Tag Archives: Sprint

Slow Slog With Sprint

Frontier is not the only phone company Westporters have issues with.

I should have known things would not go well when I called Sprint this morning to cancel my mother’s service. (She got an easier-to-use phone, not that it matters.)

I punched in her number. A voice chirped, “Sorry! I did not get that!” Which did not instill a lot of confidence in this particular telecommunications company.

After navigating the complex (and repetitive) phone tree, I reached an actual — though heavily accented — human being. When I said I wanted to cancel the service, I was disconnected. Instantly.

downloadI called again. Again, the voice “did not get” the number I punched in. Once again, I eventually was answered by an actual person. Once again, when I said I wanted to cancel, the line mysteriously went dead.

I called a 3rd time. This time, I started by saying I’d been cut off twice by a phone company. The representative apologized, and took my number to call back “in case it happens again.”

I asked how that could possibly happen. She agreed it shouldn’t, but said by way of explanation that all cancellations must be handled by a supervisor. Of course!

I listened to gruesome music for 6 minutes. Then — silence.

Luckily, she had my callback number. Two minutes later, my phone rang.

My mother has a Toyota. Perhaps you've heard of it?

My mother has a Toyota. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?

To make sure I was legitimately calling to cancel an account — perhaps this is a wide-ranging scam — she asked for the make of my mother’s car. “Toyota,” I said.

“Can you spell that?” she asked.

NO, I COULD NOT, I replied (yes, using capital letters.) I told her it was like the best-selling car in the world. She let it go.

She assured me I would not be disconnected again. When I asked how long it would take for the supervisor to pick up, she said, “One to 3 minutes.” No problem! That’s a sprint!

Eight minutes later, the music stopped. I was — yet again — disconnected by a telecommunications company.

This time, there was no callback.

Angry businessman killing the phone

I went online. I did not have an account, so I filled out a form. The password I chose was “SprintSucks1.”

The next part of the form was “Set access level.” I was happy to, except:

  1. there was no way to do that, plus
  2. I had no idea what that meant.

I clicked “Help.” A popup message said, “Questions? Check out our support site with answers to your questions 24/7, or chat with us.”

Which I was happy to do. Except, there was no way to access the support site from the page I was on.

Once more — a mere 50 minutes after starting — I called again. I explained everything I had been through since I started calling THIS TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANY. 

The representative pretended to be sympathetic. Miraculously, he did not need to contact a supervisor. He could handle this exceptionally difficult request — cancel the service — all by himself.

Which he did, after taking down my callback number just in case we were disconnected.

sprint-tether-hotspot-300x274It was a simple process, with only 8 or 52 repetitive questions.

At last, it was done.

He had just one last question. Would I like an upgrade?

Why not? Yes! Of course!

I want Sprint to upgrade their !@#$%^&* customer service. Just kick it up a notch — from, say, “atrocious” to “abysmal” — and I’ll be ecstatic.

But I sure won’t call back to tell them that.

Take Back The Beep

David Pogue

David Pogue

David Pogue is a genius.

The New York Times technology columnist, “Missing Manual” publisher, Emmy-winning CBS correspondent and frequent NPR guest is a Westporter.  I’m proud to call him a friend.

I’m particularly excited about his latest crusade, announced today in his weekly (free) email column:  a nationwide effort to get US cellphone carriers to change the obnoxious, minutes-eating “instructions” we hear many times a day.

You know the ones:  “Record your message after the tone.  To send a numeric page, press 5.  When you are finished recording, hang up, or for delivery options, press pound.”

Has anyone, anywhere, ever sent a “numeric page”?  Considered other “delivery options”?  Or thought about holding on forever, unaware that it is possible simply to hang up?

Sounds humorous.  But those “instructions” are deadly serious.  We pay for them.  Cell executives have told David that they exist primarily to use up airtime.  He figured that if the 70 million customers of just 1 carrier — Verizon — leave or check messages twice a day, the company could rake in $620 million a year.

David wants to send a message right back.  He writes:

We’re going to descend, en masse, on our carriers.  Send them a complaint, politely but firmly.  Together, we’ll send them a LOT of complaints.

If enough of us make our unhappiness known, I’ll bet they’ll change.

I’ve told each of the four major carriers that they’ll be hearing from us.  They’ve told us where to send the messages:

* Verizon: Post a complaint here: http://bit.ly/FJncH

* AT&T: Send e-mail to Mark Siegel, executive director of media relations: MS8460@att.com

* Sprint: Post a complaint here: http://bit.ly/9CmrZ

* T-Mobile: Post a complaint here: http://bit.ly/2rKy0u

Three of the four carriers are just directing us to their general Web forums.  Smells like a cop-out, I know.  (As for AT&T:  Props to the guy for letting me publish his e-mail address!  Hope he knows what he’s in for!)

Yet all four carriers promise that they’ll read and consider our posts.  And we have two things going for us.

First, I have a feeling that the volume of complaints will be too big for them to ignore.  To that end, I hope you’ll pass these instructions along, blog them, Twitter them, and spread the word.  (Gizmodo, Consumerist and others have agreed to help out.)

And I hope you’ll take the time to complain yourself.  Do it now, before you forget.

Thanks, David, for trying to help save Americans millions of hours — and dollars.  I’ll contact all 4 carriers right now.

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