Sprint isn’t sprinting—
Since the first reports of super-slow data throughput on iPhone 4S devices were reported on October 14, the date of the 4S’s launch, users in San Francisco and around the country have been complaining vocally about their problems with Sprint’s network.
2400 baud anyone?
As incredible as it may seem, tests conducted on the speed of the Sprint network by iPhone 4S owners were, in some cases, as slow as old-school 2400 baud dial-up modems or only .25Mps.
Welcome back to the 1980s.
It’s the iPhone 4S
Side-by-side smartphone comparisons seem to indicate that the snail-slow speeds primarily affect the iPhone 4S. Sprint phones other than the iPhone 4S connect fine although there are other isolated incidents that show the problem affects non-Apple phones as well.
The customers quit
BetaNews says Sprint customers are not only frustrated with the slow connection speeds but are also up-in-arms over the way Sprint has handled the situation. Customer service reps seem to avoid giving direct answers regarding the bandwidth problems. Some Sprint users say they are leaving for greener bandwidth pastures.
Beating the deadline
Customers who purchased the iPhone 4S on launch day and want to return the device without the $350 early termination fee must do so before this Friday to take advantage of Sprint’s customer satisfaction guarantee.
ZachR214, a member on the Sprint forums, is doing just that:
“I had enough and finally brought the phone back today. I was really sad to let go of Sprint….but I’d rather pay a little more to have a reliable carrier, [than] have a brick.”
It is a real problem
Early reports of slow bandwidth on Sprint’s network were dismissed by some as just whining by a small segment of its customer base, but an internal email, according to TheNextWeb, says Sprint calls the problem “nationwide” and that Apple and Sprint are working to fix the issues.
Sprint engages in doublespeak
Sprint released this statement without mentioning the issue and said that their tests showed its network was just fine, and that returns for the iPhone 4S were low.
In a nutshell, Sprint didn’t apologize or admit there was even a problem:
“Overall, iPhone performance on the Sprint network is consistent with our expectations and the rest of our high-end portfolio…
“We do see opportunities to optimize performance, specifically in high network capacity areas. We see this as typical optimization work and do not have any specific area of concern. Sprint is committed to providing the best possible experience for our customers.
“We are listening to our customers and working closely with our partners at Apple to ensure optimal performance of iPhone devices on our network.”
George Orwell, the author of the science fiction novel, 1984, would have been proud of this answer by Sprint.
Written by: Frank Ling on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 – 1:01 PM
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