Tyler has, er had, an HTC Evo Shift 4G. It started acting up. When it finally wouldn't even let you use the touchscreen, I jumped online to Sprint to see if it was under warranty and what could be done about it. Before I go any further, let me say this:
I ended up in chat with Sprint online. Told them the problem. Was told the phone was under warranty. Just take it to the Sprint store and they'll fix me up. BBZZTTT, wrong answer. Thank you for playing. The chat took almost an hour, all tolled (or if you prefer: all told. I do not, as I may have mentioned. I believe it should be "tolled" as in "added up," but I digress. Often.).
After work, I drove 35 miles to the Sprint Store to exchange my son's phone. Or so I thought. I showed the phone to the girl (yes, she was a girl - not a woman, not lady, but a young girl) and she said, "Well, it will cost you $35 for us to look at it since there is no insurance." I said, "That's fine. No problem." That was met with: "Well, actually, they don't make these anymore, so really, there's nothing my tech could do anyway." I don't care. Check it out anyway. What ever happened to "The Customer is always right?" Oh yeah, this is Sprint.
I explained that I had chatted with Sprint online, and yes, in fact, they could give me a phone of equal value since it was under warranty. She took the phone back to the tech (no charge). A moment later, she returned. "Tech says we don't have parts and there's nothing we can do. You could take it to the repair shop down the street." I left, not happy but semi-understanding. That lasted until I was driving down the road. I called Sprint corporate.
The phone call I am about to describe in this paragraph lasted about 30-45 minutes. I am shortening it for your reading pleasure. Tech support gets online. I explain the situation. Oh yeah, after giving my mobile number and passkey for the 3rd or 4th time during the call. He says the store should have given me a new phone because it is under warranty. I agreed, and explained what the store said. He created an eTicket for my case and asked me to return to the store. He said to call him back if they don't give me a phone. I did. To no avail.
A new person came to help me. I explained everything to him AGAIN. Gave him my ticket number. He said, "Well, there's a $35 charge for us to look at it." I assured him I was aware of it, and WILLING to pay the fee. The girl from before came out and they discussed the phone, the fact they don't make the phone, blah blah. I called Sprint corporate. Another 30-45 minutes later, I was told that I should have gone through the corporate number and not the store. I explained that I had been told to go to the store. Didn't matter.
I don't remember all the details, but at one point, I was on the phone with Sprint and I was in the store. Sprint on the phone said I needed the store to run the diagnostics in order to update the ticket, thus facilitating a warranty exchange. Then, things went south.
The rep on the phone was telling me to tell the store rep stuff, and the store rep was telling me stuff to tell corporate. I got ticked off. I thrust the phone at the store rep and said, "This is stupid. I am not acting as the middleman here. You two work it out." The girl's face turned to one of shock and horror as the other store rep took the phone. "You can't. We're not allowed."
I yelled, "YOU AREN'T ALLOWED TO TALK TO CORPORATE!?"
She shook her head, "We-we're not supposed to," she stuttered. The guy took the phone and explained things from his end.
Seems that the "warranty" is through HTC and not Sprint. I needed to call HTC. In the meantime, he hands me the phone and I am put on hold... for an HOUR. Yes, I am an idiot and waited an HOUR on hold at the store because I was told the rep on the phone was getting her supervisor.
I hung up, apologized to the reps for my outburst, though my frustration level was through the roof, and left. As I drove, I called HTC and explained the situation - AGAIN. The woman on the other end was nice enough, but said I needed an original purchase receipt with the serial number in order to determine whether or not they would work on the phone because they showed the phone to be out of warranty.
Stupidly, I called Sprint back as I headed home. The woman that answered tried to help (after I had to give all the required info, of course - AGAIN), but she got frustrated because she couldn't locate any purchase info and transferred me to another man, James.
James came on, and after getting all the info YET AGAIN, he tried to help. I explained the situation AGAIN. After several turns on hold, he was able to finally ascertain that we had most likely bought the phone form Wal-Mart. Well, as soon as he said that, I did remember going to Wal-Mart and getting the phone for Tyler's birthday present or he bought it around his birthday or something. James could not get an original receipt from Wal-Mart, but we probably could.
He then said, "I have been advised to let you know that you could buy a pre-owned phone since you do not have insurance on that phone." So far, that was the best thing I'd heard. At least, it was a solution. And, it was viable. Now, you have to remember, by this time, I had been dealing with reps for nearly 3 solid hours. I was tired and probably not thinking as clearly as I should have been. We talked for most of the 50 miles back to my house.
In any case, I bought Tyler a used phone (HTC Echo). I got a decent deal on it. And, I don't have to deal with any freaking customer service reps. What about the phone under warranty? If we decide to hunt down/get receipts, we may mail it off and see what HTC says. If we don't, I'm not out much more than I would have been with the diagnostic fee.
James is the only thing that saved this stupid, sorry mess. I don't own a Sprint phone and am not on a Sprint plan. After this little escapade (and others, referenced at the bottom of this post), I can PROMISE that I will never, EVER have a Sprint account/phone. If they end up the last provider on Earth, I will go without. Period. Sprint Sucks...mostly.
Previous posts about stupid Sprint service (er, lack thereof) - especially the Sprint Store: