Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

OT: Why I'm No Longer a Sprint Customer

I don't usually post about stuff that's not directly related to my computer, but something happened today that I thought people should know about. Since this one is off-topic, I'm going to try to keep it (relatively) short.

I was a Sprint customer for almost 2 years, up until about 9 months ago. I had a Samsung i600... which was one of the first clamshell Smartphone models. I had been having random issues with it for a while, and one day while I was in San Diego, it just started randomly rebooting itself. When I got back, I tried to get it fixed, but Sprint couldn't reproduce the issue, and hence wouldn't do anything to fix it. Fortunately, my contract was going to expire soon, so I could get a new one.

About a month later, I got a phone call asking if I wanted to renew my contract. I told them the only way I'd renew was if I could get a new phone at the new customer discount. I asked them to call me back in a couple days, and I would do it. I never heard back from them.

Well, about 3 week later, I got a postcard in the mail, thanking me for renewing my contract. I was floored, because I never gave anyone permission to renew my contract. I went into a company-owned Sprint store to try to figure out what was going on, and they told me that I called in and asked to renew my contract. In utter disbelief, I demanded to hear the recording of me renewing my contract, and they denied one even existed. I know one is supposed to exist. because landline companies have to have all major service changes recorded.

When they couldn't produce one, I told them that I was canceling my contract, and if they charged me any cancellation fees I'd sue em. They said since they changed the contract, I had the right to cancel. A week later, I went to Verizon (who Consumer Reports rated the best in Phoenix) and spent $400 on a new phone, and gave them my $200 a month business. Apparently, it's easier for Sprint to acquire new customers than it is to keep their old ones. 

I received a phone call today from a salesperson for Sprint Business. He was inquiring about the status of my business cellular service. When I briefly explained why I'm no longer giving them $200 of my money every month, he said "I'm not surprised, you're definitely not the first person I've heard that from. They did the same thing to my girlfriend, and I'm an employee!" He apologized that they did that, and I thanked him for his time.

So apparently, renewing your contract without your consent is a common practice at Sprint. So if you're a Sprint customer, and your contract is within 60 days of expiring, watch out... especially if you're planning on switching companies. They might try to screw you with your pants on... well, even more than they already are, anyways.

And now back to your regularly scheduled programming.



  • dwillis said:

    I left sprint a long time ago.

    I had purchased 2 cheap phones and put them on one plan. One of the phones could not get caller id. I went to the Sprint store to get it fixed. They sent me a new phone and it was having the same problem. After the 3rd phone they sent still had the problem, they finally determined that it is something on their end. They sent me to a little room with a red colored phone on a table. Told me to call this number and talk to whomever about getting it fixed. I guess they try to make it look like your getting special treatment or something but who cares, they are the ones that should be doing the work, not me calling.

    I talk to whomever on the phone and said it would start working in a few days. Well, it never did. I went back to the store to try to get out of my contract. I said they were not living up to the agreement in the contract. They said they we're because they were providing support to fix the problem. What a bunch of BS. Basically I had no caller id on my phone until the contract expired.

    Once I was off my contract with Sprint and just on monthly, I went to verizon to get a new contract with them. It was during the middle of the month and so before I switch from Sprint I want to make sure that if I cancelled sprint that they would not charge me for the whole month. I called Sprint from the Verizon store, talked to a sprint sales person who said they would only charge me from up to the date I cancelled. So I cancelled them and got my new Verizon contract.

    Well what do you know? At the end of the month I get a bill for the full month. Called sprint to complain, they wouldn't do anything about it, ended up paying the full amount for services not rendered. I get pissed off about just typing it.

    I'm through venting.

    Thanks for listening.

    April 4, 2007 7:24 PM
  • vern said:

    I was once with sprint. Fortunately it was only for about 6 months and a LONG LONG TIME AGO.

    I have been with Verizon for a couple years now and while I have complaints about their customer service I have had nearly zero problems with either the voice or data service.

    And hey, now you and I can call each other free!

    April 5, 2007 1:33 AM
  • Mike said:

    Hate to break the news to you, but I had the same "renewing your contract without your consent" problem with Verizon... where they can't produce a signed contract or voice recording.  I had been with Verizon for 2.5 years but had to switch because I needed to use a new unlocked phone.  To my surprise, I had supposedly reupped.  Of course, why would anybody do this without getting a new phone from them?! On my last bill, I just paid everything but the $175 early termination fee.  I told them they should save their time and just send it straight to collections--I won't be paying.

    April 5, 2007 7:41 AM
  • Alvin said:

    I switched from Cingular to Sprint about 6 months ago.

    Cingular chose to bill the wrong account, and caused an overdraft charge. I called to pay with a different account, and they told me that would prevent the charge from running again. It didn't, and I got a second overdraft charge on the same account. I called them back, and complained about the SECOND charge. I said the first, I was sorta okay with, but the second was not cool. I told them unconditionally they were NOT authorized to run the SAME transaction a 3rd time, and they said they could run it as many times as they wanted, even though I had already paid with another form of payment. I could not deposit money in the account because it was a university checking account to which I could only deposit by mail and it would take over a week to deposit funds.

    Long story short, they ran the charge FOUR TIMES, racking up about $35 for each attempt. The bank said they would only refund the overdraft fees if Cingular told them the multiple billing was in error, and Cingular refused to do so.

    Since my contract was up within weeks of that (STUPID Cingular, you should've noticed my contract was up and treated me better) I switched to Sprint.

    In January or so I got a notice that the insurance on phones was being increased. I called in earlier this month to drop both the insurance and the $15/month data plan I was not using. I was told that to even drop the EQUIPMENT INSURANCE, it would reup my contract! There was no way they would agree to make ANY changes to my contract without reupping it. With Cingular, I had changed my rate plan regularly, according to my current needs. Sprint, apparently, extends your contract - and eligibility for a new phone - any time you do this.

    I'm definitely not happy, but neither am I happy with Cingular. Verizon I refuse to participate with because several years ago they were telemarketing me mercilessly on my landline (once every two weeks) and refused to stop. Plus people I know in my area with Verizon tend to have signal troubles, which I know is always a local issue. Doesn't leave much choice, does it? Billing Problems=Cingular, Contract Pains=Sprint, Evil Telemarketing=Verizon...  T-Mobile=you're always on roaming.... anybody else is just worse. This is an industry in serious need of regulation.

    April 8, 2007 5:58 PM