Grandfathered Sprint SERO Upgrade – Tips and Advice

The Sprint Employee Referral Offer (SERO) plan, much to many users’ dismay, is no longer available to the general public. Instead, Sprint hopes that people will eventually upgrade to the Everything Plus Program. While it lasted, SERO offered 500 anytime minutes, unlimited texting, unlimited data usage, and unlimited nights and weekends starting at 7 PM.

The Problem

SERO is still available, but only to existing, grandfathered users. While this sounds great for those of us with the plan, the main problem is that Sprint is limiting access to certain higher-end phones. SERO users salivating over the Palm Pre or the HTC Hero (Android) phones are out of luck, as Sprint will not allow these phones to be activated on SERO plans.

While there may be a way to force one of these phones to link with SERO, it’s beyond my current comprehension. If someone finds out how, please let us know.

If you’re okay with a lesser phone, you can still keep your SERO plan. You can even get a serious statement credit and a phone upgrade for cheap/free.

$70 Statement Credit

Step one – follow this advice (credit goes to Slickdeals):

At 22 months you are eligible to renew your contract. When you are eligible, login to your account at sprint.com and click on the “contact us” link at the top right of the page in the black bar. If you get a security warning about the content being delivered securely, choose No. Click on the “Email us” link and choose No if you get the security warning again. Search for something like “renew contract” and if you get the security warning, choose No. Now you should finally be at the web form to submit an email to Sprint ecare. For topic select “Plans, features, and services” and for subtopic select “Plan inquires.” In the text box say that you have heard that there is a $70 service credit available for renewing your contract and you would like to take advantage of that. Put your real email address in the box and then submit email. Wait for a day or so for a response and if they offer the service credit, then just reply to the email that you accept. Not everyone is eligible for the service credit so you might not get it, but worth a try.

By doing so, you will renew your SERO contract for another 24 months, and you should also receive a $70 statement credit – essentially paying for two free months! Here’s the reply I received after following the above instructions to the letter:

Thank you for contacting Sprint regarding the $70.00 agreement renewal offer. We offer $70.00 service credit to our valuable customers for renewing their agreement by two years. This offer is promotional and the customers are randomly selected for this offer. Considering your valuable association with us, I have applied a $70.00 credit on your account and have renewed the contract by two years starting today. There is a credit balance of $35.30 on your account after this credit which will reflect on your next invoice. We value your business and appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns. Please reply to this email or visit Sprint.com/mysprint if we can be of further assistance.

Keep in mind that you must wait until your initial contract is within 2 months of expiration. Most existing SERO users are likely already in or near this point. When I logged into my account, I saw this:

Free Phone Upgrades

Since the most awesome phones are prohibited from linking with SERO, what choices are available? A lot, actually, including some quite nice phones, such as the HTC Touch Pro2. I’m upgrading from a Moto Q, and I decided not to go for anything top of the line. Instead, I opted to select one of the free upgrades.

At this time, there are seven free upgrades available:

  • LG Rumor 2
  • Sanyo SCP-2700
  • Samsung Reclaim
  • Sanyo SCP-3810
  • LG LX370
  • Samsung M330
  • Motorola i776

Of those, I opted for the Samsung Reclaim, which had the best reviews at the time.

I dig the slide-out keyboard, the relatively small size, the 2.0 megapixel camera, the MicroSD expansion, and the built-in GPS navigation. Sure, there are better phones available, but I’m not the kind of guy who is glued to his phone all day. The web/e-mail access is a boon, and I’m sure I’ll be totally happy with my upgrade.

Total cost: $0, including free overnight shipping.

Now I get to enjoy my SERO plan for another two years, two free months, and a free phone upgrade. I’m happy.

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40 thoughts on “Grandfathered Sprint SERO Upgrade – Tips and Advice

  1. Hi! I have a Sero plan from 2008 and it is about to expire in May. I have read that we ARE allowed to renew and keep this contract, but I am skeptical and worried that Spring will refuse (is this even possible?)

    I have the Palm Centro and really want the Palm Pre, but I guess we cannot use it… thanks for the tips I will definitely try it.

  2. As an original SERO customer you ARE allowed to renew and you qualify for the New For You upgrade program after 12 months (typically a $75 device discount) or a $150 device discount after 22 months. Details are at http://www.sprint.com/sero or http://delivery.sprint.com/m/p/nxt/epc/epclanding.asp Click on the “Already an Everything Plus or SERO customer?” link or click here http://a676.g.akamaitech.net/f/676/773/12h/images.delivery.net/cm50content/sprint/eprp/EPRP2.html

    If you are like me and your account has also been tagged with a corporate discount, you may wish to avoid any contact with eCare and do your renewal online. I just got the Samsung Intrepid which is a Windows Mobile 6.5 feature packed phone including GSM, GPS and Outlook Exchange capability. However, the WinMo OS navigation frustrates me since I have used Palm OS for years. Think an Apple users switching to a PC.

    Mr. IM I’m a little surprised that you didn’t get the Intrepid since the form factor is similiar to a Moto Q, unless you hated WinMo so much.

    The original SERO basically gave you text and web for free and since the Palm WebOS, Google Android and Samsung Instinct series phones are “net centric”, data intensive, Sprint imposes the Everything Data plan requirement. However WinMo phones seem to be exempt from this even though they can also be data intensive.

    • Thanks for all the input. I wasn’t much of a WinMo fan on my Moto Q, but that was version 5. I’m sure the Intrepid is better.

      I remember considering the Intrepid, but thinking that the Reclaim does everything I need, and the free upgrade was just too tempting for me. I actually like my Reclaim more than my Q, and I admit, the smaller size is an appeal. The Q always felt like a brick in my pocket. To my delight, I can do everything I did on my Q on my new Reclaim, with the exception of running Google Sync. On the other hand, my Reclaim has GPS, whereas my Q did not, so it’s a fair exchange.

    • askmrleeWere you able to get the 100.00 mail in rebate and keep your existing plan with all the features? Thanks!

      Mail-in Rebates Requirements:
      Take advantage of our Mail-in Rebate offers and save a bundle on your new phone.

      Purchase your phone on Sprint.com or by phone through Sprint Customer Service.

      A 2 yr. contract (for new and upgrading customers).

      PDA, BlackBerry and smartphones – Requires one of the following plans or add-ons:
      S
      imply Everything or Simply Everything Family plan

      Everything Data or Everything Data Family plan

      Business Essentials Messaging & Data
      PRO Pack Add-on

      BlackBerry Personal Pack, BlackBerry Web and Email plan, or BlackBerry Worldwide Add-on

    • It was at first, but Sprint has revoked free GPS for me. They now want me to pay either by the month or for 24-hour periods of usage.

      I vote no. Google Maps will suffice.

  3. Are you using Samsung Reclaim? how do you like it? I am also thinking of buying this phone. Please let me know about the phone.

    thanks in advance
    chunnu

    • Yep, I’m using it. Overall, I like it. Unlike my old Moto Q, the Reclaim hasn’t had a single crash, and the battery lasts for 3-4 days of typical usage. I’m slower at texting with the Reclaim, but I can’t really complain about it. The pros outweigh the cons, and I’m happy with my new phone.

  4. i email ecare first they renewed my contract by 2 years in exchange of $70 credit in my bill…got samsung reclaim for $0 thanks to web special…

  5. what exactly about the GPS do they revoke? Or is it just their version of turn by turn software?
    I assume if it has a GPS chip in it they have no control over it and should give you GPS with or without their blessing. Yes/ No?

  6. Just wondering if anyone who is on SERO has gotten the $70 credit AND a phone discount lately? If so, how did you do it? I emailed Sprint and was told I can only have one or the other. I’m also still unclear on whether I can keep my SERO plan, or if it is better to just stay month-to-month and keep my old phone (Samsung A900, a great flip phone, but wouldn’t mind a smart phone). Thanks!

    • I called Telesales to extend my contract [I can provide the number if anyone needs it]. I was 22 months in, and was able to painlessly extend the SERO plan for another 24 months. I was able to purchase the HTC Touch Pro 2 with $150 discount + $100 MIR. I inquired about the $70 retention credit, but the rep said that I would have to speak with another department…since I’m too lazy, I can’t say if they would have issued the credit, but I was happy just to be able to extend my SERO plan for 2 more years.

      One caveat about the new contract is that it is effective immediately, so even though I had 2 months left on my existing contract, the new contract expires in 24 months, not 26. Normally, this would be a good thing, but it isn’t when you’re trying to extend the contract to save money, it’s less than ideal.

      I can’t complain, though. My two SERO plans have been awesome for the past 2 years. Looking forward to the next 2.

      • what number did you call (telesales) and how did you get the htc touch pro 2? what was the total you paid?

  7. The truth is, you CAN get the $70 AND the discount price of the phone. What you would want to do first is accept the $70 credit. Your phone upgrade discount will not even be touched.
    If you’ve decided to upgrade first using the discount, then you’re out of luck. The $70 credit is only offered if a rep notices that you are out of contract or coming close to it. Once you upgrade, you have a new contract and the $70 is no more.

    I used to work for Sprint and this is how it’s done. My uncle also got $70 for each of his phone (5 total!) and asked if this will affect his upgrade eligibility and was stated no. A week later, he upgraded 3 phones and still got the phone at discount.

  8. Thank you for all the tips! Do you know what phones SERO members are eligible for? I called and talked to customer service and they said the PDA phones that we CANNOT have are: Android, Palm Pre, Palm Pixi, and I cannot remember the rest. BUT we are allowed to have Blackberry but this requires an extra $10/month. So that would bring my monthly statement to about $50 including insurance. I am a college student so I’m not sure how much this price will hurt me in the long run but its only $10 more than what i normally pay using the Palm Centro which I am getting sick of. So…any advice to which phones to get? The sales rep said the HTC Touch Pro 2 is a popular one. How is that compared to the new Blackberry?

  9. I just read on slickdeals that blackberry 9650 is coming out soon does anybody know anything about that?

  10. I just got my 70$ credit from Sprint on my Sero account. Now I’m trying to upgrade, and it says I`m not eligible. Any idea/help?

  11. Hi Folks!
    I am definately glad that there are few of us that have the Sero plan. I have had it for about a few years now (contract ends July) and I am pretty happy with it. My question is to you all: does it expire and do I have to get a new plan? From what I see from you guys is that I can extend it out for 2 more years and get the $70 credit (which would be fine by me).
    Now lets talk about phones:
    I have a Palm Centro and a Palm 755p, both of which are identical, just look a little different. What I like: these phones pack a ton of stuff in’em, like email, music player, video player, internet radio player, you can make it look like a Pre with TealOS (discontinued), decent phone usage and great texting capabilities, and you can add lots of apps to it via the internet and a computer. Now, here are the cons:
    Small screen, old OS and it looks old, slow at times, the 755p is a brick!, the PalmOS crashes every once in awhile, and my biggest beef: THE HEADPHONE JACK SUCKS! It breaks possibly rendering the phone useless! My first Centro – it stopped working after 6 months, but Sprint shipped me out a new one (they were out of refurbs…aw, poor babys). I gave that to my wife and I bought the 755p from the net along with a Sqaretrade warranty (a great and cheaper altertative to the insurance from Sprint). I am now having issues with the headphone jack, where after you unplug a headphone device from the unit, the phone stays in ‘headphone’ mode no matter what you do to it (no speaker, no earpiece, no bluetooth). It’s bee 3 days and I finally got it to work! Most likely, I am going to get it repaired (or replaced) from SquareTrade. If they can’t fix it, they will send me a fat check for the amount that I purchased the phone for, which leads me to this: What phone am I elegable for? I’m not going to get another Palm product due to their crappy quality.

    Here are my requirements:
    Decent Phone, Mp3, Web Browsing, Email, Speaker, Video, and the ablitily to back up my phone to a computer like my Palm did, and SD Card reader, and, of course be compatible with my Sero plan.
    Features that I would like: Internet Radio, GPS, Ability to add Apps, decent battery life, photos and camera, Video, picture mail
    If any of you have suggestions, please message me back!

    Thanks,
    Dan F
    Murrieta, CA

    • I have always been partial to Windows Mobile [since its days in the 90’s as Windows CE]…So I’ve only had WM smart phones. I’ve been very happy with my new HTC Touch Pro 2. Sure, it’s pretty pricey at $300 after MIR, but it’s a great phone. It is replacing my HTC PPC-6800 [Mogul], which I gave to my wife to replace her crummy Motorola Q9. I haven’t used the headphone jack on the phone, but if it ever does go, you could always just use bluetooth w/A2DP.

      Good luck

      • Hey Dizot.
        My htc mogul final died on me. Good riddance. I hated that thing. Paid 2 years of TEP insurance only to find out the deductable has been increased to $100 for more than likely a refurb mogul. No thanks. Don’t know whether I want to shell out for a touch pro 2 or a less expensive blackberry for $10/mo more.

        My issues are (1) making calls, (2)web browsing, (3)battery life that last a full day, and (4) texting.

        What would you or anyone advise for a new phone (which bb or other phone) with renewal of my sero plan (1250)? Thx.

  12. Hello,

    Im currently on a SERO plan where i have 500 anytime min, have unlimited text,web.. I pay $35 and I have the Sanyo SCP-8400, which is an excellent phone, had it since 2007. My 2yr contract already expired awhile back and I would like a new phone. Can I request the $70 credit, get the $150 off a phone, and keep my plan? Is it possible to get all that? Whatever I do, i do not want to change my plan in anyway. I want to keep my SERO plan for long as Im a sprint customer. Any advice?.. Please reply…… Also any more phones available for SERO plans?

    Thanks

    Tony

    • Hi Tony P,
      Yes, you can get the $70 credit, the $150 rebate, renew your contract and KEEP the Sero plan for $35 for another 2 years. I already requested the $70 online and I received it within 24 hours and it was there in my account. I can still get the $150 upgrade towards certain phones and keep the plan. Hope this helps.

      FYI, you can also get your phone upgrade at the Sprint Store. I know someone who had the SERO plan and went to the actual store and he got his upgrade. He had to speak to two different people, but he got it. It all depends on who your talk to.

  13. I just got the $70 credit, you just have to follow the instructions Mr. IM posted. This is what Sprint sent me:
    ————————————————————-
    Thank you for your reply.
    I understand your concern regarding the contract renewal offers. Your account is eligible for $70.00 Service Credit against the contract renewal on your account. It is also eligible for handset upgrade at the online price with two year contract. However, it is not possible to avail both the offers together on your account. You can opt either of the both the offers. If you want to renew your contract for $ 70.00 Service Credit, please reply and we will apply the credit. And in case you want to upgrade phone at online price, you can buy a Sprint phone by logging on to Sprint.com & selecting My Sprint or by calling us at 1-800-777-4681. Thank you for contacting Sprint. Have a nice day.
    ————————————————————
    See, so you should ask for the credit first BEFORE you upgrade your phone. You can STILL upgrade your phone, but you have to pick the sucky ones. They are trying to wipe the Sero users out by offering us old phones. But they can’t. From all the people I know who have this plan, it all depends who you talk to. I heard you CAN’T get the PALM or BLACKBERRY with the Sero plan. But I’ve also heard people can get it, but it’s $10 extra service if you CAN get it. It’s just a matter of who you speak to. My friend got the HTC touch pro 2, but its $10 extra a month and he still got the $70 credit + the $150 rebate and is STILL on the SERO plan. So you CAN get the $70 credit and the $150 rebate. It’s all a matter of who you speak to. I suggest emailing first before you speak to someone on the phone. You can even do the online chat service, that might even be better. Good luck everyone and I’m keeping Sero forever! You can’t be $30+ a month for unlimited internet and text! Woot!

  14. Thank you SO much for this post. I just got my $70 credit. I’m quite happy with my 2-year-old Palm Centro so may not even bother getting a new phone, but I’ll happily take that credit! I’m on SERO for as long as they’ll let me stay.

  15. I need help!!! I just got the $70 statement credit, but right now I have $75 device upgrade and $150 in Sep 1, 2010. I really want a new phone and $150 credit + $50 rebate on phone. Can I still get the $150. Do I have to wait for Sep to do the phone upgrade? What would be the best way to do this?
    Thanks,

  16. @Sprint Saver – I believe the issue is that this email is coming back from Sprint even when initially asking for the $70 credit. I made sure to ask first and got the same boilerplate “you can take your $70 but won’t get new-customer pricing on a phone” (exact same, word for word)

  17. Just upgraded to new TP2 on $30/mo. SERO. There is a rebate available, but I’m not sure which form to use. There is a link to a .pdf on my order summary online, and a similar form came with the phone. However, they both mention a min. $39.99/mo. plan. I found a form for Everything Plus Referral Program ( http://shop.sprint.com/assets/pdfs/en/promotions/eprp_mir_071010.pdf ) and I’m wondering if I should try this one since it doesn’t mention the monthly plan requirement? Thanks in advance!

  18. Ya I’m not understanding how we can upgrade the phone since it explicitly says you need a plan 39.99 or up. mines 30. Am I out of luck? What happens if you buy a phone on your own and try to switch it?

  19. Thank you for contacting Sprint. I am happy to assist you with your
    inquiry in regards to a $70.00 contract renewal. After reviewing your
    account, I have determined that as a Indv. Everything Plus Referral
    (employee discount) you are not elgible for this service credit.

  20. My understanding is that the SERO 500 minute plan qualifies as a $50 plan. That’s at least what Radio Shack and Best Buy show as my plan when I checked on phone upgrades.

  21. This is in reference to everyone asking about the $39.99 minimum monthly charge restriction. This can be found on the Frequently Asked Questions tab for SERO website… http://delivery.sprint.com/m/p/nxt/epc/epclanding.asp

    How frequently can I upgrade my device?

    SERO/Everything Plus customers are part of Sprint’s New For You program and qualify for a discount after only 12 months. The amount of the discount depends on the length of your contract and the number of months you have had your current device. For more information on the New for You program and to see if you are eligible for a discount, please click here. Note SERO customers are eligible for the New for You program and are excluded from the $39.99 minimum monthly charge restriction.

  22. I emailed about the $70 credit and they said I was eligible and could receive it today if I wished. I am definitely going to upgrade my phone as well though. I am curious if anyone has attempted to receive the credit and the phone upgrade within the past few weeks or so. I see people were able to do it back in May, but I’m wondering if they have picked up on the glitch yet. Hate to lose the $80 difference.

  23. I called customer service last night and according to the representative the “SERO PLAN” will be soon be eligible with all devices, EVO, PRE, EPIC, soon!

    Here is the catch, we will have to pay $10 more per month (for 4g I guess) it will not be available until Oct. 2010, with an announcement sometime in September 2010.

  24. I emailed yesterday and also got the following reply:

    Thank you for contacting Sprint regarding the contract renewal offers.

    Your account is eligible for $70.00 Service Credit against the contract
    renewal on your account.

    It is also eligible for handset upgrade at the online price with two
    year contract. However, it is not possible to avail both the offers
    together on your account. You can opt either of the both the offers.

    If you want to renew your contract for $ 70.00 Service Credit, please
    reply and we will apply the credit.

    And in case you want to upgrade phone at online price, you can buy a
    Sprint phone by logging on to Sprint.com & selecting My Sprint or by
    calling us at 1-800-777-4681.

    So I’m not sure I’m going to be able to get both…any suggestions?

  25. Yesterday, I logged into my Sprint account, used the Contact Us email form and inquired about the $70 renewal credit. I received a similar email to what audrey received earlier today. Since I’m okay with just getting the credit and losing the phone upgrade isn’t a big deal to me, I responded and said, yes, I do want the credit. The $70 credit was applied to my account this evening. Just out of curiosity, after checking on the credit, I selected to Upgrade Phone. The $150 phone credit was available too, with the new contract end date being today. So, it appears that if I upgrade my phone next month, then my two year contract would end in September 2012. Upgrading does extend your contract, but it doesn’t add another two more years on top of the two for renewing. It extends the contract to two years from the date you upgrade your phone.

  26. FYI…

    Thank you for contacting Employee Phone Programs. I apologize we are unable to credit your account the $70.00 for renewing your contract. In order to qualify you would have received a letter of notification. .In the letter there would be a phone number you would have to call to get the credit applied. If we can be of any other assistance please feel free to contact us.

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