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Press Release -- July 10th, 2012
Source: Sprint Nextel

Sprint Earns Top Spot for Buyback Program Second Year in a Row

Compass Intelligence Study Awards Sprint Top Honors When it Comes to Turning Over Old Phones for Credit

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), July 10, 2012 – For the second consecutive year Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S, news, filings), named No. 3 on Newsweek’s 2011 Green Rankings, has been named the best carrier in the industry for their phone Buyback Program, according to a report released today on Mobile Device Reuse and Recycling conducted by Compass Intelligence Research.

According to the report, Sprint’s trade-in program, Sprint Buyback, beat industry competitors, including Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and U.S Cellular in the overall ranking. Sprint’s program offers customers a merchandise or service credit of up to $300 when customers trade in their eligible wireless devices, regardless of the carrier or manufacturer. Sprint’s messaging of the program in signage and sponsorships, instant credit in Sprint retail stores, and overall ease and convenience of the customer experience contributed to the ranking.

In 2010, Sprint became the first major U.S. wireless provider to “buy back” mobile devices from any carrier in-store and was the first to offer customers the option of receiving an instant credit. Today, Sprint makes it easy for consumers whose devices qualify to take advantage of the program, enabling the program in more than 3,000 Sprint stores and online. Customers can apply the credit toward the purchase of a new phone, accessories, or to their account.

“There is a huge opportunity to get old phones out of consumer’s hands and Sprint has found creative ways to do that,” said Kate Pearce, Compass Intelligence senior consultant. “Their expertise in executing a buyback program and ability to communicate and message the benefits to their customers has been a critical part of their success.”

Compass Intelligence estimates that by the end of 2012 there will be 324 million idle devices in the United States. Sprint’s trade-in program allows new and existing customers to benefit from the instant savings and to trust that Sprint is disposing of used phones responsibly, thereby reducing the effects of electronic waste, “e-waste.” The program has been a financial win for Sprint’s business since nine out of 10 phones can be remanufactured and reused, offsetting the subsidy costs of new handsets while putting good working product back in consumers’ hands. This aligns with Sprint’s environmental commitment and their Electronics Stewardship Policy, where reuse and recycling of electronics is managed across their supply chain.

The study was based on primary and secondary research that evaluated trade-in program capabilities, user experience and expert analysis. The study concluded the following:

  • In the past six months, 21 percent of customers participated in wireless device buyback programs; 9 percent of those returned more than two devices.
  • 33 percent have interest or intend to trade in their phone in the next six months.
  • 17 percent of customers were most interested in receiving an instant credit toward their next phone purchase; 16 percent preferred a cash incentive; and 13 percent wanted the option to donate their proceeds to charity.
  • 41 percent preferred to sell back their phone in a carrier store, receive in-store credit instantly or receive bill credit in 4-6 weeks.

“A major factor in the success of our Buyback program is making sure all consumers know their old phone is never worth as much as it is today,” said Chad Lander, Sprint director of Phone Recycling programs. “We make it as easy and convenient as possible to get those old phones out of junk drawers. Customers see a financial benefit, and they help us keep phones out of landfills. In 2012 alone, we’ve put more than $50 million back in our customers’ pockets.”

Sprint’s leadership in environmental sustainability continues to receive recognition. For the third year in a row, Sprint ranked highest among all U.S. telecom companies on Newsweek’s rankings of America’s greenest companies, up from No. 6 in 2010 and No. 15 in 2009. Sprint was also named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America.

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 56 million customers at the end of the first quarter of 2012 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The American Customer Satisfaction Index rated Sprint No. 1 among all national carriers and most improved in customer satisfaction across all industries during the last four years. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 3 in its 2011 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at or and


Sprint Marci VerBrugge Rhind, 913-794-6319 or Gina Masullo, 917-776-1921


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