Monday, October 16, 2006

I Shake My Fist At You Sprint!

So I must say, today is the first day in just over a week that I have not received a marketing call from Sprint on my cell phone. It was a blissfully quiet day for me on the phone front, which was refreshing after what I went through last week.

Seems that Sprint has decided that my cell phone can be called by their automatic dialers to offer me an additional phone line. Now, they started calling on a Sunday night... yes, that made me really happy. Then they called on Monday, but didn't leave a message. On Tuesday, I called the number back (I was intrigued as to why this 866 number was stalking me) and I spoke with a representative directly. He made me the offer, I declined, and thought that I was done with them. But noooooooooooo, seems that Sprint didn't think that I really know what I meant when I declined their offer. Yep, that's right, they kept calling... Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. So, I decided to strike back. As a marketer, I knew that the National Do Not Call registration 1. prohibited them from calling my cell phone to market to me and 2. that they were legally bound to honor my request to be removed from their marketing lists. So, I called Sprint Customer Care -- actually, they should rename it to Customer SCARE. Seems that the first person that I talked to said that I had to call the US Government, or more precisely, the National Do Not Call Registry, as that was the only way that I could remove my phone from their calling lists. Riiiighhhhttt. (Just for the record, Sprint, you're messing with the wrong customer. I know my rights.) For my troubles, I was "rewarded" with 100 free text messages (whoopppeee!) for this next billing cycle. Have I mentioned that my billing cycle ends in 6 days?

Thursday -- I called Customer Scare again... was given a different answer. "Did I go online..." was the question this time. Yet, I wonder, why aren't the Sprint Customer Scare agents empowered to do the right thing for their customers? Ponder that one and let me know, would ya?

Fast forward to Friday afternoon. Another lovely call from the Promotions Department at Sprint. Hey, do I want another phone line yet? Nope. Still don't. Now I'm mad. And now we begin the third call to Customer Scare. After twenty minutes of stop-and-go customer "service," the lady assures me that I will never get another marketing call from Sprint again. (HA!) In fact, she has gone through "every screen" in the system and made sure that I was marked as "do not market to." I was once again "rewarded" with another 300 free text messages in my billing cycle, and as a bonus, 100 free minutes. Woo. My fingers should be tired from all of the text messaging I'm doing, huh? Not so.

Saturday -- for once, my phone didn't ring from Sprint. Ahhhh, I think that her magic finally worked. Wait for it...

Sunday -- is that my phone ringing again? Yep, it is. I cut the Promotions person off mid-sentence and said "I really don't want your offer, and frankly, I don't like that this is the sixth time in five days that I've had to tell you this." Do you know what she said to me? (This one got me steamed!) "I didn't make those last five calls, so it's not my problem. {click}" Yep, that's a happy Sprint employee, isn't it? Now I'm mad. So, I called Customer SCARE once again. (Note: this is the fifth or sixth time that I've talked to a Sprint representative in seven days, I'm kind of tired of them...) I asked (wisely?) for a supervisor this time, thinking that would help. Not so much. Here's the gist of the conversation:
Me: "I'm a single woman who does not need another phone line. I've asked repeatedly to be removed from your marketing list THIS WEEK, how hard is this to do?"

Him: "Hmmmm... I can see how you say that." STARTS LAUGHING AT ME.

Yes, laughing. I officially don't like him. I am assured that he has once again gone through every screen (and he claims that he doesn't see any of the other markings for my do not mail requests) and marked in "big red letters" that I will cancel my account if they ever call me again. He doesn't know how right he is. Oh baby. I think that I may start personally calling these people if they should choose to contact me via cell phone ever again. In fact, I'm going to take their personal cell numbers and call them at odd hours of the day. I think that's fitting, don't you?

So here's the moral of the story:
  • Don't mess with your customers. (This is a tough one, but I think you can do it.)

  • When your customer says, SIX TIMES, that they don't want your offer, they probably mean it.

  • And when they say "do not market to me," multiple times, your customer scare agents should be empowered to do it. After all, it's the law.

Don't believe me that it's the law, then here's a quote from the National Do Not Call web site:

Yes, you may place your personal cell phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. The registry has accepted cell phone numbers since it opened for registrations in June 2003. There is no deadline to register a home or cell phone number on the Registry.

You may have received an email telling you that your cell phone is about to be assaulted by telemarketing calls as a result of a new cell phone number database; however, that is not the case. FCC regulations prohibit telemarketers from using automated dialers to call cell phone numbers. Automated dialers are standard in the industry, so most telemarketers don’t call consumers on their cell phones without their consent.

So, Sprint, I shake my fist at you. Please don't be surprised when I pull my account from you, and go to a company (I don't know which one, btw) that actually treats it's customers with respect. A novel concept, I know...

1 comment:

HoneyBee said...

WOW! My bet is they are empowered they just don't care. I know all your calls to me will be free if you switch to a certain carrier. ;-)