Sprint customer support today took their hands off a problem that was inherent with my mobile device and told me there is nothing they could do to solve the issue in the near future. This all started when I heard a faint ringing noise that wouldn’t stop. At first, I didn’t even suspect my mobile device (Sanyo Zio SCP 8600, Android 2.2). After several days of searching, I almost gave up. One fine morning, I was at an official meeting and the noise started. To my embarrassment, the noise was indeed coming from my cellphone....that was silenced! After attempts at silencing the phone (again), I ended up shutting down the device...and that is how I keep it at work now! My endless experience with the sprint customer support started on June 10 2011. It consisted of phone calls and visits to a sprint repair store amounting to at least 9 hours of attempts at fixing the phone....and fail! Including the 4 gallons of gas used for traveling to and from the repair center, at an average $13 an hour, it cost me ~$130 for this failed attempt which is entirely not my fault. This is an attempt to document my experience for sake of filing a formal complaint and to try and spread public awareness regarding the wrangled mess that is called “customer care” at Sprint.
Attempts at fixing the phone:
June 10, 2011. (Online Chat) I was lead to perform a power cycle on my phone and asked to refreshing PRM as the support staff told me that the my services have been updated) (Attachment 1) (22 mins)
Between June 10, 2011 and July 8, 2011*. (Phone calls) I made a call soon afterwards and was told that a factory reset may need to be performed and I may have to take my phone to the repair center. Since I was familiar with a factory reset, I performed it myself. The factory reset did not solve the problem. During my second call to the support desk, I was asked to take my phone to a sprint repair center and the support agent created a ticket for that purpose (Attachment 2). So I obliged and took it to the repair center and was told that since I do not have a Sprint care plan for my phone, I’d be charged $35 in order for them to check my phone. I refused, since I felt that this a product issue. (at least 2 hrs and a gallon of gas)
* Apparently sprint does not include the calls made to the customer support in the call list that they provide online! There is no hard record of my phone calls to sprint customer support. How convenient...no records of calls made to the customer support.
July 19, 2011. (Online Chat) At this session, I was offered some pathetic refurbished phones that I refused to accept since I was in love with my Android smartphone and would not replace it with anything else. Since they did not offer me a satisfactory solution, I requested my contract and account be terminated. I was told that a account service manager will call me regarding this issue. (Attachment 3) (26 mins)
July 19, 2011. (Phone call) The account service manager offered to waive the $35 repair fee if I am willing to take my phone to the repair center once again. I accepted this as I like my phone and I just wanted it to stop making the noise. (Attachment 4) (5 mins)
July 20, 2011. (Repair center visit) I took my phone to the repair center and the technician who worked on my phone told me that the issue is a known issue with my phone and no firm date has been yet set for an update or a fix for this issue. He also tole me that he can recommend a replacement phone, but the replacement will likely have the same issue. However, I opted for the replacement as I was told there is no way forward unless I go through 3 replacements for me to get a different phone. (2 hrs and another gallon of gas).
July 26, 2011. I received the replacement phone by mail and I activated it. To my surprise, it was a refurbished phone that took several hours before the data and the voice connection started working half as good as my previous phone (Attachment 5,6,7). Even today, the GPS locater on this phone shows that I am actually 2 streets away from where I actually am!). Well, I can live with that as long as the noise is gone....but no. The issue persists, even without installing any new app. At this point, I am convinced that this is a manufacturer defect and if a replacement phone cannot solve this issue, then I should be allowed to switch phone or change carriers. (1 hr for activation and trouble shooting)
July 27, 2011. (Phone call) After at least 20-30 mins on the phone I was told that there is nothing that the customer support can do and it is up to the repair center/store to recommend further steps. (at least 30 mins)
July 30, 2011. I visited the repair center as recommended by the customer support on the phone (2 hrs and a gallon of gas), I was told that the technician could not replicate the issue and I need to bring the device in when the issue is on. I was very frustrated at this bouncing around and I called the customer support from outside the store (30 mins). The customer support representative asked to speak with the technician and after a 10 minute conversation I was told that I’d receive a phone call from Sprint the following day once the representative has a chance to speak with the manager to find a solution for this problem. I never received that call.
Aug 2, 2011. I visited the repair center again, this time when the issue was on (2 hrs and another gallon of gas). I was told that there is a potential patch releasing on August 16th that may solve the problem. And if it doesn’t, I should visit the repair center again at which point, I will be recommended for a brand new replacement phone of the same model. And if the replacement phone also has the same issue, only then I’d be offered a different device. Since no one provided me with the guarantee that the patch on August 16th will fix this issue, I told them that the timeline doesn’t suit me and since I have lived with this issue for over 2 months, I should be offered a replacement device. The repair center told me there is nothing they could do. So I called the customer support on the phone (20 mins). At the end of a typical conversation with the account service specialist, I was told that the sprint is a service provider and are not responsible for the malfunctioning of the device. My argument that I bought the device from sprint and it has a sprint logo on it fell in deaf ears.
Solved! Go to Solution.
After many phone calls and several trips to the Sprint store I finally got a great Sprint Customer Care Manager to handle my issue with my Sanyo Zio. I also had no issue with the handset and liked the device until the faint ringing started. After my second replacement which had the same issue Sprint technical support recommended that I replace the device with another model. My stand was that since this only happens in certain areas of the country that it was a Sprint issue and not a hardware issue so it was a Sprint problem and not a customer or Sanyo problem. After a long time and serveral different Sprint reps I finally found someone that had the power to help me with a replace device and I received it yesterday and so far this device (LG Optimus) is a great replacement for my Zio and I'm pleased with it just as long as I don't get the faint ringing on this model. I'm very glad that I was able to find a Sprint Customer Care Manager that could help me and once again I'm a happy Sprint customer.
I hope you find a Sprint Customer Care Manager that will help you as well.
Same responses here in Columbus, Ohio. Sprint must be training their reps not to take responsibility. I've been with them 10 years, so at least I get a new phone on October 1st. I'd switch carriers, but price will go up and service is not much better. Oh, yay for quality customer service!
I had e-mailed my post as a complaint to several Sprint executives and received a response the same day. I was offered a replacement device (LG Optimus S). So far, I have not had the ringing noise issue with the new device. Even more surprising was that the new device actually had better reception (at least 2 additional bars) where I used to get no reception in my Sanyo Zio. Yay for LG optimus S and yay for Sprint higher ups for listening to my woes and responding favorably!
I'm glad to hear that you also got your issues resolved, I have now been everywhere that my Sanyo Zio had the faint ringing and no issues with the LG Optimus S. I know it was a pain to get the replacement but after a lot of logging the issue they finally did the right thing for the customer and I think other carriers would have not done what Sprint did for there customers.
I hope you enjoy the LG Optimus S!