I called Sprint tonight because I was curious how long I have to wait to leave Sprint without incurring a $100 early termination fee. “Please don’t leave, Mr. Picray!” the Sprint rep said. “Why do you want to leave?”
I went over the troubles I had with the Palm Pre, their lack of support and basic customer service, and my resolution to take my business elsewhere. I then pointed out that I am interested in the iPhone and I saw Sprint has it now. I qualified for a new phone (at new customer pricing) in April, but here in October (four months to the end of my contract), I don’t qualify. Why? Because Sprint said so, that’s why.
She said, “Don’t go! Let me talk to my supervisor and see if there’s anything we can do.” I was then on hold for three minutes or so, at which point a different woman began talking to me. Rewind the last two paragraphs and replay, because that’s what happened.
After my second stint on hold (and a mental resolution that I was going to hang up if they asked me to tell my story for the third time), “Jay” picked up and asked me why I wanted the call escalated. I told him I didn’t want the call escalated, I wanted to know what my options are, and right now it seems my options are:
- Pay $100 early termination now and go to Verizon.
- Wait several months and then go to Verizon.
I asked him if Sprint had any other options for me. Jay was very helpful and gave me the not-hard-to-refuse offer of iPhones at new customer pricing in mid-December instead of February. When I declined, he said that Sprint might have a better deal for me next month, but he couldn’t say one way or the other. I told him that I can’t do business with companies on the basis that they might have a better offer next month. I reminded him that Sprint does not have a stellar record when it comes to promising me things, and actually carrying them out.
And so I weigh my alternatives: do business with Verizon, a company who has never done me wrong, but where I would have to wait until February to switch, or re-sign with Sprint 45 days earlier (mid-Dec) for the same phones on a worse network with worse customer service. I think I’ll wait the extra month and a half. Who knows, maybe by then I’ll have the money to buy the things.