I know someone who put in a FCC complaint about how the instinct was marketed as an iPhone killer and how they were going to release lots of independent programs for it. Then they released a phone that is basically of Beta quality, and changed their marketing to have the representatives in the store stress that it is "not a business phone". It took several months before the complaint was answered, but eventually they were let out of the contract. They said to "Never call them" and to "insist that all correspondence is written. Here is the email conversation (over a couple of weeks) with names redacted.
I am responding to complaint that was sent in to our Executive Offices for Sprint Nextel. I apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced regarding your service. We appreciate that you have taken the time to bring this matter to our attention. Can you please contact me at your earliest convenience regarding your complaint? I look forward to speaking soon.
Thanks for getting in touch with me about this. If you are able to look back, you will be able to note that I am a Sprint customer for more than a decade. Originally a corporate account through my company ****** Technologies, where I was CEO and then through its sister company ******** Technologies again where I was a Partner. I feel my complaints were well laid out in the filing. The filing was not done lightly, or on a whim. The Instinct phone was described in the months preceding its release as a iPhone killer. At the time of my purchase it was shown to out run the iPhone in controlled download speed in Sprint commercials. The buzz was about the upcoming applications that were going to be developed for it. I purchased the phone through an early preview the day before they went on sale to the general public, and at that point I feel confident that I knew more about the phones than the sales person who sold it to me. The reviews never once mentioned that this phone was not a "Business" phone, or that in essence purchasers of the phone were basically working as Beta testers to a phone that was borderline functional and in a business sense, rudimentary in design. I recently had my phone replaced because of the issues it was having since day one. The problem was not the phone however, because this replacement phone exhibits the same lockups and pauses the old one did. I also wonder why I, as an early adaptor, have been targeted unfairly for forced detention from leaving this lemon model behind; while later adaptors were treated to a reduced initial price and reduced buyout over time. I went into this relationship with good faith, and have been summarily dismissed in every opportunity I have given Sprint to make a good faith response to my plea for help. I have all of those documented at home as I am sure you can look up in my history. I guess the ball is in your court as to how this will end.. I do not have high hopes. While I am sure it would be pleasant to speak with you personally, my dealings with your company, and verbal promises that went undocumented and then later dismissed have left me a bit cold. So I request all correspondence be in writing either through snail mail or email. Thanks!
Thank you for your response,
Your email contains a wide range of concerns and we certainly understand your frustration. In order to resolve your concerns, we need to speak with you directly. Can you please contact me at your earliest convenience on the phone number listed below?
Thanks ************. Several problems with direct calls. First, this is my work time also. Second, and perhaps more important in my mind, is that "talking" with sprint over the years has yielded no results. It has led to promises that were simply denied by the next person I "talked" to. I know an email conversation can be slow, but at least I can point out who I spoke to and when. If you have any questions about any of my concerns feel free to email those questions to me and I will expand on whatever you would like to know, as my time allows. There may come a time when a phone conversation might be appropriate, but I do not feel that now is that time. Email allows me to think out my reply, and I appreciate that opportunity more than most. If simply resolving this is your goal then present me a plan to do so.
***** * *******
I do understand your disappointment with the instinct. I am currently trying to assist you to the best of my ability. I am unclear at this point of what you would like to see happen. Again, I would like the opportunity to speak with you regarding your concerns.
I am glad that you understand the weakness of the Instinct. I too wish the product had lived up to the hype. What I would like to see happen is for me to have the freedom back to make my choice again. I would likely stay with sprint due to my data connection being a sprint USB broadband connector that I have been very happy with. I have also indirectly led to the selling of quite a few of these (being an higher level IT guy). I also have been with Sprint for more than a decade, and at the last go around found that it was worth it to me personally to stay. But having put up with this phone and the TOTAL lack of support, until you obviously, I would like the freedom to evaluate my options without penalty for the phone or the contract since the contract was forced by the phone.
P.S. On a personal note, I appreciate your efforts here. You should also know that the feeling of distaste for Sprint/Nextel is palpable at the location in Cary, NC at Crossroads Mall. You only need to spend a little time in there (or two hours like I did waiting to be told my phone was not working well) to see the disdain in your customer base. Sprint would do well to try to fix that relationship. Start by treating your longtime customers such as myself as a partner, and not as someone likely to jitter off and run to a new provider. Make it worth it for me to stay. Be the first to offer amnesty from contract change penalties after 4 years as a customer. Use that to lure back long term customers who have been gone less than a year or two. That would make you unique in the industry. There was not nearly the same negative buzz at the AT&T and Verizon stores also located at that mall.
I apologize for the delay in responding,
I will discuss your concerns with our Executive Group and get back to you shortly.
No problem, and thanks for your professionalism in handling this.
Thank you for your patience,
Your account is still being reviewed at this time. Your complaint stems around the fact that you do not like the functionality of the instinct handset. Can you please advise how you would like to see this complaint resolved?
That seems like a gross simplification of all the emails we have shared to this point. It seems more targeted at posturing than fixing the issue. I know you are dealing with a lot of people so I would appreciate you going back and re-reading that which was submitted in the complaint and the emails that we have traded up to this point, and gain a fuller understanding of what my issues are and how I would like them resolved. Do I like the Instinct as a product? No not really. My complaint more goes to that what was released was not what it was put forward to be. The subsequent support that promised my patience would be rewarded and it never was. In recent emails I feel I laid several good alternatives on the table and have been most reasonable in my approach. I found your most recent reply to be a step backwards, I hope that I read it wrong.
I have carefully read your complaint and fully understand. You have clearly stated that you are not happy with the instinct. Base upon that fact, what handset are you interested in and we can supply you with some pricing based upon your eligibility.
I fail to see an understanding of my complaint based on your own email. You continue to try to couch this complaint totally as my dissatisfaction with the Instinct, when the complaint is that the Instinct is not what Sprint represented it to be at the time of my purchase. While it is true that I do not like the Instinct, this is not the center of my complaint. Your continued focus there is either mistaken or disingenuous. Your reason for doing so is understood, because then you can throw me back into the Sprint contract box and you can pat yourself on the back for resolving this. However, your representation of the issue is off and this complaint does not fit in that box.
So there should be no more uncertainty with my point of dissatisfaction. I have made my suggestions and would now like to hear from you exactly what Sprint is willing to do remedy the situation. I have paid over $1, 100 (not including taxes) on a plan for a phone that does not meet my needs, based on misrepresentation of the product detailed in FCC, 09-C00086208. I have put forward suggestions in the emails on how to resolve this that have not included the sum above (as I believe could be fairly requested under the circumstances) and received only more requests for suggestions and mischaracterizations of my concerns. I now leave it to you to provide a suggestion on how to resolve this.
I have noticed that a couple emails have fallen out of the trail and I will reinsert them below. I look forward to hearing a Sprint suggested resolution.
Thank you for your response,
Again I do understand your frustration regarding the instinct and the way it was presented. We need to speak with you in order to resolve this complaint. Please call me at your earliest convenience on the phone number listed below. I look forward to speaking with you soon.
You now have an understanding of where I stand. Any resolution in this is going to come from you. I can find no reason for any speculative optimism based on the circular responses I have received to this point. You have all the points of concern stated every way I can think to state it. If you have a proposal on how to resolve this, I am open to giving it a look over. I still see no value in a voice contact however at this point. To me your communication to this point has mostly appeared to be generated to show an interest for the sake of showing an interest, and I have yet to see any substantive input from Sprint towards an actual resolution. Certainly none worth taking time off from my work time to address. I also see no barrier to you making a suggested resolution through email. I look forward to a shift to productive correspondence.
Thank you for your response,
As I have stated, I understand your dissatisfaction with the instinct and also how it was presented. Please be assured that we value your feedback and that your concerns have been forwarded to the appropriate managerial staff for further review. Please note that we have adjusted the Subscriber Agreement terms for phone number ###-###-#### to show that is has been satisfied. As a result, should you decide to cancel this line, the account will not incur an Early Termination Fee charge. Please note that no additional adjustments are due at this time. Should you have any additional concerns, please feel free to call us on the phone number listed below. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Thanks ********. I would like to hear any feedback from the "appropriate managerial staff", if that ever becomes available. Also, could you please provide me with something that I could present to the local Sprint Office that would give them direction, should there be any question about my status when I go there? What I am looking for is a simple explanation of the situation and who to contact if they cannot see what was promised in your last email. I would like to end the “he-say” stuff. I would like something that can facilitate their understanding if there are any questions.
Thank you for your response,
your complaint was forwarded and the responses are for internal uses only. Your account was updated regarding your Subscriber Agreement terms for that line only and no additional information is needed for the local store. Once they enter your account, they can view the terms. Should you have any additional concerns, please feel free to call us on the number listed below.