Minnesota Sues Sprint, Customers Would Like To "Give Their CEO A Big Kick Right In The Patootie"

Hey, Gary Forsee!

Your patootie is not safe in Minnesota!

They want to kick it, according to Kare11:

“I’m livid on the way they’ve handled this,” says Dave Peterson, one of several Sprint Nextel customers who addressed reporters Thursday at a capitol news conference. “I’d like to give their CEO a big kick right in the patootie.”

What’s going on in Minnesota? Well, their attorney general has had it with Sprint’s habit of extending the contracts of hapless consumers without their knowledge or consent.

“When you receive complaints across the board, from firefighters to lawyers, from retirees to construction workers, all of whom feel they were unfairly manipulated by their cell phone company, you have a problem,” Swanson said.

The AG’s decision was prompted in part by the fact that the BBB says it has received over 30,000 complaints against Sprint Nextel in the 36 months leading up to this July.

“In a normal transaction, you have two parties coming together and making an agreement about a purchase. For these consumers, there was no real meeting of the minds. Rather, the company has tricked consumers into unknowingly extending their contract simply because they made a basic change to their plan,” Swanson said.

The state is alleging that Sprint “violated Minnesota’s Consumer Fraud Act and Deceptive Trade Practices Act” and “seeks to enjoin the company from further violations of the Acts. The suit also seeks civil penalties and restitution for Minnesota consumers injured by the company’s practices.”

Oh no, Sprint. Minnesota is on to your wicked ways and they are having none of it.

Attorney General Swanson Files Lawsuit Against Sprint Nextel [Minnesota AG]
Attorney General sues Sprint Nextel over consumer complaints [KARE11] (Thanks, David!)

Comments

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  1. Alvis says:

    Ah, capitalism. Where selling the best service at the cheapest price is no longer enough, and companies must resort to ensaring customers in long-term contracts to make a buck. Well, at least a big enough buck for the execs to sleep on large enough piles of money.

  2. iMike says:

    Milfy AG.

  3. ViperBorg says:

    I hate Sprint Nextel. I had Nextel before Sprint fucked it up, and it was great. Then here comes Sprint with their money, and boom! Nextel all of a sudden sucks ass. Fuck Sprint Nextel, I hope they die!

  4. dedi says:

    I had sprint when I lived in Mississippi. It was recommended to me (by a sales rep) that I not get their service because there was no service where my house was. My husband’s phone worked fine out there with Sprint so I signed up anyway. When I moved back to Kansas City (location of their headquarters) I had to cancel my service b/c I couldn’t get a signal. When I called to cancel they went through the usual loops of sending me to different supervisors to try to get me to stay. This one lady tried to talk me into keeping the service for “emergency purposes” I said “Why would I keep this service for EMERGENCY purposes when every time I drive by your headquarters I lose my signal and can’t make another call until I’m about 3 miles past your building” she said “good point” and canceled my service!

    Pretty sad when people who work at the Sprint World Headquarters can’t even get a signal on their campus!

  5. Dervish says:

    @iMike: Ugh, not so much in real life.

    I love this state and I really hope something useful comes from this. I’ve never had problems with Sprint extending my contract, but I have dealt with the whole “services I didn’t order mysteriously tacked on to my bill” issue.

  6. dieselbug says:

    Verizon does the auto-renew on two year contracts – the only way out is to cancel in the 30 days before the contract ends. AT&T/Cingular always revert to a month-to-month after the initial contract period.

  7. Jean Naimard says:

    Ahhh, Business. The art of making up some illegal & abusive oxdung and hoping that everyone will believe it…

  8. Finder says:

    I’ve never had Sprint auto-extend my contract. It always goes month to month after any service agreement expires.

  9. renilyn says:

    @dedi: You know, its funny…we lived in Overland Park-all but 3 miles from the Sprint World Headquarters and had the same issue. I called to cancel my plan 2 days before my ‘year’ was up. I wanted them to cancel it the day after the year expired, which they did-then sent me to collections for not paying my “here let me bend you over” early cancellation fee.

  10. SecureLocation says:

    Sprint is a nightmare company to deal with at almost every level. Their actual phone service isn’t bad but god help you if you ever have to deal with their customer service for anything. Plan on spending at least an hour–probably more–on the phone and still not having your issue resolved.

  11. Buran says:

    @Finder: Ditto. I have Cingular/AT&T now but before that I had sprint for quite some time and I was monthly because I hadn’t had a reason to cancel. No issues when I ported my number. (I stayed with them for some time because my previous hearing aid wasn’t GSM compatible – switched when I could. I like being able to choose my own phone, thank you).

  12. othium says:

    @Dervish:

    High res. photo on the site doesn’t look too bad..

  13. dandd says:

    Isn’t it pretty standard with every phone company that if you make changes to your plan then you are essentially entering into a new plan?

  14. fairweather says:

    @SecureLocation: Not to defend Sprint, but I’ve had better luck using emails for customer service, rather than going through their call centers, as one poster suggested long ago.

  15. goodguy812 says:

    i have had a contract expire with sprint and it just went from month to month. no auto renew. but thats in indiana. i’m no sure if laws prevent them from doing so.

  16. Scooter says:

    Sometimes I actually like living in Minnesota. This is one of those days.

  17. RvLeshrac says:

    @dandd:

    Yes, it is. Same with DSL and Cable providers, especially if you get new hardware.

    I agree, though, that Sprint should be clarifying this. I don’t think it amounts to *fraud*, but they at least need a warning.

  18. shad0ws says:

    @dieselbug: Verizon *does* auto-renew? i don’t know what their “official” policy on it is, but that hasn’t been my experience…

    my 2yr contract expired last July, & just this last month (November) i got switched to AT&T. while i hadn’t done anything with my contract — or even talked to them about it — since it “expired”, when i called to cancel my service i had no problems, no termination fees, nor anything else. the only bill i got was for about $3, for the partial-month of service received before i switched. it was all really surprisingly problem free.

    i know that they *do* auto-renew if you take them up on the “New Every 2″ phone policy… but that’s pretty clearly stated in their terms of service.

    & hell, they might even have changed their policies for new customers, so i won’t speak to those… but in my experience, a Verizon contract does in fact revert to month-by-month billing after the 2-year expiration.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Sprint is a nightmare. They kept extending our contracting even if all we did was get a new phone to replace a lost one. When we asked to cancel the contract they said they would charge us $200.00 per line (we have several lines). When we said no cancel us now and we aren’t paying the cancellation fees they finally agreed and have as of today turned off our service BUT says we cannot have our phone numbers back until the end of April when our contract would supposed expire. In other words, just to be pissy about the cancellation, they are holding our phone numbers hostage! I hate Sprint.