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Posted: 2/21/2006 12:07:34 PM EDT
I have a "fleet" of more than 10 phones which also includes some Blackberry devices, and my bill was over $1000/month. The actual service is fair to questionable especially on really cold days, as we're in a fringe area. We've had the service for maybe 5 or 6 years now. My concern was paying top dollar for less than top service, and I wasn't going to take it anymore. I know there are now cell carriers jumping over each other to give you the world for next to nothing.

So I called Nextel TWICE, the regular reps (and even both supervisors on each call) blew me off and basically said "too freakin' bad", that I was being so heavily discounted already, there was absolutely no way in hell Nextel could do better, and then they asked if they should start the cancellation process. I told them I would get another carrier first and call them back to start the cancel process. I was pissed.

I brewed for an hour over my options, which included starting from scratch with another carrier, however that is a royal pain in the ass, and is a major changeover for my type of firm. We use the direct connect far more than phone, and the numbers are ingrained into the business.

So I called back, pushed buttons until I got a human operator and asked if they had a department for REALLY, REALLY, REALLY pissed off long term customers with excellent credit history that are about to cancel, and they said YES! and connected me to the mysterious "Account Services". Account Services is a secret little group of almighty powerful and apologetic wizards that slash your bill to pieces by maximizing Nextels rate structures with tricks of thier trade (that only they can do), then discount those rates, then discount the discounts even more, and then wave magic wands. On top of that, they also gave me a flat money back discount of about $150 right on the spot, and a shitload of apologies.

Bottom line, my $1020/month bill dropped to $645 with NO change in services (that even includes NEW service on ANOTHER phone), and I also received an easy $150 credit to boot against my current balance.

Nextel reps do not know this department exists (CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?), and my Account Services contact says they don't have access to thier pricing structure or database of info, therefore unless you start the call to Nextel and get a human phone operator and express how totally pissed you are - you are never going to be switched to them. The Account Services rep knew that I called twice, as she could see the info and that I was hot and about to cancel, but standard Nextel reps know nothing, or profess to know nothing about saving you more than the regular rate plans.

Some of their tricks:
First, they say screw the contracts you have, were not going to hold you to them. Then, in my case they took 3 of my phones and maxed out the savings plan with 1000 minutes per phone, so now I have 3000 minutes (they did that because we as a company use about 2500 minutes per month - we're more direct connect types). They then give the rest of the fleet basic bottom line service, and then pool the minutes between all phones. They remove the incoming and outgoing call blocks from the basic service phones as the basic service does not include phone usage. Then they added back features, like Internet access, nationwide direct connect, text messaging as needed on the appropriate phones, then slash the shit out of the whole deal with discounts on top of discounts, and did I mention they discount that even more? I only have a year contract, and I expect at the end of the year I'll be back on the line with Account Services to see what they will do then to save the whole fleet contracts from expiring simultaneously. No more out of sync contracts - they all die together or get renewed together - and I think that's best for planning and negotiations. I just have to contact my Account Services rep whenever I want something rather than a Nextel rep.

If you have a fleet of phones and Blackberrys added here and there over the years, you owe it to yourself to call Nextel, get a human on the line, and ask for "Account Services" and tell them they have to do much, much better - they will. If not, your not very convincing - YMMV.

I actually had some decent rates before considering the size of the fleet, and we were pooling minutes and taking advantage of deals and discounts, but let 'Account Services" show you how much MORE they can do. It saved the account for Nextel, and now I'm even adding GPS tracking to know exactly where my staff is and feeling pretty good about it.

Maybe some of you already know this stuff, and if so why didn't you let me know? I could have saved lots of $$$ and a bunch of typing. I hope this saves some ARFCOMMER some money, as in my case it is about 5 grand a year. That buys a couple of nice guns and lots of ammo, or another 10 day all-inclusive trip to Hedonism II WITH airfare and long term airport parking.
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 12:44:29 PM EDT
uh huh wait till you get your next bill.

I had multiple problems with sprint.


i have switched to verizon, and have had 0 problems.

except for the time i didn't update my CC expiration date info on their web site.
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 12:45:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/21/2006 12:47:08 PM EDT by JIMBEAM]
I talked to Suncom yesterday. Same story the guy gave me the longterm customer who wants to switch carriers phone number. Then he outlined what they should agree to. Free phones, perfered roam rate, lower cost.
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 12:49:35 PM EDT
I was able to bypass a whole lot of red tape through those guys when I went to get a .mil discount. CS said I had to wait three weeks, which coincidentally would have meant I had one regular and a partial bill prior to the discounted bill. The AS people were the only ones that didn't sound like they were reading off a script.

Link Posted: 2/21/2006 12:51:26 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 1:00:11 PM EDT
Tag for update when you get your next bill.
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 1:02:37 PM EDT
I left Nextel 1 month ago for the same reason.
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 1:42:26 PM EDT
Actually this was well over a month ago, and I have received the new bill. The changes went into effect on the exact bill cycle start day for clarity and proration avoidance. That was kinda part of the misc credit of $150 they gave me. I waited until now to say anything. You know how they can screw up resetting services and billing, and this time they actually got it right. The rep went over our services item by item and called me back on a Saturday afternoon to say she was certain the services would be exactly the same. She also said there would be a day of weird service due to reprogramming (around our bill cycle start day), but after that it would be smooth. She was right, and we know we've been "switched". The bill came in almost exactly to where she said it would, and considering the amount of taxes included in the bill, that was amazing. Now I view them as being pretty competitive.

I was impressed that the change was seemless, and I see the savings. This seemed to be such a rare thing that I spent the time to tell you about it here. It might work for you to know where the best contacts at Nextel can be found. They just did what they said they would. What a concept.

Pissed at Nextel?, call and ask for "Account Services", they got it done for me.
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 2:26:59 PM EDT
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