Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Why I Stay With T-Mobile

I got into the whole cell phone use business late.  I see the cell as a desk phone that I just happen to be able to slip in my pocket and go do my thing with.  I don't take calls if I am driving, which seems to be the exception and not the rule.  I don't have a "Smartphone".  Oh if I were given one, I'd use it, but for the most part, I don't need it. 

For the most part I am sitting at a PC, banging away on a keyboard from before 7am until as late as 11pm some nights.  If you need me you have two options, a voice call or email.  My old beater of a laptop is much more flexible than the most Einstein like phone you can possibly have.  I use the power I have, but I am open to change. 

I didn't have a phone until around 2003.  At that point we decided that it was time to move to Fort Lauderdale Area and we thought it would be best to have a Florida cell phone.  When we came to Fort Lauderdale and stayed at the beach, we made a survey of the major national carriers and the "deals" of the moment and decided for how I intended to use the phone, T-Mobile was best for me.  In the intervening time I have stayed with T-Mobile through horrendous coverage at my old house, and excellent coverage elsewhere.  If I have a signal I can happily talk away. 

When I was here in Florida on vacation in 2003, I went to the T-Mobile store and was greeted there by the staff after being allowed to browse an appropriate amount of time and we all began to chat.  I decided on a very basic phone which happened to be small so I could fit it in my pocket or my skate pack, and I lived with that phone for another 5 years.  Basically having been treated very well by the people in the Fort Lauderdale Store set me on a good relationship with a large company. 

Corny, I know.

So today I still have the same phone number with the 954 area code.  I still have T-Mobile, and for my needs I get everything I can ask for.  Basic phone got updated about a year and a half ago to Basic phone with FM radio and MP3 player.  I got online to do that upgrade after doing all my research and then calling the company for just the right phone.

It had to be red.

I have that phone now, it serves me well although I find the FM radio is more of a curiosity, and I think I played MP3s with it twice.  There are other ways to do all of that while I am out on a dog walk. 

Today I had an interview, and a client called that phone just as I was putting too much money into the meter and walking into the prospective companies office.  I pressed off and mentally apologized for ducking the call, and went into the office for the interview.

Coming out later, I powered up my little red and grey phone and it booted up flawlessly with a message that I had a message.  When I pressed and held 1 for the voice mail I got a message saying "Sim Not Ready".

Hmmm not good.

Getting in the car, I disassembled the phone and reassembled it.  It booted back up with the same rude message.   Sim Not Ready.  I'm not playing a game here, you need to work first time, every time!

It gave me an excuse to drive to the same T-Mobile store from 2003, they were still there and I think I may even have parked in the same spot as back then.  I was downtown Fort Lauderdale for the interview and that store was the closest.   I stood in line around 10 minutes, being apologized to by the two people who worked there, and waited.  By the time I was served there were another four groups that came in, and there seemed to be an air of pleasant resolve that we'd all be taken care of.

That's the point.  We were taken care of.  Minimum of fuss, pleasant people working the counter, and each person was efficiently served moving to the next.  In the case of my Sim Not Ready, the replacement was free.  The woman who pleasantly and efficiently helped me moved my contacts to the new Sim, gave me back the old one, and told me that I will get a message when I was activated. 

Being thanked I was sent on my way with a smile.  No muss, no fuss, no "retail attitude".

I simply left with the feeling that T-Mobile at Broward and Federal had some excellent people working for the company.   They may move onto other things in the future, but I'll think that when I get in there the next time in maybe another 7 years, things will be just as precise, just as excellent, and just as high a level of customer service.

I guess that is how things should be.   Try that in a mall or a big box store, I dare you!  T-Mobile, if you're listening, promote those two who were on duty today from 11 to 12AM.  They're good!

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