Sprint Changes Plan And Renews Contract Without Consent

Sprint changed Carolyn’s plan and renewed her contract without her consent. A nine-year customer with four lines, Carolyn’s problems began when her December invoice showed roaming charges on a plan that allowed for free roaming. She soon discovered that in November, Sprint had moved her to a newer, more expensive plan, without her consent.

Carolyn’s email exchange with Sprint, inside…


Carolyn’s old plan charged $5 for an SMS plan and $7.50 for Sprint’s Vision Pack. Under the new plan, the price of each became $15. When Carolyn called to cancel, a retention specialist agreed to honor the previous pricing, with a $0.50 per month increase. Not only did the specialist fail to enter the new price, but she signed each of Carolyn’s lines to new two-year contracts, without Carolyn’s consent.

Carolyn continued to battle with CSRs until she reached Paulina. In exchange for actually signing new two-year contracts, Paulina offered Carolyn a reasonable deal that approximated her old service package. Carolyn asked for the offer in writing, but Paulina said Carolyn could call her back anytime to accept. When Carolyn did call back, neither Paulina, nor the deal she offered, could be found.

When Carolyn called Sprint Executive Support to complain, she was told to “write a letter.” The other day Carolyn received a letter. Her contracts have all been signed to new one-year contracts.

The full email exchange, below.

Jan 3 I called Sprint PCS to clear up Dec 15 inv incorrect chgs for anytime mins used over top tier. Was told this happened because the acct wasn’t coded into Sprint system correctly so lines weren’t sharing minutes. Also chgd for roaming even though acc’t has America plan which has no roaming charges. Rec’d $105.23 credit adjustment for Dec 15 invoice

Jan 15 inv has incorrect chges for anytime mins used over top tier even though acct had 500 unused shared anytime mins remaining. Same inv also has incorrect charges on one of the lines: unltd SMS messaging – changed from $5/mo to $15/mo, and Vision Pack changed from $7.50/mo to $15/mo

1/26 I emailed SprintPCS.com – Question re acct#*********-*: 4 phones sharing mins – on 1/3/07 I called Sprint CS to review Dec 15 inv – was chgd for “shared anytime mins above top tier” though we hadn’t used all of anytime mins in the plan. Also charged for roaming which is included in our ‘America’ plan. Was told reason for mistaken chgs was because acct was entered into Sprint’s system incorrectly. The result: credit for $105.23 for the 12/15/06 invoice.

On 1/15/07 invoice – one of the lines on the acct still being chgd for mins used above top tier (have a 1400 Anytime Mins Plan – used 881 mins) called Sprint CS. and rec’d $13.60 credit. 45 mins into the call we discovered that another line’s plan had been inexplicably changed on 1/3/07 increasing chgs for unlmtd SMS messages from $5 to $15 and Sprint Vision Pack from $7.50 to $15. Rep couldn’t help since ‘system’ wouldn’t let her. She transferred me to the Retention Dept. who correct error but didn’t give credit for SMS and Sprint Vision Pack overcharges.

I’ve been a pretty patient Sprint PCS customer since 1998 when many calls were routinely dropped, or couldn’t be completed, or the system was overloaded and had to try the call later, etc. But after all these years,I am amazed that Sprint doesn’t have a system that allows reps to change codes that were entered into system incorrectly.

please tell me who I should send my bill to for the hours I’ve spent so far helping Sprint figure out their invoices.

Jan 27 email from Sprint PCS
Thank you for contacting Sprint together with Nextel. I will be happy to assist you regarding the billing concern. I sincerely apologize for the incorrect charges on the invoices, which was due to error in the plan set up. I do not blame you for being upset.

To get your issue resolved, it is best to have a verbal interaction with our specialist. Please contact us by dialing *2TALK from your PCS Phone or by dialing 1-888-788-4727 from a landline phone. Our specialists will thoroughly review the account and make the necessary corrections.

I have also notified the account about your issues so that the specialist assisting you will have a point of reference. Thank you for contacting us, we look forward to serving you.
Veronika T. E-Care Sprint together with Nextel
“Where our customers come first!”
Refer someone to Sprint and get $25.
Visit http://www.sprint.com/referralprogram for details.

Jan 29 email from me to Sprint: Dear Veronika T. Thanks for your response but I’ve already been there – done that. The CSR I spoke to for 45 mins during my last call couldn’t change the ‘codes.’ The retention dept rep couldn’t be bothered. I’m left with a solution that is: 1) as clear as mud to me so that if it doesn’t appear on my next Sprint inv I can’t even explain to a CSR what ‘it’ is, and 2) it is not reflected on my current (Jan 15th) invoice. The first, helpful rep credited my account for the ‘overage’ minutes. But the second retention dept rep didn’t credit me for the $15 SMS msg chg which should be $5 or for the $15 Vision package chg which should be $7.50.

And, seriously, please tell me who I can send my invoice to for the time I’ve invested in helping Sprint PCS fix the ‘bugs’ in your invoicing system.

Jan 29 email from Sprint:
Thank you for writing back to us. I will be glad to provide clarification regarding the billing concern. I noticed that the service plan for the main line was changed as of November 15, 2006. This new plan includes roaming, but the old plan prior to this date never included roaming. Therefore, whatever roaming charges incurred prior to November 15, 2006 are billed correctly.

During the plan change process, there was error in the set up of the additional line. Therefore, you were billed the additional tier charge and roaming charges on your previous and current invoices. However, all the necessary credits for the incorrect charges have already been credited.

The necessary plan changes have been made as of Jan 02, 2007 to avoid these incorrect charges. You will no longer be billed incorrectly from your next invoice onwards.

The old Vision Pack and the Unlmitd SMS Text Messaging option were removed when the plan for the main line was changed in Nov 15, 2006. This is because these options that were offered at a subsidized rate were compatible with the old plans and cannot be continued with the new plans.

Therefore, the new Vision Pack and the Unlimited SMS Text Messaging option for $15 each were added as of Jan 03, 2007. I am sorry that you were not educated about these changes and apologize for the confusion this has caused. A specialist has removed these two options effective Feb 14, 2007 and added the Vision Pack (for $5 per month) and the Unlimited SMS Text Messaging option (for $8 per month). This is the best we can offer as the old options are no longer available.

I understand you have been greatly inconvenienced while trying to get these issues resolved and have spent many hours to get it resolved. We are reviewing our service procedures to ensure that incidents like this do not happen again.

I have applied 100 courtesy minutes as a token of compensation for the inconvenience caused. These courtesy minutes will be available after you have used all of your Anytime Minutes. These minutes will be available for the current billing cycle only.

We hope that you will give us another chance to provide you with the kind of service you deserve and that all your future experience with us gives you satisfaction.
Thank you for contacting Sprint. We appreciate your business, and look forward to providing you first class service in the future. Have a great day!
Veronika T. E-Care
Sprint together with Nextel “Where our customers can Refer someone to Sprint and get $25.

Jan 30 email to Sprint: Dear Veronika, Thanks for helping me understand the errors that have been made on my acct’s invoices. Your explanations are not very satisfying. For example, I’m having a lot of trouble with your explanation that:

“The old Vision Pack and the Unlimited SMS Text Messaging option were removed when the plan for the main line ***-***-**** was changed in November 15, 2006. This is because these options that were offered at a subsidized rate were compatible with the old plans and cannot be continued with the new plans.

Therefore, the new Vision Pack and the Unlimited SMS Text Messaging option for $15 each were added for line ***-***-**** as of Jan 03, 2007. I am sorry that you were not educated about these changes and apologize for the confusion this has caused.”

Not educated? Confusion? Let’s be straight with each other. Sprint PCS made changes to my acct that I was not told about (these conversations are recorded, right?) and you’re sorry? So two services (SMS Messaging and Vision Pack) that were costing me $12.50 a month were changed to $30/month for the exact same services. And I wasn’t informed.

Your inability, for whatever reason, to take the $30 a month chg for Vision Pack and SMS Messaging off my existing inv and replace it with a corrected $12.50 charge, refusing to acknowledge that my time is worth money (this isn’t a paid occupation for me) and dismissively offering 100 ‘free’ minutes when our most recent invoice had more than 500 unused anytime minutes on it, coupled with Sprint’s ‘error in the setup’ that took me not one, but two phone calls to customer service and at least 90 mins to clear up (my last most recent phone call to you was primarily to point out we are STILL being charged for mins above top tier when we had almost 600 anytime mins in our plan that weren’t used that month) – all this does not add up to any kind of customer satisfaction or customer retention. Since three of the four phones on our plan are not new phones I am going to start shopping today for new phones and plans with a new carrier for these phones and as soon as I find them will be canceling our Sprint account.

So you can keep the 100 courtesy minutes – maybe you can use them for yourself! But I am insisting that you at least correct my most recent invoice to reflect ALL the errors you’ve made on my behalf. And if you have any interest in keeping this account and retaining us as customers after all these years, try making a realistic apology in the form of – let’s say two months of free service for the account.

And if we are going to get into ‘penalty’ fees when I do cancel, then I am going to have to insist upon hearing the recording that Sprint made on Nov 15th when changes to the account were put in place. But I don’t think that will be necessary, do you?

Jan 29 email from me to Sprint
And by the way, the changes in chgs for SMS messages from $5 to $15 and Vision Pack from $7.50 to $15 are NOT on my Dec 15th inv, so please tell me how you could make the following statement in your last email to me:

“The old Vision Pack and the Unlimited SMS Text Messaging option were removed when the plan for the main line was changed in Nov 15, 2006. This is because these options that were offered at a subsidized rate were compatible with the old plans and cannot be continued with the new plans.”

I am very upset and unhappy with Sprint PCS.

Jan 30 email from Sprint:
Thank you for writing back to us. In order to best address your concerns, I have arranged a call back for you. A Customer Care agent will be contacting you within 48 business hrs to respond to your concern.Thank you for contacting us. Have a great day.
Abebi R. Business E-Care
Sprint together with Nextel “Where our customers come first!”

Jan 31 email from Sprint Customer Solutions to me
Greetings!
This is the follow-up to our conversation dated 01/31/2007 regarding your the vision pack and unlimited sms option.

I have reviewed your account and found that the Vision Pack $15 and the Unlimited SMS pack $15 will get expired dated 02/14/2007 and the Vision Pack $7.50 and the Unlimited SMS pack $8 will be added on your account dated 02/15/2007.

I would like to thank you for taking the time to speak with me about your concerns. It was a pleasure talking to you. I am glad I was able to assist you.

If you think that you have resolved the issues satisfactorily, please fill the customer satisfaction survey form to rate my performance over this call on the scale of 1 to 5, where 5 being the highest. If you have already filled this form, please use the same link again to rate my performance or you may reply this mail with your feedback. This will really provide me a valuable feedback

Thank you for choosing Sprint. Have a nice day.
Sharon M. E-Care
Sprint together with Nextel “Where our customers come first!”

Jan 31 email to Sharon M. E-Care Sprint
Huh? What? I think we definitely misunderstood each other. This is not a satisfactory solution for me. I was paying $5 for unlimited SMS so $8 is not BETTER – it is $3 more a month, plus the incorrect chgs for SMS on my current Jan 15th inv of $15 and $5.81, and the Vision Pack chgs of $15 and $5.81!!!!!!!!!

I am so sorry to say that I was not able to understand you very well when you told me how much my SMS and Vision Pack plans would cost on a going-forward basis. I completely misunderstood you.

On Jan 26th, Christie from Retention Dept offered me unlimited SMS for $8/month and a Vision Pack for $5/month (to make up for the increase in the unlimited SMS plan). So your proposed solution is inferior to Christie’s from Retention. I would like to speak to someone from Sprint who is serious about helping me resolve these issues.

Feb 1 Sprint Customer Solutions to me
My name is Opal and I am a representative of Sprint Together with Nextel.

I have reviewed your account today, as well as the emails to and from you and our representatives. I apologize for the inconveniences you have experienced.

Unfortunately, as our systems are set up, once a plan or feature is changed on your account from a old plan that is no longer offered we are unable to change your service back to the previous plan. Though we will do our best to match your previous plan or feature in price and service.

Looking back on the issues you have had, I do see that we have rectified overage charges and have put our efforts into finding the best solution for you, because as I mentioned, we cannot change plans back once they are switched from unavailable plans.

I do see that you have received credits on your acct this month to accommodate for the extra charges caused by incorrect plans on your account. As well, the offer made to you concerning text messaging and Vision services only charges you an extra $0.50 difference from what you previously had.

Previously, you had:
SMS Unlimited: $5
Sprint PCS Vision: $7.50

New features to be activated on 02/15/2007:
SMS Unlimited: $8
Sprint PCS Vision: $5

Christie added this service on for you, it is only waiting for the previous plans to expire. As I mentioned, you have received credits to compensate for this difference in price.

I hope this information clarifies your account status for you.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reply to this email and I will be more than happy to assist you. If your reply comes in on a day I am not available, another representative will be more than willing to assist you further.

Thank you for being a part of Sprint Together with Nextel. Have a great day!
Opal S. E-Care
Sprint Together with Nextel “We are always here to help”

Feb 1 email to Sprint from me:
Dear Opal,
I’m shopping for a family plan from another carrier. So we should be discussing how I terminate 3 of the 4 lines (one line is stuck with Sprint PCS because it’s a new Treo. The other three lines involve older phones so there is no great loss).

Why are you ignoring the most recent correspondence I’ve had from Sprint -
Sharon M.’s email to me yesterday saying:

” I have reviewed your account and found that the Vision Pack $15.00 and the Unlimited SMS pack $15.00 will get expired dated 02/14/2007 and the Vision Pack $7.50 and the Unlimited SMS pack $8.00 will be added on your account dated 02/15/200.”

$7.50 and $8 – that’s $5.50 a month more, so I wrote back to Sharon M.saying:
“Huh? What? I think we definitely misunderstood each other. This is not a satisfactory solution for me. I was paying $5 for unlimited SMS so $8.00 is not BETTER – it is $3.00 more a month, plus the incorrect charges for SMS on my current Jan 15th invoice of $15 and $5.81 and the Vision Pack charges of $15 and $5.81!!!!!!!!!”

No one is addressing the incorrect charges on my current inv for the SMS messaging and Vision Pack. The credit that has been issued on my Jan 15th inv was for incorrect chgs for mins used above top tier when we still had a lot of unused anytime mins .

In order to clear this whole thing up and keep me a Sprint customer with a 4-line family plan, someone has to REALLY look at the acct and SEE that Sprint has made MANY incorrect overchgs, that I have spent A LOT of TIME trying to clear this up, that each time I deal with someone from Sprint it’s a DIFFERENT person who ignores ALL the overchgs on the acct and the fact that I have spent so much of my own TIME on this.

I’m insulted by the 100 free mins offered to me when we have LOTS of anytime mins available to us already this month. If Sprint can’t be bothered trying to keep me as a customer by clearing up this mess, I am going to take my 3 lines some place else.

Let me tell you what is needed: A credit on my current outstanding inv for the incorrect chgs on 1**-***-**** (Vision Pack and SMS) and a REALISTIC acknowledgement on Sprint PCS’s part for the time I’ve spent trying to get my acct properly coded into your system. I’ve spent at least 3 hours of my valuable time. I’m talking about changes made to my plan without my knowledge or consent and overcharges on my current inv.

Please.

Feb 1 Sprint Customer Solutions to me
Thank you for your reply.

I have not ignored the previous correspondence, though I do apologize that I did not mention that Sharon had been incorrect. You were not going to be chgd $7.50 and $8 for the Unlmtd SMS and Vision Pack. As I mentioned, once the Vision Pack for $15 and the Unlmtd SMS pack for $15 were to be expired, you were to receive Unlmtd SMS for $8, and the Vision pack for $5. Therefore, it would only be a difference of $0.50 from what you previously had.

As a courtesy to you I have changed the dates so your new plans will begin as of today instead of 02/15/2007. I have also credited $50 to cover both the $20.81 charge on your January bill for the Vision Pack for $15.00 and the Unlimited SMS pack for $15.00, as you did receive one month free of the Vision service. This $50 also covers the estimated charges for starting the discounted Vision pack and Unlimited SMS. Therefore, concerning these charges, no further credit is due.

Changes and Credits:
******************

Removed Unlmtd SMS for $15 and Vision pack for $15 – Effective 02/01/2007
Added Unlmtd SMS for $8 and Vision pack for $5 – Effective 02/01/2007
Credited $50
– $20.81 for January Vision and SMS charges
– $29.19 for approximate charges for new Vision $5, and new SMS $8.

I do hope you find this resolution satisfactory.

However, if you still wish to cancel your lines, I will be happy to forward your request to our Account Services Department for you.

I will advise you that your 1*** line is under contract until 01/26/2009, and if cancelled before that date, will incur an Early Termination Fee of $200.00. Your 2*** line is under contract until 04/27/2008, and if cancelled before that date, will incur a $150.00 Early Termination Fee.

Once again, I apologize for the trouble you have experienced, and I do hope you will reconsider Sprint as your service provider. We are always working to correct any issues that occur, and do highly value our customers.

If there is any other questions or concerns you may have, please do not hesitate to reply to this email and I will be more than happy to assist you further. If your email is received on a day I am not available another representative will be more than happy to assist you.

Thank you for being a part of Sprint Together with Nextel. Have a great day!

Opal S. E-Care
Sprint Together with Nextel
“We are always here to help”

Feb 2 From me to Sprint PCS
More ‘incorrect’ info from Sprint. It never seems to end. so that is why I have questions about the following paragraph from your email:

“I will advise you that your 2*** line is under contract until 01/26/2009, and if cancelled before that date, will incur an Early Termination Fee of $200.00. Your 3*** line is under contract until 06/24/2008, Your 1*** line is under contract until 4/27/08, and if cancelled before that date, will incur a $150 Early Termination Fee.”

1. 2*** is locked in a contract til 1/26/09? Why would that be? What occurred a week ago to cause that? Or is 2*** under a 3 or 4 or 5 year contract?

2. Where can I find this information regarding the dates of our contracts. It used to be online for each line, but it’s not anymore. Nor is it on our invoice. Curiously annoying.

Feb 4 email from Sprint Customer Solutions
Dear Carolyn,
We appreciate you for writing back to us and I would be glad to assist you further.
As of January 26, 2007 a 10% credit against the monthly service charge was offered to you with a new two-year agreement. After you accepted this offer, the agreement was renewed on the account.

Further, currently the agreement satisfaction date is not reflecting on the online account. Our Web site development team is working again to get this information updated on the online account.

Agreement does not get updated automatically without your consent. However, when any changes are made to the acct or any offer accepted, depending on it, agreement is renewed.
Thank you for contacting us. Have a great day.
Alendra S. Business E-Care
Sprint together with Nextel “Where our customers come first!”

Feb 4 from me to Sprint:
No, I did not consent or accept a new two year agreement. This is really the last straw.
The 10% credit against the monthly service chg was offered by Christie in Retention to replace a credit we’ve been receiving (qualifying employer credit) that became void when Sprint corrected ITS BILLING MISTAKES. I did not agree or consent to a new 2 yr contract on any of the 4 lines on this acct. I want this CORRECTED immediately or I am going to file a complaint with the FCC. And I would like an explanation regarding the contract agreement dates for ***-***-****.

Feb 4 Sprint Customer Solutions to me
On the PCS Phone Number ***-***-****, agreement was added as of April 27, 2006 while adding the Total Equipment Protection program.

To dispute the agreements, we request you to contact us by dialing *2TALK from your PCS Phone. From eCare, it is not possible to make any changes to the current agreement. Have a nice day!
Alendra S. Business E-Care
Sprint together with Nextel “Where our customers come first!”

Feb 5 I called Sprint PCS CS and the rep I spoke to, Paulina, who was articulate, informed and seemed motivated to resolve all issues w/this acc’t. She confirmed that 3**-***-**** was out of contract, and that ***-***-****’s contract was due to expire on March 12, 2007. She also told me that a contract can only be changed with customer’s knowledge and consent if there is a phone upgrade or a change in plan minutes. She offered to go over the acc’t, review all the notes, emails, etc. and call me back same time next day.

Feb 6 Sprint PCS CS rep, Paulina, called me:
After reviewing our acc’t she said Sprint wanted to keep our business and was willing to make us a great offer if we would re-up contracts on all four lines for two more years:
15% disc on each line on top of the 10% employer disc the acc’t already receives
Remove $5/mo chg for 7 pm start (as opposed to 9pm) of evening/weekend mins
On line 1**-***-**** free 500 SMS messages (currently paying $8)
On line 4**-***-**** free unltd SMS messages (currently paying $10/mo for 1,000)
On line 3**-***-**** free 500 SMS messages (currently $5/mo for 300)
On line 2**-***-**** free unltd SMS messages (currently $8) and free Vision Pack

I asked for the offer in writing and she told me CS Reps aren’t set up to do that, but not to worry because it was all going to be written in our acct’s records. I told her it didn’t really mean much to me if I didn’t have it in writing. She gave me her name again (just her first name) and her log in ID: PAK1638 and told me if I ever had an issue with this acc’t or with her offer, I could call Sprint PCS customer service and they would contact her and have her call me. She told me to think it over and discuss it with three other family members on the plan. We set a time to talk again Friday, Feb 9, 2007, at 8 am.

Feb 14 Paulina never called back.
Today we received in US Mail Confirmation of your recent account changes with new contract start/end dates for 2**-***-**** (the line that is actually out of contract):
Start date 1/26/07 End date 1/26/09
None of the changes that Paulina and I talked about was reflected on this Confirmation of account changes. I called Sprint Executive Offices 877-875-7505 and the switchboard person told me she wouldn’t know how to find Paulina even with her log in ID since they have so many call centers. Then she asked me to hold and while she found someone who could help me. The rep who came on the line told me that it was noted in our acc’t records that our contract end dates on the two lines in question, 1**-***-**** and 2**-***-**** were changed from 1/26/09 to 4/27/08. I asked her what caused the contract date to revert to 4/27/08. She asked me to hold on and we were disconnected.
Feb 16 I called Sprint PCS and Gloria said that it is noted in our acc’t records that the contract end date for 1**-***-**** was changed from 1/26/09 to 4/27/08 the same date that 2**-***-****’s contract will expire. She couldn’t figure out why contracts were renewed for these two lines on 4/27/06. I asked for proof and she said she wasn’t set up to do that and suggested I write a letter to Sprint PCS.

Despite the CSRs’ taglines, it doesn’t sound like Sprint’s customers come first. It sounds like two-year contracts come first. We wonder what that letter will look like. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER
(Photo: cmorran123)

Comments

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  1. scoobydoo says:

    I would have given up after the second email. I’d call them, give them one chance to fix it or I’d be gone. There is no way an operator should screw around with a customer this badly. This is worthy of a letter to the FCC.

  2. TechnoDestructo says:

    This is worthy of a letter bomb to their billing department. Enough people lose fingers and soon they won’t be able to afford people to collect on their bullshit contracts.

  3. Ticonderoga says:

    I had the same problem with Sprint. I went to Small Claims Court. Their lawyers called immediately to settle at the terms I demanded. They also insisted that I do not again sign up for Sprint. Then, they invited me to switch to Sprint a few days later.

    My advice: you must try to resolve the problem before going to Small Claims Court. Make sure you get the person’s name and ID BEFORE you talk with them.

  4. Bourque77 says:

    Sprint is changing your plans stop dealing with regular csrs and deal with the fcc. Sprint obviously isnt going to help.

  5. mom22bless says:

    oh
    my
    god


    thats a bunch of bullshit!!!!

  6. kalikidtx says:

    Goto the better business bureau and file a complaint. they have a great complaint system for cell phone company issues. i had a very similiar issue a few years ago, and after contacting the bbb, someone from sprint’s office of the president called me back, listened to everything, and granted all requests i had asked (after verifying the facts as well of course). very efficient, fair, and had the power to make instant changes….good luck, i feel for you, this is agonizing i know…

  7. loveshinesthru says:

    csrs are allowed to give out their email addresses tho. one nice rep gave me hers so that i could follow up.

  8. djwoodyphl says:

    funny how familiar this all sounds … right before I managed to get Executive Customer Relations involved.

  9. gp5548 says:

    This seems to be a common practice with Verizon too. My 2yr contract finally expired and I was on a month to month while I was figuring out what carrier to switch to. I went to the Verizon store just to look at phones, not to do anything else. Of course they ask if they can help, I said my contract has expired and I knew that I had a phone credit due and just wanted to look at phones. They asked for my number, and told me that I could get a $100 credit toward a new phone, I said I was just looking, thanks. I bought nothing and left. A week later I get statement thanking me for signing up for the promotional discount on long distance calls, and by the way my contract was renewed for 2 more years. I went ballistic, called and asked what was going on, the CS rep said all she could find was that the promo was applied, no names, nothing about my requesting it, nothing. She admitted that whenever your account is accessed (store manager asked my number to check my account) they sometimes automatically apply promotional offers without getting consent. She said she’d have to get her managers approval but that by Monday (Feb. 26) they would have it corrected. This has happened before but at the time I didn’t mind, but I’ve known for a while that everytime you have them access your account to do anything, your 2yr contract is adjusted pushing it out that much more…….. They’re sneaky bastards

  10. VA_White says:

    I also have Sprint and I wanted to add a line to our family plan for my son. When I called just last week, the CSR was VERY clear that if I added a line, the old Fair and Flexible Plan we are on was no longer offered and she would be unable to add the line unless we signed up for a new two-year contract under a plan that was CURRENTLY being offered.

    All the plans currently being offered suck donkey balls compared to our fair and flexible plan so I told her to stuff it, in the nicest way possible, and signed my son up for a pay-as-you-go phone with a different carrier.

    I am giving up my Fair and Flexible when they pry it out of my cold, dead fingers. So to speak.

    It is entirely possible that her first CSR was not clear about the old plan going away/new plan currently offered thing but if she used the language she used with me, you’d have to be drunk not to understand you were getting a brand new plan that probably sucked donkey balls compared to your old one. I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she had a sucky CSR.

  11. czechm8 says:

    FCC? I think kalikidTX has the right idea and she should contact the Better Business Bureau. That isn’t the end all, but should make a blip on their RADAR.

  12. Namrepus says:

    I didn’t think it was possible for your own phone company to “slam” you…guess this proved me wrong.

  13. Uriel says:

    well, im sure the letter will simply read something along the lines of

    “Welcome to The Sprintrix, everything you know and love is our reality. We reserve the right to convert, renew, terminate, elongate, change, sell, distort and sub-contract your account and or contract information at anytime, in anyplace, at any opportunity, in any instance, and during any crisis we so choose, and hereby see fit.
    should you have any questions and or helpful comments or feedback, you have three choices:

    1. Take the red pill and receive the wondrous feeling of a swift kick in your testicles and or anus, as we are an equal opportunity company for both men and women, from our “often” friendly and helpful customer service center. Trust us, their concern is your problem.

    2. Take the blue pill…and nothing happens…nothing changes…and your journey ends here…(we assume you have no qualms and are content with the Sprintrix). We come into your home one night(probably drunk), and wreck up the place.

    3. Our third option is by far our most popular amongst customer satisfaction, and the home company. The Blue and Yellow pill http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.spacedem
    Our hopes are to resolve any and all disputes, and conflicts of interest. If The Sprintrix simply cannot facilitate your needs, the blue and yellow pill helps to remove you from this and every other reality, and petition the only being more powerful than The Sprintrix, God! You heard correctly! God! Go complain to him! He’s got Jesus and everything!

    The Sprintrix
    Powerful Network
    Angels and Unicorns”

  14. royal72 says:

    i’m waiting for the headlines when people have just had enough and start shooting up the corporate offices of these greedy fuckers.

  15. sprint-slams-their-customers says:

    The FCC is a federal agency involved in communications. They are not going concern themselves with contracts.

    For contract issues, you’ll need to file something with your state’s attorney general (weak and useless in my state) and BBB (I haven’t found great experience with them)

    If Sprint has a customer agreement similar to Verizon’s, they may have a provision for arbitration or mediation. Both of these programs cost them time and money (usually involving members of their executive office and some lawyers or paralegals)

    This level of involvement is going cost them time and money. Find out if you can request mediation – send the request certified mail so they can’t ignore it.

    Record any phone conversations and use email as much as possible to document. If an agreement is made, do not sign off on anything that restricts your ability to disclose your settlement with the press, blogs (consumerist) etc. – not unless they want to compensate you $2000+ for all of your time they have wasted.

    All those emails show they are playing ‘ignorant’ just to frustrate and stonewall you. A fair percentage of the people they victimize like this will throw up their arms and give up. Keep fighting the good fight and let us know how it turns out.

  16. Stepehn Colbert says:

    “Welcome to The Sprintrix, everything you know and love is our reality. We reserve the right to convert, renew, terminate, elongate, change, sell, distort and sub-contract your account and or contract information at anytime, in anyplace, at any opportunity, in any instance, and during any crisis we so choose, and hereby see fit.
    should you have any questions and or helpful comments or feedback, you have three choices:

    1. Take the red pill and receive the wondrous feeling of a swift kick in your testicles and or anus, as we are an equal opportunity company for both men and women, from our “often” friendly and helpful customer service center. Trust us, their concern is your problem.

    2. Take the blue pill…and nothing happens…nothing changes…and your journey ends here…(we assume you have no qualms and are content with the Sprintrix). We come into your home one night(probably drunk), and wreck up the place.

    3. Our third option is by far our most popular amongst customer satisfaction, and the home company. The Blue and Yellow pill http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.spacedem
    Our hopes are to resolve any and all disputes, and conflicts of interest. If The Sprintrix simply cannot facilitate your needs, the blue and yellow pill helps to remove you from this and every other reality, and petition the only being more powerful than The Sprintrix, God! You heard correctly! God! Go complain to him! He’s got Jesus and everything!

    The Sprintrix
    Powerful Network
    Angels and Unicorns

  17. sprint-slams-their-customers says:

    Here’s an important section of your Sprint customer contract (see below). Read carefully and you’ll see that submitting an arbitration request for compensation less than $1000 will cost you at most $25. The rest will be bourne by them – which will get expensive really quick. Submit a request for arbitration and they’ll stop stonewalling very quickly – when you start costing them time/labor/fees – you’ll get their full attention.

    DISPUTE RESOLUTION

    We Agree To First Contact Each Other With Any Disputes
    We each agree to first contact each other with any disputes and provide a written description of the problem, all relevant documents/information and the proposed resolution. You agree to contact us with disputes by calling or writing us as instructed on your invoice. We will contact you by letter to your billing address or on your Device.

    Instead Of Suing In Court, We Each Agree To Arbitrate Disputes
    We each agree to finally settle all disputes (as defined and subject to any specific exceptions below) only by arbitration. In arbitration, there’s no judge or jury and review is limited. However, just as a court would, the arbitrator must honor the terms and limitations in the Agreement and can award the same damages and relief, including any attorney’s fees authorized by law. The arbitrator’s decision and award is final and binding, with some exceptions under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), and judgment on the award may be entered in any court with jurisdiction. We each also agree as follows:

    (1) “Disputes” are any claims or controversies against each other related in any way to our Services or the Agreement including, but not limited to, coverage, Devices, privacy, or advertising, even if it arises after Services have terminated – this includes claims you bring against our employees, agents, affiliates or other representatives, or that we bring against you.

    (2) If either of us wants to arbitrate a dispute, we agree to send written notice to the other providing a description of the dispute, previous efforts to resolve the dispute, all supporting documents/information, and the proposed resolution. Notice to you will be sent to your billing address and notice to us will be sent to: General Counsel; Arbitration Office; 2001 Edmund Halley Drive VARESP0513-502; Reston, Virginia 20191. We agree to make attempts to resolve the dispute. If we cannot resolve the dispute within forty-five (45) days of receipt of the notice to arbitrate, then we may submit the dispute to formal arbitration.

    (3) The FAA applies to this Agreement and arbitration provision. We each agree the FAA’s provisions, not state law, govern all questions of whether a dispute is subject to arbitration.

    (4) The arbitration will be administered by the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (“CPR”) under its arbitration rules. If any of the CPR’s rules conflict with the terms of the Agreement, the terms of the Agreement apply. You can obtain procedures, rules, and fee information from the CPR at 1-212-949-6490 or http://www.cpradr.org.

    (5) Unless we each agree otherwise, the Arbitration will be conducted by a single neutral arbitrator and will take place in the county of your last billing address. The federal or state law that applies to the Agreement will also apply during the arbitration.

    (6) We each agree not to pursue arbitration on a classwide basis. We each agree that any arbitration will be solely between you and us (not brought on behalf of or together with another individual’s claim). If for any reason this restriction is found unenforceable, then our agreement to arbitrate doesn’t apply.

    (7) We each are responsible for our respective costs relating to counsel, experts, and witnesses, as well as any other costs relating to the arbitration. However, we will cover any arbitration administrative or filing fees above: (a) $25 if you are seeking less than $1,000 from us; or (b) the equivalent court filing fees for a court action in the appropriate jurisdiction if you are seeking $1,000 or more from us.

    Exceptions To Our Agreement To Arbitrate Disputes
    Either of us may bring qualifying claims in small claims court. In addition, this arbitration provision does not prevent you from filing your dispute with any federal, state or local government agency that can, if the law allows, seek relief against us on your behalf.

  18. Stepehn Colbert says:

    I have strong beliefs that this is what that letter will look like.

  19. TechnoDestructo says:

    @czechm8:

    The Better Business Bureau can’t do anything. They are not a government agency and have no authority over anyone. All they can do is tell people whether there are prior complaints against a business.

    Cell phone company? Complaints? THE HELL YOU SAY!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Better_Business_Bureau

    The Federal Trade Commission is probably closest to what you’re thinking of.

  20. supedve says:

    The first nominee for Consumer of the Year, Carolyn. Fight On!

    I recently had to change my service w/ Sprint and can’t wait to see what happens. I had picture mail for $5 a mo. and when I tried to use the picture mail, I was charged web minutes to access the site to email the picture. So what did I get for the $5 picture mail I was paying for?
    I ended up having an extra $15 web usage charge to send 2 pictures. I immediately canceled the Picture Mail/Vision package on my phone. It’s no biggie to just download the pics from my phone and then email them from an old computer.

  21. hop says:

    why do people put up with this crap?????????

  22. acepfool says:

    Me? I have been getting even with Sprint for months. It is legal. I saw this post in a news group months ago. Have been using this trick for maybe 10 months now. I have now unlimited service in and out on the lowest plan they have.

    ++++++Here is the old post=======
    You can get UNLIMITED Sprint in and out minutes by doing the following:

    Step 1 Go to http://www.voicestick.com and sign up for the USA/Canada plan @
    $19.99 or the UNLIMITED Min. GLOBAL plan @ $24.99 or the per min plan @
    2 cents

    Step #2 Sign up for the cheapest Sprint phone program, which is the Fair
    and Flexible at $29.99, then add the new Sprint to Home program for $5.00
    a month.

    Step #3 When you tell the Sprint agent your “HOME” number give them your
    new Voicestick home number
    (Here is the trick. With Sprint to Home all calls to or from this “Home”
    number are not
    chargeable and they are unlimited!)

    Step #4 In your account set up at voicestick.com go to the bridge set up
    and put in your cell number and then go to call forwarding and set up
    your cell phone number there too.

    Voicestick.com is the ONLY Cellular capable voip company that has a built
    in bridge, that I have found.What the bridge does is allow you to get a
    new dial tone to call out on UNLIMITED VOIP (or a pay as you go plan for
    2 cents a min.) When I call my new “home” Voicestick number the VOIP
    company sees my caller ID and gives me a dial out tone. I then dial like
    normal. (You can even program voice stick into the address book of the
    phone)My person I call sees the voip number on their caller id and when
    they call back to my new “home” number it forwards to my cell.

    So both out going and incoming calls are now free of Sprint charges.

    Options: I also bought for $30 the MG3 line adapter so I also get a
    second line at my home that the kids now use.
    I also downloaded the free Soft Phone so I use that too when I can’t find
    a good cell signal but I find a network or wireless connection (I am now
    covered just about anywhere)

    To sum it all up! For my $35 basic Sprint plan and the $20 for voip, I
    have unlimited cell and a unlimited home phone.


    http://www1.sprintpcs.com/explore/ueContent.jsp?scTopic=sp

  23. ord2fra says:

    Would a state’s Attorney General be interested in this? Someone mentioned the FCC, FTC, BBB, how about AG?

    I would mention to the next CSR that you’ll be settling this in small claims court if they are unable to do what is needed.

    Consumerist, how about a customer service flowchart? All the CSR’s have one, why couldn’t we? Make it a wiki and everyone can contribute!

  24. scoobydoo says:

    @czechm8:

    No, you really do need the FCC here. The BBB is nice, but won’t scare Sprint much.

    Here is a nice page on how to complain to the FCC:

    http://www.consumersunion.org/campaigns//learn_more/001038

  25. humphrmi says:

    Think of the BBB as a sort of ombudsman, or maybe a watered down consumer blogger. When you make a complaint, the target company is given a certain amount of time to respond to the complaint. If they don’t, the complaint gets published (although not all the details, just an overview) and the target company takes a hit with the BBB’s rating system.

    The BBB’s rating system is based on how many complaints a company has, and how many they *respond* to. The BBB is not terribly interested in resolving your specific complaint. They are only interested in reporting unresolved complaints. They don’t (much) evaluate either the merit of the complaint or the merit of the response. It’s all about complaint / response metrics.

    So it actually hits a small company harder, because one or two complaints and maybe one left unresolved can substantially hurt a company, whereas a big huge company like Sprint probably gets a lot of complaints and only a relatively small percentage get left unresolved.

    Oh and there are ways for them to work the system too. Like I said, the BBB doesn’t (much) evaluate the response, just that the company made one. So if their response says “Customer has been contacted and will be refunded within 90 days” that is a resolution, even if you think you should get a refund sooner and an apology and a free phone and… and… you get the idea.

  26. edwardoneill says:

    Sprint renewed my contract in the spring of 2006 without asking.

    When I called to cancel my service, they tried to charge me an early termination penalty. They actually lied through their teeth and said I had called and renewed. They even provided a phony date.

    At first they claimed the early termination fee could not be waived, but after I started screaming bloody murder about reporting them to the DOJ for fraud, they agreed to remove it and ‘let’ me cancel a contract–which I never entered into.

    It took another set of bills and two more phone calls to get them to live up to their word.

    Before that I never had an error on my Sprint bill. But customer service was impossible to get. I felt I couldn’t resist Cingular’s ‘rollover minutes,’ even though I pay ridiculously more now.

    Now it’s a grudge match. I wouldn’t go back to Sprint for ready money.

    –E. R. O’Neill

  27. Bourque77 says:

    The bbb is paid in large part by large companies, guess who they like to side with? Get the fcc involved or possibly the state ag as someone mentioned. If you try to reasonably solve a problem with a company and they wont help then you have to go over their head.

  28. billhelm says:

    this sums up just about everything wrong with the business practicies of mobile operaters like sprint. Having been a customer of Sprint since the early days of their service when everything was pretty much cut and dry, I find the current array of billing options to be quite daunting. To top it off, the automatic requirement of contract renewal when certain events happen can be sort of maddening.

    If it weren’t for the volume discount I recieve thorugh my employer I probably would have left sprint a while ago.

  29. Stepehn Colbert says:

    sounds like they want Carolyn to try the blue and yellow pill. What a bunch of charlatans.

  30. MoCo says:

    I’ve been a Sprint customer for about 8 years, and it just keeps getting worse and worse. However, the very large discount that I get through my employer makes it worth it. If they ever cut the discount, then I’m off to another carrier.

  31. maddypilar says:

    Sprint recently added an International Calling plan to my bill without my consent. It only took one phone call to fix it but I am keeping my eye on my bill from now on.

  32. Legodude522 says:

    Sounds a lot like Apple.

  33. marez71 says:

    i have a similar situation going on, actually my wife’s contract has been “automatically renewed”, i’m fighting this people for 4 months now, could someone give me the fcc phone#? the better business bureau? or who best may concern?

  34. sprint_rips_off_customers says:

    I just got off the phone with sprint and they are telling me that I don’t have free roaming on my plan even though that’s what I signed up for and have been credited for all roaming charges. After the first roaming charge, I called and they told me that they fixed it. I then looked online and sure enough it said that roaming was included in my plan. Now that they are telling me I have to pay for roaming I went back to the website and that information has been erased. How the hell can they erase information from my account without informing me about it first? I’m going to use all the information and advice given on this site and report them to both the FCC and BBB and if my problem is not resolved I will file a claim against them. My advice to you: don’t sign up for sprint. Not only has their service declined but now they look for ways to rip off honest customers.