Why's it so hard for Sprint to get it right?
When it comes to Kansas City, I’ll admit to being a home town dog. I stick with our Royals, our BBQ and Boulevard beer, even our zoo. So when it came time to renew our family’s cell phone contract, I decided I’d go back to Sprint, the home town business.
I know Sprint has a bad rap around here. When I tell people that I’m going with Sprint, the typical response is either “Good Luck”, or “You’ll Be Sorry.” But I’ve seen CEO Dan Hesse in those ads on TV, giving a pretty good impression of a regular guy who wants to treat you right. I believe him.
So I called them up today, ready to spend about $200 a month on a two-year contract, expecting this would be easy. Sign me up, that’s all I want!
No need to bore you with the details, which we’ve all heard before, but signing up with Sprint was not easy. I’d done my internet research, determined the phones and the plans we wanted, and chose to make the deal over the phone, since I had a few questions.
I didn’t get Dan, but I did get “Albert”, whose English was so strained he was unable to understand I was not an existing customer. I tried again with “Maria”. She was better, but much of the conversation consisted of her saying something, then me saying “What?” She did seem to understand what “What” meant, at least.
I know people who work at Sprint here in the KC area, good hard workers, and they tell me things are changing. I hear they’ve spent millions or billions on improving both customer and phone service. But if I am having such a hard time just converting to Sprint, it does make me wonder what kind of service I’ll get after I sign the papers and lock into the contract.
I don’t know where the execs who run this company come from, but if they were from these parts I bet they’d understand that when a customer calls and is ready to spend money, you hook them up with somebody who can close the deal. Someone who speaks to you like a real person, in understandable terms, and doesn’t call you “Sir” every sentence, as in “One moment Sir.” Or, “Thank you Sir for your patience Sir.” Or, “Could you repeat that Sir?”
Is it really that hard for Sprint to figure this out?
Couldn’t I at least speak to a sales rep able to understand that my name is Tim, not Kim, Jim, Slim or Zim?
I know that Dan Hesse and the other bigwigs at the Spring Campus will never read this, but if any of the workers at Sprint stumble across this little blog, I do want to assure them that I’m not giving up. I’m going to sign up with Sprint anyway, as a kind of an experiment. I’m being stubborn.
Truth is, here in Kansas City, we need Sprint. Sprint provides jobs, fills office spaces, pays taxes, and sponsors the Sprint Center and local community causes — all the things big companies do.
So I’m hoping my initial foray back into Sprint was just a freak accident, and the next time I call, someone will answer the phone and simply say: “Hello. This is Sprint. Can I help you?” And I won’t have to say, “What?”