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Red Tape Chronicles, the FCC, Sprint, and Consumer Confusion



20080528_customer-service_not-our-priorityI don’t think anyone is surprised that Telcos like Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, etc.. are thought of in the same vein as used car salesmen, hedge fund managers, politicians, and spammers. Sooner or later we all have an issue with our provider of choice, and sooner or later we all find out that we have to have the patience of Job and the tenacity of a terrorist in order to get any satisfaction.

I follow the Red Tape Chronicles for many reasons and one of those is the way Bob Sullivan shares the insanity he discovers when dealing with, well, red tape, in all its forms.

In his most recent post, he chronicles his attempts to end his relationship with Sprint after his contract ended, and as you can expect, the red tape here will make you see red. Bob is dealing with Sprint here, but sad to say, this root causes of his problems are industry wide.

A personal hint to pass on from my own experience. It used to be that a better method of getting satisfaction was to ask to have your call escalated or for a supervisor. I’ve stopped doing that and immediately (well, there is no such thing as immediate when it comes to navigating phone trees designed to frustrate customers), ask to speak to a Customer Retention Specialist.   This seems to work, at the moment, because they assume you are ready to ditch the service. (In Sprint’s case they’ve had a lot of that lately.) You may not get complete satisfaction, but you’ll at least get someone who will listen and attempt to get an issue resolved.

Of course, I always say that if a company needs a Customer Retention department, they’ve already lost the game anyway.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Xavier

    03/13/2009 at 9:42 am

    I switched from Sprint almost two years ago when I switched to AT&T/iPhone and remember having to pay a week or two of unused minutes.

    I agree that a lot of mobile contracts are unfair, but this guy seems like he was out to prove a point. Why didn’t he just have his new carrier port his old number, which would have automatically closed his Sprint account?

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