Tuesday, January 5, 2010

How is your cell phone service?

Many cell phone customers are locked into two-year contracts that they entered in order to get some "deal". What do you do when your cell phone service goes south before the end of the contract?

Recently a Sprint customer contacted me for help. I have a little experience with Sprint myself. I have generally been satisfied with service for 8-10 years, although it's spotty in Woodstock. Even in my current residence, I don't always receive calls. Callers tell me that my phone will ring 6-7 times and then go into voicemail. I can be sitting right next to the phone, and it never rang.

The customer who called me today told me that she must have reliable cell phone service. It's not optional. And why shouldn't we have reliable service, for what we pay for it?

She decided to switch carriers and contacted Sprint. She learned the date when she could cancel without penalty and did so. Then her next bill showed a huge early-termination fee. The war has begun.

I gave her a list of complaint-resolution resources, including the Better Business Bureau, the Attorney General, www.planetfeedback.com and www.RipOffReport.com, the Public Utilities Commission, the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) and the Problem Solver guy at the Chicago Tribune.

My suggestion was to call Sprint back one more time. Give Sprint one last chance to be honorable. Then tell the supervisor (don't waste time talking over and over with the front-line customer service rep., who has very limited complaint-resolution authority) that you want your problem solved in 24 hours, or you will file a complaint with (name the group).

If you don't get a call back in 24 hours (to the minute) that your complaint has been resolved, file that complaint. Then call back Sprint; tell a supervisor that the complaint was filed and give them 24 hours to fix the problem, or a complaint will be filed with (name the next group).

And then? You guessed it. In 24 hours, file the next complaint and call them back.

If asked if you are threatening them, tell them, "Absolutely not. These are not threats; these are promises."

Keep very detailed records of your efforts, including dates, times, supervisors' names, what action you requested, what they promised.

1 comment:

Gus said...

I'm happy to report that the Sprint customer who was having problems with an early-termination fee got the problem satisfactorily resolved this week.

She wrote, "Everyone I spoke to this week were very nice and I really appreciated your help and theirs."