4 Replies Latest reply: Jun 30, 2013 8:54 AM by TA2TOOO RSS

Direct connect is killing my business, what can I do?

BUILDERSTRASH1 Newbie
Currently Being Moderated

As a 20+ year customer of Nextel, now Sprint, I am frustrated beyond belief.  I have over 30 phones on my account and I can not reach anyone with anything close to consistency.  Sprint said the service would improve but it actually seems to be getting worse.  What use is Direct connect if it never works?  I pay a premium for this???????  Dan Hesse are you listening?  We are going somewhere else....

  • 1. Re: Direct connect is killing my business, what can I do?
    SDC_01 Valued Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    BUILDERSTRASH1 wrote:

     

    As a 20+ year customer of Nextel, now Sprint, I am frustrated beyond belief.  I have over 30 phones on my account and I can not reach anyone with anything close to consistency.  Sprint said the service would improve but it actually seems to be getting worse.  What use is Direct connect if it never works?  I pay a premium for this???????  Dan Hesse are you listening?  We are going somewhere else....

    We use Sprint Direct Connect just for family phones, and coming off of 10 years with Nextel iDEN, so far Sprint's CDMA-based Direct Connect is a real letdown, very frustrating. Knowing that you are experiencing the same frustrations, inefficiency & wasted time trying to use it for your business, I truly feel for you.

     

    It's crazy the way that Sprint Direct Connect works fine about 50% of the time for us, and refuses to connect the other half of the time. With two phones side-by-side, both with three or four bars of signal strength and with the 3G indicator lit up, they will just flat refuse to connect. We get a lot of "code 900" and "code 320" errors on our Kyocera Torque PTT phones, and it's a complete mystery given that both phones indicate they SHOULD be able to DC. BTW, when we turn our Airave2.5 on at home, Direct Connect goes away altogether, and the only solution is to turn off the Airave and muddle along with really slow 3G data.

     

    I have no idea what causes this extremely unreliable Sprint Direct Connect behavior. It's almost as if the Qualcomm system, or Sprint's 3G network, or the handsets themselves, are all designed to push Direct Connect to the bottom of the priority list. I dunno, maybe it's to maximize battery life by turning off 3G until it's called upon, but obviously for PTT, that strategy will never work, because Nextel customers & those who need PTT for their jobs are accustomed to instant & reliable PTT connections. Whatever the cause is, based on our regular travels in Los Angeles, San Diego, Ventura, Santa Barbara & Kern counties in southern CA, it is an absolute truism that Nextel iDEN was working 100% for us, whereas Sprint's CDMA-based Sprint Direct Connect (a.k.a. "Sprint Doesn't Connect") works only about 50% of the time for us.

     

    When iDEN goes dark next month, America will have lost one of the best telecommunications systems ever built, and it's sure to make every long-time Nextel customer heartsick, because we'll never see anything that reliable and high-performance for PTT ever again. I know the data-hungry "smartphone" users and legacy Sprint customers all hate Nextel and are salivating at the thought of Nextel's shutdown so Sprint can re-farm the iDEN spectrum to CDMA & LTE, but IMO it is sad that Sprint chose to manage the iDEN resource & customer base as shortsightedly & ineptly as they have. They could have done it differently and kept everyone happy, but the "legacy Sprint" blinders worn by management caused them to make very short-sighted decisions that ultimately has poisoned the well and left no one happy.

     

    Good luck trying to be heard & get anything fixed. You might get lucky and get a private message from a Sprint employee saying they want to help you, but so far all my experiences have proven that even though you get one sympathetic customer support person, there is nothing they can really do for you. I think it's because PTT is a foreign concept to the legacy Sprint people; it's just one more service added to CDMA, it's not a heart-and-soul-of-the-business understanding like it was with the original Nextel employees, and all of those original Nextel people appear to be gone. IMO, Sprint's attempt to hold onto the last few PTT customers is a half-hearted "band aid" effort—there is no longer anything resembling a "PTT soul" like there was with Nextel. In other words, no one at Sprint really gets it where PTT performance & use is concerned.

     

    Good luck to you trying to run a business on Sprint Direct Connect if you were dependent on the PTT performance of Nextel's iDEN. Sprint Direct Connect is not yet, and may never be, even a shadow of the performer that Nextel Direct Connect on iDEN was, in terms of always-on, always instant PTT connections.

  • 2. Re: Direct connect is killing my business, what can I do?
    TA2TOOO Regular Visitor
    Currently Being Moderated

    I agree. I have given up with Sprint. It is NOT going to get any better. I have put in trouble tickets, and gotten many responses from Customer Service, who really try, but can't get the SDC to work. I have several phones,down from a high of 26 phones, and do not have any intention of ever replacing them.They will never match the performance of IDEN. My employees need the radio and do not need the phone. I have a few phones that we try to use Sprint Direct Connect on, but more times than not, we have to finish conversations on a phone call in lieu of SDC.

  • 3. Re: Direct connect is killing my business, what can I do?
    SDC_01 Valued Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    TA2TOOO wrote:

     

    I agree. I have given up with Sprint. It is NOT going to get any better. I have put in trouble tickets, and gotten many responses from Customer Service, who really try, but can't get the SDC to work. I have several phones,down from a high of 26 phones, and do not have any intention of ever replacing them.They will never match the performance of IDEN. My employees need the radio and do not need the phone. I have a few phones that we try to use Sprint Direct Connect on, but more times than not, we have to finish conversations on a phone call in lieu of SDC.

     

    And yet, as recently as this week, Sprint's PR machine is still spewing lies that Sprint Direct Connect is as at least good as Nextel's iDEN-based Direct Connect, and that if you migrate from iDEN to CDMA you'll have 3X the PTT coverage area that Nextel had. From Sprint itself:

     

     

    Problem is, none of what Sprint says about the CDMA-based Sprint Direct Connect is true. Under laboratory conditions it might be as quick as Nextel iDEN in terms of connection speeds, but in the real world, Sprint Direct Connect is nowhere near as reliable as iDEN PTT was, and because Sprint Direct Connect is so unreliable and refuses to connect much of the time, effectively the coverage area for Sprint's CDMA PTT is LESS THAN that of Nextel iDEN.

     

    Also, as you can see from the Sprint executive's quote above, PTT is a mere footnote in Sprint's game plan, it's "all show & no go". They are totally focused on the LTE buildout and the bidding war between Softbank & Dish, and their BS PR about their new CDMA PTT is nothing more than lip service designed to keep the last few Nextel customers from leaving. Based on the myriad complaints from business owners & individuals on Sprint's very own website, Sprint does not want to hear about any real-world problems with their network, and my impression is that they actually have no intention of ever fixing PTT. Sprint has never listened to their customers WRT network issues, they always rebuff customers who call or email to notify them of their network deficiencies, Sprint just does not care if you are having poor network performance. Which is a sharp contrast indeed to the original Nextel where they took network issues deadly seriously and encouraged their customers to report network problems so they could be addressed quickly. With the original Nextel, the issues were corrected quickly, and a Nextel CS agent always placed a follow-up call after the network trouble ticket closed, to make sure you were a happy customer and that the problem had actually been fixed. Man, those were the days...

     

    We lost The Nextel Way within the first year after Sprint took over Nextel, and Sprint's customer service, tech support & network support to this day is a very tiny fraction of what Nextel's was. In a few weeks we will also lose what was the most reliable cellular network in America, and the most robust, reliable, high-performing PTT system ever built, bar none. iDEN was not the largest network in terms of coverage, but it was absolutely the most reliable, trustworthy network in America. I know the end of iDEN is near, I've already migrated off of iDEN and onto Sprint's CDMA network, yet I still am having trouble grasping the fact that America's most reliable, best-performing network for PTT (and the second best network for regular voice calls, after Verizon), is about to go dark forever.

  • 4. Re: Direct connect is killing my business, what can I do?
    TA2TOOO Regular Visitor
    Currently Being Moderated

    Encouraging news:

     

         During the last couple of days, my SDC has DRASTICALLY improved. With this latest performance, I am greatly encouraged. My Direct Connect has been working like Nextel used to. No delays or trouble responding to a caller.

    Whatever Sprint has done recently, it is working.

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