email@example.com 2 Aug 2006 08:09:11 -0700 wrote:
> With all the mergers, could someone list today's major cell phone
> companies that provide their own service (not merely piggyback off
> someone else)?
Well, at this time there are four major national networks for mobile
service. In order of number of subscribers: Cingular, Verizon,
Sprint-Nextel and T-Mobile. I won't go into how these happened but
none of them are exactly what they started out to be through mergers
> Comments on telephone service quality and customer service would be
> appreciated. (I do realize there are regional differences and some
> places may do much better than others.)
I've had T-Mobile (formerly VoiceStream) since June of 2000 and by and
large I've been very pleased and whenever I encountered a problem if
there was one it was taken care of with the minimum amount of fuss.
Calling in to deal with customer care generally has been a favourable
experience. About two years ago they started to use an IVR
(interactive voice response) system for typical ordinary things and I
have to say that whoever designed the IVR used a good bit of logic and
it's very intuitive to use. If you do need a human being to assist
you all you have to say is a choice of several things including,
operator, assistance, help etc. and you'll be connected to a live
representative. The main problem with the IVR is if you're using it
in a noisy environment such as loud vehicles on the stree the IVR may
become confused. Once in my six years of having service with them I
had a billing issue that I had to escalate but one incident in six
years is pretty good. The issue did get taken care of which is the
end result I was looking for.
> I must admit my opinion of ALL cell phone carriers is that their
> first priority is to sell service and issues about providing service
> come in second.
This is true somewhat but at least from my experience it's not been
something that's been forced on me and I've had no pressure to get
anything that I didn't want.
> I presume their people you meet in their stores are on sales
> commission and not particularly well trained or able (or interested)
> to answer any substantive question.
This is generally true, but it's true in most any sales oriented
outfit. Generally I've found that you get more information and help
out of the carrier's customer care than you'll get in a store unless
it's a corporate store in which case you'll still get the emphasis on
sales, but you will get some tech help if needed. The truth is though
that often those people in the stores have less knowlege than you'll
find elsewhere. I know that I know scads more about the tech end of
things for my service than anyone in the local store and that I can
get more information from a user's group on the net than I'm likely to
find in a corporate or authorized store.