More Sprint Follies

My poor phone had one heck of a day today. I know it is just a phone…but now I am kind of starting to feel bad I will be putting it out to pasture tomorrow…or Wednesday if the office doesn't sign for it when UPS delivers.

It isn't that my phone is old, bad, or unworthy. However, last week I made the commitment to make my writing my full time focus. Of course, I still have to keep my full time job for now. I'm lucky enough to have a decent job that usually doesn't suck, pays relatively well and has pretty good benefits. I will need that to keep the bills paid until I have enough work to make ends meet. Still, that also means I need a phone with more memory. I love my Blackberry Pearl, but memory is an issue.

My Sprint contract was up in March, and after some stalking, Sprint backed down. I didn't want to use my upgrade and then be stuck with the Curve for two years. I know Sprint leaves a lot to be desired for most people. I agree that for the most part their customer service is sub par. Their online chat is a joke. They take forever to get new phones because apparently it is against their religion to have an exclusive contract with RIM for one of the new models. I heard rumors that the "Tour" would be out for Sprint by July, but July is nearly here and I've heard no official release date. I was starting to look at my other options…and none of them looked good.

Then Sprint called me on Father's Day. It was just another one of the stalkerish follow up calls, but today I was willing to give them a chance. I asked the young lady when Sprint would be getting a new Blackberry model. She told me there were no dates in the near future. She was very nice about it, but this is not what I want to hear. Still, this girl is being pretty nice, so I decide to give her a chance. I explain my situation to her. I tell her I have a Blackberry Pearl. I love it, but I need more memory for my growing business. I want to upgrade, but I have issues with using my upgrade on a Curve when there are newer models with newer features I would rather have. I explain I have been holding off on getting a contract because of this, but now I am in a bad spot. I know the world isn't fair, but how is it fair to me to get stuck with the Curve for two years when chances are good that they will get new models in early next year.

Of course she tries to push me towards the Instinct, Palm Pre, and HTC Touch. I tell her I have heard awful things about the Instinct and the HTC from everyone who has owned one. I also explain that Palm may be a great product, but I am just not a fan. Blackberries meet my needs better. This is where the girl got MAJOR bonus points. She stopped trying to sell me the phones I didn't want. Instead, she looked at my account again and noticed I was a "preferred" customer. Really? Okay, I vaguely remember getting some e-mail about being a preferred customer for my four years of service and paying my bill on time. However, I was so sick of hearing from Sprint at the time I probably just ignored it. Apparently, one of the perks is we get the option for the full upgrade every 12 months as opposed to 24. So, If I get the Curve today, I can get it for $50 after the mail in rebate, sent over night for free, no activation fee, and I get a $70 credit on my account. If they do get new phones within the next 12 months, I can still upgrade next June.

Ok all is good in the world. I'm happy. The sales rep is happy because she got a sale. It is win/win.

The next morning the phone works fine. I get calls and even texts and e-mails until 11:30ish. Then suddenly nothing is coming through. Really, I didn't think much about it. I was to busy to be actually paying attention. I checked my e-mail just before lunch, and I saw I had additional messages (including one saying my new phone had shipped), but I figured the system was just having issues. The Facebook Application is temperamental at times, and I know there have been outages on the Gmail and Sprint sides in the past. Then I tried to make a call as I left work. It told me my account could not be validated. Once I was home, and remembered how to do the whole *2 thing, I was bounced around from rep to rep until they finally sent me to Blackberry support. I told them what was happening and they told me to hang up and call from a land line so they could talk me to reprogramming my phone. I told them I didn't have a land line, and they hung up on me. I called back, played the game to get back to Blackberry support and that is when the guy said "okay Miss Hammitt, so something went wrong with the activation of your new Curve." That is when I had to explain to the man that my Curve was in a box and in process of being shipped. The earliest I had it would be tomorrow. For all I know it did work, but seeing how I didn't have it that did me very little good. The guy apologized, told me to hang up and do a battery pull. Let him do a few things on his end and it would be fine. I did that and the phone still didn't work.

Annoyed, I drove to the nearest Sprint corporate store. They were slammed…which wasn't their fault. They were doing their best to keep things going. I told my story to the one employee. Within five minutes he determined that customer service didn't reactivate my Pearl, and he fixed the problem

Now my poor phone has been struggling to recover from her downtime. I'm randomly getting voicemails and text messages that were sent through out the day. She is getting quite the little work out in her last 24 hours of active duty.

Grade Card at the end of the day:

Sales rep who helped me get my new phone for basically free and was really helpful: A

Free overnight shipping: A

Great Data Plan: A

Getting my "new" phone activated before I had it…thus disconnecting my current phone: C (annoying but a simple mistake)

The first customer service rep hanging up on me for not having a land line: F

The second CS rep who said he fixed the problem, but really was still just activating the wrong phone after I said several times this is about my Pearl not the Curve: F

The Corporate Store being awesome and fixing my problem in less than ten minutes: A

Well Sprint…you came through for me on the important things. Honestly, that is what keeps my loyalty. Even when I am beyond annoyed that you guys can't seem to get a contract with RIM and waste your time on the Instinct and HTC, I stay for the little things like the well priced data plan and the corporate stores always taking care of me. Now I just pray I never have to deal with your phone support staff ever again…and if I do they are better trained J!


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