Sprint: You Have To Call About Your Bill Before You Know You Need To Call About Your Bill

Sarah had a rough month, after suffering a death in the family. She says as a result of that sad distraction, she went over 300 minutes on her Sprint plan minutes, and was then charged 45 cents per each of those minutes. Of course, when your bill is $100 more than usual, you’re going to see if you can bring it down.

Sarah explains that she understands that Sprint doesn’t care what the reason is for going over her minutes, but simply that she didn’t realize the overages until she received her bill. When she contacted Sprint, they told her that if only she had called earlier, she would’ve been able to save money. Too late now that the bill had arrived, however.

I chatted online with a CSR to explain our situation and see if they could help out since I am a long-time, loyal customer. She started by offering me a $20 credit. I politely asked if that was the best she could do. She offered me a $40 credit and said I was only getting that because they “value” me as a customer. She then explained that had I called before I got my bill, then they could have given me bundles of 100 minutes for $5 each.

Wait a minute… So I would only pay $15 if I called you BEFORE I got my bill? We were grieving. We had no time to think about something as trivial as our cell phone bill. Not to mention that I didn’t know this was an option. “Will you apply that retroactively to make it $15 versus $100?”

The customer service rep said, “No, we can’t do that. You had to call before the bill was produced. This is just for future information.”

Yes, some people do check their usage online before receiving their bill, but in this case, Sarah hadn’t. And surely, if calling 24 hours earlier would have saved her $85, there could be an exception now that the bill had arrived. Nope!

So, I asked to speak to her supervisor. He also said they cannot retroactively apply those charges and proceeded to offer me a $50 credit. If he could grant me a $50 credit, why couldn’t he grant me an $85 credit (which would leave me with the $15 payment I would have had if I had contacted them two days earlier)? He said that was the best he could do, and I should appreciate it, because they were already “bending over backwards” for me.

Then he suggested one more action I could take. He said I could appeal it with their billing team and if they agreed, then they would reimburse me for the charges. I agreed, and he filed a claim on my behalf.

The next morning, the billing person called to say that she was applying a $40 credit to my account. I said, “No, I was offered a $50 credit but am seeking an $85 credit.” I explained that I was unaware of the ability to call ahead to purchase bundled minutes. I also said it was unfair to put that expectation on the customer and to charge customers different prices based on who calls and who doesn’t. I also asked if I could automatically add that feature onto my plan, and she said no — I would have to call them every month if I wanted to add it. Given all the hoops, it’s obvious they don’t want their customers using this option.

She said she needed to speak to her supervisor and put me on hold for five minutes. When she came back, she said she would apply the $50 credit and that was “all they could do.”

Sarah says she ended up taking the $50 credit, and will take her business elsewhere. She admits it’s her fault for going over minutes, but thinks Sprint is wrong for not advertising the option to buy bundles of minutes before getting their bill to cover overages.

Some carriers do give you a heads up when you’re reaching limits — I’ve gotten text alerts saying “Hey, you’re over your text message allotment this month, time to remedy that” — so it’s not a stretch to warn your customers, Sprint.

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  1. crispyduck13 says:

    Given the circumstances, that certainly does suck for her. I’m not sure why Sprint would quibble over $35 especially with a long-term customer, it’s really short-sighted.

    As she says though, they can keep their $35 and she’ll take her $50 a month to another company.

    • vastrightwing says:

      Just to poke Sprint, I suggest looking into Walmart’s Family mobile. It’s very inexpensive $45 for the first phone and $25 each phone added. The plan is unlimited minutes and texting. Never any bill shock. My bill is the same every month no matter how much I use it.
      Plus, the network is GSM and you can use any GSM phone on it, even iPhones (jailbroken). Good luck.

  2. Lyn Torden says:

    I think Sprint is wrong just for gouging to such an extreme for overage minutes. There should be a fixed and reasonable price for basic minutes, and a discount for the starting quota of minutes). 45 cents per minute is just outrageous (I won’t be taking my business to them anytime soon).

    • Kaleey says:

      … You know that’s sort of an industry standard now, right? VZW would charge me that much (if I ever went over, which I don’t.)

      I agree it’s expensive, but if you want a national carrier and you have a limited plan, good luck finding someone who WON’T charge that much.

    • Liam Kinkaid says:

      She signed a contract and agreed to a plan with those terms. Both parties went into the contract with full knowledge of the terms. What more do you want?

  3. dorianh49 says:

    I signed up with Sprint about 9 years ago. For the first couple years, their billing and customer service were abysmal. They started improving, though, so I decided to stick with them. They were actually really good for several years. In the last couple years, though, they’ve been going downhill fast. Unfortunately, I have until next year until my contract with them expires. I may just bite the bullet and take the ETF, though. They’re that bad.

    • missy070203 says:

      I had Sprint for my very 1st cell phone 8 years ago – turns out the sales guy had no idea what he was doing – I lived in a rural area outside of town and even after I told him where I lived and then asked if I would get service there he said yes with out blinking an eye…. turned out they didn’t service the rural area I lived in and I could only get service when I drove into town which was 20 miles away….it took 2 months of complaining to CSRs and Supervisors over the phone before the allowed me to cancel my service with out an EFT- switched to prepaid for the rest of the time I lived there and sadly I switched to switched to Verizon after…. my contract is up this summer and I am looking forward to going to an unlimited prepaid option—

    • s0s has a chewy nougat center says:

      I’ve had Sprint for a couple years, and they’re great. Except when they’re not, which is pretty much anytime you have a problem. Equipment failures are always your fault, never the conflicting bloatware they load phones with.

      I’m tempted to go non-contact once my two-year is up in June, but the phones never seem to be as good (I want to upgrade to the Evo 3D, although the measly $150 discount still makes that prohibitively expensive). Plus I’m always worried about coverage and network speed.

    • Jawaka says:

      Which of their competition do you think is better and why? We have people on these forums complaining about Verizon and AT&T on a regular basis.

  4. SkokieGuy says:

    First, sorry about your loss.

    But sorry Sarah, makes sense. Plans typically change on the date of your billing cycle. Some people know that they might have gone over minutes and check, others don’t. If the billing month is still open, it’s easier to change the plan and have the charges calculated under the new plan.

    Considering you received a 50% discount for overages that were completely legitimate, seems like your carrier is being very considerate. They made no mistake, no error, and you are disputing you used the minutes.

    Also, in this day and age, why don’t you have unlimited minutes?

    • katarzyna says:

      I don’t have unlimited phone limits, either. I have a very cheap, grandfathered plan from AT&T, and normally don’t use anywhere near my limit.

    • dorianh49 says:

      I’m grandfathered into a Sprint plan with unlimited data, 800 anytime minutes (plus free evenings, weekend, and Sprint-to-Sprint calls), and 500 texts. I’ve never gone over once, and either have the other 2 lines on my plan. If I “upgraded” to an unlimited minutes plan, I would have to pay at least $30 extra per month. That’s over $360 per year. I can’t afford it. Unfortunately, if I want to upgrade my 3-year old “smart”phone, Sprint has told me I must “upgrade” my plan. I’m really starting to hate Sprint.

    • yurei avalon says:

      My Sprint plan is unlimited mobile to mobile on any network, 450 land line minutes. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was using land line minutes to talk to older relatives relating to the death in the family and went over. I checked my yesterday and I had used 122/450 this month already (yikes! Pesky grandparents who refuse to get a cell phone.)

    • Jawaka says:

      I agree. I’m going to blame the OP (again)

      Back before I had an unlimited plan I would monitor my minutes religiously because I knew that I’d be dinged hard if I went over. Buy hey, nobody’s perfect and I eventually went over one month. But you know what, it sucked but it was my own fault for not better managing my phone and minutes.

      Also, the fact that the Sprint Rep offered to credit her $40 on a $100 fee is actually pretty generous. Much more so then they had to be considering that the fees were just.

      Lastly, when did a bill become negotiable? If its a mistake then you shouldn’t have to pay it but if you legitimately owe it then you owe it. This is your phone company here, not a tag sale or flea market.

  5. fantomesq says:

    So… she’s taking her business elsewhere because she failed to note that her minutes were running over and they could only credit her $50 towards the $85 she thinks she is entitled to? Its worth jumping ship over $35 that you incurred rightfully?!? Consider it a cost of the funeral and move on… Why would the carrier want to keep such a customer?!?

    • crispyduck13 says:

      She’s taking her business elsewhere because they dangled that $5/100 carrot in front of her nose before snatching it back while saying “you could’ve had this if only you’d called us before you opened your bill to discover that you’d need it.”

      I agree they are a business and profit is the main goal, but this is just a stupid way to lose a customer over minutes that don’t cost them nearly what they were charging her, as made obvious by the pre-bill discounted rate.

      • Doubting thomas says:

        I don’t think it is fair or accurate to say they “dangled a carrot”‘ they offered her a 50% discount and gave her a viable option for dealing with such situations in the future.

        • Tyanna says:

          Correction, they offered her a 20% discount, then a 40% discount when she pushed. They then dangled the $5/100 carrot in front of her which made her aware that if she had of called 1 day sooner she could have had an 85% discount. Upon voicing the stupidity of this, she was given a 50% discount.

    • Jawaka says:

      Plus the fact that she’ll probably have to purchase another phone which is going to cost her more than what she would have paid in legitimate overage fees.

      Also, when she goes over her minutes and the competition charges her for it as well who will she jump ship to then?

  6. Kaleey says:

    I don’t want to blame the OP entirely, but 90% blame OP. Quit whining – they cut your overages charges (that you legitimately were charged) by 50%, when they had no actaul reason to do so other than pity. It’s not charges in error, and they were being plenty generous.

    10% on sprint because carriers need to implement opt-in warning texts/email/calls when getting close to your plan limit.

    And the fact that they would allow you to call in (after the overages have been charged) before the bill is printed and get the bill reduced is actually sort of nice, again considering they have absolutely no reason to do that. They won’t advertise this – they make less money this way.

  7. rockelscorcho says:

    They did the same thing to my mother. She had gone over her minutes and owed a huge bill. They however, I guess as a means to get money, but make you feel like your “saving cash,” offered the exact same scenario. We took it since it was better than paying the actual bill.

  8. missy070203 says:

    verizon does the same thing only they are not so quick to offer a credit of any kind as they value no ones business-

  9. Such an Interesting Monster says:

    So she admits it’s her fault. And Sprint agreed to knock 50% off the overage charges. And that’s STILL not enough???

    Good luck with another carrier Sarah. Might I suggest Entitlement Wireless?

  10. SkyRattlers says:

    The OP claims she understands it’s her fault but she sure does seem to harbor a lot of resentment towards Sprint for not fully and completely solving all the problems that she created.

    When the OP’s grief fades in time she’ll likely look back and be able to more objectively look at the situation and realize that Sprint did nothing wrong here.

  11. Lyn Torden says:

    Just cancel your service and they will transfer you to retentions where you can get an even sweeter deal.

    Oh, on a contract? Sorry, never mind.

  12. yurei avalon says:

    OP: Yes, yes they can credit your account any amount they want, if they feel like it. I argued them down for $15/mo credit for a month and a half to be retroactively taken off the current bill due at the time because they did not apply my employer discount correctly.

    If you get the right CSR rep, and talk to them very nicely they can indeed help you. I don’t know if there is a dollar value limit that they can go up to, but you can also ask to escalate higher up in the chain. I complained to higher management several times though it did not resolve my issue in the end.

  13. Murph1908 says:

    I don’t know about Sprint, but Verizon sends me texts when I am approaching my limit of minutes (seldomly) or texts (usually during fantasy football draft season).

    So in my case, I would have known to call before the bill ever arrived, if I anticipated I’d be going over my limits to such a great degree.

    I would imagine Sprint did something similar. Or she could have hit #whatever to get her current usage. Or she could have gone online to check her usage.

    I know she was grieving, and I feel for her. But at no point in time did she think, “Wow, I am burning through my phone minutes.” Any of the above scenarios would make it reasonable for someone to call before they get the bill, especially when there’s a special circumstance.

    Then, after all of that, she’s STILL offered a $50 reduction, and she’s still not happy?

    I miss Ben.

  14. JenJenMi says:

    Condolences to you Sarah.

    I had an identical circumstance with my Verizon service, only I find their customer service excellent and had a very different result.

    The month my mother passed away, my father and I similarly had a huge overage on minutes that resulted in a large bill. Verizon has always (extreme circumstances like these, or not), when I have called after receiving the bill, retroactively changed my plan for a previous cycle to a larger plan that would accommodate my usage without overages. So I might pay $10/mo for the next plan up.

    I was equally impressed when I called to terminate my mother’s phone, I expected to need to produce a death certificate to cancel her line and not be subjected to the early termination fee. Nope, the agent apologized for my loss, and cancelled the line without a moment’s hesitation or inconvenience to me.

    Excellent service from Verizon will always keep me loyal to them. They cost more than other carriers, but I get what I pay for.

    • Rexy on a rampage says:

      That is not Verizon. Verizon will fight you tooth and nail over every single thing.

      • scottd34 says:

        I have done this exact thing for people calling in before, there are many companies that encourage reps to work with customers.. unfortunately not all reps do this.. especially ones that work with outsourcer companies.

        You can usually tell when you call any company if the rep you are speaking with is outsourced or works for the company directly. Outsourced reps tend to be pretty by the book and will not budge, while a csr on company’s direct payroll tends to be more willing to work with you. I have found this true with just about every company I do business with.

  15. craftman says:

    Oh, so you signed a contract but retroactively don’t like the terms? What if Sprint decided that 45 cents per minute wasn’t enough to cover their costs and wanted to raise the rate? You would scream bloody murder and we’d all have to sympathize with you instead of the big, bad corporation.

    Regardless of the reasons for your extra minutes, the fact that they offer a discount at all should be “bending over backwards” enough.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      Ok seriously, everyone who is freaking out on this girl needs to read the post again:

      “Will you apply that retroactively to make it $15 versus $100?”
      The customer service rep said, “No, we can’t do that. You had to call before the bill was produced. This is just for future information.”

      If the CSR hadn’t mentioned this I don’t think we’d even be reading this post. The OP admitted it was her fault, and used some skills to negotiate a bigger discount on her overage. Her complaint doesn’t appear to be the actual overage charge, rather it is the seemingly trivial and nonsensical nature of Sprint’s overage pricing.

      I’m curious as well: why do minutes cost more after a bill is printed?

      • Doubting thomas says:

        minutes do not cost more after a bill is printed and no one said they did. They just refused to offer more than 50% off of what she legitimately owed them.

      • Darury says:

        While I feel sorry for her loss, if you’re not tracking your minute usage due to grief, what could would knowing about the package before hand do? I suspect the $5100 minutes is designed for when your close (not over) your current limit and want to expand for the month.

  16. mistyfire says:

    I have Sprint and a limit on normal calls. but I also have anymobile/anytime unlimited which saves me from going over due to most personal calls are to another cell phone. I use my house phone for calling companies that are likely to keep me on hold forever which would make me go over my minutes.

    While the overage charges are crazy and extreme, it made me so worried about going over that I am always checking my account online to make sure. I can just send out a usage text to Sprint and it sends the info back to me in no time.

    I do however understand the OP was distracted and she wasn’t able to check her minutes but if it was me, I would take what they offered and let it go.

  17. AllanG54 says:

    Gee, a few years ago when my dad died I had to fly to Florida on two days notice. The airline charged me a bundle. If I would have known dad was going to die I would have booked six weeks in advance. I didn’t bitch to the airline because hey, it’s not their fault!! Sarah, should either have a landline or an unlimited plan. She probably went over her minutes again with all her calls to complain.

  18. ColoradoShark says:

    Hey Sprint. Yeah, you too Verizon and ATT. If you *truly* cared about customer service, your computer could notice “This customer has gone way beyond their normal consumption” and then send a text message and email to the customer alerting them to the situation.

    You know, if the phone was stolen and used to call West WTF-istan for hours. Or you are accidentally roaming and are racking up huge bills for data. Or someone’s parent has just died and they are calling a lot extra to deal with the situation.

    Since you don’t do that, shut up and stop lieing about your wonderful customer care.

    • aloria says:

      T-mobile does this for roaming. I took my Blackberry to Iceland and Sweden, and both times I received a text letting me know I was subject to roaming charges for being overseas as soon as I turned on my phone abroad.

    • scottd34 says:

      VZW does this. They send to the phone but you can go online and select other numbers or email addresses to send to. Been there a year or more now.

  19. scoopjones says:

    I had the same situation with a death in the family last month, and a cell phone bill that was about three times higher than usual ($92 versus the usual $38). The bill was a shocker, but I was aware of the terms of my plan, so I really don’t have cause to complain. My suggestion to people is that they use a service like Skype, particularly when they have to make lots of long-distance calls.

  20. jenolen2161 says:

    Perhaps it’s because it was because I went over on texts rather than going over on minutes, but I called AT&T when I went over my texting limits. Instead of charging me per text, they retroactively put me on the plan that equaled the lowest possible bill. Did this twice in one year, in fact.

  21. CRCError1970 says:

    Every, and I mean *EVERY*, time I’ve done business with Sprint in the past… I have had nothing but problems with their billing department.

    In early 2000 I had signed up for residential ISDN internet access… My first month’s bill was in excess of $500. I called to see what was up… and apparently when I called to activate my service, the CSR signed me up for a Business ISDN package with the lowest dataplan on the tier. So naturally I went over this limit because I thought I was on the Residential unlimited plan. The billing department was RELENTLESS in collecting from me. I couldn’t afford the fee, and since I was mysteriously a business customer, I had a 12 month contract with an ETF fee of *$1500* that could not be converted to a residential account because it was IMPOSSIBLE.

    I should have learned my lesson then. But, no, I signed up with Sprint Wireless around 2004 because I moved and Cingular didn’t cover my new address. Fast forward to July 2009… My wife and I get the new iPhone 3Gs… I call Sprint to cancel and I am met with an ETF fee. I’m like… Yeah, that contract was fulfilled in 2006… The rep tells me I renewed the contract in October 2007.

    No, I didn’t. She then goes on to tell me I did… And I did it at a store in Florida. The gears in my head turn… I had been on vacation in Florida that month and my cell phone got water damage while there. I went to the Sprint store to get a replacement phone under my insurance. I even asked if it renewed my contract and was told no. Guess what? It did.

    The CSR then forwarded me to her supervisor, who actually listened to me and agreed that the ETF fee should be waived. I cancelled my service thinking Sprint was actually decent after all. Nope. They didn’t cancel my service and my wife didn’t catch them billing for 3 more months. She called them and gave them the third degree, they tried to hit her with an ETF fee yet again. She simply refused to agree to that. She called back FOUR times, each call lasting well over an hour. On that fourth call, she finally got a CSR that removed the charges and dismissed the ETF.

    Never again, Sprint. You suck.

    PS Yeah, I’m a bad consumer. I don’t watch my finances like a hawk, nor do I read every word of a contract. I guess I just thought I lived in a world where “Don’t be evil” was a little more practiced.

  22. homehome says:

    with all the ways ppl can check minutes before their bill comes out they don’t. I know I have at least 3 ways to check mine without a computer or talking to anyone. You have too many ways to check overages to complain these days. You can go online, u can send a text, you can call, they have apps now that will show you on your phone, it’s no excuse anymore.

  23. UberGeek says:

    Not to promote the Death Star, but I once went over my SMSs and they temporarily bumped me up to the next plan instead of charging the overage. It’s obviously not a tough concept for billing. Heck, my monopoly of a utility company is capable of that.

    Of course, those overages are a sales funnel. You may get the higher plan each month if you go over your limit a time or two, even if it’s cheaper to stick with the lower plan and pay the overages.

  24. Mike says:

    I don’t know why anyone doesn’t have a pay-as-you-go plan anymore. There is so much risk in any contract that you will end up hundreds or thousands of dollars over your regular bill. Vote with your wallet and dump the contracts.

    • homehome says:

      the fact you fail to realize is most ppl dont fall into this. so why would a person leave if they dont have a problem with it. I stick wit contracts, not because I love contractgs, I rarely have a problem and when I do I have realistic expectations in resolution. I remember one woman when I worked for sprint called in and wanted us to credit her a full month because she said her phone kept going off on the golf course and she got kicked off of the course because of it. Seriously, we should credit her a month because she didn’t know how to use silent mode?

  25. RandomLetters says:

    What Sarah has a problem with is that before the ink hit the paper those 300 minutes were only worth 5 cents to Sprint. But once their extra special ink was on the paper they needed an extra 40 cents to pay for the unobtainium they apparently use to print that one or two additional lines on her bill. So yeah, she’s got a legitimate complaint.

  26. thesalad says:

    If I recall correctly wasnt’ one of the selling points of sprint (at least awhile ago) that they’d auto-adjust your plan to the next tier if you went over.
    Guess they lost too much money on charging .45/per min in overage charges to keep that idea afloat.
    Their sister postpaid service virgin mobile only charges .10/min after you use up your alotment

  27. johnrhoward says:

    I don’t know how you even manage to use that many minutes on Sprint with the free mobile to any mobile. I thought that was pretty standard on Sprint plans now, but maybe not. In any case, minutes should cost the same all the time. If it costs $15 to add 300 minutes to my plan before I know I will need them, why should it cost $100 to add them after the fact? It’s ridiculous.

  28. LaLaLives says:

    Sorry for your loss, but Sprint is not at fault here. For one, they DO advertise this option (I’ve never used it, but am aware because it is advertised). Also, they tried to work with you by providing a credit. Sprint is very good at providing credit and working with longtime customers. A perfect carrier doesn’t exist, but good luck finding better service elsewhere.

  29. tooluser says:

    Very poor, very stupid customer service.

    If they had just insisted that she pay for the service she used, I’d have no problem. But telling her they could offer her a discount, and then refusing to do so “just because”. Well, that’s why Sprint’s corporate officers surely have a special place for them reserved in Hell.

  30. Rhyss says:

    The same thing happened to me when my Dad was diagnosed with cancer. I have TMobile and I almost freaked when I got the bill. They gave me a small credit and allowed me to pay the bill off over three months without suspending my service. I thought that was a good deal. It was my fault after all.

  31. anime_runs_my_life says:

    She needs to call again. They will waive the overages. I called after my father passed away and they not only waived the overages, but also gave me an extra 100 minutes just in case. When my mother passed away, I called and I was allotted an extra 200 minutes. Sadly this is probably the only good thing they ever did for me.

    • anime_runs_my_life says:

      Also, that $5 for 100 minutes is part of a plan that no longer exists. It’s called Fair and Flexible and I have it. Sadly I also believe that Sprint is trying to get me on a higher plan because the plan I have now is very cheap.

  32. incident_man says:

    The OP’s predicament is why one of the reasons I’m with US Cellular. IF I happen to go over my minutes on my single line plan, the maximum I pay in overages, no matter how far I go over, is $50. Overages are 45 cents per minute until I hit the overage cap, and I can use my belief points to pay for overages too.

  33. benjitek says:

    Sprint did nothing wrong — they provide several ways to check you minutes usage, including a simple *-command from the keypad of your device.

    It is increasingly surprising what Consumerist is considering newsworthy these days :-(

  34. maxamus2 says:

    Makes sense to me. I’ve had a couple months where I knew I was going to use the phone a lot and I called ahead. The first time they just gave me 400 minutes for free and the second time I could buy 100 minute allotments for very cheap.

    She knew her plan had limitations and she knew she was talking a lot, I blame her. Sprint actually did cut her a break, it wasn’t Sprint’s fault.

  35. Not Given says:

    I’m supposed to get a warning text if I get close to my limit.

  36. PollyHaerk says:

    Thinking that Sarah should go prepaid… that way, when the minutes are gone she has to call in to get more. Asking or expecting any of the contract carriers to eat your overages is really short sighted. It should be common knowledge that usage allowance adjustments and changing a bill sfter the fact are two very different things. I wish sarah the very best with att, verizon, or tmobile

  37. PollyHaerk says:

    Thinking that Sarah should go prepaid… that way, when the minutes are gone she has to call in to get more. Asking or expecting any of the contract carriers to eat your overages is really short sighted. It should be common knowledge that usage allowance adjustments and changing a bill sfter the fact are two very different things. I wish sarah the very best with att, verizon, or tmobile

  38. PollyHaerk says:

    Thinking that Sarah should go prepaid… that way, when the minutes are gone she has to call in to get more. Asking or expecting any of the contract carriers to eat your overages is really short sighted. It should be common knowledge that usage allowance adjustments and changing a bill sfter the fact are two very different things. I wish sarah the very best with att, verizon, or tmobile

  39. PollyHaerk says:

    Thinking that Sarah should go prepaid… that way, when the minutes are gone she has to call in to get more. Asking or expecting any of the contract carriers to eat your overages is really short sighted. It should be common knowledge that usage allowance adjustments and changing a bill sfter the fact are two very different things. I wish sarah the very best with att, verizon, or tmobile

  40. PollyHaerk says:

    The only “error” on Sprint’s part was how they explained this to Sarah. It is true, CSR’s have the ability to add relief minutes in the middle of a usage cycle, either for free or for a reduced fee. The proper explanation was “I’m so sorry, maybe we can help you out with part of the overage, just make sure you monitor your usage at Sprint.com and next time you go over, if you can contact us during the billing cycle, we can probably help you out”. So yeah, its a customer service fail, but the failure is in the way it was presented and the reaction that caused Sarah to have. Now , she’s off to Verizon, ATT, or Tmobile where she may or may not get a “free message” to alert her about overages. She may be lucky also getting extra minutes during her billing cycle with those companies as well. Will any of them be willing to credit her 85% of the overage charges? Or even $50 ? Goodluck, Sarah.

    Prepaid is always a good option for users with these kind of issues.

  41. Peggee is deeply offended by impetulant, pernicious little snots disrespecting her and violating her personal space at Best Buy. says:

    I’m not really impressed with this one. Sarah had a good reason for going over her minutes, but it’s not like they blindsided her with some fine print; she got distracted and messed up. You could have a fire at your house and that would be a good reason to use a lot of extra water, but you’re still going to have to pay the water bill when it comes. I think most people would call up to see if anything could be done, but then most would be grateful for any kind of help; instead, Sarah kept asking for more and still wasn’t satisfied.

    If he could grant me a $50 credit, why couldn’t he grant me an $85 credit…

    I imagine if he’d granted the $85 without much hassle, she’d be asking “Why couldn’t he just give me the whole $100? I’m a loyal customer [who jumps ship and takes my business elsewhere the first time I don’t get my way].”