I’ve been a Sprint customer for the past eight years, but over the course of my most recent contract, I encountered a number of customer service issues:
- Unable to block calls from unknown numbers.
- Being charged for text message spam.
- Sprint deciding to wipe out all user accounts on their web site.
- Sprint store employees unable to sell replacement batteries.
When I wrote to the head of customer service, Sprint’s response to everything was best summed up as “We don’t do that.” (Amusingly, on one of my phone calls to customer service, the person I spoke to admitted that she doesn’t use Sprint at home.)
When my contract expired in December, Sprint offered me a $50 rebate if I’d sign on for another two years. What they didn’t offer was an apology. That’s too bad, because they certainly are sorry.
So now that I’m footloose and contract-free, I started looking around at some of my other options. I have some misgivings about T-Mobile, and a few more about Google, but the Android Operating System has all sorts of Geek appeal. (Regardless of whether you actually do it, the notion of being able to being able to program your phone is kind of cool.)
I’ve certainly heard plenty of good things about the phone. A co-worker has been raving about his since the week after they came out, and when I bumped into her at Farpoint, Katie started evangelizing about the G-1.
So, I decided to give it a try. I ended up buying the phone directly from T-Mobile and arrived home on Thursday to find a note from UPS waiting for me, saying a signature was required. I finally got the phone late Friday evening when I went to the UPS pickup location.
When you first turn the phone on, it prompts you to either login to an existing Google account, or create a new one. So I entered my information and clicked the “Sign-in” button. The login process ended with a message telling me that the phone couldn’t log in. It might be a temporary problem, or it might be that the SIM card hadn’t been set up correctly. After twelve hours later, I’ve ruled out the idea of it being a temporary glitch.
The first call to T-Mobile’s “Customer Care” number (Whatever happened to calling it “Customer Service”?) didn’t go so well. First I got a bad connection. Next, the representative kept telling me how I could find out the new phone number by entering a code (Gee, if only I could get the phone set up, I could try that!), and then I got cut off.
The second call was a bit more productive. It turns out that when I ordered the phone, the sales person forgot to sign me up with the required data plan. (Buying the G-1 phone absolutely requires you to buy a data plan, but somehow the sales person managed to skip that step.)
I’m set up with data service now, but the Customer Care rep told me it may take anywhere from a couple hours to a couple days before the service starts working. (If it ends up at the “couple days” end of the scale, I’ll be returning the phone. I’m already several days into the trial period without being able to try it.)
So my first impression of the G-1 Android phone is this: It’s a brick. I’d been hoping to write about how well it was working, maybe even post something via the phone. (Before it died, I would occasionally post via my PDA.) Instead, I’ll have to settle for letting Katie write about her phone in the comments.
Most likely the problems I’m having are because somebody turned off the satellites.