Sprint's Ensemble Billing: 2 Parts Awesome, 1 Part Lame

Co-Podcaster and all-around-Windows-Mobile-Expert Malatesta is reporting to us via SMS that his Sprint data isn't working. He's in New York City and started losing data yesterday at 4pm Eastern. Reprovision, reprovision... 5 times and no dice. He called up Sprint Tech Support (brave man) and they claimed: “We are experiencing a nation outage.”

We're very confident that Sprint is not actually experiencing a nationwide data outage. What's more likely is that Mal just switched over to Sprint's Ensemble Biling. Switching over to Ensemble has caused some problems for some of our forum users as well, which is a bummer because the new billing system (which everybody, slowly, is going to be migrated to eventually) is great. What's so great about Ensemble Billing?

  • It's not outsourced like their previous billing system, presumably meaning that once they're all-Ensemble their customer service should improve by dint of their solution being in-house and better known
  • You can add a “Pick 3” plan similar to T-Mobile's MyFave's or Alltel's Circle
  • It will move the merger of Sprint and Nextel just a little closer to completion
  • You can switch phones online!

That last one is really cool - just punch in your phone's data and your number can migrate to that Sprint phone you got as a hand-me-down from that rich uncle of yours, no more waiting to talk to a Sprint rep on the phone.

Still and all, who's on and who's not on the Ensemble system is still a bit of a crap shoot. Add in the crap shoot of whether or not moving to the new system will kill your ability to provision your data or keep calls from dropping and you have a lot of craps your shooting. Guess it's not just RIM that has these sorts of problems, eh?

How about you? Got Data?

WC Staff
  • Yep, got data... all the glorious data that a Treo 650 provides. Would've posted this comment from there, but I was too impatient, and there's no handy link to comments from the articles on the mobile site.
    I'm pretty sure I'm on ensemble billing, 'cause I've been able to switch phones online.
  • Will look into adding comments to the mobile template -- or rather into linking into the forums directly...
  • Boo...I'm now 26 hrs without internets! This is killing me! lol
    To describe the problem: When I go to use PowerVision, it normally "dials" up the network in the background and verifies your account password and name.
    It does that but but then errors out with "Registration Failure". I take it that problem means their PowerVision server does not have my login info stored and so my account is non-existent for PowerVision.
    Changing the PV password and username (online) does nothing and re-provisioning the phone also errors out with a "data service is not available".
    Time to make another call...gah.
    But hey...Ensemble Billing *is* very nice otherwise, lol.
  • I wonder if it needs to get re-provisioned or something... not that it shouldn't have worked without you doing anything.
    I know that when I switched phones on my account (Treo 650 -> 600 -> 650... I was testing something), I had to perform a data provisioning process as well, otherwise I couldn't get any data access whatsoever. I must admit that at this point the details are very fuzzy, 'cause it wasn't five minutes ago. :D
    As I'm writing this I realized that you said you tried re-provisioning. I still wonder, though... have you tried switching between two Sprint phones (and back)? Maybe this will shake off the problem? I must admit, it's probably better to call them, or try an online chat. Their online chat folks have been pretty helpful for me.
  • I got Data, and am also on Ensamble. I received a text from Sprint on the 2nd of April advising me of the change to Ensamble the next week. I was told no changes to my account could be made during that process. I never lost any services though.
  • I didn't have a problem with data, but I still can't get access to my sprint bill. I guess they figure that I should just trust them and pay it.
  • Update:
    Well I did call Sprint again last night. First, I have to say Sprint's CS has actually...improved greatly?
    [*]My wait time was under 1 minute (7:30pm)
    [*]They route you via: "Treo", "BB", "Other PDA", "Data Card", or "Other"
    [*]It's an American call center for tech-support
    [*]They solved the problem
    It was going to take them awhile to figure it out and fix it, so instead of me waiting on the phone, he offered to just call me back. Sure enough, within 20 minutes he called back and was able to fix the issue.
    What was the issue? Sort of vague. It involved "corrupted data" on my account being downloded to my phone, so they had to sort of flush my account and re-propagate my account info.
    I finally had to again re-provision (upate Vision profile) but this time it worked.
    Personally, I like to think that this was an NSA attempt to tap my phone that didn't go off as planned, lol.
    Needless to say, it eerily reminded me of South Park this week!
  • uh... funny I just downloaded a porn video hehe J/K I do have internet. I live in LA