We all have the jones sometimes for a new phone, a new plan, a new carrier. In fact, our jones got so bad that we had to switch carriers, as my wife needed a new phone and wanted a RAZR phone. I had been with Sprint for about 6 years at this point and didn’t really want to switch, but we needed a family plan in order to keep the costs down, and at the time Sprint did not carry the phone she wanted.
So, we walked into Cingular and signed up for a family plan and got 2 new phones and walked out happy campers with our new stuff. Knowing we had three days to try the service out, I did not immediately cancel my Sprint plan. After having the phones for a day or so, we were satisfied and I called Sprint. This is where the fun began, ended, began again, and has finally settled down.
Upon hearing that I wanted to cancel my plan, Sprint immediately transferred me to a retention person. And honestly, if you ever want something from your cellphone provider, just threaten to cancel and you will immediately get the nicest group of people that work at these places. So this guy, I will call him Joe as I don’t remember his name, starts telling me that I should have called first, they could have given me a deal, etc etc. I was THIS close to still canceling when he asked if I could still return the Cingular phones, and I said I could. He offered me such a deal, along with a new phone for the wife, $300 off a Treo for me, and a family plan that is beyond anything you will ever see advertised, that I took it. Happy with my new NEW plan, we went back to Cingular, turned in the phones, and canceled. No problem there, they took it all back and wrote off the account.
Now, the phone shows up that my wife picked out, and I get it set up. My Treo shows up and none of the activation codes are working, so I finally get customer service on the phone and after 1 hour, we still cant get it to work as she is telling me I don’t even have the phone I am holding in my hand. So, I ask for the retention department again as I am not dealing with this crap. And I get them, he activates the phone, we are all set. Until the bill arrives.
The first bill shows up and its $398 MORE than what it should be. They charged me for the Treo, activation charges, my wife’s phone and a regular family plan. I call back again, and after 20 minutes with 2 different customer service reps, I ask for retention again. Either its very easy to get them or because I have been with them for so long I get them right away. Either way, another guy I will call Joe gets on the phone and he just cannot believe what has happened here. He sees the notes on my account on my deal, etc. He puts me on hold a few minutes, then comes back and says “Ok, all the charges for the equipment and activation have been removed, we are doubling the amount of minutes per month you were supposed to get, doubling the amount of text messages you were supposed to get, and we are cutting your monthly cost by $10….does that sound good to you?”
Um, does it ever! So basically, I got a free Treo, another free phone, double the minutes, double the text messages….all for just about the same amount I was paying on my old plan which was just for myself.
This was a few months ago now and everything is still going smoothly. The point is, don’t ever let the first person answering the phone at a cell company to tell you no. Just keep asking till you get someone that will tell you yes. And if you are thinking of switching to another carrier, be sure to call your current one first, tell them you are thinking of leaving, and see what they can give you. If its not enough, ask for more. But be nice…the retention people are there to keep you as a customer, so the easier you are to deal with, the better your experience will be. It never hurts to ask for what you want…if you don’t get it, you can always look elsewhere.