Well. I didn’t think I’d ever have something good to say about a cell phone company. I don’t actually have my Cingular phone yet, but I did sign up over the phone for it. The Cingular sales rep actually seemed to want my business! Shocking, isn’t it? And — he actually knew things about his service that I didn’t, and even more, didn’t give me any blatantly incorrect information!
The guy also volunteered his direct extension to me, on multiple occasions. With Sprint, the best you can get is a username that another rep can e-mail (and the original one can then quickly delete), and that’s only after pressuring them hard. It’s nice to be able to talk to the original person if there’s a problem.
So, as a public service, I will now present a Sprint PCS vs. Cingular comparison in handy side-by-side format. So it could possibly be that I will never write a “Cingular sucks” story. We’ll see.
|Seems greatly inconvenienced by the almost insurmountable burden of taking money from me each month||Appears to actually want customers for some odd reason|
|Closes most calls by transferring me to a busy signal, the automated attendant, or saying they will transfer me, then hanging up.||Closes most calls by giving out their direct number, with an offer to help with any future needs|
|Monitors calls to make sure nobody accidentally gets quality service||Monitors calls to make sure they didn’t hire anyone from Sprint|
|Charged me $145 more than advertised for a phone||Saved me $30 on my phone by giving me the sale price (the sale ended yesterday)|
|All employees try to remain as anonymous as possible. It is more likely to be struck twice by lightning than to speak to the same Sprint employee twice.||Tell you how to reach them again before you ask.|
|Sign you up for services you don’t want.||Only offer you services you don’t want.|
|Charges you to use your Sprint phone to find your current usage||Current usage info is free|
|Employees seem to be annoyed they aren’t at home watching Jerry Springer (or perhaps the Indian equivolent)||Employees seem to be annoyed when they have to put you on hold for more than 30 seconds|
|Average wait time to speak to the first person: 45 minutes, unless I need to speak to someone that can actually fix my problem, in which case it’s 45 minutes plus an incorrect transfer.||Average wait time to speak to someone: about 60 seconds.|
|Number of time a customer support rep has incorrectly transferred me can only be estimated by advanced mathematics and supercomputers||What’s this “transfer” thing I hear so much about?|
|Routinely claim to be unable to do things because “the computers are down”.||Merged with a division of the company that invented UNIX|
|Company-owned retail stores require you to take a number, then wait in a crowded room for an hour, with no place to sit, just so you can be told that you must call Sprint Customer Service to get your problem resolved||Company-owned retail stores require you to wait in an open place for about 15 minutes before they solve a problem. No need to take a number because the salepeople can remember faces.|
|Company-owned retail stores most frequently visited by people that haven’t paid their bill, or those that don’t want to have to call Sprint Customer Service||Company-owned retail stores most frequently visited by people that want to buy a cell phone|
So I don’t even have my phone yet, and I have only spoken to salespeople. But it seems like a positive sign that the Cingular sales people actually want to sell things. The Sprint people, from every department, usually wish that these pesky customer folks would just go away.