You of course are part of the problem, wanting to direct customer to account services for requests that aren't true cancellations. The correct thing to do is call customer service and get them to technical support. Yea, I know the direct number to Account Services, but I will be danged if I provide it for invalid reasons.
I feel your pain, man. Our store (indirect) is strictly sales and will probably never get a repair center. If the customer brings us lots of business and is well-liked, my manager or I will call Tech and fight for an Advanced Exchange for them. Beyond that, it's off to Little Rock for them. We used to have a direct number to the AE department (8775074287) but Sprint, in their infinite wisdom, disabled it. I guess helping customers is stupid.
Currently, the Tech Support team through Sprint handles warranty replacements/AE. However, they are not supposed to replace the device if a repair center exists within 50 miles. So, best of luck with that... =)