Update: It took quite an effort but our problem with Sprint now appears to be resolved. Our account was properly credited for the amount we overpaid, and in our online account our plan looks correct going forward.
Sprint Corporation has gone out of the way to make customers hate them. What follows is a tale of false promises and repeatedly delaying tactics. It is comical that a company named Sprint screws its customers slowly.
It all started a couple years ago when a friend working for Sprint encouraged us to sign up with the company for a business plan. It sounded good and was mostly okay. One issue was the quality of phone service at our home.
We were told Sprint was about to upgrade the nearest tower and all would be just fine. While that upgrade did happen, it took more than a year longer than we were originally told.
As our 2-year contract was coming up, a new Sprint representative contacted us about signing up for a new deal.
She tried to sell us on various plans that would upgrade our phones and, of course, cost us more money. Since we don’t need new phones, our main goal was and is to reduce our monthly cost. She kept sidestepping this and trying to sell us on different plans. But finally she sent the following in an e-mail on October 25th:
If you can wait until 11/25/2016 you will be out of contact for 4 lines. In which your plan will drop down to $100 automatically because 4 of the lines instead of paying $35.00 you will then pay $10.00. Until then this is the best plan we have.
While her e-mails were inconsistent and confusing, we understood that each of the four lines coming out of contract would drop $25/month, for a total savings of $100/month ($35/line dropping to $10/line is $25/month per line). This is typical – you get a “free” phone with your plan but the monthly rate is increased by a certain amount per month for two years to pay for the phone.
November 25th came and went. Our bill did not go down. We never heard from her again. She did not respond to follow-up e-mails. We figured it would be corrected on the next bill but it wasn’t.
Since she was not responding, I ended up speaking with another rep on January 6th, and followed up by sending him e-mails. he confirmed that our bill was supposed to drop by $100/month, and that we were due to get a $110 credit ($100 for the current bill and $10 for the three days from the previous bill).
He called me again on the 11th saying that the problem had not been resolved yet but he was working on it. I followed up to document the conversations, but he never responded to any e-mails.
Today I checked my Sprint account online. The latest bill is due in four days and the issue has not been corrected.
So I called Sprint. First I spent about 45 minutes on the phone with “Tyrone.” I have no idea why this simple issue would take so long but I kept waiting and waiting. He kept telling me he was taking care of it, and then that he had to clear it with a supervisor. Then he told me his supervisor set it to credit our account on the next bill.
“Why not on the current bill?”
Of course Tyrone had no answer to this question. Finally I’d had enough and asked to speak to a supervisor. After another substantial delay “Archie” came on the phone.
This is where it really starts to go downhill. Archie now tells me that my monthly rate is not supposed to drop by $25/month for each line out of contract. He doesn’t know why previous reps told me that. He does not have access to the e-mails between myself, Ms. Soto and Mr. Addison (even though Tyrone spent 45 minutes or so working on this and told me did see the e-mails). When I asked Archie for his last name he refused to tell me.
After multiple phone calls with four different employees of Sprint, I realized that they are never going to give me a straight answer and they’re not going to honor any promises they make. I told Archie that we’re not going to pay this bill. We are going to shop for new phone service with a different company (which will probably screw us just as badly when they get the chance).
I told Archie they had 24 hours to get this straight and hung up. My phone showed I had been on the phone with them for over an hour, all to resolve what should be a very simple issue following what previous Sprint reps had told me would be done.
The conversation was about an hour ago. After I started writing this I ran an errand and came back to finish the article. My Sprint account now shows two credits totaling $95 (not the $110 I was promised). The monthly rate does not appear to have changed.
It also indicates “new activity will be displayed in 15 minutes.” It is possible that more credits might appear, and/or that the plan rates might be fixed. But this was a very unpleasant experience. There is no conceivable reason for Sprint to take this long to resolve an issue and to refuse to give straight answers or honor their promises.
This does not bode well for the company either. The current market cap is $34 Billion with the stock trading around $8.50/share. If the company is this poorly run, expect the stock to fall.
This author does not own stock in Sprint, nor in any of its competitors.