A SERO plan? What the… WHAT??? If you have a Sprint SERO plan, you can pay $50/month for your iPhone plan, for virtually the same plan as the Sprint iPhone’s $79.99/month “Everything Data 450” plan (SERO gives you 50 more minutes but not Sprint TV). What I am about to tell you will work with other phones too, like it does with my Android, not just the iPhone.
What is a SERO Plan? Shortly after the turn of the century, Sprint had a fantastic plan called SERO (“Sprint Employee Referral Offer”). $30/month for 450 anytime minutes, unlimited data and texting. The plan is no longer offered, but those who have SERO, like me, have been grandfathered in. When I upgraded to Android, my SERO plan became a “SERO Premium” for $50/month for 500 minutes to land lines, free mobile to mobile (any carrier), unlimited data, unlimited text, free roaming in USA, unlimited GPS and more. Sweet corn!
If you want some of this hot SERO action, you need to get the plan from someone who has it. I have seen people online giving the plan away as well as selling it. I bet Sprint doesn’t want people to sell their SERO plan, so if you go that route, you might keep that on the down-low. Here’s what ya gotta do:
- If you already have a Sprint account, skip to Step 2. If you do not have a Sprint account, walk into a Sprint store and open one. It doesn’t cost you anything. You will have 90 days after that to activate your account. Even if you do not have Sprint on your phone, you can open a Sprint account.
- Go to SearchTempest.com which scours all the Craigslist posts. Type in “Sprint SERO”. Adjust the search to 3000 miles in US. You want to get the SERO plan from someone like me who has one. You do not want their phone. You want their SERO plan. Since you will not meet in person, or ship anything, it does not matter where the person is located who will transfer their SERO plan to you. At the time of this post, I found several for sale through SearchTempest between $140-$150. If you buy it, for buyer protection, I suggest you use a credit card through Paypal.
- After you have the Sprint SERO plan, do a three-way call between you, the seller, and Sprint. Call Sprint at 888-211-4727 and say that you want to process a Transfer of Liability. They will put you through to the Change of Ownership department.
- Once you each agree to the Transfer of Liability, you are the proud owner of a Sprint SERO plan on your Sprint account, with the phone number to which it was attached!
- If you want to keep your old mobile number, that is easy. Tell Sprint that you want to port your phone number to your SERO plan. Once you do that, the porting people will cancel your old account with the carrier where you had that number.
When using SearchTempest to look for a SERO plan, keep this in mind: After 22 months in a Sprint plan, you become eligible for a phone upgrade/discount from Sprint. I am in that window. If I wanted, I could use my Sprint upgrade to buy an iPhone 4S 16GB for $199.99. Ask the person who is transfering his SERO plan to you, when his plan is due for an upgrade. If he does not know, he can see by signing into his Sprint account online.
If you will be buying a new iPhone, or any phone, it makes sense to get a SERO plan that is immediately eligible for an upgrade. That way you can use the SERO plan and upgrade to a new Sprint phone. Use your old phone until your new one arrives. Once it does, activate your new phone ($36 one-time fee), then port your old number over to your new phone at that time.
Using a Sprint SERO plan with the iPhone will save $360/year over the Sprint iPhone’ “Everything Data” plan. See below. So if you MUST have a fancy smartphone, this will save you a nice chunk every month.
You are almost finished. Waste not want not. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. An apple a day… Now it’s time to sell your old phone. Sprint has a buyback program. I have had great success selling my old phones for free on Craigslist. Search Craigslist or SearchTempest to see how much people are selling their similar phone.
You can also go on ebay and look down the left hand sidebar and check “Completed Listings”, or just pick a price. Sell it for cash. Meet the buyer in a busy public place, like in front of a grocery store. Before you sell it, make sure you have all the phone numbers, photos and important information backed up. Then reset your phone to the factory conditions, wiping out all your information. Unless you want the buyer to have all that info.
*** IMPORTANT: This is a contract involving a financial commitment. If you do not already have a Sprint SERO plan, I suggest you do your own due diligence before obtaining a plan from someone. Since a SERO plan was originally offered by employees, you might confirm everything with the Sprint Employee Account Department (888-876-8381) – especially before purchasing a plan from someone. I take no responsibility for their terms and promotions. I checked my info with Sprint before writing this post. ***
Here is a screen capture of the meat of the Sprint online Chat that I had on December 10, 2011, in which I was told that I was “absolutely correct” that I could move my SERO plan to their iPhone. She also said I could “absolutely” transfer liability of my SERO plan to someone else and “everything will remain the same”.
> Sprint’s iPhone info page
> Sprint’s Everything Data Plan
Here is my SERO plan (I choose to pay an additional $8/month for insurance):