Consumer Federation of America

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Restrictively Speaking, Monday Nights May Be Free

Statement by Mary Rouleau, Consumer Federation of America

"When Sprint said speak freely on Monday nights, I don't think that's what they meant," Candice Bergen tells us at the end of this humorous, but misleading ad campaign. Well, Candice, I don't think that is what Sprint meant either.

At first glance this seems like a terrific deal. By signing up for this promotion, you could save tons of money just by making all your phone calls on Monday nights. Right? Wrong. Although Sprint does offer their current customers Monday nights free if they sign-up for this promotion, they don't tell you that you have to jump through numerous hoops to get the bargain.

Hoop 1: You have to spend an average of $25 of long distance a month just to qualify for this program.

Hoop 2: The free Monday nights are only for the month of November.

Hoop 3: You cannot be part of another Sprint promotion.

I don't know about you, but I am already tired ofjumping. But there's more they don't tell us, unless you can decipher the minuscule print flashed at the bottom of the screen for a few seconds

Hoop 4: The free Monday nights are from only 7:00 p.m. to I 1:00 p.m.

Hoop 5: The calls are only for residential state to state calls. And last,

Hoop 6: The free phone calls are ordy for a maximum of 500 minutes.

Based on this number of restrictions, Sprint's advertising slogan should be "Restrictively Speaking, Monday Nights May Be Free." I guess that's not as catchy.

For non-Sprint users who are willing to switch-over to Sprint to enjoy this promotion, the deal is less restrictive. The calls last through the end ofthe year, and there is no average-spending qualification. I assume Sprint wants to nab new customers. A word for the wise, though, don't count on this special treatment once you are a Sprint customer.

Since the deregulation of long-distance providers, numerous companies have sprung up promising huge savings and special deals. Consumers need to know that there are often underlying restrictions behind each ofthese deals, and they should research thoroughly any provider or promotion they are interested in.

I don't think Sprint would have wanted me to speak this freely.

[ Hubbard Press Release ]