Are you sitting down? Are you holding any sharp objects? No? Good. Because you aren’t going to believe this…
I’ve had a positive experience with Sprint. Let me repeat that because I’m sure you think it’s a typo: I’ve had a positive experience with Sprint. Yes, this is the same Sprint that finished at the bottom of a recent J.D.Power & Associates survey of mobile phone providers, a survey more notable for the fact that every one of the providers was despised than for the differences between providers.
Here’s what happened. Of course your mileage may vary.
So I have a Treo 600 phone. I love it, by the way, but that credit goes entirely to
A while back, when I first bought my Treo 600, I decided to subscribe to Sprint’s “extended care plan”. I am not usually a fan of extended warranties, they seem like a ripoff, but somehow this seemed worth doing. Maybe it was the fact that the plan only cost $6/month, and my phone cost $500. The extended care plan has two parts, first, Sprint extends the manufacturer’s warranty through the life of the phone (while you own it), and second, Sprint offers a no-questions-asked replacement in the event your phone is lost or damaged via a company called Lock/Line. (More on Lock/Line in a moment.) Since Handspring offered a 90-day warranty and I was planning to own my phone a lot longer than that, this seemed like a good deal, with the added bonus that if I lost or damaged the phone (or dipped it in coffee), I’d get a replacement.
After struggling with my now-really-sensitive-to-signal-strength phone for a couple of weeks, I decided to put the extended care program to the test. I called Sprint, reported the problem, and they said “call Lock/Line”. Sigh, here we go, I thought. So I called Lock/Line, jumped through about 10 hoops, finally reached a human, and they said “call Sprint”. Sigh, here we go again, I thought.
The Sprint customer support rep asked a few questions about what happened, and then determined that obviously it was not a manufacturing defect, so obviously it wasn’t covered by their extended warranty. That’s why they had me call Lock/Line. The Lock/Line customer support rep asked a few questions about what happened, and then determined that obviously it was a manufacturing defect, so obviously it was covered by Sprint’s extended warranty. Sometimes in this situation the consumer is the loser, you end up falling through the cracks between the finger pointing. But in this case the relationship works, because one way or another, you are covered. In the end the Lock/Line rep prevailed and was able to file the Sprint warranty claim on my behalf. This seems like a bad thing from Sprint’s point of view but it was a great thing from my point of view, because I received a new phone for a processing fee of $10.
After the warranty claim was filed, I received a brand new Treo 600 four days later. The phone arrived with detailed and accurate instructions about how to activate the new phone and how to return the old one. I followed the instructions and am now happily using my brand new Treo 600. Oh, and of course the extended care plan covers this phone, too, so I can do the coffee bath thing every year or so and have a new phone forever.
Anyway as I said your mileage may vary but this was a positive customer service experience with Sprint. And if you have an expensive phone I can recommend Sprint’s extended care plan, it is a good deal.
P.S. Note to self – one of the most positive aspects of the whole experience was the detailed and accurate instructions about how to activate the new phone which came with the replacement. Documentation is so important.