Jun 04 AT 7:29 PM Nick Gray 42 Comments

Sprint HTC EVO 4G supplies running low, but could be higher than we think

We’ve started to hear reports from Twitter that the supplies for the HTC EVO 4G at Sprint stores is starting to dwindle.  The Seattle Times is reporting that Sprint stores across Washington are already sold out and I have done some personal checking at local stores in the Twin Cities area and have found that most of them have had their stock completely depleted. If you’re not finding any luck at your local Sprint store, keep in mind that you can simply surf over to our cell phone store to make your purchase, but we do have one last flicker of hope if you really want to get your hands on the HTC EVO today.

While making the rounds at a few local stores, I noticed something odd.  When I inquired about the HTC EVO 4G at one store, the first response from the sales rep (who was standing right next to the store manager) was that they had sold out hours ago.  After talking for a few minutes, I casually mentioned that I was with T-Mobile and suddenly a light seemed to sparkle in the sales rep’s eyes.  He mentioned that they might have overlooked something in the back and came out from the back office a second later with two EVO boxes.

It occurred to me that Sprint stores may be running low on handsets and are simply holding them for non-Sprint customers.  Unfortunately in the world on cell phone sales, a sale is not a sale. A new customer is worth a lot more to a store than simply selling a current customer a new phone.  Sales reps make more commission off new customers and stores have monthly and quarterly quotas to achieve.  I called up a half dozen stores to confirm my theory.  Two stores stated they had a few left, one store was completely sold out, but three of the locations changed their “sold out” stance once I told them I was not a Sprint customer.

So if you’re still in the hunt for a Sprint HTC EVO 4G, just mention that you’re with AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon.  I know, we shouldn’t advocate lying, but you’re simply trying to counter their little white lie with one of your own.

Source: Seattle Times

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. Nick joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • http://Website doctagadget

    this doesn’t endear me to sprint. it just shows me that once I sign up with them and get my evo that they won’t treat me as well as a loyal customer.

    • http://Website c

      I can guarantee you that all carrier stores/3rd party retailers do the same thing. Even companies like Comcast have special promotions for new customers.

    • http://Website sen

      Specswise HTC EVO 4G is currently the superphone for Android smartphones. We love android, I can’t see any reason why any tech savvy-citizen wouldn’t? http://j.mp/4g-by-evo-amazing-matchup

      I can’t wait to see the EVO have that Froyo blessing.

  • http://Website ObsceneJesster

    I would call corporate and let them know which stores are engaging in this trickery. One reason I will never move to Sprint is because there customer service is shit!

    • http://Website Keith Andrews

      All the carriers do this practice,so its not just Sprint!!!!!

  • http://Website c

    BTW sprint employees don’t make more per new activation than upgrades. They do however have 2 different quotas.

    • http://Website c

      Nm.. checked it. They have quotas for each upgrades and activations. Activations quota commission is more than the upgrade commission.

      • http://Website Neutron007

        No that’s no true. I have a friend that works for Sprint and even though they have different quotas for New Activations and Net Handset Sales, comissions are the same on both. I understand that it wasn’t nice from that Rep or Store Managers to be lying about the phone availability in stock but the comissions are the same either for upgrades or new line activations.


    • http://Website Sprint Rep

      I’ve worked for Sprint for some time now. We have goals we need to hit each month and to be honest, they (sprint) does not care about upgrades as much as activations! Activations are where it is at! We make much more per activation vs upgrade.

      As far as Evo sales, we were direct shipping the Evo’s to upgrade customers and selling our stock of Evo’s to new customers.

      I don’t like the idea that customers that have been loyal and been with Sprint for years are not treated the same as New customers… but its just the way it is! It’s all about the Benjamin’s Baby!!

    • http://facebook.com/emyllsomar Emyll

      I do not know really what mobile industry you have worked with, but from where I come from and with my experience in the industry they DO make higher profit/commissions by selling a phone on a new contract rather than upgrade. In fact retailers, specially 3rd parties, will sometimes push the sale of ONLY new contracts to meet quotas. I agree with this article and while it was something I am aware of myself and have experienced first hand as a salesman and customer, I didn’t think of it until I read this, looking for reasons as to why my EVO isn’t F-ING home yet hahaha.

  • http://Website Neutron007

    I would advice the same thing… Call corporate and let them know. Now Sprint has improved its customer service a lot in the recent months and it’s a whole new experience visiting my Sprint local store. Besides, Sprint plans save me a lot of money compared to what i was paying with Verizon and AT&T before. Now with the new AT&T Data Plans I’m so happy I’m with Sprint.

  • http://Website Jorge

    That’s why I stay with T-mobile, when they get new phones they put existing customers before potential customers…

    • http://Website Android18

      You obviously were not around for the great HD2 sagas a month or two ago lol. Cause believe me, it was happening all over with that device as well…..

    • http://Website yea

      good point, but Tmobile does not have a flagship smartphone right now. V has moto Droid, A has Apple, now Sprint has Evo. It’s all a race to steal customers from their competitors, and most people go for it. A large number of people I know switched to AT$T for the iphone debut, and could care less about the monthly rate or even the lack of coverage, it’s all about the hottest phone…and now, I want my Evo too.

  • http://Website Android18

    While it’s unprofessional, really I can see where they are coming from. Because of the commission structure at any wireless company, new activations are simply worth more to a sales rep than existing customers. Yes, we want to provide great customer service, but we also would like to get paid well ourselves. I think anyone who would say they would be perfectly fine making 10 dollars on an upgrade as opposed to upwards of maybe 60 for a new activation is lying to themselves. I do my very best to help any customer I come across, existing or new. But you better believe a new activation will get the red carpet treatment from me, simply because that’s really how I pay my bills.

    I usually tell customers to make sure if they are going to call other stores to say they are planning to activate a new line, that way they can know for sure whether or not the store actually has the device. It’s like this at most every wireless retailer I know. It just gets frustrating running out of phones all because of upgrades and then having none for existing customers when they come in wanting to activate. Especially if your one of those existing customers who wants to spend hours battling with me on why you don’t need a data plan at all and then a few weeks later come back yelling about how your bill is hundreds of dollars higher because you got charged per MB. It’s not just Sprint though. Any employee at any company based off commission is going to do what it takes to get the customer who brings them the most money.

    • http://Website Current Sprint Customer

      First of all, fuck that attitude you have there. You’re just fostering the mentality that CURRENT, PAYING customers are “worth” less than potentially new customers, which is atrocious. That’s just the most retarded business model there is. It’s about people getting the phone they want, not how well you can sell it! And if someone’s been a paying customer for several years, guess what? YOU HAVE MADE MONEY OFF OF THAT PERSON AND THEY WANT TO GIVE YOU MORE MONEY. To make those people wait for their phone to be shipped, when you have plenty of inventory physically at your location is shady and should be frowned upon.

      I’ve had a similar situation happen to me at a Sprint store where I had a broken Palm Pre, and the so-called “manager” of the store flat-out lied to me and said he doesn’t even have any Pre’s in stock. I called them 30 minutes later pretending to be a new customer and suddenly they had “plenty”. How is this behavior conducive to keeping customers? How is this practice not against Sprint’s policy? Fuck customers? Fuck you!

      It’s people like Android18 that make visiting a Sprint store on the very bottom of my list of things I’m willing to do, right under root canal and prostate exam.

      Fuck you.

      • http://Website Richard

        Hey I agree. Screw Exxon, ans Chevron and all those pirates. I just cant imagine all the money I have paid for gasoline at these places and not once have they given me a discount. Hell Im going to Citgo.

        Grocery stores
        Clothing stores

        Anybody that makes a profit

  • http://Website anikko

    As a member of management at a corp Sprint store. I find these practices embarrassing to be frank. My store sold our EVO’s first come first serve without discretion. We opened at 8 and were sold out at 11.
    Having worked for the company for years a large part of my income is from returning customers. I see the same customers every year for their upgrade. Any seasoned sales team should know the benefit of repeat customers.

    • http://Website pickee

      I am outraged at some of the tactics that all companies use to sell only new customers! I have been with sprint for at least 10 years, and stuck with the same sales rep so I agree that you get your money with repeat customers and the way you get repeat customers is by treating them like another human being. I have a box filled with cell phones from sprint that are only a few months old to 10 years old I have baught a phone without my upgrade just because I wanted a different and newer techonology phone. So your existing customer will be there to pay full price or a deal that is given from sprint! If you treat them right they will always come back and give you the business! My Evo is awesome thanks to my rep and her information to help seal the deal!

  • http://Website JOESKIE

    Well ill tell you all what this stuff is copl and everything but damn man if I see another article about the evdo,I’m gonna walk into a sprint store and punch thae manger who did this right in the neck so I may pay him back for doing something significant enough to draw the attention of android and me to cover ONE more fucking evdo post. No one cares anymore. Cover something new. I mean…shit man.

  • http://Website nick

    lets assume what you say is true.

    employees have a right to make a living. of course sprint wants new customers, it’s a business. as hard as it is to find a job, would you mind waiting a week to get your phone if it meant the lowly store employee could get by a little easier that month? just another way of looking at it. in either scenario you win and get your phone, but in one of those scenario’s the working guy gets a win too.

    so my point is… customers can be greedy, impatient @#$*(& with the idea that they are “always right” and their “entitled” to all sorts of things– which is just complete BS. somewhere down the line people stopped doing business with each other and started to turning to combative exchanges with whiny customers that need to be coddled and employees that are afraid to say anything real.

    • http://Website bjtheone

      It is truly sad that people have been so conditioned to accept poor customer service, bait and switch and outright lying that they will actually defend these sort of practices.

      If Sprint, or a 3rd party retailer stated that new customers would get preference on new phones then I would be fine with it. However, this would quickly become a PR nightmare so they outright LIE about availability and give preference to new at launch since they have a short window of hype to capture the flighty potential new customers, while existing customers with contract lockin can be harvested in the weeks/months after launch, when the initial hype and excitement dies down.

      All carriers do this. Many stores will refuse to sell phones outright during launches when inventory is limited since the commission money and carrier revenue is in the contracts.

      Always present the optimal sales profile when determining availability. Just like they can try and upsell you protection plans and addons, you can decide to go with the cheapest option to you, be it upgrade an existing account, or buy just the base unit. Strangely enough sold out stores can magically find inventory for high margin customers.

    • http://Website Mark

      “customers can be greedy, impatient @#$*(& with the idea that they are “always right” and their “entitled” to all sorts of things— which is just complete BS. ”

      And employees can be selfish, arrogant, lazy, incompetent idiots who forget the reason they have a job is to serve the customer. Sprint employees could easily be replaced with our current unemployment rate in this country. As sprint has been showing consistently quarter after quarter, customers aren’t so easy to replace.

      Not saying the customer is “always right” or anything like that. Just that lying to them in order to make a buck, and not giving them the product that they want, and you have in-store, is not a good way of retaining that customer when their contract is up.

    • http://Website Don’t be silly.

      No. This is not communism. I don’t care what that worker makes because that’s not my business. In fact, if they are motivated to screw over a current customer by making them wait so that they can get more commission for that phone being sold to a new customer, then there is a clear conflict of interest going on and that person/team should get fired.

      You call that person a good honest worker? BS. That’s a snake right there, and it’s bad customer service.

      Perhaps the commission corrupts these employees, and they should just work an hourly wage so that their own greed for money does not get in the way of people being able to get a product they’re willing to pay top dollar for. Doing things the “honest” way doesn’t pay enough? Go find a better job and stop trying to cheat your way through life!

  • http://Website watbetch

    It’s a fairly good assumption to say that the people who wanted to get the HTC Evo, have already purchased it.. it’s only downhill from here.

  • http://Website kudog

    The entire mobile industry relys on 3rd party retailers and distributors along with a hand full of big box stores. Doesn’t matter which carrier they all use the same group with few exclusive “prefered dealers”. Spint has a bout 1000 corp stores and i will guarantee you the experience is significantly different in these stores. It is nearly impossible to stop these type of practices in the dealer channels simply becasue they are compensated to drive new customer adds…i.e. they make more $$$. Once or twice a year they get this type of opportunity and they leverage it to thier advantage. Is it a lousy customer experience? …Hell yes, should it happen? Hell no… but it is less a reflection on Sprint than the dealer. If you want ethics or standards governed by the parent corp then buy from a Sprint corp store.

    Why do customers buy from dealers… easy, they get deals. why do they get deals, because the dealers are pulling stuff like this and have burried margin $$s to play with. In the corp store they don’t have the luxury or pricing flexibility and are on flat compensation. SO, consumer, you get what you pay for…. want a deal and a few bucks shaved then deal with the associated behavior and stop b*tching. Want a consistent above board experience buy online at the corp website or buy at a corp Sprint Store.

    • http://Website anikko

      Well said.

      Buying at the dealers is like flying coach. You get to the same place and it’s cheaper but its not the same trip.

  • http://Website ronabong

    I just want a UNLOCKED version of this phone. CDMA? phones and carriers are not my thing.

  • http://Website James

    We have plenty in our area of Nebraska

  • http://Website Chancy

    Will T-Mobile ever get a phone as great or better than the EVO?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!

    • http://Website Bk

      It was supposed to be the HD2, but HTC went with Win Mobile. Poor choice. Hopefully they’ll get a better android phone soon!

  • http://www.sprint-really-sucks.com/Home.aspx Someone in the know with Sprint

    I can confirm what the various bloggers above my posting have stated about retail consultants as well as their floor managers, lead retail consultants, holding back HTC EVO 4G devices either for new customers or existing Sprint ones who are adding another line of service. In the southeast area of GA, the majority of the corprate retail stores sales staff are on some sort of corrective action reports for the failure of achieving the minimum sales goals for net activations yet forth by their store managers . At the end of June, I’m confident of Sprint terminating a significant number of these retail salespeople after having being on a final written warning and not hitting their new activation numbers. The HTC EVO for some of these people is their only shot at redemption.

  • http://Website Robert

    this was indeed true. I got told that as an existing customer I could purchase out right or add a line to make sure I got one Friday. Well It was cheaper for me to just add a line and disco my existing one since I was within 8 months of my two years.

    They even had a tally sheet up showing who sold how many for the day. Paying for mobile hotspot and failed for Verizon on the Pre so I look for it to be removed soon.

  • http://Website Bk

    You can add two more to the list that will be showing back up. I’m returning my two EVOs soon because the coverage in my area is horrible at best. I get little to no signal in my house and can’t get most of the web experience to load. Same trouble as I travelled around different parts of the Twin Cities yesterday. Great phone HTC, poor service Sprint. Looks like I’m heading back to T-mobile. Never had a problem, just wanted a better phone.

    • http://Website Travis

      I live in the Twin Cities. You, sir, are a liar and a troll. Sprint’s coverage in this area (and the surrounding areas) is awesome.

      • http://Website Bk

        Wow Travis, very mature of you. You might want to make your way around the Cities before you speak of which you know nothing about. I travel all around for my job and so far my T-Mobile coverage killed what I’ve been seeing out of Sprint. If you’ve seen better, good for you. I’m calling it how I’ve seen it so far.

  • http://zaivor.com MikeG

    Well I for one was more than happy to order my Evo through Wirefly.com as a upgrade. Sure I will get my phone on Tuesday, But honestly it was the best deal for me. I got the phone for 169.99 because I ordered it at midnight Friday morning. Thats no mail in rebate, no hassle at all. I had a scare as I got a email about noon Friday telling me it was back ordered. Then a hour later another email saying it cleared and was picked up by FedEx for shipping.”free shipping”.

    Because of seeing how company’s were with phone releases in the last two years I went online and researched and found the best place to order from. All I had to do was wait a few extra days.

    Ive been with T-Mobile since the G1 came out and I left sprint for it. Now I am coming back to sprint for the evo 4g and in two years or maybe a little less. I will upgrade again to the next best android phone.

  • http://Website a guy


    called store and told i was on a waiting list. called me back 1 hr later. went in to get the phone. he brought it out and started to ring me up and then i said i want it on my current account. the guy said ohh there is a problem. i asked what and he went to teh back to come back without the phone stating some bs that i was called by mistake. i said its bc this is not going to be a new account, he smiled, and then he said there is nothing he could do bc there was a mistake and that wasnt my phone.

    i called customer service who told me they cant verify this and they are sorry.

    so yup. CAUGHT

  • http://Website a guy


    called store and told i was on a waiting list. called me back 1 hr later. went in to get the phone. he brought it out and started to ring me up and then i said i want it on my current account. the guy said ohh there is a problem. i asked what and he went to teh back to come back without the phone stating some bs that i was called by mistake. i said its bc this is not going to be a new account, he smiled, and then he said there is nothing he could do bc there was a mistake and that wasnt my phone.

    i called customer service who told me they cant verify this and they are sorry.

    so yup. CAUGHT! sprint is only giving phones away to new customers and screwing the current ones. thanks again sprint.

    btw location 2000 n clybourn chicago il

  • http://Website DROID Man

    So I don’t get it. It’s in stock but they won’t sell it to you? I say just get ti online from somewhere! Sprint’s website is now showing that the EVO is back in stock so go there if you still want the phone.

  • http://Website Gerardo

    I called today and they said that they waiting list was 120 people and wont get it anytime soon. They only get 5 phones a week I was like no way Jose I aint waiting on that

  • http://Website Owen

    The pay structure for new activations versus upgrades makes NO difference here because Sprint in controlling the Evo inventory has circumvented the commission structure almost completely! By causing a virtual feeding frenzy for the phone (by NOT having but a few in their stores) they have been able to run their customers BOTH new and current to outside sources, where the phone can be acquired WITHOUT having to pay employees in stores at all! The phone is a HUGE success, they are being sold everywhere, and the employees who would have benefited greatly monetarily have been shut out of the frenzy. Any and everybody who wanted an Evo was able to get one through Best-Buy which despite what some think has been getting consistent supply from day one, and so many other online outlets where selling consistently also! This whole sham IMHO was just a way to save the huge commission payouts that would have existed if the stores had been able to stock and sell like they do any other phone. I as a former Sprint Corporate Store Administrator and current customer am aware that Sprint’s commission structure has and is being tweaked on a regular basis to take away the earning power of their employees on a regular basis.