Some people think the BBB doesn’t work. They do, but only if the company cares about keeping a clean record. See when you look up a company in the BBB database it shows you how many complaints have been filed against the company, how many were answered, how many did the consumer report as being satisfactorily resolved, etc. So if you have a valid complaint, file it with the BBB, and the company cares about its BBB record, you have a decent chance of getting a solution. You might not believe it, but it turns out Sprint is one of those companies. Here’s Kevin’s story of how the BBB got his erroneous text message charges refunded and let him leave contract early without early termination fee…
I’ve filed two complaints with them so far in 2008. Here is the text of the one I filed in January…
“Double charged my debit card and refuses to credit the duplicate charge back to my account.
I called to make and a payment yesterday through Sprint/Nextel’s automatic payment attendant. The pre-recorded service told me the payment “cannot be processed at this time, please hold for an operator.” So a person gets on the phone and takes my payment manually. Then this morning when I checked my bank account online I saw that two payments had gone through. When I called to request the duplicate payment be reversed they refused. This comes after several battles with their customers service department over services ordered which were incorrectly authorized.
For instance, I have two phone lines and there have been 3 or 4 times now when I’ve had a service such as text messaging or insurance added to one of the lines. The customer service people have added the service to the wrong phone, thereby incurring extra charges and it takes forever to get a credit. These are small inconveniences and nothing I’d normally report to the BBB. But after refusing to issue a credit I’ve had enough with them. My contract with them is up in August after 3 years of being a customer. I’ve explained why I am unhappy with service and they will not let me out of a contract. I’ve talked with many acquaintances who’ve had similar issues and I feel it’s time for someone to do something about this company. The problems with service began after the merger with Nextel.”
After this I was contacted within 48 hours and the dispute was resolved where Sprint/Nextel issued me a credit for a free month of service.
Then in April I went over my text message limit. I beefed up the limit to 1,000 texts per month, but they added it to the 2nd line. This caused another huge bill in May. When I called to tell them they added the text plan to the wrong phone they refused to credit me or fix the problem.
At that point I filed the 2nd complaint with the BBB briefly describing what happened. It basically stated what I just did and less than 24 hours this time a Sprint/Nextel representative called me to resolve the issue…apologizing for the treatment I received and they resolved the issue VERY generously and told me they realize their customer service is lacking and they’re “taking steps to rectify the situation.” In addition to free unlimited text messaging they’ve offer to wave the penalty for severing my contract early. That says a lot and the fact that they acknowledged their customer service dept sucks.
To my satisfaction, I was told I can dissolve my contract with them before it’s up in August without any additional penalties. I got a follow up email from the BBB today asking if I am satisfied.
Kevin is now a happy Verizon customer. Here’s where to go to get started filing a BBB complaint online.