Have Sprint's fortunes turned?

Over the past year or so, it's become almost customary to prefix mention of Sprint with the phrase "beleaguered carrier".  The cash-consuming Nextel merge and WiMAX XOHM roll-out both took their toll on the company coffers, while users complained of lacking customer service.  Has Sprint managed to turn things around in the tail-end of 2008, however?  Recent research into telephone support found that Sprint was the fastest carrier to answer its phones: more than 91-percent of calls in 30 seconds or less, and 99-percent in two minutes or less.

They're also picking up awards for environmental responsibility (the Environmental Protection Agency ranked Sprint 15th on their Fortune 500 Green Power Purchaser's list) and diversity, with DiversityInc and Hispanic Enterprise both including the carrier in their annual lists of top 50 companies for diversity. And the network investment looks to be paying off too, with Frost & Sullivan awards stacking up in the Sprint trophy cabinet for location-based services and the formation of Clearwire, among other things.

A lot of the credit has to go to the Samsung Instinct, which took four awards at CTIA Spring 2008 including being called "most innovative" and "cream of the crop". Considering the world sometimes seems to revolve around the Apple iPhone, it's impressive even to get a nod.

We're curious, do the awards match up to your experience of Sprint?  How have you found the customer service – an answered call and an answered question to match, or have you found yourself wishing they'd left you on hold?  Let us know in the comments.