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  • (Almost) Free At Last

    Posted by Jonathan on August 6th, 2003 (All posts by )

    To replace an old cell phone that suddenly became incompatible with Sprint’s network required:

    -3 phone calls to Sprint’s customer-service line.

    -3 trips to two different Sprint stores. Each visit involved a long wait and at least one unpleasant interaction with a testy employee.

    -Approximately 7 hours.

    Sprint’s wireless service has improved over the years but it’s still worse than it should be. It’s consistently bad enough that the problem must be systematic. At first I used it because it had the best set of features for my needs. Now other companies offer similar plans. The only reason I continue with Sprint is that I don’t want to change my phone number. But U.S. cell numbers are about to become portable, so I’ll look into taking my business elsewhere. I imagine a lot of other customers have similar ideas. It will be interesting to see what happens — it’ll be good for consumers, that’s for sure.



    8 Responses to “(Almost) Free At Last”

    1. Jeff Says:

      Hey Jonanthan,

      I had Sprint for a year or two and couldn’t wait to drop them – ie the only thing I liked about Sprint was they were month to month and I could cancel anytime. I have cingular now and couldn’t be happier. The signal is MUCH clearer where I live, I get more minutes, and it’s clear as a bell in Tahoe when we go ski vs my buddy who has no signal with Sprint. Show them the door = )

    2. Roger L. Simon Says:

      I feel your pain.

    3. jeanne a e devoto Says:

      Assuming they don’t do again what they did last year, and “temporarily” delay number portability by a year to “protect consumers” or whatever the excuse was.

    4. sircigar Says:

      For frequent travelers, it’s all about the coverage. If I can get a signal in Pella, Iowa or downtown Chicago – regardless how weak the customer service or outrageous the pricing – I’m going with the provider with widest reach. For the past 18 months, that remains AT&T.

    5. Jonathan Says:

      Jeff and Roger: Thanks.

      jeanne: If they do that I’ll probably switch companies anyway. Screw ’em.

      sircigar: I agree with you about coverage. Sprint used to be relatively good but no longer. Indeed it’s known for having erratic signal strength, e.g. (and in my experience) in particular buildings in areas that are supposed to be well covered.

    6. Admiral Waugh Says:

      I object to the obscene depiction of one of our greatest spokespeople… err that mystery Sprint guy, Brian Somethingorother… yeah, in real life the guy is married to Terry Farrell, who played Lt. Cmdr. Jadzia Dax on Deep Space Nine. No further explanation needed– certainly this amounts to necessary and sufficient evidence that we should all be using Sprint. So let’s be fair about this. :)

    7. Brian Says:

      Beware of falling heavy lourde.

    8. Ray Clutts Says:

      Now you know why I changed over to Verizon which for the Chicago metro retro area is the superior service. Who has ignored the NIMBYs and built the best set of local towers is the real question. Verizon is the answer.

      Oh yeah, my partner switched me to Cingular recently and their service drops off all over the Chicago metro region.