Wednesday, October 12, 2005

SunCom Revisited

By Gil C. Schmidt

You’d think that after slamming a company for poor planning and awful service, I’d avoid it like avian flu. But it’s been said that one should never burn bridges for one never knows what paths Life takes, so I avoided burning bridges (I may have scorched a pylon or twelve) and I returned to SunCom.

I had run into an odd problem: because I haven’t bought anything on credit since the Bush Sr. Administration, I was being asked to fork over a $500 deposit to get my own account with Centennial thus and keep the number I’d used for almost two years under a corporate account. Five. Hundred. Dollars. To stay with the SAME company.

Salt in the wound: if I had shown a bad credit rating, my deposit would have been $150 max. Good fiscal management gets punished at Centennial.

I cruised other cell phone companies and, after sighing deeply, I also checked out SunCom. (I hate shopping, but when I do it, I do it carefully.) My wife still has her phone with SunCom, so that could be a benefit…

My first surprise was meeting María, the Customer Service Manager. A bright and cheerful mother of two little girls (ages 2 and 5), she was very focused and quickly got past the “no credit history” advantage (credit has a way of stealing your wealth) and went directly for a strong offer. Both my wife and I would get 1,100 minutes for both phones, free incoming calls, free phone-to-phone calls between my wife and I, free calls from Thursday 5 PM to Monday 5 AM (FREE calls all day Friday!) and free access to long distance, all for just $70 a month. Because of excellent credit (my wife’s and my clean record), we got the second unit at no charge and the activation fee was waived.

Oh boy! The whole transaction took less than 25 minutes. But it gave me time to talk to several other people in the SunCom office and they all had the same story: María was a jewel. In fact, despite a lengthy waiting time to see her, customers clearly preferred María’s attention than anyone else’s. It became clear that if the people in that office were a sample, SunCom owed a good deal of its success to María.

So here’s to María, a beacon of good service in what could have been another chapter in a sad story. And to all the “Marías” that keep customers happy…and loyal.


  • Dear Gil:

    I'm happy that you revisited Sun Com, I swear I will never revisit them again. (I hope, because in P.R. people say "that we can't get the water dirty, because then you can drink it", but I hope I will not.
    My experience with Sun Com started at 2000, I was always trying to find people at 7:00pm, but all lines where busy all the time. A pain to call!! Maybe at call number 45 I maybe reached somebody which has a cell phone with this company. The new era in cell phones in PR, received calls free!!!!
    In 2003, my husband changed my phone to Sun Com, there was a "big offer" $29.95,$9.95 phone! WOW! all received call free!!! and nights & weekends free!!. I was a Centennial client then paying $49.95, but I changed. My first bill from Sun Com was $380.00 jajajaj. Then I had to change the offer, more years of contract.

    Some months later, I lost my "cheap phone". I was paying insurance, $3.99 monthly. I called them they told me they will send me FedEX a new one for $60.00. WHAT???!!!! my phone cost was $9.95, at the time was free!!!. Thanks God somebody gave it back to me.

    But that wasn't all. In 2004 I was 8/2 months pregnant. The same stupid phone stopped showing anything at the screen, DAMN! I had to go to the Customer Service place!!! What a beautiful and hate ful place. Full of people complaining, with a TV and hours waiting. I took me 3 1/2 hours to activate an old phone, with my big belly and monster feet. They could have attend me sooner! I wasn't able to even sit.

    But my story does not end here. What about paying in the booths???? They charged $2.00 for printing thermal receipts, jaja, "pleas get a copy of that receipt". I want to pay, but you charge me $2.00 EVERYTIME I GET TO BOTHER YOU. What about people which don't have a bank account????

    Finally, I switched to Centennial again, thankks GoD!
    I heard a lot of stories of people with the "update" nightmare in 2005.............at customer service locations!

    By Blogger tlkwithme, At 11:42 AM  

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