One of the few shortcomings of my phone has been an inability to send MMS messages, an odd thing for a phone with pretty much every feature known to man. It's not been much of a problem for me, though I found recently that it meant I couldn't directly upload mobile pictures or videos from my phone to Facebook. Instead, I could e-mail them to YouTube or Flickr and get them imported to Facebook. It's kind of an annoying workaround since you lose the commenting and tagging features.
Yesterday, Sprint sent a text that they now have a free Picture Mail app for Windows Mobile smartphones to fix the problem. Once I got it installed, however, it warned that using the feature was $5/mo. That didn't seem right since the plan I got for my phone is Sprint Vision Unlimited with Phone as Modem. It was a really good deal at $40/mo, a special promo rate that was a good $25 cheaper than the features purchased separately. I checked the website today and found that, per Sprint, I had unlimited Picture Mail and shouldn't be charged extra. Just to be sure, I decided to ask Sprint's chat support if that was the case.
I was disappointed to hear from them that the plan they show in their system didn't include Picture Mail at all. Now I could have left it at that and said "oh well", but I certainly want to make sure that if I'm paying for something, I get to use it. Since Comcast has gotten a lot of press from their customer service ninja Twitter team, I thought I'd see if Sprint had a home base there.
Within minutes, I had sent Justin Goldsborough from Sprint a tweet, gotten a reply and had my information forwarded to Executive Customer Service. About 75 minutes after that, I got a call from Mitchell who confirmed that what I saw on Sprint's website didn't jive with what they have in their computers. And he hooked me up with Picture Mail at no extra charge. Customer service win!
This is a really important lesson for companies when it comes to taking care of service issues. Be available, resolve it promptly and embrace support channels outside of your website and phone queues. Comcast, for all of their failings, has done a good job at springing into action when there's a negative blog post or unhappy tweet. When I posted a rant about how much their support sucked, I had someone from the local office give me a direct line for any future problems without me doing a whole lot of anything else.
So what does this mean for you? Go grab a Twitter account, do a search for a company you're having a service problem with and get satisfaction. I heartily recommend it.