For Hours Of Frustration And Weeks Without iPhone 5 Mobile Data, Sprint Offers $10

Image courtesy of (Will Middelaer)

Who gets to buy an iPhone 5? You may remember reader Luke, who wrote in to back up our Consumer Reports colleagues’ account that Sprint stores were requiring customers to buy an accessory bundle if they wanted to get their hands on the shiny new gadget. After a mixup in activating the two phones he eventually bought (from the Apple Store, with no unwanted bundles, thank you very much) Luke’s data connection wouldn’t work. Sprint’s apology for two data-less weeks? A $10 credit on his bill.

Apple sold me the phone and I called to activate the line for my wife, Sprint goofed and accidentally activated the new phone to my line (not my wife’s) 40 min on the phone with sprint customer service resolved the issue, except that my phones data connection would no longer work.

Over the course of 3 days I placed 8 calls all ranging from 20-65 minutes trying to get sprint to resolve the issue. I restored my phone 5 times, did a hard reset 6 times was disconnected twice. Never the less my smart phone was left dumb due to the lack of data.

On day four I took my phone into an apple store who reviewed the phone and shared there was nothing they could do on their end outside of swapping out for a new phone via AppleCare. Noting that it would cost 50 dollars it wasn’t my first option and the Apple store gave me another number to call for sprint. 40 minutes later I was told there was nothing that sprint could do for me and that I would need a new phone.

My last ditch effort was to follow a consumerist forum recommendation to email hoping that someone from his office would take notice. My letter was brief laying out the issue (lack of service) the need for resolution, a brief explanation of my frustration and a request for one month credit or to be let out of my contract without an etf. I wish I could report a happy ending, but unfortunately the staff at the highest level are not equipped with any tools to actually assist the customer. Over 3 days I logged nearly 90 minutes on the phone with the agents in executive customer service, during which based on the suggestions my phone actually ceased working.

A secondary trip to the apple store resolved the issue and after two weeks of no data my phone magically began to work normally last weekend.

A completely broken phone, and the lack of ownership on Sprint’s end for me was the last straw, I wanted out of my contract but am saddled [with] $800 in ETF fees if I cancel. I explained to the representative in Dan [Hesse’s] office that I don’t want to be a customer and that they don’t want me as a customer. I shared the repeated fails on Sprints end, the amount of calls that were a waste of time and that when I asked for a one month service credit to make me happy they chose not to honor it.

I was told that Sprint was sorry, that there was no matrix to judge how important an individual’s time is worth but that they would credit me $10.00 for the time the data didn’t work on my phone. I’m flabbergasted that the people at the highest level of a company that I pay over $2,500 a year to have had service for a decade would insult me by offering less than 5% on a monthly bill for their goof. An$ 800.00 payment to sprint seems like a reward for their lack of service so because I can’t afford it and because I think it is important I am spending the next 12 months encouraging those I know who have sprint to find new homes and those looking to join sprint I try to share my story as a caution against this company.

I used to really like sprint, affordable, good coverage and great customer service. It seems like Sprint has subscribed to the [AT&T] school of customer service and I will take my business elsewhere.