I’m hoping that I can write this article without having a full-blown anxiety attack, although I already feel my blood pressure rising because writing it makes me have to think about it — again. ::takes deep, cleansing breath:: Out of the eight people who live in my household, seven of us use Boost Mobile as a carrier for our cell phone services.
I know I can’t reasonably expect customer service to be what it once was in any facet of domestic or international marketplace because, well, we all know it has greatly declined over the past 20 years or so. Still, when you pay $700+ for a new iPhone 11, you should be able to A) expect the phone to work when it arrives and B) expect the carrier from whom you purchased it (i.e. Boost Mobile) to promptly (The definition of that word is highly relevant to the point.) address any issue that is impeding its ability to work.
Spending four hours on the phone with Boost Mobile is NOT my idea of fun
Let me preface this by saying that I, personally, am not the household member who bought a new iPhone 11. That luxury belonged to my soon-to-be 15-year-old daughter who has been scrimping and saving every one of her pennies for FOREVER to be able to make the purchase. That said, she asked if I would be the one to speak to Boost Mobile customer service on her behalf, and I agreed to do so. She stayed with me in the room, ready to provide IME numbers, SIM card numbers and any other pertinent information we might have to gather from labels or packaging during the call.
Our initial call was simply intended to activate my daughter’s new phone. If you’ve ever tried to call Boost Mobile, you undoubtedly understand that dialing the number automatically means at least a 10 to 20 minute process and wait before you actually get to speak with the human being who is going to assist you, and I’m using that term VERY LIGHTLY.
Boost Mobile reps consistently have severe language barriers
As someone who lives in a country where English is the primary language, I find it incredibly frustrating when I must keep asking a customer service rep to repeat himself or herself because I cannot understand his or her attempts at speaking English. I’m all for learning a second language, and I’m all for employment opportunity. However, if a person is going to speak English while they provide customer service over the phone, he or she should be fluent in the language. It wouldn’t be so bad if a customer service rep were to have an accent, making it apparent that English is his or her second language. When a customer cannot understand a word the representative is saying, it becomes a problem.
Phone activation is supposed to activate a phone
After a lengthy process, the Boost Mobile representative told me to try making a call from our new iPhone11 to make sure the activation process worked. Mind you, we had been placed on hold with the most obnoxious, loud, down-right-EVIL-sounding music blaring over the speaker no less than six times while navigating the activation process. I have never heard sounds like that before — truly! I actually asked the woman to put me on hold in silence because the noise was giving me a massive headache. She apologized, then put me on hold again — with the same “music.”
By the time the representative told us to attempt a call from our new phone, we had been on the phone with her for more than 90 minutes. We tried to make a call. It didn’t work. We tried to call the new phone to see if it could receive calls. That didn’t work either. We tried text messages. No luck. This unfortunate circumstance sparked an entirely new set of processes and factory re-sets, which took several more hours of me asking her to repeat herself, her putting me on hold with migraine-inducing music and still being left holding a brand new $700+ iPhone 11 that wasn’t working. The Boost Mobile rep ultimately decided that it was an Apple problem and recommended we call them.
iPhone directs us back to our carrier
After another hour on the phone with Apple (making our total on-the-phone time four and a half torturous hours) the iPhone guy said he was 99% certain it was a carrier issue related to the SIM card. He suspected they had sent us the wrong one. He suggested several options:
- Return the phone and request a new one.
- Send him the phone so that he could submit it to Apple engineers for further investigation.
- Call Boost Mobile again and request a new SIM card.
We chose Option 3, which led me to the lady who gave me hope for humanity! In less than two minutes, but after having to go through the tedious automated message system and obnoxious evil music holds several times, a kind, joyful woman whose English speaking skills were stellar told me that Boost Mobile ships 5G compatible SIM cards with all new iPhone 11s. She did a quick check using our zip code and determined that the towers in our area are not 5G compatible. She asked whether the first representative I had spoken with (FOR FOUR HOURS) had checked that out. I said she had not.
Nice Lady arranged for a new SIM card to be sent to our home in an expedited fashion with no added shipping charges. She instructed us to call Boost Mobile when the SIM car arrived so that they could activate the phone. I asked if there was a way to ensure that I could speak directly with HER when I called. She laughed and thanked me for the compliment but said it was not possible to guarantee that she would be the one who takes the call.
New SIM card, old Boost Mobile rep
Much to my disappointment, when the new SIM card arrived and I called our carrier back, I got the first woman who is in grave need of additional English lessons. I will spare you the details of the torture, I mean, conversation, except to say it took me 45 minutes to help her understand why we were calling. She finally claimed to have activated the new SIM card and asked us to make a call. IT WORKED!
The only problem is that she did not ask us to try to call the phone. In fact, she ended the call after we told her the outgoing call attempt was successful. But, guess what? I tried to call my daughter’s new iPhone 11 last night. The call failed, and I got a recorded message saying the number I am calling is not in service. ::looks for brick wall to smack head against::
We’ve decided (my daughter and I) that neither of us can endure another five hours on the phone with Boost Mobile. They seriously need to learn more about how to produce customer satisfaction through service. Thus, we are going to spend our personal time and gas money driving 45 miles to the nearest Boost Mobile kiosk in a mall and ask an in-person human being if he or she can PLEASE HELP US GET OUR $700+ iPhone 11 to WORK!