Considering how few used One Up, Sprint hopes you won't notice

Falling six days short of its four month anniversary, Sprint has stopped offering the One Up phone upgrade service. What came as a clear response to T-Mobile's Simple Choice plans and subsequent offerings from AT&T and Verizon, One Up gave customers a $15 break in their monthly service charge for financing a device over 24 months. An added bonus was the ability to trade in your phone after 12 months for a new one, so long as you financed that as well.

Well it turns out that One Up wasn't such a great deal for Sprint in the end, and the nation's third-place carrier completely stopped offering One Up on January 9th. The fact that it took a little while to notice shows how unpopular One Up may actually have been, but it's a big step in the wrong direction back towards indirect device subsidies for Sprint

In its notice indicating the One Up is gone, Sprint gives customers links to check out its new Framily Plan, which gives a discount for bringing together friends and family onto one plan. While you can potentially save money with the Framily Plan if you group up folks all on Sprint, it's far from a replacement of One Up — especially for accounts with just one line.

Source: Sprint; Via: The Verge


Reader comments

Sprint quietly stopped offering One Up financing on Jan. 9


Went to pay my Sprint bill today and a rep asked me if she could help me. I told her to help me move to T-Mobile, and I explained why. I spoke about T-Mobile paying ETF 's, allowing me to join their upgrade program without "credit discrimination", and the fact that Sprint makes me UNHAPPY.
The rep said come with me. She took me to a booth and really explained the Family Plan to me. She also told me Sprint's credit requirement killed the One Up Program.

My contract ends in 2015 but my upgrade is this summer, so I asked about the Sprint Easy Pay option for financing devices. She told me that once I reach my upgrade I could finance a device with a low down payment and 24 monthly payments without extending my contract end date.

I now have a new reason to stay with Sprint.

Thanks for being truthful and knowledgeable Miss Representative.
It's a good change to have a knowledgeable rep working in a carrier store.

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Hisense Sero 7 Pro

Don't care never wanted this anyways. Sprint is the best carrier just the way they are...unlimited everything one flat fee.

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But the whole point of this was giving another option for buying your service. Your flat fee unlimited plan was still available, but this simply offered another option for financing a device (with the ability to upgrade) and also saving $15 per month off of your service. I don't see how that's ever a bad thing for the customer.

It's being replaced by the Framily plans. They're aiming to drive subscriber growth by getting you to sign up your friends and family in exchange for everybody getting a discount. Also, while they did kill the one up program, they do still have a an installment program. I believe they call it Easy Pay. Just like TMo I think. You pay a deposit and then split balance over 24 months. Good thing since when you sign up for a family plan you give up subsidized upgrades.

Other than one ending and the other starting immediately after, it's hard to say that the Framily Plan is in any way a "replacement" for One Up. They're completely different schemes, and One Up is distinctly more consumer-friendly. Framily simply requires you to finance a phone, but doesn't give you any savings really until you refer people to join up in your plan.

Every carrier has offered some kind of financing system in one way or another over the years, but the big difference with One Up (and the reason why it stinks that its now gone) is that it gave you a discount for financing your device without a traditional subsidy. Its the transparency of offering a $15 discount for financing a device rather than sign a service contract that's the good part about One Up.

Plans have different goals. Obviously One-Up wasn't driving subscriber growth. My guess is there will be something else for individuals down the line. Sprint is probably trying to up it's subscriber numbers in relation to TMo. They are trying to work out a merger after all. I'm sure Sprint wants to remain the larger of the 2 merger partners.

But just for the sake of clarity if you sign up for the Framily plans there isn't a contract. You just have to bring a sprint phone with you in one way or another.

You're absolutely right, Sprint has a clear goal here. Seeing subscriber numbers dip they had to retool their system to maybe pick up some extra people. This really is building off of its discounts for porting your number from another carrier and systems of that sort.

I hope they come up with something else compelling for individual users, but I can see why they're trying to push the Framily Plan.

Don't bother Andrew, anyone using Sprint at this point probably isn't the kind of person who listens to logical arguments.

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You're an idiot. I stay with Sprint because in my area, Sprint is far superior to Verizon and AT&T's voice stability and data download and guess what....T-Mobile service is barely accessible(as it actually is in MOST of the country). To top it off, Sprint is much cheaper than all 3 alternatives....now there is a logical argument for you moron.

You could have made your point, without calling him an idiot.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

I won't even BEGIN to consider Sprint until their Spark service is more national! Tmo covered 209 million with LTE in less than a year, but Sprint only intends on covering 100 million with their Spark service by the end of 2014, I'm not impressed enough! Their not aggressive enough! Whatever happened to that $20bln Softbank invested in Sprint,...anything???

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Christmas presents for the Hesse household. Sure as shit they didn't invest it in talented people that can make good decisions.

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That's just not true. I had Sprint service with a discount and it was not cheaper than T-Mobile. The service was also terrible... in NYC. That's why I switched. I can understand if service is bad in a small town. But in a major metro city you're pulling 1 MBps downloads and peak at 5 MBps on LTE?!?!

I'm no carrier snob. You can do what you want with your money. But Sprint has been terrible for us. Most of my friends and family have all left Sprint because of their issues.

Yes we do listen to logical arguments. We just choose to be still with the company that fits our needs.
It also helps us Sprint users when people down talk Sprint.
I left my phone on a bench in the mall just to see how fast it would get picked up and leave. It got picked up and put back down six times because of the Sprint logo on it.
No smart person steals a Sprint phone.

Posted from my "KNOX-FREE" 4.3 Sprint GS3...!!!

They replaced OneUp with Easy Pay. Same thing with a different name. You can use it with Framily.

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It is in NO FUCKING WAY the same thing. #Facepalm

Also, the credit requirements for Sprint have gone up so that is why all this shit is happening.

Same with T-Mobile. 70% of people will not qualify for "0 down" as is detailed in memos to T-Mobile management.

They will sell you a device with 45% down and you can not trade in a device towards the down.

They replaced OneUp with Easy Pay. Same thing with a different name. You can use it with Framily.

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It's not bad for the customer. But Sprint has no clue about what their customers want. And I've got executive level friends that are sucking that tit...it's almost embarrassing.

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I was with Sprint for over 10 years. They are the best at getting devices late. Getting exclusives no one wants and giving you unlimited everything.... at really slow speeds.

That's why I switched to T-Mobile. I do realize that T-Mobile's coverage isn't as good as AT&T or Verizon. But if you don't have reception with T-Mo you probably won't have it with Sprint either.

I have reception with Sprint that I'd never have with T-Mobile.

Verizon and AT&T are better but you definitely pay for it.

What?! This article posted almost 10 minutes ago and there's not a pile-on of comments about Sprint service, data speeds, connectivity, or the personal hygiene of it's employees? Must be a slow day.

Amazing I know right so to break the trend WHY IS THERE NO 4G LTE THRU ALL OF COLUMBUS OHIO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sprint likely didn't see many people take advantage of it, and it cost Sprint too much to deal with all the financing and training necessary. There's a break-even point on these kinds of plans and deals that it likely never got to.

That would make sense if they actually stopped the financing. It is still there as Easy Pay. Sprint is actually going further away from subsidies. The new Framily plans do not offer subsidized phones. It also offers annual upgrades for unlimited data users.

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Right, but on One Up it wasn't just device financing, there was the additional hit (to Sprint) of giving you a $15 break on service on top of financing the device. Now in order to give you a $15 break on service you have to invite 3 friends to your Framily Plan, which in turn gives Sprint far more money in the end.

Unlimited My Way
$50+$30 for unlimited.
$80-$15 for Using One Up
$65+$20 Device financing

Framily 1 Line
$50+$20 for unlimited
$70+$20 Device Financing

Bring a Nexus 5 to One up = No $15 discount or $80 per month
Bring a Nexus 5 to Framily = $70

Yes, you save $5 by using the My Way plan with One Up. Or you could save even more money by not buying a device from Sprint at all. Obviously the Nexus 5 is the example of choice, it is the most likely candidate to be bought new and taken to a carrier without purchasing from any carrier.

The "it's a big step in the wrong direction back towards indirect device subsidies for Sprint" is a little misleading. The exact same device subsidy system has been in place the entire time. It can't be a step back if it is a continuation of the exact same plan that has always existed. More of the same, yes.

Bottom line, if you bring your own device, the new plans are cheaper. No subsidy is cheaper now than it was on January 8th. How are plans getting cheaper a step backwards?
I don't take issue with an article pointing out the changes. That is welcome and a great service to your readers.

I'm not sure if you can bring the Nexus 5 to Sprint. If I remember correctly, the only Nexus 5s that Sprint will activate are the ones purchased from a Sprint store or Best Buy.

Incorrect. The Play Store Nexus 5 and "Sprint" Nexus 5s are the exact same thing. Also the ESN for Play Store Nexus 5s are whitelisted in Sprin't system for activation. You just have to get a SIM from Sprint (which can be a pain in the ass due to under informed store employees).

Right on...I had to do this...first of all the initial employee didn't know what to do even after I informed her that I needed the Sim. Then she tried to charge me for it before the manager made the save and let her know that it was free.If you're doing it, be prepared for some inconveniences. All of this happened after I spent 2 hours on the phone with customer service and a hour trying to activate it myself through sprint.com.

Framily plans include a $5 discount per line for each line you add.

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I was speaking more to the fact that the only new phone you could bring to Sprint is the Nexus 5. All others would have to be purchased through Sprint or the used market.

As of now yes. Well I guess you can buy an IPhone from Apple or a Moto X from Motorola.

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Only if you are actively financing a device (which they get back the next time you upgrade). If you were to purchase a Nexus 5 from the Play Store; a Moto X directly from Motorola; or a used phone from Swappa, eBay, or Craigslist; you would not get the $15 discount.

Framily is merely $10 more than the one up program if you did the research. One line is $55. For unlimited data and annual upgrades it's an extra $20. Then you can finance the device if you chose exactly how the One Up program was. Difference is that was $65 plus the finance of the device. This is $75 plus the finance of the device. No big deal.

Unless you get in a framily group with even one other line, whether it's on your bill or not. Then it's the same price or cheaper depending on the number of lines.

Or if you buy a Nexus 5 from the Play Store. Or take your own device that you bought elsewhere.

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Legere has Hesse spinning. Hesse wants to be the "Un-Carrier" but he's just been shitting the bed for the last 5+ years.

kudos to Legere for doing it right and disrupting the market. Hesse used to be the disruptor - first with AT&T "Digital One Rate" back in the day and then the "Simply Everything" Plans. now Hesse is the one getting disrupted.

Hesse needs to make a move with some balls or leave. The rest of the mobile world follows one another and if he wants to make Sprint have any chance to compete until 4G LTE gets better established that getting customers upgrades faster. follow T-Mobiles plan you wouldn't be bleeding out customers.

agreed. Sprint has to act like the scrappy underdog once again. just like Legere at T-Mob is doing.

i'm with AT&T GoPhone + Nexus 5 ($60/Month, Unlimited Talk/Text/2GB Data) so i'm above all of these marketing and shell game ponzi scheme gimmicks aimed at all of the poor suckers out there - but i do enjoy watching the battle.

+1!!! Legere is a great consumer advocate!!!

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They have a different offer to replace this as well that isn't mentioned here.

Engadget had the specifics:

While Sprint has axed its One Up plan, it is providing a couple of similar alternatives. The first, called Sprint Easy Pay, allows customers to buy a device for a smaller down payment and then pay off the rest of the device over 24 monthly instalments. With its Framily plan, Sprint also provides an upgrade option for subscribers who sign-up for the $20 unlimited data add-on. Once they've had the package enabled on their account for 12 consecutive months, they'll be able to trade in their device for a newer model.

Yup. There was a definite lack of research on this post, and I've never said that about an Android Central article before.

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One up has been replaced with Easy Pay. This is easy to research. With Easy Pay you still get annual upgrades if you are an unlimited data customer. The financing of Easy Pay is identical the One Up. The annual upgrade process is identical to One Up.

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Right, Sprint makes  it easy to finance a device. The idea of One Up was that you get a flat discount on your bill every month for financing. Now that's gone, and you have to either just eat the cost even though you're not subsidizing, or invite friends to a Framily Plan.

I have the one up plan but I guess im switching over to T-Mobile so I can keep upgrading once a year

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If it goes through, sprint will be absorbed by dish and regurgitated to Tmob

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Dish stands zero chance of acquiring Sprint. They "could" make a move for T-Mo. If Dish acquired T-Mo all of the "love" that T-Mo gets with the tech press would quickly disappear. The next time Charlie Ergen does something great for consumers will be the first.

You need to do some research on softbank. Sprint is integral to their 300 year plan.

There is no way dish could even think about buying sprint.

Tmobile is the one changing hands this year.

Mommy posted this because I am not allowed to internets

You need to do some research on softbank. Sprint is integral to their 300 year plan.

There is no way dish could even think about buying sprint.

Tmobile is the one changing hands this year.

Mommy posted this because I am not allowed to internets

Sprint is now owned(80% stake) Now by that Japan Company for 25.5 Billion. Sprint is not going to get "bought out" rofl. IF ANYBODY IS, it'll be Tmobile by Sprint.

And why would I keep paying the extra 30 for my note 3 if I can't switch

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Some people, such as myself with a launch-day EVO 4G LTE, couldn't sign-up because we weren't eligible yet for an upgrade. I was going to sign up for it. Oh well.

With the new Framily/Easy pay plan anyone and everyone qualifies for installment billing like OneUp. But with OneUp it was dependant on credit.

When you compare the MyWay plan vs the Framily plan, it looks like they lowered the data charges by $10 depending on how much data you want.

Yea, bad experience with One Up. Long story short, my EVO LTE got smashed up in a pretty bad motorcycle wreck (abaout as bad as i did! lol) Anyways, I needed a new phone and 5 months short of renewal. Go in, pick out the ONE. All is good. Was never told anything about changing plans. In fact, I specifically asked if anything changed on my plan and was told no. Just the cost of the phone added to my bill. No problem.

Next bill comes out. Much higher than expected. I was on a family share plan with my wife and mother in law. the bill shows that plan PLUS me on the new everything plan. They say sorry and that it is part of the One Up program. So in addition to the cost of the new phone, I have to pay an extra $65 per month for my phone alone for the new plan (switching them to the everything plan would have been even more.)

I will say, that after many phone calls and escalations, I found someone who would listen and converted my number back onto the Share Plan. And yes I did it without screaming or cursing.

But, it just shows how bad this One Up program really is. It would have cost me the full price of the phone plus an additions $1500 over the next 2 years.

A couple of months ago, I opted to switch from my Simply Everything plan to the My All In plan, and to "trade in" my Galaxy S III for the Note 3, via the One Up program. It gave me everything I wanted, and actually saved me a few bucks. Plus, I'll be about ready to trade up to the Note 4 when it's released. I could still use the One Up program for all upgrades...for life.

My frustration now is will I still be able to do that. Will I be "grandfathered" into the same One Up program? Or will I have to go with this new program? With the One Up program, we just paid the tax on the phone's retail price. As I understand it, you have to pay a down payment, which could be twice as much up front.

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I thought the One Up program was a nice option for customers, but I don't think I would have ever signed up for it. I'm just not a fan of trading in my phones. Keeping previous devices has come in handy.

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Boost mobile is doing pretty good right now, because of all the hoopla. ... im at 40.00 right now.... Yahoo!

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I left Sprint for T-Mobile early last year after more than 10 years of diminishing customer service. I was paying full price for slow-motion data and all they offered as help was tell me that I could take my ass on to Boost or Virgin if I couldn't afford Sprint. I'm in Los Angeles and my Internet speed was 23 megs the last time I checked. Sprint was definitely not the company for me.

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Does this affect the contract? Because if it does is that not a way to dodge the etf? They did it quietly so I am guessing yes.

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I ditched Verizon in April last year, been happy ever since. Verizon's LTE dropped to EVDO way, way too often!!! Where as if Tmo's LTE drops one level down, that's still HSPA+42, much happier! More consumer friendly company.

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T-Mobile will start out "PERFECT" until all of the new customers arrive and it becomes clogged and slow.

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