The 4G gods have stopped smiling on me, if they ever did. I wish the least of my problems over the past few weeks was that sometimes facebook photos took too long to load. Forget about 4G. I’m happy if my 1 bar of 3G sticks around, because too often my service magically evaporates and I’m left with nothinG. Texts show up when they feel like it, which is usually a few hours after the Russian lover has determined I am almost certainly tied up in a trunk somewhere. Sometimes calls don’t come through at all, and I don’t even have a missed call alerting me to the fact that someone was trying to get in touch.
The first few times he couldn’t reach me he thought I was being a jerk. The next few times he couldn’t reach me, he went into a panic. The times after that and Enough was Enough. I called Sprint and learned that there were “service upgrades” happening and hopefully the disruptions would cease soon. In the next week or so. Probably. They apologized for the inconvenience and asked for my patience and offered that they could credit me 25 bucks for the hassle.
I called back, because missing important calls from people for whom I am the sole point of contact on certain matters is not a hassle. It is a potentially career-ending, relationship-killing huge fucking problem that only Sprint customers in this city seem to be having. And I talked to some supervisor’s supervisor and I got nowhere on being let out of contract without an ETF or being credited an amount of money would offset that ETF. As far as Sprint is concerned, this level of service falls within their acceptable bounds.
Sprint CS explained that they couldn’t guarantee service everywhere people go. I explained that if they couldn’t guarantee service smack-dab in the middle of the fifth largest city in the United States, then they should stop pretending to be a major national cellular carrier. Maybe get Candace Bergen back and try to sell people some long distance minutes again.
The circled areas are where I happen to spend a good deal of time, in the center of the city, where coverage is looking a little sparse according to this map. The other areas of Philadelphia that have similar-looking coverage on this map are places where people regularly get shot. Sprint 4G: The social equalizer.
When I was with the Russian lover in NYC, I thought I was pretty good with 4G for much of the time we were bumming around Manhattan. But there, too, it didn’t seem consistently good. So today I also pulled up the 4G map for New York; the circled area is where the Russian lover’s crash pad is located, and where we spend a fair amount of time:
And now I think I understand the main reason people want to be famous. Because if there is one thing celebrities are not, it is helpless consumers in the face of inferior products and services. If Beyonce called Pepsi saying “This new soda of yours I just tried is gross”, Pepsi would not be like “Thank you for your valuable feedback. We are so sorry” and leave Beyonce out a couple of bucks. They would respond by dispatching a team tasked with creating a new soda to Beyonce’s specifications. Meanwhile, when Coke got wind of her displeasure, they’d offer her a billion dollars to abandon her Pepsi endorsement. A bidding war would ensue. Beyonce would be gifted with endless amounts of gratis superior cola product. That is consumer power.
Somehow, I don’t think any service provider is going to try to hold Beyonce hostage to her cell phone contract. The rest of us? We just have to yell and tweet and blog and try to band together until enough of us add up to one Beyonce. Because the only hope we regular people have against incompetent corporate tyrants like the now network is the momentum of our human networks.