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SprintPCS needs to get a clue!

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by DebLyn, Jul 31, 2002.

  1. Bradmofo

    Bradmofo New Member

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    Yes, Sprint has unlimited PCS mintutes for $5 per month. It doesn't help me out because Sprint is the only PCS carrier in North Dakota. Actually, Wireless North, another PCS carrier, had great deal going on but the recenly folded. When you can get FREE unlimited Mobile to Mobile mintues through Verizon, who has more customers, it's a bette value to me because I know quite a few people that have Verizon service and it is free, not $5.

    Regarding Sprints "no cow" coverage in North Dakota, they do not have service going west on one of the bigger interstates in the country!! I-94 goes west-east and goes through some very populated areas that Sprint does not cover. North Dakota IS a land of cows but the Fargo-Moorhead metro area is 190,000 people and growing and you can only go about an hour west of Fargo. Bismarck is the 2nd biggest city in North Dakota (and the Capital) at almost 100,000 people and there are no towers. The Billings Montana area, also on the Interstate, is almost 140,000 people and Sprint has no towers. It would be very smart to invest into the heavily traveled interstates in North Dakota and Montana because there ARE alot of people traveling on that interstate.
     
  2. ALBUNDY

    ALBUNDY Junior Member
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    Remember Sprint PCS is still being built from the ground up. New Towers are going up everyday. Sprint PCS first made it a goal to cover all the major cities and now is building the service everywhere else. If we are not in your area now we will be soon.
     
  3. ALBUNDY

    ALBUNDY Junior Member
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    You need to contact a retention rep through customer care if you are having issues with your service being shut off for no reason. Sprint PCS has made so many changes in the past month that our number one goal is Customer Service. If you contact customer care and get connected with a retention representative we can take care of any problems you are having.

     
  4. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    Give Sprint a few years and they will cover the last cow in the country!
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  5. IdiOTeQnoLogY

    IdiOTeQnoLogY Bronze Senior Member
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    can you hear me moo?

    for places like North Dakota it would make sense not to go with sprintpcs. i dont think i would recommend them to anyone near there. other carriers are much better options. in 5 years sprintpcs put up 18,000 cell sites so they will get there we shall see and if how good they cover when they do but in the meantime go with another and be happy [​IMG]
     
  6. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    Sprint has recently expanded into North Dakota and covers Fargo, Grand Forks, and Jamestown. I don't believe they have any plans to cover Bismarck or any other cities in North Dakota. They do have plans to lauch in Billings, Montana but not until 2004.
     
  7. TProphet

    TProphet I *am* a mobile phone
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    Location:
    Renton, WA
    My Phone:
    Sanyo 7200
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Sprint, Cingular, Virgin Mobile Canada
    Too little, too late. Sprint has a lot to learn

    I recently dumped every Sprint service I have. They sold me long distance, then PCS service, and finally local telephone and high speed Internet service. Next, they managed to completely destroy all of these relationships, and lose a customer they've had since 1988 (long distance since 1988, PCS since 1999, and local exchange services since 2000).

    1) Sprint PCS has systematically raised and crammed my bill in the past 6 months:

    (a) They sent everyone at my company a letter claiming that they'd been underbilling us (and everyone else with a corporate discount plan, for that matter) by giving us too big of a discount. This might be believable and forgivable if they hadn't been "underbilling" me for over 3 years. What they really did was change the formula for calculating my discount, and that raised my rate by $2.50 per month.

    (b) Two months later, they had the audacity to start charging me to check the number of minutes I have left. Oh, I can still check my remaining minutes on the Web site, though, which was down for "upgrades" (read: repairing a horribly failed migration from IIS4 to SunONE Enterprise Server) for over a week. This, of course, after the week off, week on, and week off the previous month that I couldn't add/remove Wireless Web from my service plan because the Customer Service systems were "down for upgrades." Of course, I was welcome to call back, argue with Claire for 10 minutes, and then sit on hold for 40 minutes any time I liked during Sprint's East Coast business hours (they close their customer service center fairly early by West Coast standards).

    (c) Oh, you need to change your plan to one with more minutes? Sure, that's fine, but you'll lose your 8pm off-peak minutes. Sorry, sucker.

    (d) Want to upgrade your phone? That will be a $35 activation change fee, please (Sprint very grudgingly waived this when I pointed out that I could still return the phone for a full refund, and more than one competitor would be happy to waive the activation fee if I was switching from Sprint).

    (e) Cancelled your service? Check your last statement for a late fee. Yes, Sprint PCS actually charged me a late fee for failing to pay a credit balance (I swear I am not making this up).

    (f) Ever notice how there is a section called "Taxes and Surcharges" on your bill? Notice how this seems to go up regularly? You're not seeing things. A number of those line items are actually fees that Sprint charges to offset various costs of doing business (such as Universal Service Fund contributions). Sprint has repeatedly increased these fees in past months. A nickel here, a dime there, and multiplied by millions of customers, you're talking about real money.

    2) Sprint is continually unwilling, unless pushed HARD, to grant concessions for billing errors that are obviously their fault. Case in point, the above problem with Wireless Web. I added it through their Web site, but never got an e-mail confirmation that the order completed. The next day, their order processing system crashed. I called them back every day for a week, and they were still "down for upgrades." When the system finally came back up, the order of course hadn't gone through. To my dismay, but not really to my surprise, the representative said "well, I'll put it on your plan, but you'll be billed 39 cents per minute for the minutes you used before." When I said "OK, fine, tell you what, how about I just cancel my service instead," she grudgingly offered to credit back the minutes as a "goodwill gesture." Yeah, fine, Sprint screws up and then does me a favor by making it right. Thanks, guys.

    3) I get my credit card bill at home. I sometimes expense my wireless bill at work, so I have that invoice sent to the office (makes it easier to deal with the paperwork). Sprint's automated payment systems, both on sprintpcs.com and *3, are entirely unable to deal with this. I used to call and talk to a customer service representative, who would put the charge through by manually entering the billing address of the credit card. I bring this up because it's proof Sprint's billing system has the capability to accomplish this. Suddenly, Sprint began to charge a $5 fee for the dubious service of taking my money, that is, unless I use their nonfunctional automated payment systems. I was both amazed and insulted by this, and asked a Sprint sales executive with whom I was acquainted why Sprint wanted to make it even harder for me to pay my bill. After all, giving a company money should be the easiest interaction you ever have with it. Anyway, I got a call back from the director of corporate Accounts Receivable, who agreed to note an exception on my account, and not charge me the $5 fee. No, they wouldn't fix their system (it's probably about 10 lines of code to accomplish this) and yes, they would continue to charge everyone else, but I was taken care of.

    Well, that went just fine, until it was decreed throughout the land of Sprint PCS customer service that no payment fees would be waived, at all, ever, period. Apparently, that meant the agreement I'd made with Accounts Receivable was null and void. I found this difficult to believe, so asked to confirm it with a supervisor. The representative said "Fine, you can speak to a supervisor, but he won't tell you anything different," and I was then transferred to the supervisor.

    "You can still make your payment with a credit card," said the supervisor in an authoritative, patronizing tone, as if he were addressing an impudent child. "The address has to match." When I pointed out that was impactical, he sharply replied, "Then Sprint PCS will gladly accept a different billing address for a $5 fee." This was purportedly for "security reasons," although I don't understand why a thief would balk at extra charges to a credit card that was stolen anyway. I asked why Sprint was making it difficult for me to pay my bill--a legitimate question, I think. I mean, all I wanted to do was pay my bill, and not deal with any extra hassles. "It's easy to pay your bill," the supervisor replied, voice dripping with sarcasm. "We're MORE than DELIGHTED to accept your payment by check, or using our cash payment center in a Sprint PCS store, or through our automated system." Not getting anywhere, I decided to end the conversation and call the on-site Verizon representative at our company instead. "They want to charge you for WHAT?" she asked. "That's a new one. No, you can pay with a credit card, and as long as you know what the billing address is, that's good enough for us." I didn't buy a Verizon phone right away, but it happened not long after...

    4) The day was 9/24/2002, and I received two letters in the mail from Sprint. The first read "We are contacting our customers to inform them that Sprint is withdrawing the Sprint Business DSL service it currently offers in your area...as of October 31, 2002." I had been a beta subscriber of the Sprint ION service, which went down in flames after Sprint could not resolve scalability problems with their VoIP/ATM hybrid voice and data service. The voice service was fraught with problems (even to the end; either Sprint or Qwest--I don't know because they blamed each other--managed to bungle local number portability causing me to lose my home phone number while switching back to Qwest), but the data service was always reliable. Sprint dropped the voice product, rebranded the data product as Sprint Business DSL, and let ION subscribers pay $119 per month for just the data service. This sounds expensive, but offered speeds of 7.2Mbps downstream, 900Kbps upstream, and had no restrictions on servers. Sprint also issued a $400 credit for the trouble. So great. I had barely more a month to find another data provider, and migrate my entire network topology to it. Thanks for the notice, guys.

    After the first letter, I wondered what horrors the second would contain. "Your EarthLink e-mail service and Web Storage service provided by Sprint are scheduled to be discontinued on 9/28/02." Of course, Sprint would magnanimously grant me a 60 day extension, as long as I sent them notification by 9/25/02. Yes, you read that right, the following day (of course, the letter didn't specify whether notice was required by the beginning or end of the day, or in which time zone). Good thing I read the letter the same day I got it. EarthLink later confirmed that if I hadn't responded, I'd have lost my e-mail address (I'll still have to change it, though, because Sprint actually owns the account and won't release it to EarthLink).

    Yes, I understand that Sprint has a right to go out of business, and that when I live on the cutting edge, I have to expect rough spots. That said, I took a day off work, let Sprint run network cable everywhere, completely redo my inside phone wiring to interact properly with their network, put up with numerous outages on my home phone line both during the beta period (which I didn't mind) and afterward (which I certainly did), redid all of my phone wiring again (to accomodate a transition back to Qwest), lost my home phone number (not sure I can fairly blame them for that, but I can't fairly blame Qwest either and damnit, it wasn't my fault), and they thank me by giving me ONE DAY not to lose my e-mail address, too. Thanks, guys.

    5) I signed up with Verizon, and got a Kyocera 2235. Their America's Choice PRL seems kind of buggy (I have to force my phone into "digital only" mode to avoid roaming on United States Cellular in southwest Washington state, even though Sprint is a preferred carrier that should be scanned first), and it seems difficult to get anyone to escalate technical issues (they just tell you to update the PRL, which appears to be the problem and not the solution, and won't take it any further). Their coverage maps are really terrible to the point of being useless, and what's with the inability to select a "Verizon Only" roaming option like I could select "Sprint PCS Only?" It's not that hard to implement. At least, though, Verizon has followed through on everything they've promised, no surprises. That means a lot to me. When I ordered my phone, the representative confidently stated that I'd have it the next day. I did. They told me what my first bill should be, and the figures matched. My phone was stolen, and I didn't have insurance; they simply added insurance to my account and sent me a new phone for the same price I bought the original for, no questions asked. In all of my dealings with Verizon, they've done exactly what they say they're going to do. I don't have to second-guess, double-check, verify, confirm, and document like I've become accustomed to doing with Sprint. My phone just works, I get a bill, no surprises, and I pay it. I called them at 2 in the morning wondering why my phone said it was roaming in an area that was supposedly covered in my plan. They apologized, pre-emptively refunded the roaming charges (try getting Sprint to do that), and provided suggestions on how to work around the problem (most probably caused by the aforementioned buggy PRL).

    6) A few weeks after cancelling my Sprint PCS service, I got a surprise on my Sprint Long Distance bill. Seems as though I'd forgotten that I was subscribed using a tie-in promotion with Sprint PCS that subjects me to a $5.95 MRC if the associated Sprint PCS service was cancelled. I called Sprint Long Distance to ask what my options were, and after sitting on hold for over 40 minutes (during Kansas City business hours--they're closed at convenient times on the West Coast), got an extremely defensive customer service representative on the line. She was obviously familiar with this issue. "You agreed to the charge when you signed up for that plan!" she practically screamed, making it clear from the beginning that she wouldn't credit a dime. I'd committed the apparently horrible transgression of asking what the charge was for. In case you're wondering (I would be by this point), I'm actually *not* rude and confrontational with customer service reps. I used to work as one myself, so I know how to behave with one on the phone (e.g. politely, clearly and unemotionally state the problem and how you'd like it resolved, sticking only to the facts at hand). Anyway, the representative stood her ground. No plans were without fees; in fact, all long distance carriers charged monthly fees and they were all the same or higher than Sprint. This was a known fact, and Sprint would issue no credit, etc. etc. I'd had enough. "Tell you what, why don't you just close my account instead. As for my balance owed, both Sprint PCS and Sprint ION me a credit balance, so why don't you just take it from one of those accounts if you feel that strongly about it." Of course, that would actually make sense, so Sprint can't do it. I'd darned well better send them their $7.33 or I'll risk collection action, the representative informed me.

    7) So, AlBundy, in light of the above, do you actually believe that Sprint PCS has customer service as its first priority? I think you work for a company that has multimillion-dollar executive bonuses as its first priority, and the hell with anyone or anything else including the long-term health and growth prospects of the business (this absolutely infuriates me as a FON shareholder). Take my example; Sprint did everything in its power to drive away a very patient and understanding 14 year wireline and 4 year wireless customer who was billing over $200 per month in Sprint services. I mean, they drove me away to the point of cancelling my services out from under me, because the "current business environment" didn't allow them to "deliver...services economically." I know that the Redmond Sprint PCS store lost most of its sales staff after Sprint eliminated numerous spiffs and dramatically reduced commissions; I've seen many of them working for local dealers selling competing products (using their familiarity with the limitations of Sprint products to their advantage). I'm glad I don't own the PCS tracking stock; what in the world was the genius who dreamed that one up thinking?

    8) Disclaimer: In the interest of fairness, I should disclose that I work for a software company that is engaged in a joint venture with Verizon Wireless. I do not personally work on or influence any products or services related to this joint venture. My decision to switch to Verizon Wireless versus another carrier was partially influenced by the corporate discount offered to employees of my company, which offers a percentage off of the MRC for retail consumer plans (I have such a plan). Sprint PCS also offers employees of my company a corporate discount, with the same structure except that they offer a bigger discount than Verizon. My Sprint PCS account was also enrolled for the corporate discount.
     
  8. IdiOTeQnoLogY

    IdiOTeQnoLogY Bronze Senior Member
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    you have many valid points but you also get pissed off at things that are unreasonable.

    the fact that you say with venom 'Oh change your plan but lose your 8 pm nights sucker'. with any company if you switch your plan whether it had 8pm nights or whatever you are agreeing to a whole new plan. you cant pick and choose over the years as a customer that : oh ill keep this part of my plan from 99 and this part from my 2001 plan but the rest i want from this 2002 plan i want now. ok. thanks. unlike other companies like nextel who changed the N&W start time of customers who were in contract and didnt ask for a new plan sprint grandfathers those terms but yes when you change your plan you are changing the WHOLE plan not whatever you want to .

    second it is true, when you signed up for the Free sprint LD on your home phone for no monthly fee it specifically states and is sold that there is no monthly fee to have Sprint LD on your home phone as long as you are a PCS customer. when you cancel that it becomes a 5.95 fee. if you forget that when you cancel your service that is not sprints fault.

    after a lot of fraud with people using various credit cards over the phone to pay that they werent authorized to use; sprintpcs implemented the rule that the pcs account address and the billing address of the credit card must match. i dont think that is so unreasonable.

    the customer service has to improved on many points you are right (i am especially not familiar with the ION and BUSINESS DSL parts of the business) but on other points the consumer has to improve.
     
  9. TProphet

    TProphet I *am* a mobile phone
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    Location:
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    My Phone:
    Sanyo 7200
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Sprint, Cingular, Virgin Mobile Canada
    I think maybe I didn't clearly explain some of these issues, if people think I'm asking for unreasonble things.

    1) No other e-commerce site I've ever dealt with has a problem shipping a product to one address, and billing another, so long as I provide the billing adderss of the credit card (and sometimes the three-digit security code in the signature field of the card). In fact, Sprint has no problem doing this either, as long as you call and talk to a customer service representative (and pay a $5 fee) to accomplish this.

    So my point, which I think is valid, is:

    (a) Sprint has the capability to accept a different billing address
    (b) They'll gladly do this for a $5 fee
    (c) Their argument for not allowing customers to do this themselves on the Web site is "to prevent fraud."

    Now think about this for a minute. If I stole a credit card, and I'm using it to make a bogus payment, do you really think I *care* about a $5 fee? Not only that, how likely am I to have the exact billing address of the credit card, which I *still* need to provide the live customer service rep?

    At one point, the Web site showed both the "billing address" for my account, and the "credit card billing address." So basically, Sprint's billing software even has the database tables set up for this feature.

    2) I agree that I signed up for the plan, it had a $5.95 MRC, and I messed up by forgetting to cancel it. I also agree that it isn't Sprint's fault that I forgot to do that. I didn't even ask Sprint to credit it back. All I asked Sprint to do, which I thought was reasonable, was--if they insisted on collecting it (and thereby losing my business, because they could not offer me a more competitive plan), to collect it from the credit balance in one of my other Sprint acconts. I mean, I already have over $450 in Sprint credits ($400 on the wireline side, $50 and change on the PCS side), so it seems ridiculous that I should have to write a check to Sprint to settle this balance. While I certainly think Sprint could stand to offer some more competitive long distance plans, it's their right not to be competitive--and my right to cancel service.

    3) One of my friends changed from a plan with an 8pm off-peak to one with a 9pm off-peak. The representative failed to clearly explain that this was the case, and then Sprint PCS refused to either credit back the resulting overage minutes or switch him back to his previous plan. Even worse, he'd agreed to a 1 year contract extension in the process, so there would have been a $150 fee to cancel. That's why I say "sorry, sucker." If Sprint is going to make a material adverse change to your plan terms, they really need to be sure you're clearly notified before it takes effect. I understand that it is Sprint PCS policy that this should take place, but obviously, it doesn't always happen. Verizon, through their "worry free guarantee," gives you a 1 month "undo" privilege on changes you make to your account. That was one of the key reasons I chose to go with them; if you make a change you aren't happy with, you don't get stuck with it.

    All of that aside, I think Sprint would be more competitive by offering some 8pm off-peak upgrade plans for existing customers. It's actually impossible as an 8pm off-peak customer to buy a bigger plan from Sprint with an 8pm off-peak without threatening to cancel your service. Somehow, this doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but it's Sprint's choice whether or not to be competitive (in my case, they weren't; I jumped to Verizon before they went to a 9pm off-peak, and to be fair, I'll point out that Verizon is equally remiss in this area).
     
  10. LowTech

    LowTech Junior Member
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    Whoa...I must be bored to read both of your posts completely. But you make your points so well that I became very interested in finishing both of your posts entirely. I also switched from Verizon and I must say that they have the best customer service that I have dealth with between Cingular and Sprint. The have however made mistakes on billing me the last two months. They did correct the problem immediately, but it still shouldnt happen two months in a row. I have called them quite a bit last couple months adding/deleting features, paying my bill, just being curious about how things are billed; and I must say that when they say, "as part of our worry free guarantee, your problem becomes our problem and we will do our best to make sure it gets solved the first time (not and exact quote)," they mean it.
     

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