Yep. Very cool.
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I verified that it was a corporate store before heading over for the 8am launch on Saturday. Here's an update to the saga:
Saturday night I realized that I had left my Treo data cable in the bag full of Pre stuff that I returned. I called the sales rep's cell phone and left him a message. Sunday morning I checked my account online, and discovered that my new 2yr contract and calling plan were still in place. I called *2, and the rep was able to clear that up. He reverted the contract to the original term, and applied 12 months of credits to my account to offset the higher price of the new calling plan. (My original plan code wasn't available in the system.) The *2 guys rock. Always have. I wish they were running the stores.
I got a text message from the sales rep on Monday indicating that he had found my data cable. I stopped by and picked it up. He apologized again for my Saturday experience. I reassured him that he had still earned the 5 stars. This guy deserves a large shout-out, so I'll be sure to identify him in the letter. I'm now on a waiting list at a Sprint store that's closer to my office. I called yesterday to find out where I'm at on the list, and they told me the shipments were trickling in. The store manager is supposed to call me today with an update.
Thanks for the advice on the report structure. How do I get the district manager contact info? I'm in the Phoenix metro area. I'm not comfortable identifying the store publicly, as most of the staff were trying to be helpful and accommodating. I'm not interested in antagonizing them or driving business away. Sprint can work with the manager to improve his customer service skills.
I liked the phone while I had it, but there were problems with the USB port. This would have been annoying if it were isolated to file transfers, but I couldn't get it to consistently charge either. That made the problem a deal-breaker. (The Sprint store had sold all 7 of their Touchstones before I got there.) Fortunately I was able to get a Sprint employee to witness the connectivity problem. But for some reason the manager wasn't convinced the phone was bad. I explained to him that a phone that charges sporadically wasn't useful to me. His employee even confirmed that the phone wouldn't charge when he tried it. But the manager countered by reminding me that one of his employees got it to charge for awhile. To be fair, the manager did try to get guidance from Sprint tech support, but the only suggestion they came up with was to reset the phone. That didn't solve the problem of a defective USB port.
The manager told me that he wouldn't be able to reserve a replacement Pre for me, because I can't just "cut in line." He said I'd have to keep checking with the store to see if they had any available. I disagreed about whether an exchange should be considered "cutting in line," but he was still convinced the Pre was working fine. Hard to reason with somebody in that frame of mind.
They offered to let me keep the Pre until new supplies arrived, but I explained that a phone that wouldn't reliably charge was useless. I gave everything back, and had them reactivate my Treo. The employee who witnessed the problem entered some notes in my account to ensure that I get the existing customer discount when I return. He also gave me his business card so that I can go straight to him for the purchase. I won't, however, be purchasing the $200 of accessories that I returned today. They lost that sale due to the way they handled my situation.
I really hope Sprint and Palm have a very successful year. I'm looking forward to getting a Pre, and I expect that the next one will be fine. But the store manager's attitude during this ordeal was disappointing. Once things have settled, I'll send a letter to Sprint Customer Relations explaining exactly what transpired. (There's quite a bit more than what I've posted here. I made 4 trips to the store during a 6 hour period to get this resolved.) I've been with Sprint for 11 years now, and the only time I have trouble is when I deal with their staff in the stores.
No, just women.