Yesterday I had two customer service experiences that are at opposite ends of the spectrum.
I discovered the night before that my Kindle Fire HD I bought on black Friday last year had static in the sound. I rarely use the sound so have no idea how long it had been like this, but figured my year long warranty was just about up. So, I got online as soon as I got up, spent less than two minutes searching for information on how to get service and used their marvelous system where you enter a phone number and they call you back. My wait time was less than a minute. A nice lady came on, had me restart it, determined the problem still existed, and asked how I’d like the new unit shipped out. I asked them to ship it by a slower method to Kansas, so it will arrive at the same time I will. They offered to ship it two day at no charge. Total elapsed time: 1:37 minutes. Yes, less than two minutes.
Yesterday I also needed to deal with the ongoing issue of my Samsung Galaxy II with Sprint service. In the last few months I have devoted at least – and I’m not exaggerating – at least 30 hours of my life to dealing with this phone and the fact that the charging port continually needs to be repaired. It won’t charge. Again. Unfortunately, I’m not at home where the service guys all know me and just take it from me when I walk in the door, knowing what needs to be done. I love those guys – they should medals from Sprint, but if Sprint treats employees like they treat customers I’m guessing there’e little hope of that.
So, I drove to Paducah – an hour long plus round trip, to take it to a repair center there. But, the repair centers listed on the Sprint website – YES, on their own website – didn’t answer the phone. I spent over an hour calling various Sprint stores, talking to corporate, etc. Eventually, they directed me to a Sprint store that listed open hours until 7 yesterday. After two phone calls for directions, we found the place – their sign was not lit up. I went in and chatted with a very nice young lady who told me she couldn’t repair the phone because she hadn’t been trained on it. She said they were a new store. Then she said they’d been there since May. I’m not sure which is true. I just know my phone is a brick. Total elapsed time: 3 hours 48 minutes. No resolution.
I now have my old Evo charging, which I brought with me because my Galaxy II is a piece of junk. Actually, it was a great phone for about a year, which is when phones need to be replaced, which brings me to yet another thing I’m really ticked off at Sprint about. I’ve always had a yearly upgrade. This is the first one that has been expected to last for a year. It hasn’t. I’m also not sure what I’m getting for my Total Equipment Protection money. Although, in fairness, somewhere along the way someone offered to replace the phone with another Galaxy II, which seemed a bit insane to me, since the charging port is a “known problem.” Why set up a new phone with all my customizations to just be making the same regular treks to the store to have the charging port worked on? They offered the same thing in Paducah, but I won’t be here next week when they could get another one in. I offered to pay the difference to just upgrade the phone when it started having problems, but they wouldn’t let me do that.
I have been a Sprint customer since 1999. They talk a lot about valuing me as a customer, inbetween apologizing to me for the phone problems and the coverage problems. I wish they’d employ fewer people to apologize to me and more people to address the issues they have people apologizing about. I’ve been with them 14 years and have never been late with a payment, and yet I could consistently get a better deal if I were a brand new customer.
When they lost the Nextel network, my coverage went to pretty much all roaming if I get five miles from my house. They also disabled an app I used once or twice a year to use my phone as a hot spot. They want me to pay them even more money to do that. I’ve been paying an extra $10 a month for years now to use a 4G network I couldn’t access.
I want some basic things from my cell phone company:
2. A new phone every year
3. Decent service when needed. Everyone I’ve ever dealt with is very pleasant and wants to be helpful, but they can’t actually address any issues.
4. To use whatever app I want however I want.
5. To be appreciated for being a good customer – throw me a perk every once in awhile. It’s cheap for you and it makes me a happy customer. I tend to tell people when I’m happy as well as when I’m not.
6. Stop apologizing to me. It just ticks me off because I recognize it as a way to avoid actually dealing with the issue.
7. Unlimited everything – I don’t have the energy to monitor my data usage. That’s not how I want to spend my time.
So, I’ve been shopping. I’ve come to the conclusion cell phone companies are the new airlines. They all do bad business because no one is doing it well so there’s no where to run.
At this point, I’m open to bidders. Long term customer who always pays her bill on time looking for cell phone company who will actually appreciate her. Any takers?