While everyone talks of AT&T and the iPhone and Verizon and the army of Droids all going to tiered data plans, Sprint has continued to push out high quality phones like the HTC Evo and the Samsung Epic (both 4G) at some of the lowest rates in the industry. Slowly gaining customers that they have been bleeding over the past few years, and all while keeping their unlimited plans in tact. Everything seems to be pointing in the right direction finally for the “third place” cellular company, and I have been a happy customer of theirs for many years. So when Google Voice rang on my computer and not on my phone, I simply thought it was slow to react (and since I have been waiting for a chance to see how well Google Voice worked on the computer, I simply answered it there.)
Later that day when I had decided to order Chinese I was greated with “your account can not be validated, please contact customer support.” Still having faith in Sprints improving reputation, I immediately questioned whether my bank account had been debited for my phone bill or not. (It had.) That lead me to the number that I had grown familiar with in my early years with Sprint. *2 for customer service. The problem was, that number did not work for me. It told me to “call your carriers customer support line.” This was bad.
Luckily my previous testing of Google Voice had proven quite successful, so I connected my headphones to my laptop and gave the toll free Sprint helpline a call with my laptop. I call and press 4 (a lot) to go through the menus until I get a live person. I explained to the very polite and concerned help desk person what the problem was and how I was unable to place ANY calls. As usual with a help desk position (in which I have worked my share as well) he began to go through his script of trouble shooting beginning with “are you calling from that phone now?” Sigh…this was really bad. Eventually we got down to the actual important steps, verifying my ESN, checking my MSID, re-provisioning the phone. After no fewer than an hour and a half he gave in and stated he would have to call me back later after talking with others (Google Voice call back number). The time was 11:27pm and I had work the next morning.
Day two, roughly 10am (with no calls from Sprint yet) I give them a call to check the status. Oddly enough…nothing has changed except the person I end up talking to. They check the notes, see that I “had called last night about not being able to make calls.” I informed him that the situation still persisted, to which I was asked, “are you calling from that phone now?” Seriously?! Then we proceeded to repeat the same steps from last night, all leading up to “your account can not be validated…” when I place calls. This time I am told it will need to be escalated to the support group and would be resolved within 24 hours. Thus ends my Thursday Sprint ordeal. So far, still patient, still calm, still relying on Google Voice to at least keep me connected.
Day three, I woke up a bit cranky…and late. After hard resetting my phone multiple times, I had failed to reload my alarm program. I get to work, decide to actually get some work done before placing another day ending call to Sprint and my mood improves slightly. I figured while things were going well I might as well see if my luck holds out and I get some good news from good ol’ number three. After another series of “are you calling from it now?”, “lets reset your esn”, and “sorry for the hold time” someone has the idea to take the phone off the account, place it on another one, add a phoney MSID, then restore it all the way it was” and lo and behold I could place calls!!! It was a miracle and the birds began to sing! For at least a good hour… and then someone attempted to call me. That is when the “the number or code you have dialed is incorrect, please check the number or code and try again” message began to haunt my very existence. Dreading what I have to do, but with little time to get it done, I call Sprint yet again. The do some button presses, tell me to re-provision again and… now I can’t even call out again. I quietly begin to wonder how good T-Mobile is in my area. After some back peddling the get me to the being able to call out point, and state they will create another ticket and advice me to go to a Sprint store. This wouldn’t be so bad if they simply said, l don’t know what the problem is but we should try to get you into a replacement phone. Of course the only replacement phone that is acceptable for my Evo would be…another Evo. Or even the Epic would do, but guess what… it is easier to get tickets to a Hanna Montana / Justin Bieber wrestling match than to find either of those phones in a Sprint store. This story better have a happy ending!
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