Sprint Versus Cingular: A Comparison

Cingular boasts to have the fewest dropped calls of any other cellular carrier. They claim to be rated highest in customer service and satisfaction. They say they have the coolest phones and the best plans. In fact, they claim to have plans to fit anyone’s needs. Have you noticed yet how I said “boasts” and “they claim?” That’s because none of it is true.

I had Cingular only a few months before I had finally had enough. They say they have the fewest dropped calls? That’s because they refuse to drop it. So instead of losing the call, you sit there on the phone yelling at the person on the other end and trying to decipher what they’re saying between the cracking voice and static. Eventually, you are going to get fed up and end the call yourself. With that in mind, if you happen to be trying to make a quick minute call during peak hours, that minute could easily turn into 10 minutes of re-trying and straining to hear something – anything!

They say they rank highest in customer service? I really hope they’re joking. Every time I called their customer service I was met with someone who either spoke English as a second language or Ebonics as a first language. I had an error on my bill twice and called to have it taken care of. It took me an hour and a half of sitting on the phone before it was finally resolved. Then I come to find out it wasn’t really resolved; they just added that money to another bill. When I called again to have this taken care of, I was told that I owed them this money and they have no idea why someone would have told me otherwise. When I asked to speak with a supervisor, this was the response I got: “As far as you’re concerned, I’m the CEO of Cingular.” That was it. After only three and a half short months of service and my phone being shut off again for non-payment of a bill they told me I didn’t owe, I went out shopping for a new carrier.

After shopping around briefly, I decided the best plan for me was with Sprint and I’ve been absolutely happy ever since. Cingular was charging me $150.00 a month for my plan. It was a family plan with only two phones, 700 shared anytime minutes and free mobil-to-mobil. It cost that much because Cingular charged me an additional monthly bill for the other phone in addition to my phone and the plan I already had. After all taxes and such, that was my bill each month. With Sprint, I don’t have to pay per phone. I have two phones, 800 shared anytime minutes, free mobil-to-mobil, free nights and weekends starting at 7pm, unlimited text messaging, unlimited picture mail, and unlimited internet access. Can you guess how much I’m paying? I’m paying $120.00 a month. Not only am I paying $30.00 less a month than I did with Cingular, but I’m getting so much more it’s unreal.

When it comes to the reception, I get it almost everywhere. Yes, there are times when my call is dropped and it’s a little irritating. However, it’s not nearly as irritating as sitting there yelling at someone for a half hour because the carrier won’t drop the call. Cingular has an all-over network? Then why am I charged roaming when I drive only an hour north of me? It seems like any time Cingular had the chance to tack on an extra charge they did it without hesitation.

Sprint, however, is willing to work with you. So far, I’ve only had positive experiences Sprint. When I’ve called their customer service line, someone who is well spoken and polite answers my call. They answer all my questions (no matter how stupid they may seem) and even manage a polite laugh when I crack a stupid joke.

In the grand scheme of things and in the comparison of Sprint vs. Cingular, I’d have to say that Sprint wins with flying colors. Their amazing prices, cool phones and accessories, excellent customer service and large stretching network (I don’t pay roaming charges when I drive an hour north anymore) will eventually cause many cellular users to switch their carriers. In my case, they now have a loyal customer. Cingular, however, will never be hearing from me again.

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