Monday, April 30, 2007

D.Cous. Once Again Lashes Out At The Man

I feel a little bit like I'm sitting in Pierre Bernard's Recliner Of Rage when I do this, but what good is a weblog if you don't use it to rant every now and then? (Please note that the preceeding question is entirely rhetorical.) To be honest, I was thinking about just letting it go unblogged about, having finally gotten what I wanted, when I stumbled accross this article, and was suddenly swept away by a flood of bad memories of long hours on hold waiting just to talk to someone who was something remotely like a human being, or at least had been such before taking a job with Sprint/Nextel. No, I must write. Too many have suffered outrage at the hands of Sprint's unholy legions for me to keep silent any longer. My outrage and that of a thousand voiceless others shall be channelled through this blog into the vast ocean of the Inter-nets, and yea, it shall brimeth over until the world rises up out of its comfy armchairs and its politely distant social cirlces and its Chrysler 300 sedans, and that great multitude of disgruntled wireless telephone consumers shall cry out as one: KHAAAAaann... er... I mean FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMM!!!!

Ok, phew. Chill out, Cous. You're gonna break the keyboard. Right. To be honest, I'm not totally sure what the oppressed multitude will yell, but it'll be something pretty dramatic, that's for darn sure. You get the idea. By this point, if you're still reading (or, for that matter, if you started reading at all) you're probably wondering what I'm on about, so I should give you a little context: For the past two years, I've been a Sprint wireless customer (my account disappears in two short days, by the way), and at work we have a few Nextel phones, which we are slowly phasing out of use. To that end, I had to call Nextel (somewhat recently acquired by Sprint) to find out when certain contracts expire, how much it would cost to end the contract before expiration, and a few other questions related to the service. It hardly matters what exactly my questions were, because the odds of speaking to a human being at Sprint are slim to none. I would venture a guess that there are more people currently climbing Mount Everest than answering the telephone for Sprint. So, over the course of a week or so, every now and then when I was doing something that did not require leaving my desk, I'd give Sprint a call. The general form of each call was something like this:

*ring... ring... ring...*

Computer: "Welcome to Sprint. Para make-a da computer speak-a da spanish, pressiona uno."

(short pause)

Computer: "To activate your new phone, press one. For all other options, press two."


Computer: "Please hold. All of our operators are currently assisting someone else, and by the way, your call may be recorded for training and quality assurance purposes."

Then begins a short segment of what, for lack of a better definition, I'll call "music," which lasts for about forty seconds, then loops back to the beginning. I don't know the name of the person who "wrote" this "music," but I'm pretty sure that they were hung following the Neuremburg trials, or should have been.

What happens next varies a bit from call to call. Most of the time what would happen is that I'd put the hold music on speaker phone and do my work for the next two hours, then hang up in frustration at the end of the work day. About a third of the time, however, the computer would put me on hold for about fifteen minutes, and then just hang up on me. I'm almost sure that this is a breakthrough in the growing feild of Bad Customer Service.
But Cous, you're saying, what about those new-fangled Inter-nets? Surely, a company as large as Sprint would have a usefull and informative website. Good question, reader. Unfortunately, belonging to Generation Y (I think), that was actually the first thing I tried. That's where I got the 3 or 4 different phone numbers I used for the above exchange. Let's try a little experiment, just for fun. Go to, and at the top of the screen, click on the link that says "Contact Us." Under the headings "Customer Service" and "Nextel," you'll see a link that says "Service & Repair." Click it. Did you get This screen?I did. I think you can click it to make it bigger, but in case you can't, it's a very informative page, telling you when the service and repair kiosk will be open at some sort of racetrack, during some sort of race. Or maybe all races. I'm not sure. It just doesn't say. In fact, it makes absolutely no sense. You know the old cliche about monkeys and typwriters? I think they've moved up to computers and html, but have yet to come up with anything remotely shakespearean.

I've run out of time and lost my train of thought at this point, suffice to say that Sprint doesn't like people, and I don't like Sprint. You get the idea. I'll try to post something happy here soon (Lindsey graduated!), enjoy the weather out there!


Anonymous said...

Similar experience for me

DaWheeze said...

Always enjoy the rant, D. See you on the field of battle...or something.