AT&T's partnership with Enjoy challenges Sprint's Direct 2 You program in just NYC and SF -- for now

AT&T (NYSE: T) said it is seeing positive traction and a strong customer response from its partnership earlier this year with the company Enjoy to help customers set up their smartphones. However, while the service competes with Sprint's (NYSE: S) own Direct 2 You offering in New York City and San Francisco, AT&T has not announced any plans to expand beyond those two markets while Direct2 You is rolling out nationally.

Former Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) retail chief and JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson launched Enjoy earlier this spring and through a partnership with AT&T, it lets customers purchase a smartphone and, if they order between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., have it hand-delivered that day to their address and set up by a trained "expert" if they live in select ZIP codes in New York or San Francisco.

"We're continuing to see a great response from customers in New York and San Francisco, especially through the latest iPhone launch," AT&T said in a statement to FierceWireless. "We know our online customers value convenience and personal help, and with Enjoy's ability to deliver and set up a phone in as few as four hours, our Enjoy customers are loving this service."

AT&T declined to comment on the number of customers who have used the service and a spokeswoman noted the company has not announced additional markets as of now. An Enjoy representative did not respond to a request for comment. 

Enjoy previously has said its experts will give customers a guided tour of their device, including things like power, volume and silencing, the camera, or any other physical feature. Additionally, Enjoy said the expert will help customers power on the device, activate their new phone, transfer content from their old device and connect it to their Wi-Fi network. The experts will also walk customers through software features and show them things like optimizing the phone's battery life and opening, closing and deleting apps. If customers are interested, Enjoy said its experts can suggest apps that match their interests or help make sure their smartphone is connected to other devices they own.

"What we've learned is [that] when you change the location of where you serve a customer, you change the game," Johnson told Re/code last month around the time the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus launched. "For example, if I show up in your home to deliver your iPhone, I can do everything a store can do -- transfer the contacts, activate the phone. But because I don't have to be in a hurry, I can explore all the great new features of the software. How do I use 3D Touch with my favorite apps? How do I set up Apple Pay? Is my new phone connected to my other devices?"

Meanwhile, last week Sprint announced that its Direct 2 You service would expand to 34 new cities and towns across the country. The service involves specially trained Sprint retail employees roving around in cars to meet customers.

Under the service, customers who are purchasing new phones or upgrading can choose the Direct 2 You option when they are making their purchase and schedule an appointment online or over the phone. Then, a Direct 2 You employee will arrive when and where the customer requests. The Sprint employee will set up and activate the customer's new phone, will transfer all contacts and data from the old phone, and then will personalize the new device to the customer's specifications. Sprint says that Direct 2 You employees are particularly skilled in helping customers switch smartphone operating systems.

Sprint said Direct 2 You is currently offered in 29 major metropolitan areas, and that as of now around 80 percent of its customer base is in an area where they can use the service.

For more:
- see this AT&T site
- see this Enjoy site
- see this Re/code article
- see this Twice article 

Related articles:
AT&T not threatened by Apple's handset installment plan
Sprint expands 'Direct 2 You' smartphone setup program to Denver, LA, NYC and SF
Sprint's 'Direct 2 You' program will have employees drive to customers to set up phones
Sprint set to open 1,435 co-branded locations with RadioShack tomorrow

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