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8/29/2007
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Stephen Wellman
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Angry Blogger Sends A Love Letter To Sprint

Michael Arrington at TechCrunch has written what has to be one of the most scathing blog posts of 2007. The target of his ire: Everyone's favorite wireless carrier, Sprint.

Michael Arrington at TechCrunch has written what has to be one of the most scathing blog posts of 2007. The target of his ire: Everyone's favorite wireless carrier, Sprint.Apparently, Sprint's new Website, called My Cell Style, sent Arrington into a tizzy of criticism. Here is a look at his rant:

I am not offended that Sprint says I am a Technosexual... No. But I AM offended that they say the perfect phones for me are the Treo 755p, the HTC Mogul and the…wait for it…Motorola Q, which is quite possibly the worst cell phone ever created. Sprint then tried to sell me one of those ghastly phones. I guess I should just be thankful I wasn't deemed "Runway Ready."

Ouch. And there's more:

Sprint doesn't sell the iPhone, of course, so they couldn't be honest and recommend the perfect phone for me. And they also don't sell the phone I'd be using if the iPhone didn't exist, the Helio Ocean.

I'm not a fan of Sprint. They fire customers who complain too much. And they have the dubious distinction of supplying me with the only phone I have ever thrown out of a moving vehicle (in 1999) because of poor call quality. Even today, it is the only mobile operator which has no coverage at my house.

While I agree with Arrington that My Cell Style has plenty of elements of an interactive agency spun into overdrive -- too much design and brand focus with no clear-cut value for new customers or Sprint's existing subscribers. I do not, however, know if I would limit all of these criticisms to just Sprint.

For the purposes of disclosure, I used to be a Sprint customer. Currently, I am a subscriber with Verizon Wireless and I have, on and off, used both AT&T and T-Mobile. I think many of Arrington's criticisms of Sprint could just as easily be leveled against the other big four carriers. I mean, lame cell phone selection? Sprint looks like NTT DoCoMo compared to Verizon Wireless's phone offering. And as far as coverage is concerned, I think Sprint has T-Mobile beat any day of the week. In my own personal experience, each of the carriers has issues when it comes to coverage. It really depends more on what region of the U.S. you happen to be in.

Anyway, the bigger point is that all the carriers have issues. And they all share one big issue in common: Their networks are not yet sufficiently open. While I appreciate rants like this one -- and I think they're necessary to help keep the carriers honest -- I would much rather pour energy into working for real open wireless network access than in picking on any one carrier in particular.

What do you think? Does Sprint deserve this special rant? Or did this TechCrunch post go too far?

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