On the Phone
tech

A good cell phone company?

I can’t think of the last time that I’ve actually been happy with my cell phone company.  Usually the customer service is terrible and the prices (especially for things like text pages) are completely out of control.  But I have to say, I’m amazed at the quality of service I’ve been getting from Sprint the last few years.  (I’m not getting paid to say this!)

On the Phone

First, I signed up with a very cheap plan called Sprint SERO.  It was originally setup as an an employee friend and family plan, but recently they’ve opened it up to more people.  I get 500 minutes per month, free nights at weekends starting at 7pm, and unlimited high speed data for $30/month.  It’s a “fair-and-flexible” plan, so the fee increases at a reasonable rate if you use more minutes.

My first impressions were good.  The data speeds are very fast (like 3G speeds).  The voice quality is great and the reception in the areas that I need it is perfect.  I rarely drop a call and at work (where I need it the most), the phone works in every part of the building including the parking garage down to the 2nd level underground!

Of course, the first month there was some incorrect billing.  Having been with other carriers, I anticipated having to wait on hold for hours to get an agent so I tried their email correspondence.  Amazingly enough, in two simple exchanges via email to ecare@cc.sprintpcs.com, the billing error was resolved.

More recently, I heard that a friend of mine had the same plan that I do, but his plan came with free text paging.  Since I’ve been texting more lately (at a cost of $0.20 per text), I gave Sprint a call and asked if I could get that added to my plan.  The agent had to put me on hold for a minute, and came back to tell me that he had added 1000 free text pages per month for both of our lines.  It took about 10 minutes total and I was rid of the text page tax.

While I was looking at my bill, I noticed that I’ve been getting charged an extra $5/month on one of the lines for the last 10 months.  Another quick email to the ecare email address resolved it in one exchange:

Dear Rob Bredow,

Thank you for contacting Sprint about the charges against 7PM option. I have added the 7PM option for free on the line “310-***-****” and I assure you that from now onwards you will not be charged for the 7PM option.  I have also applied the credit of $50.00 for the last 10 months.  I assure you that the credit will reflect on your next month invoice.

Thank you again for contacting Sprint. We appreciate your business.

Maybe I shouldn’t be so shocked by basic good customer service, but I’ve simply never experienced it before with a wireless company.

I’ve been tempted lately by how slick the iPhone looks.  But, I’m not sure I’m willing to trade what I’ve got for that cool interface, short battery life and poorer reception I’d be getting getting with AT&T.

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