Consumerist Lesson of the Day: Good Service Should Not Be Treated Cynically.

And, once again, we are proven so sweetly redundant:

I recently switched from Sprint PCS to Cingular. There were a few reasons for the switch: I wanted a particular phone (HTC/Cingular 8125 – loving it), better coverage in areas I’ll be traveling to shortly, and also something just never sat right with me after Sprint and Nextel merged – can’t explain it – just a feeling. I waited for my Sprint contract to expire and then ported my phone over to Cingular. It was a really painless process and I got a prompt connection when I called in to activate. Everything was going peachy. Then I got my final Sprint bill and there was a $100 cancelation fee. WTF. As I was dialing the Sprint CS number I started writing an angry Consumerist post in my head. Those fuckers… trying to get in one last charge on me. But then it happened… I got through to the operator, gave her my old account number and told her the problem. She typed for a few minutes then said, “Okay, I reversed the charge on your account. You have a zero balance.” Sweet. I didn’t have to repeat any information. I didn’t have to beg. I didn’t even need to raise my voice. Customer service as it should be – direct and to the point.

So maybe I had Sprint figured wrong. Or maybe I just caught the only properly-trained cellular CSR in the world. They’ll probably lay her off tomorrow.

Fuck, we’re not cynics. If they treated you right, that’s the way we not only hope it is, we know it’s the way it should be. Good going, Sprint. Don’t fire that wonderful girl.


Edit Your Comment

  1. GenXCub says:

    “So maybe I had Sprint figured wrong”

    No, you didn’t have them figured wrong. They’re assholes for charging you. This probably gets a bunch of people to just send in money blindly. They just chose to not get themselves in real trouble. I see this as Sprint covering their ass, not being helpful.

  2. GenXCub says:

    Perhaps I can explain my bitter tact as of late… on the work front, my company has been getting substandard service and extra charges that are unwarranted through a vendor I once used. Practices like this aren’t usually one-time, they’re recurring, so I like getting huffy and sticking it to them in the hopes that they offer a sweet olive branch of free stuff.

  3. EmilyBeth says:

    I’m glad it went so well with Sprint, but be prepared for Cingular’s awful customer service. I’ll wait here for your comments about them. :-)

  4. homerjay says:

    Don’t go a-praisin’ too soon. The reversal doesn’t go exist until you get your final bill and see it in writing like I’ve been waiting for from Verizon Wireless.

    I’ve got 3 names and extensions of people that told me the charges were reversed for my cancellation fee. If only it’ll actually happen.

  5. A_B says:

    To counterbalance this nice story, I want to add my horror story that started when Sprint charged me $150 for “early cancellation.”

    When I called to explain that my contract was for one year, and it had been over a year, the operator helpfully said that it was their mistake and not to worry about it. It would be removed.

    Three months later, I got another bill from Sprint. They had tacked on an additional $100 (or so). My fees were up to ~$250 for my alleged early cancellation.

    I called them again. The new operator said that they had no record of my prior phone call, but not to worry! They would double-check and make sure that it was all cleared up.

    A few months later I got a nasty-gram from a collection agency, Cavalry Investments, ( saying I owed $250 to Sprint and to send them a check.

    I wrote back telling them to (politely) fuck off. I didn’t owe anything.

    The collection agency proceeded to call me repeatedly over nearly a year. In the beginning, I simply told them, “go check with Sprint. I don’t owe them anything. My contract was over when I cancelled.”

    After hearing nothing for about 6 months, a hard case called me. He wouldn’t leave me alone. He sounded like a slimey car salesman. Honestly, at first, I thought he was a scammer (he wasn’t), “C’mon man. Just pay $100 and it’ll all go away. You owe them $250. Just give us $100 and it all goes away. Don’t you want it to go away? Why are you fighting this? Look, we get people like you all the time claiming they don’t owe anything. You know you do. We’re willing to work with you. Just give us the $100.”

    Now, listening to this slime ball, I patiently tried to explain to him I don’t owe anything. When that didn’t work, I told him off and to leave me alone.

    Interestlingly, here’s what the collection agency site says: “Cavalry Portfolio Services, LLC utilizes innovative collection methodologies and highly-trained collection staff to achieve affordable solutions for individual customers.”

    Yeah, this guy was pretty innovative.

    In any case, they sent me another letter and I checked my credit report. Sure enough, I had a big hit on my clean credit history for this Sprint bullshit.

    Simultaneously, I disputed, throught the credit agency, the hit on my credit report, and I sent a 2 page letter, with 30 pages of documents, to the credit agency showing how I didn’t owe Sprint anything.

    Since I’m a packrat when it comes to bills and order forms, the documents started with a dated, original order that stated the contract length, the receipt from the box that they sent my phone, every Sprint bill, and the erroneous “early cancellation” letter that stated when I cancelled the account.

    It only took about two years to finally clear everything up and to get the hit off my credit history.

  6. homerjay says:

    see what I mean? :)

  7. why not says:

    Pay as you go, yeah! I know it does not work for everyone but still. And yes the phones are not the coolest of the bunch, and yes to a lot of other things, but no contract!

  8. conformco says:

    Well fuck. I was all feeling happy when I sent in the story originally, now you all have me paranoid I’m gonna get hit with more charges and shithead collection agents… blech. All this to top off a week where my computer died, I broke me watch and our Guitar Hero controller at work died. Feh.

  9. homerjay says:

    Grab a gee-tar, conformco! You got y’urself the makin’s of some fiiiiine country music!

  10. conformco says:

    Not that anyone well ever drift this far back to read a Sprint post, but just to provide closure, I got a refund check today in the mail from Sprint. Yay me.

  11. txsbyte says:

    I went to Sprint a few months ago to get my phone replaced – 3rd one this year – and complained about the service. I asked them when my contract was up and said I was thinking about cancelling it. Their CSR said since I had made a change to service 11/05, my contract was not up until 11/07. I was never told this when I changed it and told her so which she sweetly replied, “That’s how we keep customers”.