An open letter to Sprint PCS

As promised, here’s my letter to Sprint PCS. I am aware that sending it may not do any good, but one can always hope. Regardless, I’m leaving Sprint and I encourage all y’all to do the same. I know that any large tech company will have issues, but the treatment and lack of service I’ve received from Sprint is quite frankly beyond the pale. I have never been so frustrated and angry with a company before. At the end of my last interaction with a Sprint employee, I was literally shaking with fury and was, in fact, so frustrated that I actually burst into tears upon leaving the store.
Those of you who know me IRL will doubtless be aware of just how incredibly angry I have to be to react like that. Sure, I get mad. I have a bit of a temper. But this… this is too much. Way too much.
I am now a Cingular customer, so if anybody wants to take advantage of that unlimited mobile-to-mobile talking feature, feel free to join me.

Sprint PCS
PO box 8077
London , KY
Dear Sprint PCS,
I never thought I would find myself as angry, frustrated, and disappointed in Sprint’s technical support and customer service as I am today. As a long-time customer of Sprint, I had become accustomed to being treated with civility and to having my questions answered promptly and correctly. Sadly, the events of the past two and a half days have demonstrated that I had merely been very lucky until now.
As near as I can tell from speaking with tech support, some time Saturday afternoon or evening, someone at Sprint changed my phone number without any such request from me. I did not discover the problem until Sunday afternoon when I found I was unable to make calls from my cell phone — dialing out got me a message from a local roaming service provider.
I called tech support, and so began my odyssey. I have since called Sprint technical support eight times and visited the Sprint store in Palo Alto (on University Avenue) three times. It has taken all of that to get my phone working correctly again. To date, this has cost me untold hours of aggravation but more specifically it has cost me 3.5 billable hours at my primary job. From a financial standpoint, that means that a mistake by someone at Sprint has not only caused me to lose phone service for two days but has cost me a total of over one hundred dollars of actual income.
To say that I am enraged is an understatement. Although I have been treated by the phone staff with unfailing politeness, I have received no offers of any kind of compensation and have been treated with active rudeness by the Sprint store employee I dealt with.
Each time I spoke to a technician on the phone, I was walked through a variety of attempts at fixing my phone and then told to wait 15-30 minutes, then try my phone again. The sixth time I called, I was told to go to a Sprint store and have a tech there upgrade my software. The person I spoke with at the store, Yony, was diffident but said he had fixed my phone and that I’d have to wait about an hour before I’d be able to use it again. I was by this time fairly annoyed and asked him to please check anything else he could on my phone to ensure that the correct thing had been done. He assured me it would be fine.
However, I found when I tried it an hour later that my phone did not work. I called tech support yet again, and was walked through more fixes. That tech assured me, when I complained about the number of times I had called in and how much difficulty I was having, that she was one of the few fully-trained techs in the office and that the other techs probably didn’t really know what they were doing. She told me to wait for four hours before doing anything at all with the phone and said it would work then.
It did not.
I called technical support yet again and was told, after more attempts at fixing it, that Yony had not, in fact, done the right thing and that I had to take it back in. I was incredulous, but he assured me that he was right. He very kindly put a note in my file about what exactly needed to be done and even to call the store and let them know what was going on.
When I took my phone back to the store this morning, I spoke with Yony again. I informed him that the techs told me he had done the wrong thing, and he said, “well, I just did what you told me.” He told me that the technician for that store had “just gotten in” and wouldn’t be able to work on my phone right away. He told me to leave my phone there and come back in 30-45 minutes. I was appalled by this, and told him that it was costing me billable hours at my job every time I had to come down to the store and his response was, “well, you should come here when you have time off.”
I have never been spoken to in this way by a Sprint employee — or by any employee of a service-providing company. I was, quite frankly, speechless. The phone support technicians weren’t able to help me fix my phone, but at least they were cheerful, polite, and profusely apologetic. Yony’s defensiveness and utter lack of any apology for his part in the miscommunication was appalling. I had simply told him what the phone support technician told me to say — that my phone needed a software upgrade because it had the wrong version.
When I returned to pick up my phone, I complained to Yony’s manager (whose name, I am sorry to say, I was too infuriated to notice). Even that was problematic — he kept me waiting for some time and even helped newly-arrived customers after I was told he would speak with me next. Once he spoke with me, he was apologetic and assured me that Yony would be reminded about customer relations.
Since this ordeal began, I have been mentally composing complaint letters on a near-hourly basis. Most of them included some statement to the effect of, “if you can offer me suitable compensation for the time, lost wages, and aggravation this has caused me, I will remain a loyal Sprint customer.” However, Yony’s rudeness and the utter incompetence of your phone techs, combined with the fact that Yony’s manager offered me nothing but a tepid apology, has finally driven home to me what many of my friends have tried to tell me for years: Sprint is a mediocre cell phone company and I would be far better off elsewhere. The chances of you offering me anything that would make up for the inconvenience, loss of income, and utter frustration of this string of events are all but nil.
I never thought I would write a letter containing the phrase “I am taking my business elsewhere” but that day has come.
Sprint, I am taking my business elsewhere. I will be reprinting this letter on my website and encouraging my friends and readers to join me at my new wireless provider.
Ealasaid A. Haas

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