Problems with Sprint - a lesson in customer service.

So, I mentioned that I have a new Blackberry. So far I've been unable to use it as anything other then a phone because Sprint has been unable to get the device they sold me provisioned. I hadn't had time to write it up until now, but it's been fun. Let's break down what's happened so far:

On July 5, I ordered it, 2 days after sprint had the phone available. They shipped on the 9th overnight due to problems w/ UPS and I received the phone on the 12th.

On the 12th I called Sprint, asking them to switch my service over to the new Blackberry. As I was moving over from a Palm, I asked if I was required to pick up the so called "blackberry plan". I was assured by the CSR that I didn't need the plan because I already had the Power Vision Plan on my Palm. I was told that in 2 hours I'd have a working phone; the data would work and in 4 hours.

A half hour later, the phone is working fine and dandy. I've synched my data over from my mac, so I have contacts, calendar, todo's and memos moved over. I wait the 3 and a half hours and still no options for browser or email setup. I chat with a twitter friend who's a long time blackberry user. She feel that Sprint needs to push the service books to me....

So, I call Sprint. They indicate that they haven't pushed the service books to me because they didn't add the "blackberry plan" I asked about above. They add the plan, and tell me it's going to be another 4 hours for billing to catch up with provisioning.

Four hours later, still no options for browsing or email and I'm back on the phone with my friends at sprint. After several attempts to provision the phone and several error 1012s, the person tells me that the problem needs to be elevated to the network folks and it will be resolved in 12-15 hours (odd, estimate, I know). I say "so, it should work, in the Morning"; he says, yes.

Friday Morning, still nothing. I try provisioning again, no success. I call Sprint mid-morning. I am informed that 12-15 hours means 12-15 business hours. Which started at 9AM that morning. Things won't be resolved until late monday at the earliest. Now, here's the punchline I ask when I should call again if it's not working. The young lady on the other end of the phone tells me that they will call me if there are anymore problems. I ask again, when I should expect things working and she tells me Monday Night. I say if I still have issues than I'll call Tuesday Morning. She tells me, "I wouldn't do that you know we just let a bunch of customers go who call too often, wouldn't want to see that happen to you.". Yes, I was threatened. She couldn't get a manager for me to chat with, and unfortunately, my work responsibilities stopped me from pursuing it further. I'm letting it sit until monday. If things aren't working tomorrow, I'm going to really cut into some people.

  Posted: Jul 15, 2007

New Toy

Just received my Sprint Blackberry 8830 from UPS; it's charging now. I'll be doing a short product review along with the reason I'm not buying an iPhone in the next couple of days.

In the mean time... can anyone recommend 3rd party applications for the BB that I might find interesting.

  Posted: Jul 12, 2007

Dragon Con Pannels I'm On.

Looks like I'm on 3 panels on the Brit Track at Dragon*Con:

Sunday 4pm Tea Time with Arthur Dent
Sunday 5:30pm Blake's 7
Monday 11:30am The Prisoner ("Breakfast in the Village: The Prisoner")

Now to rewatch The Prisoner as it's been a while.

  Posted: Jul 4, 2007

Thoughts on Twitter, Pownce and Social Media

Inspired by posts from Evo Terra and Eric Rice I have gotten to thinking about how I'm using the social networks and how to rate them.

For me the quality of a microblog is not the number of friends / followers I have; it's the quality of the posts that come out of it. I've noticed that pownce lends itself to more im depth posts, partially since it doesn't have the SMS message length limitations. Also I feel the ability to post replies to messages lends itself to more intelligent dialog.

Pownce feels more like a civilization conversation at a teahouse were twitter feels like a group of people at a popular bar trying to have a conversation. When it comes to using the services it seems that if I am looking for feedback I tend to use pownce. If I'm making random comments I'm using twitter. I suspect if there was a more open API I'd be using twitter less and less.

  Posted: Jul 3, 2007

Pownce - twitter on steroids or another excuse for 'roid rage?

So, with all the buzz I've been playing with Pownce, Kevin Rose's answer to twitter, the last few days. In my ways it's the next logical evolutionary step to twitter but it seems to be missing a few key features.. Let's run through what it is and what it isn't.

It Has:

Messaging - just like its tweeting cousin, pownce supports sending short messages.

Events - A way to do invites for events. This would be rather handy if there were subscribeable groups.

Links - Doesn't seem any different from including a link in a short message. Time will tell if this is handy.

File Sharing - You can upload files for your group. I wonder about liability here for the pownce folks if copyrighted material is uploaded on the network.

All of the above features can be sent only to your friends, a subset of your friends, an individual friend or the public which can be very handy if friending a lot of people but wanting to keep invites or file sharing amongst a small subset of your friends.

It doesn't have:

An SMS gateway - Most people love that they can post and receive messages on twitter using their cell phone.

An IM gateway - Although Twitter's rarely works properly it's a feature people like and use when it's up.

An official API - People are hacking it out but currently there is no official API. A standard for this type application.

So, I think it can be useful and interesting. Assuming the team over there work out the application's short comings, and keep it more stable then twitter (stability is twitter's major problem), it will be a hit.

  Posted: Jul 2, 2007

Pownce

OK, playing with pownce. ID: nibbler

Looks like a nicer, more complete twitter... just where is the API?

Need an invite? email me: sean@seanreiser.com

  Posted: Jun 30, 2007

Why a blog, why here and what does it mean for everything else?

Within 10 mins of posting a real 'blog entry up here on seanreiser.com someone wrong me an email asking the above questions. Here are some answers.

Why a blog?

To be honest, because I've been uninspired to write about tech recently and have been inspired to write about other observations. I want to separate them out so people can still read only the articles (http://seanreiser.com/tech) which will come out as I get inspired.

Why Here?

Quite frankly, I don't want to have to install drupal on another domain and blog. I've seen people able to separate using tags and feeds. I will try to geek tech in http://seanreiser.com/tech and blogs in http://seanreiser.com/blog

What does it mean for everything else?

Probably good things. Once I get inspired I'll start writing on tech again (which might happen quickly, I hope).

How can I follow just....

Every page has an RSS feed attached:

For only tech ... http://seanreiser.com/tech
For only blog ... http://seanreiser.com/blog
For all articles ... http://seanreiser.com
For flickr ... http://pictures.seanreiser.com
For Twitter ... http://twitter.com/nibbler
Everything in one place (for the insane) ... http://tumblog.seanreiser.com

  Posted: Jun 26, 2007

5 Things about me

OK, I usually use this site for technical articles, but I have been tagged by Evo so I'll post it here. I'll have to separate the 'blog from the articles, thank G_d for Drupal. In the mean time 5 things about me:

1) I've lived in the Greater New York City area for all but 6 months of my life. I did spend 6 month in Chicago, and decided that it was too small for me.

2) I have attempted to do 3 podcasts. The problem is I don't like the sound of my own voice (it's a little too NYC for my taste) so I hate putting them up. I have actually podfaded one show without producing a single episode.

3) My tech choices have come full circle. I started off playing with the Apple ][ and am now a Mac addict, with stops along the way using DOS, Windows, OS/2, BSD and Linux. The Mac, to me, seems to be the perfect balance, of Unixish, business acceptance and support.

4) I often wonder if the choices I've made professionally to be interested in less popular technologies has helped or hurt me. Sure there's plenty of xBase, Pascal, C, etc work out there but it doesn't mean that I don't know about other stuff. Heck I use twitter ;).

5) I own a business entirely by accident. I never intended to be a contractor, just a guy who writes code. One firm was only interested in me on a contract basis so I set up the S-Corp and have never looked back. It's been an interesting ride.

OK, need to tag some folks. How about NMissi, TrueJerseyGirl, and Ashley

  Posted: Jun 26, 2007