Sep 11 2010

Sprint EVO

After waiting for months looking and checking out phones, I finally decided upgrade to a data phone.  Yes, I am going over to the dark side of unlimited data, texting (whats that), talk, everything. 

I remember my first cell phone and how reluctant I was to get one.  I didnt want to be “tethered” to everyone via a wireless connection.  Just thenk about it, I’ll be a the beck and call of everyone and expected to be there all the time.   Years later here I am, enjoying the on line community and rapid pace of instant contact. 

I decided on the Sprint EVO.  It is at this point the most advanced and highly rated phones on any market (including the iPhone).

This phone has it all from HDMI out (which I can hook up and stream movies directly to a HD TV) to recording HD movies, video conferencing, 8 megapixel camera, creating a wifi hot spots for up to 8 computer, sending movies, pictures, EVERYTHING you can possibly do on a phone/computer.   It is also a 4G phone which means it’s data through put is as fast as a cable modem (if you are in a 4G market which will take about 2 years to get here in Charleston).   They are VERY hard to get right now as they are extremely popular and out of stock just about everywhere.

After changing my data plan from $59 to $79/month which takes affect on my next billing cycle (26 Sep) I was contacted by Sprint Customer support on my experince with the representative.  Here is my response:

On Thu, 9/9/10, wrote:

Thank you for contacting Sprint today and for giving me an opportunity to resolve your issue. I have made a personal commitment to provide my customers world class service. My goal is to make certain you can say YES when asked if your issue was addressed and resolved. Improving our customers’ experience and resolving issues on the first call are our top priorities.

If you require additional assistance, or, you believe your issue was not resolved, please reply to this e-mail. Your response will route directly to my manager……..

—-My response on 9/11/10

To answer your automate survey question, YES and NO.

YES your customer service rep did an outstanding job of changing my plan while retaining my bonus minutes which made me very happy.

NO  Sprint has some screwed up business policies which does its’ best to make me wonder if I am making the right choice by continuing my association with Sprint.

After making my decision to upgrade my plane I quickly went to the local Sprint store to buy my EVO.  They had one in stock now!  I was told if I purchased immediately it I would have to pay a $40 pro-rated amount to switch plans (to execute my more expensive data plan) immediately instead of 2 weeks from now on the Sept 26.  

 I also so found I could NOT purchase the phone now for future (since it is in stock) with out the plan.  If I waited 2 weeks, it might NOT be in stock and would have a plan without a phone.

 This is very upsetting to me as a customer, and a senseless business practice.  I decided to wait two weeks.  So here is the bottom line.

1.  Sprint policies once again upset me off as a customer.
2.  The EVO phone may not be in stock when my plan changes.
3.  I will keep my old plan (saves me $40), so Sprint does not lock me in under a new contract for 2 more weeks (I will be looking for something else in the mean time).
4.  Sprint does not get the benefit of me paying for a higher $20 data two weeks soon than scheduled which means Sprint loses $20 in profit.
5.  Allowing me to change plans immediately does not cost Sprint anything.
6 . Sprint once has proven why Consumer Reports ranks Sprint at or near the bottom in customer satisfaction and why Sprint has had a mass exodus of customer to competing services.

Now all said,  I am happy with the cell phone service I have had with Sprint for the past 10+ years.  It is little things like this stupid policy where I, as a customer, WANTS to upgrade to a more expensive plan, NOW, and being told I have to pay more to do so which makes my dealing with Sprint customer service painful and to be avoided…. 

In my opinion Sprint has one thing going for it…..price.    Sprint’s customer polices haven’t changed over the years which is sad after seeing how hard Sprint is fighting to retain a solid customer base.

It will be interesting to see if I hear anything back from Sprint.   Either way, the last EVO at the Sprint store has been sold.  Hopefully they will be more stock in the next few weeks.

Sep 11 2010

The saying works

I have always heard a little adage that “IF you wash your car, THEN it will rain”.  

The transformation of Sherman in to a VEGECAR car conversion is nearly complete.  The automatic system I built works perfectly and in full auto mode, I am getting 24 MPG on waste vegetable oil, and  really dont know how miles on diesel fuel since I haven’t gone to a gas station in over 2 months (still have 3/4 tank of diesel).  I am going to have to switch to diesel for a while to just use it up and take a few pounds off Sherman’s legs.   Put him on a diesel diet.

Since it was such a beautiful day in Charleston and having not spent enough quality time has been spent with Sherman lately, I decided he needed a good cleaning and spruce up. 

A good wash, a some fine compounding, lots of high quality carnauba wax was and he is looking good now…

Looks even better with his daddy in the picture.

The hat I am wearing has an interesting story.  On the way up to Oshkosh this year I stopped by to visit Jack Morrison’s new EZ racer.  I’ll have to post more pictures of Jack’s fantastic work.    What a great plane he is building.

Well, after seeing his plane and having lunch together, I prepared to leave and while packing the plane, I noticed my favorite hat was gone….  Shit, it must have flown out of the plane while taxiing to Jack’s hangar.  It’s gone……  

As I was taxing to take off, I saw my hat in the distance.  It’s still there looking good!

As I slowed to pass it, it became apparent the hat went through the prop (the second time the prop has chewed up one of my hats).

I was just going to leave  it there as I was to0 embarrassed to deal with it, but I called the control tower and said “Tower, 29TM, there is a hat on the taxi way.  I’ll stop and pick it up for you”.  Tower was more than happy to have me get rid of some FOD for them, and they thanked me for picking up the trash.   Later at Oshkosh, I wore the at some canard events, and when asked, I just said “The plane ate my hat”.  Ah, the joys of having a pusher airplane.   

Sure enough, the old saying worked.  Later today, we had two torrential rain storms.    I like the way the water beads up on the a car with a fresh wax job.