Many Boost and Nextel iDEN subscribers have already migrated to CDMA or another carrier, but there are still over a million Boost iDEN users left. Some have been holding out because iDEN offers better coverage than CDMA in their area or because they use the iDEN push to talk (walkie-talkie) feature, which is not available with Boost CDMA. Plus, switching to CDMA means buying a new phone.
Boost iDEN customers who thought they had another eight or nine months before they had to worrry about making a phone change are in for a rude shock. Sprint has started sending text messages to Boost iDEN subscribers announcing that iDEN plan prices are going up November 7th. The text to Boost iDEN Monthly subscribers reads:
Effective 11/7, your Monthly Unlimited price plan for iDEN phones will increase by $10/month. For details http://msg4u.us/pi5
If you go to that URL you see this:
Effective November 7, 2012, the price of your Monthly Unlimited plan for your iDEN (Nextel walkie-talkie) phone will increase by $10/month. Please make sure to add enough money to cover your new monthly payment amount before your next payment is due so that your service is not interrupted.It's not just monthly plans that are getting price increases. iDEN pay as you go text messages and voice minutes will go up to 25¢ each from the current 20¢ (10¢ for grandfathered customers). Daily Unlimited users are looking at a jump from $2.00 to $2.50/day and anyone still on the grandfathered Daily Chat & Text plan will see an increase from $1.00 to $1.25/day.
You can avoid the price change if you switch to a CDMA phone that runs on a comparable plan on our Nationwide Sprint Network®. To learn about your choices to become a CDMA customer please call us at 1-888-266-7848. Then press 99 and be prepared to provide your Account PIN.
We value your business and strive to deliver an exceptional wireless experience.
How can I avoid the price increase?
Switch to a CDMA phone that runs on a comparable plan before November 7, 2012.
How long will my iDEN phone work?
Your iDEN phone operates on the Nextel National Network. Once the Nextel National Network is retired in June 2013, your iDEN phone will not work. In order to continue your Boost Mobile service, you will need a CDMA phone that operates on the Nationwide Sprint Network.
What CDMA phones are available?
We have a variety of CDMA phones for you to choose from. To learn about your choices to become a CDMA customer please call us at 1-888-266-7848. Then press 99 and be prepared to provide your Account PIN.
What do I do with my old phone if I switch to a new phone?
Send us your old phone through the Boost Mobile Buyback Program. The Boost Mobile Buyback Program collects unwanted wireless phones regardless of carrier or manufacturer. Visit buyback.boostmobile.com to see if your old phone qualifies for a credit that will be applied to your Boost Mobile account. There, you can create a Buyback quote and follow the easy instructions to print your pre-paid shipping label and mail your phone. While all phones may not qualify for an incentive, remember you helped the environment by recycling.
I believe that Sprint is increasing iDEN prices because it wants to encourage a sizable number of iDEN customers to migrate now rather than waiting until the last minute in order to minimize the impact on customer service and back-end systems. However, forcing customers to choose between a plan price increase or the unexpected cost of a new phone is not going to win the company any good will. There are already dozens of customers expressing their unhappiness with the increases on Boost's Facebook page and many are saying that will be going to a different carrier.