Jonathan Van Gieson . com
Two Snail or Not Two Snail?
by Jay Veegee


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May 27, 2008

Update! | 01:54 AM

One week later, no answer!

Sprint's customer service remains unblemished by actual service.

May 20, 2008

An experiment: open letter to Sprint's new CEO. | 12:46 AM

When you take over as the CEO of an ailing cellular phone company with a reputation for the worst customer service in the business, is it wise to put your email address in your commercials? If you choose so to do, will you actually respond to the emails sent to you at that address?

And so the great experiment begins. Having recently experienced a level of service unsurpassed in my decade-long tenure as an unsatisfied Sprint customer -- a supervisor suggested I go to the police and file a report in order to access the details of my texting usage -- I decided to drop "Dan" a line and see what he had to say.

I am, of course, holding my breath. Full text of irate email - sent late last night - after the jump. Warning: not as humorous as you might hope. Further updates as events warrant. Or fail to warrant.

Date: Mon, 19 May 2008 19:19:48 -0400
Subject: Your commercials vs. your customer service representatives
From: Jonathan Van Gieson
To: dan @ sprintpcs . com

Dear Mr. Hesse,

Congratulations on your new role as CEO of Sprint. From your television commercials and press interviews, I understand you are attempting to turn the company around.

Unfortunately, none of the proposals you have put forward seem to address the reason Sprint is bleeding: a reputation for the worst customer service in the industry. In my ten years as a customer, I have found the service to be up and down, but assumed it was no worse than any other. But my experience with my last bill has convinced me that that reputation is fact. I was subjected -- please note my choice of verb -- to Sprint service.

Upon opening my most recent Sprint bill, I found an additional $22 in text messaging charges. As I do not use text messaging services as frequently as my wife (whose bill showed 164 text messages exchanged in her last billing cycle), I thought it extremely unlikely that this accounting was accurate, and so called your customer service department for clarification, and to report what I considered might be an an error in my bill.

And that, as they say in the press, was where the nightmare began.

When I expressed my concerns to your representatives, their idea of "service" was to tell me that your systems were extremely accurate, and to offer the following options: to accept without question your accounting; to pay $5 page for a printout of my text messaging activity at a Sprint Store if I chose to be so presumptuous as to require proof of the alleged activity; or -- and this, my favorite, was from one of your supervisors (Brandon, employee #DR-461300) -- to file a police report and acquire the information via subpoena.

When your own representatives suggest that the best way for your customers to interact with your company is through legal action, Sprint is clearly facing a serious customer service crisis.

And indeed, my experience attempting to deal with this issue bears that out. What began as a small customer concern, which could have been easily handled by providing the appropriate documentation, was elevated — by your employees’ attitudes, untenable suggestions, inability or unwillingness to help, and tendency to “accidentally” disconnect my calls -- to an extended and unpleasant exchange. Your agents made it clear that I — by daring to question the accuracy of my bill, and by expressing outrage at the fact that the only way your representatives were willing to provide proof of that accuracy was at the rate of $5/page — have become, to them, more of a nuisance than a valued customer in a relationship with your company that has lasted nearly a decade.

In short, your representatives made it quite obvious that Sprint no longer values my patronage.

Unless you plan to make drastic changes in the next month, it appears the time has come for you to terminate your relationship with me, and release both of us from our contract. Given the circumstances, I expect that this will be done without penalty.

With regret,

Jonathan Van Gieson

May 13, 2008

Rah! Rah! (additionally, rah.) | 01:07 PM

Time to score! It's the bottom of the 4th down, and Pinchbottom is on the ropes with the bases loaded and the tally 40-love. Can the home team birdie the goal from the foul line to slam-dunk the match, or will they stumble into the net on the final lap? You've never seen sports action quite like the action you'll see in Pinchbottom's BALLS! Sporty Burlesque. Whether you're a sports fan or a sports hater, it's a whole nude ballgame! It's not about whether you win. It's about how you lose... your clothes.

BUY TIX: Fri or Sat

"A team of scandalous performers who promise to make you fall back in love with foul balls" -Time Out NY

coached by
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pinch hitters
Roja Rouge (Fri)
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May 12, 2008

Decades later, it remains so very true... | 05:50 PM

Cleaning out the drawer of old papers, perusing previous literary scribbles, I discover this limerick (from high school, no less!), which is especially apropos;

Now poor Jonny he felt like a sap
As he read the past work on his lap
He said "all this writing
I thought was exciting
is in truth unmistakable crap."

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