In an attempt to make dialing your friends easier than ever, Sprint has introduced an odd new service that basically turns a person’s phone number into a username. Because that’s so much easier. Known as StarStar Me, the $2.99 per month add-on allows customers to personalize their wireless experience as a shortcut. Now people can call you by dialing **LadiesMan.
First off, in what way will this be more convenient for users? If I have a friend’s number already in my contacts, there’s no need for me to remember their number — or, in this case, their username. As the above photo suggests, who’s going to go around encouraging people to reach them at **SuperMom? It’s vanity at its finest.
And if your StarStar Me name is already taken, it’ll just lead to complications. The service currently limits personal handles from five to nine letters, and doesn’t support landline or SMS. Lacking SMS support is actually pretty huge, and will ultimately lead to people exchanging numbers anyway, eliminating the service’s supposed convenience.
Or, for example, if someone has a hard to spell first/last name StarStar Me combo, the simplicity goes out the window once again. There’s no ambiguity when asking for someone’s number, and most situations — like if you’re out at a bar — involves one person inputting a number into their phone and immediately calling that number so the other person has it.
This could be a pretty cool way for people to reach businesses, but since landlines aren’t supported, there goes that possibility. Only U.S. calls from Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T mobile phones work — and don’t expect cousin Roger to reach you when abroad, because roaming isn’t supported either.
The offer to claim usernames is only available to Sprint customers at the moment, but will allegedly expand next year to allow AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile subscribers to join in. If you do decide to claim your StarStar Me name, you’ll need to download an iOS or Android app to use the service — feature phones won’t work.