Sprint - Customer Service at Its Worst
All of them
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- I have recently tested Sprint service and have had some service challenges that I want you to be aware of.
I purchased 2 iPhones and switched my services from Verizon Wireless to Sprint on 11/15/2013 at your corporate store located at 885 N. Alafaya Trl Orlando, FL. My service representative was Barnita [snip] who although was very pleasant was not aware of all your policies and procedures. I walked through your service coverage with her at the location on an iPad in the store locating everywhere that I would be using Sprint service. As I use it for work this was necessary in deciding to switch to Sprint.
We located all of the areas that I would be using my devices and she assured me that there was voice and data coverage. I asked her that if I tried out the service and it did not work for me, what time frame I had to change my mind. She said that I had 14 days to return the devices, I asked her if there would be any fees in returning the items and she said no. I said that is great sign me up and I transferred with the expectation that they would work in the areas that we had discussed. She rang me up added a Galaxy tab mini (good up-selling techniques) and then she went through items on a small signature pad barely readable which required my signature. She abbreviated the pages that I had to sign saying this is just you agreeing to the 2 year contract after 14 days sign on the bottom. Not stating anything about return fees or restocking fees. As I spent the last hour in the store and being part of the Sprint team one can only assume that she would not be misleading me or misrepresenting the company to make a quick sale.
Later that day I took my partner in to pull his number from Verizon Wireless and add another to my line making 2 lines now with Sprint the representative Ian Williams (apple representative at the store) asked if I really wanted another apple device as it is not the best phone on the market. When I asked him why he had an iPhone he said he only had it for work and had to have it for show as he was the representative for apple. He then went on to explain the benefits of switching to another brand whether it be Samsung or even Motorolla! I was in shock having been a loyal apple customer that their "representative" would disregard them so easily and without pressure.
After having the phones for only a day I called Sprint and reported that it was not working in the area that I needed it. The customer service representative said that they would be happy to put in a request for that location and if it is a continuing problem I have the option of purchasing what she described to me as a cell phone hot spot that when attached to an internet connection would give me extended coverage, next solution she gave was that I was still within my 14 day window to return the items to the store. I was a little turned off by a representative not supporting their company and even mentioning discontinuing service.
Over the last 12 days I have used my phone at work, home and my 3 Orlando Hotels that I manage. The phone did not work at all at one of my hotels and I called Sprint again and explained my issue. The customer service representative this time asked me if the phone worked when I walked outside. I said yes, this representative informed me that the phone is not guaranteed to work indoors. I said ok thank you and can you put in a request to check coverage at that location. She said absolutely and that she would have IT look into the issue.
I finally made the decision that Sprint was not going to be the best carrier for what I needed at this time. I went back to the store on 11/25 with both phones and the tablet. The service representative Kristin who was very rude once she found out I was making a return saying "Oh you're returning all of them" She did not ask why I was returning, nor did she offer any solution to try and keep me as a customer. She said that the restocking fee was $145… I said wait a minute I was told that there would be no fee to return the items within my 14 day period, I do not have any money to pay that at this time as I just purchased 2 new phones with another carrier so I asked to speak with a manager. She went to the back and got Erwin (Lead Consultant). He did not offer me any solutions to my problem and told me that I can "go ahead and call corporate" as he won't do anything no matter what they say. I asked him what I am supposed to do just stand here in the store until I get it resolved? He said "you can only wait here for a certain amount of time then I will have to get security."
So I proceeded to then spend the next hour and 45 minutes on the phone, most of the time on hold waiting for the next "manager," to assist me. No one could offer me a solution or fix to my issue.The customer service representatives said there is nothing we can do about your issue you have to pay a re-stocking fee. At one point the phone was handed back and forth from me to Erwin and he kept saying no he can't change anything, the system won't let him, we don't communicate with corporate, and so on….
I do have to apologize for using some of the language and tone that I used with the representatives of Sprint over the phone. As we all know after being on hold for over 45 minutes and transferred numerous times, having to explain our story over and over, we as people get a little emotional.
What I offered Erwin and the Sprint service reps….
- To leave the items with Erwin and he can have his manager contact me in the morning and we can resolve it at that time. Erwin's response "If you leave them here it's abandonment and I am not liable if someone steals them or something happens to them" *So as a Sprint representative he didn't think that the items would be safe in his store? He also stated that he would have to report them stolen and get the police involved if I left them in a SPRINT STORE?!
- To have someone send me a package to return the items. "We do not do that if they are from that store they have to be returned to that store"
- To have the re-stocking fee billed to me as I did not have the money at this time to pay it "We cannot bill you for a re-stocking fee you have to pay it or I cannot take the items back."
This brings me back to my first time as a manager when my GM gave me a book called "Moments of Truth", I have been a manager in Hotels for the last 8 years and am now a training manager developing customer service courses, This book "Moments of Truth" describes how one airline with one of the worst reputations in the industry went from nothing to one of the best airlines in the matter of years just by their customer service. Definitely a must read for any associate at a company such as Sprint. It details being empowered to do the right thing and go to whatever lengths you have to in order to resolve a guest issue.
Sprint does not have a great reputation amongst consumers, people ranting about poor service and lack of customer service. The company says that it is trying to turn around its image problem. A little advice if I may is if you are great to people they will come back to you. People don't buy what you offer or your service, they remember how you made them feel. So even after giving the under-dog of the cellular industry a chance, I came up disappointed. Now I am a customer of AT&T and I will not in the future recommend or ever be a Sprint customer.
So what I m saying is this goes beyond a restocking fee it deals with truth, treatment and doing what is right. All of which your "People" and "Brand" could not do. Everyone instead placed blame on to one another and acted confused. When you work for a company you are part of them a part of what legacy they will leave and as of right now I would re-train some of your employees and empower them to take ownership of your brand whether it be Sprint or Apple.
We are in the People business, so lets learn how to deal with people first not look at them as a sale or an inconvenience, but get to know them and treat them the way they deserve to be treated. Ultimately you and I both know that something could have been done to resolve this issue just not "ONE" of the people that represented the Sprint brand cared enough to try. People who care about their company treat it like their own and can only help it become something great.
Now I have 2 Sprint iPhones, a galaxy tab mini and a contract I can't cancel unless Sprint takes back it's product that it so publicly says is one of the best. If you don't believe that just stay on hold for an hour or so you will eventually memorize the message.