Sprint Wants To Help Customers

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Sprint Nextel is making a big push to help customers understand their cell phones.

The Overland Park-based company is creating a formal program to make store employees available to explain their products and set them up for buyers.

The campaign unveiled today is the first official program for in-person help by a cell carrier. It's similar to what's done in the wider consumer electronics industry to demystify gadgets through one-on-one contact.

Sprint closed all of its 1,219 stores on Sunday, August 17th, to train its employees for the ``Ready Now'' program. The goal is that customers should leave stores with their phones completely set up and personalized.

Employees will now set up e-mail access, move over contacts from an old phone, connect Bluetooth headsets and explain other functions.

Sprint tested the system in St. Louis in July, and the company said customer satisfaction improved so much that the program was rushed into a nationwide launch.