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Do You Know Why Sprint is Losing Subscribers in Droves?

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Do You Know Why Sprint is Losing Subscribers in Droves?

Yesterday I awoke to find my brand new Palm pre's power button not working.  I've only had the phone about three weeks and it is cherry.  However, this hardware problem is not uncommon if you check out the blogs.  So, this is by no fault of my own, only that I paid $300 and switched to Sprint.  So this is how it went down:  I called tech support (repeating my phone number and sec code for each operator).  After 30 mins on the phone, tech tells me I have to take it to a Sprint store.  Tech gives me the address and the hours of operation.  I hung up and got on the website to confirm the address and it asked if I wanted to make an appointment.  Great, so I spend time going through the process, times pop up I chose one and off I go - 20 miles round trip.  Get to the store 15 mins early and am told, "We don't take appointments and the service techs left 30 mins ago."  Now how can that be, I have a confirmed appointment.  He shrugs his shoulders and says he can't help. 

I leave get on the phone, contact customer service and file a complaint.  Sprint gives me a $30 credit for the inconvenience.

Twenty-four hours later, I get in my car and drive to Sprint store (another 20 mile round trip), this time not making an appointment.  Wait ten minutes then give the rep my over-the-phone tech support problem number so he can recall my info.  He tells me to wait for the next rep to help, I'm in the system.  Wait 15 mins, and get called over to another rep where I proceed to give him the long tech issue number.  He pulls it up and tells me it will be about an hour - are you kidding me!  Okay, here's the phone, I'll be back in an hour (I'm ready to explode).  After a little more than an hour, I return to the store, get directed to the back where the tech support reps are and tech hands me my broken phone, says they can't repair faulty power buttons and informs me that he has ordered a replacement which will be in the store after 4:00PM the following day or maybe even the next day.  Gives me a business card and tells me to call before coming back to the store to pick up my replacement phone.  WHAT?!  I don't want to come back to your store, I don't want to spend time in your store, I don't want to talk to anyone at Sprint!  I want a working phone with NO TROUBLE associated with using it.  He apologizes and says he can't mail the replacement to me because of company policy.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!????

I left, called Dan R. Hesse's office to ask why he thinks it is acceptable that I would pay for a phone and service and insurance and spend anymore of MY time on this issue.  I get transferred to generic customer service who tells me they understand but that is company policy and there is nothing they can do. 

Give me a break.  I can't wait for Sprint to go out of business.  They have the worst service of any company and as soon as Verizon gets the upgraded Palm pre, I am out of here.  Like I said to the last rep, I would pay $1000 to never deal with Sprint again.  I should never have left Verizon but I wanted the Palm pre.  It is great news they are working with Palm on the next generation pre and I am out of here and plan to take as many people with me.  I will write to every newspaper and blog around the globe to tell how horrible Sprint is.  I work in science, I am supposed to be focused on helping to find a cure for cancer, not dealing with poor customer service.  I miss you Verizon.  I also encourage anyone and everyone to post your complaints at the consumerist.com

14 REPLIES 14
Journeyman

Re: Do You Know Why Sprint is Losing Subscribers in Droves?

I was in a sprint store today and the supervisor was so rude she actually told me to go join verizon after i asked her why the htc touch pro 2 was $150 dollars more at sprint than at verizon. I have three lines with sprint two on contract i will be cancelling all three no matter what. I came home and signed up with verizon no wonder sprint is going bankrupt. I will be more than happy to pay the term fees to be done with them.

Journeyman

Re: Do You Know Why Sprint is Losing Subscribers in Droves?

Since the phone was within the 30 day window, you should have been able to box up the phone, and take it back to the place of purchase, and replace it with a brand new pre, no questions asked, now is there a reason why this was not a option?? just trying to see how we can resolve this issue for you.

Journeyman

Re: Do You Know Why Sprint is Losing Subscribers in Droves?

Why is sprint losing custumers? Maybe because I spent 100 a month on an EVERYTHING PLAN, it worked great for a few months. Then they do this upgraade on their software and my EVERYTHING PLAN loses my phone as modem. I call tech support and get told that my plan doesnt do phone as modem but if I want to pay MORE I can get it back. I think their definition of EVERYTHING is differant than mine. Oh and by the way the 100 a month everything plan is really alot more after you add it all up. And now I need a wireless card and another plan!

Master

Re: Do You Know Why Sprint is Losing Subscribers in Droves?

doug930 wrote:

Why is sprint losing custumers? Maybe because I spent 100 a month on an EVERYTHING PLAN, it worked great for a few months. Then they do this upgraade on their software and my EVERYTHING PLAN loses my phone as modem. I call tech support and get told that my plan doesnt do phone as modem but if I want to pay MORE I can get it back. I think their definition of EVERYTHING is differant than mine. Oh and by the way the 100 a month everything plan is really alot more after you add it all up. And now I need a wireless card and another plan!

The Everything Plan was never advertised as including phone as modem. The name of the "Everything" plans are marketing in reference to the average use of the vast majority of users. For an extreme majority of customers, PAM means absolutely nothing so it doesn't matter. Those who use Phone as Modem are a small, but apparently very vocal minority.

The system was not upgraded, a cleanup script that has been in place for a long time was scheduled to go through and remove the phones that were using PAM without having the correct plan codes. It happens from time to time, and each time there are posts similar to yours, even before the Everything plans came out.

Journeyman

Re: Do You Know Why Sprint is Losing Subscribers in Droves?

Okay, let's do the math...

-- Plans with "Everything" in the title do not allow Phone as Modem.

-- Plans without "Everything" in the title do not allow data service at all and are tailored to "dumbphone" use.

-- These are the only two types of plans in existance, the Power Vision add-on packs aren't available to tack on to a cheaper plan (and rightfully so, since an upgraded plan would be cheaper anyway.)

Wouldn't it be more reasonable for Sprint to just say "Residential Phone as Modem service is no longer available for casual use (which it was in the past up to 500MB) or on any new plans." instead of hemming and hawing around it and just be done with the feature?

It's not too hard to guess why they would disable it... forcing PAM users to open a 2nd line and buy/lease a data card is more profitable to Sprint than double using a cell phone for that purpose.  We're not total idiots.

If the glib retort of "we've never offered Phone as Modem" would stop and a declaration on the front page in Mobile Broadband on Sprint.com would say "we do not allow Phone as Modem access for non-business accounts", perhaps the supposed vocal minority would get the hint and become silent once more.  If it's not clearly stated where customers can see it, and we know the specs of our phone, would it not be reasonable to get it on an everything plan unless the entire public service can't use it?

Master

Re: Do You Know Why Sprint is Losing Subscribers in Droves?

The 5 or 6 different Power Vision add-ons are not offered anymore, but replaced instead with the simpler Sprint Data Pack, and Data Premier add-on. Those can be added individually to the Talk and Everything Messaging plans if not all lines need data, there are exceptions like the Instinct line, Palm Pre, and Blackberries.

Where the issue with the PAM plan comes in is that it requires either the Power Vision Pro pack (which can still be added, it isn't expired just not used because the new plans make it obsolete for a vast majority of customers) or the Blackberry Personal pack. The issue stems from the fact that those are the plans required for the $15 PAM add-on, those also include text messaging. When those plans are added to an Everything Messaging plan the text messaging coding conflicts. When added to the Everything Data plan both the text and data coding conflicts. So you could go with just a Talk plan and the add-ons to get PAM still.

Journeyman

Re: Do You Know Why Sprint is Losing Subscribers in Droves?

See, now there's an answer.  The offering is still present, just disappearing.  (And they don't pay you enough, sir.)

Thanks for the clarification on that... Now for the kinky part: smartphones do not seem compatible with Talk plans on the website: you can't select one and get the other no matter how you spin it.  Would the Talk plan be able to apply to a smartphone at all? (except Instinct/Pre, which require the new Everything plans to work at all, I harbor no delusions about getting those phones to work on Talk.)

Message was edited by: nacho2k3

Master

Re: Do You Know Why Sprint is Losing Subscribers in Droves?

nacho2k3 wrote:

See, now there's an answer.  They don't pay you enough, sir.

Thanks for the clarification on that... Now for the kinky part: smartphones do not seem compatible with Talk plans on the website: you can't select one and get the other no matter how you spin it.  Would the Data Premier + Talk be able to apply to a smartphone? (except Instinct/Pre, which require the new Everything plans to work at all.)

Well the easiest route and least intensive is to go with the Everything Data plan for the mail in rebate then just drop it and switch it around whichever way you want if you don't want to stay with it. So for example if you went that route...

Everything Data 450 = $69.99

Talk 450 + Data Pack + Data premier = $39.99 + $15 + $10 = $64.99

Talk 450 + Data Pro (aka Power Vision Pro) = $39.99 + $30 = $69.99

Each route has its advantages. The Everything Data plan includes unlimited messaging, internet access, GPS Navigation, Sprint TV/Radio Premier and the Any Mobile Anytime. The second route gives you unlimited internet, GPS Navigation, and Sprint TV/Radio Premier. The Third route gives you unlimited messaging, internet and Sprint TV/Radio Basic.

Journeyman

Re: Do You Know Why Sprint is Losing Subscribers in Droves?

I think Door #3 is preferable... not too enamored with reading websites on mobile devices, and being able to legitimately use PAM is good.  I was under the "500MB" gratuity on SERO until the last service update knocked that out.  I don't mind leaving the free beer crowd and paying for it, it just seems with the public options on the website, not only was the free beer disappearing, but the bar went along with it.

Journeyman

Re: Do You Know Why Sprint is Losing Subscribers in Droves?

halcyoncmdr wrote:

Well the easiest route and least intensive is to go with the Everything Data plan for the mail in rebate then just drop it and switch it around whichever way you want if you don't want to stay with it. So for example if you went that route...

Everything Data 450 = $69.99

Talk 450 + Data Pack + Data premier = $39.99 + $15 + $10 = $64.99

Talk 450 + Data Pro (aka Power Vision Pro) = $39.99 + $30 = $69.99

Each route has its advantages. The Everything Data plan includes unlimited messaging, internet access, GPS Navigation, Sprint TV/Radio Premier and the Any Mobile Anytime. The second route gives you unlimited internet, GPS Navigation, and Sprint TV/Radio Premier. The Third route gives you unlimited messaging, internet and Sprint TV/Radio Basic.

YOU seem to know about these alternate add-on routes, but they are nowhere to be found on the Sprint website or in any Sprint literature I've seen.

How are customers to know that these options are still available? If it weren't for you and one or two other Sprint employees who have mentioned it on this board, I'd have no idea the it is still possible to add data and/or txt packages to a Talk plan.

Sprint clearly is not publicizing them, and pretty clearly wants them to go away in an effort to streamline their plan offerings and simplify the number of issues that they have to deal with in Care.

Isn't your suggesting these add-ons as options here a bit disingenuous, or at least clearly at odds with what Sprint as a company is trying to do, which is to get rid of them?

Master

Re: Do You Know Why Sprint is Losing Subscribers in Droves?

All of the add-ons I have listed are in the plan brochures available at any Sprint store. I don't know what is listed online since thats not what I deal with on a day to day basis. I work with customers face to face going through the plans.

In store all changes to a plan generate a transaction summary showing the current state of the account and any add-ons (including dates they take effect or expire if you are changing your plan on your bill cycle), plus an estimate of the next bill with proration, that we give to the customer. If a contract is signed for an upgrade or a new line, it prints out the terms and conditions in the summary. If there is no insurance on the account and the customer is within the time period to add insurance, it has the customer verify that they are declining to add insurance to the line.

So personally, I'd say if you're worried about changes to your plan and what dates they take effect or discontinue, go into a store. I don't know if the transaction summaries are limited to corporate stores however, or if not exactly what information is on each, I work in a corporate store so I'm not sure about third party retailers.

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