Last night I took the plunge and signed up for a new cell phone plan complete with a Palm Treo 755p PDA/smartphone. I’ve recently been mulling over the possibility of getting a PDA/smartphone, and finally decided that the time was right.
I’ve been waffling back and forth between a Treo 755p and a Blackberry 8830, but I finally settled on the Treo — more details on that factors that influenced my decision below.
I ended up signing up for a new line of service through the Sprint Employee Referral Offer (SERO) which, as it turns out, is available to pretty much anyone. What follows is a rundown of the process…
(1) Visit http://www.sprint.com/sero
(2) Enter the e-mail address of the employee that referred you
Don’t know anyone? No problem. There are numerous valid e-mails floating around on the web. I ended up ‘[email protected]‘ and it worked like a charm.
(3) Select your phone
Like I said above, I went with the Treo 755p. This phone lists for a whopping $579, but it comes with $280 in promotional discounts, a $100 mail-in rebate, and free activation. You can also get an additional $50 statement credit and (hopefully) another $75 rebate (see below).
(4) Select your plan
This is where the Sprint SERO program really shines, as they give you a ton of freebies. I ended up taking the $30/month plan with 500 anytime minutes, nights and weekend starting at 7PM, free PCS-to-PCS minutes, unlimited text messaging (and picture mail), and (this is the big one) unlimited data access. As far as I can tell, it’s pretty tough to beat this price, especially when you consider that it includes unlimited data (i.e., internet access).
(5) Finalize the details of your purchase
There are a number of promotional codes out there floating around for a variety of perks. In my case, I used ‘URANG‘ to get $50 in statement credits ($25/month for your first two months).
(6) Give the other rebate a shot
There’s a $75 rebate from Kellogg’s (yep, the cereal company) out there floating around. You can get the form here. Keep in mind, however, that there are some reports in this thread on FatWallet that you might have some trouble getting the rebate. Also note that the submission address may have changed (check that thread for details).
That’s it… Now I wait. They claim the phone will arrive in 2-4 days, but I ordered late on a Thursday night, so who knows when it will show up? Probably the middle of next week.
A few additional notes:
First, the SERO plans are for new customers only. While there are reports of existing customers getting switched, don’t hold your breath. If you’re a Sprint customer, it’s likely that you’ll have to settle for a new phone number if you do this. The only real workaround seems to be porting your number to a cheap disposable phone and then porting it back to Sprint. This wasn’t worth the trouble to me, so I skipped it and will just get a new number.
Second, they’ll do a hard credit check before approving you for the plan. This isn’t a big deal, as it’s fairly standard for cell phone providers to check your credit. Nonetheless, it’s still good to be aware.
Also keep in mind that Sprint has a 30 day money back guarantee. As long as you keep the phone in good shape and keep all of the packaging and paperwork, you can always send it back to them and opt out of your contract. The only catch is that you’ll have to pay for the service that you actually used, though that won’t amount to much at $30/month.
Finally, some of you out there might be wondering “Why not get a Blackberry?”
Believe me, I considered this. The Blackberry 8830 came out over the summer, and it looks pretty darn nice. You lose the camera of the 755p, but you gain a built-in GPS. The real downside to having a Blackberry (if your employer isn’t paying for it) is the cost. As it turns out, you have to buy a Blackberry service plan on top of your voice plan. Note that your provider’s data plan won’t do the trick.
The upside of the Blackberry service plan is that it includes phone-as-modem service. The downsides are that: (1) Sprint charges $40/month in addition to your voice plan, even if you have a SERO plan, and (2) the phone-as-modem service isn’t particularly Mac compatible, and I have a MacBook Pro. Also note that there are software hacks out there that allow you to ‘tether’ your Treo such that you can use it as a modem via USB or Bluetooth.
I’ll be sure to report back with my first impressions when the phone actually arrives.
36 Responses to “Getting a New Treo 755p on a Sprint PCS SERO Plan”
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The Everything plus referral program isn’t nearly as good, i got sprint like 3 moths ago and have gone from the basic 200, to the everything data 900, then i got changed over to the everything plus 500 for 59.99, notice i said 59.99 for 1000 minutes, they changed all the employee plan things and made them double, they still include the internet though. I called in last month and got a Retentions rep to put together a sero 1250 plan for me, they don;t offer it but they can build it for you if you find someone willing to do it!!!!!
i also got a broadband card for 29.99 a month with a recurring 10.00 credit to make up for being disconnected over 5 times while being transfered between reps!!!!! SERO IS AWESOME>!!!!!
if you want to have a look at the new EVERYTHING PLUS PLANS here is the login credintials
email- [email protected]
ID #- 383
the plans that they offer still have 50 to 100 more minutes and are 10 dollars less than the average ones!!!!!! the new plans also include blackberry internet services too!!!!!
I’m not sure. They may have cracked down since I did this. It’s been a little over a year.
I visited the sprint.com/sero site and entered the email address you used but it also requires a CID #
How do I get around that?
Uh-oh. Sprint just changed up the SERO site. You need a valid employee e-mail address AND the last 3-digits of the employee’s ID (CID) number 🙁 The program is now called: Everything Plus Referral Program.
Thanks for the great info! My wife and I signed up for SERO plans a couple of weeks ago. I’ve found their customer service isn’t too great but everything else has been fine. We’re loving the unlimited text and data!
I am a big fan of Sprint. It’s one of the best cellphone companies out there. Their $99 simply everything plan is the best in the US.
Kacie: I’m not sure exactly, but it’s probably a bit under $35 when you total everything up.
My AT&T plan expires in April–I hope I can still get this deal then!
It’s $30 for the lowest plan–can you tell me what it costs with taxes?
I’m going to have to look into this! First I have to get out of our current contract though!
Today, my Sprint issues are resolved! (I think.)
I blogged about it today.
Bummer. I didn’t try porting my number, so everything was perfectly smooth. I hope it works out soon for you.
I guess you get what you pay for. I have now had the phone for 4 weeks. Not only have they still not succeeded in porting my number, not only have I spent more than 6 hours on the phone dealing with customer service, but they also have cut off all incoming service to both my new phone and my old phone. Saving money has cost me hundreds of dollars in productivity and who knows how much in client goodwill. Time to “escalate” my complaints to Sprint and hope for the best.
I just ordered a centro with the 1250 minute plus data (free overnite shipping, $0 activation, etc) plan level for 49/month and 99/phone through this. I also asked to port over my old number. There is a retail advertised promo thru 10/28 for a free vehicle charger (29/value). I couldn’t figure out any way to add it to the SERO order however. Will come back to post how it all goes. I also noticed the ambiguous statement about free data service, but I believe it looks like you do get the free data service for the entire 2 years, if you sign up before end of year. I read and re read and re read it, so could be wrong. It wasn’t clear.
on the SERO website, I see this :
“Unlimited text messaging included with all plans through 12/31/07.”
Now does this mean, from 1/1/08 you will pay for texts ?
Or perhaps it means, unlimited texts for plans initiated before 1/1/08 ?
A bit ambiguous.
So far, the number porting is a nightmare! I have had the phone for 10 days and spent more than 4 hours on the phone with customer service, with no progress. They say they will call back to update me and they never do. I’m starting to suspect they’re going to push this until my 30-day return period ends so I can’t return their pricey toy. 🙁
SERO plans are single user only. You can’t do a family plan. However, if you only want two phones, two SERO plans cost the same amount as a basic family plan, yet they come with more features.
I am looking at this plan myself. Deos anyone know whether you can do a family plan once you have the 1st line?
Nickel over at FiveCentNickel posted this informative article….
Since we were existing customers, we weren’t able to port our numbers. However, CS was able to straighten out the phone number issue that I talked about in a followup to this article (they assigned us numbers from two states ago). All’s good, and I already love having the internet in my pocket.
They ship fast – I received mine this morning (Monday morning – I ordered Friday evening). But mine says “Your new number is …” — NOT my number that was supposed to port over, and I called and spoke to a customer service rep on Friday to make sure all was in order. I hope I can get it straightened out.
You can also make $25 by asking an existing sprint customer to refer you. He gets $25 too. All you have to do is dial #REF.
Maria: I think it looks pretty cool, but I also think that it’s currently overpriced relative to other phones that you can get (even after the price cut). Moreover, I’m not a fan of AT&T’s service. This SERO deal is really hard to beat in terms of everything that you get for just $30/month. If Sprint offered the iPhone, I would’ve been tempted.
I have a question…what do y’all think about the iphone?
I just ordered mine … fingers crossed that my number will port over all right. Thanks so much for the fantastic lead!
I just ordered mine and it should be here by Friday. Thanks for the motivation!
I am going to start using SpalshID for the security stuff. Got good reviews, and my 2 months have shown it as a real need. Plus it has a windows client to sync up to.
Otherwise, I updated the Google Maps for Mobile (another invaluable tool), and I grabbed the little utility called flightstats from http://www.andrewsoft.net/download.html. It provides real-time updates on flight information and even links to inflight tracking.
I have some other things that I will be loking at , but those are the big ones…
looks like a great deal going with SERO from Sprint. Can’t believe the blackberry data plan at Spring is at $40 per month. I’m a bit surprise that the 8830 can’t tether to the macbook, as my 8100 can just fine. you just have to setup the proper string query in the modem configuration.
one of these day, when we’re on 4gen supported phones, I’ll finally be sporting a 3gen phone.
can’t wait till the day high speed mobile net access via phone or whatever is more affordable.
$30 per month for voice + data is a steal. really really wished I knew about SERO four months ago. argh.
Thanks guys. I’ve actually spent a good bit of time at TreoCentral.com already (while I was trying to decide what to get) as well as the forums over at SprintUsers.com.
Randy: I’ve used Palms in the past (Handspring Visor, Treo 90, and Tungsten something-or-other). The problem for me has always been that it’s just one more device to tote around, and less critical than my phone, so if I had to leave something behind, it was the Palm. As I’m sure you know, these things are most useful when you have them with you all the time so you can fully depend on them. Now that it’s integrated into one device along with the phone (and also give internet access) I’ll definitely be able to utilize it to its fullest.
As for software add ons, the one thing that I’m going to put on it immediately is Web Confidential (assuming it’s still compatible). This is an awesome little password encryption app that allows me to syny usernames, passwords, id #s, bank info, etc. between my laptop and palm (encrypted on both devices).
I’ve had the 755p for about 2 months or so now. Flat out… I love it. I don’t know how I lived with my PDA and phone in two separate devices.
Treocentral.com, as noted above, is a good site, and there are others.
My only advice to you: The phone is very extendable in that there are many third-party applications out there you can install. I’d suggest using it for a month or two just as it comes so you can really see how you use it and what gaps you need to fill before you add the whizz-bang stuff. After 2-months now, I only have a short list of things I can’t do that I want to do. Once I resolve them, I can address things I can do, but want to do better…
You’ll love the phone… (My wife wants one now as well)
Good move with the Treo on the SERO plan. I’ve had Treos now since the 300. If you need any help, feel free to grab me. I’ve got a few thousand posts in the forums at TreoCentral.com – a tremendous resource.
My friend just got the same plan, but a different phone. Of course, I just re-upped with Verizon the other day… My plan costs slightly more, and doesn’t have any data service. 🙁
Great deal though!
Sunil: That’s for porting numbers from other providers. If you’re already a Sprint customer you’ll likely have to get a new number.
Div Guy: It’s free data period, not as an introductory offer. It’s a pretty sweet deal for just $30/month.
Not sure if you get free data for a few months, but if you do then look out – surfing on your device (like I am doing this comment from) is addictive and can add cost fast. I have free web surfing right now and love it!
I just did an mock run through on the SERO website and saw a small box that lets you port over numbers. Its on the main page after you enter the email address. Middle of the page it says “Bring your number”. I didn’t actually go through with the transaction but it showed up in the shopping cart.
Wow, that’s a deal. $30 with all that, including data? I think I have to call them up today.