"Akit is the man. He knows Clipper." (spenta)
"It’s a fantastic blog for any San Franciscan."
"Your blog is always on point, and well researched!" (Nina Decker)
"Everyone's favorite volunteer public policy consultant..." (Eve Batey, SF Appeal)
"You are doing a great job keeping on top of Translink stuff. Keep up the good work!"
(Greg Dewar, N Judah Chronicles)
"...I don't even bother subscribing anywhere else for my local public transportation info. You have it all..."
(Empowered Follower)
"If anyone at City Hall wants to make public transit better for all San Franciscans, it would be wise to follow Akit religiously...
or, better yet, give him a job."
(Brock Keeling, SFist)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sprint's Customer Service: Yeah Right...

There's nothing fun about having a cell phone and hassling with customer service. Any company makes it easy if everything goes fine with the service they provide, and you pay on-time. But when there's a problem, customer service goes down the drain real quick.

So here's my six day nightmare...

  • Last Saturday, I went to an official Sprint store and told the person that I wanted to get an Android phone. I agreed to renew my contract to get the discounts and savings on the phone I was interested in.
  • For the next day, it was just fiddling around with the phone for cool apps to get and some helpful programs to make sure I'm not killing the battery.
  • Then the horror happened... on Monday, I unplugged the phone, took the bus to work, and by 3PM, the battery died. I was horrified and upset that a cell phone would die so fast, even when the phone's screen was off and just idle.
  • On Tuesday, I return to the store and used Sprint's 30-day guarantee where I can return the phone, pay a $35 restocking fee, and get my former Motorola phone activated. I agreed to the restocking charge, got a full refund on the phone, and they attempted to activate the phone.
  • Yeah... activate the old phone, they were unable. The employee called technical support and was also unable to activate and register the old phone that worked perfectly fine last night when I turned it on, saw the main home screen and recharged the battery. The guy gave up and made me talk to customer service. The store folks just hid in their employee lounge and didn't even care to check on how the conversation is going on the phone.
  • The horror continues... I spoke to a customer service agent, who passed me onto a technical support agent, and finally waited on hold for over 20 minutes to speak to one of their escalated customer support managers. I was in the store for over an hour for a job that could have taken a quick 10 to 20 minutes tops. The escalated support person told me they are shipping me a refurbished replacement (exact model of my old Motorola) to my home and should arrive the next day. I also demanded compensation for all the hassle I've been through and she guaranteed me a big service credit. After this whole mess, I walked out of the store after standing there for 90 MINUTES.
  • So it's Wednesday, I've been a "phoneless bum" for 36 hours, and I noticed the box arrived at my home. I called-in to get the phone activated.
  • The first person I talked to helped me get the phone activated, placed me on hold twice, and finally (and I believe intentionally) hung-up on me. I was ticked-off. Even more stupid, the lady said that she was going to activate the Android phone; I told her the whole story and clearly said I wanted my old Motorola activated, not the damn Android.
  • I called customer service again explaining the whole mess. Instead of just getting my phone activated, she sends me to technical support with a long 15 minute wait because they were "very busy." The tech support guy also had trouble activating my phone and told me to input some codes into my phone; finally he gave me the code to do a factory reset to the refurbished unit and it magically worked. By the time it was finished, I spent over ONE HOUR on the phone to get it activated.
Sprint really made me very upset. The store employees are happy to bend over backwards to sell you a phone, but sure as hell don't give a damn about getting your old phone reactivated, especially when my reason for returning it is because the Android's phone battery was a total LEMON. I was standing in the store for 90 minutes for Sprint on-site staff and telephone support to do something until it could have been easily resolved in one of two ways:
  1. They should have given me the code to do a factory reset on my previous phone (they sure gave me the code after I got my refurbished unit a day later). I believe that would have solved all the problems of reactivating the old unit.
  2. If the store and phone support unit knew that they could not get my old unit working, they should have just ordered me the replacement instead of making me even more upset at Sprint for placing me on hold for 20 MINUTES just to be told a replacement phone is coming.
Since I was told to mail back the alleged "broken" phone to Sprint, I was told in writing that I may get charged a $75 fee if they find out the phone actually works perfectly fine. Since I was originally told over the phone that it was inoperable, I hoped the escalation department noted that in my records. If I find a $75 fee on my bill, I'm going to contest the charges with the dumbest customer service agents on earth, and prepare to jump ship to another carrier.

No comments: