interrupt some of the salesmen & correct them because i felt bad for the customer. I loathe having to go into 1 of their stores to do anything knowing that i know more than them. It is absolutely frustrating. They simply just do not train most of their employees. Dont get me wrong im sure that there is a select few that do know what they’re doing but i havent come across any yet.


When I wanted to cancel my Sprint service they tried very hard to keep me as a customer…but not in the way big red hasseled you.
I ended up with a free Airave with no monthly access charge and free unlimited data on my TouchPro. Its been almost 2 years with the airave and no charges at all and just over a year with the data plan and no charges.


Seriously…. You went to a store to cancel when a call would have sufficed…. And for the record, 4G is just a marketing term. It has no basis in a reality for how fast the service is. If we’re comparing apples to apples, T Mobiles “3G” is faster.

James Kendrick

Seriously, I was driving right past the store so I went in. You’re right, 4G is just a term but this was much more than that.

Roger A

“4G” is not just a marketing term, it stands for Fourth Generation. A Generation is considered when a new network technology is built out, usually comprising of new phones for said network, new speed allotments, new applications that previously could not run on the previous generation, and/or the ability to multi-task voice, data, video, etc simultaneously within said network.

Sprint 4G is WiMAX and YES it is 4G because it is their newest technology. Sprint did not have a 1G, CDMA was 2G, CDMA 1X alongside with EVDO Rev. 0 and EVDO Rev. A all in the “3G” category (ie, 3G and 3.5G since they are overlay networks), and WiMAX is a new network ground up 4G.

Thanks for playing the name marketing game. Oh, and it should be noted that 4G speed CURRENTLY is not the speed that the technology can handle theoretically, no G technology will ever come close to “theoretical” in real time environments, however WiMAX is upgrade compatible to WiMAX 2 which is much faster then “tested” LTE, and capable of being just as fast as the “theoretical” max of LTE. So please get the information correct when you decide to talk about networks and what exactly “4G” means.


You show how little you actually know about cellular technology. First generation was called 1XRTT, second generation was EVDO, and 3G is EVDO Rev. 0 and Rev. A. CDMA is the base technology for carriers such as Verizon and Sprint. You should learn the facts before you start correcting people.

super smart

Roger A is right about the different generations, and I am a geek who spends an unbelievable amount of time researching stuff like this out of curiosity and because I have relatives on Sprint service.

Nikolay Kolev

Also, Sprint 4G has unlimited traffic. So, even if speed was the same, it is still a better choice. As far as I know, latency is much lower with WiMAX, which by the way is called “4G” in many countries in the world, which makes it de facto a standard and not some cheap marketing trick.


Its a cheap marketing trick taking advatage of the uneducated of society. while you(a small group of people that actually give a turd) might know the difference most people do not and there for take it at face value beiing: “This phone is 4g and that one is 3g the 4 is newer and better cause its 4”. Your an idiot if you dont think that the people that decided these labels knew that and count on it. Every thing your looking at in your daily lives is about money. PERIOD


Wow. It’s hard to know with certainty, but it would not surprise me in the slightest that whoever puts their name on that paper as having processed the cancellation has it count against them in their quarterly review.

As for the lying … well, I suppose I’m not surprised by anything some commissioned salespeople will do. I can tell you that I have had a VZW salesperson lie to me about phone availability. Long story short: Sales person swore up and down that they didn’t care the particular Moto phone I wanted any longer. Three weeks later (past return date, mind you), I hear a VZW ad on the radio promoting the very phone I had wanted. I called in and was able to get a swap.

Most cell phone dealing I have ever had usually leave me feeling unusually confused. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone back into a store to discuss something and get a completely different answer than I did before.

I think the bottom line is simply this: Sell everything you can in any way you can.


I had a similar experience here in the SF Market Street store, they tried to convince me that the 3G of Verizon was faster than Sprint’s 4G service (even though it is not out yet in SF). I showed them screen shots of the testing I had done with the Sprint 4G device (running 3G) vs. Verizon’s Mifi device and proved that actually Sprints 3G was faster than Verizon’s 3G here in SF. They continued to argue with me upon which I told them while there were about 10 customers in the store that I would be happy to do a demonstration of both devices right in the store (since I had both with me at the time) and they quickly agreed to cancel my account. As may already be known Sprint does not have 4G in SF yet (supposedly within the next 60 days) but I have used it in other cities which as you have stated is much faster than Sprint or Verizon’s 4G. I was shocked at how bold Verizon was in blatantly lying and misrepresenting their device vs. Sprint and can’t imagine the number of consumers falling for their scam/claims. It sounds like they are using a script because of how similar the stories are and someone should force them to stop this misleading tactic


Sorry meant to say Verizon’s 3G (not 4G) obviously they don’t have 4G yet


I’ve heard similar stories like that about Verizon employees/service. The times I’ve been in the local shopping center, I always get aggressively greeted by one of those Verizon employees, there are times when I expect to be tackled by one.

Brandon Paddock

I’ve had bad experiences with AT&T store reps too. I think the problem is likely pervasive throughout the industry, not that this is an excuse of any kind.

I’m disappointed to hear this about Verizon since I just switched to them from AT&T several months ago. I had no problem leaving AT&T because I never told them I was leaving. I just ported my number to Verizon (which Verizon happily did even after I’d had my account set up for a month with a different/temporary number while I decided if I liked it). The port process canceled my AT&T account without any such hassles and took about 30 seconds to complete.

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