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Thread: Cell Company Stores Suck

  1. #1
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    Cell Company Stores Suck

    Have to say, people in cell company stores suck. I've noticed this seems to be a universal thing. The people at the AT&T store I had to deal with back a few years ago couldn't give me a straight answer on anything. Their phone support wasn't any better. Lack of intelligent service and bad service plan choices is the reason I went to Verizon.

    Verizon messed things up right upon sign up. First they qualified me in the store for the corporate discount, but then it never got applied to the account. Nobody in the store or on their phone support could figure it out. By the time they finally gave the answer that we would have to cancel the account and open a new one in order to get the discount applied correctly, it was too late to cancel without early termination fees. I thought about attempting the material change to contract route, and had a couple opportunities, but figured I'd ride it out and just switch carriers at the end of the term, which is essentially what I just did.

    As for the T-Mobile corporate store, the employee is either stupid, sneaky, or both, neither of which is good. Got the phones I wanted, but the plan they signed me up for is not the one I wanted, and they added handset protection to the plan which I specifically said I didn't want. It took about 2 hours to get everything set up because there was a corporate discount involved (which the people in the store blatantly lied about being applied correctly to the account), and they still got the actual plan wrong. I saw the mistakes on the contract and pointed them out, the explanation was that the account was set up correctly but just "displayed differently" on the contract. After that I just figured I had 14 days to either get it fixed in phone support or cancel and port the numbers elsewhere. After being there for 2 hours and being very clear about what I wanted, I was done dealing with the store idiot.

    T-Mobile phone support is good. It took me a few calls to get to someone who could see past the script, but that person understood what happened, made sure everything got fixed, and even saved me a bunch of trouble in what would have needed to be done to get the corporate discount applied correctly.

    By their rules, in order to get the complete discount I was qualified for, I would have had to:
    1. Return the phones to the store and order 2 identical ones online through the "corporate" portal.
    2. Cancel the plan at the store and risk losing the phone number I've had for 12 years
    3. Start a new plan on the phone with their corporate discount group
    4. Ask for my old number back and hope it hadn't been taken

    The phone support guy was able to correct the plan, remove the handset protection, and apply most of the corporate discount over the phone, the only thing he couldn't do was discount the handsets (part of the corporate deal). A few more conference calls and a few more minutes on hold and I had the equivalent amount credited to my account. They rock.

    Even the T-Mobile phone support people said never to go to a store for anything other than paying a bill, buying some accessories, or trying out the handsets. Best part is I now have a T-Mobile account with 1000 Shared Minutes, Unlimited Messaging, 2 GB data per line, and it's all costing me $20 less per month than my account with Verizon which had 750 Shared Minutes, 250 Messages Per Line, and no data. So far no problems with signal or speed too. Love it.

  2. #2
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    I've only dealt with Verizon and T-mobile and my experiences were a bit different.

    The folks at the Verizon store are shysters who will tell you what you want to hear to get you to sign the dotted line. I also found them arrogant because they clearly hold the edge in coverage where I live.

    The T-mobile store on the other hand gets high marks from me. They gave me a few credits to win my business and where some did not get properly applied to the account the people at the store have corrected the problem in all cases. They advertised some phone rebates which the corporate rebate center rejected but when calling the store back they agreed to apply the rebates as credits to my account. Really can't complain about them at all and their customer service is excellent.

  3. #3
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    My store experiences have for the most part, been good. My first phone came from a store near my home that specialized in car electronics and they sold me the phone, activated it, etc. no problem. This was back in the mid 1990s and it was the original Motorola flip phone.

    After that, all but one time I dealt with corporate stores and the experiences were usually positive. However, an experience with an independent Cingular store several years ago made me decide that I would only deal with corporate stores from then on. What happened was I was going from a single plan to a family plan as my wife decided she wanted a phone too. The sales girl somehow set it up so we had text messaging but only on one phone and our rollover minutes disappeared so we had to call customer service to sort it out. During the sale, her parents came in and she stopped to show them a saddle she was bidding for an Ebay. She seemed to have no clue as to what she was doing when trying to set up our phones and she kept messing it up, and was the only person in the store. We had no indication it wasn't a corporate store until we did the paperwork and paid.

    The only other issue we've had was with a corporate ATT store when we were told the Microcell was free if we just called the customer service number and when I called, I was told to go to talk to someone at the store about it and that they weren't offering them for free. They aren't high pressure or anything like that and when I tell them what I want, a basic phone, they show me what they have to offer and answer my questions.

    I've technically only been with one provider for the last 16 years, starting with Bellsouth Mobility, which became Cingular, which became ATT. My wife wants to switch to Verizon because of some issues she's had with her phone, like low signal strength and callers sometimes getting a message saying "the number is not in service." I usually get 4-5 bars on my phone, but I have a different phone.

    Many of my friends recommend only going to corporate stores and stay away from the independents. My experience on that is hit and miss but again, I've only had one carrier, Bellsouth Mobility/Cingular/ATT, so I can't comment on Verizon, Sprint, or TMobile in my area.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by w00dc4ip View Post
    Have to say, people in cell company stores suck. I've noticed this seems to be a universal thing. The people at the AT&T store I had to deal with back a few years ago couldn't give me a straight answer on anything. Their phone support wasn't any better. Lack of intelligent service and bad service plan choices is the reason I went to Verizon.

    Verizon messed things up right upon sign up. First they qualified me in the store for the corporate discount, but then it never got applied to the account. Nobody in the store or on their phone support could figure it out. By the time they finally gave the answer that we would have to cancel the account and open a new one in order to get the discount applied correctly, it was too late to cancel without early termination fees. I thought about attempting the material change to contract route, and had a couple opportunities, but figured I'd ride it out and just switch carriers at the end of the term, which is essentially what I just did.

    As for the T-Mobile corporate store, the employee is either stupid, sneaky, or both, neither of which is good. Got the phones I wanted, but the plan they signed me up for is not the one I wanted, and they added handset protection to the plan which I specifically said I didn't want. It took about 2 hours to get everything set up because there was a corporate discount involved (which the people in the store blatantly lied about being applied correctly to the account), and they still got the actual plan wrong. I saw the mistakes on the contract and pointed them out, the explanation was that the account was set up correctly but just "displayed differently" on the contract. After that I just figured I had 14 days to either get it fixed in phone support or cancel and port the numbers elsewhere. After being there for 2 hours and being very clear about what I wanted, I was done dealing with the store idiot.

    T-Mobile phone support is good. It took me a few calls to get to someone who could see past the script, but that person understood what happened, made sure everything got fixed, and even saved me a bunch of trouble in what would have needed to be done to get the corporate discount applied correctly.

    By their rules, in order to get the complete discount I was qualified for, I would have had to:
    1. Return the phones to the store and order 2 identical ones online through the "corporate" portal.
    2. Cancel the plan at the store and risk losing the phone number I've had for 12 years
    3. Start a new plan on the phone with their corporate discount group
    4. Ask for my old number back and hope it hadn't been taken

    The phone support guy was able to correct the plan, remove the handset protection, and apply most of the corporate discount over the phone, the only thing he couldn't do was discount the handsets (part of the corporate deal). A few more conference calls and a few more minutes on hold and I had the equivalent amount credited to my account. They rock.

    Even the T-Mobile phone support people said never to go to a store for anything other than paying a bill, buying some accessories, or trying out the handsets. Best part is I now have a T-Mobile account with 1000 Shared Minutes, Unlimited Messaging, 2 GB data per line, and it's all costing me $20 less per month than my account with Verizon which had 750 Shared Minutes, 250 Messages Per Line, and no data. So far no problems with signal or speed too. Love it.

    You didn't mention your location and how many is a few years?
    Last edited by plane; 02-06-2014 at 09:35 PM.

  5. #5
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    JMO, and I'm as hard to get along with as anyone, but while every visit to a cell store hasn't been exactly a dream, I can't recall any being a nightmare either. And in today's customer service driven retail world, I'm not sure if anything but at least moderately polite service would be tolerated by management. I've not had to it much, but, in other business areas, just threatening to call 1800 whatever is usually enough to get things working right, that is if I'm not the one being the idiot.

    Again, in my experience(s) and there really aren't that many, but especially with ATT, I can't ever recall any bad experiences in say the last 5-7 years. Prior to that telephone c/s from all carriers was like the twilight zone. And I read somewhere, maybe here, just today, that att was rated very highly, slightly above vzw. I do agree vzw does at times have a elevated sense of superiority, but it's more of a subtle hint that someone might not notice.

    While it hasn't occurred in the past few months, I was getting a phone call or text asking how things went with whatever carrier cs person.
    Even if I didn't get what was asked for ( and I had some rather pointed calls last spring with the adm fee thing), I never once gave a bad rating, in that I never once felt they weren't being very professional in a very frustrating position. While this is different than the store experience, I can't imagine corp would tolerate anything less in the stores, as the costs associated with a a brick and mortar unit are far greater than telephone or online. While I have no real insight as to cell corp thinking, imo, it doesn't make sense not to take proper care of someone who has taken time to come into a business.

    Isn't this the desired result of all advertising/promotion/etc. A walk in vs call in vs online customer I would like is the most desired result.

    Again, op, didn't mention his local. I can imagine certain busy meto area where c/s might not be as "friendly", but to contradict what I expected, we had one of the most favorable At t store experience about a year ago at Rockerfeller Center, NYC. My g/f had just got a note
    a day or so before, and had some issue. At least two guys were helping her, and gave us both some info that I use till this day. It could have been she is a very cute blonde, dunno. Still a good experience.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedStickHam View Post
    My store experiences have for the most part, been good. My first phone came from a store near my home that specialized in car electronics and they sold me the phone, activated it, etc. no problem. This was back in the mid 1990s and it was the original Motorola flip phone.

    After that, all but one time I dealt with corporate stores and the experiences were usually positive. However, an experience with an independent Cingular store several years ago made me decide that I would only deal with corporate stores from then on. What happened was I was going from a single plan to a family plan as my wife decided she wanted a phone too. The sales girl somehow set it up so we had text messaging but only on one phone and our rollover minutes disappeared so we had to call customer service to sort it out. During the sale, her parents came in and she stopped to show them a saddle she was bidding for an Ebay. She seemed to have no clue as to what she was doing when trying to set up our phones and she kept messing it up, and was the only person in the store. We had no indication it wasn't a corporate store until we did the paperwork and paid.

    The only other issue we've had was with a corporate ATT store when we were told the Microcell was free if we just called the customer service number and when I called, I was told to go to talk to someone at the store about it and that they weren't offering them for free. They aren't high pressure or anything like that and when I tell them what I want, a basic phone, they show me what they have to offer and answer my questions.

    I've technically only been with one provider for the last 16 years, starting with Bellsouth Mobility, which became Cingular, which became ATT. My wife wants to switch to Verizon because of some issues she's had with her phone, like low signal strength and callers sometimes getting a message saying "the number is not in service." I usually get 4-5 bars on my phone, but I have a different phone.

    Many of my friends recommend only going to corporate stores and stay away from the independents. My experience on that is hit and miss but again, I've only had one carrier, Bellsouth Mobility/Cingular/ATT, so I can't comment on Verizon, Sprint, or TMobile in my area.
    You're making a good point, in that IMO, it's virtually impossible for every c/s person to know everything about everything. That's what this forums is for. Over the years, and as recently as last month, I was looking/doing something in an Att store, and I made some comment about something well known on the forum, that the cs person said they weren't aware. I told her where I read it, and suggest she check out this and other forums. Also too, a lot of times if I'm doing something new, I go to the forum and ask. There are some very informed/opinionated folks here. It's a good place to start, and it gives me a clue as to whether c/s knows what they are doing.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by plane View Post
    Again, op, didn't mention his local. I can imagine certain busy meto area where c/s might not be as "friendly", but to contradict what I expected, we had one of the most favorable At t store experience about a year ago at Rockerfeller Center, NYC. My g/f had just got a note
    a day or so before, and had some issue. At least two guys were helping her, and gave us both some info that I use till this day. It could have been she is a very cute blonde, dunno. Still a good experience.
    Chicago Metro.
    T-Mobile customer 2011 - Present
    Verizon customer 2009-2011
    ATT/Cinglar customer 2005-2009
    Sprint prior to that
    PrimeCo prior to that

    This post wasn't speaking directly to the problems with Verizon and AT&T that caused me to switch service, just the lack of competence I experienced at the stores. That said, in all cases I was at corporate stores.

  8. #8
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    Not to mention that you usually get way better phone deals by online retailers. Everytime I am ready to make a carrier switch I end up doing it online and pay way less for the phone.

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