Why do Wireless Companies Hate their Customers
Wireless companies seem to be in a race to lose all their companies. I am sitting right now, listening to a conversation between one of my friends at work, and Sprint PCS. They are attempting to charge him for receiving text messaging when he hasn't subscribed to it, and he hasn't solicited the messages.
It is kind of, to put it in his words, like someone driving up and putting a package in your mailbox that you didn't ask for and you have to pay for it. The start of the problem is the bizarre contract. Most of what is in the contract is never read by the user, but you can bet that it goes something like, “By signing here, you are beholden to all of our terms and conditions.” Never do they have to actually disclose what all those terms and conditions are. They seem to change overnight, with some obscure, if you are lucky, bulk email sent out to you.
It is simple, the issue was over $8.10. If one of my customers was questioning a policy that I knew was questionable and was beginning to get steamed under the collar about it, I'd just give them the $8.10 back. In this case, my friend has been on the phone with Sprint for an hour, while his time is probably worth at least $36 / hr. So in my book, Sprint has just cost him about $44 including the amount they owed him.
The reps aren't much more help, my friend just said that the person at Sprint tried to convince him that charging him for unsolicited SMS messages was common in the cell phone plan, and get this, that his own plan charged him. My friend then asked the logical question, which service do you use then?
All of this is ridiculous. Why can't cell phone companies get their acts together. It isn't rocket science. When I had WorldCom service some years ago, they would overcharge me every month, eventually I noticed and started calling them, where they would credit me back every month with no questions asked. I couldn't understand until I realized that most people don't call them, and for them to correct the issue for the ones that call is cheaper than them getting an undocumented revenue stream on the backs of those who don't call.
To have a policy where you charge someone for unsolicited behavior from others is ridiculous. I swore off SprintPCS, and in fact have sworn off all Sprint products several years ago when they failed to disclose salient points in their contracts ahead of time, and had poor service to boot.
Another co-worker said that it is almost that now you don't look for the best cell phone company, you just look for the one that sucks the least. That is a very sad state for the industry to be in. It doesn't make sense to me, if they just treated their customers with respect and had policies that were based on common sense and weren't trying to get over. Perhaps customers would have more faith in them. Unless they get it together, people will start choosing alternatives like the Blackberry messaging device when they are mobile, and traditional phone service when they are at home.