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Epilogue: Satisfaction Granted

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It took all of six minutes for the Executive Services VIP Analyst to settle my account. She apologized profusely and refunded every penny of the $630. With an additional $75 "service credit," my balance due dropped to -$20.

Six minutes.

I am very thankful. My heart rate has returned to normal. I've lifted my boycott on the Nextel Cup, and can start watching Ron Livingston movies again.

Do I have any confidence that Sprint won't screw me again? No, absolutely none. But it's a depressing industry. Tales identical to this happen all the time, even to Cingular and T-Mobile and Verizon customers. For now, Sprint and I have made up. Better the devil you know. Especially the devil whose Executive Services VIP Analyst's phone number you know.

I appreciate all the comments and emails and insider tips. Where do we go from here? Out of this little ordeal will come two things. First, a renewed interest in finding examples of great customer service. Gotta balance out the negativity I've poured in the ocean. Second, if you've gotten your ass kicked by a cell phone provider (or any large entity), I'd be happy to help you demand satisfaction. No guarantees. Just fire me an email.

But I can't stop thinking that being the anti-cellphone company is fertile ground for a newcomer, the way jetBlue made the stodgy old airlines seem obsolescent. What if Apple had announced the iPhone would only be made available through this non-existent carrier? Oh well. I'm locked in with Sprint for another 23 months. Maybe by then someone will have filled the void. Sir Branson?

We now return to regularly scheduled shenanigans.

Previous Entries:
My Marathon With Sprint
An Open Letter to Sprint CEO Gary Forsee
Update: Sprint CEO Emails Me

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4 Comments

Wonderful that you got the bill taken care of, but woldn't it have been a whole lot simpler for them to do this the FIRST time you called? Makes you wonder how many hundreds and thousands of dollars they are making from folks who gave up earlier than you.

said Miss Cellania on February 7, 2007 1:06 AM.

Unfortunately, the people who do not have a vested interest in your satisfaction are least likely to insure it. When I did outside sales for Nextel, the majority of my clients were people/companies who were disgusted with them and ready to cancel. I would listen to them bitch for an hour (rightfully so), and then I would go through their bills and calling plans and find where the other dealer, telesales, etc. had screwed up. Then I corrected the mistake, put in for credits, and had a client that knew they could trust me. Often billing mistakes are simple fixes, but finding someone who will take the time to put through the escalation is difficult. 1st tier customer service has no motivation to do it.

I guess my suggestion to everyone would be this: Pretend instead of buying a phone from someone, that you are handing over your wallet to them for safekeeping. If you aren't comfortable with them keeping your wallet, why buy a phone from them? And would you give your wallet to somebody you've never met that you reached by calling an 800 number?

said Joey B on February 7, 2007 7:22 AM.

Branson's a complete cnut, you want to stay away from him. Virgin has a network here called Virgin Mobile, which is basically a virtual network for T-Mobile. Shit service, shit reception, shit Virgin.

said inglish on February 7, 2007 8:56 AM.

I hate my virgin cell phone and regret having purchased it under the impression that at the time the company was offering unlimited incoming calling. How convenient that they would receive a strong following of consumers purchasing their telephones, only to elminate that option at a later date. Ahrmmm smells like "Rogers" all over again.

In the beginning it was great, now I hate it. I am looking to dump my phone. My advice is don't purchase a virgin mobile phone unless you want to throw money away for nothing.

Ie phone calls automatically rounded up to the next 2 minutes, not one!! feel free to read up on that one.

said Paul on April 7, 2007 2:01 AM.
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