Why Sprint Has The Lowest Customer Satisfaction

Brett sent us a story perfectly illustrating why Sprint has really crappy customer satisfaction ratings. While the other cellphone service providers scores hover slightly under the national ACSI average of 75, Sprint’s are a dismal 56. It must be because of too many situations like the following danse macabre of incompetence:

1. Brett can’t get coverage around his house
2. Tech support ineffective in solving this problem
3. Told he could cancel without ETF
4. Cancels, ETF taken out of his checking account anyway
5. Has so far spent four months calling and refaxing documents, still doesn’t have his money back.

Possible solution: Call the Sprint Consumerist executive customer service line at 703-433-4401.


Edit Your Comment

  1. heavylee-again says:

    Maybe if someone wants to cancel in the future, it might be a good diea to unlink your checking account and pay a bill or two manually. That might prevent them from automatically taking the ETF.

    I’m not saying that Brett did anything wrong, but obviously Sprint can’t be trusted.

  2. Letsgohokies says:

    I would dispute the charge with my bank. I have a credit union that I am pretty sure would help me out. Or even better, if it had been on my Amex, they don’t play around. YMMV.

  3. This is why I hate ETFs…since cell companies usually let you pay with credit card, that’s the way to go. Plus, several airline credit cards usually reward you quite heartily for cell/gas/groceries.

    I oppose auto bill pay. I’d rather just take the 5 minutes and authorize the ETF each month (assuming you can keep up with it). Auto ETF is evil, disguised in convenience. Sort of like store gift cards.

  4. Invalid_User_Name says:

    I’m with Ash78: I oppose ANYTHING with auto-steal-from-your-checking account. Never do it.

  5. AlexTNOA says:

    Colorful allegory, but I think it is Danse Macabre, not Dance Macabre. I would think that spell check was the culprit on this one.

  6. LouSir says:

    Sue Sprint in small claims court for civil theft.

  7. graymulligan says:

    and this is why I still get my cell phone bill mailed to me. It’s the only paper bill I send out every month, but if I ever have an ETF issue, they can’t just grab the money and run. [/neuroitc]

  8. BoomerFive says:

    @graymulligan: Preach on brotha. I will not allow cell phone companies to take auto drafts from my accounts. Only bad things can happen.

  9. spinachdip says:

    @Invalid_User_Name: Seconded. I do auto-bill, but all payments are set up on the bank side. They’re easier to keep track of that way, too.

  10. kc2idf says:

    This sort of shenanigans is exactly why I will not link my checking account to anything. I got burned once about 10 years ago.

  11. @Ash78: you do know that ETF is Early Temination Fee. A charge assesed for not making it through the end of your contract.

    You seem to be thinking of Automatic debit to a checking account or something similar.

  12. Devidence says:

    Poor reception around his house can happen with any company, and I don’t know what you expect tech support to do, build a new cell site?

    I’d get something in writing about the ETF, as we’ve learned here ALL of the companies take poor notes and later dispute what the reps say.

  13. @valarmorghulis: My dyslexia…I intended to type EFT! (elec. funds xfer)

  14. KristinaBeana says:

    I just had an issue with Sprint adding an entire plan to my account without either my wanting or authorizing the change. I had been called to see if I wanted to add any services to my account and I asked about a portability issue with my husband’s phone that I was told could not happen, and then did, all without my knowledge or approval of any plan changes. The very day the bill with new, mondo charges came my husband received a phone call asking how he much he liked Sprint. He basically replied, well not so much and I can see how customers are dropping like flies. He was given this number: 1-877-766-7697, their customer retention line. Honestly, they were very helpful and were able to resolve the issue and reverse the charges in about a 20 minute phone call. Too bad that it takes a threat to leave to fix anything.

  15. dagzine says:

    Sprint sucks. Customer Service listens to complaints but cannot act. It’s that simple. While a customer, Sprint sent me two phones via mail, and billed me. It took a month of several 45-90 minute calls with customer service to find somebody who would tell me where to send the phones I hadn’t ordered and how to credit my account for the improper charges.

    During my first several phone calls, I was informed that as far as Sprint was concerned I had ordered the phones because the computer showed the order. Unbelievabe. How can you carry on a discussion with a person who has been hired to read what is on a screen and follow a script? “Well, my screen says that you ordered the phones…etc etc”

    I am with TMobile now. Though I have gripes, I haven’t had any service nightmares (yet.)

  16. privatejoker75 says:

    i dropped sprint after 18 months of dropped calls and almost no signal in/around my house (i live in Austin). I finally got out of the contract with no ETF last month and lo and behold what i get in the mail this month? A monthly bill for $50 for zero minutes used for my wife’s phone (i cancelled both). I don’t even have the patience to call them right now.

  17. pmathews says:

    My wife and I left sprint years ago. We got the phones in college when we didn’t know any better. It got ridiculous around the time they started charging money to talk to customer service. I think it was $5 around 2001-2002. I think they got rid of that soon after but we left over the principal of the matter and the audacity of a company to charge for customer service.

  18. bleh says:

    Here’s to hoping Sprint gets out of the cellphone business.

  19. Ssscorpion says:

    Four words: Pay as you go

  20. Pasketti says:

    While the other cellphone service providers scores hover slightly under the national average of 75, Sprint’s are a dismal 56.

    I’ll be charitable and assume that “other” means the major carriers, not all the others.

    If the average is 75, and the the major ones are below that, I want to know who the one are that are above 75. They must be blowing that curve pretty hard.

  21. Pro-Pain says:

    NEVER, EVER, give Sprint access to your debit/bank account by using autopay. That is the BIGGEST mistake a Sprint user/subscriber can make.

  22. Pro-Pain says:

    To add to my post, if you allow the autopay option and are overcharged/billing mistake on your bank account. Sprint give you a credit to your CELL account, NOT YOUR MONEY BACK. Therefore you could have checks bouncing thanks to Sprint. NEVER USE AUTO PAY WITH SPRINT.

  23. Ben Popken says:

    @Pasketti: No, I was referring to the national average for all companies.

  24. okvol says:

    Sprint does track promises made. For that matter, they don’t track contracts made on their web site. Nor do they track obligations made by their on-line “chat” service.

    When I took a dispute over the above items to the BBB, Sprint called from the exec customer service center, asked what I was owed, and credited my account. There was no internal accounting for the promises made. How do they ever pass a SOX audit?

  25. okvol says:

    That should be “doesn’t track”

  26. The_Legend says:

    As bad as Sprint is, they have to be miles ahead of AT&T.

  27. highmodulus says:

    Nope, At&T was a single point behind Verizon. Both were over 10 points ahead of poor Sprint.

  28. Burgandy says:

    Hrm, Sprint: bought 1st cell phone, had it replaced the next day (defective) asked the sales person if I was going to have to re-enter the #s I had stored or would they transfer over. Was told they would transfer, when I went back later the sales person told me that I lied and he had never spoken to me before?!?! Told him that since he hadn’t ever spoken to me before I needed to talk to his manager and get the contract cancelled so he wouldn’t get commision. He remembered me then…
    AT&T: No problem with the phone, big problem with my old boss…still have the phone.

  29. calvinneal says:

    ATT actually is mostly okay! Again, it depends where you are located.The old ATT PCS company which was owned by the now defunct ATT Corporation before it was acquired by SBC which is now the new ATT was horrible. Cingular which is now ATT Mobility got much better when it combined bandwidth with the old ATT which it acquired about 4 years ago. Cingular is now called ATT Mobility and is managed and 100% owned by the new ATT which until last year was called SBC. Jeez, I confused my self!

  30. DWMILLER says:

    I miss phone booths! I know you have to stop and get out of your car and maybe stand in some bums vomit or poo and maybe pick the gum off the head set but it is better than talking to some idiot in India or where ever.

  31. Bourque77 says:

    @worksintheory: A-men to that

  32. Alger says:


    Especially telecommunications companies.

  33. Consumer007 says:

    @heavylee-again: Once they have a record of the bank account anywhere do you really think “unlinking it” makes a difference? Nope…

    @Devidence: Ummmmm… No. A cell phone company is in breach of contract if they claim cell phone service in a particular zip code and then don’t provide a strong enough signal to make calls from there with phones THEY sell you. I went through this very thing with Splint when I used to live in 77018 (Houston Metro) in 2000. Clearly showed they claimed coverage in that zip code in their coverage map, and they told me verbally they did and 2 friends and I could not place calls on any of 3 different model phones with Splint accounts standing either inside or outside on the street in that area. I threatened a lawsuit and an FCC complaint and they let me out of the contract. Period.

    Hello…you pay for the signal. They don’t provide it, you don’t pay. Can you hear me now, Dev?
    YES, they ARE supposed to build more towers, turn up the volume, whatever, that is NOT the consumer’s problem.

    On a separate note, while he did get it resolved, I would like to bring up here that a friend of mine last year, when calling to CANCEL Splint, the trailer trash mofo bitch hag he got on the pone signed him up for a whole ‘nutha plan while lying and saying she was closing the account. So the bogus bills kept coming, charging more money and fees for a fictional acount (new numbers) DESPITE NO USAGE. Ken had to call 5 times and they kept apologizing saying don’t worry sir, we are cancelling this, and you won’t get another bill. To Consumerist’s credit, after the 5th month of this and a $300 some odd bogus bill, we called the number provided in this article, they DID get to the bottom of it and stop the bills. The only thing I would have been happier with is the Attorney General in that state having above referenced in-breeder arrested in Splint call center for fraud. I tried to get him to use the Mail Fraud statutes to go after her (well, it actually), but he stopped once the bills did – too bad…Another thought – You know, people like this have all of our personal info, I think we need to change the laws so we get all the names, social numbers and addresses of anyone touhing our accounts…think how NICE and ACCURATE they would be then :)

  34. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @calvinneal: That explains it. AT&T Mobility practically goes down on me every time I call — they’re so damned nice.

    Regular AT&T/SBC/Pacbell (landline — I know, I know, but I need it for business) are lying, procrastinating jackals. Thankfully, I rarely have to deal with them.

  35. mcrbpc says:

    @okvol: easy. They are audited by KPMG.

  36. frogman31680 says:

    I am a sales rep for a company well bashed on this website that is an authorized carrier for both sprint and AT&T. This is why Sprint sales are going down the tubes.

    1 – Whenever I try to activate a phone on the sprint site, the site goes down and I can’t do it. So, I have to call in and do it manually which on average takes about 2 HOURS!

    2 – Do not do ANYTHING where sprint has control of your checking account. We have complaints about Sprint taking double payments out of people and then admitting to the error and still not getting the money back.

    Add those and the terrible commission rates that sprint pays for me to go through all of that and that is why I choose AT&T.

  37. felixgolden says:

    Sprint Consumerist hotline FTW!

    I had to call the other day after a service center refused to replace my broken phone with a equvalent model. They would only offer a basic phone that was not compatible with a number of my extra services. AND they had to order it since they only had new ones, not refurbs.

    A quick call to the hotline and I had a new, updated version of my exisiting phone overnighted. The rep did try to contact the center first to try to get them to give me the proper replacement, but no one answered after multiple tries.

    Not the from the hotline, but the other Sprint customer service calls I have made recently have ended with the rep trying to get me to sign a 2 year contract extension for a credit of between $50 and $70. They are getting desperate

  38. ivealwaysgotmail10 says:

    Your executive hotline is quite efficient for some issues, I recently was forced to email the sprint board of executives with a full 5 page essay on what needs to change about sprint. after sending the same email to dan@sprint.com (seeing this on his “heartfelt” commercial) and getting a generic response from general customer service. I decided to lookup a few executive customer service emails and got immediate calls and emails from people who could actually resolve my issues and take my feedback to people who could actually make changes.

    The emails i sent were to

    All @ sprint.com

    They were very helpful and seemed genuinely determined to apply the changes i outlined. and seemed genuinely thankful for the reaserch i provided for free to them that would have cost them thousands in reaserch to find themselves. It was far from a generic template email response.

    Good luck, These methods are only for when all normal customer service channels and supervisors fail.

  39. h0rnd0g says:

    step 1. emailed asking for loyalty discount per the info on this site
    step 2, after 6 eamils back and forth, they gave me 10% discount and gave me 2 year new contract despite my not giving consent to that.
    step 3. called and the rep there sold me a new plan that he promised had unlimited data and a 75 dollar credit towrards a new phone..he was supposed to call back to confirm that whatever unauthorized change the email clowns made wouldn’t go thru and that his would.
    Step 4. didn’t hear from him for a week.
    step 5, found that my new plan did not infact have data and that the 75 hardware credt was only good over the phone, not store or online.
    step 6. called the executive line found on this site. after bickering with her, she said I’d get a 20% loyalty discount and that she would call back in late April to confirm the discount went thru. When she called , they had not. After explaining what 20% of $70 is, she finally gave me the proper credits and said she’d call back in May to once again make sure the 20% came off.
    step 7. lost my cell phone. customer service assured me that if I had my phone deactivated, that I would be able to ckeck voicemail per the normal process from either a land line or another cell. I approved so that if it was found, no idiot could call 1-900 numbers. Hour later, I tried to check my vm and it said the number I dialed had been temporarily disconneted. I called them furious and the next rep said I had been once again misinformed.
    Exec. support is supposed to call soon. What I would really like is to get out of my new 2year contract with paying no early term fees and leave them for once and all. I’ve been with them for 7 years now and it’s quite ironic that my loyalty has been turned into the exact oposite of loyalty. Any recommendations for getting out of the early term fee based on all the mismanagement and POOR Poor customer service I’ve received over the last 2 months?? Help is appreciated!

  40. Dyscord says:

    This is why I don’t use auto pay. With you have a bill coming every month, they have to wait on you to pay the bill. The idea of some company being able to take money out of my account whenever is disturbing.

    The hoops you have to go with to cancel your Sprint account due to moving into an area no service is a hassle. I work for them and from what I’ve read, you have to fax them proof of your address. Then, they determine if you truly live in a non service area. That’s the exact wording. Can you sense what would happen?

  41. I had Sprint back in the early ’00s and they sucked for all the above reasons.

    But the thing I really hated was calling their “customer service” line. This “robot” desperately tried to keep you from talking to a real human by supposedly answering your questions. The robot (supposedly female) even had a name (like Julie or something).

    This thing made normal menus at the competition seem downright wonderful.

  42. toiletduck says:

    Sprint customer service is in the tank because they continue to use outsourcing companies overseas who apparently enjoy arguing with customers and hanging up on them.

    Oh, and if anyone from Sprint Corporate Security is reading this, tell Johnny to go fuck himself with a hot curling iron.