Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Day 3, in which I am pissed off at Sprint

I am in a much better mood this morning. Sometimes, when I get frustrated with something, I assume a gloom-and-doom view of life. I think that was the case yesterday.

My frustration today is not directed at my life, or my husband, or my kids. It is rather directed at my stupid cell phone company, Sprint. I just got hit with a $200 early termination fee for a phone line that I did not terminate. My daughter Paula lost her purse, with the cell phone in it. As a protection, I called Sprint last week to request that a block be put on her phone. How did that translate into a cancellation of the extra line we have in our account is beyond me.

Because I have my payments set up to come automatically out of my bank account, they hit me with the incorrect charge before I even had time to review my bill. And when I called them to get it fixed, I had to talk to 3 different people without the issue coming to a full resolution. As it stands, the account services people requested a credit and placed a request for their finance dept. to process the refund quickly, but I have absolutely no confirmation that they will, and it takes 24 to 72 hours before the finance people get back to me.

Customers should not be made to suffer because of how a company is organized internally. The three people I spoke to at customer service all put me on hold for several minutes while they found out how to deal with the matter or searched for the next person to transfer me to. They did not even know that I had already been hit with the charge in my bank account.

It is not unreasonable to expect to deal with just one person, who has access to my full history (including payment history) and is empowered enough to request a refund and confirm to me when I will get it. Why can't Sprint get it? I have been a customer for a long time, for the sole reason that Puerto Rico was part of their network before other carriers. But AT&T and Verizon offer coverage now, so that is no longer a reason. And I have been very dissatisfied with Sprint's coverage and customer service for a long time, so there is no love lost there.

This is not the first time I get hit with an early termination fee for a line I have not cancelled. Earlier this year I got new phones shipped to me, and one of them was not what I requested. They sent a replacement and when I sent back the first phone, they cancelled my husband's phone (which was not tied to the returned phone) and hit me with an early termination fee. WTF? Are their systems really that obtuse, or do they just employ a bunch of yahoos who don't know what the hell they are doing?

I will wait until my contract expires, and then I am changing providers. After eight years as a customer, I am officially sick and tired of Sprint.


  1. We had similar experiences with their stores. What we did however, was change our account to a business account which comes with an account manager. Ours has helped us a lot with lowering our monthly bills, and has even sent us phones that have not arrived to Puerto Rico yet.

    This is definitely the go-to person, any issues we have with sprint we deal with him.

    I'm not completely sure if you need a business identification number or just a couple of lines for the business account.

    Regarding you considering to move to another carrier; I have a friend that just did that. He went through 3 carriers and had to cancel all accounts just to end up with sprint. He was looking for the best deal and service to switch his 30 company lines. He apparently didn't find what he was looking for. So I dunno, I wouldn't risk cancellation fees and what not.

  2. Thanks for the tip, Francisco. Are you paying more for the business account? Were there any penalties for switching from one type of account to another? I would definitely be interested in switching.

  3. Ow, ow. Been having some stress with my own phone company recently, too. Seems to be a common problem for huge companies around the world...

    In my case I've often had good luck speaking to a technician instead of a customer rep. Go figure.

    Hope it works out!

  4. Geez. That blows!!

    *note to self: never use SPRINT.

  5. OMG I know exactly what you mean. I was a Sprint customer for 7-8 years and I got sick of those "surprise" fees", no reception and dropped calls.. Now I'm with Verizon and I love them. The customer service is the best and the reception is so much better then Sprint. Good luck!