I called in approximately 1150p on Weds night figuring that by the time they got to me that the promo would be active. Because of how I'm doing the upgrade (upgrading one line but activating it on another) I have to either do this by phone or at one of the Company owned Stores. I was kept on hold until 1245am when my call suddenly went dead. I had tried to call in with my cell *2 while I was on hold but got messages that Sales and Service closed at Midnight EST which leads me to believe that everyone went home and my call was just rollng around the system lost until the system kicked me. This wasn't the first time I've had this happen to me either (I called CS one morning and they weren't open yet but the automated system threw me into a holding queue.Nothing indicated that they weren't open so I was on hold for quite a while before I gave up). Not being able to get through and with website crashes, I was able to eventually do an in store reserve with a pickup of 11am Monday morning.I received my confirmation email at 144am EST Thursday morning. I received another email early Saturday saying that the response was more than expected and to call the store to make sure that the phone was in stock. If it wasn't, it would be ordered and I would still receive it at the "Black Friday" pricing. Sunday morning, I received another email confirmation/reminder that I had the appointment Monday morning. So.... here's where the fun started...
I called the store Sunday and was told call back Monday before my appointment. I called back Monday morning, was told UPS hadn't delivered yet and to call back after 1pm. I called about 115p and was asked immediately for my name to verify I was on the confirmation list. My name wasn't there according to the lady on the phone. I offered my conf# but she refused it. She was the first one in 3 calls to actually ask me my name or check the list which I find curious as well. So after going around and around with her she got permission from her manager to add me to the list. I asked if I was at the bottom and how many were on it and was told that she wasn't allowed to give out that info. So, I asked for the manager. I asked him the same thing. He said he couldn't tell me but to assume that was the case. I offered to come out (45 min drive) and bring my copies of my confirmation so they could insert me into the list where I should have been at instead of at the end. I was told and I quote "IF you have the confirmation information you need to bring it when we call you. Somehow I doubt you have the information" and then " You're just damned lucky that we are putting you on the list at all. If this was another business, it would have been first come first served and when they were out they were out. Tough luck." I explained to him that I am physically disabled and standing in line for one at the store was not something I could have easily done. I can stand for maybe 10 minutes at a time with long rests in between. I asked him if he felt that it was reasonable that I should have showed up, stood in line for 10 minutes and then ask the people around me to hold my place while I sat in the car? He laughed and said, "your loss then" which infuriated me. I hung up and called the other Sprint location, which was down the street at the mall and asked if I was accidentally on his list. He said they weren't even dealing with the reserve lists. I guess that only the company stores in our area were?!? Being absolutely livid , I called *2 to not only report this manager's specific behavior but to see what could be done. I had two purposes at this point. To report was the manager rude and inferring that I was lying about this and to get me moved up the list at my store. Let's say 200 reserves were taken and my time stamp put me at #20 but they put me at #201 because they didn't have the reservation. I just wanted to be treated fairly...
After 2 hours of talking to people which included being disconnected 4x (curiously it happened EVERY TIME when the rep put me on hold and went to read what the prior person documented on the call), being on hold at one point 15 mins then suddenly the hold message turned into Spanish (this gentleman was sooo nice to me and did his best to get me to the right person. He told me that I should just be able to order it by phone but he had to transfer me to the right area), being told by another rep that she could order me the phone so I wouldn't have to deal with the store at all (my daughter was paying for this and she was at work so I refused to pay for it myself cause I'd never see the money back) and being told that she would document the file so I could call back when she got home, I ended up with a woman who said that since I had reserved it at the store she wanted to call them and see if she could get me moved up the list based on my timestamp instead of ordering it by phone as the other rep had noted. (trust me I got names, ID numbers and Interaction numbers which are their internal record numbers with specific agents) She was insistent on calling my store and wanted to put me on hold. It was after midnight EST and the store was closed. How she saw that I was in Ohio and assumed the store was still open was beyond me... I reminded her that the store was closed. I thought she was going to offer to call them when they opened. Instead she said that she was going to get this escalated to someone who could do something about it. I was then transferred to a very nice man who read all the notes, apologized for all of my issues, took the complaint about the manager and ordered the phone for me. I thanked him profusely and decided that that my persistance paid off. He said that it may take up to a week to ship, which is fine to me especially since he was able to better the price! (I'm not sharing how much because I don't want to either get him in trouble for doing something special or start a riot with people calling demanding that pricing as well.. I hope you can understand why I'm not revealing the cost).
So fast forward to about an hour ago. The store calls me and asks if I still want the phone as they have gotten a couple in that haven't been claimed yet. My option was get there ASAP for blue or settle on a white one. I laughed and briefly told the woman that the issue was resolved and the phone was ordered. She said that she saw the notes and wasn't clear what had transpired. I told her thank you and that someone else could have that phone. I also told her the price I got it at which she replied with dead air and then a WOW! Then I inquired as to whether the manager I had spoken to was an assistant or the store manager. I was told he was an assistant. I then told her what he had told me and she started to apologize like crazy and to please give their store another chance. I moved here a year ago and have had two bad interactions and one good one. My old store knew me by name. I have 5 lines and we had an issue getting a phone to work in Amish Country for my Dad so I dealt with many of the reps/managers to find one that worked. I told the gal on the phone that I would just call first and make sure this particular person wasn't working. Apparently he is a new manager and I'm hoping my complaint either knocks him back down a few pegs or gets him properly trained on how to deal with customers.
The bottom line here is persistence is the key. I see where some stores asked for the phones to be guaranteed with a $ amount. I don't see what is wrong with that, especially if it's a non company store. The vendors are taking huge risk ordering tons of phones and cannot necesarily get reimbursed properly for ones that don't sell. I'm sure they would be able to sell them but I can understand why they are taking payment holds. They should be accepting the reservations since there was nothing on the site to state that non company stores weren't participating. With the price that they are being sold for, I would gladly guarantee one just to get it at the $49.99. I would have been paying for it at time of purchase if I had ordered it online, by phone or at the store. Guaranteeing the order isn't too much to ask, especially in these economic times.
Hopefully my story will help others out. I do agree that Sprint was not prepared for the response to this promotion. Hopefully they learn from it so it doesn't happen again. Getting the run around wasn't fun nor time efficient for me but my daughter needs a new phone since hers is almost DOA. So, I dealt with the bull pucky needed to get the issue resolved. Just remember that the employees are just as frustrated as we are. Yelling at them won't score you points. In fact, one rep yesterday said that I was the first call he had gotten the whole day that wasn't yelling at him. They are stuck in this nightmare as well. I'm sure that if economic times were better and other jobs were available that many would walk out because of this. Remember they are just as much victims as we are. The company screwed up and they are on the front lines dealing with the fall out. I used to work for a major company taking customer calls and I've been there, too. There is no excuse for them to treat anyone disrespectfully, even if they are getting yelled at. Before you yell though, put yourself in their shoes for a minute.