Last year, I made the decision to leave Sprint after over 20 years. This was a tough decision – especially after going through Hurricane Katrina living in New Orleans in 2005. To make a long story short, Sprint was exceptionally proactive after the storm – giving its customers in certain area codes unlimited minutes (back when we counted minutes) and actually free service for a month after the storm. A colleague of mine who had Cingular (before it was acquired by AT&T) received a bill for over $1,000 because of overages. I vowed then to be as loyal as I could to Sprint.

After we moved to the Midwest and the smartphone revolution, Sprint’s service went through a serious transformation – mostly for the better. In my experience their tech support went from hideous to reasonably good. But, their failed merger with T-Mobile kept them at the bottom half of the mobile telecom hierarchy of progress.

The reason I decided to leave Sprint was that their voice and data service was simply not meeting our family’s needs. Dropped calls were fixed in our suburban area, but the quality of the calls was clearly subpar. Data speeds were absolutely abysmal and unreliable. I felt like I was talking on a dirty old pay phone on the street, or more millennially like a bad VOIP connection.

The transition our family made to Verizon was expensive, annoying and, surprisingly, mostly gratifying. Since the days of carrier subsidized hardware are behind us for now, hardware is frightfully expensive to end users – and to stay on the forefront of changing versions, buying new phones every 18 to 24 or even 48 months is a tough pill to swallow. The trade-in culture makes it a little easier, but still. For 24 months with 4 new iPhone 7s and 8 GB per month of shared data (that we never even come close to exceeding), our monthly bill is well over $200. That’s a LOT more than we were paying with Sprint. The call quality is mostly excellent. Strangely enough, on Sprint, you can’t use data and voice at the same time. I didn’t realize how annoying that was until the two work well together on Verizon and every other carrier. There are a couple of spots near my home that drop calls on Verizon consistently (and they are on well-traveled thoroughfares), but that’s my only beef. The wifi calling feature makes a big difference when in offices and the switchover is nearly seamless.

Am I happy with our change to Verizon? Absolutely. I wish there was more the underdog carriers to do to win me back. Sprint is a great company with plenty of growth potential. Verizon offers better coverage, better quality and most consistency, and they charge more for it.

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