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Sprint shortens trial period; ends Premier Program

Sprint revealed today that it is cutting its trial period from 30 to 14 days and is ending its Premier Program before the end of the year.

Two small, but significant changes are coming to Sprint. And they're not changes that we like.

First off, Sprint has confirmed to PhoneScoop that it is shortening its return policy from 30 days to a mere 14 days. Of course, that means that new customers will have only two weeks to return new phones and leave service plans without incurring an early termination fee (ETF). If customers go past the 14 days, however, they will be locked into their contract and will be subject to the full or prorated ETF if they cancel early. Verizon Wireless made a similar change earlier this year.

What's more, Sprint also says that it will end its "Free Guarantee" program, which offered customers free service during their trial period. As a result, anyone who returns a phone during the grace period will have to pay for phone calls made or data used. Both changes go into effect tomorrow.

The second piece of news will affect fewer people, but it's still disappointing. As first leaked by SprintFeed, and now confirmed by Sprint, the carrier's Premier Program will end December 31.

Sprint says it's terminating the program because it finds itself "in the type of situation faced by many companies today." You can use your benefits until the end of the year, but in 2012 you'll roll over to the "New for You" upgrade program, which offers only an upgrade every two years (see the carrier's site for the full list of changes). Just last January, Sprint split the program into two classes.