storyteller and all-around creative distraction

the reason people have landlines

I asked, a couple weeks ago, in this post, why even have a landline telephone? When you have a cell phone anyway that is every bit as useful.

I still have my landline telephone, and will probably keep it. I’ve been using a Virgin Mobile phone for the past two or three years, so I assumed (and why shouldn’t I?) that if I upgraded from pay-as-you-go to an actual cell phone company and plan, that the service would be every bit as good, if not better. Boy, was I wrong!

We chose Sprint. I had Sprint back in Toledo about four years ago, before their merger with Nextel. The merger obviously did terrible things to the company because I used to love Sprint. It was the main reason we decided to go with them again.

Maybe this is true of all cell phone companies, though I never had a problem on my little Virgin phone, but coverage is so spotty. Downtown Royal Oak, I get five bars. Outside Jim’s office I get five bars. I guess it just happens to be that there are Sprint towers in those places, because our house is in a dead spot. I have one bar most of the time, which isn’t enough power to make a clear call, and it drops to no bars very often, every ten minutes or so, and the call drops instantly. I tried to have a half-hour conversation with my dad and lost the call three times.

That’s just problem number one.

Their customer service reps don’t speak English well, which means that very likely, they don’t work from here in the US. I have no respect for American companies that ship American jobs overseas just to make an extra buck. People will tell you that it’s good for our economy. How is that exactly? All I know is that the unemployment rate here in Michigan is six or so percent right now. That’s a good two percent above the national average. And with everybody losing auto industry jobs, I’m sure a lot of people would be more than happy to have a call center job.

But besides the fact that I can’t respect them as a company, I only know that their call centers are overseas because we’ve had to call them to fix the mistakes they made setting up our plan three times already. We signed up for an international calling package for which we would be charged $4.00 a month. When Jim went to call his family in England, we discovered that not only did it not work, but we aren’t even eligible to apply for the plan until we’ve been Sprint customers for 90 days. Oh, but they sure did sign us up for it, and the $4.00 charge was right there on our bill for the first and second months. Even though we’re not even eligible to use it.

They credited our account, of course, but I’m sure they were hoping we wouldn’t notice.

I have nothing good to say about this experience so far. Well, I guess my husband’s camera phone is pretty handy, but that really has nothing to do with Sprint, does it? Maybe it’s a local thing. I don’t know how Sprint service is anywhere else, but I’ll say this. If you’re looking for a new cell phone, and you live in Michigan, run screaming bloody murder away from Sprint.

I hear Cingular is nice around here. But of course, I hear that after we’ve signed a two-year contract with Sprint.

4 thoughts on “the reason people have landlines”

  • Wow, that does suck. I’ve had Sprint for about 8 years now and they work fabulously down here in the swamp. I agree with you about the overseas call centers. I have yet to call for assistance and had a single person speak english clearly. I have several friends with the same complaint. Fortunately I have not had to call them myself for any reason. I let Wil deal with that. Between his accent and theirs- things are sure to get screwed up! 🙂

    Actually, if I have a problem that needs resolving I just take my phone to the local Sprint store.

    As far as service and call-dropping. I don’t experience that much of it. There are some places- like in the baby department of the local mega-store- where I can’t get service, but those instances are few and far between. During the hurricanes we maintained service almost the entire time. Of course, no one had service *during* the storm, but you couldn’t use many landlines either. But as early as the next morning we were able to get calls out and receive them as well, albeit sporadically.

    Anyway, I’m rambling, but I guess I just wanted to let you know that each company has their particular area where they suck. Down here I know a lot of people who hate Cingular. I guess it’s regional, but I’m sorry you got suckered into a two year contract on a phone service that is mostly useless.

    Ironically, Sprint works fine here at my house, but Wil’s Nextel that he carries for work doesn’t pick up a signal inside the house. Odd, considering they’ve merged, isn’t it?

  • I used to have sprint, but now have T-mobile, and when I visited Michigan with both carriers, I had to be IN Lansing in order to get reception. Any of the outside towns (Holt, Mason, etc) had really shitty reception, and if I stood outside I *might* get a bar. Just long enough to talk to someone for a minute before I dropped the call. Michigan doesn’t have many towers from any company.

  • Michigan’s touchy…my Cingular phone will work on one side of the street in Port Huron, but not the other. Strange.

    Mike Wendland’s website had a link a week or so ago that gave reliability reports of different carriers based on zip codes. I’ll try to remember to look it up and post it here when I find it.

  • I hate Nextel, Sprint. I started with Nextel and ever since the merger my service has gotten worse. Dropped calls constantly and the best is when they can’t locate me, but I’m holding the phone in my hand.

    I can’t wait to get out of my contract which is at the end of March. I’m switching to Verizon since every one I know is on Verizon and my bill won’t ever go over.

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