Sprint Twiddles Thumbs While 12-Year Customers Get Scammed For $2,500

Someone hacked this couple’s Sprint account, and bought four new phones on it, leaving these 12-year customers to pay over $2,500. Every time they called Sprint, the fraud department said not to worry and that the charges would be off the bill next month, but the disconnect notices kept arriving until Sprint shut off their phone. Only after a local consumer reporter got involved was the problem solved. When asked why it took so long, Sprint said, “it takes a while to complete a thorough investigation.” If you’re a legacy Nextel customer now with Sprint, you may want to ask about getting a PIN set up on your account. The account seemed to have been targeted (the fraud department said probably by someone inside Sprint) because it was an old Nextel account that didn’t have a PIN.

Sprint charges customer $2,500 [Journal Inquirer] (Thanks to Brian!)

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  1. LorneReams says:

    I would ask Sprint for some compensation. The credit entry is in violation of FCRA and should by rights cost them.

  2. axiomatic says:

    It would have taken Sprint about 30 min to SPAM their whole user base a quick TXT message to create a PIN.

    but nooooooooooooo…..

  3. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

    If it ‘takes a while to complete a thorough investigation’ why were they repeatedly telling the couple that it would be taken care of and the charges removed on their next bill? Sounds like they were “Taking This Seriously.”

  4. MikeB says:

    I can see it taking sometime to do a fraud investigation, but hmm, why not flag the account and the disputed amount? Not too difficult.

  5. Noiddog says:

    The couples first mistake was not cancelling their account once Nextel and Sprint Merged. That’ll teach ‘em.

  6. Buran says:

    @axiomatic: And then I’m sure people would complain about text message spam…

  7. anatak says:

    How does one commit ‘Crack Fraud’?

  8. officeboy says:

    I don’t recall any other cellular providers needing PIN’s to “stop fraud”. It’s a line of BS for their new BS security measure. How about having a fraud department that actually investigates fraud?

  9. failurate says:

    @anatak: Baking soda.

  10. Krycek says:

    How does this company still have customers?

  11. Crymson_77 says:

    @failurate: no…that’s for Coke Fraud….for Crack Fraud you need large salt crystals… :)

  12. zedrak says:

    Something almost identical happened to me , not just once but twice! I actually reported the story to the folks at consumerist but it never got on the website. I found out that someone had changed my billing address on my sprint account and bought a bunch of new phones and my bill was almost 3k. I used the executive customer service number I found on this site and was able to get the charges removed. What alarmed me was that they admitted that someone inside of Sprint was able to change my account information somehow to hide the bill (since it wasn’t being sent to my real address) and order the phones. I thought maybe it was an isolated incident but now I’m considering closing the account and switching to a different provider.

  13. sirwalter1967 says:

    Dealing with Sprint has been a nightmare of unbelievable proportions. I’ve had my phone hacked twice and had to call Sprint countless times to try to get the issue resolved. I was told by their customer service reps that I incurred the long distance charges, that I was liable, and that was the beginning. They put me on hold forever, switched me from one foriegn call center to another and repeatedly wasted my time. I was told the charges would be removed from my bill during this recent incident, and now it is 4 months later and the bills keep coming, the collection calls keep coming and nobody at Sprint cares. I have since switched companies after having been a loyal and on-time paying customer for six years. They also claimed to put notes in my file, only to lie about it and force me to repeat my story to endless customer service reps, who then ask if I would like to hear about special offers from Sprint!

    I tell everyone I know to avoid Sprint like the plague. If there is one company that deserves to go under in a massive fireball it’s them. The levels of incompetence, lousy customer service and all around lying makes me wonder how they stay in business.

    To all readers, beware of the beast…SPRINT!!!

  14. umbriago says:

    Well, sure. They paid Gary Forsee $40 million for his goodbye kiss, plus $1 million/year as long as he lives, or Sprint stays in business, whichever comes first. Keeping your ex-CEOs sleeping under layers of money costs money. BIG money.

    link, [www.kansascity.com]

  15. ViperBorg says:

    @Krycek: They lost my two lines, that’s for sure.

  16. the_wiggle says:

    @officeboy: nah. too much work. they’d far rather totally p.o. & completely inconvenience they’re suckers – i mean customers – instead.

  17. larry_y says:

    Sprint just recently had some security upgrades to access user accounts online. It included selection of a PIN, a change of the login from the phone number to a user selected username, and confirmations via e-mail/text message.

    Besides the less then satisfactory signal coverage, I guess I’m lucky I haven’t had to deal with Sprint’s customer service.

  18. purplesun says:

    I work for Sprint.

    Part of the reason customer service may seem to suffer even more for awhile? Those of us down in the trenches were not given our performance raises for the past year. Not because of poor performance, no – you call into our center and you’ll be in Nirvana. We work our collective butts off for our customers. No, this was just a cost cutting measure.

    Not that it stopped Gary Forsee from getting his $40 million (@umbriago). We heard about this a couple of weeks ago.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a few more want-ads to look through.

  19. theutopian says:

    I’m amazed that people still think their loyalty matters to a corporation. Spring doesn’t care whether or not you’ve been a customer for 12 months let alone 12 years, you’re all the same. I don’t pretend to be loyal to a company. I’ll go where there is a better deal. There is no such thing as good customer service anymore.

  20. Sprint def dropped the ball on this one. i’m glad i don’t have any horror stories to tell…i do however have a success story. long story short: i upgraded my phone online, but it went in as a duplicate order. i called in to request credit for one of those transactions and they credited both phones and still sent me a mail-in rebate. i guess i made out nicely on someone’s generosity or mistake. however you look at it..i’m happy.