Archives for December 9, 2004

Posted on 12/9/2004 to Education

While channel surfing this evening, I caught an interview on MSNBC with Charles Best, a high school teacher in the Bronx and the founder of DonorsChoose.

From the How it Works page of the DonorsChoose website:

The DonorsChoose model of citizen philanthropy begins with a teacher who wants to provide his or her students with an activity that school funds would not cover. At this website, the teacher can describe a student project and list the materials needed to make it possible. is not a bulletin board where teachers can directly post their proposals, however. Before accepting a proposal, DonorsChoose staff and volunteers verify the teacher's identity; confirm the existence of requested materials; negotiate discounts and attach a cost to the proposal; and, finally, review the proposed student project. If anything is unclear, staff email follow-up questions to the teacher.

Next, civic-minded individuals can browse teachers' submissions. A donor can make a tax-deductible contribution that fully or partially funds a chosen proposal.

In this, the season of giving, this site makes it easy to help out the future of our country.

Sprint PCS Customer Service Sucks

Posted on 12/9/2004 to Companies That Could Do Better

I was going to give you all the details of my recent two day ordeal in dealing with Sprint PCS Customer Service, but I've decide it was too long a story. Instead, I will warn you about them. If you having billing issues that are anything other than the simplest of issues, expect a nightmare. It is likely that the first person won't be able to help you, and it is possible that their supervisor will fail miserably as well. Our situation involved changing phone numbers and getting new phones. Our problem was being billed for the same period of time on both the old numbers and the new numberss (old #'s were disconnected and replaced with the new #'s, at no time did we have all the numbers active). The problem was made even more complicated due to the billing errors being spread over two billing cycles.

All I wanted was an adjustment for the errors. I've got no problem paying what I am supposed to pay, it isn't like I was seeking customer satisfaction credits (the first rep asked how much credit I was looking for when I asked for her supervisor, and went on to say that perhaps she could just issue a credit, how much do you want?). Another rep (this one a supervisor) tried issuing credits for all kinds of stuff that wasn't billed wrong, but failed to see that I was being double billed.

Anyway, I hope you never have complex billing issues with Sprint. If you do, go ahead and call in as soon as you get the bill and recognize the error, and climb the chain of command as far as you can above the first two levels. You might have to wait for a callback, which is why you shouldn't put off the initial call.