First Monday: Cave …

First Monday: Cave or Community?: An Empirical Examination of 100 Mature Open Source Projects

In Norway a museum is asking computer hackers around the world to help them figure out the password to their electronic archives after the person who set them up (and the only person to know the password) died. Fascinating.

Buyer Beware: I have finally had it with SprintPCS. I have given them many chances to correct their billing problems and rectify the numerous complaints I have had over the past year with their billing practices. After being told by person after person at SprintPCS that there is nothing they can do for me and after being told that they refuse to credit me the excess charges I believe to be unfair, I have decided to ditch them once and for all. I have a four-year relationship with SprintPCS and have had a lot of good actual phone service with them in the many different cities I’ve traveled to. But after spending thousands and thousands of dollars over the years on numerous phones and phone service (at one time I had 4 phones on my account with them) they have pissed me off to the extreme. They are willing to do nothing for me, even though I have a long record of paying my bills on time (even when I have had massive minute overages) and a long customer complaint sheet on record. SprintPCS’s phone technology is good and their digital network is decent, but their customer service and billing practices are completely unfair and deserve some kind of investigation. I know I am not the only person who thinks they need to ship a jar of vaseline with their bills every month. Sadly, SprintPCS has just lost another customer because of their complete lack of flexibility regarding customer complaints.

  • When you sign up for service they do not tell you that you can save $10 a month by not signing up for something called SprintPCS Advantage, which means your service is month-to-month instead of a year-long contract (it is month-to-month by default). What this means is that you pay an extra $10/month per phone even if you’ve had an account with them for years. Completely inexcusable. This needs to be made clear upfront when you sign up.
  • Every phone has a $35 account activation fee, even if you have an established account with them. This is ridiculous. If a customer is committed to getting multiple phones with you, then you shouldn’t be making them pay more just so you can squeeze more money out of them.
  • Their Ringers & More service is a joke. $4 a month plus airtime charges for something that should be given away for free. I checked out the available ringers and images and most of them sucked pretty hard. If the technology were not so damn proprietary I could easily download or create my own media for the phone. Instead, SprintPCS limits you to a pathetic selection and then charges you through the nose for it.
  • Their “Claire, Virtual Customer Service” voicemail service is a complete joke. Everyone I know who is forced to use hates it. When I call it I just press the # key until i get to a real person. Does anyone know if there are any articles written about how unsuccessful and lame this solution is?
  • Don’t get me started on how utterly bad and slow their web site is. It should not take 60 seconds for me to log in on a T1. Here’s a clue: Perhaps investigate to see if Microsoft ASP technology scales well when you are doing massive database queries.

More nightmares.

Posted by Cameron Barrett at June 6, 2002 03:40 PM

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