. The Transom .

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Customer disservice the Sprint way

My wife has been a Sprint PCS customer for years. On her last bill, she had 29 separate charges for text messaging to her wireless card (How a wireless card for a laptop can receive text messages is beyond me). I called Sprint to inquire about the charges and ask that they be removed. After a few questions back and forth with very little help, I was given an 800 number to another Sprint technician. I was told to try this second person for help.

I had now spent about 10 minutes on the phone with a Sprint technician who was able to accomplish nothing other than to give me a different number to call (didn't even offer to connect me) and a poor attitude. But here is the worst part: Before I hung up, she informed me of four other offers from Sprint, such as increased internet speed, home long distance and nights that start at 6pm. Then she asked if I would be interested in buying any of those services. Are you kidding me? I just called to complain, Sprint was no help at all, and this is the moment they identify as a selling opportunity?

I declined the offers as politely as possible and called the second technician, who was in all fairness to Sprint, incredibly helpful. The charges were removed and the text messaging fiasco sorted out. I told the second technician about the 'sales pitch' from the first and he told me it was mandatory from Sprint to offer additional services on all customer calls. He said he felt horrible doing it and equated it to 'stopping at a car wreck and laughing,' but was told by his management that is was mandatory.

So I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Sprint has no freaking clue about when to sell and when to shut up and apologize. It also tells me that Sprint doesn't listen to its customer service people. Here you have thousands of employees speaking directly with customers on a daily basis and yet, decisions are being made by executives who never interact them. Brilliant. With customer service like that, we're likely to switch cell companies. Can you hear me now?


  • Ah, customer service anecdotes always are among the most amusing (and pathetic) business stories ever told. Bad service is so much easier to remember, share and complain about than good service. It really does only take one bad experience to sour you on a company for good. Had that been my experience, I may have canceled my service completely.

    By Blogger Jason Little, at Thursday, August 31, 2006 8:47:00 AM  

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