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Old 01-04-2006, 03:30 PM   #1
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Information about ESRP, ERP, and TEP

There seems to be a lot of confusion on this site about the differences between these services and how they work. Hopefully, this will offer you some clarity so you know what to expect the next time you have a problem with your phone.

Equipment Replacement Plan (ERP)
Cost per month: $4
Deductible: $50 /$100 as of 4/19/2009 for certain devices
Used for: Lost, stolen, liquid damaged, circuit board damaged
Can be added: Within 30 days of activation of new phone

This is an insurance program. This is a plan you buy through Sprint, but the services are provided by a separate insurance company, Asurion. If your phone is lost, stolen, or damaged beyond repair, you pay a $50 deductible to Asurion and they send you a replacement phone in the mail. It is likely that you will get a refurbished phone. The list of available phones changes all the time, so itís very difficult to say if you will get the exact same model that you had, or a different model. You may have to fill out some forms, swearing an oath basically, that you really did lose the phone. You may have to provide a copy of a police report if the phone was stolen. If the phone was damaged beyond repair, they likely will ask you to send it in to them.

Equipment Service and Repair Program
Cost per month: $4
Deductible: None
Used for: Issues that can be repaired through any level of Sprint
Can be added: Within 30 days of activation of new phone, or after you have paid for a service transaction in the store, or at any time if you are a business account with 6 lines or more.

Hereís where everyone starts to get confused. This is a service program, not a warranty. This is a program that Sprint has instituted since the merger with Nextel. This program covers all repairable damage to your phone, with a few exceptions (weíll get to that later). Whatís repairable, you ask? Almost everything, which is great! Here are some examples of things that are repairable and would be covered under this program.

-Hinge broken or damaged
-LCD cracked
-Phone broken in half
-Earpiece out
-Headset jack damaged, not working
-Buttons inoperable
-Charging port broken
-Various software issues: trouble downloading, trouble with picture mail, phone powercycling

Note that some of these things can be repaired in the store, so you will wait an hour and they will fix your phone. Most repairs involve the housing of the phone, there are a few models where the microphone or speaker can be replaced. If the part is out of stock, they may send you to another store that has the part, or they may just order you a replacement. Again, your replacement phone is very likely to be refurbished or preowned, and the models available change daily. Now, about the exceptions. Things NOT covered by this program included batteries (considered an accessory and only have a one-year warranty), and things that are not repairable. If your phone has liquid damage or has been so severely smashed that the circuit board is bent, it is not covered by ESRP. See above program for what to do with these phones.

Total Equipment Protection (TEP)
Cost per month: $7
Used for: ALL cases of damage or loss

This is the above 2 programs bought together. You get a $1 discount if you buy them both together. Say your LCD stops working and you take it to the store to be repaired because you have ESRP. They tell you the phone has gotten wet and they canít replace it for you. Luckily, you have insurance, so you pay your $50 deductible to Lock/Line and you get a replacement phone.

But what about my warranty?

You still have a warranty that is provided by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). This warranty exists for one year from the purchase date of the phone. Sprint used to work with the OEMs to provide warranty coverage directly through the store. They would act as the middle-man, determining if your problem was covered by warranty, and then replacing the phone. The OEM would then compensate Sprint for the cost of replacing the phone. The problem was, often the OEM would decide that the defective phone was not defective, but was damaged somehow, so Sprint would not get compensated. In order to save some money, they switched over to Nextelís service program (see item #2 above), in which they provide all the services at a cost to the customer, and hopefully break even.

If you donít have ESRP, and you donít want to add it, or pay a service transaction fee, you will have to send the phone through the mail back to the OEM. Sprint can provide you with the appropriate information. You will not get a loaner phone during this period. If the OEM determines that the issue is due to damage or customer abuse (which is likely unless your phone is in flawless condition) they will send it back to you and do nothing. You will be out of a phone for 7-10 business days. If they can verify the problem and determine it is an actual defect, they will send you a replacement. I donít have any info about whether they will keep your old phone or not. You might not get your contacts and personal info out of the old device.

What if I donít have ESRP or ERP? I canít be without my phone!

If you didnít add these services within 30-days of activation, or during the transition period (Aug-Dec 2005), you still have another option. Sprint has divided services into levels. You can pay for the service transaction you need, and at that time, add ESRP. (You can only add ERP during the first 30 days, sorry.) Paying for the service transaction means that they have repaired your issue or replaced your phone. They should never charge you for diagnostics, or if your repair was unsuccessful. If you are the type of person who never, ever needs service on their phone, you could just pay for your service transactions on an individual basis and never add ESRP. Here is how the levels break down:

$99 for non-PDA's.

$119 for PDA's.

It seems that the old "tiered" levels of service are gone and a broken antenna or a non-working screen will be charged at the same rate in all corporate owned repair centers. 3rd party repair centers may go with different pricing depending on the level of service required.

The above mentioned charges are for "warranty" type repairs and are not valid for lost, stolen, water-damaged or circuit board damaged phones. If your phone is lost, stolen, water-damaged or has a broken / cracked circuit board you will have to obtain a new phone.
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Last edited by Dan; 04-15-2009 at 06:10 AM. Reason: Updating to current info.
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