Cool Stuff, on the move, take action

A comment on Sprint Customer Service

I hear nightmare stories from people all the time on AT+T’s customer service…
Yesterday afternoon Julie and I noticed a sudden loss of cell service at home.  We have identical phones (other than color) and we’re both on Sprint.   We’ve been happy Sprint customers for about 6 years now, and issues are rare.

I’ve worked on cell towers over the years and am an expert in radio communications, so I’m pretty patient with this stuff.  We forget sometimes that we’re talking on two way radios when we use these things.  Radio signals are subject to all kinds of potential interference, and the cell carriers have thousands and thousands of towers to manage.  Many of them are in very remote locations, and since we live in the mountains, it’s especially remote here.  The cellular system is complicated, and sometimes I’m amazed that the whole thing works at all.

Anyway, I didn’t have any urgent phone calls to make last night, so I decided to wait until this morning to see if things cleared up. When I picked up my phone and then Julie’s phone we still didn’t have service, so I jumped on Skype to call Sprint customer service.

I got a customer service rep in 30 seconds.  We chatted for a minute about what was happening and she started looking at the towers in our area. She ran some tests and noticed that the two closest towers were reporting “much lower numbers” than normal. She set up a network trouble ticket which sends a technician out to the towers to work on them. Then she attached a ticket to my account to track how much time we would be without service so they could credit my account for those days.

In 5 minutes she was able to diagnose an infrastructure problem and have Sprint take responsibility for it. Then she dispatched an expert to go out in the field to fix it.

Through good customer service, I was able to HELP them identify a problem they might not have known if someone didn’t report it.

I’m a happy customer even though I wont have cell service for the next day or so.

THAT is how you do customer service.  Kudos to Sprint.

Cool Stuff, Think

Immense respect in an ordinary place

I’m working from home today.  Since on these days I set my own hours, I started really early.  By 10am, I needed a break, so I decided to run over to the grocery store to grab some milk.
There was an unusually large number of people in line for 10am on a Tuesday and the checkout ladies were struggling to keep up. By the time I was in line, I was 7 people back.  A couple people in front of me were pretty frustrated with the length of the line and were being pretty vocal about it.

A very old man sort of waddled up behind me with his own gallon of milk.  It was pretty obvious that it was about one gallon of milk too heavy for him.  I turned around and offered to carry it for him, and he very gratefully agreed.

I noticed that his hat said “WWII Veteran” which had me intreged.  Any WWII vet is at least 90 in 2012.

Me: “Wow, you fought World War II?”

Him: “Yup.  Seems like a lifetime ago. I was a Marine in Guadalcanal.”

Me: “Wow. Thank you so much for your service, it was long before I was born but I’m very grateful for your sacrifice for our freedom. Please, go ahead of me. Anyone who fraught WWII gets front of the line privileges in my book”.

Him: “Thank you son. Let me guess, you were Navy right?”

Me: “Yes sir. How did you know?”

As this conversation continued, every single person in front of us stepped aside for this old man. He and I walked to the checkout counter and I put down his milk. He paid with some crumpled up bills, and then the most vocal line complainer carried his milk out to the car for him.

Sometimes extraordinary things happen when you’re doing the most ordinary things. Meeting him made me stand a little taller and the change in heart of a group of people with first world problems made my day.