(CC'd to ZDNet forum)

On Fri, 04 Jul 2003 04:01:24 -0400, The Magnificent Bastard
<[email protected]> wrote:

>He instructed me to take the malfunctioning phones to a location that
>was virtually around the corner.
>The second moment of truth occurred when I learned, upon my arrival at
>the specified location, that it wasn't a service center. It was only
>an authorized Nextel retail outlet.

This unfortunately happens a lot to us - we're a indirect dealer, not
a service center. Yet often Nextel sends customers to us for repair
services. Most of the customers call first though.

>First, I expected that any person at an authorized retail outlet for
>anything I buy would have complete and accurate information about what
>to do when something purchased there breaks. Second, I expected that
>the retail outlet would be able to send it to a service center for me.
>Neither expectation was fulfilled. My only option, I was told, was to
>drive to one of two service centers, each of which was about 40 miles

Nextels warranty period is one year from date of purchase. We, as a
dealer, cannot send a customers phone for repair. The customer must
use Express door to door (a $35 charge to your next bill), or go to a
service center).

>(about 15 miles away) but failed to offer any other options. At this
>point, I was wishing that fixing a telephone was more like fixing a
>laptop from one of the respectable manufacturers. If you call IBM, for
>example, someone shows up at your door within 24 hours with a box. You
>stick the computer in the box and, for most repairs, the computer is
>returned to you within two or three days.

See above. Nextel door to door - you put the phone in a box, FedEx
picks up the box, you get it back 3 days later.

>Then I remembered driving by a radio service center with Nextel logos
>on the side of its building--and it was a lot closer than 15 miles. I
>stopped in and, sure enough, the owner said he could fix the phones.
>Naturally, with the Nextel signs and collateral materials lying
>around, I assumed that it was an authorized service center. It wasn't,
>but I didn't know this until later. The assessment fee per phone was
>$20, refundable only if I chose to repair the phones. I left the
>phones behind for assessment. Later that day, I received a call
>telling me that one unit could be fixed for $70 and the other phone
>wasn't fixable at all. Seventy dollars to fix a cell phone?

Yes. Nokia has a flat rate of $100 an hour. How much do you think they
pay the people to repair them? They don't work for free.

>I asked Volante how I would have known that the call should have been
>escalated. Volante explained that some customers are aware of all the
>options because of mailings that go out to them. That's a good reason
>to read those mailings, which I typically overlook. (Who has time to
>read that stuff?)

If you don't like the answer of a level one monkey, ask for a
supervisor. No matter where you call.

>Nextel is now refunding the $90 ($70 for the repair, $20 for the
>assessment of the unrepairable phone) and is putting the phones on the
>$2.50 per month maintenance plan.

Had you read the contract you signed, you would have known about the
$2.50 maintenance option.

Next article you slam a carrier on for not giving you all your
options, slam the person who doesn't read the contract they sign.
To reply, remove TheObvious from my e-mail address.

See More: Problems? Nextel's Moments of Truth