Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tracfone and Net10: world's worst customer service?

I'm seething after an afternoon trying to resolve a problem with a Net10 prepaid cellphone. Net10 is a subsidiary of Tracfone, and both appear to use the same service department - except that the word 'service', when used in relation to these two companies, seems to be a contradiction in terms.

Basically, if you need help resolving a problem, your service call goes to what sounds like a country in Asia, to judge by the accents and names of the service personnel. They frequently can't speak English very well; they spend an inordinate amount of time taking down details of your problem (and even then, when they read them back, often they've got them wrong); and when they promise to transfer you to 'another department' that will 'fix your problem', you spend the next minutes and hours waiting on hold. No-one ever, I repeat, ever picks up the call again. You're left dangling in limbo.

After several calls over the past week, including five today, the last three of which were to insist on speaking to a supervisor (who never answered the phone), I've given up. I can only suggest that anyone wanting a low-cost, convenient, prepaid cell phone should avoid both Tracfone and Net10 (and any other companies associated with them) like the plague. It's not worth the hassle or the heartburn.

Oh - it appears I'm not alone in being very unhappy with the lack of service from these companies. Check out these links to customer reviews:



Both companies appear to suck rocks, service-wise. Certainly, that's been my experience.

Caveat emptor. I most strongly suggest you take your business elsewhere.


EDITED TO ADD: It looks like a staffer from Net10 or Tracfone is trying to minimize the damage caused by posts like this, by searching for them on Google and posting positive comments. Unfortunately for them, I intercepted the attempt. Details may be read here.


Christina RN LMT said...

Oh, I'm SO with you on this, Peter! I had Tracfone for a few years a while back, and had nothing but problems with their customer service department. Including receiving an "upgraded" phone, which I had never requested, that they were unable to activate, and during the time we were trying to resolve the issue (several DAYS), they literally gave my phone number to someone else. A number that was associated with my business and which I'd had for two years. ARGH.

Silver the Evil Chao said...

Oh, it's not just the customer service that sucks, it's the actual cellular service, too. I would literally inexplicably have no service for days (and Mom would get mad at me for "never answering it" until I ran an experiment on the way home), with the phone saying "Emergency Only", despite living in Las Vegas. Y'know, well-known, famous city with two million people? Plus, they had no service where I was going for college, so we had to switch providers anyway to keep in touch.

Glen said...

I swapped to VirginMobile several years back. They use the Sprint network, so coverage is less than ideal in my part of Texas. The service is first rate, and I've vet to have a problem than was not resolved with *one* call.

Crucis said...

As a former Sprint-Nextel employee building and expanding our customer service call centers, I can tell you Sprint views customer service as the top priority and it's been reflected in a steady improvement over the last several years.

Sprint has had overseas call centers and did/does unannouced check calls to make sure the call centers meet our requirements. Just about all call centers now are 3rd party and operate under contract. When the contract says the average call holding time (wait to get to an agent) is XX seconds, we mean and vendors have lost business if they don't meet the business requirements.

OTOH, Telcos all get hit with the crap whenever one providers dumps on their subscribers. The mobile phone business is now a real cut-throat operation from a service standpoint.

BTW, I'm no longer employed by Sprint so I can speak my mind.

WV: bling

No I don't have any.