I've been a Sprint customer for more than 10 years and recently had gotten really frustrated with my service since getting the Palm Pre for my primary line in July 2009. I went through three Palm Pres between July and January, and I was so sick of dropped calls and missing phone calls and text messages (eventually getting a notification hours after the person originally tried to reach me). I also noticed, since getting a Blackberry 8330 for my second line last summer, that my Palm Pre had a really poor signal compared to the Blackberry.
Still, I thought I was stuck with the Palm Pre. I called Sprint and they sent me a replacement last week. But the replacement (refurbished) phone wouldn't activate! So I called advanced technical support after calling Palm tech support and getting nowhere. That's when I got arguably the best customer service since I became a Sprint customer. The man I spoke to --whose name I don't remember--spent about an hour on the phone with me trying to get the replacement phone to activate. When it wouldn't work, he offered to send me yet another replacement refurbished Palm Pre in the mail. I told him I wanted a different model phone, that I'd lost confidence in the Palm Pre. And the only other type of phone that was acceptable to me was an Android phone.
To my surprise, he said he'd send me just that and asked which Android phone I wanted. I selected the Samsung Moment, which I received (a brand new one, complete with box and accessories) via UPS a few days later, at no cost to me. I couldn't be happier with the phone. So far, no missed or dropped calls or texts and I like that it feels more durable than the Palm Pre and has a much larger app catalog.
Moral of the story: I think Sprint's customer service is really improving. They could've easily made me stick with the Palm Pre, a phone I've grown to really dislike in the last few months. But they didn't, and in turn they now have a satisfied and happy customer who doesn't plan to go anywhere anytime soon.
I would like to see Sprint try to be pro-active and do the right thing towards customers instead of being reactive and waiting for someone to get pissed off and start making demands. The Sprint service (phones/towers/signals) is generally very good, while i have had a few phones that suffered from the issues you described, they all seem to be related to the hardware's limitations. The service is usually great (especially when traveling), but the customer service experience leaves much to be desired..