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Old July 29th, 2012, 10:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default too long, confessional

I'm new here, new to the smartphone game but quite honestly was introduced quite rudely something like a month ago when I got a job as a sales rep for one of Sprint's "preferred" retailers. So obviously all this is just my personal experience at one location, take it with the proverbial grain of salt. (Btw, I work & live in an area with no WiMax and far enough away from major markets that we'll be waiting a while for LTE)

Quite simply, I was given two days of computer "training" and was tossed onto the floor being expected to make sales.

I say make sales and that's it. In the course of a month I've seen both my store manager and my regional manager stretch the truth, deny legitimate requests, overcharge customers and flat out lie to make the sale.

A couple of examples, The customer clearly doesn't understand the difference between WiMax and LTE? Just pitch the WiMax phone and say "We're getting 4G in this area soon." Customer comes in literally two days before we know we're getting the GS3, do we take his phone number, reserve him a copy and call him when they come in? Hell no, sell that man a new EVO instead. Is the coverage map showing that these potential marks (excuse me, customers) are out of our service area? Scale that map out a little bit, they won't even notice. Just tell her those $35 Otterboxes are $45 Promotion for port-in credits ran out? Just lie! It'll be two months before they notice anyway! He wants a flip phone? Put him on everything data anyway.

My personal favorite was "We just bought X number of Verizon towers so the service should be improving."

Man, I could go on and on. My point with all of this is be very careful and do your research because we won't be doing it for you. My other point is simply to express how disappointed and truly sorry I am.

Thanks for reading my diatribe, you can see it as sour grapes from someone who walked out, or just realize that I really wanted to love telling people about Sprint but just couldn't lie to my people any more
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Old July 29th, 2012, 11:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This IS NOT how sprint as a company does business. It does disturb me that preferred retailers may get away with this sort of thing.

I would like more information on this location by PM please.
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Old July 30th, 2012, 11:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Is there an expanded version of this tale? I would love to hear more.
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Old July 30th, 2012, 02:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sure why not, I'll expand.

"We just bought 30,000 towers from Verizon and are taking zip codes for where people don't get Sprint service so we can give the higher-ups a more accurate view of where to place the towers." Was the official line that I got from my store manager. Throw around some words like "Network Vision" for good measure.

We had Boost and Virgin phones too, except we weren't allowed to sell them, literally, I had to turn away many customers wanting to purchase our Boost phones because the managers wouldn't let me sell them. "It's an audit issue, we only make $5 on selling a Boost phone and then we'd have to order more." Is essentially what I was told when I asked why on earth we wouldn't sell our merchandise.

It was a few Amish folks who came in looking for real basic flip phones, M370's, manager put each and every one of them on Everything Data.

As far as overcharging for accessories, the whole "Oh here's a $50 Otterbox that I'll give you for $35" was far more prevalent than actually upping the price but both happened on a quite regular basis.

As far as the WiMax thing versus LTE, that BOGO on Galaxy II Epic's was the worst thing to ever happen to my city. Like I said, we'll never get Wimax here but that doesn't stop them from promising faster speeds just around the corner with that Wimax device.

I got in trouble a couple different times before the GS3 came out for taking people's names and numbers and promising to reserve them a copy, not for tying up the inventory but for not trying to sell them an EVO or something. Keep in mind, these were mostly current Sprint customers waiting on their upgrade. I managed to snag a couple of these people and get them their GS3 when it came out but what I mentioned earlier about selling the guy an Evo? My regional did that and evidently told him that his EVO LTE would work on the WiMax network as well, which of course it will not.

Insurance plans? The only one we pitched was TEP, technically there are two other protection plans but if the customer wants one of those, we'll get in trouble for not adequately convincing them to pay for TEP.

Sold a phone but they didn't want an overpriced case or the chargers that everyone already has? You need to do better at attaching accessories. The point was not to accommodate the customers needs, to provide worthwhile customer service, or to tailor what we sold to their specific situation, the point was to get as much out as humanly possible, whether they needed it, wanted it or could even use it.
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Old July 30th, 2012, 03:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you for pming me that info.

do be careful as I am drawing attention to the situation at that location....I don't want any of this experience you had with specific poor training by poor salesmen to be misconstrued by Sprint should they happen uppon this thread after I report the information.


from someone who considers themselves to be a great salesperson, I can assure you Sprint spends HOURS training reps on how to properly engage and qualify customers and meet each of their specific needs on every level. Device, Coverage area, Plans and accessories.
We are not even allowed customer interaction until that 2+ week training criteria is met.


It really sucks that you were thrown into such a situation.
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Old July 30th, 2012, 04:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Will you both pm me about this. It is frustrating for me to read things like this since I run a preferred store.
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Old July 30th, 2012, 08:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Stories like this make me SO happy that I'm well informed about tech and as many Sprint policies as possible. I just feel bad for the people that are deceived and mis-informed, just because of their naivete.
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Old July 31st, 2012, 10:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Stories like these make me wary of the brick-n-mortar "preferred stores" and at the same time optimistic there are still honorable people in the world willing to decry corruption. My mom worked retail in a department chain for 20 years. She was always putting the customer ahead of herself or the company. That won her a lot of good favor and repeat customers.

If you're dishonest you are more likely to only see your customer once.
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Old July 31st, 2012, 10:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenas View Post
Stories like these make me wary of the brick-n-mortar "preferred stores" and at the same time optimistic there are still honorable people in the world willing to decry corruption. My mom worked retail in a department chain for 20 years. She was always putting the customer ahead of herself or the company. That won her a lot of good favor and repeat customers.

If you're dishonest you are more likely to only see your customer once.
Or not even see them ever again (or any of their friends) because I know for a fact that, when some blabber mouth Tier 1 rep tries to "con" me into buying a product/service, but is not stating facts and just talking out of his/her butt, you better believe I'm telling my friends/family members/and whoever else I know to never go to that store and if you do, don't let the reps manipulate you into thinking they know what they're talking about.
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Old July 31st, 2012, 05:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I live near two Sprint stores in AZ and none of their people have anything like that pushiness. But they do ignore Boost and Virgin.
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Old July 31st, 2012, 06:19 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefboyardee View Post
I live near two Sprint stores in AZ and none of their people have anything like that pushiness. But they do ignore Boost and Virgin.
Which makes no sense. They make $$ on those too. The issue I have seen is lack of variety of phone choices on those
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Old July 31st, 2012, 07:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I asked one of them about Virgin, they more or less bad-mouthed its ‘borrowed’ service capabilities, then continued to ignore them.
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