I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sprint for unblocking the LTE towers that have already been completed. I understand you made available these towers even though you didn't get to the initial % you originally wanted. I also understand that there are many more towers still to be completed and I hope as they are completed you remember there are users who do appreciate you making them active and activate them as they are completed. I look forward to the rollout in the Los Angeles and Riverside areas where I'm at.
I'm posting this so that you will see that the whiners are not the only ones speaking out and there are users who do appreciate the efforts you have made to launch the available LTE networks early.
For those of you who agree, please post your positive comments below. For everyone else, please read this editorial which kind of sums it up nicely.
Lastly, to Sprint, keep up the good work. I for one appreciate the unblocking of towers that were completed even if I'm not in those areas and hope you continue to activate towers as they are completed rather then hold them. Kudos.
Thank you for the post as well. I'm a new customer to the company and when somebody reads all of these posts, it sounds like Sprint is the worst company on earth! Thank you again for posting something positive and not adding to the daily vitriol!.
There are too many variables involved that make folks lash out. Some are ex-customers that felt burned for one reason or another, others didn't have the service, some just want to get on the I hate bandwagon, etc etc. Thus is the case with so many online community forums that are set up by the carriers. It is not only Sprint, I see it in the AT&T forums, the Verizon forums and lets not even go into the manufacturer ones, those are even worse. Bottom line, there will be countless amounts of folks that complain (for whatever reason) some legit, others not. its the nature of the game.
The trick is to keep it as civil and and constructive as possible. Sprint does listen, otherwise there wouldn't be a forum for discussion at all. Is the response and or deployment fast enough, for some no, for others sure. It takes time to rebuilt a solid network and I know that they are on the right path.
So yeah, as for the topic at hand, there are always going to be those that complain and usually out number those that don't. But as one of the don'ts I too, feel thanks are in order. While Sprint could have easily postponed the launch date until they had more sites up and running, that really does no one any good. They chose (and I agree) to unblock certain sites on the date specified (or earlier). As days go on, more sites will be opened up.
Thank you Sprint.
I agree with the post above. However, I think an average customer assumes that if a particular service is available in his/her city/region it means the service is available everywhere within that area, which leads to a lot of disappointed customers. Some people are aware about the completion %s and are willing to be a little more forgiving, but out of 50M+ customers there are a few million that don't read blogs/tech news websites.
Overall, Sprint is taking the steps in the right direction, and I still believe they are the best value for my buck, but Sprint can and should do a better job communicating their progress with their LTE roll out. Sprint needs to understand that customers believe they are paying for 4G service and feel entitled to using this service. Although Sprint may include service specifics in a tiny font, it doesn't alleviate the feeling of being lied to.
As new customers walk into a Sprint store they get excited by all the new phones, service, and features. They have expectations that only get amplified by sales personnel. Once customers take their new shiny toy home, their expectations are not met, due to less than stellar reception, which prevents people from downloading and using their phone's features.
As a customer, I will not blame myself for having certain expectations. But a lot of "confusion/misunderstand" can be resolved upfront through proper communication. Hence, Sprint needs to figure out a way to communicate the state of their network status without losing new/old customers, and making absolute statements about the availability of their LTE service in certain cities will not help them.
Again, thank you and Robert at S4GRU for trying to bring this to everyone's attention (and the NV coverage he's provided). I definitely look forward to LTE coming to Nashville in the near future.
ACID31962, I feel just like you do. I posted earlier about this (see post below) and I feel that the effort, technically, was great. Fantastic! Sprint has managed to progress on a project that would take other companies twice as long to do.
But, the public relations part of this effort is a nightmare. To understand a user (consumer) point of view, they do not care about technical implementations, test cases, and such that are required to rollout a product. The one and only point is whether it works when it is finally released. I had to learn the hard way that consumers do not care for implementation so much as how it works and this is the perfect example of this. Preparation with marketing, and more importantly, employee awareness, is where Sprint failed in this effort. If I call a Customer Care agent and I have a better idea of what is happening than they do then it is already a good indicator of how poor this effort was communicated to employees and press.
Previous message in the forum:
After reading up about the rollout of LTE by Sprint and checking the coverage maps I have realized something.
It is quite an effort to rollout full coverage for 4G LTE and that it would have been a lot longer to wait if they wanted to release coverage at 100% in the areas released. So, I understand the logic of the release at 40% of the areas, but I (and many others) would consider the intial release a pilot test (as in most cases of technical projects). I am in the technology field (create applications for a living) and I understand the difference between testing and user adoption, but I am pretty sure the average consumer does not. Tech gurus and afficianados understand the logic of what Sprint has done and demand that the average consumer stop whining (the excuse is that nobody forced your hand to buy a new 4G LTE phone before the technology was perfected). Marketing gurus would consider this a nightmare and consumers argue that they were fed promises by customer service - and marketing - that 4G LTE was only a short step away (and it was, but just at 40%). I see the logic in both arguments, but it starts to tilt toward the consumer argument when knowledge of these conditions are not clearly made public by Sprint. The simple solution would be to update the coverage map on the official Sprint site to reflect the conditions, inform your customer service and tech support of the conditions that are happening so they can respond accordingly, and release a statement making consumers clearly aware of the 4G LTE status - in response to complaints. The fact that the average consumer should have to call Sprint Customer Care (who basically knows as much as I do about the status) and make assumptions about the status of 4G LTE are fairly ridiculous. The forums and blogs of any Sprint-associated site will continue to be deluged by consumers with valid complaints (and even trolls) until transparency is made by Sprint on the 4G LTE issue.
I feel that Sprint has fully announced that the LTE is a new buildout and requires updated towers etc.. Users with half a brain should know that anything new needs tuning to make sure it works.. They are also working in a handful of markets to make sure it works.. My guess is the next round of areas that get LTE will be better.. It's a learning curve... I don't live in an LTE area yet but expect it by the end of the year.. Meanwhile I get to enjoy my S3 at 3G and WIFI speeds.. It's a great phone!! Some of these people complain and complain.. Physics only works as well as it can and of course the government gets in the way as well..
Users with half a brain should also know that anything new should work due to thorough testing. Have you ever gotten into a car that is the most recent model and thought, "Well gosh, if it doesn't work, that is okay because it is the latest model and it might need tuning." Don't think so. And, by consumer standards, any product that presents an issue should work properly (as announced), or be addressed quickly (and by quickly I mean same day announcement) - or finally, they should receive compensation.
A perfect example is the latest issue that happened with Google Wallet for the LTEvo and SIII. The comments for the app were flooded with negative ratings until it was fixed. And you know why? Not only because the Google Wallet app had an issue, but because it was never addressed properly by any of the companies involved. I still think it never was... but hey, that is my opinion. And, I also still think it is a great app technically.
I don't think consumers - or Sprint representatives themselves (which is another issue in itself) - know what is going on because a clear announcement has NOT been made by Sprint marketing for the release of 4G LTE. If you take a look at the Sprint News bulletin it says "Sprint 4G LTE is available in 15 cities". And not once, do they mention it is only 40% of the coverage map area in the 15 cities it is supposed to be available in. Granted, there could have been many news feeds previously announcing the status and the particulars of a rollout, but the average consumer - which can be a user that has only half a brain, mind you - only need to view that one news feed to be convinced that 4G LTE should be live and working in their area. Again, I commend Sprint for an effort well done technically, but marketing-wise it is turning out to be a disaster. I have been a Sprint customer forever (1997) , and I have not experienced another competitor's service during that time so I could probably be the epitome of customer dedication. But on this one move, I can understand why SOME consumers are crying out in dismay.
Smotrs, if you were in an area where LTE was released then you'd be a whiner too. Can you even imagine how you look putting out a post like that when your not even in the que??? You're thanking them for something you didn't get, I'm not processing that very easily but maybe I'm just dense.
Like others have said, it's like a heavily advertised car finally released and they break down before being driven off the lot. How well do you think future sales of that will be???
I'm twice retired in the fields of sales and customer service. Here's what I taught folks coming to work in those fields. "It's hard to tell people there were some issues prior to release and here's what we're doing about it for you". Most of the employees were initially hesitant to tell customers any bad news whatsoever. But the truth is customers are better able to handle bad news if told that up front. Most actually think something like "wow, I like these people for being up front with the problems". What gets folks really wrapped around the axel is when you lie to them, then lie again and again just hoping the tech people get the problem fixed fast. Well here's what's happening right now. Sprint has charged to the top recently in customer service. It took a long time after all the problems to earn customer trust. What do you think the next article in Consumer Reports is going to look like after this debacle ??? Bet it won't look good !
Cell service is not a car... you don't get killed or injured if your network speed isn't super fast after all.. Physics and conditions prevents 100% coverage and yeh Sprint decided to release before every area was fully covered because maybe they decided it was better to have some services going now than wait till every tower is up... It's also better for them to have some areas going so they can get real world experience in these first markets... It's sort of like test marketing...
Here's what I see. A LTE market is suppose to be released when it is 40% complete. This first 6 markets were suppose to be complete by mid year. Sprint opened 5 markets 2 weeks after midyear. Not only are they not complete, but they are not even close to 40%. If the first wave markets are this far behind, what do you think about the time frame for the rest?
As I understand the s4gru argument (commending sprint) but I couldn't disagree more. I've been a loyal sprint customer for over 10 years and as a engineer in the IT field I also understand the technical difficulties in rolling out new infrastructure components. But as a consumer, we should be provided the services which we are paying for. For instance, if an individual pays extra for text messaging but are not able to use it then consumer has the right to be upset and ask for reinburstment. It doesn't matter which service whether it be LTE, SMS, road side assitance, etc.
If sprint cannot provide a service they a) shouldn't be offering it, b) should not be charging for it, or c) should disclose that it would not be 100% available in area for another year and let the consumer decide. None of these things were done. Also for the last 2 years I've been paying extra for sprints 4G wimax service. The coverage was horrible and the wimax radio in both my 4G phones drained the battery like crazy. I was hardly able to use it mostly because of spotty coverage. That was 2 years of money wasted for a service that I really couldn't use. It's not rocket science why consumers are upset nor is it a irrational response. This is also from someone who wants to remain with sprint and wants them to roll out a superior LTE network. But I do not like paying extra for services I cannot use, I think 2 years is enough patience. They should not expect anymore.
(before ppl jump on my phones battery life comment, I do understand that has nothing to do with sprint)
I guess the problem is that Sprint first rolled out the "Premium Data" charge with the EVO 2 years ago and pretty much made people believe at that time that it was for 4G WIMAX.... 6 months later, they decided that the fee would be for all Smartphones regardless of 4G or not.. If you look at the advertising now, the charge they advertise pretty much always includes that fee... Almost all phones sold by Sprint these days are Smartphones..
Yeh... the 4G was not great but I certainly used it... My WIMAX phone got better battery life than the original EVO due to a slower processor and smaller screen.. I recently traded it in for a Galaxy S3 and couldn't be happier with my choice... Great battery life and decent speed even with just 3G at the moment.. I look at my Data Usage and it uses more data at 3G because of its faster processor....
Bottom line... Sprint is still the value leader even with the so-called data fee.... I guess one with you can look at it, you can always have gotten a "dumb" phone and skipped the data fee... I suppose the one thing the data fee does being kept as a fee is it is not discounted... I get 18% discount on my base family plan charge but not data fee.. That's a marketing decision by Sprint to raise money and increase ARPU ( Average Revenue per user)