US Cellular Poor Customer Service, Cell Phone Industry
The Cell Phone Industry is a strange industry in terms of what they “get away with” and this is not just my opinion, but one I have heard expressed by Leo Laporte (“The Tech Guy”).
Reference: Leo Laporte Tech Guys Labs
Customer service is often poor (as with Cable TV/Internet companies such as Charter), charges for services rendered are often of poor value (especially for the use of “apps”), and even though the technology for phones such as the iPhone or Blackberry is impressive, simple uses of the cell phone for simply making and retaining a voice phone call is really no better than it was a decade ago with many providers (these are still phones after all).
In my part of the world (the Pacific Northwest), US Cellular really takes the cake as far as poor quality, dishonesty and terrible customer service, and again this is not just my opinion, but that of many friends, business associates, and consumer web sites (see below for references).
This is also frustrating as I use my cell phone for my business, American Aquarium Products. My business link:
What is especially sad/disgusting is that US Cellular has run ads about their so-called great customer service comparing the training their reps receive to that of an airplane pilot.
Well as a pilot I am insulted as this (US Cellular Customer service) would more compare to a pilot with VFR only flight ability that takes off into IMC (instrument meteorological conditions) and then losses control of the aircraft and crashes.
I have had nothing but dropped calls during my business trips or even while in local areas, as well all of these dropped calls happened within their so-called coverage map areas (usually major interstates, etc, major cities, etc.).
Worse yet my phones have lost all ability to send or receive calls until I move to a totally different area of towers (even within US Cellular covered areas).
Sadly when I call customer service I got the run-around and even lies such as claiming they have no control of the phone in areas outside of US Cellular coverage areas.
This is a bold faced lie on two points;
(1) I was within the US Cellular area when it happened the last time and a tech person who stated they would call me back (on my wife’s phone) never kept his promise, which is typical.
(2) In areas outside US Cellular, they claim that “they only provide for no roaming charges, not coverage guarantees”.
If this is true (which maybe in fine print it may well be so), STOP showing coverage maps that imply your phone will work in these areas, this is blatant deception.
Funny part of this I am now on Verizon and these problems no longer exist in the exact same areas where US Cellular was roaming on Verizon towers (not that their coverage is perfect either though).
I (& my wife) have also had rude treatment at their customer service centers.
In other instances I have had apps such as “IQ Test” added to our phone on a permanent basis without authorization and when I called about this they made claims that we did add this via MySpace or similar (I am not on MySpace).
US Cellular also stated that customers “enjoyed” this service. My answers is what service? This fee provided NOTHING but a higher bill each month. It took multiple calls to finally get this removed.
With two of our US Cellular phones both me and my wife purchased (the same model kyocera), we had issues with from day one which after a couple months both of us brought them in for repair/replacement; US Cellular had the audacity to charge us $50 claiming we broke them which could not be further from the truth (especially since these problems were prevalent from the start). Later I found that this particular model was considered a lemon and pulled from US Cellular, but did we get a refund for fees charged to repair a defective phone? Of coarse not!!
I could go on, but I think I made my point, maybe calls to your congressman to make contracts much easier to get/opt out of will stop the terrible behavior that Cell Phone companies get away with that others business could never do. I only put up with this due to the costs and hassles in changing Cell Phone companies (which many others I know can vouch for this reason for not switching).
Thankfully laws were changed that allowed portability of cell phone numbers, to which I salute the person that brought forth this law.
I think making it easier switching of providers, or breaking of monopolies, such as with the Cable industries, electric providers (Pacific Power has terrible customer service and dishonest charges), etc. can go a long ways in aiding the consumer in fighting these companies and provide the true “Conservative/Honest” side of capitalism instead of what is provided now.
See: True Conservatism