I should have known better. From where I sit, Verizon has always had something of a stench I couldn’t quite identify. There was just something about that company that rubbed me the wrong way.
Now I realize it’s because they’re a bunch of fucking assholes who don’t give two shits about their customers. And, based on my horrible, terrible, very bad experience with them (never again, never again), don’t give two shits about new customers. And I’m beginning to think all technology companies, perhaps all companies, no longer even pretend to care about their customers.
This seems just one more way we’ve seriously lost our way culturally.
I’ve been a Sprint customer since forever. Even before cell phones were a thing, I had Sprint for long-distance (remember that? remember having to pick a long-distance carrier?).
To be honest, it wasn’t a choice on my part so much as a discount offered through The Company. I just moved up the line as the technology evolved:
I’ve had that little guy on the right for a very long time. (I’ve never been one who needed the latest and greatest. I buy a car and drive it until I’m pretty much forced to buy another one. I still think of my 2010 Ford as a “new” car. (Well, new-ish.))
But that little guy on the right is so old the battery is only good for a day (regardless of whether I use the phone or not), and it’s an analog line, although it does have text message ability (that I never used).
There is also that my old iPod classic is feeling its age, too. Again, it’s the battery not holding a charge for very long that’s the problem.
That iPod has a tiny hard drive in it, so I’ve been aware of the potential of mechanical failure. The problem is I have over 60 gigs of music, so many players (including many iPods) can’t handle the library.
Since it is an iPod, and I’m fairly heavily invested in the iTunes ecosystem (over half that 60 gigs is purchased iTunes music), I realized that about my only option was getting an iPhone.
Which I don’t really need.
Don’t much care about apps. I’ve had my iPad for over three years now, and I find I use it less and less. It’s essentially only an iBook reader, occasional web browser, YouTube video player, and weather and news.
Some of those I’m not interested in on the tiny screen of an iPhone. I don’t imagine watching videos or reading books.
All I really need is a phone and a place for my music. And having decent text messaging would be nice.
I’m not really eager to join the whole mobile device thing, but did see that not doing so was becoming a greater disadvantage.
So I bit the bullet and set off to see what Sprint could do for me.
Not much as it turns out.
I was hoping to find an older iPhone. I started with the iPhone 6 and 6s, but nothing in stock. Moved up through the iPhone 7 and 8, but still couldn’t find an in-stock combination of phone color and memory (mostly memory) that worked for my needs.
Several rounds with Sprint’s online chat weren’t very helpful…
I couldn’t help but remember the last time I ordered online from Sprint (back around 2005, maybe?) and what a wonderful experience that was. I ended that online session feeling really good.
I felt Sprint cared about me, and the online person was so nice and cheery and helpful. Really a top-notch sales experience. (A large part of my career involved supporting our sales forces, so I’m a bit familiar with that aspect of business.)
I’ve been a very happy Sprint customer since then. I’ve been a fan of Sprint ever since. (The value of good sales and service people.)
My experience with them this time wasn’t so positive. Not bad, exactly, but just the same mediocre shit we always deal with these days. Maybe the miasma of malaise from that evil toad squatting in the Oval Office is polluting everything and everyone.
[That an evil piece of shit like him gets any support at all from any human being on the planet says a lot to me about where our culture has gone. The next year-and-a-half will say what remains to be said about the once great USA.]
Sprint did finally tell me I could buy a phone from Amazon or Best Buy.
But that was worse. Amazon seems to barely have even heard of Sprint, and Best Buy didn’t have much to offer, either.
One gets the feeling Sprint is becoming an also-ran?
Which leaves me with AT&T (no way), T-Mobile (I don’t like pink), or Verizon (which, for whatever reason, I always saw as an enemy of the public — kind of up there with Comcast in being a company you’d only deal with if you had to — as I did to get cable for many years — don’t miss them at all).
So,… [damn] I guess,… because they’re the biggest player,… Verizon?
The online process seemed to go okay.
I found an iPhone XR with the memory and color I wanted. Decided on a plan and submitted the order. Two-day delivery, so phone expected (last) Thursday.
I looked forward (with some minor trepidation) to joining the modern mobile device herd. If nothing else, I’d be finally able to use 2FA on various key sites (like my blog — WordPress has been pestering me about that).
Thursday, no phone.
Friday, no phone.
Saturday, you guessed it, no phone.
But I did get an email saying my order was cancelled. Didn’t say why. Just had a phone number.
Called phone number, sat on hold for several minutes, gave up and figured I’d try again Monday.
So, today, I called again and sat on hold for about five minutes.
Got a gal who… had awful diction and a sullen voice and attitude. From the moment she answered the phone. I had to ask her many times to repeat what she was saying until I could understand it.
And she was so unpleasant!
(Experiences like this, which are all too common, are exactly why I hate having to do this at all. It always ends up making me hate people.)
I thought maybe there was a problem with the credit card (big online order shocked them), or maybe with transferring my old number from Sprint (which, fine, don’t care, hardly ever used it anyway).
Turned out it was something about identification. (Mine.)
Now, they had all my info, my name, my SS#, my address, my CC number…
I confirmed that and still they wanted more.
Apparently I was supposed to photograph my ID and email it to them.
At that point I was so frustrated with that call-taker, and so frustrated with Verizon, I just let them cancel the order and gave up.
At this point, I’m feeling utterly defeated by technology businesses.
A couple weeks ago I finally switched website hosting providers for my personal website. I’ve always been a bit unhappy with Network Solutions, and now that I’m with InMotion, I realize I was with a shitty company for all those years. The new guys are way better (free https, for one thing).
So that was good, but I haven’t managed to wait on hold long enough to tell NS to cancel my hosting package. And they’ll only do it with a phone call. I may just give up on that, too, and let the contract expire in 2020. Wouldn’t be all that much of a refund, anyway (assuming they even give me one). My time and not being aggravated is worth more to me.
Anyway, maybe I’ll give Sprint another try. I’m not sure I got all the way up to an iPhone XR with them. Maybe they’ll have one?
Is it just me, or has customer service gotten worse in the last decade or so? (Or maybe just since we have an evil POTUS?)
Lately, I’ve noticed, a lot, the behaviors of Google, Apple, and Microsoft. I’ve been noticing, in particular, the disregard they seem to have for users.
They’re convinced we need them and can’t leave them. Given the way most people are chained to their mobile device, I’m not sure they’re wrong.
They pretty much nailed it.
If you’re not read the book or seen the series (which was just released), this won’t make much sense to you, but:
After last week, all I can say is that, if I were Adam, the Earth would be a smoking cinder right now.
Stay furious, my friends.