Some of you probably found this out for yourselves after the HTC EVO software update debacle a few weeks ago and this may not be true of all locations, but I walked out of a local Sprint store yesterday with a replacement EVO after several customers before me were put on a waiting list for new ones.
I was having an issue with 4G so I visited the store with the intention and expectation of putting my name and number down on a waiting list. When I told the retail consultant that I was there to get a replacement, he said that he might be able to fix it. I've been working with various Sprint reps for weeks trying to get the problem resolved to no avail, so I assumed he would repeat what everyone else had done and then just put me down on the list. I was told that most people were waiting for about two weeks, but I overheard another worker telling someone else that it could take up to a month.
This was fine with me, as I knew that I'd be able to keep my EVO in the meantime. I asked just to make sure, though, and was very surprised when the consultant said I'd be getting a new one today.
It turned out that it was actually a unit that had been returned within the 30-day return period (it didn't even have the first update from June 4th installed), but it was in out-of-box condition. I wasn't given a new battery, microSD card, or even a back cover, but at least I had a different phone. I had the option of waiting for a brand new one but since the one that was right in front me looked brand new, I decided to take it. And I'm glad I did because 4G is working.
I do find it a little suspicious that I was only told about the replacement phone's condition after it was in front of me and being unboxed, though. If defective phones are always replaced with used units, which would be pretty unusual, then I would think that the workers would be upfront about it to begin with. My husband is convinced that the guy in the back who sent out a "holier than thou" vibe simply didn't want to give me a new one, which is possible, but I didn't want to waste any more time on it. We were already there for 90 minutes, which is a long time for our 7-month-old baby girl.
I don't know if all the units in stock for one-to-one swaps there were returned or refurbished, but it's not like I was trading in a brand new EVO for a used one, anyway. Mine was already about two months old (I got it two weeks before launch) and all I wanted was one that worked like it was supposed to, which is what I got. I was told that the reason there were EVOs in stock for replacements in the first place was because of the software update, so I assume that some of them may have been new.
Although this may not be true of all Sprint stores, if you're having a problem with your EVO but are waiting until it's in stock again in your area, you may want to go in anyway. You might not walk out with a brand new phone, but there's a chance that you'll get one without any of the problems that you had before.