Sprint... Lessons from the Company of NO!
Lesson #5: When things go wrong, not responding will not help. It is not fun to have the hard, sometimes uncomfortable conversations that often go hand-in-hand with customer service problems. It can be easy to avoid returning a phone call and deliver bad news, or deal with an unhappy customer. But waiting just makes the problem fester. By promptly responding, customers at least feel like their problem is as important to you as it is to them.
Working through this mess, my account was "flagged" and I was unable to speak to anyone else but Bob. Days would pass without Bob returning my calls or e-mail. Frustrated and wanting to get this resolved, I reached out through social media.
I finally was able to talk to Christine, a helpful customer service rep from Sprint's "Social Care" department. This ultimately led to a connection being made with a civil manager at Sprint, Ron. Ron was understanding of the situation and acknowledged Sprint's issues. He was considerate and honest. Ron explained that Sprint management is adamant about getting the phones back if they waive Early Termination Fees, regardless of it being fair and despite them not being able to provide service. It's in all that little fine print that is in the contract that no one reads.
Unlike Bob, Ron actually cared. Even though his hands were tied by Sprint's policy on the phone return, he did clear my account balance, which was already reduced due to poor service. After all the battling over a few weeks, I finally talked with someone reasonable and we were able to reach a resolution.
As much as it pains me, I understand the agreement I made in the contract and have returned the phones, even though Sprint clearly failed to provide service I was paying for. In the process I was able to share the importance of my faith and values. I feel good about honoring my part of the Sprint contract, but am still am not thrilled about taking the loss for new phones. I have Ron's direct phone number and our agreement in writing that our Early Termination Fees will be waived. As much as I didn't trust Bob, I did trust Ron to get this resolved.