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Thread: Is This Awful Customer Service...

  1. #1
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    Is This Awful Customer Service...

    or am I overreacting?

    I joined Spring 5 weeks ago with a family plan and 4 lines. We got two HTC Evo 4g LTEs, a Samsung Transform Ultra, and a ZTE Fury.

    We're happy with all phones except the ZTE, which gets almost too hot to handle during long calls, often won't find a GPS signal at all, and will run out of battery life within 3 hours. We took it to the store, where they looked at it for an hour and then just did a factory reset on it. No change in the symptoms.

    When we took it back in (different store), they told us their tech had to look at it again (another hour). They're saying that no matter what, the best they will do is charge us $35 to replace it. Why would they charge $35 for a warranty replacement for a phone that breaks after 5 weeks?

    Really, I was hoping that they would let us pay the contract price to upgrade to a better phone after this experience with the ZTE, but they wouldn't even consider that.

    Maybe I'm out of line, everyone at Sprint is acting like I'm unreasonable for thinking that they'd at least replace the phone.

  2. #2
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    Update: The battery tested as bad.

    Sprint is charging me $35 to replace my phone that broke after 5 weeks. I really can't think of business that charges like that to replace something under warranty. I'm baffled.

  3. #3
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    It should be covered under warranty.

    Sent from my DROIDX using HowardForums

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    They're calling it a restocking fee. Two of the 6 representatives that I talked to mentioned something about the fact that I could send it directly to ZTE, and be without a phone for however long it took for them to send a replacement under warranty. So helpful of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BeakOfHate View Post
    They're calling it a restocking fee. Two of the 6 representatives that I talked to mentioned something about the fact that I could send it directly to ZTE, and be without a phone for however long it took for them to send a replacement under warranty. So helpful of them.
    I'd threaten to go elsewhere.

    Sent from my DROIDX using HowardForums

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeakOfHate View Post
    They're calling it a restocking fee. Two of the 6 representatives that I talked to mentioned something about the fact that I could send it directly to ZTE, and be without a phone for however long it took for them to send a replacement under warranty. So helpful of them.
    I've heard of Sprint stores replacing on site, maybe some will chime in on how or where to achieve this. To minimize the hassle of potential phone issues many purchase insurance, I choose not(single line) to due to monthly cost plus deductible especially when I plan on upgrading after 12 months. I do not have insurance of any kind on my phone or my previous EVO which I sent to HTC in Texas under factory warranty and got a replacement. Looks like a replacement battery for the ZTE Fury is +/-$10 but it should/could be free.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by UrbanBounca View Post
    It should be covered under warranty.

    Sent from my DROIDX using HowardForums
    It is covered under warranty, the issue is getting a local store to fix it not ZTE. I don't know if a Sprint Corp store can be reimbursed for warranty claims from ZTE or any company for that matter.

    That said, being just a battery issue a local Sprint Corporate store would do good to replace it regardless.

    I recall after I bought the Sprint Overdrive MiFi in early 2010 from a corp store, I had it replaced several times on site and I didn't have insurance.

  8. #8
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    I'm guessing that this plethora of issues didn't manifest themselves during the first 14 days that you owned the device...? I also imagine the phone isn't covered by TEP...Bad quality control like this is exactly the reason why I'd never purchase a phone made by a Chinese manufacturer, no ZTE or Huawei for my hard earned money.

    http://www.sprint.com/landings/returns/

    Sprint in the past could do an advanced exchange in instances like this. Unfortunately they stopped this practice at some point. This must truly be frustrating and why some people prefer the European model of buying your phone of choice first and selecting your desired carrier second instead of doing both at the same time like we do here. ZTE warranties the phone as they're the ones that made it, not Sprint. However, all the customer knows is that s/he bought the phone at a Sprint store ergo they should be the ones to fix/replace it if it goes bad. In the European model, there's a clear distinction of who to go to if something is wrong. The carrier, if the service isn't working properly, the manufacturer if the problem is with the device.

    Getting back to the matter at hand, I doubt that you're going to get anywhere at the store level. If you get too animated, they'll just have the police escort you out. I'd try to contact their executive team either by phone or email and see if they can provide you some relief.
    Thrill me...

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    I agree that you should not have to pay. But if it comes down to it, buy one off of ebay.

    But keep raising hell with Sprint until they give in or you give up; phone and email.
    How is it that we give up houses, businesses and bank accounts when we want a divorce but can't part with a couple of hundred bucks to find cellphone bliss?

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the responses.

    I just paid the $35 and consider myself a disgruntled customer. I guess I understand the issue of the warranty being with ZTE, and not with Sprint, but considering the nature of the service they provide, I'd expect them to at least be able to explain the procedure to get the phone fixed/replaced under warranty. Something other than "Well, you can contact ZTE directly and be out of a phone for however long it takes them to help you." It seems like they could do a much better job of standing behind the things they sell.

    More than anything, though, I remain truly baffled at the interactions with the store manager, and the series of four people I talked to on the phone. Not a hint of understanding, and every one of them blamed me for not having insurance on the phone. I shouldn't have to pay for insurance on a relatively inexpensive phone for my mother-in-law who's never lost or broken a phone in her life. And wouldn't I have had to pay a $100 deductible to get this replaced by the insurance, anyways?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeakOfHate View Post
    Thanks for the responses.

    I just paid the $35 and consider myself a disgruntled customer. I guess I understand the issue of the warranty being with ZTE, and not with Sprint, but considering the nature of the service they provide, I'd expect them to at least be able to explain the procedure to get the phone fixed/replaced under warranty. Something other than "Well, you can contact ZTE directly and be out of a phone for however long it takes them to help you." It seems like they could do a much better job of standing behind the things they sell.

    More than anything, though, I remain truly baffled at the interactions with the store manager, and the series of four people I talked to on the phone. Not a hint of understanding, and every one of them blamed me for not having insurance on the phone. I shouldn't have to pay for insurance on a relatively inexpensive phone for my mother-in-law who's never lost or broken a phone in her life. And wouldn't I have had to pay a $100 deductible to get this replaced by the insurance, anyways?
    Speaking in regards to a Sprint Corp store, one would hope a manager would have the liberty to cover a warranty battery replacement. I've debated insurance on a new phone and there isn't an easy answer for all. I've chosen not to buy based on my personal care and experiences. However, many can agree on it being questionable once the phone becomes 1+ years old since the cost on the used market vs monthly cost and deductible makes it ineffective. The only reason I'd carry it is for convenience but then again what I did was pick up a prepaid phone to use temporarily with Google Voice number. When I did have to send my phone to HTC in Texas I had a new replacement back in a few weeks.

  12. #12
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    It is hit and miss with stores. Make sure the store you go to is a corporate store, they are far more reliable. I had a battery issue a few months ago and the phone was out of warranty and the store threw me a new battery for free.

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    This would not have required a $100 deductible.

    Quote Originally Posted by BeakOfHate View Post
    Thanks for the responses.

    I just paid the $35 and consider myself a disgruntled customer. I guess I understand the issue of the warranty being with ZTE, and not with Sprint, but considering the nature of the service they provide, I'd expect them to at least be able to explain the procedure to get the phone fixed/replaced under warranty. Something other than "Well, you can contact ZTE directly and be out of a phone for however long it takes them to help you." It seems like they could do a much better job of standing behind the things they sell.

    More than anything, though, I remain truly baffled at the interactions with the store manager, and the series of four people I talked to on the phone. Not a hint of understanding, and every one of them blamed me for not having insurance on the phone. I shouldn't have to pay for insurance on a relatively inexpensive phone for my mother-in-law who's never lost or broken a phone in her life. And wouldn't I have had to pay a $100 deductible to get this replaced by the insurance, anyways?
    If you were up against the ridiculous quota that Sprint sets out for attachment of TEP you would be quite reluctant to deal with anyone who doesn't have it too. I sympathise with the reps because their behaviour is driven by a poorly thought out compensation plan. But it often leads to poor customer experience and frustration.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
    This would not have required a $100 deductible.



    If you were up against the ridiculous quota that Sprint sets out for attachment of TEP you would be quite reluctant to deal with anyone who doesn't have it too. I sympathise with the reps because their behaviour is driven by a poorly thought out compensation plan. But it often leads to poor customer experience and frustration.
    Agreed, when i did sales at T-Mobile and looked into going over to Sprint, after reading their compensation plan i laughed and declined the job outright. I'm not sure if Sprint sales reps realize how bad they really do have it when it comes to commission. I would easily make 2x at T-Mobile as a part time sales rep compared to my room mate who worked for Sprint, and not have them down my throat about Asurion attachment rate (although T-Mobile customers generally got insurance anyway since i would just say "this is what your bill will be including your plan and insurance" and quote them the price for everything)

    And to the OP, if you buy say an MP3 Player at Best Buy and take it back when it's under warranty but you did not buy "their" warranty then yes you have to deal with the OEM. That's pretty much the same everywhere (well T-Mobile charges $20 for "shipping" of the phone)

    Usually when i get a new phone i keep insurance for ~3 months on it just in case any issues arrise i can get it covered since a failure is more likely to occur within the first 60 days or so.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
    This would not have required a $100 deductible.



    If you were up against the ridiculous quota that Sprint sets out for attachment of TEP you would be quite reluctant to deal with anyone who doesn't have it too. I sympathise with the reps because their behaviour is driven by a poorly thought out compensation plan. But it often leads to poor customer experience and frustration.
    I don't think it's about being reluctant to deal with people without TEP. I think the problem is in making people (not necessarily OP, but perhaps in this case) understand that service technicians' time and work isn't free. In my time at a corporate repair center, I always found it easier to explain the $35 service fee that way. Most of the time (but certainly not all), people understand that the convenience of having us around is worth a small charge. Even the ZTE Fury is a $220 phone at retail price, and from what I can tell, it's a Chinese-made Optimus.

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