Jun 21, 2011

Cell Hell

I know that no one wants to hear someone else complain about their cell phone carrier, but I'm gonna do it anyway.

I've been a Sprint customer for well over a decade now, and I've rarely had a complaint.  Sure, when I first signed up with them there were some bad coverage spots on the North Shore of Long Island.  But as the years have accumulated, the coverage has become much, much better.  In fact, I can't remember the last time that I was someplace where I didn't have service when I needed it.  Sure, sometimes I'm in a building that won't have much service, but I always assumed it was some kind of interference.

In fact, my cell service has been so good for so long we decided to get rid of our home phone a while back.  We weren't using it at all so we ditched it.  Seems like a lot of folks are doing that nowadays. 

Then this past Friday, I started having issues with cell coverage in our home.  I thought it was just some random problem at first, but it persisted throughout the weekend.  I had to call in to our radio show on Sunday night from out in the backyard.  Good thing it was a nice night out.  Then on Monday morning, I had a couple of business calls drop.  Pissed me off.  So I contacted Sprint through their online chat feature.  I figured that I shouldn't call them because...well, the call might drop.

The first agent I chatted with was very helpful, or so it seemed.  He said that there was a reported outage in my area and that it had been recently fixed by their tech folks.  He then was gonna walk me through resetting my phone, and I was gonna be fine.  That didn't make sense to me.  What does my phone have to do with a coverage outage?  But I was gonna follow along.  I figured he would know more about the issue than I. 

Well...he had some difficulty walking me through the process.  I have a Palm phone and he might have been looking at an outdated or incorrect manual.  After about 15 minutes of not knowing what the hell he was talking about, he took a different tack.  Asked me to power down the phone and he would remotely reset it from wherever he was.  Not sure how that was gonna work, but I did it anyway.  After a few minutes he said that the reset worked and I could turn my phone back on.  He said it might take an hour or so, but after that I should have perfect coverage*.

Well...after several hours, I still had crappy coverage in the house.  So I logged onto the customer service chat and relayed my frustration to the next agent.  She assessed the situation and read the transcript of the previous chat and told me that outages were still going on in my area, and that they would be fixed "soon".  She apologized for the delay, but she couldn't give me an estimate on when it was gonna be fixed.

So two different customer service calls/chats for the same issue and I was given two totally different resolutions/answers.  And I still don't have decent coverage here in the house.  I know I don't have much to complain about.  My service for the past decade or so has been just fine.  But this kind of crappy and contradictory customer service experience is frustrating as hell.

Hey, could be worse.  Gia has an iPhone with AT&T.  She feels my pain.


badgerdaddy said...

Dawg, did you see this?


white rabbit said...

I feel your pain. I just moved to a new place and the reception (Orange - consider yourself lucky...) is even crappier than before.

Plus the I-phone 4 is a piece of junk.

Jus sayin...

Slyde said...


you could just get the big-boy plan and move over to Verizon.

p.s. i was at the apple store saturday and some guy was screaming to the clerk that 7 out of 10 of his att iphone calls get dropped. funny stuff.

sybil law said...

We had a similar problem with our internet for a while. It was ridiculous. As far as cell phones, we have Verizon, which is... okay. I miss our Cingular - they had the best coverage, until they were bought out by AT & T.

Verdant Earl said...

badger - I had read some stuff about the new series. I can't wait!

Wabbit - I do feel your pain.

Slyde - I'm going to see what happens with Sprint before I switch. And what where YOU doing at an Apple store?

Sybil - Thankfully, our internet is pretty good. I hate the provider, but not a lot of choices here.

Unknown said...

I blame the government.

I am thinking some Big Brother track that ass upgrade must be going on.

Damn The Man. Damn them all!

Heff said...

What was that ? You're breaking up on me....

Again, Cell Phones are OF THE DEVIL.

Verdant Earl said...

Annabelle - You may be right!

Heff - Yeah, but I can't remember life without them now.

hello haha narf said...

just about any technical customer service center will give you two totally different answers on two different calls about the same issue. that drives me nuts. but still, i love sprint. been with them about 12 years. can't ever see leaving.

marty mankins said...

It's too bad neither of the Sprint reps would offer an Airrave for you, free of charge.


As a Sprint user for the last 8 years, I've had so-so coverage inside my house, but after two phone upgrades to newer phones (I use a Palm Pre, my wife now has an Android), our coverage got better.

If I remember right, you have the Pixi, which shouldn't need any resets.

Verdant Earl said...

Marty - It doesn't need any resets. All about shitty coverage outages. Seems better today. We'll see. And I was hoping for a free Airrave. That would be sweet. Don't wanna pay for it though.