R. decided to be scrupulously honest. He had a 15% discount on his Sprint bill because of his employer. When he switched jobs and moved to a different state, he kept his Sprint plan but dutifully reported that he wasn’t eligible for the discount anymore. Unfortunately, he reported this to a Sprint kiosk worker, who failed to actually remove the discount. Moral of the story: no matter who helps you, make sure the changes went through.
Orlando is blind, and had a very specific set of requirements while shopping for a new phone. The staff of the local Sprint store apparently weren’t very savvy about accessibility features on the phones they sell, though, so they sold him the wrong one. Who paid the quite literal price for this error, in the form of a restocking fee? Orlando, of course. [More]
Tom had a problem with Sprint: an authorized retailer had broken a promise and/or set up his phone upgrade incorrectly. He set out to remedy it by deploying an exquisitely crafted executive e-mail carpet bomb. Now, when you deploy an EECB, we recommend that you provide relevant details, but also that you open with a short executive summary so that the busy people you’re emailing (or their busy underlings) can get a quick idea of what you’re complaining about, and route it to the correct person instead of immediately trashing your missive.
If you spend a lot of time online, think of an executive summary as a “tl;dr” summary that you put first, instead of at the end. Combine that with a clear letter and spelling out his (quite reasonable) expectations, and it’s no wonder that Sprint whipped a response and a resolution to him within the hour. [More]
The salesperson at Alex’s local Sprint store really didn’t want to sell him an iPhone 4. That phone is old and stuff. Alex knew what he wanted to replace his broken phone: a free phone. Well, a subsidized upgrade with no out-of-pocket cost, anyway. He needed a new phone. He was broke. There was an upgrade on his account. He just wanted a working smartphone. So began the salesman’s campaign to get Alex to buy a Galaxy S III instead.
Earlier this week, we told you about blogger Kevin Burke’s claims that the website for Virgin Mobile (a subsidiary of Sprint) is incredibly vulnerable to any hacker who could write a script to generate PINs. Since then, Sprint has told Consumerist that the site isn’t as much of an open door to hackers as it’s been made to be, while Burke claims that the phone folks are missing the point.
A Virgin Mobile customer claims that it’s easy for hackers to access customers’ accounts via the wireless provider’s website — and not only is there nothing customers can do to defend themselves, the folks at the Virgin don’t really seem too concerned about it.
Yesterday, Apple went through its occasional ritual of taking an hour to go over every minute detail of its new phone. But what wasn’t mentioned in that overlong introduction to the iPhone 5 was what it means for the folks who still have unlimited data plans from back in the day.
Erica and her family are Sprint customers who are eligible to upgrade their phones in a few months, but they have a dilemma. In the market where they live, Sprint’s 4G service is the older WiMax network. An upgrade to LTE is coming…sometime in the next year. They have their choice of phones that can use one network or the other, but not both. Yes, this is the very definition of a first world problem, but it’s a gamble. Do they choose faster data now and being forced to use 3G after the upgrade comes, or the other way around?
Amy may be the first reader in Consumerist history to complain about being left on an unlimited mobile data plan. She has tethering on her smartphone, which lets her use her phone as a mobile Internet hotspot. Yes, apps exist that can help you get around this limitation. Officially, if you want to tether, you generally have to pay for a data plan that includes it. Amy was paying for a $30/month plan, but learned that she was grandfathered in, and a cheaper plan existed. Sure, the cheaper plan only includes two gigabytes of data, but she never uses that much anyway. It costs $10 less. She wanted to alert her fellow Sprint customers to this change, and complain that the company didn’t let her know she had an opportunity to give them less money in exchange for capped data.
While Sprint may be a distant third place in the wireless wars, the folks in yellow are not going down without a fight. Earlier today, the company announced a plan to roll out a new 4G LTE network in more than 100 cities during the near future.
Vincent has been a Sprint customer for a long time, and it’s only just recently that his service really started to suck. He drops or misses calls, and can’t get a data connection. ONly after calling the Consumerist Hotline did he learn that the problem is systemic: their network is overloaded in his area, and there might be a solution at the end of this year. Sprint has made him an offer: they’ll let him out of his contact without an early termination fee, but only if he gives back his recently purchased smartphone. He says that he shelled out $400 for this phone, and would have sold it to another Sprint customer to recoup some of his losses. What should he do?
Sprint fired Christian. Oh, he didn’t work for them: they fired him as a customer. He doesn’t live near any of their towers, and so he ended up doing a lot of data roaming. Displeased, Sprint sent him a letter to tell him that he was being let go. Christian called up Sprint and was told that he would be allowed to unlock his shiny new iPhone 4S and use it on AT&T. He ported his number out to AT&T, then learned that the representative he had talked to is the only person in the Sprint organization who will tell customers that they can use their iPhones on another US carrier.
Clayton was under the impression that mobile phone contracts exist because carriers want to lock us in and recoup the costs of subsidizing our handset purchases. That makes sense, right? I mean, if we bring our own phones when signing up with a new carrier, we’re just exchanging money for phone service, and there’s no reason to lock us into a contract. Right? Right, Sprint?
If Bloatware Keeps You From Downloading Phone Apps You Actually Want, Should Carriers Offer An Upgrade?
We’ve written before about the annoyances of bloatware — those apps you are never ever going to use but come with your smartphone and cannot be deleted no matter how much you swear at your phone. Consumerist reader Ryan’s got his own bone to pick with zombie apps that can’t be killed on his Sprint phone, because they’re interfering with his ability to use it in the way he intended when he bought it. In short: he can’t download apps he actually wants because the bloatware takes up too much space, even with a new SD card.
Back in April, the New York Attorney General’s office filed a lawsuit against Sprint, alleging the wireless provider deliberately under-collected sales tax in an effort to remain competitive. Now, Sprint has revealed that it is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission over these same allegations.
Brian is haunted. No matter what he does, a phantom voicemail is always there on his Virgin Mobile phone. Notifying him of its existence every fifteen minutes, without actually existing. Making his phone vibrate and give audio alerts. Providing him with constant reminders of something that isn’t there. It’s incredibly frustrating, and all Virgin Mobile can do is bounce him back and forth between them and Sprint.
When Ryan purchased a new iPhone 4S from Sprint for his partner’s use, it didn’t work very well. Assuming that the problem was the phone, he brought it back to the store. No, the store employees assured him, it just takes a few weeks for all of the information to “flow” to the new phone when a customer ports a number from another carrier (T-Mobile, in this case.) This is, of course, complete nonsense, but they also claimed to not have another iPhone to exchange it for. So he went home to wait for the information to flow. It didn’t. The two-week return deadline passed, and then Ryan learned that the problem was with the towers, not with his significant other’s number port.