Thursday, April 19, 2012

Woe is me, the Sprint customer

I have been through most major carriers in the past 18 years so I know that none of them are perfect. I usually go with best coverage for the area I live and move on. When I moved to my current house about 2 years ago, I had Verizon and it worked decent except for the one spot in my house where my wife made all her calls from and that spot had zero coverage. So we switched and ended up with Sprint because they had great coverage for our area. Then about six months ago, the service started getting slower and my signal strength started dropping. I kept on with it thinking that it would get better and that maybe all the new devices on Sprint was hurting them.

Then in the past few weeks, the service in my Chicago area became worse than I expected. Between my phone and my wife's phone we had dropped calls, missed calls, no voicemail notifications (well she didn't, I use GV so I was good), and lost text messages. When this happened it became a real problem because my wife is a NICU nurse and she and her hospital rely on her phone working in case she has to be called in. BTW - she did miss three calls from the hospital over this issue. I hit up the Sprint forums and my wife went to a local store to complain and then ended up also calling into support. It turns out that Sprint is upgrading the service here as part of their enhanced 3G and 4G LTE rollout.

This sounds great, except for two things. First, it won't be completed until some time in June and that is the earliest it can be done. That means it could easily go on past that. Secondly, they didn't warn us that this upgrade would actually kill off our service during the 3 month upgrade. Now, their customer service was friendly and ended up sending us an Airave for free. That is the whole mini cell tower in your home that uses your broadband for connectivity. This is nice that it has resolved our issues when we are at home, but leave the house and it is all downhill again. I am also still not very comfortable with this tower thing since I had to put it about three feet from my face.

This has made me decide that it is better for my wife and I to be on separate networks so that we have a better chance of at least one of our phones working. I will most likely move over to AT&T because they have good coverage in my area, a decent phone selection (come on Samsung Galaxy SIII), and I like the GSM idea for traveling. Not sure what my wife will do, but will probably wait and see how Sprint's network is after the upgrade. During all this, I also found out that it is cheaper for her and I to be on separate plans instead of a family plan because we only have two lines and use barely any minutes.

In the end, this is mainly just my rant, but also a heads up to other Sprint customers about what happens during the network upgrade. Maybe this downtime doesn't always happen and Sprint is just rushing it in my area to get LTE out ahead of the next iPhone, but for what it is worth, this is my experience.

Now for something completely different...I'm pretty pumped about the upcoming phone from Samsung. My pipe dream wish is to see them support the s-pen/digitizer in all their phones, especially this one. I would love to be able to buy the s-pen as an option and have it work on the new phone. I would love the Note, but it is just too big for my small hands (and no, no woman has ever said that to you).

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