We recently became NASCAR fans. This came about mainly because my, then 7 now 8 year old, son became enthused watching one of the NASCAR races as we flipped through channles one Saturday or Sunday afternoon. As he was watching NASCAR NEXTEL he chose Jimmie Johnson as his favorite driver. (Jimmie went on to win the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup last year which made my son extremely happy). As a boy myself, I was intrigued by racing but didn’t know anyone else interested in it, so I never really got into it the way I wanted. My dad watched NFL football pretty religiously, and sometimes MLB baseball. We usually watched the play-off and the World Series at least. There was also the occassional NBA game, Boxing and sometimes collegiate sports, or whatever was on ABC Wide World of Sports on Sudays. But that was about it for sports in our house growing up. So, as my interest in racing was resurging, I took the opportunity to bring my son to a real NASCAR race. We went to the Coca Cola 600 in Charlotte. Jimmie didn’t win, but Jakob and I had a blast!
We’ve also been loyal NEXTEL customers for the last 6 years. With 2 phones and extra services, we’ve spent ALOT of money with NEXTEL. But NEXTEL had the best customer sevice, and we were never dissatisfied. They really knew the value of the customer, (unlike Sprint), and always found a way to accomodate if there was ever a problem with service. I was kind of proud to know that a service I use was a major sponsor of a sport I was falling in love with. But since the Sprint NEXTEL merger, I’ve had several less than adequate experiences with the new company. Last year I responded to an offer to get a free data card. The data card allows you to have internet access for your laptop anywhere you get a cellular signal. I was initially told I would get it within 2 or 3 days. Well, 2 or 3 days turned into about 3 weeks! Someone got the adress screwed up. Well, they finally got it to me, and I think they gave me a small credit, 1 month free or something similar, for the trouble. Now, before we left for our trip to North Carolina for the NASCAR Coca Cola 600 I ordered 2 new “Q’s”. Again I was told I would get in in 2-3 days. The time came for us to leave and we still did not have our new phones. After a month of waiting, I cancelled the order.
There is more to say about my unpleasant experiences with Sprint. But I’ll hold off for another time. However I wanted to make a point about the switch in brands for the NEXTEL Cup. It is going to be changed from NEXTEL to Sprint in 2008. It’s only the third name change for the NASCAR Cup series in 60 years! But will the rebranding of the race cause any feathers to be ruffled amongst the fans?
I was reading up on Sprint today and learned they lost over 200,000 subscribers in the just the first quarter! I wonder how many more dissatisfied NEXTEL subscribers will cancel when Sprint assumes the “pole position” next year. Will we continue to use Spint ourselves? That will depend on how the regional manager handles my complaint. Will we ever go see a Sprint Cup race? Probably. It is inevitable that the NEXTEL brand will disappear just like Voice Stream and Cingular did. It’s just disappointing to me to see such a great brand disappear. Do you think NASCAR cares that my experience with Sprint hasn’t been pleasant? Probably not.