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  1. #1
    Eric
    Guest
    Being an admittedly former customer... I thought it would be a good
    discussion point on what Sprint could do to improve its image, win back
    former customers and entice new customers to come to their service.

    The problem I had with Sprint the most was that the CSRs at *2 were
    generally (many, not all) unfriendly and unknowlegeable. Getting a PRL
    update was like pulling teeth. I was tired of being afraid to call *2
    and being the smarter one on the line. I was tricked into signing a
    new two-year agreement when I changed my plans to a higher priced one...
    a problem that was corrected, but never should have happened in the
    first place.

    Now, I'm not saying that all CSRs are like that as I certainly did have
    a few helpful ones here and there. But as a general standpoint, their
    customer service was horrible... it was improving somewhat, but
    considering where it once was, it is a long hill to climb.

    I think Sprint would be helped immensely if they offered:
    -- honest CSRs who do not reup your contract on the sly

    -- try and upsell you with Sprint LD or Voice Command

    -- an self-serve automatic PRL update (like the *228 that Verizon
    offers)

    -- get bugs out of programs before releasing them (i.e. the sms system
    and many reports that messages aren't going through/being received)

    -- train CSRs better on projected phone release dates. Its
    understandable if a rep gets a "projected" date wrong as problems can
    arise in testing and whatnot, but claiming they know nothing at all just
    makes them look ignorant

    -- start offering more phones for customers who aren't in need of all
    the bells and whistles of a camera, video recording, ready link, etc.
    Not everyone likes Nokias, and Sprint should offer a small variety of
    phones that's primary function is calls, both candy-bar style and flip.

    -- drop the $5 instore payment charge. A little complaint, granted, but
    something people can always point to when saying Sprint is customer
    non-friendly. Same with the charging to call *4

    -- be honest. if a customer calls and requests to speak to a
    supervisor, pass the call up. Don't argue and don't refuse and don't
    lie about it. Give the customer your rep ID and/or name if requested.

    Again, not *all* reps are like this as there are some who do a great job
    and had been a pleasure to talk to. But sadly, that is not the norm.

    Any other ideas?

    Eric





    See More: How would you improve Sprint?




  2. #2
    Cell merger
    Guest

    Re: How would you improve Sprint?

    Bingo - You hit the nail on the head Eric.

    1. better training of CSRs, now its like calling IRS
    call 4 times, get 5 different ansers.

    2. Less strict enforcement of "handle times"

    3. Less strict enforcement of upsell quptas.

    4. More strict enforcement of "One and done".
    On paper SprintPCS wants CSRs to be able have have problems handled in one
    phone call. As we both know that often doesn't happen, and there seems to be
    zero tracking of it.

    5. Fix the billing system ! ! !
    - No billing for free trials.
    - Notify customers when abnormal use pattern seen (,i,e, over 50 roaming
    minutes)
    - no double billing of sales tax
    - No mysterious disappearing of credits -
    A credit is granted (for wrong charge or whatever it needs to not be
    removeable)
    - No sliding forward of expiration date of
    "Advantage Agreement"

    6. Finally produce accurate coverage maps.

    7. No SECRETS
    Secret warranty coverage of 4 models for cracked screens
    Secret recall of Samsung Black 8500 flip
    Secret policies of Retention



  3. #3
    Eric
    Guest

    Re: How would you improve Sprint?

    cell merger wrote:
    <<1. better training of CSRs, now its like calling IRS =A0 call 4 times,
    get 5 different ansers.
    5. Fix the billing system ! ! !
    =A0=A0=A0=A0- No billing for free trials.
    =A0=A0=A0=A0- Notify customers when abnormal use pattern seen (,i,e,
    over 50 roaming minutes) >>

    Heh heh... I think both of these would apply not only to Sprint but to
    many (if not most) carriers.
    I have heard horror stories about vastly different results from
    different CSRs at T-Mobile and Verizon as well. I think the key there
    is that T-Mobile seems to be (on the surface) more pleasant to talk to
    than Sprint's reps, so its not such a vocal issue as it is with Sprint.

    That is one I left about -- about the billing of free trials. It does
    state, to be fair, that free trials will be billed if not cancelled at
    the end of the free trial. But, as with all companies, it would be nice
    if a free trial was just that -- a free trial, where *you* were the one
    to notify them if you wanted the service/extra feature to continue or
    not.

    Eric




  4. #4
    Terry Knab
    Guest

    Re: How would you improve Sprint?

    One thing I'd say is that Training is a better thing if you call business
    services. The folks at Business are better trained and more competent.

    "Cell merger" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Bingo - You hit the nail on the head Eric.
    >
    > 1. better training of CSRs, now its like calling IRS
    > call 4 times, get 5 different ansers.
    >
    > 2. Less strict enforcement of "handle times"
    >
    > 3. Less strict enforcement of upsell quptas.
    >
    > 4. More strict enforcement of "One and done".
    > On paper SprintPCS wants CSRs to be able have have problems handled in

    one
    > phone call. As we both know that often doesn't happen, and there seems to

    be
    > zero tracking of it.
    >
    > 5. Fix the billing system ! ! !
    > - No billing for free trials.
    > - Notify customers when abnormal use pattern seen (,i,e, over 50 roaming
    > minutes)
    > - no double billing of sales tax
    > - No mysterious disappearing of credits -
    > A credit is granted (for wrong charge or whatever it needs to not be
    > removeable)
    > - No sliding forward of expiration date of
    > "Advantage Agreement"
    >
    > 6. Finally produce accurate coverage maps.
    >
    > 7. No SECRETS
    > Secret warranty coverage of 4 models for cracked screens
    > Secret recall of Samsung Black 8500 flip
    > Secret policies of Retention






  5. #5
    Bob Smith
    Guest

    Re: How would you improve Sprint?


    "Eric" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    cell merger wrote:
    <<1. better training of CSRs, now its like calling IRS call 4 times,
    get 5 different ansers.
    5. Fix the billing system ! ! !
    - No billing for free trials.
    - Notify customers when abnormal use pattern seen (,i,e,
    over 50 roaming minutes) >>

    Heh heh... I think both of these would apply not only to Sprint but to
    many (if not most) carriers.
    I have heard horror stories about vastly different results from
    different CSRs at T-Mobile and Verizon as well. I think the key there
    is that T-Mobile seems to be (on the surface) more pleasant to talk to
    than Sprint's reps, so its not such a vocal issue as it is with Sprint.

    That is one I left about -- about the billing of free trials. It does
    state, to be fair, that free trials will be billed if not cancelled at
    the end of the free trial. But, as with all companies, it would be nice
    if a free trial was just that -- a free trial, where *you* were the one
    to notify them if you wanted the service/extra feature to continue or
    not.

    Eric

    SPCS has never offered a free trial. They specifically state that if the new
    customer wants to cancel the plan and return the phone within 14 days of
    purchase, the user is responsibe for the activation and first month's
    charge, plus any applicable taxes ...

    Bob





  6. #6
    Eric
    Guest

    Re: How would you improve Sprint?

    <<SPCS has never offered a free trial. They specifically state that if
    the new customer wants to cancel the plan and return the phone within 14
    days of purchase, the user is responsibe for the activation and first
    month's charge, plus any applicable taxes ... >>

    Oh, ok... I thought he was referring to the free trials of like Voice
    Command or something that they give you free for two months... and then
    continue to bill you for it unless you cancel it.

    The 14 day trial I believe... the customer should be billed for airtime
    used and possibly the activation fee. But it should be fully explained
    to the customer that the activation fee would be non-refundable at the
    time of service signup. Telling the average customer that he/she has a
    "risk free" trial period is slightly misleading when they will lose the
    activation fee cost. Plus, Sprint should start the billing cycle until
    after the 14 days are up... just charge those 14 days of service with
    the rest of the next month's charges so that the customer doesn't get
    locked into paying for a month of service he/she didn't want.

    Eric




  7. #7
    Bob Smith
    Guest

    Re: How would you improve Sprint?


    "Eric" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > <<SPCS has never offered a free trial. They specifically state that if
    > the new customer wants to cancel the plan and return the phone within 14
    > days of purchase, the user is responsibe for the activation and first
    > month's charge, plus any applicable taxes ... >>
    >
    > Oh, ok... I thought he was referring to the free trials of like Voice
    > Command or something that they give you free for two months... and then
    > continue to bill you for it unless you cancel it.
    >
    > The 14 day trial I believe... the customer should be billed for airtime
    > used and possibly the activation fee. But it should be fully explained
    > to the customer that the activation fee would be non-refundable at the
    > time of service signup. Telling the average customer that he/she has a
    > "risk free" trial period is slightly misleading when they will lose the
    > activation fee cost. Plus, Sprint should start the billing cycle until
    > after the 14 days are up... just charge those 14 days of service with
    > the rest of the next month's charges so that the customer doesn't get
    > locked into paying for a month of service he/she didn't want.
    >
    > Eric


    Nope ... there's a reason why they don't Eric. The user could use all his /
    her plan minutes allocated for the plan they picked within the 2 week trial
    period. What would happen if they prorated the plan for just the two week
    period is that the user would get hit with additional charges. It's just
    easier to bill a whole month.

    As to the activation fee, it's said it's non-refundable on the web, in their
    brochures, phone manuals (I think) and on the signs at the store.

    Bob





  8. #8
    Cell merger
    Guest

    Re: How would you improve Sprint?

    SPCS has never offered a free trial.

    NONSENSE, they offer free trials for Ready Link, Vision, Voice Command. and yet
    we repeatedly see posts from folks that got billed for the service during their
    free trial period.

    The WHOOPS charge.



  9. #9
    Cell merger
    Guest

    Re: How would you improve Sprint?

    > As to the activation fee, it's said it's non-
    > refundable on the web, in their
    > brochures, phone manuals (I think) and on the
    > signs at the store.


    And yet Sprint misleads folks with their "No risk" trial, and the nonrefundable
    activation fee in the fine print.

    It's nonrefundable if charged. What is said on the web is:

    Phone Activation Fee. You may be required to pay a non-refundable phone
    activation fee when you activate a new Number, have us switch a Number to a
    different phone, have your current Number changed, we activate a different
    phone on your existing account or your Service Plan says so.

    SprintPCS and Radio Shack especially regularly have promotions where activation
    fees are waived, and business customers NEVER pay any activation fee.




  10. #10
    Steven J Sobol
    Guest

    Re: How would you improve Sprint?

    Eric <[email protected]> wrote:

    > The 14 day trial I believe... the customer should be billed for airtime
    > used and possibly the activation fee. But it should be fully explained
    > to the customer that the activation fee would be non-refundable at the
    > time of service signup.


    It was explained to me. Of course, that doesn't mean that all sales reps
    and CSRs explain it properly - mine is just a single data point.


    --
    JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, Apple Valley, CA PGP: 0xE3AE35ED
    Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / [email protected]
    Domain Names, $9.95/yr, 24x7 service: http://DomainNames.JustThe.net/
    "someone once called me a sofa, but i didn't feel compelled to rush out and buy
    slip covers." -adam brower * Hiroshima '45, Chernobyl '86, Windows 98/2000/2003



  11. #11
    O/Siris
    Guest

    Re: How would you improve Sprint?

    In article <[email protected]>,=20
    [email protected] says...
    > Being an admittedly former customer... I thought it would be a good
    > discussion point on what Sprint could do to improve its image, win back
    > former customers and entice new customers to come to their service. =20
    >=20
    > The problem I had with Sprint the most was that the CSRs at *2 were
    > generally (many, not all) unfriendly and unknowlegeable. Getting a PRL
    > update was like pulling teeth. I was tired of being afraid to call *2
    > and being the smarter one on the line. I was tricked into signing a
    > new two-year agreement when I changed my plans to a higher priced one...
    > a problem that was corrected, but never should have happened in the
    > first place.
    >=20
    > Now, I'm not saying that all CSRs are like that as I certainly did have
    > a few helpful ones here and there. But as a general standpoint, their
    > customer service was horrible... it was improving somewhat, but
    > considering where it once was, it is a long hill to climb.
    >=20
    > I think Sprint would be helped immensely if they offered:
    > -- honest CSRs who do not reup your contract on the sly


    We definitely have issues about this. A rep caught doing this faces=20
    "corrective action," but I don't think we've been aggressive enough=20
    about this.

    >=20
    > -- try and upsell you with Sprint LD or Voice Command


    Someone somewhere reported to SPCS higher-ups that customers=20
    complained about not knowing about all the services SPCS can provide. =20
    Customers would apply for minute plans, and not much else. Because,=20
    according to the story, they didn't know we provided it.

    And then there's churn. The more services a user is subscribed to,=20
    the less likely they are to churn. I think that is a pretty obvious=20
    maxim, but we also have industry studies to back it up. In other=20
    words, that isn't going away.

    >=20
    > -- an self-serve automatic PRL update (like the *228 that Verizon
    > offers)
    >=20


    I think that's a great idea.

    > -- get bugs out of programs before releasing them (i.e. the sms system
    > and many reports that messages aren't going through/being received)


    Y'know, for months Phillie, and others, were wondering why that took=20
    so long. Expectations can be slippery things to get a hold of.

    >=20
    > -- train CSRs better on projected phone release dates. Its
    > understandable if a rep gets a "projected" date wrong as problems can
    > arise in testing and whatnot, but claiming they know nothing at all just
    > makes them look ignorant


    I couldn't agree with you more on this one. There is no reason=20
    whatsoever that a CSR has to learn about upcoming SPCS projects from=20
    the 'Net before there's ever anything getting released internally.

    >=20
    > -- start offering more phones for customers who aren't in need of all
    > the bells and whistles of a camera, video recording, ready link, etc.
    > Not everyone likes Nokias, and Sprint should offer a small variety of
    > phones that's primary function is calls, both candy-bar style and flip.


    That's going to be a tough point to make. I mean, at one point, we=20
    were selling 10,000 Sanyon 8100's PER WEEK. And not just for one=20
    week, either. And now the VM4500 is the single most expensive non-
    PDA we've ever sold, and we can't keep it on the shelf.

    Minimum, I think there should be one flip and one non-flip in that=20
    manner. But it's probably not going to happen so long as those bells=20
    sell.

    >=20
    > -- drop the $5 instore payment charge. A little complaint, granted, but
    > something people can always point to when saying Sprint is customer
    > non-friendly. Same with the charging to call *4


    The idea is to encourage the automated options. SPCS.com, the ATM-
    type machines in the stores, *3, even via your Vision phone. So we=20
    have several free and convenient options. And we don't deny you the=20
    "people" option. We just place a premium on it.

    I'm not so sure I *totally* buy that, but I do think there's a valid=20
    point to that.

    >=20
    > -- be honest. if a customer calls and requests to speak to a
    > supervisor, pass the call up. Don't argue and don't refuse and don't
    > lie about it. Give the customer your rep ID and/or name if requested. =

    =20

    Like the first point above, absolutely. And action *is* taken when=20
    this is caught not being done properly. Personal opinion, though: I=20
    think we need to be far more aggressive about this.

    >=20
    > Again, not *all* reps are like this as there are some who do a great job
    > and had been a pleasure to talk to. But sadly, that is not the norm.
    >=20
    > Any other ideas?


    I'll leave the ideas to others.

    --=20
    R=D8=DF
    O/Siris
    I work for Sprint PCS
    I *don't* speak for them



  12. #12
    O/Siris
    Guest

    Re: How would you improve Sprint?

    In article <[email protected]>,=20
    [email protected] says...
    > That is one I left about -- about the billing of free trials. It does
    > state, to be fair, that free trials will be billed if not cancelled at
    > the end of the free trial. But, as with all companies, it would be nice
    > if a free trial was just that -- a free trial, where *you* were the one
    > to notify them if you wanted the service/extra feature to continue or
    > not.
    >=20


    Y'know, this one is a business standard anymore. I mean, Cellular=20
    One in the Chicago area advertises very inexpensive plans. And then=20
    you look at the fine print and they're based on 2-year commitments,=20
    PLUS they go up automatically after a preset time period. A year, or=20
    6 months on a couple that I've seen in the recent past.

    Netflix is a 7-day free trial that automatically charges you unless=20
    you cancel. Real Networks and it's radio-via-Internet services, the=20
    same. You would, I suspect, be very hard-pressed to find a trial=20
    anymore that does *not* do this. First of all, it works. Customers=20
    not only accept the charges, they are, by and large, happy with the=20
    service. Or, at least, not complaining about the tactic when it's=20
    accurately represented to them.

    The presumptive establishing of service charges carries comparatively=20
    little backlash for a great deal of savings over the the method you=20
    prefer.

    It doesn't hurt, and it provides a benefit to the company. You=20
    figure the odds.


    --=20
    R=D8=DF
    O/Siris
    I work for Sprint PCS
    I *don't* speak for them



  13. #13
    Robert M.
    Guest

    Re: How would you improve Sprint?

    In article <[email protected]news.teranews.com>,
    O/Siris <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Y'know, this one is a business standard anymore.


    Again. Others screw customers, so its OK if we do too logic.



  14. #14
    Robert M.
    Guest

    Re: How would you improve Sprint?

    In article <[email protected]>,
    O/Siris <[email protected]> wrote:

    > > I think Sprint would be helped immensely if they offered:
    > > -- honest CSRs who do not reup your contract on the sly

    >
    > We definitely have issues about this. A rep caught doing this faces
    > "corrective action," but I don't think we've been aggressive enough
    > about this.



    What about reps that tell customers THEY MUST get a new contract when
    thats not the case.



  15. #15
    Robert M.
    Guest

    Re: How would you improve Sprint?

    In article <[email protected]>,
    O/Siris <[email protected]> wrote:

    > > -- be honest. if a customer calls and requests to speak to a
    > > supervisor, pass the call up. Don't argue and don't refuse and don't
    > > lie about it. Give the customer your rep ID and/or name if requested.

    >
    > Like the first point above, absolutely. And action *is* taken when
    > this is caught not being done properly. Personal opinion, though: I
    > think we need to be far more aggressive about this.


    Obviously no action is taken, because refusal to escalate happens all
    the time, and people come to USENET complaining, and sometimes they are
    informed they can escalate themselves by calling executive services at
    866-519-5698.



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