Sprint Cancels Army Unit's Cellphones For Roaming Too Much

Sprint canceled the service of 200 Army men and women who had just come back from Iraq. For roaming too much. Because Sprint hadn’t installed a tower close enough to their base. A little ol’ backwoods place called West Point.

Sprint eventually apologized and agreed to reinstate all the accounts of those who called in and identified themselves as members of the armed forces.

Really, though, the Sprint robots were just doing their job:cancel the account, without prejudice, of anything unprofitable that moved.

The flip-side of course being that if you want to cancel Sprint without early termination fee, just figure out a way to make more than 50% of your calls for a few months while roaming. We hear the Army still has a few open slots.

Sprint Giving Military Members the Boot [SprintUsers.com]

(Photo: foundphotoslj)

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. jrlcopy says:

    I don’t think that it is fair that if we cancel for not getting our monies worth that we are charged an ETF, I think that if they cancel for the same reason, they should be charged an ETF.

  2. Havok154 says:

    @jrlcopy:
    Oh how sweet that would be.

  3. 160medic says:

    Thats nice SPRINT treat my brothers and sisters in arms just like Mr. Dean and Mrs Clinton.What a great American company you are. Be very proud you just cost several members of the armed forces to seek service elswhere.Hope it cost you guys a lot of $$$$$$Mr Forsee just added his name to the military shit list.

  4. Hawk07 says:

    If I’m not mistaken, I think I’ve seen Sprint kiosks at Randplph, Ft. Sam and Lackland.

  5. Jiminy Christmas says:

    It’s spelled West Point, not Westpoint.

  6. nequam says:

    I love the photo!

  7. swalve says:

    “Thats nice SPRINT treat my brothers and sisters in arms just like Mr. Dean and Mrs Clinton.What a great American company you are. Be very proud you just cost several members of the armed forces to seek service elswhere.Hope it cost you guys a lot of $$$$$$Mr Forsee just added his name to the military shit list.”


    What?

  8. yg17 says:

    @swalve: Apparentely, it’s Sprint’s job to know who’s in the army and who isn’t.

    BTW, your brothers and sisters aren’t exempt from the contract they signed because they’re in the military. The contract states that if they roam too much, they get booted. I don’t know what the big deal is here, I really don’t. Most people would love a “get out of jail free” card from their cellular provider.

  9. Chaoticfluffy says:

    To be fair, West Point really is kind of in East Bumblefuck. That area of north Jersey is really woods-y/mountain-y and not noted for it’s comprehensive cell service. But really, Sprint, it’s a huge f-ing school where *everyone* is away from home! You couldn’t arrange to get a tower SOMEWHERE?

  10. qitaana says:

    North Jersey? Uhm, check a map… West Point is in New York. And yes, it’s a fairly rural area, but with the number of students there, it certainly makes sense that major cell companies could benefit from having a tower nearby.

  11. Chaoticfluffy says:

    @qitaana: Ergh. You’re totally right, my brain took a vacation tonight. But yeah, it’s definitely stull pretty rural where it actually is, as well as where it is in my twisted, fevered brain.

  12. rolla says:

    @yg17: just looks bad since on the part of sprint since it cancelled military peeps who put their life on the line…thats why its such a big deal

  13. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @swalve: Clearly, the Democratic Party has been cancelling servicemen’s wireless accounts for years, and we just didn’t notice.

  14. I think the robots are conspiring against us. To find out, I asked a real, live robot what it thought about the Sprint situation:

    Ben: SmarterChild, you’re a robot. Do you think that Sprint’s robots should have cancelled the contracts of 200 Army servicemen and women because their phones were roaming?
    SmarterChild: Yes indeed.
    Ben: How come? Isn’t it mean to do that to our servicemen and women?
    SmarterChild: What a question. What do you think is the answer?
    Ben: I don’t know. I’m asking you.
    SmarterChild: Whatever you say, Ben.
    Ben: You’re worse than Sprint’s customer service!
    SmarterChild: Hey, that’s not nice.

    Seriously, though. I think I’ve had actual conversations like that with CSRs before!

  15. not_seth_brundle says:

    @jrlcopy: If the Army men and women had canceled, would they have triggered an ETF? I thought that on most contracts you could cancel without penalty if you move to an area that doesn’t have adequate service.

  16. RandomHookup says:

    Just ignore them. Simply a bunch of ring knockers looking for some extra attention.

  17. Canadian Impostor says:

    @rolla: just looks bad since on the part of sprint since it cancelled military peeps who put their life on the line…thats why its such a big deal

    The important word you omitted was “voluntarily”.

  18. tvh2k says:

    @Chaoticfluffy:
    It’s actually not as far “out there” as you think. About an hour’s drive to the city (no traffic) and only 20 minutes to heavily populated areas of Rockland County. And yes, it’s in New York, near Harriman State Park.

  19. NeoteriX says:

    @160medic:

    Try reading the news, ya tool.

    [www.nytimes.com]

  20. Peeved Guy says:

    @NeoteriX: How about summarizing…? I don’t feel like registering at the that rag.

    The part that got me about this story is that Sprint actually did the right thing, after a phone call. A story would have been if the folks had call and gotten crap about reinstating their service.

    I just read this as: consumer has problem, calls customer service, problem is fixed. What’s the big deal?

  21. LionelEHutz says:

    Why does Sprint hate America?

  22. Amarain824 says:

    In addition to those people, they apparently sent out several thousand letters to cancel service for people who call customer care too much…Too bad i didn’t think of that, I would love out of my sprint cracktract.

    West Point isn’t that far away from civilization, in fact, it’s a small city….

  23. NeoteriX says:

    The article discusses Clinton’s attempt to gain more credibility with military forces. The article does show both sides, but my point is that she’s not as 2-Dimensional and doesn’t deserve to be pigeonholed the way she was.

    Some quotes from the article:

    Essential to Mrs. Clinton’s courtship of the military was winning a seat in 2002 on the Senate Armed Services Committee, which she had vigorously sought. In that role, she regularly meets with military officers, has traveled three times to Iraq and has attended hearings on global conflicts and the needs of the armed services.

    John Batiste, a retired major general and former commander of the First Infantry Division, who also consults with Mrs. Clinton, said, “Very, very few politicians have any military experience, and they’re naïve – they don’t understand what it takes to develop a big picture, unified strategy to take a country to war.

    “She’s the kind of person who would listen to sound military advice,” General Batiste said, “and not dismiss it or discard it. And I’m a lifelong Republican.”

  24. Trai_Dep says:

    @160medic: Wow you’re a kook. Do you even bother to read the papers before flapping your yap? Do you have ANY idea of how many times (and ways) the Bush Administration – and their GOP lackies – have sodomized the men and women serving our country? Walter Reed? VA underfunding? Not paying high enough combat pay? Refusing to be photographed next to an armed service member’s coffin. Flying loop-the-loops over the Gulf of Mexico (at taxpayer’s cost of $millions) thru Daddy’s help while other Americans were being drafted to Vietnam, then deserting?! Oh yeah, and that little thing of lying us into a useless, loser of a war that’s cost >3,500 US lives so far.

    What a nutjob.

    PS: sounds like – based on their initial instinct to sodomize serving US military personnel – Sprint’s a Republican company. Good job!

  25. lincolnparadox says:

    @LionelEHutz: Sprint doesn’t hate America. It loves America: with it’s easily manipulated legislature (both state and federal), it’s skewed judiciary (money makes the court move, individuals don’t have money to waste on court costs, but the corps do) and it’s laissez faire attitude towards big business (subsidize businesses to keep the GNP high, even though the same businesses don’t pay more than 10% in tax and tend to hire non-Americans whenever they can). America is awesome.

    It’s Americans that Sprint hates.

  26. JRuiz47 says:

    @Hawk07:

    I can confirm the last two.

    @160medic:

    Three comments in? You can troll better than that.

  27. banned says:

    I don’t see why we should care, if they’ll cut me off for roaming, then soldiers should get cut off for the same. They deserve no special treatment over cellular service. What have they done for me!? Fought an illegal war! Sure they do what their told, but doesn’t mean Sprint needs to treat them differently.

  28. DXDawg says:

    @ Rocnrule:

    Wow, how worthless are you?

  29. banned says:

    @DXDawg:
    Only as worthless as them, no more, no less. Excuse me for believing we should ALL be treated EQUAL!

  30. amypop says:

    @CHAOTICFLUFFY, QITAANA:
    I live 20 min from West Point and Sprint is notoriously bad up here. Years ago when I first got a cellphone, the Radio Shack guys (who had a deal w/Sprint) told me not to bother — that they didn’t have enough towers and the coverage was bad. I have friends with Sprint and it doesn’t seemed to have changed much.

    As for the “rural” comment — I wish! Come up and drive around here, get stuck in traffic with lights every 50 feet and tell me again how rural it is.

  31. adamondi says:

    The flip-side of course being that if you want to cancel Sprint without early termination fee, just figure out a way to make more than 50% of your calls for a few months while roaming.

    I don’t know about other people’s Sprint phones, but mine has a nifty little option that lets you put it into Roaming Only mode, so that it will only make digital roaming calls when the Sprint tower is too far away for dependable service, but close enough to get a teeny bit of reception intermittently.

    If I wanted out of my (roaming-included) contract quickly, all I would have to do is put the phone into Roaming Only mode for, say, a month or two, which would make ALL of my calls roaming calls. I am sure that other Sprint phones have a similar setting somewhere deep within the settings menus.

  32. DXDawg says:

    @rocnrule:

    I actually agree that they should be treated as every other person with regard to their contracts, and quite honestly, I don’t see the problem OR the story here. It’s your “What have they done for me?” comment that pisses me off.

  33. banned says:

    @DXDawg:
    Sorry, I live in Canada and that is where the comment comes from. It’s your world presence that downgrades the world’s opinion of us. Just as I am sure you could care less about the Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanastan by American bullets over and over again. Maybe if they weren’t so stupid and quick to pull the trigger on us, I would give them more respect.

  34. DXDawg says:

    @rocnrule:

    Ironically, I was born in Mississauga, Ontario but now live in Georgia in the US. I’m not saying I agree or disagree with the stance on the curent war, but the soliders themselves are generally good people offering their lives to protect ours. Whether or not the cause is just isn’t their call. Just the fact that they have offered to stand in front of a bullet to protect the rest of us is enough to earn my respect and gratitude.

  35. Sieu_De_Chu says:

    Does Sprint’s fine print specify what they mean by too much roaming? Frequency? I don’t have Sprint, but I bet as with any business, their legalese small words will almost always work in their favor.