Sprint Accidentally Sends You A Bill For $500, But At Least You Got Your $0.47 Check

Reader Todd (who left Sprint because of their constant billing errors 8 months ago) just received a $0.47 check…and someone else’s $500 cell phone bill:

I got a check in the mail last night for 47 cents for the credit that is on my old cell phone account. Of course this is after they applied my payment to the wrong account for 4 months and were just generally trying to rip me off so much that I ended up canceling and switching to my company’s provider for a much cheaper rate.

It was highly amusing to get a check for 47 cents though. I recently got a bill for like $500 since they confused my account with the person that they gave my number. Oh, and I canceled over 8 months ago. So Sprint is so bad that I had to tell them that they need to send the bill to the new account holder. Of course, one question lingers, how do you run up a $500 phone bill?

We don’t know, Todd. We’d always heard brevity was the soul of wit. —MEGHANN MARCO


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  1. I can tell you how you run up a 500 dollar sprint bill. Sprint is constantly screwing up all over the place.

    Last week I noticed a bill for about 18 dollars for an international call. I disputed it because I had international dialing and it should have been billed at 7 cents/min for a landline, 32 for a cell phone. This was billed at 99 cents per minute.

    After a week of disputing the charges it turns out that sprint 1) dropped international dialing from my plan when I added a 3rd line and 2) they weren’t able to distinguish if the number I dialed was a landline or a cellphone… so they billed me at the default rate and refused to credit my account because the number was “indeterminable.” (Wtf?)

    I call internationally frequently.. so at 99 cents per minute verses 7 cents… that’ll add up fast for the 200 or so minutes that I call overseas a month.

    I used some key phrases like “when does my plan end” and “can you help me terminate my contract” to get a retention person. He cleared the charges in about 15 minutes and fixed the problem.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Funny, I just got a flyer in the mail offering me a $50 credit for referring a “Friend” to sprint (and they even get a $25 credit!). I honestly can’t think of anybody I hate so much as to refer them to sprint.

  3. madmathias says:

    Sprint was my first cell phone provider when I lived in Wisconsin, and for the first 5 years, I had nary a problem with them. Once my job relocated my wife and I to Georgia, the problems started.
    My wife had US Cellular back in WI, but they didn’t provide service in GA, so we decided to try one of Sprint’s “fair and flexible” family plans. It was neither fair, nor flexible, to say the least.
    First the dubious task of getting me a local phone number on my account (should be done, same day, right?) took over a week. Later, I came to find that my account bill was being taxed by both the state of GA, and WI. Then I discovered that we were paying extra $5 a month just to have the night time calling set at 7pm, even though the new fnf plan said it was included. Later, when I attempted to make a change to a cheaper plan, I was told that I could not do so, because my phone was listed as a business account (even though it had been my personal cell for 6 years), and that I would have to get a new account setup, which would also require a new 2 year contract. I argued out of that BS successfully, and get the new plan, only to get double billed for both the old incorrect account and new account at the same time. After several lengthy phone calls, I was able to get the situation rectified, and get a credit on my bill, but they continue to email me to separate account statements.
    My wife had enough of Sprint, and so we bit the $200 cancellation bullet, and ported her number to a new Chocolate phone with Verizon (which she loves), while I waited for my contract to expire last month with Sprint. Then I got a similar check (for 1.82 I think) last week, which was a credit on the old account, which they still had in my name.
    I finally called to cancel my account yesterday, and naturally, they tried to tell me that I would have to pay an early cancellation fee of another $200. After calmly explaining all the previous historial BS, and having them fact check their records, I was granted freedom from Sprint without the fee, and told to have a nice day.

    I now calmly await the iPhone…

  4. joemono says:

    I didn’t get any humongous bills from Sprint after cancelling last year, but I have gotten two checks for $0.06 each.

    They are also still sending me monthly reminders that my bill is due, despite having asked them three times to stop (and being told that they would).

  5. MJDeviant says:

    I looked at a phone plan at sprint once to see how much my plan was going to be if I switched from verizon. I gave the guy some information, like my zip code, address and the minutes I wanted. I ended up declining the switch, as really I was just kind of browsing due to my Verizon contract being up. Then I continuously got a bill for $6.50 from Sprint every month. It never decreases or increases. I called multiple times and they said I was out of their system and they didn’t know what the charge was for. Not until I started working for the Ohio State University who sells sprint and has OSU people working for them did I get it resolved. And that’s only because my friend is the head of cellular for OSU. WTF?

  6. ScottyJ says:

    I work for Sprint. A few bits of advise and info on what is going on internally. I cannot stress one thing the most. Don’t buy a phone from a kiosk or store that is NOT owned by Sprint unless they give you a once and a lifetime deal. There are a lot of posers out there. The reasoning behind this is that they usually can tell you whatever they want to and are not held accountable. (ie: they won’t waive your fees or double bill your phone, then they will send you to a real Sprint store to fix the problem.) Also, often times not only do they sign you up with a 2 year contract and an early termination fee with Sprint, but an additional one with them if you cancel before a certain amount of time. All I get is people that come from other thrid party dealers with similar problems.

    The billing issues are 99% of the time the reps fault for not adding/removing the proper codes, thus screwing you royally. By reps I mean both retail and third party. Customer care is a joke, especially when you get the call center in India.

    Anytime you want to dispute anything over the phone, just ask immediately for the “cancellation” department. They will get it done within reasonable means. Problems also come from the fact that billing is being merged into one system. Ensamble. So what this means is that most of the reps have no idea what exactly to do. My advise, go into a corperate owned Sprint store and get them to call and/or fix the issue. Don’t waste your time, waste theirs (mine). But don’t walk into a Sprint store and threaten to cancel all your lines, we don’t get paid enough to care if you are an asshole about it. Be nice (not a push over) and people will do things for you.

    Lastly, the biggest problem is that the leaders of Sprint (Gary Forsee) have their heads up their asses and have no idea what is going on on the sales floor. Plain and simple Sprint has the best rate plans and data service (speed and coverage) out there…I’ve spent too much time comparing and it is true. Verizon uses more Sprint towers than you’d think. However, Sprint messes it all up with insane billing issues and illiterate morons in the customer care departments. Your best bet is to go into a Sprint store, chat it up with the reps and get a feel for how knowledgable they are. If you like em, buy a bunch of accessories or activate that line that you wanted for your kid (and you can return the accessories within 30 days at another Sprint store location and he’ll never know.) This will develop trust with the rep and he will see $$ in his eyes each time you walk in, which will make him bend over backwards to fix that pesky billing issue.

    Hope this helps.

  7. VIPRKC says:

    That’s funny, because I just received a check from Sprint about a month ago. I was a Sprint customer for about a year, then switched over to TMobile so I could get a cool phone…I don’t even remember what kind of phone I switched to TMobile for! Anyways…the check I received in the mail for was for $196! Being a college student, I ran right to the bank and cashed that baby because Sprint could give it back to me. Then, I got another invoice from sprint saying that I had a -$196 balance on my Sprint account for a customer reimbursement. Why the hell did they just give me $196 for free a year or two AFTER I cancelled with them? AND, they somehow knew my new address instead of the old one that I had used when I used Sprint. Absolutely incredible. And I just wanted to say thank you, Sprint, for giving me the ability that night to go out to dinner and get many ‘o cocktails on you.

    College Student

  8. dylan72986 says:

    As a result of my job, I constantly see cell bills well in excess of $500 and I thought I’d elaborate somewhat for anyone struggling with mammoth wireless charges. I work in the consumer advocacy division of the Houston-based company Validas, where we electronically audit and subsequently reduce the average cell bill by 22 percent through our website, http://www.fixmycellbill.com (and I’ll add that 22 percent equates to over $450 per year for the average user).

    You can find out for free if fixmycellbill.com can modify your plan to better suit your individual needs by going to the website. Check out Validas in the media, most recently on Fox News at http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/consumer/conlaw/lower_cell_phone_bills_072409 .

    Good luck to everyone reading on retaking control over your wireless expenses and potentially freeing up some extra cash this holiday season.

    Consumer Advocacy, Fixmycellbill.com