Best & Worst Wireless Carriers: Grading the Support

Sprint Customer Service

In Store

We made our first trip to the Sprint store on a weekday at 1:30 p.m. Many customers were standing in line, but Hassan was available and answered our questions briskly. He correctly informed us that tethering wasn’t supported on our BlackBerry Tour and suggested we buy the HTC Evo 4G instead. He claimed incorrectly that we did not have to pay extra for using the hotspot feature on the Evo (it’s $29.99 per month). When we asked about getting photos from our BlackBerry to our PC, Hassan told us to use our USB cable without providing more details. On the question of apps, he asked to see our Tour and showed us how to download an app from BlackBerry App World. He noted that we could purchase apps with a credit card through PayPal.

At the second Sprint store, Jelani helped us immediately. He accurately answered all three questions, and was holding a BlackBerry in his hand. The associate also told us we could take our phone’s memory card to “participating stores” such as Duane Reade and Walmart to get help with printing photos or putting them on a disk. On the question of getting apps, Jelani held up his BlackBerry and explained BlackBerry App World. He said we needed a credit card for paid apps, but that there were free options too.

Web Support

Sprint’s website has a large amount of tutorials for its smart phones. The BlackBerry Tour 9630 has a landing page with step-by-step instructions for basic issues, but it was hard to find answers to our questions using the search function or the landing page’s tutorials.

Live chat is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (EST). We were glad to see that the Chat button on the Support landing page was clearly marked.

When we tried the chat feature at 4:20 p.m. on a weekday, Serra made us wait for simple and not very detailed answers. She told us that tethering was only available on the HTC Evo and the Samsung Epic (which is wrong), and did not provide more information. For our transferring photos question, the Sprint rep simply said that we needed to use a USB cable.

When we asked about apps on the phone, Serra asked which apps we wanted. After we said Shazam, she spent five minutes searching and thanking us for our patience. Serra recommended softwarestore.sprint.com, which forwarded us to the Handmark Apps Store, not BlackBerry App World. Serra incorrectly told us that app purchases would require logging into “My Account Manager” on Sprint’s website.

Phone Support

We first called Sprint’s phone support at 3:30 p.m. on a weekday. After navigating a phone tree menu that didn’t always recognize our input, we were transferred to Amina. For tethering, she accurately said it wasn’t available anymore for the Tour unless you had a business account. She clearly described using the BlackBerry cable and BlackBerry Desktop Manager to sync photos to the computer, and she correctly identified BlackBerry App World for downloading apps. Sadly, Amina incorrectly told us that we wouldn’t need a credit card and that apps would be billed directly to our account.

During our second call, at 1:40 p.m., a friendly-sounding Cynthia was on the line after about a minute. She noted that tethering was possible but not offered directly from Sprint (You can use third-party software). For photos, the Sprint associate correctly described both the USB cable and microSD card adapter options. After this, she gave us information about BlackBerry App World and sent an e-mail with a link to download the app. To pay for premium apps, Cynthia correctly noted that we needed a PayPal account.

Verdict

Although our chat experience felt incomplete, Sprint’s associates generally provided useful answers in a timely fashion.

Sprint Customer Service Final Grade


In Store B+
Web C+
Phone A-
Overall Grade B





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  1. DJ Smith Says:

    I tethered my Droid using the PDANet app but ended up leaving Verizon for T-Mobile and a G2 which I like much better.

  2. cm Says:

    One correction, tethering IS support on the BB Tour with Sprint. I have 200 devices using it.

  3. K De Says:

    I think you are biased in your grading of T-Mobile phone support experience. This carrier shoud have received a C or a C- grade for Phone support instead of the generous B. You said the phone tree was laborious, you got transferred to another rep for the answer to one of your three questions, one of them incorrectly told you the Cliq can be used as a modem, one of them told you to power cycle the phone regularly to conserve battery (wow!), one call took 25 minutes and the other took 16 minutes (and you said T-Mo reps were fast?), and one of them even told you to root the phone in order to tether, which would void your warranty. Are you being objective about this?

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