I recently had the need to change out my Sprint phone as well as acquire and activate a RAZR. Boy was this process educational.
The Sprint change-out went okay, except that the new Sprint store in town is actually a "Sprint Express" store, and they didn't bother labeling it as such. I had to go to the next town over.
My new Sprint phone (Sanyo MM-7500) turns out to be a really wonderful device, with a camera actually worth the name. Well, between that and a new baby, I decide that I need to experience Picture Mail. I tried to sign up for Picture Mail from the site. I failed, completely (using Safari with pop-ups blocked, but I couldn't find anywhere to sign up). A couple days later, I tried using Picture Mail from the phone to see what would happen. Hey, it lets me sign up! Great! Moments later, literally, I was sending my first picture message to proud grandparents.
The punchline to the picture mail experience is that I still can't get in to see my pictures on the desktop site. Upon contacting customer support, the reason is that I do not have Picture Mail set up on my account. So I can send messages but can't see them on my computer. No problem, I'll just copy myself on all messages. (I went ahead and mentioned this to the customer care agent. We'll see what happens.)
Acquiring the RAZR was even more illuminating. I went to Best Buy the day that Cingular pulled theirs from the shelves, so I went with Verizon. They guy had never activated a Verizon phone with data service, despite having worked there for 2-3 months. Fascinating. The activation web site he had to use was really poorly designed, and neither one of us could figure out how to get web access turned on for the phone. Finally, through some guesswork, we succeeded for only another $5 per month.
Well, my client is using a GSM RAZR, which has three softkeys, not two. And when we sent a SMS to the phone with a link to the content we wanted to put on the phone, the link didn't work. Apparently Verizon really really doesn't want you getting any content from them. I can't use the phone for the purpose for which I purchased it.
So, back to Best Buy. Apparently waiting until the weekend was over was the wrong plan - it was now 17 days after I purchased the thing that I can't use. I have to pay a $125 cancellation fee because they won't give me the appropriate service. As a side bonus, every time I used the browser, for which I was paying an additional $5/month, I was using minutes.
Now, on to Cingular to get their RAZR. Fortunately, there is a sale today - $79 instead of $99 or $129 (I am uniterested in paying an additional $20 to get a pink phone). The clerk says that they always activate Cingular phones by calling up the company. I have to pay an additional $20/month to get browser access - I don't want to deal with $15/month for 10MB when $5 gets me unlimited data but only for sites within the walled garden. Well, they need an expiration date on my driver's license, which expired the previous day and the DMV was closed. So, no Cingular phone either.
This all makes me appreciate Sprint more.