How NOT to Run a Business: Sprint Creates Barriers to Good Customer Service

by Phyllis Zimbler Miller

Here is a cautionary true tale with information you may be able to apply to your own businesses:

I switched to Verizon from Sprint for my cell phone because Sprint coverage is not very good where I live. In order to do the final step (receive calls on my new phone), I needed the pin number for my Sprint account.

Unfortunately, while I have the password recorded I do not have the pin number (and may never have had it from when the account was set up). I tried to answer the security question asked by the Sprint rep in order to get the pin number.

Now the security question was not that hard — which street did I grow up on. And while I know the answer — and tried several other related streets — I was told that my answers were incorrect. (The Sprint rep admitted there have been problems with the site recently, so I personally think the answer got corrupted.)

Anyway, I asked what the second security question was. There is none I was told! Apparently Sprint used to have a second security question but decided to drop this.

Then I was told I could login to my account online and change the pin number. And although I had the password to login, I COULD NOT GET ACCESS TO CHANGE THE PIN NUMBER!

Why? Because no admin had been set up on my account and — wait for it — I needed the current pin to set up an admin account in order to change the pin number!

While the Verizon rep thought I could go in person to a Sprint store and prove my identity, the Sprint rep on the same phone call so I could not do this as my account was a business account! (In other words, personal accounts have better customer service from Sprint than business accounts.)

I was told I had to wait several days until the pin number was MAILED to me (not emailed via the email on my account). Meanwhile no one can call me!

I have resorted to Twitter to see if I can get someone at Sprint customer service to deal with this issue. And I will tweet the link to this blog post in the hope that the Sprint support account on Twitter will actually do something NOW!

Still, while I am a huge fan of security, the lack of a second security question and the lack of automatically setting up an admin ability when a new account is opened are both huge Sprint customer service errors. (Not to mention refusing to send the pin to the email address that has been on the account for years.)

Let’s see if this blog post helps resolve this issue!

UPDATE: My husband (we share the same account) went to a Sprint store only to learn that it was a franchise Sprint store and not a corporate Sprint store, and he needed to go to a corporate Sprint store to try to get the pin number. (How would anyone know this?)

P.S. Of course, if Sprint had better service coverage in a major metropolitan area I would not have had to switch carriers.

© 2013 Miller Mosaic LLC

Phyllis Zimbler Miller has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the co-founder of the online marketing company

She is also the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks, including TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO PUBLISH AND MARKET YOUR BOOK IN THE AGE OF AMAZON and the romantic suspense spy story CIA FALL GUY.

Click here to visit her Amazon author page for her fiction books at

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