How to Alienate Business Customers — The Sprint Way

Clear is a wireless Internet provider owned by Sprint. Last week Sprint turned off a major cell site in Seattle providing wireless Internet via Clear to several residences and businesses. I was one of the business victims. So was Subway Shop #4091. Subway was using the connection for credit card payments in the store. (I frequent the store and saw the Clear modem, which is why I got their side of the story.)

There was no notice to any of the affected users that service was going down permanently (both confirmed by Clear/Sprint representatives).

There was no concern by Clear/Sprint customer service that it was stopped when a call was made asking what happened to the service.

There was no concern by Clear/Sprint customer service that there was no notice: “It was an engineering decision.” In other words, there was no concern for existing customers.

The best options Sprint/Clear could offer: put the modem outside or cancel the account. Putting the modem outside is not nearly as easy as suggesting it, and actually shows the ignorance of the representative. You can’t simply stick an electronic piece of equipment outdoors without proper protection from the various weather elements. Then, there is the problem of running power and ethernet cables. Placing outside is not much of an option. Who is going to pay for non-service? Cancellation seems to be the best option.

if your service got cut off without notice and you were then met with basically uncaring representatives that want to pass the blame to engineering, then what would be your long-term thinking in relation to doing more and future business with the provider? Seems obvious to me.

Frankly, having been a former Sprint cell phone customer for about 12 years, this recent action regarding the company’s wireless Internet customers does not surprise me. Sprint, in my opinion, never had any concept of what good customer service was or is.

As more people defect from Sprint on their own and as more paying customers have their service terminated, one has to wonder how much longer Sprint will be around — and that’s something to consider when thinking about being a business customer.