I like Sprint, or at least I used to. They have a lot going for them. They have one of the best high-speed data networks in the area (I’m in New York, about 40 minutes outside the city) and they have decent pricing. Maybe I’m lucky because I’ve been placed into a great offer. I pay less than most of my friends for phone service and have a business data plan on a Windows Mobile phone. I often wonder if this is enough reason to stay with Sprint. Sprint has managed to fall short of basic expectations more and more lately. Here’s my recent story.
I went into the Sprint store to check out the Palm Pre and ask about the upcoming Android phones (While just rumors now, I do believe they’ll have one with in 2 months). While I was there I found out I was eligible for a replacement phone at the “new contract” price point. I was also told there would be no cost to have my phone replaced as it had a faulty directional-pad on it (not bad if thats all thats wrong after 2 years of use!). It wasn’t a big deal, but who was I to turn down a clean new phone. Especially since I wasn’t ready to drop $100-$200 or so on a new phone at this point.
A week later, the new phone arrived. I opened Pocket Internet Explorer and typed “wwwgooglecom”. After trying again, I realized the period (.) key was sticking and I had to press the key really hard to get it to register. I called sprint and they sent me another refurbished phone.
That phone arrived after a few days, and I was delighted. I activated it and went through the letters. Every one worked! NICE! Now I tried the numbers (you have to press a “Function” button to get the numbers and symbols to work). The Function button had the same issue as the period key on the previous mogul. Annoyed, I decided to bring the phone in to the Sprint Repair Center. This sunday, June 28, 2009, They looked at it and said the keys didn’t line up with the contacts right, but didn’t have a replacement or parts, so they ordered me another phone.
Another Mogul was delivered and I tested the keys.. They ALL worked! The keyboard, Directional Pad, and even the shortcut and side-keys all worked properly. I was so happy the whole ordeal was over, and then I made a call. The speaker crackled and clicked whenever there was any audio playing through it. This time I had one with a blown speaker. I couldn’t believe it. Third time is usually the charm! Not in this case.
I called up and here’s where Customer Service disappointed me. They did get me up to priority service since this was the third replacement. I’d heard that they usually offer the equivalent phone and was shocked to be offered the HTC Touch Diamond. The phone runs Windows Mobile, but it nowhere near the same phone. It does not have a slide-out keyboard, and does not take memory cards as the HTC Mogul (my phone) and HTC Touch Pro (the new equivalent) do. In addition, I would have pay the Shipping and Tax on the new phone which was over $100. I convinced them to upgrade to the Touch Pro, but they would not back off from the $100 fee. When I said I was not paying for an upgrade they told me I would have to file an insurance claim with the warranty service.
The warranty service advised me that there was a $100 deductable that I would be responsible for, and to top it off, there was a chance I would get a refurbished Mogul. I was not about to pay to have another refurbished phone sent to me, so I called Sprint back one last time.
I called Sprint back and the agent got me a supervisor who guaranteed me that I would get a working phone, so I said, bring it on! A few times she kept telling me that she was going to send me a brand new phone, but when I asked what model at the end of the order, she advised me they were sending another refurbished Mogul. I asked that the unit be inspected and tested prior to sending it out so we could avoid repeating this ordeal in another 3 days. She noted the account (which probably means it’s documented that I asked, but nothing will be done about it.)
I wish I could say that I’m happy with this, but i’m not. I have lost all trust and respect for Sprint’s repair department and can’t say that I have any faith that this next phone will work. I’d be happy with a New Mogul or a Touch Pro (the equivalent). Maybe I’ll change my mind… IF the next phone works.
If not, I need to seriously investigate other cell companies and phones, and I encourage others to do so as well.