For SprintNextel, customer "service" is a jangled mess

Note: With the exception of a couple of updates, this is a cross-post from a very recent entry on my BBHub blog. I do this because I thought this story would be of interest to you as well.

Note: With the exception of a couple of updates, this is a cross-post from a very recent entry on my BBHub blog. I do this because I thought this story would be of interest to you as well

When it comes to SprintNextel "service," the best descriptor I can use rhymes with ducks.This is true for so many reasons.

The overarching one is that more than a year after Sprint's acquisition of Nextel, they are, except on paper, still two separate companies.

Yes, I know that there are challenges in merging two separate systems together. But did you know that without human intervention, Sprint and Nextel's customer billing systems aren't only not interfaced with one another, they are unknown to each other.

Sprint customer service can't pull up my BlackBerry records, which pertain to an account opened on Nextel. And then when you go to the Nextel site in hopes of finding this info online, such page requests automatically bounce over to Sprint.

And then there's the matter of finding a parts replacement. Say a new battery for my BlackBerry 7520.I could use a new BlackBerry battery for my Nextel 7520. The rigors have rendered my old battery incapable of receiving a charge.

I called several Sprint stores today. Clerks were unfamiliar with my Nextel model- "uh, we don't carry that, sorry.""Do you have any suggestions?""Try the Radio Shack down the street."I call several Radio Shacks."Uh, we don't carry those kind of batteries."

So I go online to the Nextel-or Sprint, or whatever, site.I go to Contact Us. I see a form, with settings for billing disputes. This isn't a billing dispute. Just tell me a way to get a new flickin' battery.

Nothing.Then I go to RIM's Shop BlackBerry and I see a battery for the 7520- not exactly a new model- "will be available October 22."

Update: I wrote that post on Thursday, October 19. I didn't want to wait a week until my needed battery arrived. Update: Lo and behold, a BlackBerry 7520 battery offer "went live" on Friday, October 20.

But back to my story: 

So then I enter ""BlackBerry" and "7520" and "battery" into Google.Presto. On the way from CellPhoneShop. $30.45, counting FedEx Priority. Might get here tomorrow, or Monday at the latest.

SprintNextel, these efficiencies are inexcusable. You are the last among the major U.S. carriers to get new BlackBerry devices, subscribers are leaving you in droves, and the Wall Street Journal ripped you the other day. And the best you can do when you really need to get your service act together is to nickel and dime your subscribers with increased text message costs?

SprintNextel, you've already fired your COO and Chairman this year.

Maybe I "foresee" that your CEO Gary Forsee needs to go next?

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