Sprint almost drives me to suicide.

My letter to Sprint through PlanetFeedback.com, which is a site that I strongly recommend to anyone with an honest complaint.

Sprint almost drives me to suicide.

The world thrives on communication today, which is why I'm so upset with the overall experience at Sprint Long Distance. Quite honestly, I'm furious about this issue. Just for the record, here's my telephone information: XXXX and XXXX.

I have had nothing but a poor experience with Sprint. Initially, I contacted Sprint the second or third week of August. I had purchased a new house and was closing on the house on August 24th. The person I spoke with was very professional and very friendly. She set me up with a plan (unlimited long distance), gave me the two new phone numbers (I was having a second line installed), and told me that Sprint would be there on Wednesday, August 25th to install the phones between 3 PM and 6 PM. It was going to cost me $120 or so a month, but I was very happy.

At 6:30 PM, I called Sprint from my cellphone and asked if the technician was coming anytime soon. The person who answered my call was once again, very professional and friendly, and searched diligently. However, she was unable to locate my order anywhere. As we spoke, she admitted that sometimes an inexperienced customer service representative may accidentally DELETE a work order rather than SUBMIT it, and not even know! I thought that was brilliant programming on Sprint's part. So, we set up a new date to have (1) phone service for two brand new lines (XXXX and XXXX) turned on, and (2) to have someone come out and actually install line 2 so that I could access it from a specific jack. The technician was scheduled to come out on August 31st between 11 and 1.

Would that this twere the end of my tale. Alas, it is not to be. At 2:30 PM, I called Sprint and inquired nicely about my service and wanted to know if they were delayed. The representative was once again, very friendly and professional. She informed me that my lines were to be turned on that day, by 8 PM, but she didn't see any work order in the system to have a technician actually come in to install or setup any phone lines. I asked her when we could schedule that, and she said that the earliest they could do that was September 15th. I reminded her that today was August 31st, and asked if there was any earlier date, and she said no.

Guess what? At 8 PM, no phone service. I waited until 9, just to make sure she wasn't telling me Central Time instead of Eastern Time. At 9:00 PM, I called Sprint and spoke to someone who was once again very professional and nice. He said that the file showed that the technician tried to turn the lines on but had a problem, decided to go home for the day, and maybe would show up the next day to do it. At this point, I was resigned to the fact that I was going to have a $600 cellphone bill because it was impossible to actually get any phone service.

The next day . . . my doorbell rang! As I was recovering from the massive heart attack, I answered, and a technician told me he was turning on my phones. I asked him if he was also supposed to install a line in my house, and he said that he didn't know anything about that, but he'd be happy to do so. He was excellent, and I commend you for hiring him. He did a great job and was very quick and professional. He left, and my phones worked! I could make and receive calls!

However, my joy was short-lived. Sometime during Hurricane Frances, as the winds buffeted the trees and as the house shook tremendously, my phone lines remained active. I was able to stay in touch with my parents halfway across the state and with my wife in Italy where she was luckily on a trip and missing the storm. However, all of a sudden . . . (don't let the suspense kill you - keep reading) . . . my long distance was "temporarily discontinued"! Wow, that was wonderful. I had no cell service because of the hurricane and Sprint decided that I didn't deserve this wonderful long distance.

It couldn't be because I didn't pay the bill - I just set up the service a week ago. Maybe someone saw the calls to Italy and decided that they should safeguard the phone in the middle of a hurricane in Central Florida by shutting off my long distance. I call for service, and I'm told that anyone who has any control over that is off work until Tuesday! So they're able to automatically shut off my long distance without telling me (until after the fact, obviously), but nobody can help me?

So I wait until Tuesday. Cell phone service is restored, so I am able to resume spending hundreds of dollars on cell service instead of the long distance service I asked for. I call Sprint customer service yet again (and yes, I do have the number memorized now and in fact dream about it most nights) and after waiting on hold for almost 45 minutes, I speak to yet another professional, friendly customer service representative.

The day is Tuesday, September 7th. It's 8:30 AM. The representative explains that she can't find either of my phone numbers in the system as belonging to me. One of them belongs to someone else, and one of them doesn't exist in the system. Then she finds me in the system and says "Oh, you're not supposed to have service turned on until the 15th". I explain this entire situation, without the sarcasm that I have so artfully used here, and ask to speak to a supervisor. She says that the supervisor is on the phone and will call me back as soon as she can.

So I wait three hours, and call back. This time I get another friendly, professional customer service representative. He listens to my tale of woe, and suggests that maybe I should just wait until the 15th and everything should be fine. I said that really wasn't acceptable, since I was going to have to sell my new house just to pay Cingular. I asked again to speak to a supervisor. He asked me to hold, and came back and said that his supervisor was on the phone, but he talked to him and they had a plan.

Chapter 12: The Plan___

"So," the representative says, "we'll enable 10-10-333 on your phone, and tie it into your current rate plan. You'll just have to dial it before you make any calls until September 15th, and you should be all set."

Brilliant! As long as I can make calls from my actual telephone, I'm happy, giddy with excitement. I heap thanks upon this representative and hang up.

But . . . guess what? It doesn't work? I dial 10-10-333, my number, and a friendly, professional automated voice tells me that my long distance has been temporarily suspended. I waited two hours, tried again, still that mocking automated voice.

I couldn't bring myself to call customer service again because just pressing the buttons on the phone created a Pavlovian response - I just sobbed and fell on the floor. So, instead, I'm writing you a letter that will explain my entire situation and hope that it never happens to anyone ever again.

Here's what I'd like to see happen: Train your customer service people and re-do your system. A company your size should have overrides and troubleshooting that actually works. I should not have to wait a month to get actual phone service, especially when I have no choice but to use your company for local service. I can get another long distance provider, and I plan on doing so shortly. I may go with Vonage and get rid of all phone companies after this experience.

I hope you get back to me soon. In this age of modern communication, seemingly simple things should not go unresolved.

Adam A.
Altamonte Springs, FL

2 Thoughts:

Blogger EmGee said...

I totally understand your plight with Sprint.. You have my deepest sympathy...

9/07/2004 2:13 PM  
Blogger Avitable said...

One of the worst companies in the world, IMHO. Deregulation of the telephone industry has made it one of the worst to deal with, ever.

9/10/2004 1:14 PM  



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