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The Story

The story begins back in early May.  We had begun making preparations for our move from Eastern PA to SW Florida.  I wanted to be an early bird and get my phone and data service taken care of well in advance so when we moved in we would be ready to go immediately.  What I was trying to arrange was for an analog and ISDN line to be installed somewhere around August 1st.  I figured 2 months and change should be plenty of notice to get the work done.  I called up Sprint.  My first few calls were several "You have the wrong department, let me transfer you calls"  then when I was transferred, either it was to the wrong person, to another person who transferred me again or to a number that was busy.  Yes a company like Sprint has a unique feature where they offer their customers a simple busy signal instead of going through all the trouble of having a voice activated menu system.  

I was frustrated but I had been through similar scenarios before with big companies and resolved to get it done the next day.  My reward for my first day of effort was about a half dozen different numbers I was given by various people to supposedly get where I needed to go.  The next day I tried again.  Again I ran into that darn busy signal again.  I wondered to myself, how can company like Sprint have busy signals?  Off and on I tried during the day until I finally got a ring.  No human answered but at least I was into their system.  After waiting on hold for close to half an hour I finally got to speak to someone.  I asked him if it was normal for it to be extremely difficult to talk to someone about ISDN orders and he said simply, "Yes".  This person was nice enough, I explained to him what I wanted and when I wanted it done.  He said no problem, gave me the rates and explained the different options in a complete manner.  I agreed to buy the ISDN modem from them, they would ship it to me ahead of time in PA, the installation would take place around August 1st and all that was left to do was fill out the forms to initiate the order. He said that Sprint would do a pre installation inspection before they sent me the isdn modem to confirm there would be no CO or site issues.  

My representative starts walking me through the process and says it may take a little while. After another 60 MINUTES on the phone, the order was completed.  During the process he repeatedly had to put me on hold for extended periods of time to check on this and that.  Again, he was very nice about it but the amount of time it took to complete the order was ridiculous.  Flustered but relieved it was done, I hung up and looked forward to receiving my modem in a couple weeks.

A week or so after our conversation I received a letter from Sprint confirming installation of my ISDN line.  Wow Sprint was on the ball and things must be progressing along, so I thought.  Upon closer inspection I notice that the letter has me marked down for a July 1st installation.  I figured it was a clerical error so I contacted Sprint again (which took another 30 minutes to get a rep) and explained to them about the letter.  They looked it up and said it was in their system for July 1st and they would change it to August 1st.  I said "Thanks" and hung up.

Another few weeks went by and I had still not received the modem so I was concerned.  I AGAIN called Sprint.  After another lengthy delay I talked to another rep and explained how I should have received the modem several weeks ago and had not as of yet.  I was concerned there was some sort of site problem or CO issue.  The woman said, "No, No we shipped it.... to Florida" Well since I did not live in Florida yet it was a bit of a problem.  The rep apologized and said they would get it back soon and if not they would ship me out another modem asap.  She also confirmed it was a go for the August 1st installation.  I waited another week and a half. At this point we were well into July and no modem.  AGAIN I call.  Sprint doesn't know what happened to the modem but they will ship me one immediately.  I set the install date to August 4th since that would be our first full day in Florida.  The modem did arrive a couple days later.  By then I had a bad feeling about the whole deal.

I had no further contact with Sprint until I arrived in Florida in early August.  I figured I had done enough checking and double checking that the odds were favorable that the lines would be installed.  Installation day came (a Friday) and noone showed all morning.  I was a bit concerned since I had to have an analog and ISDN line installed so it would take some time.  I called shortly after lunch to confirm installation.  They said a tech was scheduled to be out and that was all they could tell me.  Well someone did show up mid afternoon.  He said he was from Sprint and he was here to install the phone line.  I said "Cool, and the ISDN line too?"  He gave me a puzzled look and said "No, no I don't do the ISDN lines that is someone else."  I guess I assumed the same guy would do both installs but hey what do I know.  He installed the analog line with no problems.  I patiently waited for the ISDN installer to show.  He never did.

Late in the day I call Sprint and ask where the hell the ISDN line was and they said the order was "Turned back into engineering" I asked what that meant and they said it meant there was some sort of problem with the backend setup for the ISDN and the order would have to be delayed.  I told them that I ordered this over 2 months ago and wanted to know why it wasn't engineered yet?  They did not know.  The best they could do is talk to the engineers in the morning. 

I call back Monday to find out what is up since noone called me back with any information.  The person I spoke to said they emailed the engineer and is waiting to hear back.  They said they hoped to have the problem straightened out soon and that they would try to have someone come out as soon as possible.  I was amazed at how difficult it is for Sprint to get an answer.  The left hand didn't know what the right was doing.  The next day I got a call that the install should happen the next day.  Noone showed up.  Livid, I called in again and asked why noone showed and why noone called me to tell me they weren't going to show.  By now I was on a first name basis with the rep for my area.  Again the order was turned back into engineering. More problems at the CO.  The rep said she would call me back the next day to let me know how long it would take to resolve the problem.  I had no choice but to sit tight and wait for the outcome.  While I am out the next day, the Sprint rep leaves a message saying they need a part for the CO and the install has been pushed back another 2 weeks.  I was mad.  I called her up and said it was unacceptable.  How could Sprint need components for the CO when they knew about the order for months?  She had no explanation and her best reasoning was it is just status quo.  She knows how screwed up things are and all she can do is react to them.  I negotiated for Sprint to not charge me for the ISDN modem as compensation for all of the hassles.  The rep promised that everything would go as planned for the new install date.  I now had to wait another 2 weeks.....

The day before the install, we got a phone call from the rep to confirm everything.  I appreciated the call and thought that maybe things would actually go as planned.  In all fairness, my local rep did try to correct the problems, she just wasn't very good at doing it.  Install day comes and my wife takes the day off from work for the install.  We are promised an AM install so my wife doesn't have to sit and wait all day.  11 am comes and a Sprint rep shows, but he is a phone tech and not an ISDN tech. He doesn't do ISDN, the order was wrong.  I call the local rep and find out there was another screw up, wrong tech, the right tech should be there around 1 PM.  1 PM comes and goes. I attempt to call back my loacal rep to find out she is in meetings the rest of the day and her voice mail is so full that you can't leave a message in it.  The whole day expires with me calling her number at least 20 times getting more and more angry each time.  Nobody showed up, nobody called us to tell us they weren't coming.  My wife is mad at me cause she was chained to the house all day and I am furious with Sprint cause they screwed me again.

The next day, I finally get ahold of the rep.  Guess what, it was  turned back into engineering.  Evidently there was yet another technical glitch that prevented the install from occurring.  I asked the rep why Sprint doesn't think it is important to let people know what is going on.  She could give no excuse.  I demanded that the line be installed the following evening or Saturday because I was not going to have either one of us use time off to accommodate Sprint any further.  Finally, finally, finally a tech shows up Saturday morning, installs the line and all is well. It took him about an hour.  My 4 month journey had finally ended, my ISDN line was installed after at least 12 hours spent on the phone and another 24 hours wasted sitting around waiting for them to show up. 

This site isn't directed at the individual employees of Sprint, since most everyone that I dealt with was courteous and tried to be helpful.  My beef is with a company that is so huge that they can't take care of customers because their processes are so complicated.  Hopefully someone from Sprint sees this and takes a hint.

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