Sprint Gives Stranger Full Access To Customer's Account, Shrugs

When Campbell changed his phone number with Sprint earlier this year, the company immediately assigned his old number to a new customer. They also gave that customer full access to Campbell’s account.

Campbell found out about it months later and confronted Sprint, but all he got in response was some standard customer service language about how the issue had been addressed.

On March 24th, I had my phone number changed from a San Antonio phone number to a Chicagoland number. The San Antonio number was immediately re-issued and I was given a Chicago number.

Clean, right? Nope! Come to find out MONTHS later, that whoever in the Tech department didn’t remove access to my personal account. The only reason I found out about this is because I had to ask who so and so was on my personal webpage!

They admitted to giving complete personal access to a total stranger! To make matters worse, I was a member of the military and had military personnel phone numbers on my account!

I’ve heard very little back from Sprint but am including a chat log where they admit 2 more times (in addition to the many times they admitted over the phone) that this was their mistake. [click image to view full size]

Their solution? $150 off a new phone. Seeing that I’ve been with the company for 5 years and have had only one upgrade, 3 years ago, I’m entitled to that anyway.

I already reported to the FTC, BBB and the Illinois State’s Attorney General.

Here are some ideas Sprint may want to consider the next time this happens. Or even this time, before they turn off a customer for life:

  • Have someone remotely related to fraud prevention or security talk to the customer; a standard-issue CSR isn’t going to have the training, or auto-script, to deal with this.
  • Offer a real financial apology to the customer, not the equivalent of a standard-issue customer loyalty credit that really just locks the customer into another contract. For instance, offer Campbell a refund on a couple of months of service as a way to compensate him for any time or money he loses addressing this issue.
  • Offer Campbell a year of credit monitoring service from the three major credit bureaus. Yes, this is largely symbolic, but that’s sort of the point—your customers want to know that you take their data security seriously, and that you’re committed to an all-encompassing damage control strategy whenever a leak occurs.
  • Find out why your system lets two different customers share the same account, especially if the newer customer has a separate account (which I assume was the case or else billing issues would have alerted Sprint almost immediately.)

(Photo: macrofarm)

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