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27 responses to “Editorial: Five Years Later, Sprint TeleSales is Still Broken”

  1. blankman

    i work for sprint so i changed my name, being a sale rep in the store, ive seen worse problems alot of it is the customer gets the wrong phone, color, or they are told that can use a sprint phone with a nextel share plan (cant share yet), telesales are also calling customer telling them they can add aline and it wont cost them anything, then they change the plan on one line but the not others. they company has great pay and benefits but you leave with a headache everyday trying to fix telesales mess. Also, once and awhile you will get a customer service rep that actually knows anything, half of them dont even know what the phones can do. Thats why are stocks are $6.65 as of 4/4/08. Honestly, i hope we get brought out already and save everyone the misery.

  2. gla17624

    chris, i MORE than feel your pain. i think that telesales is how i’ve permanently lost a sprint number that i’ve had for 5 years:

  3. Jack P.

    Ditto. I’ve been saying this myself for years. I like Sprint. I worked as a sales exec for them for years. However, they really need to fix Telesales. Chris I think you are wrong not to blame the highest levels of management. If they don’t know these problems exist and have had them fixed by now, they deserve to go work elsewhere. Shame on them. The cost of all the errors and bad-will is crazy. My most recent example is my own son. He ordered a new phone on our share plan and got TWO of them. It took hours to get that straightened out. Both were charged to his bank debit card and no refund was generated for 4 days. It’s a good thing they have enough of a balance to cover both units. Telesales sent a email to the local store and the local store argued with my son that they could not take the phone back. They had the email authorization, my son had his printed copy and they still refused. He finally called me and we finally convinced the store manager that it was okay to take it back since it was approved. What a joke. Their error cost us hours of time, gas and frustration. That is just one example of many that happened to us and to so many of our friends and associates. They need to fix things and no one seems to care.

  4. Jainool Ramjohn

    The past week, Sprint shipped out new phones on my account for which I never ordered. When I tired to stop it from being processed, they said they can’t help me because it has already been sent to the warehouse. They said to just refuse the orders when it comes, and it will be sent back and I won’t be billed. Well, first of all, they sent 6 different orders to my address, I rejected them all, then they cancel two of my lines ( I have three) because they said of an internal error they thought I was a new customer sending back the phones before 30 days. Then to add insult to injury, I just got a bill for over 3 grand. Yup! I am so done with Sprint!

  5. Fred

    A broken Telesals @ Sprint is only one small piece of a broken corporation. Fixing Telesales without addressing the underlying issues at Sprint will do nothing to bring this company out of its death spiral.

  6. johnny

    I ordered a Touch via Telesales a couple of months ago and they erroneously sent me 2! When I sent the 2nd one back and asked for a refund to my original credit card they refused and issued a credit to my account instead. So I had to process a chargeback via my credit card into order to get the money back.

    Short story …worst company that I have EVER done business with…period

  7. Sprint Employee

    Im a manager at an exclusive sprint store and i have to say that the amount of problems i have to deal with daily is devastating. i get at least 10-15 people a day with billing problems. but i have to say that about 40% of the mistakes are the customers. yea i know that still leaves 60% of sprints error but people expect WAY too much especially most of the time what theyre disputing is valid overages. there is no doubt that sprint’s shoes are untied, but it is a two-way street; at least for right now.

  8. Michael

    I used to work in Customer Care. Sprint more than has problems with Telesales. There were numerous times where a customer would call in and want to add an additional line to their account. So, I would call over to Telesales and tell them exactly which phone the customer wanted and that they wanted to share the minutes on their existing Fair & Flexible plan. Well, after about and hour would pass, I would pull the customer’s account back up to make sure everything got setup correctly and went through for the customer only to find that Telesales had set up the new line on a Power Pack family plan. How can Telesales screw that one up? They know very well that if the customer is on a Fair & Flexible family plan that it can’t be shared with a Power Pack family plan and they’ve been told that the customer wants to share with their original Fair & Flexible family plan.

    On top of that, I’ve seen numerious times where GOOD customer care reps have been fired that really shouldn’t have been fired. How can a company justify firing someone who has no problems with attendance, no problems with their AHT, Quality, Billing Adjustments, or their Sales (legally) but yet keep people who are always committing MAXimize fraud, can’t come to work when they’re supposed to, continually have high billing adjustments, high AHT, and poor quality scores.

    Not to mention, for a company that’s supposed to be all about diversity…allow a customer care manager to have an issue with someone that’s not of their same life to take it out on that representative and yet when the representative goes to HR, HR does nothing about it. There is one manager in the Charlotte Contact Center that you wonder….who is he sleeping with to keep his job because he’s literally worthless. This is the reason that I’m no longer with Sprint. I had a manager that didn’t like me just because I’m gay and when I went to HR about it, my HR rep wouldn’t do anything about it…so I decided to leave. I’ve seen it all and Sprint really needs to fix their problems or they are going to go bankrupt.

  9. gla17624

    “sprint employee,” i agree with your statement about customers and billing, because i’m in cellular sales as well. but chris prices isn’t talking about billing issues. he’s talking about telesales messing up people’s accounts which happens more than i reallized.

    “Sprint Employee on March 5th, 2008, 7:39 am Im a manager at an exclusive sprint store and i have to say that the amount of problems i have to deal with daily is devastating. i get at least 10-15 people a day with billing problems. but i have to say that about 40% of the mistakes are the customers. yea i know that still leaves 60% of sprints error but people expect WAY too much especially most of the time what theyre disputing is valid overages. there is no doubt that sprint’s shoes are untied, but it is a two-way street; at least for right now.”

  10. The Man

    I been working for the company going on 4years now and i can’t agree with you guys any more then i already have. The company drops the ball in so many different areas, from the retail level to upper management to the warehouse in KC to Call Centers. This company isn’t on the same page at any level. Customer Care would tell customer that they can handle insurance claims in the store, reps at other retail locations tell customer god who know what anymore. I’ve heard it all. Its no surprise where the company is at and where its gonna end up if they cant fix these problems (stop employing dump ass ppl that dont know what the hell their doing beside talking their way out of shit). This company has the poorest training there is, really there is no training, it more like here you try it and figure it out you let the rest of us know how it goes. Management is just a joke where i work. The supervisor is dump as shit, doesn’t know how to use the retail systems to help customers just stands and watch. I gotten customers asking “is that your trainee” i just laugh. Its gotten to the point where ppl ask to have sat and sun off becuz they have school. What idiot would believe you got school on a Sunday (unless you got church), even my dog knows that i don’t have school on sunday.

  11. Michael

    Telesales creates alot of the billing issues. If the customer wants to share the minutes on their existing family plan and Telesales sets up the new line on a different plan, then there creates the billing issue. That’s what happens when you let a 3rd party company handle your sales. Most of the people in Telesales can’t even speak English. What are you to expect????

  12. Jlove22

    Im a Sprint Rep..and Ive heard all the horror stories from retail level and up. Telesales needs to improve I will admit..even on the sales rep side of things we see the massive amounts problems that we are selfs deal with Customer service and Telesales. If they didnt hire outside the country for these departments we wouldnt have such an issue. Because some of the CC and Telesales reps that Ive delt with personally that spoke a language that is understandable and were from the locations in Denver and Virgina actually were helpful and knew what they were doing. But the ones outside this country are IDIOTS. As far as problems at the rep level..there are many..the biggest problem is that sprint franshises out to third party dealers that DO NOT train the Reps and have a churn rate of 3 months. Third parties such as One wireless world and many more. Customers believe that these stores are corporate when actually they are not. I came from corporate myself where we had extensive training. In fact when I work for Corporate Sprint we went to training on a 3 month basis in some cases monthly basis. So to say that sprint has a training problem would be wrong, its the third parties that get no training and in turn creates massive problems from FRAUD to BILLING issues.

  13. Mr PreMerger

    I used to work for NEXTEL pre merger and it was an awesome company to work for. They cared about thier employees and commisions were always correct.The second Sprint took over sh*t got bad. Nextel managers were systimaticly demoted or fired. Nextel reps had neverending commision issues and when it finnally was fixed a legacy Nextel rep doing the same job as a legacy sprint rep was paid less in commisions. to put it simply if i sold 30 phones i got 600 if a legacy sprint rep sold 30 phones they got 1000. WTF? This was eventully(a year later or so) but still.Its not just telesales, every facet of this company is fu*ked. The right hand dosnt know what the left is doin…..ever.The worst part is going from working for a company that had positive customer perception to a company that people love to hate. And do you guys want to know something super duper ironic. as i was typing this comment a customer( i work for indirect now) walked up to complain about a telesales order. I swear to god. im on hold right now trying to staighten it out. Sprint is so messed up it gets harder and harder to look people in the eye and tell them that Sprint is better the competition. I used to belive that but now i don’t think so.

  14. Mr PreMerger

    UPDATE: im still trying to fix customers issue. one hour and 24 min on the phone. unreal.

  15. switchtech

    People keep saying Sprint/Telesales are screwed up but offer no solutions. Here’s one. Give front line CSR the ability to fix the problem. If I call up with a billing issue, take care of it. Don’t hand me off to some other dept who will hand me off to another dept who, if I need to fax in a bank statement to prove I was charged 2 times for 1 phone, don’t hand me off to another group. We have TOO many levels of support. I don’t know what the other companies do it but if a customer calls up and says, I was over charged, look at the bill, provide some encouraging words and FIX it. Even offer 5 bucks off the bill or something. Making the customer feel like it’s their fault for our mistakes only makes it worse.

  16. r u listening

    I really hope that “decision makers” are out reading blogs such as this, as a sprint exclusive dealer/owner and as a former area manager for cingular/att wireless I really hope that our new CEO will bring some of the good stuff (leave the bad) from at&t. *To immediately improve things I think that the stores should be allowed to atleast view bills, view history (payments, usage, notes) so that we can assist the customer without them having to call one of our dreadfull call centers, also if we just want to change a plan we are constantly getting errors this should be fundamentals. At&t does this and 9 out of 10 calls can be prevented if this was an option. *Bring our call centers back to the US, outsourcing is killing us, everything gets lost in translation, it is the most frustrating thing I have ever dealt with!!!!!!!!!!! *Consolidate depts, finance & customer care this can all be handled in one department. AT&T has activations, collections and customer care all in one, in america! **Competent Managers across the board & a forum where we can discuss these issues without having to let the whole world see!

  17. Mr. JustFixIt

    I also work in a Sprint retail store…I wouldn’t say I’m disgruntled, but I am disappointed in the direction the company has gone since I was hired years ago. The number one problem with Sprint is the TRAINING. Simply put…there is none. Jlove22 maybe you get training in CORPORATE, but in the retail stores there’s none. We learn by exploring options by ourselves and by the HEY BUDDY system. “Hey buddy, do you know the answer to this?” We have to take web based classes but cannot focus on the class because there are 10 customers on the list with a 30 min wait time due to understaffing. I am a firm believer in actually doing it rather than reading it. I can read how to bake a cake, but it’s not the same as someone teaching me how to bake a cake. Most of the employees I work with do not even know how to use most of the phone features (VersaMail, ActiveSync, Phone as a Modem, GPS, etc.). One of the reasons customer service is so horrible is because employees simply do not know the answers but do not want to admit it.

    Second, Sprint needs to empower its frontline employees to make the correct decisions to resolve the customer issue. One call to CS, Telesales or trip into the local store and the issue should be resolved….period!!! Even when I call in for a customer, I get transferred 2-3 times because I’m transferred to the wrong department, the customer is in the wrong billing system, etc. (how long has it been since the merger and we still don’t have one billing system?). I also agree with the statement that the right hand does not know what the left is doing. There is too much finger pointing between departments at Sprint. We can’t do that in the store…call Telesales. Telesales says to call customer service. Then customer service says to back to the store. If it was bought from Sprint, take care of it period!!!

    Third, Sprint has to stop managing by FEAR. If you don’t make this quota for three months, then you’ll be fired. Guess what? Reps start to do WHATEVER it takes to make sure they still have a job. If they are getting fired, they don’t care if they are caught MAKING their money. How about re-TRAINING (that word again!) or coaching employees who are having trouble? The turnover rate is killing customer service. Experienced employees are either being fired over some silly quota or are simply fed up with their job and quit. We have actually heard this phrase from our Area Service Manager “If they don’t like it, I’ll just fire them and hire someone cheaper.”

    Last, Sprint needs to satisfy their employees. The morale at Sprint is very, very low in the area where I work. I agree with Mr. Premerger, it gets harder and harder to look customers in the eye especially when you don’t want to be there. If your employees don’t care about the company, then they don’t care about the company’s customers. It’s hard to be told you will not get a merit raise this year due to the company struggling financially, then turn on Big Brother and see them giving away $10,000 per week (plus sponsoring Nascar, NFL, Oprah give away, on and on). Why should I continue to bust my a$$ when I will actually have less spending power this year due to cost of living going up and my wage staying the same? I guarantee you Dan Hesse will take his 6 or 7 figure bonus at the end of the year!!!

    Sorry for getting off topic, but I think these are some simple issues that need to and must be resolved for Sprint to turn around the terrible image that we have earned. Maybe the higher ups should get out of their CORPORATE offices and answer a few calls or wait on a few customers to get the real SPRINT EXPERIENCE. Maybe then they will realize how backwards some of the policies and thinking are and why they are killing the Sprint Image. Do you see the lights? Sprint Speed everyone!!!

  18. yeptotally

    Yep…another Sprint Sales Associate. Simply put, I hate my job! Every day I go into work knowing that I will have multiple situations where another department has screwed up and I will be the person that comes face to face with the problem. Telesales is broke, Customer Care is Broke, and the billing “SYSTEMS”, yes plural, is broke. Sprint has some really cool products and services but has no clue of how to utilize them. We have phones and services that surpass our competition, but also surpasses our customers. I believe the problem is two-fold in that we can’t fix a problem and that a customer’s expectations are set way too high. I have worked for both AT&T (Corp. Store) and Sprint and I hear the exact same complaints over and over. A day has never gone by where I didn’t have a customer complain about a phone costing too much or that they didn’t have service in there local walmart for 5 minutes and want to cancel their service over it. I am a huge advocate for Sprint to raise there credit standards and raise the bar. Our store is located in a lower than standard living city. We alone had about 60% of our deacts come about because a customer didn’t pay there bill…most not even paying there 1st. The biggest problem with Sprint is that we have the tech to be the best but lack the logistics and procedures. Everyone is looking to someone else for answers and noone can get anything done. I love technology and embrace and understand it in our products. BTW…spent “TWO” days fixing a telesales issue for a customer that had 10 lines of service and Telesales managed to call him and offer upgrades and he excepted only two of them…he recieved 6 upgrades in the mail and a $2000.00 bill. On top they changed his plan to an inferior plan with not text or data where they had it before. I worked out a solution with the customer only after calling retentions and telling them he was threatening leaving to go to Alltel. We should not be reactive but proactive. We should honor the quality this customer represented and should not have brought it to him threatening to leave but rather see the quality of the customer first hand. I get cussed out, yelled at, and told that I am stupid every day because of what customer care or telesales have done.

  19. steve g

    I agree with all of you, I have been trying to get my number ported for over two weeks! I have been on the phone with about 15 different reps for hours. To add insult to injury, they took away my temporary number! Now I have no number!!! They offer no explanation, and will not let me talk to a manager. They tell me all I can do is wait. Without a phone that I pay for!! and that is ok with them!!! Cingular all of a sudden doesn’t seem so bad anymore!!

  20. ehhh

    another rep. things are changing. stores can now pull up order tracking and order receipt information in sync. one step in the right direction. but yes. its broken. maybe oneday they’ll fix it. until then. learn by others experiences. COME INTO THE STORETO DO BUSINESS

  21. danj guardian

    Telesales do not process Return Kit or authorization email. It should be transfered over to Order Support Desk or Sales Support Desk 1-866-789-8292.
    Right now there is new updates where you can return the phone at the store for fast processing. This does not apply to accessories or the following customer types:
    • Business customers
    • Gov IL/CL
    • Consumer customers under their employer’s discount plan (IL)
    • OAR
    • Employee Advantage Club
    • SERO

  22. Keith

    I worked for the Telesales dept. located in Canada. Yes, there are sometimes mistakes made, and the system is not perfect, however Telesales is not always to blame. For example, Customer Care and stores routinely mis-inform customers as to what Telesales reps can do. And to Michael, when adding an additional line to customer’s accounts with the system we were using we could not add the line to the Fair & Flexible family plan as it was no longer offered, the system would not allow it. We had to add a basic plan or power pack, and then the customers would have to call over to Care to grandfather it over. Which would result in billing discrepancies, however I would always explain that to the customer and even offer a credit to more than offset it. It was the way we were instructed to do it. Too many times I had to refuse a transfer from Customer Care because they had promised things I could not possibly do, and then when they found out that I couldn’t do anything they say….”well can I bring the customer over so you can explain that to them?” …ummm no.

  23. Nick

    My letter to Sprint sent 7/28/08


    A couple of weeks ago my MotoQ was damaged and I replaced it with your new Instinct from one of your local Sprint stores on 7/13. My contract was up for renewal and I qualified for all the discounts/rebates. After using this phone for a couple days I realized that it does not function like a real smart phone which I require (ex: opening office excel docs, calendar that can sync).

    I tried to exchange the Instinct for the Blackberry Curve but it was not in stock and I was told to call telesales and have them exchange it for me since telesales is the only way to get the Curve. Telesales said they cannot exchange the phone since I purchased the Instinct in a physical Sprint store. I then finally worked out an agreement between telesales and the Sprint store to have the Sprint store return the phone, contact telesales and let them know it has been returned so that I can order the Curve from Telesales with all the discounts/rebates.

    After receiving the Blackberry Curve via UPS on 7/23, just 2 days after I ordered it from Telesales, I find that the Curve does not turn on and won’t charge. I contacted Sprint and they suggested that I return the phone and order another one because the phone they sent to me is defective. I agreed with Sprint and even let them know there is no need to rush the phone to me the next day but I will need it by Monday 7/28 when I return from my vacation. The Sprint representative assured me that the replacement Curve would arrive by Monday 7/28.

    I just called Sprint to request the tracking info for the replacement Curve and it states that the package is on time with a scheduled delivery date of 07/30/2008. What happened to having the phone by 7/28?

    Now I have to wait another 2 days minimum before I get a working phone. I have probably called Sprint over 30 times throughout this process and consider myself lucky if I even get a representative that can speak English without lots of background noise. I am not sure what else I can do to get my phone, in my hand, in working condition, simply by the date Sprint says I will have it. If I do not receive the phone by 7/30, I will be forced to find a new provider.


  24. Raquel

    I work for sprint telesales, I agree with Keith “Customer Care and stores routinely mis-inform customers as to what Telesales reps can do” so at the end is TELESALES fault. I feel bad selling the phones, I really do, because i know is a piece of shit what im selling, but im in NICARAGUA(country in central america), and me working for sprint is better that working in a hospital, YEP! i make more money than a doctor. I just try to work, even thought I REALLY HATE THIS JOB. and yes in telesales are people that dont speak a good english, im one of them.

    “We learn by exploring options by ourselves and by the HEY BUDDY system. “Hey buddy, do you know the answer to this?” HAHAHAHA I KNOW!!! even my TL doesnt know what to do sometimes.

    in conclusion: for me the problems of sprint is the RULES that they make every week, they changed one rule and explain another thing, and then another. The only thing u understand and the end is the angry coustomer that is TOTALLY RIGHT

  25. David

    I am myself a Sprint telesales rep. And I got to admit the company itself as a whole… has some issues… Its not just telesales.

    Basically each deparment doesn’t know how the other departments work…. A LOT of times I get customers transfered (cold transfer) over from CARE, because they want to return a phone. Or exhange it, Telesales cannot handle that AT ALL, the system won’t even allow it, thats for Order Support to do… also they promise free phones to customers or give completely false pricing on equipment to the customers and transfer them to us…. and what do you get? A pissed off customer.

    Basically there is lack of coordination between each department. Its not just pointing at one department and blaiming them for all the sh!t… the fault is collective.

    Also sometimes customers are also retards… they break or w.e their phones, the don’t have insurance on it, they are not nearly elegible for an upgrade, are way out of the 30 day guarantee… and want a better phone than the one they currently have…. for FREE… Telesales’ work, as the name suggest, is to sell, not to make miracles.