customer service

EE in hot water over 'priority answer' customer service

UK carrier EE is being criticized for its new customer service system that allows some customers to pay to jump to the front of the call line. If you agree to a 50p fee, you will be able to speak to the next available representative rather than wait in line like everyone else. The move has sparked outrage, with many customers taking to social media, lambasting the carrier. EE still promises take calls as rapidly as possible:

Customer irate over Best Buy and Lumia 920 gets sent a 9lb package from Nokia [Update inside!]

A lot of times we get asked which Windows Phone is the best. That’s a big decision since no phone can truly be the undisputed winner when there are so many variables to consider.

A Lumia 920 could be perfect for me, but if you Skype a lot you might prefer the 8X and the extra space in your pocket. That being said, Nokia does like to differentiate itself from other Windows Phone OEM’s with software exclusives and some great customer service. For example, Windows Phone Central forum member lsmachado received some stellar customer service from the Finnish company and has shared the experience with us.

This story should fill you with warmth and tide you over until you’ve been stuffed with Turkey...

What is a Windows Phone VIP?

Very Important People. That is what VIP means to everyone, but what is a Windows Phone VIP Ambassador?

Microsoft created a training website called Expertzone, where Retail Sales Professionals could log in and take training courses on selling Microsoft products. In 2010, Microsoft created the Windows Phone VIP program and BIll Bush was at the helm building a new Windows Phone community. The program has grown to over 13,000 VIP's and nearly 100 Windows Phone Ambassadors.

Retail sales professionals can join  this exclusive site to get first hand knowledge, special events, contests, and fellow windows phone users to bond with. With a small amount of users of Windows Phone, there was an even smaller amount of sales associates that actually knew anything about the OS. With the Expertzone site, new employee's train to learn about  key features and talk to real windows phone users for advice on problems they were having, how to demo properly, and enter some really cool exclusive contests. The whole point of the program is to reward those individuals who really love windows phones by giving them more knowledge, exclusive meetups, rewards like t-shirts, pins, and phones. Their community is growing strong and keeps growing.

Microsoft is now upgrading the program to Windows Phone Advisors, where a current WP VIP's can refer other associates who want to become an Advisor.

The role of a Windows Phone Advisor is being the go-to guy/girl for Windows Phone at their work. They are the "experts" because of their knowledge and have gone above and beyond to represent Windows Phone. They also train their fellow sales associates on windows phone and customers.  

This program is something special because they are getting dedicated, passionate fans of Windows Phones who sell them excited about Windows Phone. Knowing you belong to a larger community where you can talk to about the various devices and have the other people completely understand what you are talking about is a great feeling.

Microsoft understands they are the low-man on the totem pole,and this program gives them an amazing opportunity to get direct feedback from the people who sell their phones. They get insight to what customers are saying, what they like, don't like, have trouble with, etc... and they have time to react to their thoughts. Maybe that is why Windows Phone 8 might be taking longer, they are listening and changing things for the better!

If you sell phones, go check out Expertzone, and join the VIP Advisor program! Help spread the Windows Phone love!

Case study: AT&T retail still downplaying Windows Phone

It's a well known fact that retailers are a bit prone to downplaying Windows Phone in favor of other mobile OS's, especially Android. We also know we're preaching to the choir about this since it seems most of you have legit stories of the same nature when walking into any of the big carrier's stores.

Still, it's also a bit fun to drive the point home, especially in audio format.

MS launches Windows Phone feedback page

Microsoft has launched a website where Windows Phone users can express their thoughts about the mobile OS and offer suggestions on how to improve it.  Once an idea is posted, others can vote on them, presumably to direct Microsoft on what to work on next.  You can filter the list by what's new, hot, accepted, completed and most liked.  Completed suggestions even get responses from Microsoft explaining what actions have been taken.

What's particularly cool about the site's setup is that each member is given 10, and only 10, votes that they can distribute among the suggestions on the site.  You are free to change your votes around by moving them from one idea to the next, and your vote will be returned to you if the idea you vote on gets completed by Microsoft or deleted.

In order to vote, you must either create a login using your email address, or sign in using joined logins, like FaceBook, Gmail, Twitter, etc. (there are a lot of them).  Click on the source link to get started.

Source: Microsoft (Thanks for the tip, ShipWreck!)

HTC customer service is much cooler than your cube

This is either the mess hall on a Romulan Warbird, or it's the first HTC Care Authorized center in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. It boasts 1,300 square feet of HTC goodness, including retail sales, tech support, testing and repairs.

Let's just hope the green motif stays on the walls and off the phones, 'mkay?

Couple more photos over at übergizmo.

Update: OK, I'm outvoted. The green can stay.

Sprint shutting down e-mail

In a move that's expected to affect tens of people, Sprint has announced it will no longer offer PCS Mail after Dec. 31. As such, any e-mail accounts will no longer work.

The shutdown isn't all that surprising - does anyone actually use their carrier account? - and should be an obvious savings for Sprint, which lost $344 million last quarter.

If you do actually have an account, there are instructions to help you set up and transfer to a new account, such as Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail - which is a downright nice thing to do and is a positive move for a company with notoriously bad customer service.

Edit: Updated to note that the shutdown only includes e-mail, and that Sprint Mobile Email is still available.

Via PhoneNews

Verizon Knocks T-Mobile Off Top Spot in Customer Service

That's a bit of a shocker - T-Mo has been king-of-the-customer-service hill for a long time now, but a recent JD Power study shows they've been bested by Verizon. The other piece of news is less surprising - satisfaction with carrier customer service is down all around and has been trending steadily down for years now.

As a part of this Smartphone Round Robin I've been making weekly calls to AT&T to change up my plan to reflect my phone - since both the iPhone and the Blackberry have their own special data plans and services to deal with. I don't know if AT&T has been putting something in their water coolers lately, but the support I've been getting has been absolutely stupendous. Hold times: short; representatives: friendly and smart; phone system navigation: still crap, but really - whose isn't these days?

My biggest complaint with most carriers these days is their data packages are byzantine and surreal. T-Zones, BIS, iPhone data, MEdia Net, Dial-up packages: I doubt even Kafka could have come up with these varied, conflicting, and mysteriously priced plans.

How 'bout y'all: happy with your provider? Are you thinking the grass is greener on the other side? If it's Verizon on the other side, apparently it just might be.

Verizon Wireless ranks highest in customer satisfaction among major wireless carrier-owned retail stores, performing particularly well in store facility, store display and price/promotion. T-Mobile closely follows Verizon Wireless in the rankings.

Read: JD Power Press Release. Thanks to VerdeSam for the hill picture

T-Mobile Wing Gallery

Yes, I have the T-Mobile Wing and yes, it’s the hotness. I want to do a video, a review, a shootout, a whole lotta things. But there’s absolutely no T-Mobile signal where I live and apparently Cingular isn’t playing nice with the roaming agreements - I just plain can’t get signal at all. I like to use a device before I review it, so that’s coming. Meanwhile, check out some pretty images after the break.

Anecdote mode on.

…Before the break, though, a note. I currently waiting on a call back from T-Mobile’s customer service. When I told them my plight (i.e. no signal but I’m keeping my T-Mo number for forwarding), they said they’d unlock it (that’s a hint for you unlock code seekers, maybe). Anyhow, the unlock code they had isn’t working, so a “Wing specialist” is investigating. T-Mobile has consistently rated tops for customer service and my experience is in line with that. Oh, and the hold music? The Flaming Lips’ “The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song”. T-Mobile For The Win! Now just give us 3G, guys.

Update: Unlock worked, they had to do a different code. If you're getting a Wing unlocked, be sure that the person helping you is clear that it's a Wing.

Anecdote mode off.

Check out the pics after the break.

T-Mobile (still) has the best customer service

Maybe it's because they don't have to waste any resources on, oh, 3G data, but T-Mobile has, for the 5th year in a row, had the best customer services amongst the US carriers. That's why I let Mike Overbo talk me into them despite their tragic lack of UMTS, HSDPA, etc.

T-Mobile held onto the top spot and ranked highest among the five largest U.S. wireless network operators by creating a positive experience among customers who contact the carrier for service or assistance.

Read: T-Mobile Ranks Highest in Customer Service. Again. - 1/25/2007 10:12:00 AM - Wireless Week - CA6410100