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Sprint Is Taking Retail On The Road

OVERLAND PARK, KAN. – Despite its vast new investment in brick-and-mortar, Sprint is also looking beyond the storefront to deliver a mobile experience of a different sort.

The carrier announced this month that it will roll out a fleet of 5,000 vehicles by year’s end to deliver and set up phone upgrades, transfer content, and personalize settings at a customer’s home, office, or other location, including coffee shops, the carrier announced.

Sprint experts will also perform an on-site tutorial and offer tips to familiarize customers with the new device.

The service is free to eligible upgrade customers who receive an offer from Sprint.

The first of the new “Sprint Direct 2 You” fleet left the garage earlier this month. Chicago and Miami were the first major markets where the mobile service was deployed, and a nationwide expansion to other metro areas is planned by the end of the year.

“With our new Sprint Direct 2 You fleet of cars, it’s as if we are adding 5,000 additional stores,” Claure said.

The “mobile stores” will be continuously on the move, the chief executive noted. “Time is the most precious asset for current and future Sprint customers who find it inconvenient to visit a store. Others have shared that they are reluctant to order online and receive a new device at home because it is challenging to start using it without help. It’s not easy to transfer the contacts, pictures, videos, apps and other content from an old device to a new one.

“Setting up a new phone and learning how to use new features also can be difficult, and these functions are usually performed in a store,” Claure said of the program.

Added Sprint VP Rod Millar, “The Sprint experts are particularly skilled in helping customers make the switch from a phone using the Android operating system to one running on Apple’s iOS, or vice versa.”

Millar said Claure was inspired to launch the program after a television service technician went to his house to install new equipment and help set it up the way his family wanted.

“People are living their lives on their smartphones and other mobile devices,” said Millar. But “many of us are so busy, though, that it’s often hard to find the time to stop by a store when we need a new device.”

The program works like this: Qualified customers receive an offer via text or email to upgrade their phone. The customer then calls the Sprint phone number in the text or email to take advantage of the offer and schedule an appointment. A Sprint employee arrives at a location and time requested by the customer, sets up and activates the new phone, transfers all contacts and data from the old phone, and personalizes the new device to the customer’s specifications. The customer can opt to turn in the old phone for recycling or reuse.