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THE WEBLOG ARCHIVES: June 2008

June 03, 2008

Sprint -- The Horror! The Horror! | 12:02 PM

Finally! Two weeks after the initial complaint, a response. I receive a phone call from Sprint in answer not to my letter to "Dan", but the cc: to the complaints department. The representative apologizes for any poor customer service, and to attempt to rectify the situation, he offers me... nothing. Zero. Zip. Zilch. When I expressed my lack of satisfaction with this solution, he... eventually hangs up on me, just like the first guy did.

At this point, $175 cancellation fee seems a small price to pay to get away from the epic levels of crappitude represented this company. I call to cancel my service, and the retention department acts as customer service should, and provides service to the customer. While she still won't send me an accounting of my text messages, she provides a credit instead.

So: another letter to "Dan", explaining the entire situation. After all, as new CEO, he might want to know that the staff hired to apologize for poor customer service provided poor customer service, and that his retention department is the only department worth a damn. Full text after the jump.

A month later, he has not acknowledged receipt of the email in any way, which begs the question: why put your email in a commercial if you're not going to respond? Doesn't that just make you look like an ass?

Mr. Hesse,

I received a phone call from your company in regard to the below letter. Since you have chosen to make your email address public in your commercials, I expected to you would address your emails personally, but I understand that sometimes gestures such as putting your email address onscreen are simply publicity stunts, and not an expression of actual concern for your customers.

Your representative acknowledged receipt of the letter, apologized for any poor customer service I might have received, and offered his assurance that he himself was "confident" that the accounting was correct and stated that your company had made "a business decision" to not provide that information except via subpoena.

I pointed out that this was the identical to the answer I had already received, the answer which (coupled with the poor customer service) led to my writing the letter. An answer which still failed to address my concerns. I asked what he intended to do to address them -- which was, I assumed, the reason for his call.

I soon found that assumption was in error. He merely reiterated his previous statement. I explained that my concerns could be addressed in one of two ways: by providing the requested information, or by issuing a credit for the amount, as apology for your inability to do so and acknowledgement that my concerns -- as a customer of ten years -- were of any importance to your company. As I stated below, an unwillingness to consider either of these solutions clearly shows a lack of regard for my patronage, and as such the other option available is to release me from my contract.

He replied that none of these solutions were acceptable to him, and reiterated his previous statement.

As he was being repetitious, I responded in kind; I explained my position again -- I will admit, at length. But I was careful neither to raise my voice nor to use profanity of any sort.

Your representative said that he was ending the conversation. I replied that I did not consider the conversation to be finished, and he hung up on me. And thereby repeated the exact pattern about which I wrote you to complain, solidifying my belief that Sprint customer service is, in fact, the worst in the world. When your representative calls to respond to a complaint and converts your customer from unsatisfied to furious, you are clearly going out of your way to hire the worst that minimum wage has to offer.

Except, as it turns out, your retention department. Because when your representative who called, ostensibly, to apologize, left me instead with no other option than to cancel my service, I called to do so. And, to my shock, I was treated to the most human, polite, and helpful individual I have experienced in my dealings with Sprint since the last time my contract was up for renewal. She expressed appreciation for my ten years of patronage, and backed her statement with action: she applied a credit.

Denise is the reason -- the ONLY reason -- Sprint was able retained me as a customer. Until I spoke to her, your representatives were every variation of terrible one could imagine, ranging from inept to incompetent to just plain rude.

Denise, by contrast, was sympathetic, clear, helpful, and addressed my concerns. It was almost as if she worked for a different company than everyone else with whom I had spoken.

Denise is the ideal after which ALL of your customer service representatives should, and indeed must, model themselves. Attempting to cancel my service should not be the only way to reach to a competent representative.

Mollified, yet still horrified,

Jonathan Van Gieson


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