Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Free at last...?

Earlier I blogged about the horrendous experience I had with Sprint customer service.

The saga continues. This morning my Treo stopped working. I called customer service. After a long time on the phone with them, they instructed me to go downtown to a service center, which they said could repair it on the spot in a few minutes. I went to the service center. They looked at the phone and said "We can't fix this; you have to get a new phone." I had two options - buy a new phone there in the store and start a new contract, or let them order me a new one but not have to extend my contract. Terrible choice, and I could not decide, so since I was in a hurry, I left to come back to the office.

But at lunch, I had an idea. Why not just use my old Nextel phone for this number? After all, Nextel is now part of Sprint, and I had originally transferred the number from my Nextel phone anyway. The woman on the phone was very nice, but after 15 minutes of telling me what to do, another person picked up the phone, asked for my name, number, etc. again and said "Oh, you know what, you can't transfer from a Sprint phone to a Nextel phone."

"In that case, I will cancel my account, " I replied, and she said that she would happily transfer me to account cancellation.

This afternoon, I had time to call Sprint again. The guy was nice again. He said, "Let me help you with this. How about we give you one of those fancy new Centro phones at half price and agree not to extend your contract."

"Fine," I replied, "that is a fair deal." He told me to wait while he set that up. A few minutes later, he came back on and said,

"Great, I have ordered the phone. Today is Wednesday, so let's see... you should definitely have the new phone in your hands by Monday."

"Monday?" I replied. "But I need a phone now. I thought I was going to be able to go back to that same service center I was at this morning and just pick up the phone there. What am I going to do for a phone? I am going to New York on a business trip Friday and need to have it for that."

"Oh, I am sorry, you can't pick it up at that store; that's not how it works. The only thing I can suggest is to see if a friend will lend you his cell phone or something."

Sprint has been on the ropes lately, and it is not hard to see why.

What does this have to do with philanthropy? Stay tuned....

UPDATE 11/05: They did ship me a new phone. That is the good news. But...they shipped to the wrong address. I called again on Saturday morning. After asking if I would go to that old address for them and try to find the phone, they promised to send a new one and assured me 100% it would arrive Monday morning. No phone today. I spent 1 hour on the phone with them, only to have them tell me that it will be delivered tomorrow. Hopefully.

Maybe it is a blessing to be unwired for a while.