Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thanks for the Years of Service, Dan Hesse

Image representing Sprint Nextel as depicted i...Image via CrunchBase
An Open Letter to Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint:

Dear Mr. Hesse,

I have been with Sprint for a long time. A real long time. I've been a customer of your company since you were working for the competition.

I got my first Sprint phone in lieu of a landline in 1999. When I married again nearly 5 years later, we had a landline, but eventually we got my wife on another cell as she went back to work.

Over 6 years ago, the contracts on both those phones expired which gave us the flexibility to leave without those high ETFs.

I would call every two years when prices were dropping with other services, but your customer services reps bent over backwards to keep me. The last big push was nearly 2 years ago when my wife wanted texting on our phones and we got the eldest her first phone. You all caved and gave us what was an off the books plan! This last year, we had to add our eldest daughter and went with a traditional shared plan.

For a shared 1500 minute plan and unlimited texting with a data pack on my phone, we were playing shy of $50/phone/month.

We saw the Virgin deal recently and talked about it. We don't talk THAT much on our phones, we just don't.  So it made plenty of sense to make the switch. Of course, we would have to buy new phones, but Ebay always keeps them cheap and we can resell the old ones.

I began the dance with your reps this week. I chatted with a rep and asked about the monthly cost on our bill if we were to cancel. One phone left would equal $50/month with no termination fees.

I asked again online a few days later about dropping only one line. On both occasions, the reps were nice, asked why I was considering leaving, but made no hard sell to keep me.

Then I called. I talked to a nice rep who REALLY wanted to keep us. Par usual, there were pushes to get the phones (new contract for two years, no thanks). Well, what about corporate discounts? I had them in the past based on where I had worked and apparently there was one that qualified now. With a slice in taxes and 18% off, we could cut our bill nearly to Virgin Mobile rates.

I was sold.

Then, I got the email to confirm my participation in the corporate discount- I would have to agree to another two years. This was NEVER mentioned by the nice rep on the phone.

I suppose it is not a huge deal, but my lack of contract is the only thing that's given me leverage in our relationship in the past.  Considering Virgin is a Sprint company, I can not understand the difference. I would also not make an issue, but I made it patently clear with the rep that I did not want to do anything that would create a new contract. I was also told that Virgin calls do not get priority on Sprint towers? I guess that would matter, but obviously the rep wasn't listening when I said this was mainly for the texting.

I've gotten GREAT service from Sprint over the years from the tech to the reps, but this lie of omission was the final straw.

I've ordered my Virgin mobile phones and will be making the switch ASAP.

Mr. Hesse, you have a fine company and I hate to leave, but this inequity within your own service lines needs to cease.

Sincerely, Todd


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