Sprint Tricked Me Into Renewing, Then Hiked Bill 30 Percent

Larry says Sprint snookered him into a sucker bet, fleecing him into re-upping his contract, not making him aware that his bill would skyrocket.

His tale:

I’ve been a Sprint customer for 10 years, and with the exception of phone selection, I’ve never had complaints about the service or even the customer service. Until today. Two years ago, my wife and I were tempted by the iPhone and called Sprint to see what they would do to keep us as customers. They agreed to give us two new discounts, in addition to our USAA discount, to keep our bill low, and we resided to the Palm Centro instead of iPhones.

Fastward to November of last year, my Centro had been dead for about five months and my wife’s was falling apart. Sprint had just released the HTC Hero and the Droid was coming to Verizon. So, we decided to see what Sprint could do for us again. We still had two month on our contract, but qualified for the full discount on new phones. So, it was the Hero or wait two month for our contract to end and be free to shop around. The Sprint sales rep on the phone informed me that we couldn’t keep the same plan, because the Hero required a different network and thus a different plan. The new plan was much more than what we were paying, for essentially the same service – from unlimited data, unlimited text, and around 750 minutes a month to unlimited data, unlimited text, and 1500 minutes a month. Granted, it was twice the minutes a month, but in 10 years we had only gone over 750 minutes once. I told the service rep that it was too much for what was for us the equivalent service, as the extra minutes weren’t of value to us. We were about to give up on the Hero and wait two month to shop around.

But wait! The sales rep told us that he could transfer all the discounts we were receiving to the new plan and contract, and our bill would only go up about “$5 or $10” more a month for the next two years. We agreed to the deal, and renewed. The December-January bill was a little confusing, with all the changes, but the section listing what our new plan bill was in line with what the sales rep told us. January-February’s bill was about $8 more than our old plan, so that too was expected. Then came the February-March bill, which had with a 30% price increase and two of our discounts gone.

I called customer service, and was passed up the chain twice to a rep that refused to pass me higher. He claimed that the discounts had expired, that they had no record of the sales rep’s offer to extent the discounts to the new contract, and that the best thing he could do was give me one discount that was 1/3 the value of the previous two discount. I told him that I wanted what I was promised I would get, because that was the reason we renewed in November. He refused and stated that there was no one else there that could do so. He took my name and number and said that “someone” will give me a call in 72 hours.

So, apparently, Sprint isn’t above lying to get you to renew, reneging, and then “losing” any record of those promises. Trapping in to 22 months of higher bills or a huge termination of contract fee. Am I being unreasonable to ask for what I was told I would receive? Any suggestions on where to go or what to do if I ever get that call back?

Have you had a cell phone company pull a similar ruse on you? Please share any advice you have for Larry.