Sprint Changes Plan And Renews Contract Without Consent

Sprint changed Carolyn’s plan and renewed her contract without her consent. A nine-year customer with four lines, Carolyn’s problems began when her December invoice showed roaming charges on a plan that allowed for free roaming. She soon discovered that in November, Sprint had moved her to a newer, more expensive plan, without her consent.

Carolyn’s email exchange with Sprint, inside…


Carolyn’s old plan charged $5 for an SMS plan and $7.50 for Sprint’s Vision Pack. Under the new plan, the price of each became $15. When Carolyn called to cancel, a retention specialist agreed to honor the previous pricing, with a $0.50 per month increase. Not only did the specialist fail to enter the new price, but she signed each of Carolyn’s lines to new two-year contracts, without Carolyn’s consent.

Carolyn continued to battle with CSRs until she reached Paulina. In exchange for actually signing new two-year contracts, Paulina offered Carolyn a reasonable deal that approximated her old service package. Carolyn asked for the offer in writing, but Paulina said Carolyn could call her back anytime to accept. When Carolyn did call back, neither Paulina, nor the deal she offered, could be found.

When Carolyn called Sprint Executive Support to complain, she was told to “write a letter.” The other day Carolyn received a letter. Her contracts have all been signed to new one-year contracts.

The full email exchange, below.

Jan 3 I called Sprint PCS to clear up Dec 15 inv incorrect chgs for anytime mins used over top tier. Was told this happened because the acct wasn’t coded into Sprint system correctly so lines weren’t sharing minutes. Also chgd for roaming even though acc’t has America plan which has no roaming charges. Rec’d $105.23 credit adjustment for Dec 15 invoice

Jan 15 inv has incorrect chges for anytime mins used over top tier even though acct had 500 unused shared anytime mins remaining. Same inv also has incorrect charges on one of the lines: unltd SMS messaging – changed from $5/mo to $15/mo, and Vision Pack changed from $7.50/mo to $15/mo

1/26 I emailed SprintPCS.com – Question re acct#*********-*: 4 phones sharing mins – on 1/3/07 I called Sprint CS to review Dec 15 inv – was chgd for “shared anytime mins above top tier” though we hadn’t used all of anytime mins in the plan. Also charged for roaming which is included in our ‘America’ plan. Was told reason for mistaken chgs was because acct was entered into Sprint’s system incorrectly. The result: credit for $105.23 for the 12/15/06 invoice.

On 1/15/07 invoice – one of the lines on the acct still being chgd for mins used above top tier (have a 1400 Anytime Mins Plan – used 881 mins) called Sprint CS. and rec’d $13.60 credit. 45 mins into the call we discovered that another line’s plan had been inexplicably changed on 1/3/07 increasing chgs for unlmtd SMS messages from $5 to $15 and Sprint Vision Pack from $7.50 to $15. Rep couldn’t help since ‘system’ wouldn’t let her. She transferred me to the Retention Dept. who correct error but didn’t give credit for SMS and Sprint Vision Pack overcharges.

I’ve been a pretty patient Sprint PCS customer since 1998 when many calls were routinely dropped, or couldn’t be completed, or the system was overloaded and had to try the call later, etc. But after all these years,I am amazed that Sprint doesn’t have a system that allows reps to change codes that were entered into system incorrectly.

please tell me who I should send my bill to for the hours I’ve spent so far helping Sprint figure out their invoices.

Jan 27 email from Sprint PCS
Thank you for contacting Sprint together with Nextel. I will be happy to assist you regarding the billing concern. I sincerely apologize for the incorrect charges on the invoices, which was due to error in the plan set up. I do not blame you for being upset.

To get your issue resolved, it is best to have a verbal interaction with our specialist. Please contact us by dialing *2TALK from your PCS Phone or by dialing 1-888-788-4727 from a landline phone. Our specialists will thoroughly review the account and make the necessary corrections.

I have also notified the account about your issues so that the specialist assisting you will have a point of reference. Thank you for contacting us, we look forward to serving you.
Veronika T. E-Care Sprint together with Nextel
“Where our customers come first!”
Refer someone to Sprint and get $25.
Visit http://www.sprint.com/referralprogram for details.

Jan 29 email from me to Sprint: Dear Veronika T. Thanks for your response but I’ve already been there – done that. The CSR I spoke to for 45 mins during my last call couldn’t change the ‘codes.’ The retention dept rep couldn’t be bothered. I’m left with a solution that is: 1) as clear as mud to me so that if it doesn’t appear on my next Sprint inv I can’t even explain to a CSR what ‘it’ is, and 2) it is not reflected on my current (Jan 15th) invoice. The first, helpful rep credited my account for the ‘overage’ minutes. But the second retention dept rep didn’t credit me for the $15 SMS msg chg which should be $5 or for the $15 Vision package chg which should be $7.50.

And, seriously, please tell me who I can send my invoice to for the time I’ve invested in helping Sprint PCS fix the ‘bugs’ in your invoicing system.

Jan 29 email from Sprint:
Thank you for writing back to us. I will be glad to provide clarification regarding the billing concern. I noticed that the service plan for the main line was changed as of November 15, 2006. This new plan includes roaming, but the old plan prior to this date never included roaming. Therefore, whatever roaming charges incurred prior to November 15, 2006 are billed correctly.

During the plan change process, there was error in the set up of the additional line. Therefore, you were billed the additional tier charge and roaming charges on your previous and current invoices. However, all the necessary credits for the incorrect charges have already been credited.

The necessary plan changes have been made as of Jan 02, 2007 to avoid these incorrect charges. You will no longer be billed incorrectly from your next invoice onwards.

The old Vision Pack and the Unlmitd SMS Text Messaging option were removed when the plan for the main line was changed in Nov 15, 2006. This is because these options that were offered at a subsidized rate were compatible with the old plans and cannot be continued with the new plans.

Therefore, the new Vision Pack and the Unlimited SMS Text Messaging option for $15 each were added as of Jan 03, 2007. I am sorry that you were not educated about these changes and apologize for the confusion this has caused. A specialist has removed these two options effective Feb 14, 2007 and added the Vision Pack (for $5 per month) and the Unlimited SMS Text Messaging option (for $8 per month). This is the best we can offer as the old options are no longer available.

I understand you have been greatly inconvenienced while trying to get these issues resolved and have spent many hours to get it resolved. We are reviewing our service procedures to ensure that incidents like this do not happen again.

I have applied 100 courtesy minutes as a token of compensation for the inconvenience caused. These courtesy minutes will be available after you have used all of your Anytime Minutes. These minutes will be available for the current billing cycle only.

We hope that you will give us another chance to provide you with the kind of service you deserve and that all your future experience with us gives you satisfaction.
Thank you for contacting Sprint. We appreciate your business, and look forward to providing you first class service in the future. Have a great day!
Veronika T. E-Care
Sprint together with Nextel “Where our customers can Refer someone to Sprint and get $25.

Jan 30 email to Sprint: Dear Veronika, Thanks for helping me understand the errors that have been made on my acct’s invoices. Your explanations are not very satisfying. For example, I’m having a lot of trouble with your explanation that:

“The old Vision Pack and the Unlimited SMS Text Messaging option were removed when the plan for the main line ***-***-**** was changed in November 15, 2006. This is because these options that were offered at a subsidized rate were compatible with the old plans and cannot be continued with the new plans.

Therefore, the new Vision Pack and the Unlimited SMS Text Messaging option for $15 each were added for line ***-***-**** as of Jan 03, 2007. I am sorry that you were not educated about these changes and apologize for the confusion this has caused.”

Not educated? Confusion? Let’s be straight with each other. Sprint PCS made changes to my acct that I was not told about (these conversations are recorded, right?) and you’re sorry? So two services (SMS Messaging and Vision Pack) that were costing me $12.50 a month were changed to $30/month for the exact same services. And I wasn’t informed.

Your inability, for whatever reason, to take the $30 a month chg for Vision Pack and SMS Messaging off my existing inv and replace it with a corrected $12.50 charge, refusing to acknowledge that my time is worth money (this isn’t a paid occupation for me) and dismissively offering 100 ‘free’ minutes when our most recent invoice had more than 500 unused anytime minutes on it, coupled with Sprint’s ‘error in the setup’ that took me not one, but two phone calls to customer service and at least 90 mins to clear up (my last most recent phone call to you was primarily to point out we are STILL being charged for mins above top tier when we had almost 600 anytime mins in our plan that weren’t used that month) – all this does not add up to any kind of customer satisfaction or customer retention. Since three of the four phones on our plan are not new phones I am going to start shopping today for new phones and plans with a new carrier for these phones and as soon as I find them will be canceling our Sprint account.

So you can keep the 100 courtesy minutes – maybe you can use them for yourself! But I am insisting that you at least correct my most recent invoice to reflect ALL the errors you’ve made on my behalf. And if you have any interest in keeping this account and retaining us as customers after all these years, try making a realistic apology in the form of – let’s say two months of free service for the account.

And if we are going to get into ‘penalty’ fees when I do cancel, then I am going to have to insist upon hearing the recording that Sprint made on Nov 15th when changes to the account were put in place. But I don’t think that will be necessary, do you?

Jan 29 email from me to Sprint
And by the way, the changes in chgs for SMS messages from $5 to $15 and Vision Pack from $7.50 to $15 are NOT on my Dec 15th inv, so please tell me how you could make the following statement in your last email to me:

“The old Vision Pack and the Unlimited SMS Text Messaging option were removed when the plan for the main line was changed in Nov 15, 2006. This is because these options that were offered at a subsidized rate were compatible with the old plans and cannot be continued with the new plans.”

I am very upset and unhappy with Sprint PCS.

Jan 30 email from Sprint:
Thank you for writing back to us. In order to best address your concerns, I have arranged a call back for you. A Customer Care agent will be contacting you within 48 business hrs to respond to your concern.Thank you for contacting us. Have a great day.
Abebi R. Business E-Care
Sprint together with Nextel “Where our customers come first!”

Jan 31 email from Sprint Customer Solutions to me
Greetings!
This is the follow-up to our conversation dated 01/31/2007 regarding your the vision pack and unlimited sms option.

I have reviewed your account and found that the Vision Pack $15 and the Unlimited SMS pack $15 will get expired dated 02/14/2007 and the Vision Pack $7.50 and the Unlimited SMS pack $8 will be added on your account dated 02/15/2007.

I would like to thank you for taking the time to speak with me about your concerns. It was a pleasure talking to you. I am glad I was able to assist you.

If you think that you have resolved the issues satisfactorily, please fill the customer satisfaction survey form to rate my performance over this call on the scale of 1 to 5, where 5 being the highest. If you have already filled this form, please use the same link again to rate my performance or you may reply this mail with your feedback. This will really provide me a valuable feedback

Thank you for choosing Sprint. Have a nice day.
Sharon M. E-Care
Sprint together with Nextel “Where our customers come first!”

Jan 31 email to Sharon M. E-Care Sprint
Huh? What? I think we definitely misunderstood each other. This is not a satisfactory solution for me. I was paying $5 for unlimited SMS so $8 is not BETTER – it is $3 more a month, plus the incorrect chgs for SMS on my current Jan 15th inv of $15 and $5.81, and the Vision Pack chgs of $15 and $5.81!!!!!!!!!

I am so sorry to say that I was not able to understand you very well when you told me how much my SMS and Vision Pack plans would cost on a going-forward basis. I completely misunderstood you.

On Jan 26th, Christie from Retention Dept offered me unlimited SMS for $8/month and a Vision Pack for $5/month (to make up for the increase in the unlimited SMS plan). So your proposed solution is inferior to Christie’s from Retention. I would like to speak to someone from Sprint who is serious about helping me resolve these issues.

Feb 1 Sprint Customer Solutions to me
My name is Opal and I am a representative of Sprint Together with Nextel.

I have reviewed your account today, as well as the emails to and from you and our representatives. I apologize for the inconveniences you have experienced.

Unfortunately, as our systems are set up, once a plan or feature is changed on your account from a old plan that is no longer offered we are unable to change your service back to the previous plan. Though we will do our best to match your previous plan or feature in price and service.

Looking back on the issues you have had, I do see that we have rectified overage charges and have put our efforts into finding the best solution for you, because as I mentioned, we cannot change plans back once they are switched from unavailable plans.

I do see that you have received credits on your acct this month to accommodate for the extra charges caused by incorrect plans on your account. As well, the offer made to you concerning text messaging and Vision services only charges you an extra $0.50 difference from what you previously had.

Previously, you had:
SMS Unlimited: $5
Sprint PCS Vision: $7.50

New features to be activated on 02/15/2007:
SMS Unlimited: $8
Sprint PCS Vision: $5

Christie added this service on for you, it is only waiting for the previous plans to expire. As I mentioned, you have received credits to compensate for this difference in price.

I hope this information clarifies your account status for you.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reply to this email and I will be more than happy to assist you. If your reply comes in on a day I am not available, another representative will be more than willing to assist you further.

Thank you for being a part of Sprint Together with Nextel. Have a great day!
Opal S. E-Care
Sprint Together with Nextel “We are always here to help”

Feb 1 email to Sprint from me:
Dear Opal,
I’m shopping for a family plan from another carrier. So we should be discussing how I terminate 3 of the 4 lines (one line is stuck with Sprint PCS because it’s a new Treo. The other three lines involve older phones so there is no great loss).

Why are you ignoring the most recent correspondence I’ve had from Sprint –
Sharon M.’s email to me yesterday saying:

” I have reviewed your account and found that the Vision Pack $15.00 and the Unlimited SMS pack $15.00 will get expired dated 02/14/2007 and the Vision Pack $7.50 and the Unlimited SMS pack $8.00 will be added on your account dated 02/15/200.”

$7.50 and $8 – that’s $5.50 a month more, so I wrote back to Sharon M.saying:
“Huh? What? I think we definitely misunderstood each other. This is not a satisfactory solution for me. I was paying $5 for unlimited SMS so $8.00 is not BETTER – it is $3.00 more a month, plus the incorrect charges for SMS on my current Jan 15th invoice of $15 and $5.81 and the Vision Pack charges of $15 and $5.81!!!!!!!!!”

No one is addressing the incorrect charges on my current inv for the SMS messaging and Vision Pack. The credit that has been issued on my Jan 15th inv was for incorrect chgs for mins used above top tier when we still had a lot of unused anytime mins .

In order to clear this whole thing up and keep me a Sprint customer with a 4-line family plan, someone has to REALLY look at the acct and SEE that Sprint has made MANY incorrect overchgs, that I have spent A LOT of TIME trying to clear this up, that each time I deal with someone from Sprint it’s a DIFFERENT person who ignores ALL the overchgs on the acct and the fact that I have spent so much of my own TIME on this.

I’m insulted by the 100 free mins offered to me when we have LOTS of anytime mins available to us already this month. If Sprint can’t be bothered trying to keep me as a customer by clearing up this mess, I am going to take my 3 lines some place else.

Let me tell you what is needed: A credit on my current outstanding inv for the incorrect chgs on 1**-***-**** (Vision Pack and SMS) and a REALISTIC acknowledgement on Sprint PCS’s part for the time I’ve spent trying to get my acct properly coded into your system. I’ve spent at least 3 hours of my valuable time. I’m talking about changes made to my plan without my knowledge or consent and overcharges on my current inv.

Please.

Feb 1 Sprint Customer Solutions to me
Thank you for your reply.

I have not ignored the previous correspondence, though I do apologize that I did not mention that Sharon had been incorrect. You were not going to be chgd $7.50 and $8 for the Unlmtd SMS and Vision Pack. As I mentioned, once the Vision Pack for $15 and the Unlmtd SMS pack for $15 were to be expired, you were to receive Unlmtd SMS for $8, and the Vision pack for $5. Therefore, it would only be a difference of $0.50 from what you previously had.

As a courtesy to you I have changed the dates so your new plans will begin as of today instead of 02/15/2007. I have also credited $50 to cover both the $20.81 charge on your January bill for the Vision Pack for $15.00 and the Unlimited SMS pack for $15.00, as you did receive one month free of the Vision service. This $50 also covers the estimated charges for starting the discounted Vision pack and Unlimited SMS. Therefore, concerning these charges, no further credit is due.

Changes and Credits:
******************

Removed Unlmtd SMS for $15 and Vision pack for $15 – Effective 02/01/2007
Added Unlmtd SMS for $8 and Vision pack for $5 – Effective 02/01/2007
Credited $50
– $20.81 for January Vision and SMS charges
– $29.19 for approximate charges for new Vision $5, and new SMS $8.

I do hope you find this resolution satisfactory.

However, if you still wish to cancel your lines, I will be happy to forward your request to our Account Services Department for you.

I will advise you that your 1*** line is under contract until 01/26/2009, and if cancelled before that date, will incur an Early Termination Fee of $200.00. Your 2*** line is under contract until 04/27/2008, and if cancelled before that date, will incur a $150.00 Early Termination Fee.

Once again, I apologize for the trouble you have experienced, and I do hope you will reconsider Sprint as your service provider. We are always working to correct any issues that occur, and do highly value our customers.

If there is any other questions or concerns you may have, please do not hesitate to reply to this email and I will be more than happy to assist you further. If your email is received on a day I am not available another representative will be more than happy to assist you.

Thank you for being a part of Sprint Together with Nextel. Have a great day!

Opal S. E-Care
Sprint Together with Nextel
“We are always here to help”

Feb 2 From me to Sprint PCS
More ‘incorrect’ info from Sprint. It never seems to end. so that is why I have questions about the following paragraph from your email:

“I will advise you that your 2*** line is under contract until 01/26/2009, and if cancelled before that date, will incur an Early Termination Fee of $200.00. Your 3*** line is under contract until 06/24/2008, Your 1*** line is under contract until 4/27/08, and if cancelled before that date, will incur a $150 Early Termination Fee.”

1. 2*** is locked in a contract til 1/26/09? Why would that be? What occurred a week ago to cause that? Or is 2*** under a 3 or 4 or 5 year contract?

2. Where can I find this information regarding the dates of our contracts. It used to be online for each line, but it’s not anymore. Nor is it on our invoice. Curiously annoying.

Feb 4 email from Sprint Customer Solutions
Dear Carolyn,
We appreciate you for writing back to us and I would be glad to assist you further.
As of January 26, 2007 a 10% credit against the monthly service charge was offered to you with a new two-year agreement. After you accepted this offer, the agreement was renewed on the account.

Further, currently the agreement satisfaction date is not reflecting on the online account. Our Web site development team is working again to get this information updated on the online account.

Agreement does not get updated automatically without your consent. However, when any changes are made to the acct or any offer accepted, depending on it, agreement is renewed.
Thank you for contacting us. Have a great day.
Alendra S. Business E-Care
Sprint together with Nextel “Where our customers come first!”

Feb 4 from me to Sprint:
No, I did not consent or accept a new two year agreement. This is really the last straw.
The 10% credit against the monthly service chg was offered by Christie in Retention to replace a credit we’ve been receiving (qualifying employer credit) that became void when Sprint corrected ITS BILLING MISTAKES. I did not agree or consent to a new 2 yr contract on any of the 4 lines on this acct. I want this CORRECTED immediately or I am going to file a complaint with the FCC. And I would like an explanation regarding the contract agreement dates for ***-***-****.

Feb 4 Sprint Customer Solutions to me
On the PCS Phone Number ***-***-****, agreement was added as of April 27, 2006 while adding the Total Equipment Protection program.

To dispute the agreements, we request you to contact us by dialing *2TALK from your PCS Phone. From eCare, it is not possible to make any changes to the current agreement. Have a nice day!
Alendra S. Business E-Care
Sprint together with Nextel “Where our customers come first!”

Feb 5 I called Sprint PCS CS and the rep I spoke to, Paulina, who was articulate, informed and seemed motivated to resolve all issues w/this acc’t. She confirmed that 3**-***-**** was out of contract, and that ***-***-****’s contract was due to expire on March 12, 2007. She also told me that a contract can only be changed with customer’s knowledge and consent if there is a phone upgrade or a change in plan minutes. She offered to go over the acc’t, review all the notes, emails, etc. and call me back same time next day.

Feb 6 Sprint PCS CS rep, Paulina, called me:
After reviewing our acc’t she said Sprint wanted to keep our business and was willing to make us a great offer if we would re-up contracts on all four lines for two more years:
15% disc on each line on top of the 10% employer disc the acc’t already receives
Remove $5/mo chg for 7 pm start (as opposed to 9pm) of evening/weekend mins
On line 1**-***-**** free 500 SMS messages (currently paying $8)
On line 4**-***-**** free unltd SMS messages (currently paying $10/mo for 1,000)
On line 3**-***-**** free 500 SMS messages (currently $5/mo for 300)
On line 2**-***-**** free unltd SMS messages (currently $8) and free Vision Pack

I asked for the offer in writing and she told me CS Reps aren’t set up to do that, but not to worry because it was all going to be written in our acct’s records. I told her it didn’t really mean much to me if I didn’t have it in writing. She gave me her name again (just her first name) and her log in ID: PAK1638 and told me if I ever had an issue with this acc’t or with her offer, I could call Sprint PCS customer service and they would contact her and have her call me. She told me to think it over and discuss it with three other family members on the plan. We set a time to talk again Friday, Feb 9, 2007, at 8 am.

Feb 14 Paulina never called back.
Today we received in US Mail Confirmation of your recent account changes with new contract start/end dates for 2**-***-**** (the line that is actually out of contract):
Start date 1/26/07 End date 1/26/09
None of the changes that Paulina and I talked about was reflected on this Confirmation of account changes. I called Sprint Executive Offices 877-875-7505 and the switchboard person told me she wouldn’t know how to find Paulina even with her log in ID since they have so many call centers. Then she asked me to hold and while she found someone who could help me. The rep who came on the line told me that it was noted in our acc’t records that our contract end dates on the two lines in question, 1**-***-**** and 2**-***-**** were changed from 1/26/09 to 4/27/08. I asked her what caused the contract date to revert to 4/27/08. She asked me to hold on and we were disconnected.
Feb 16 I called Sprint PCS and Gloria said that it is noted in our acc’t records that the contract end date for 1**-***-**** was changed from 1/26/09 to 4/27/08 the same date that 2**-***-****’s contract will expire. She couldn’t figure out why contracts were renewed for these two lines on 4/27/06. I asked for proof and she said she wasn’t set up to do that and suggested I write a letter to Sprint PCS.

Despite the CSRs’ taglines, it doesn’t sound like Sprint’s customers come first. It sounds like two-year contracts come first. We wonder what that letter will look like. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER
(Photo: cmorran123)