How NOT to Keep a Customer (@Sprint)

I love my iPhone. I love my iPad. I am an Apple girl and I love me some technology.

I love social media.

I love blogging.

So obviously I need a decent phone carrier to make all of that come together when I’m not at home.

Sprint is not that carrier. Not anymore.

I live in Austin. For those of you not from Texas, I don’t live on a farm with a herd of cattle. Austin is often ranked one of the top cities in the nation for job growth. Google Fiber is coming to Austin next year. All the techies are pumped. We are the home to Dell and soon a new Apple campus.

Sprint is trying to keep up with technology by upgrading some of their towers to 4G LTE. While Austin was one of the first to get 4G (which I had access to on my old Android), it sucked and was spotty at best–plus it’s not what iPhone runs off.

Unfortunately, they didn’t know their market and decided to start upgrades during one of the biggest live music festivals in the country: SXSW. SXSW also features Interactive, Education, and Films. It’s a pretty big deal. To say that the masses of tech savvy visitors (and residents) were unhappy with the overwhelmed and under capacity network is an understatement–at least that’s what a Sprint employee told me.

I used to think it was just Jess and the bad news phone. Nope. One day I stopped by the mobile center in Best Buy and they told me Sprint service was so bad in the store that they couldn’t even connect prepaid phones because the over the air connection was THAT BAD. BEST BUY COULD NOT CONNECT new phones because Sprint connection was THAT BAD.

Well, looks like Jess isn’t crazy. At least not when it comes to my phone. Best Buy even told me that Sprint was upgrading their networks to accommodate 4G LTE. He was the FIRST PERSON to share this information. Makes sense-while I was in Dallas I had no problems.

Stupidly I kept calling Sprint thinking someone would help. I wasted a couple of hours talking to people on the phone. I even told them about the upgrades in the city, because shocker! they had no idea.

Hard reset! Reset! Factory restore! If you don’t have an iPhone, let me tell you–when you have 16gb of stuff on your phone it takes a LONG time to go through this process. Apple even replaced my phone anyway and told me if I still had issues, it was definitely Sprint. Surely Sprint can’t be that bad! It had to have been that crappy old phone.  Sure was Sprint.

Despite promises of calls back and new tricks that would make my phone work, I still roam EVEN OUTSIDE in the middle of the city and drop calls. I did what Scott Stratten taught me at Blissdom–I put social media to the test. Oh hai, Twitter.

I started tweeting about how much my service sucked. Partly to see if anyone else had the same issues but mostly to see if Sprint had read Scott’s book Unmarketing. I’m pretty sure they haven’t. Verizon answered the first time I included their name in a tweet. Good job, Verizon!

Social media can do great things to spread good stuff about a company and reinforce it’s reputation. Or it can spread the bad stuff even quicker.

Finally. Finally I got a response. Then an email. And a call. Finally someone acknowledged what I knew instead of pretending I was on crack making up stories.


I continued to wait for better service.  A Rep Who Shall Not Be Named called and left a message about how they recognize the issues and pretty much with no end in sight, I had the option of terminating my contract. YAY!


I honestly hadn’t thought about leaving Sprint, but since he suggested I research, I did. And it was the answer. Sprint can keep their unlimited data because it doesn’t do me any good anyway.


So I called back but no one had heard of the social care division of Sprint. Huh? Whatever. So they finally found a number and gave it to me in case we got disconnected. Unfortunately for them Sprint gave me the number of a former disgruntled Sprint customer. Ha!! We commiserated and he told me how he didn’t get resolution for ages till he kept working his way up the food chain. I apologized for the inconvenience, wished him a good day, and laughed.

I called again but this time I spoke to a condescending woman with an accusatory tone. Nope. Not the day to mess with me. Back to Twitter I go.

Am I writing this to be a bitch or get something free? Absolutely not.

So why are you writing this Jess?

Thanks for asking, Friend! Call me a fuddy duddy or a wide-eyed dreamer, but I’m writing because I believe in truth, justice, and good customer service! If only Sprint had been honest about how long the upgrades would take and validated that my concerns were legitimate and mattered.

I’m not some punk looking for a freebie. I’m a working mom who lives in the burbs and practices law. I’m not an opportunist, I am a loyal paying customer who just wants what she pays for. A customer who wants to be treated with respect and not feel like the voice on the other line thinks I’m a liar. Is that too much to expect?

The saga continues…but hopefully not for long because I hope for a good resolution. Stay tuned!

Have you ever been treated like crap by a company?


9 thoughts on “How NOT to Keep a Customer (@Sprint)

  1. I didn’t have any issues when we were in Austin, but if I had to deal with that daily, it would drive me nuts. We had awful issues when we were in Asheville and I called customer service who were totally awful to deal with. If I were you, is probably switch too.

    • Yeah, Sprint were a bunch of jokers. By the end we were so willing to pay extra for Verizon just to not have to deal with a bunch of jerks. Update to come.

  2. Yeah, dude. Had Sprint when we lived in GA and it was no bueno. That’s probably why they offer unlimited data… because no one can use it!

    • SERIOUSLY. Now I get why it’s unlimited because your phone is constantly trying to access data to get shit done. It’s horrible. HORRIBLE. We are already in love with Verizon.

  3. Customer Service hasn’t existed for me since 2009 … now when we go back to the USA, we are actually surprised (in a good way) by the customer service because it doesn’t exist over here. Anyway …. I’m a FREAK about customer service and transparency in doing business — so I’m with you! 100% !!

    • Seriously! I pay you for something I want to get what I pay for! We quit Sprint. I’m gonna write a post about that debacle soon with an update.

  4. Pingback: Paper Love. « Jess in the ATX.

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