We had been loyal clients of Alltel since November 2005. The service during most of that time had been excellent and we were looking forward to renewing our 2-year contract and upgrading our phones. However, starting around the middle of May, it became difficult to call my wife on her cell phone. I would occasionally get the fast busy or get a recording saying the trunks are busy. We thought it was a temporary problem but the problem persisted and continued to get worse.
My wife is a Real Estate Sales Agent and it is critical that her cell phone work and be reliable. The ability to call my wife's cell phone was deteriorating rapidly. My wife's clients began complaining that she was not available to them and they become more impatient. By my estimation, it was not possible to reach my wife 40% of the time. In mid-June, my wife called to verify that Alltel was aware of the problem.
Alltel was not aware of the problem; they told us that they would issue a trouble ticket. Another week went by, and the problem did not improve. We called Alltel for an update to which we were surprised to discover that a trouble ticket had not been created, but they assured us that it would be made that night. It took over 5 calls to Alltel (including a visit to our local Alltel retail store) before we actually had a trouble ticket with a number created.
Shortly after this series of incidents, my wife was called into her Broker's office. She was informed that she had not been servicing her clients satisfactorily. Since there was no compromise available, my wife was asked to leave the firm. Due to these events, my wife lost several clients that were preparing to make offers. We lost over $7,000 in income directly related to this cell phone service problem.
Approximately 1-2 weeks later we received a phone call from Alltel. We were informed that they have determined what the problem was; however, there was no simple fix. The current equipment could not handle the volume of phone calls being made in the area. The system would need to be improved and it would take an unknown amount of time to repair.
Given the lack of service reliability and the costly effects that this had on our income, we determined that we must make a change to a better network. After this was accomplished, we called Alltel to discuss waiving the termination fees of $400 due to their poor performance. I had a lengthy discussion with a supervisor who flatly told me that the fee would not be waived. He said that since Alltel had some service available, they were performing properly. I asked what if the service was only available 1% of the time - would that be considered good enough, and he answered Yes. When I asked what if this problem takes 6 months to fix, he replied, They will have to live with it.
What industry, other than weather forecasting, do we allow 60% success to be acceptable? Apparently Alltel believes that this is more than sufficient to meet their contract. I find this absolutely appalling. They feel that the client should accept whatever reliability they feel like providing, and even though they have no idea how long it will take to repair, we are stuck. I'm sorry but there are many people that must have a reliable cell system in order to perform their professions. A 60% availability for an unknown period of time cannot be tolerated. When even your tech department agrees with the customer about the lack of service being provided, what does that say about your company?
I'm asking that the $400 termination fee be waived based on the poor service, poor availability, poor customer service, and no known resolution date.
We have submitted this complaint to Alltel via fax, the FCC, the FTC, the Attorney Generals in our home state as well as Arkansas, the BBB in our home area as well as Little Rock, our local TV news investigative reporter, as well as emailing it to every Alltel Corporate email address we can find.
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