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Man did i just get my eyes opened. I've been a loyal customer of Sprint (11yrs) and in Dec they stopped giving some extra perks for customers who have remained with them. I guess companies don't care anymore about keeping their customers. Sadly i remember the "good old days". Is it just me that has noticed this? Sad ending to a really good thing. All i wanted was the other 2 lines to get the upgrade this summer like mine was going to. We were going to have them all switch over to iPhones. Now we'll have to wait. I really don't want to switch to another company but it sucks that Sprint went down this road.
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It's a fairly clear trend, especially in telecommunications. The cell phone carriers and cable companies have become, though deregulation, mergers and acquisitions, extremely large behemoths. Those behemoths frankly just do not care about you.

Small & local outfits generally win on those points, though.
⚠️ Last edited by jess on UTC; edited 1 time
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JESS very true. It just happened to me as well with the Continental and United merger. I don't think i like the deregulation stuff very well. Showing my age here i guess. I must of had the last 2 holdouts in the big business arena.
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jess wrote:
It's a fairly clear trend, especially in telecommunications. The cell phone carriers and cable companies have become, though deregulation, mergers and acquisitions, extremely large behemoths. Those behemoths frankly just do not care about you.

Small & local outfits generally wins on those points, though.
As someone who works for one of those behemoths in a customer service roll I can't say I disagree with you. For the most part I do have to say it's not that the employees dont care it's that the policys the companies set are so strict that there is not room to look at an account and say "Yeah, that is the policy but your a loyal customer who has been with us for 11 years we'll make an exception."

Makes me happy that my job is to be the one that makes exceptions like that.
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new rules for business..
unfortunately the old adage of taking care of the customers will result in revenue has been replaced by going straight for the revenue, leaving the customer's head spinning.

Sad, but true.
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NIGEL Sprint could up until Dec and not now. The Supervisor was very apologetic but her hands were tied. Sad really.
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judy wrote:
JESS very true. It just happened to me as well with the Continental and United merger. I don't think i like the deregulation stuff very well. Showing my age here i guess. I must of had the last 2 holdouts in the big business arena.
Sadly in my experience when large companies merge you end up with the worst of each company in the new one. MBNA bought Bank of America and my customer service went into the toilet. I liked MBNA and never had a good thing to say about BofA.

The same thing seems to be happening with the United & Continental merger. Pity because 30 years ago Continental had crap customer service but they learned better through their bankuptcies. You'd think that since United was on the verge of bankruptcy when Continental acquired them that it would be the Continental way of doing things that would survive. Sadly, that doesn't appear to be the case.
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The most difficult and depressing thing is that the person you talk to rarely, if ever, has any say in their companies policies, yet they take all the abuse. I worked in retail for 15 years & I try my hardest to never chew out the peons, but I have had to apologize for my behavior a few times.

Even at the local level it sucks. My last boss, the owner of the business, was consistently our worst employee and the one who drove the most customers away. Sad
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There are still a few large companies that understand it costs more to gain/acquire a new customer than to lose a loyal one.

I had a horrendous issue with a previous cell carrier that resulted in my switching to a competitor and I haven't looked back. Since that time I've added 3 lines and a data plan. I would think that would make me pretty attractive to those guys, but they missed the boat - and all it would have cost them would be to replace a broken phone and allow me to re-up my contract 2 months early. I reminded them of that recently when they tried to lure me back - peckerheads.

I'll try to not sound like a shill, but my experience with DirecTV over the last 13 years has been mostly stellar. I'm sure there are some who have horror stories, but for me they seemingly understand that I'm a long time customer without unreasonable demands. When I moved to my current home, they came the day I moved and did the install without hassle or getting in my way. In the 10 years I've been here, they've been out here twice, one time they replaced my old original equipment without me asking or hesitation. The 2nd time, they did not even charge for the service call.
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CD-

Continental did not "acquire" United, they merged with them, with United effectively being the majority stock position (55%-45%). The merger was effected because neither airline alone could continue to operate profitably in the long run at it's pre-merger size. The post merger company is smaller than the total of the two pre-merger companies. Layoffs tend to negatively effect those who didn't lose their jobs as well as those laid off.

Mrs Aviator is a retired airline executive, and she could go on for hours about what is called a given airline's "culture", and the several elements of it (pilots, cabin crews, different unions representing the same category of worker in each airline, reservationists, maintenance practices, policies and so on). Mergers result in "culture clashes" that are counter productive, and human nature being what it is, ultimately these clashes will impact on the consumer. Add to the mix that the air transportation industry is under great financial stress, and there you go. The US Airways - America West "culture clash" has yet to be fully resolved 6 years along, and they consistently rank dead last in customer satisfaction ratings, even though they are "profitable".
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In 2005 I got an email offering improved cell phone coverage. It included a free phone. I needed support on a phone issue and Sprint replied that they didn't have service in S. Nevada. Wha? emoticon I called every month for 6 months and Sprint still responded with "there is no account in your name". The service sucked and the phone was a turd. I finally just threw it away and never heard another peep

About the same time I got a bill from Sears with a $1000 credit. I called customer service monthly for the next 6 months and they continued to claim I paid twice. No way! I finally went to the local store and bought $600 in tools. They sent me a check for the balance.

Go figure
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No different than any corporations behavior over the last decade. As companies work and cut and slash to maintain financial competitiveness it is the consumer and employee who suffers. One can vote with ones wallet but the problem of course is that the competitor really is no different.
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Most customer service sucks. As a customer service rep I can say that many customers suck worse.
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They should introduce "loyalty cards", that'll fix it :P
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Let's not forget "loyalty oaths". Historically that has gone over really well.
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Aviator47 wrote:
CD-

Continental did not "acquire" United, they merged with them, with United effectively being the majority stock position (55%-45%). The merger was effected because neither airline alone could continue to operate profitably in the long run at it's pre-merger size. The post merger company is smaller than the total of the two pre-merger companies. Layoffs tend to negatively effect those who didn't lose their jobs as well as those laid off.
They called it a merger when Chevron "merged" with Texaco to form what they called Chevron-Texaco with a 61% Chevron & 39% Texaco stock merger but the reality was very little of Texaco culture or methodolgy survived. The company is no longer Chevron-Texaco but just Chevron. They can call it a merger all they want but I've yet to see one that was a true merging of corporate culture and practice.

My experience so far with the "merger" of United & Continental has been a downgrade on all fronts from the experience I had as a Continental customer, far more on par with what I've experienced flying United.

Excellent customer service in the airline industry I've experienced in the last few years are in order Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines then Continental.
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In many instances, large organizations replace the concept of "knowledgeable employees" with employees who have access to the company's computerized "knowledge base". Thus, the employee cannot do anything beyond the "canned" answers and transactions offered by their computer access. Very often, that employee's "supervisor" simply supervises a group of people's scheduling and performance delivering the "canned" answers, and has no subject matter expertise nor authority. In all actuality, you might have go either go up a few levels of supervision or a totally different department to get something addressed in a manner that varies from the "canned" answer. Thus, many calls for "personalized service" are handled by people who have no personal involvement in 99% of what they do other then being the person who deliver rote info from a computer screen. In many instances, the person responding (I hesitate to say "attending") to your request is a contractor. Not all outsourced call centers are overseas, BTW.

I am willing to bet that such employment does not draw the brightest of folks or those who enjoy solving problems. There is a big difference between problem solving and delivering canned "solutions". Even if the rep "cares", there is nothing in their power to translate the "care" into a caring solution.

Now, the above lends itself to looking good to a numbers cruncher, and any deleterious impact on customer satisfaction takes time, and numbers crunchers are not forward looking.

A friend retired from a major corp that has outsourced 95% of it's "Human Resources" functions to an outside contractor (in the US, not overseas). As long as an employee issue is covered in the knowledge base, life is fine. However, if you need something the slightest bit out of the ordinary, the contract "human resource specialists" can't even provide info on who to contact. But since 95% of all questions referred to "HR" are "resolved" within two working days, it's a smash hit. In our friend's case, it took 2 months to track down the person who could correct an error in our friend's retirement benefits. The contractor did not have access to her retirement contract, and she would either be told "no such benefit exists", or "I will check with my supervisor and call you", which would result in a call back that said, "No such benefit exists". Even when she offered to fax a copy of the contract, the contractor said that could not be done! She had no idea that she was talking to a contractor, and finally called a former colleague at corp HQ to ask for a point of contact to raise hell. That's when she learned of the outsourcing. As it was, since her particular issue was not in the "knowledge base", the contractor had no authority to act on it, even with a copy of her contract.
⚠️ Last edited by Aviator47 on UTC; edited 1 time
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oopsclunkthud wrote:
They should introduce "loyalty cards", that'll fix it Razz emoticon
Read the book Jennifer Government....
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About a year ago I shut down an account with Comcast (thank you Jesus!), paying it off in full. A few months later I got a bill for thirty three cents. I called customer service. They knew nothing, just pay the bill. I didn't pay It for a couple of months and they threatened to send it to"collection", a fate worse than death. I really was going to let it go and see how ugly it would get for 33cents, but I was reminded that It could get into my credit report and become a bigger headache. So I sent them a check for one dollar. Now I get a statement every month showing a credit balance of 67 cents. I called customer service again to ask for a check for .67, but that is too small an amount to send a check. I guess I will get the statements with a credit forever. I wonder how much that is going to cost them for postage.
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To me it seems nobody gives a crap about the customer once the company gets too big for their britches. For me, I've got to have a reason to be loyal, even if it's simply the company not screwing me over and just continuing to give me good service or products. It's getting harder to keep patronizing a lot of the bigger businesses because of the lack of not screwing over customers.
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The single biggest reason for poor customer service in regards to wireless carriers is their sheer numbers. They have had to make these generic, blanketed rules that cover many millions of customers. They have taken the power out of the hands of the individual agent, and gone to a computerized system that doesn't allow for much, if any leeway. The numbers in the US alone are pretty staggering.

T-Mobile - 33.7 million
Sprint - 55 million
AT&T - 103 million
Verizon - 108.7 million

The bottom line is, they have grown too big too fast, and can't figure out how to deal with it properly. Competition keeps them looking forward. Between ever changing technology and network expansion these companies feel they can't cater to the individual customer the same way they did in the past, which in turn can leave their long time customers feeling left behind. It all makes for a sad state of affairs.
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judy wrote:
NIGEL Sprint could up until Dec and not now. The Supervisor was very apologetic but her hands were tied. Sad really.
they say that but there are exceptions and they can do anything they want to if they want to. its easier for them not to though.
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Tor2ga wrote:
About a year ago I shut down an account with Comcast (thank you Jesus!), paying it off in full. A few months later I got a bill for thirty three cents. I called customer service. They knew nothing, just pay the bill. I didn't pay It for a couple of months and they threatened to send it to"collection", a fate worse than death. I really was going to let it go and see how ugly it would get for 33cents, but I was reminded that It could get into my credit report and become a bigger headache. So I sent them a check for one dollar. Now I get a statement every month showing a credit balance of 67 cents. I called customer service again to ask for a check for .67, but that is too small an amount to send a check. I guess I will get the statements with a credit forever. I wonder how much that is going to cost them for postage.
classic. I like it.
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Tor2ga wrote:
About a year ago I shut down an account with Comcast (thank you Jesus!), paying it off in full. A few months later I got a bill for thirty three cents. I called customer service. They knew nothing, just pay the bill. I didn't pay It for a couple of months and they threatened to send it to"collection", a fate worse than death. I really was going to let it go and see how ugly it would get for 33cents, but I was reminded that It could get into my credit report and become a bigger headache. So I sent them a check for one dollar. Now I get a statement every month showing a credit balance of 67 cents. I called customer service again to ask for a check for .67, but that is too small an amount to send a check. I guess I will get the statements with a credit forever. I wonder how much that is going to cost them for postage.
You should send them to collection. And you should keep calling them and demand payment, as the phone call costs them money.
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OAD i don't think they can now. That's the sad part. I have a really old plan. 11yrs old I'm not into the iphone but my friends son would be.My friend has even wanted to get a iphone. Now that could be expensive since she loses things but hey it'll be her dime. I really don't care if i have the iphone or not but soon i'll have to come into this century with my plan. I find it harder to find a regular phone anyway. However they won't be able to process my plan sooner rather than later. So far they have been awesome in being creative but that is long gone by now. WICK i agree and i also think it doesn't mean anything or is cost effective to them, to have loyalty anymore. Anybody can have one now where as years ago they couldn't and customers were coveted. Now were a dime a dozen and people jump ship at the drop of a hat so retention is a mute point. CD i LOVED Continental but that's long gone now. My last trip with them to NY was horrible. Livid emoticon Not their fault but it's the merger. Sad because Continental had worked so hard to get where they were. I guess we need deregulation but IMO it sucks. I sound like my grandmother Nerd emoticon
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Yeah, I remember the good old days when we used to sit around and decry the decay in customer service...

The problem is that all these heartless, money grubbing evil capitalists offer more inexpensive, flexible, technologically advanced products and services than we could even imagine getting from mom and pop down at the corner. (and, darn it, we like inexpensive, flexible, technologically advanced products and services, don't we!).
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Corporations are actually quite good at taking care of their customers. The problem is that they consider the stockholders
their customers, not the people who pay for their products or services. We are only incidental to the job of satisfying the
stockholders and so we only get the minimum amount of effort that is required to achieve that goal.
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^^ That. Exactly.
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My experience with Apple and Amazon has been nothing but superb.

Best
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Ditto Amazon.

and Godaddy.com

I guess Godaddy.com is not yet "too big to smile".
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You think it's bad now wait until these companies make noncompete deals with each other. Without any competition from each other there will be no need to provide low priced services. How will you be able to dump your current provider for the competition if there isn't any. http://www.local1101.org/v1/fliers/030112_Worksite_Cable_Deal_Flyer2.pdf
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MrZip wrote:
Corporations are actually quite good at taking care of their customers. The problem is that they consider the stockholders
their customers
There's another variation on that theme as well. Companies like Google and Facebook consider their advertisers to be their customers. You -- the user -- are the product.

(One could probably make the same allegation about Modern Vespa, since we also have advertisers. That would require that we actually be in it for the money, though -- and we're decidedly not.)
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Re: (NSR) Sad decline of customer loyalty
judy wrote:
Man did i just get my eyes opened. I've been a loyal customer of Sprint (11yrs) and in Dec they stopped giving some extra perks for customers who have remained with them. I guess companies don't care anymore about keeping their customers. Sadly i remember the "good old days". Is it just me that has noticed this? Sad ending to a really good thing. All i wanted was the other 2 lines to get the upgrade this summer like mine was going to. We were going to have them all switch over to iPhones. Now we'll have to wait. I really don't want to switch to another company but it sucks that Sprint went down this road.
we were sprint too... mostly because they have the lowest cost plans and our company offers largest corporate discounts. but i do recall them offering to waive certain fees, etc. to retain customers in the past.

but in terms of service, both coverage and personal service, at least for our area (los angeles) it seems verizon is better. we may convince my wife to switch next time...
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MISU i'm the opposite. Sprint is great here AT&T isn't.Haven't had Verizon. Sprint used to have an awesome customer service. Not now. Sometimes i had to go thru three people but i got what i wanted and then some. I did however find Sprint to be a PIA in ME this summer. They do have some good plans and i'll probably stay with them. Lesser of all the evils IMO but it sucks that they aren't like they used to be.
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Judy look at the coverage area of sprint and verizon . to me verizon does it better.


http://coverage.sprint.com/IMPACT.jsp?INTNAV=ATG:FT:Cov

I have had excellent service with verizon. they even did the upgrade early for us and didn't charge extra fees or bs. Also only deal with the company stores not authorized retailers. they do stuff the retailers can't like fixing phones or billing stuff.

http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/CoverageLocatorController?requesttype=NEWREQUEST&coveragetype=datacoverage4g
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2007 LX150 Daring Plum Leonardo Da Vespa
Joined: UTC
Posts: 29304
 
World Traveler
@judy avatar
2007 LX150 Daring Plum Leonardo Da Vespa
Joined: UTC
Posts: 29304
UTC quote
OAD the Verizon link says service unavailable. Laughing emoticon Seriously i might look into them. Strangely my phone goes to their network and says Verizon when i'm having trouble with it. Monday i couldn't call out because it kept saying Verizon but i suspect it was solar flares or one of the military satellites out here that was causing problems. Used to be my phone was the only one that worked out here (out of the other big two) but i think Sprint's system is getting old now and the other companies are better. Used to be the other way around. Thanks
@stooterboy avatar
UTC

Banned
MP3 500
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4530
Location: Ashburn, Va
 
Banned
@stooterboy avatar
MP3 500
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4530
Location: Ashburn, Va
UTC quote
zombies-nyc wrote:
You think it's bad now wait until these companies make noncompete deals with each other. Without any competition from each other there will be no need to provide low priced services. How will you be able to dump your current provider for the competition if there isn't any. http://www.local1101.org/v1/fliers/030112_Worksite_Cable_Deal_Flyer2.pdf
That is illegal, it won't happen, it's BIG Time fines. It's called a "Monopoly".
@old_as_dirt avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 GTS
Joined: UTC
Posts: 22485
Location: Harriman, Tennessee, Tn
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@old_as_dirt avatar
2007 GTS
Joined: UTC
Posts: 22485
Location: Harriman, Tennessee, Tn
UTC quote
judy wrote:
OAD the Verizon link says service unavailable. Laughing emoticon Seriously i might look into them. Strangely my phone goes to their network and says Verizon when i'm having trouble with it. Monday i couldn't call out because it kept saying Verizon but i suspect it was solar flares or one of the military satellites out here that was causing problems. Used to be my phone was the only one that worked out here (out of the other big two) but i think Sprint's system is getting old now and the other companies are better. Used to be the other way around. Thanks
changed the link
@judy avatar
UTC

World Traveler
2007 LX150 Daring Plum Leonardo Da Vespa
Joined: UTC
Posts: 29304
 
World Traveler
@judy avatar
2007 LX150 Daring Plum Leonardo Da Vespa
Joined: UTC
Posts: 29304
UTC quote
OAD thanks. It's something i will into. I can't see the Oahu one very well on the Verizon but it looks like it's spotty out by me. Still will give it a go Most people have AT&T because of the iPhone here. I can't stand them. Currently have a block on my ipad for them.
@aviator47 avatar
UTC

Moderator
2006 PX 150 & Malossi Kitted Malaguti Yesterday (Wife's)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 12955
Location: Paros Island, Greece
 
Moderator
@aviator47 avatar
2006 PX 150 & Malossi Kitted Malaguti Yesterday (Wife's)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 12955
Location: Paros Island, Greece
UTC quote
Our daughter accepted a special offer from Verizon for 4 numbers (they already had their phones) on a special rate family plan with a three year contract. About 10 months into the contract, her bill doubled. She noticed that 2 more phone numbers (no idea who they were) had been added to her package, and the rate plan "name" was no longer shown.. Calls Verizon and spends 6 hours trying to find someone who can something about it. Gets it straightened out (Verizon mistakenly added the 2 phone numbers to her account instead of the party requesting the two additional numbers), but rep tells her she must pay the bill and will get a credit on her next bill. Took two more hours to find someone who said they would issue the credit immediately and thus have her just pay her contract set rate.

Next bill arrives, and it 50% higher than the original "plan rate" and has a different plan name. Calls, and first rep tells her that's because "the computer shows she changed her plan. Any change cancels the plan, and she made two changes, adding then dropping two numbers", and they put her on the current "equivalent plan". Takes 5 hours to find someone who can reinstate her originally contracted plan. She said Version would have to offer one hell of a deep and long term discount plan when the current contract expires to make her consider staying with them.
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