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What happened to Sprint? An open question to Daniel Hesse?


What happened to Sprint? An open question to Daniel Hesse?

Dear Dan,

I as one of the many bought into your "We are turning around Sprint" commercials 4-5ish years ago, trying to rebuild the brand and show everyone that you can compete with the big tier 1 carriers in the industry.  But what has happened to Sprint as of late?  For the past years I have watched as you forced me out of my 99.99 simply everything plan, which was ok I understand the backhaul costs involved in a large carrier and that smart phones will cost more to run on the network.  I was hesitant to but I added a second line after going month-to-month for about a year while the customer service department would send me emails/make phone calls offering amazing upgrades for re-signing with the newest phones etc etc. Eventually I added a second line and re-signed, still satisfied with the service for the most part, then you pulled two things on me after that; "you HAVE to have insurance when you have a smart phone through sprint in case you break it, lose it or have it stolen, it’s a must to have it covered" which I did insure.  Also you then reworked my bill in a way to raise it, ala Comcast, when I called to ask why my bill was a higher rate you actually told me before I could even have a chance to ask to have it lowered back down to what we had negotiated on as a contract that I could cancel at anytime for 30 days at no charge, past that I had to ride it out, you never even offered to make it right.

So here we are this past weekend, one of my phones is stolen.  I wait a few hours to ensure I did not lose said phone to come to the full conclusion that it is gone.  I first engage sprint to try and get the phone deactivated (which at the writing of this text I have no idea), sprint tells me to download a google play app to see if I can find it and tells me that’s what I should do.  A few hours later I go to the sprint store to try and see how it works to get a replacement phone and ensure that my phone is deactivated so that no one actually buys anything or uses it, they not only tell me to "dial *2" to check the status of the phone they try to sell me a new phone (200$) and a sprint at home landline solution for 20$ a month. really??? when I make mention of possibly upgrading early (as in I’m saying after 4 years of your subpar customer service I’m willing to resign for another 2 years at the moment since at the very least your service is tolerable) I’m told that it’s not possible to do that?? I have to pay 100$ for insurance to cover my phone.  Why would I pay 100$ for a refurbed phone that will be upgraded if I were to resign in 6 months?? I would STILL HAVE TO pay another 150-200 again for a new phone!  I ask to speak to someone else about that, the other gentleman in the store says, to dial *2 and talk to customer service.  As a side note, if anyone from Sprint customer service ever actually reads this, or if anyone asks me about what happens ill be sure to tell them that; A. it’s not very nice to talk down to customers (this was the second gentleman) and also that it’s really not smart to just keep saying "*2" when the sprint store is located RIGHT next door to a Verizon store.

After getting rate plans from Verizon and seeing that after discounts its almost the exact same price, I then call customer service up directly, "*2".  The first woman I speak with is rather nice, she is understanding but tells me she cannot directly do anything and asks me to hold one second so she can grab her manager.  Her manager then tells me that A. it doesn’t matter how long I have been with the company, I will not get an early upgrade, my options are to 1. pay the 100$, 2. buy a phone full price 3. buy a phone on craigslist or ebay 4. pay the cancelation fee and walk away.  I ask to speak to the retention department. 

The retention department gentleman comes on and AGAIN he is very understanding, BUT he refuses to help, same as above were his answers just in a less patient form.  After working in retail I refuse to stoop to the level of "that customer" that yells and whines and screams and makes everyone upset because they can’t return their lowes brand paint at a home depot, it used to upset me alot, I won’t put others through it.  But my hope in writing this letter is to let you know that I will in 9 months or when I can afford to pay out of my contract I will leave the company, I bet that’s when your retention department will offer me some grand deal or more phone credits or a free charger to keep me as a customer.  After all those commercials and all the attempt to rebuild the brand you in the end are the same Sprint that pulls 'em in and lets 'em go with no real care.  I will tell my friends who ask me what happened, this story, I will ensure they know and understand that I’m not asking for a free phone.  I'm asking to upgrade early (which WAS an sprint option as of rather recent too, same as the upgrade credit from when I NEVER upgraded my first phone after 3ish years of being a customer) sign another 2 year contract at the same rates and pay the 150-200$ for the modern phone that should last another 2 years. Not pay 100$ to use it for 6 months then have to renew for 2 years then upgrade and spend another 150-200.

What happened to customer service?  Every company talks about it yet no company ever does it until you get so angry that you do explode and get sent to retention, there it’s almost a 50/50 chance that you will be helped and the situation will be made right or you will be told and shown that you don’t matter to the company?  How can sprint just look a person in the eye and say "pay the 100$ for the phone or go to craigslist or ebay?"  I thought my insurance was supposed to cover that? I mean I was told I HAD to have it and that it was meant to take care of situations just like this? I guess it was just a great sales pitch?  Will anyone actually ever read this letter in sprint corporate?  doubtful and at this moment I still have no idea after 3 attempts of contacting sprint if my stolen phone is even deactivated, all I run into is people trying to sell me a new phone, you never even addressed my core issue or tried to make things right before you went to try and sell me some other phone or product.




Re: What happened to Sprint? An open question to Daniel Hesse?

Nathan, Sprint's sole focus is on growing topline revenue and since they are having such a difficult time retaining existing customers and attracting new ones there are only a couple of approaches.  First is for Sprint to stop being the "cheap" carrier but this is extremely dangerous becuase most of us are with Sprint only becuase they are cheap, not becuase they are good.  I think Dan and his peeps are misunderstanding this and actually thinking Sprint has something besides just being cheap whereas we all know they do not.  Sprint is a step, small step, above prepay carriers.  The second approach to grow revenue is an even more dangerous approach but one which Sprint has fallen into and might never recover from.  They extract more money from existing customers by nickel and diming for every interaction whether it makes sense or not.  Take insurance for example.  In every industry, insurance is a HUGE money maker.  There is a reason why Warrenn Buffet has invested billions in insurance providers.  So, Sprint has resorted to turning TEP and insurance into their current gravy train.  Now, the way that you make money from insurance is by degrading all other services to the point that you "punish" the people who are responsible and take care of their things and who choose not to buy insurance.  You do this by being condescending to them when they experience manufacturer defects and warranty issues by not covering them unless they have bought your inflated insurance policy.  It is kind of like an auto maker saying they won't honor any defect or warrany unless you buy their overinflated price extended warranty.  Then, when their electrical defect causes a fire after 30 days of owning the car they say you should have bought extended coverage.  So, Sprint has taken the approach of catering only to those segments that are at high risk of events or the uneducated who are scared into buying it by some slick willy saleperson.  Or, those who are slammed into it by unethical Sprint salespeople which has happened to me on 3 of my 5 lines in most recent upgrades which I promptly cancelled though i am sure they still snaked away with their commissions.  Sprint is driving away their responsible customers in favor of those who are willing to drop an extra $100+ a year and deductibles.  This so called "strategy" of driving more customers to buy insurance is only driving more customers to the brink of leaving for a more ethical (does one exist) provider.  I am about fed up with their stuff.

Finally, you call out to Dan Hesse.  First, Dan and his cronies get special treatment when they have issues so they don't have to experience the shoddy customer service and unethical sales tactics that the common person does.  Also, you only have to look back to the Dan's keynote at CTIA in 2010? where he stated "we are not going to charge more for 4G" right before, uhm, they charge more for "data" which just happens to only apply to 4G.  So, if you cannot trust the mouthpiece at the top, why would you expect anything different than what we continue to see from Sprint?  I am going to continue to put up with their shenanigans until they raise prices or until their stupidity causes unbearable frustrations.  I am not a happy Sprint customer but I am a Sprint customer.

btw, I even offered to sit on customer experience and marketing panels for Sprint but I was told they don't want customers that would consider leaving Sprint.  Ha!


Re: What happened to Sprint? An open question to Daniel Hesse?


I'm very sorry to hear that you're experiencing such frustration with our company.  While there is nothing I can do about the deductible that is necessary to file an insurance claim, I can definitely look into your account to determine what options you might have to upgrade your device. I can't promise anything, but I'll do what I can.  If you wouldn't mind, in order to review your account, I'll need you to send me some information via private message.

To send a private message:

1.  Click on my name (Below my picture)

2.  Select Send a Private Message (Under Actions on the far right)

In order to better assist, I'll need your first and last name, your personal telephone number and your security pin and/or the answer to your security question.  I'll see if I can find an out-of-the-box solution in order to get you the options that you need.



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