Consumerist reader G. has been a Sprint customer for six years, and has always paid his bills on time, and referred friends and family to their service. But that special relationship apparently wasn’t two-sided, as Sprint decided to cut off G.’s service one day with absolutely no warning, other than a line buried in his Terms of Service.
G. wrote in with an epic tale of issues spanning back two years, saying he’s now “ashamed” to have been a loyal customer for six years. Two years ago, his contract was up for renewal. He had a plan with unlimited data and unlimited roaming, which was important because at work he could never get a Sprint signal.
He had issues with his new phone, which eventually got worked out through a long, irritating back and forth with Sprint, ultimately ending in the purchase of a more expensive phone than he wanted so that he could keep roaming easily. Fine! Then a year after that, the trouble really started — he got a phone call saying he was using excessive roaming data on his phone. He spoke to a few reps who seemed clueless, a few who said it shouldn’t apply to him, so he covered his bases.
Later that night and the next day, I contacted Sprint support through their website asking about my plan and why I got a call saying I was using excessive roaming data. Both agents told me point blank, that my plan did in fact have unlimited roaming data and to ignore the phone call I received. I saved a copy of both chat transcripts as well. I considered the matter resolved since I never heard back from Sprint about this issue since then.
So great, he thought — there’s no way I can overuse my roaming data because I’ve got an unlimited plan and proof. Fast forward to yesterday, when he says his phone lost its data connection, text messages stopped going through and he couldn’t make outgoing calls except to Sprint support.
I gave them a call, and right away they didn’t automatically detect my number I was calling from. I was transferred to a rep after waiting on hold, who told me my phone number didn’t show up as a Sprint number and cant find me in the system, which was odd since I’ve had the same number with them for 6 years. After about 35 minutes of her researching the issue she came back and finally told me my account appeared to have been canceled and she was transferring me to a specialist because she had no idea what was going on.
I was transferred to the next person who after researching again for a while, came back and told me it looks like my account was canceled for excessive data roaming. I asked how that could be since my plan includes unlimited data roaming, and she countered with Sprint changing the terms and conditions two years ago to say that all plans are only allowed 300mb of roaming data per month. If you go over this amount they reserve the right to terminate your account with or without notice. I asked why I was never notified of this and why my account page, bills and everything else still said I had unlimited data roaming and she couldn’t answer it. I asked how they could possibly cut me off with no warning at all, and she said they called me back in September 2011 to tell me I was using excessive roaming data. I then told her that was several months ago, and I had chat transcripts from Sprint reps telling me to ignore this call and that my plan had unlimited roaming data. All she would reply with was, “again, the terms of service state…”. She also said the decision was final and they will not ever reactivate my account.
After escalating his situation about five times, from supervisor to manager to an operations manager, begging to have service returned since that was his only phone number, it was needed for work and for daily life, G. was finally granted a seven-day extension of his service.
Unsurprisingly, G. is pretty ticked off at Sprint for breaking up with him so unceremoniously after all this time.
So here I am currently. Six days before I lose my service with Sprint for good. It didn’t matter I was a customer with them for six years, or that I referred countless people to their service. Sprint didn’t want me as a customer and decides it’s okay to shut off someone’s phone and cancel contracts with no warning of doing so. The ironic part is the reason they canceled my account, for roaming, is exactly what they up sold me on the Epic phone for. They told me I can roam all day without issue if I pay more for that phone. I’m really just speechless over the whole situation.