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Trying to move from Sprint to Straight Talk

This whole process has been quite frustrating.

But first, let me give you some background information on what i’m trying to do. I’ve been with Sprint for years, I’d say since 2000 or 2001 when i was still on with my parents. Then a few years ago, 2008 i think, I got a new phone and wanted to go off on my own. So i got a new number and my own account with Sprint. For the longest time I was quite happy. The speeds were good, the call quality was great, and the phones were pretty on par with everyone else. But then the smartphone revolution happened. And slowly i started to notice that Sprint had fewer and fewer phones that i was actually interested in. I also started noticing that my speeds weren’t keeping up with what other carriers were offering. So finally, after my contract expired in august i’ve been on the lookout for what new phone i’d want to get, and what carrier i’d go to.

Then a few months ago I discovered the Nexus 4. I knew about it for a while, but i didn’t quite looked into it. What really caught my eye is that it’s 1) a newer phone and 2) you can get it unlocked cheaper than you can get it from a carrier! The unlocked portion is extra nice especially since it’s now illegal for you to unlock your own phone!

Now that i knew what phone i wanted to get it was time to start looking at providers. A friend of mine has been using multiple resellers (or MNVOs) over the last two years or so and has had some good things to say. He was on Straight Talk at the time using AT&T. I figured I could get a couple of SIMs and then test out both networks, since Straight Talk used both AT&T and T-Mobile networks. I’d also looked at a few others and while the prices were comparable, I noticed that only Straight Talk explicitly referred to offering 4G speeds (which for the Nexus 4 meant HSPA+).

I order my phone from Google, and my SIM and Service Plan from Straight Talk. When the phone comes in i’m totally stoked! It’s pretty and clean and fast and everything i’d hoped it would be! I wait a few days and get my SIM (on 4/11). First thing i noticed was that my SIM was a full sized one, and not a micro SIM which the Nexus 4 needs. After hunting around and even stooping to go to Walmart to try and get a different SIM (which they don’t have for ST), i found a ‘conversion’ kit i could print out online. I chop up my SIM to make it fit into the SIM Slot, turn on the phone and everything looks good. It detected the SIM and started looking for signal. I then went to the Straight Talk website to Activate my SIM and service. Everything goes pretty smoothly from what i can tell. I say that i’m activating a new SIM and that i want to transfer an existing number from another company. I put in all the information they requested for my Sprint account, and then completed the process. I noted that for company to company transfers it could take up to two business days (this is weird because I later read online that there’s an FCC regulation saying that these transfers are supposed to be done within 24 hours).  I wait until the next Monday (4/15) and then make a post on the Straight Talk facebook page, which I’d read was the best way to get any kind of customer service. I ask if i can get some assistance since my port had taken longer than the two days they communicated in their policy. The conversation starts with comments on my post asking me to put in a helpdesk ticket, which i try, but the page kept giving me an error saying that my email address belonged to a deleted account. In the end we resort to Facebook Messaging, which I’ve exported and will display here fully intact except for any sensitive information. I find the whole situation quite frustrating.

On April 15, 2013 8:43:35 AM PDT, Dan Colomb wrote:
Hi Phil,
 The MEID of my old Sprint Phone is XXXXXXX, the IMEI of my new phone is XXXXXXX.
my ST user account email is xxxx@xxxx.com
Let me know if you need anything else.
On April 15, 2013 8:44:23 AM PDT, Phil ST wrote:
Thank you for that information, Dan.
Let me check your account now. I'll get back to you in few minutes.
On April 15, 2013 8:45:09 AM PDT, Phil ST wrote:
Can you provide me the phone number that you're trying to transfer to Straight Talk?
On April 15, 2013 8:46:44 AM PDT, Dan Colomb wrote:
555-555-5555
On April 15, 2013 8:53:13 AM PDT, Phil ST wrote:
Were you given a reference or ticket number for your port request? If so, please provide me with the numbers so that I can pull out your account. Thanks!
On April 15, 2013 8:57:16 AM PDT, Dan Colomb wrote:
The only thing i see on my ST account is the SIM (XXXXX) and that it states there is a port in progress. I don't recall receiving an email with a reference or ticket number.
The only number i have in my email is for my SIM order (XXXXX).
On April 15, 2013 9:10:55 AM PDT, Phil ST wrote:
Dan,
We regret to inform you that we failed to port your number to the SIM card that you purchased. If you want we can activate your SIM with a new phone number or you may purchase a brandnew Straight Talk phone and we'll attempt to port again the phone number. Thanks!
On April 15, 2013 9:17:26 AM PDT, Dan Colomb wrote:
Wow, that is not the response i was expecting. Is there a reason why the port failed?
I noticed that on your website you no longer offers Micro SIMs, that is what my phone requires. How would i go about getting a Micro SIM for ST?
On April 15, 2013 9:20:05 AM PDT, Phil ST wrote:
Because porting any numbers to a T-Mobile compatible SIM is not possible as of now.
For now, Straight Talk Wireless is not selling SIM cards that are compatible with AT&T devices. We will bring them back as soon as we can. For updates on this issue, please visit our website at www.Straighttalk.com.
On April 15, 2013 9:22:41 AM PDT, Dan Colomb wrote:
Is there a way to get a refund for the 30 days of service i purchased? I guess i'll be going to another provider.
On April 15, 2013 9:23:45 AM PDT, Phil ST wrote:
We're sorry to hear that, Dan.
Where did you purchase your service plan?
On April 15, 2013 9:24:08 AM PDT, Dan Colomb wrote:
I purchased it through the website when i bought the SIM.
On April 15, 2013 9:25:10 AM PDT, Phil ST wrote:
Dan,
If you want, you may purchase a brandnew Straight Talk phone and we'll just convert the amount you paid for the SIM and will add also your service plan.
On April 15, 2013 9:27:55 AM PDT, Phil ST wrote:
In addition, we will also re-process the porting of number if ever you will purchase a Straight Talk phone.
On April 15, 2013 9:28:44 AM PDT, Dan Colomb wrote:
i don't want to buy a new phone, i want so use the new Unlocked GSM phone which i just purchased.
So if, as of right now, there is no way for me to get my number transferred and have my service activated, i would like to have my 45 dollars refunded. I can handle eating the SIM price, since i know that's non-refundable.
On April 15, 2013 9:37:09 AM PDT, Phil ST wrote:
Dan,
I'll need first to update my floor supervisor regarding your request. I'll get back to you in few minutes. Thanks.
On April 15, 2013 10:48:33 AM PDT, Phil ST wrote:
Dan, 
We regret to inform that we do not issue refunds for airtime purchases.

This did not go anywhere near where i thought this would go. So i’m out about 70 dollars, and have nothing to show for it. Like a told a friend, i went from irritated, to insulted, to angry. I’m totally disappointed in the customer support, and will never use Straight Talk again. And i urge you all to stay away from them.

On the plus side, i ended up going to the T-Mobile store during lunch and found out that there’s a chance i can still get on their old $30 dollar a month unlimited pre-paid plan, which i may be able to go to Walmart (yes, another trip to WM… *shudder*) for and get today. Otherwise i can just order a new SIM online, which will properly fit my phone, and get a plan that’s even cheaper than Straight Talk’s. If i can’t get in on the $30 a month plan, then i’ll go to the new play they offer which is $50 a month, only 5 dollars more than ST.

I’ll let you all know how things go 🙂