Sprint outage? Here's what you need to do

Sprint store
Sprint store (Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Whether it's a natural disaster, power failure, or network issues, Sprint outages happen. Sometimes an outage might just be a configuration issue with a phone as well. Still, outages are inevitable and totally suck, but there are things you can do to alleviate some of the frustration.

Sprint is now part of T-Mobile and while sales and new accounts are being set up on T-Mobile, support and account management are being handled individually. If you're experiencing a T-Mobile outage on your T-Mobile account, you will need to contact T-Mobile's support.

If you're experiencing frequent outages or inconsistent service, you should check out whether one of the best carriers you can get offers better coverage.

Check your device

First thing's first: Is the issue on just one of your devices, like your phone or tablet? If that's the case, then it could be the device acting up, so power it off, wait a few seconds, and power it back on again.

If it's just one device it is likely a configuration error. From time to time, Sprint will update a phone's configuration with an update and it is possible that the phone fails to connect afterward. Sometimes a simple phone restart can resolve this. If you still have an internet connection, even if it's slow, you can try reapplying that update. To do this, you can input ##update# (##873283#) in the dialer or find an option in the settings to update the network profile.

For further information on your specific device, you can call customer care or visit a local store. We recommend calling ahead to make sure the location you visit has techs on site.

If you're noticing the issue on several devices (every family member's phone is having problems with texting), then you're likely facing an outage.

Don't forget about Wi-Fi

While it can be frustrating to have to deal with an outage, there will be times when your connection isn't available. It's important to be able to make use of features such as Wi-Fi calling to minimize the impact on your business or everyday life. Wi-Fi provided by a Sprint device may share the outage, however, so having Wi-Fi from another source will be necessary. Enabling Wi-Fi calling should allow you to continue to make calls and use the internet during a Sprint outage.

It's always good to have a backup way to contact someone such as using an app like Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, or Telegram that can operate with only a data connection.

Visit an outage website

There are quite a few websites that document carrier outages in the U.S., allowing you to see if other people are having the same woes you are before having to sit on hold with Sprint to find out if anything is wrong.

Downdetector.com screenshot

Source: Downdetector This screenshot does not represent current conditions (Image credit: Source: Downdetector)

downdetector.com is one of the more popular options, offering a graph of Sprint issues over the last 24 hours, as well as a map showing you which areas the outage may be affecting most. Outage.Report is another good option, featuring a live coverage map as well.

Either way, check online before contacting Sprint, because if there is an outage, you may be waiting a long time to talk to someone.

Check out the My Sprint app

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

If you're an Android user, you should already have the My Sprint app installed on your phone; if not, grab it on Google Play. If you're an iPhone user, you can download it right from the App Store.

Not only can this app be used to access your account information and data usage, but it also has some troubleshooting options built in to help if there is a service issue. Sometimes a service outage can actually be a failed payment on your Sprint bill.

You can even report issues like dropped calls, texting issues, slow data speeds, or no service at all. It will use your GPS location to report the issues, which can help isolate a problem, such as an intermittent connection.

This is really only worth it if there is a local issue, such as one area or tower failing to connect. If there is a system-wide outage, the report won't matter.

Contact Sprint

If all else fails or if you want to know just how long an outage might last, contact Sprint directly via phone or online chat. Check out Sprint's support center page for specific issues, and click the yellow chat button when it appears after a few seconds. Chat is open 24/7.

You can also call customer service by dialing *2 on a Sprint phone or by calling 1-888-211-4727. You can also tweet directly to Sprint @sprintcare or message customer service on Facebook.

You can also report a network issue by signing into My Sprint.

Contact Sprint

Should your contact T-Mobile?

Unless you have moved your Sprint account over to a T-Mobile account with T-Mobile plans, no. While sales and new accounts have been united under the T-Mobile brand, existing Sprint customers will still access their accounts and support separately from T-Mobile customers.

Even if you enter a Sprint phone number on T-Mobile's login page, you will be relocated to Sprint's old website.

If you are looking to visit a Sprint or T-Mobile store, check out T-Mobile's store locater to find a location that serves Sprint customers. It's safe to say that a first-part T-Mobile Store will serve both sets of customers and many T-Mobile Authorized Retailers will as well. Look for a store with a Sprint Repair Center if you think your phone may be damaged or malfunctioning for the most repair options.

Samuel Contreras

When Samuel is not writing about networking or 5G at Android Central, he spends most of his time researching computer components and obsessing over what CPU goes into the ultimate Windows 98 computer. It's the Pentium 3.