The Best (and Worst) Phone Carrier Customer Support

Boost Mobile

Boost Mobile may be a discount carrier, but the company certainly doesn't skimp on customer service. The Sprint-owned carrier offers a website full of information for just about any modern smartphone, and gives mostly speedy and friendly help over the phone and online.

To put Boost's support skills to the test, I asked the carrier for help checking my data usage and activating my Galaxy S7's Always-On display, as well as for information on Boost's unique (and since-discontinued) data-growing plan. Despite a few frustrating over-the-phone experiences, I was able to get answers to most of my questions pretty painlessly. Michael Andronico

Online Support (39/40)

Boost Mobile's website is impressively robust and user-friendly, allowing me to find answers to all of my questions in just a few minutes. My quest to troubleshoot my Galaxy S7 led me to the company's Device Selection page, which boasts close to 100 phones ranging from low-end Alcatels to the latest iPhone.

Once I found and clicked on the Galaxy S7, I was taken to an incredibly information-rich support page that featured device specs, popular troubleshooting solutions and setup guides. There's even a movable illustration of the device that points out key buttons and ports while letting you see the phone from various angles.

I searched the support page for "Always-On Display," and quickly found a dedicated tutorial article that clearly noted how to customize the phone's always-on screen.

Finding answers to my carrier-related questions was similarly easy. The company's Plans page led me to a dedicated landing page about Boost's data-growing program for on-time payments (an option that’s no longer available to new customers, alas). I was looking to find out if these on-time payments had to be consecutive, and sure enough, there was a  note at the bottom of the page that let me know clearly that they did not.

MORE: Best Phone Carriers: See How Boost Stacks Up

Figuring out how to check my data usage was also a breeze; the Galaxy S7 support page includes a tutorial on how to check your data consumption right from your phone. I also tracked my data use by logging into the Boost website with my number and PIN, which took me to a fairly detailed page that outlined my phone plan and payment due dates. This page also provides buttons for buying add-ons (such as extra minutes for calling places such as Jamaica and the Philippines), as well as a settings tab that makes it easy to update your contact info, payment methods and phone number.

It's worth noting that Boost doesn't offer a live-chat option on its website. Instead, the carrier uses social media for one-on-one messaging.

Social Media Support (7/10)

Boost Mobile was generally friendly and responsive on social media, but not flawless. After asking how to check my data usage on the carrier's Facebook page, I received a response in about 14 minutes. A representative named Chris told me that I could simply "access [my] account online" but gave me no specific steps on how to get there, though he  offered to check my data for me if I provided my number and PIN via private message.

I took Boost up on that offer, though I didn't get a response for another 30 minutes. A rep named Betty eventually answered, letting me know that I'd used about 1GB of data for the month.

MORE: How Boost Fared in Our 4G Network Testing

While Boost uses its general Facebook page for customer service, it has a help-centric Twitter account called Boost Mobile Care (@BoostCare). My experience with Boost on Twitter was much more straightforward. After asking if I needed to make consecutive on-time payments to grow my data plan, I received an answer about 18 minutes later, telling me that they just needed to be on-time.

Phone Support (36/50)

Just like on social media, Boost Mobile's representatives were friendly and mostly helpful over the phone. The carrier's hours are pretty generous: you can reach out to Boost’s representatives on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. EST, and on weekends between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m..

Unfortunately, Boost Mobile's phone-support hotline makes it pretty difficult to get in touch with an actual human. Calling up the carrier presents you with menus upon menus, which attempt to solve your billing-related questions via automated voices.

Average Call Time: 13 minutes

I appreciate that the company tries to troubleshoot your issue without making you wait for someone, but those who prefer human help may get frustrated. During all of my calls, I wasn't presented with an option to speak with a service rep until I entered a submenu and waited a few seconds after the automation rattled off all of my other options.

My first call took place in the afternoon and led me to a support representative named George from Mexico. After going through the aforementioned menu bingo, I asked George about whether my on-time payments had to be back-to-back in order to grow my data plan. Unfortunately, the rep told me that the payments did have to be consecutive, which was incorrect. Our brief, but unfruitful, call lasted 4 minutes.

MORE: How Boost's Phone Plans Stack Up

On the bright side, my next call went much better. I spoke to Michelle from El Salvador to get some help with checking my data usage, and the representative went above and beyond what I asked for. Michelle broke down my plan, told me how much data I used, and instructed me how to check that usage  myself on Boost's website. Even better, she let me know that I had a grandfathered plan that's no longer available, and that I shouldn't change my plan in order to hang on to my unlimited data. The call lasted 8 minutes in total, though that reflects the depth of the info Michelle provided.

I had a feeling that my final call, which involved getting help with the Galaxy S7's always-on display during the evening, would be a challenge. I was correct. I was first put in touch with Danny, who seemed perplexed about my always-on question and thought I needed help locking my phone. He eventually transferred me to a different department, which led to me being on hold for a rough 16 minutes.

I finally got connected to Kadeesha in North Carolina, who was knowledgeable, clear and helpful. After asking for my phone’s IMEI number (I'm not sure why she needed this, but she walked me through on how to find it), she put me on a brief hold and helped me through the settings menu all the way to the Always-On menu. While it ended on a good note, this call lasted a whopping 27 minutes — more than half of that time on hold.

Bottom Line

If you're a Boost customer, you can look forward to mostly speedy and friendly help from the carrier, particularly if you stick to the web for support. Boost’s website makes it easy to find answers to your questions, to the point that you might not even feel the need to call or reach out on social media. If you do, you'll get pretty fast answers on Twitter and Facebook. Phone service can be hit or miss, with a maze of menus and the occasional bit of misinformation marring some otherwise pleasant phone calls.

Tom's Guide Staff

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