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Sprint Is Useless In Wicker Park And They Don't Care

Last month Alisa Hauser reported for DNAinfo Chicago that "Sprint customers have been experiencing difficulty in some parts of Chicago as the company works on what it calls 'network upgrades.'"

I was actually relieved to hear that Wicker Park was one of those areas because I thought it was just me - that my crappy cell phone had finally crapped out.

But no.

Sprint spokeswoman Kelly Schlageter said Sprint has not had any cell sites down as a result of the network upgrades.

"However, during the process, some customers may experience difficulty making or sustaining a phone call," she said.

For example, the sites in the 60622 area code completed their upgrades Wednesday night "so customers should begin noticing that their service is not only back to normal, but also that they have [a higher-speed] 4G LTE signal," Schlageter said.

If only. I've got news for you, Kelly: The problem is worse than ever and people around here are pissed.


First, it would've been nice for Sprint to notify customers - and the third-party carriers who use their networks, like CREDO, which is what I have - that there would be issues with service during this time.

Instead, folks who weren't as fortunate as I to see Hauser's article have no idea what's going on.

Second, refunds for massive service interruption are certainly due.

Third, quit lying.

Service that supposedly should have been back to normal by April 3 is still horrible more than a month later.

Upgrades complete, Kelly? That's not what Sprint says now.


I started my journey with CREDO, my service provider, using their e-mail support system. My rep was Jason.

ME: Sprint, whose service I believe you use, is upgrading towers in the Wicker Park area of Chicago, but it's caused really terrible service for a month now. Wanted to make you aware. Cannot receive calls on cell. This article is from last month but the problems have not abated:

JASON: I am sorry to hear that your phone has been unable to receive calls lately. I understand just how frustrating that can be. You are correct and CREDO Mobile does operate on the Sprint network. At times, a phone does need to refresh its connection with the network to recognize the updated towers. In order to update your connection, we will need to re-activate your phone. Before re-activating your phone, we do want to make sure that roaming is set up on your phone.

[Instructions followed, but as you will see, he missed a couple steps.]

ME: Thanks. Two questions, and bear in mind that I have a pretty old phone.

1. Should Roaming be on Home Only, Automatic or Roaming Only.

2. In Tools, I do not see an Activate option.

JASON: Those are definitely some great questions and I am sorry I left a couple steps out. For roaming, we want that set to "Automatic" so your phone will switch between the best network available. Since your device is activate already, that option may not be available in the phone settings. The other way to activate your phone is by dialing ##228# and then select "Yes" when it asks you if you want to activate your device.

[Did just that.]

ME: Now I can't make outgoing calls either. I set roaming to automatic. Still could not receive a call. So I used the code provided below to activate. I have five bars. It says connecting. Then says no service.


I never heard from Jason again, so two hours later I sent him this:

So I now have a cell phone that doesn't work at all, after following your instructions, and you disappear. I hope you have a lousy night.

Then I turned my efforts to Sprint, using their e-chat system. My rep was Paige.

I wasn't able to capture the first half of the conversation, but after explaining the problem the rep kept telling me I had to speak to CREDO and I kept telling her that the problem was with Sprint's towers and CREDO was merely a reseller who has no way of fixing the problem or at least explaining when it might be solved. It was a maddening back-and-forth until Paige finally broke down and consented to look into it.

Paige S.: Credo is a third party service provider. we are unable to access Credo accounts. As you stating that you are using Sprint tower I will check the outage for Sprint in that area for the zip code that you have provided.

Paige S.: Give me a moment to check this.

Me: thanks.

Paige S.: Thank you for your patience, I will have the information shortly.

Me: ok.

Paige S.: Thank you for waiting.

Paige S.: I have checked that tower is being upgraded to Network Vision. We are currently in the process of planning the necessary enhancements to improve the service. This is a high-priority case for us and our network team is working to get it resolved at the earliest.

Me: Ugh. It's been a month. People here hate you. No better estimate than that? Sheesh.

Paige S.: I understand the importance of the phone services to you. The area has been marked on a high priority. I assure you that our technicians will resolve this issue soon. We do understand the importance of phone services in your daily life and apologize for the trouble. We appreciate the co-operation from all our customers in this situation.

Me: That's a weasel answer. You are losing customers. But I can see this is futile. Good night.


So Kelly Schlageter lied and Sprint is incompetent. But we're getting Network Vision! Me? I just want to be able to make and receive phone calls.


Comments welcome.


Posted on May 9, 2013

MUSIC - They Flirted With Disaster.
TV - A Quincy Top 10.
POLITICS - Private Equity Comes For Janesville.
SPORTS - Big Leagues Blow Vaccinations.

BOOKS - You Think You Know What's Good For You?

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - A People's History Of Uptown.

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