Sprint Won’t Let Soldier Cancel Cellphone

We must be a tabloid, we’re getting our stories from Sploid:

    “Federal law allows for soldiers called to active duty to get out of a lease on a house, apartment or car within 30 days. Against the all-mighty telecoms, even Uncle Sam is helpless, though. Our fighting men and women still have to pay their cell phone bills.

    Pfc. Dane Gabrielson, a 25-year-old member of the Wisconsin National Guard, shipped out to Iraq a year ago, leaving behind a Sprint cell phone and a $68-a-month bill. Ever since then Dane’s mother, Tamara Harris, has been begging Sprint to cancel or suspend his service, but to no avail.”

Just when you thought Sprint’s customer service couldn’t get any worse…

Photo: U.S. soldier morning the loss of buddies dying from excessive cellphone charges. Quote: “That should’ve been me going over my daytime minutes.”

Sprint Won’t Let G.I. in Iraq Cancel Service” [Sploid] (Thanks to Ian!)

UPDATE: We really, really are a tabloid. Dan writes: “I read this story on digg two days ago, and even the original article (Sploid’s source) is very light on facts. For instance, if the soldier in question didn’t attempt to cancel or suspend his contract before he left, Sprint (which, according to many accounts, does let activated soldiers out of their contracts) has no way to confirm that his mother is indeed his mother (if he didn’t have her on the account as an administrator). If this is the case, Sprint is just following standard privacy and security proceedures, and certainly doesn’t deserve to be lambasted.”


Edit Your Comment

  1. The Unicorn says:

    That doesn’t make any sense. I have a Sprint phone, and I was able to suspend my service while I went abroad for three months (a trip that, evidently, is the source for all of my Consumerist comments lately).

    I think there was some kind of fee to keep the account open but inactive, but it was pretty reasonable — I think $10/month or something like that.

    I’m not trying to say that the complainants in the above story aren’t being honest — and in any case, I think that people in active duty should get any “account maintenance” fees waived — but it’s weird that they’re having so much trouble doing something that seemed pretty simple.

    Then again, this was two years ago — maybe Nextel brought extra evilness to Sprint when they merged?

  2. Boston Kevin says:

    All joking aside, the selection of that photo is more than a little bit tasteless.

  3. Smoking Pope says:

    Wow, I’m surprised it took almost 20 minutes for someone to object to that quote. My buddies and I had it pegged at 5.

  4. Rick Dobbs says:

    I guess we have to add something to death and taxes.

    Alternative quote: “I may not agree with your cell phone bill, but I’ll defend to the death your right to anytime minutes!”

  5. OkiMike says:

    As a contractor working overseas for the military, I found your quote hilarious and entirely tasteful.

    In times of war, what men need is not sympathy but laughter!

  6. Ben Popken says:

    Gretchen writes:

    “I recently read the retort from Dan regarding this posting. He’s mostly likely very correct. Most cell phone carriers accept the ‘military/diplomatic escape clause’. I am currently posted abroad (non-military) on a USG assignment and have had to terminate both Verizon and Cingular accounts before heading overseas. All you need to do is fax your orders (with a memo) to their offices and reference the clause. I had both accounts cancelled with no charges and no problems. Dependents of USG personnel can do this as well so long as their listed on the orders.”

  7. non-meat-stick says:

    Sprint CS is still aweful…

    I thought the pic and quote were quite funny.

  8. oldsmobuick says:

    why should a soldier get to cancel a cell phone plan? makes no sense. they shouldn’t be given any special privelidges, they get enough already (even if you only count the ones mentioned in this article.