Sprint Playbook leak reveals the end of the Premier program, shortened return policy [UPDATED]Alex Wagner - Deputy Managing Editor, News Desk
Today may have started well for all of the Sprint folk out there, but this Wednesday is winding down with some pretty disappointing news. The latest version of the Sprint Playbook has made its way online, revealing that Sprint has given its Premier program the axe and is also shortening its return policy. First up, the Playbook shows that Sprint ceased enrollment in its Premier customer rewards program at the beginning of this month and that customers will be told about its death on September 16th. Customers already in the program will see benefits like accessory discounts and anniversary gifts end on December 31, 2011, but anyone with a Premier Gold upgrade will be allowed to use said upgrade until December 31, 2012.
Next we've got details on the Sprint's new return policy. Up until now, customers have had 30 days to return a phone sans early termination fee, but starting on September 16th that window will be cut to 14 days. The other rules still apply, meaning you'll be hit with a restocking fee for returning a device and won't get your activation fee back unless you cancel within three days. We saw Verizon make a similar change earlier this year.
Thankfully Sprint's sprinkled in a little bit of good news to make all of these changes a little easier to swallow. Beginning October 2nd, Sprint's "New for You" program will see a change that'll allow customers to upgrade to a new device 20 months into a two-year contract, down from the current 22-month period.
Obviously this is all kind of a bummer for all of the Sprint customers out there, especially for the Premier Gold folks that enjoyed having the option to upgrade to a new handset annually. Things haven't been going so well for Sprint users as of late, what with the end of one-year contracts last month and now the end of the Premier program, but that'll be changing soon enough. Not only is the Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch — aka EpTouch — launching this Friday, but Sprint may just have some big stuff up its sleeve for October, too.
UPDATE: Sprint has confirmed it will be shortening its return policy from 30 days to 14 days on September 16th. The carrier also said that it's ending its "Free Guarantee" program that allowed new customers to try the Now Network for no charge. The "Free Guarantee" program will be coming to an end on September 16th.