Sprint Forces You To Pay $988.00 For A Phone You Never Used

Here’s a sad story from reader Kristin:

I signed a contract with Sprint in 2004, things were going great. My husband and I decided to move in January 2007 and needed a phone service that reached our area…Sprint did not. Now, pay close attention to the dates…..

I called Sprint in January of 2007 and told them that I would like to cancel my contract with them. They explained to me that my contract which I opened in 2004 was up to expire in three months, three months being March of 2007. I said fine, I will continue to pay the monthly bills until such time but DO NOT want to renew the contract because I had already secured another cell phone carrier, Verizon. They said, well can we offer you a free phone to keep you around? I said NO, just please DO NOT renew my contract. So three months go by and I sit down one day to pay my bills and what do you know…..there’s a phone bill from Sprint. I started to make phone calls, but…every single time I entered in my account number to speak with a customer representative, DISCONNECTED. So I thought, let me try to write some emails…they can’t hang up on emails…but they definitely IGNORED THEM! Now, let me explain that I work with an organization that closely monitors my credit report and cannot take the chance of ANYTHING being reported to a collections agency so month after month I paid a bill for a phone that I no longer used…HELL I couldn’t even find the damn phone.

So fast forward to February of 2008, I FINALLY got to speak with a customer service representative that had a ton of attitude. I explained to her that I have been trying to have this phone disconnected for over a year. She said well, I can disconnect the phone for you but it will cost $200 since your contract doesn’t expire until 2009. I said no mam, that is incorrect, my contract should have expired in March of 2007. She said, No, it’s 2009. I asked to speak with a supervisor, she said “HOLD” and nobody ever came back to the line.

So today APRIL 10, 2008 I get a bill for $268.00. I call the Finance Department at Sprint. I ask why would I pay $268 for a disconnection fee if my contract ended in March of 2007. She stated that I would have had to of signed or verbally gave approval in 2006 to renew the contract but they don’t keep records going back that far……EXCUSE ME??? What do you mean you don’t keep records going back only 2 years??? I said, NO, I NEVER signed or gave a verbal approval of anything, infact, I tried to cancel this phone over a year ago and got the run around. She said well sorry mam, but you will either have to pay this or we will send it to collections. Again, SPRINT is not worth my job, so today APRIL 10, 2008 15 MONTHS LATER I am out a grand total of $988.00 for a phone that I HAVEN’T USED!!!

Needless to say, I will NEVER use Sprint again and after speaking to family and friends about this situation who all use SPRINT…they will NOT be renewing their contracts and a couple will be calling to cancel. DON’T MESS WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS…cause in the end you will be the one losing! BASTARDS.

Thanks for letting me rant.

Oh my gosh, Kristin that is horrible! First we’d like to suggest that you call the Sprint Consumerist Hotline: (703-433-4401). We’re not sure how much luck you’re going to have negotiating with them, but we’d take the opportunity ask for them to send you copies of all your phone records as well as a copy of something that says you authorized the contract extension. I know you said that they told you they don’t keep records but that’s a bunch of baloney. Take notes during this conversation, or record it.

Next, you may want to try to launch an eecb (Executive Email Carpet Bomb) on Sprint. You might want to remind them how angry the Minnesota Attorney General is about the 30,000 complaints she’s received about Sprint extending contracts without customer consent. Sprint has a new commercial that invites you to email the CEO at dan@sprint.com. We suspect you’ll get a canned response, but we’d love to be wrong about that.

Finally, if that doesn’t work, why not file a lawsuit in small claims court? Bring all the evidence you can get from Sprint that shows you never used the phone. If you’re lucky, they won’t even show up and you’ll get a default judgment.

Does anyone else have any advice for Kristin?