I'm being screwed by Sprint PCS. What can I do?

Ok, here’s my story. I’ve been a Sprint PCS customer (one of the since December, 2000. Never had much of a problem with them, the service was decent, I had a decent rate, etc, etc.

Fast forward to a week or so ago. I try to log on to my account at www.sprintpcs.com. Oops, I get an error telling me that they can’t “service” me at this time. Well, their website seems prone to crapping out, so I figure no-big-deal, and forget it for a couple days.

A few days later, I try to log in again, and get the same error. I try it several more times, still no luck. At this point, I figure I might as well call customer service, which I do.

I get a nice-sounding woman on the phone, I tell her what’s going on, and she tries to access my account from her computer. Doesn’t work for her either. She puts me on hold to ask a supervisor what to do. A minute or two later, she comes back on and tells me, “I’m sorry, sir, but I have no suggestion on how you should resolve this matter.”

Needless to say, this wasn’t exactly a satisfactory answer to my question. I asked her, with some disbelief, who I could talk to to “resolve the matter”. According to her, she didn’t know. After some more pressure on my part, she found a higher-level supervisor, and put me on hold. For ten minutes. Finally, she comes back on and tells me that she’s figured out how to solve the problem. Ahh, I think, so the all time I just spent on the phone wasn’t for naught.

How could I resolve the matter? All I had to do was visit the nearest Sprint PCS store, and they could resolve it for me. Now, for pretty much anyone, this would be a hassle. I mean, who wants to drive out to the cell-phone store to resolve a “problem” which was caused by said company? Yet, the wonderful thing about Sprint PCS stores is that there are very few of them. In fact, the closest one to my house is a full hours drive.

Needless to say, I asked her why I needed to visit the store. Well, she told me it had to do with my “credit class”. What’s that mean, I asked? Oh, she said, it’s the credit class you were assigned when you signed up with Sprint.

Uh, ok, thanks for clarifying that.

Anyway, I finally figure out that they want me to go down to this Sprint store to submit to a credit check. Despite the fact that I already did submit to a credit check back in December of 2000. Despite the fact that they already ganked a $112 deposit from me.

“Why does this need to be done in person?”, I ask.

"Oh, ", they tell me, “you need to be there in person to provide photo id.”.

“Why?”, I asked, only to be told that she didn’t know. I asked her if I could talk to the off-camera supervisor, to try to find out what the hell was going on.

I get the guy on the phone, and don’t get much more information out of him. I try to explain to him how ridiculous this is, without losing my cool. I tell him I might be willing to drive down to the store if they offered me something, ANYTHING, to compensate me for the time and mileage I would have to waste to get the silly credit check done.

“Sir, I’m not going to offer you any compensation.”. I asked him why, and he told me that he felt it was not a big enough problem to justify any such thing. I tried to convey to him the ludicrousness of the situation, but people in call centers getting paid shit wages generally don’t want to hear about it, and this certainly seemed to be the case.

So, to recap: I’m being denied a crucial part of a service which I am paying for. I’m being told that due to an error on Sprint’s part, I have to drive an hour to the official Sprint store to submit to a credit check, despite the fact that credit checks are performed all the time without any sort of contact with the checkee. I’m also being told that, despite the fact that I’ve been giving these turds $40 a month for a year and a half, they won’t even offer me some lousy free minutes to compensate me for my time.

So here it is, today. I still haven’t paid my bill for the previous month, as I haven’t been able to get into my account to pay said bill. I tried going through the phone-tree again today, and got nowhere. I did learn that my mysterious credit class is “U1”. Ooh, internal Sprint notation!

So, Dopers, what can I do to get some sort of satisfaction, here? I’m not going to drive down to the Sprint store (unless they gimme somethin’ decent for my time), as I feel I’d be giving in to idiotic corporate bureaucracy. As I see it, my options are:

(1) Cancel my account.
Fine, I was about to do this earlier today. However, I don’t want to pay them for the time when I was unable to get online, as I wasn’t receiving what I paid for. As well, I’d like to be able to get into my Sprint email account, although that’s not totally necessary. I’m assuming that if I cancel now, they’ll charge me for the rest of this month. Suffice it to say, there’s no way in hell they’re getting that money from me.

(2) Put up an obnoxious anti-Sprint website.
Hell, maybe some exec will see it, realize “Hey, what the fuck is wrong with us?”, and re-enable my account. Not likely, but it would also allow me to get some anger out over this. As well, if I am to be fucked by Sprint, maybe I can dissuade a few potential customers and cost them a few bucks.

(3) Call the Sprint store and see if they’ll be more autonomous.
Perhaps they’ll be able to just do it over the phone. This is my great hope. They’ve apparently closed for the day, today, so I’ll have to try this again tomorrow…but meanwhile, my account becomes more-and-more past due.

(4) File a lawsuit or complaint.
This is one of the more interesting options. Sprint is demanding money from me for a service. I have been denied a signifigant part of that service, and yet am being billed for it. I’m assuming this is some sort of breach-of-contract on their part, no? Any lawyers or consumer advocates familiar with this type of situation? Also, what would my local consumer protection agency have to say about this? I’m really being offered no reasonable way out, here, and I’ve wasted two hours or so talking to Sprint on the phone.

I thank you for listening to my part rant, part plea. If anyone has been in a similar situation, or has any suggestion whatsoever on how I can resolve this without bowing down to Sprint, it would be greatly appreciated.

I have no end to trouble with Sprint PCS call center associates. They are, for the most part, idiots.

Call the Sprint store, the sales reps are generally more knowledgeable, and more helpful.

My last run in was this:
I have been a customer since Oct. 2000. My monthly bill is over 125.00…and has been as high as 275.00. Just my plan alone is 100…plus I always go over my minutes.

My phone was completely shot…if you can imagine all the calls I had been making for 15 months or so…so I go on the website, and see a “50%” off promo on several phones. I call up Sprint PCS, and say, “Hi, you can look at my account, and see how much I spend monthly…I need a new phone, and I see that you have 50% specials going”

CSR-“yes, those are for new customers only.”

me-“well, I know, and I will sign a new contract, but I need a new phone, and I don’t want to wait to do the insurance claim”

CSR-“No, those are for NEW customers only.”

me-“well, I can go get a Nextel phone for free I guess”

CSR-“well, I can’t help you”

So I called again, got a different CSR, and he told me to act like I was going to cancel RIGHT NOW…and transferred me to member retention. They ended up offering me 1/2 off ANY phone, not just the ones on special. I got the Samsung PDA phone with a $250 discount.

Maybe if you call, and say you want to cancel, they will kick you into the member retention dept. and make you a deal.

Sprint sucks. The short version of my story: My phone stopped working and I spent many hours on the phone with them trying to fix the problem. Finally, I cancelled my service and continued to send me bills for months, ignoring my repeated letters. They charged me all kinds of crazy disconnect and reconnect fees. Eventually they referred the matter to an extremely obnoxious collection agency, who has also ignored my letters and hung up on me when I called. I don’t know what they’re doing to my credit right now, since last time I had contact with them they refused to report the charges to the credit agency as disputed, despite my letters.

I searched for “Sprint sucks” and came up with numerous websites. Check this out: http://sprintpcs-sucks.org/

Drop Sprint. Easily the worst cell company.

I’ll spare you my nightmare story, but in a nutshell I had to keep my phone for an extra year to avoid shelling out $150 in cancellation fees. All because of a clerical error on their part. They wouldn’t fix the error, even though they had a RECORD OF THE ERROR in their system.

The people manning these call centers are indeed poorly paid and trained. They are a direct reflection of the company they work for. I switched to AT&T, which isn’t known for its fab cell service. They hung the moon, compared to Sprint.

Sprint counts on the fact that poor customer service won’t be enough to cause you to change your service. They figure they’ve got you, and if you decide to cancel, they’ll manipulate you into renewing at that final stage. Screw em.

Switch to AT&T. Verizon. Voicestream. Ed’s Cell Phone Service and Tackle Shop. Just drop Sprint.



It’s good to know others are angry at Sprint, also. I only went with them over Verizon because, at the time, Verizon had huge deposits ($400 or so), plus they made you sign two-year contracts whereas Sprint only made you sign for one year. I got a good rep on the phone with them once; I had been billed for months for something that I never used, and I actually convinced him to give me the money back. I had to threaten to cancel my service (note: this is always worth trying, as the little bastards know that you’ll just head over to Verizon or Cingular), but hey.

Oh, and they made me drive out to the Sprint store when I first bought my phone, as well. Most people buy Sprint phones and service through Radio Shack, but if they decide they need a deposit from you (I essentially had a blank credit report at the time), they make you go down to one of the actual stores.

And one final thing: Sprint takes the annoyance of phone trees and does them one better by using a cheesy voice recognition system. So, if you’re calling Sprint “Customer Care”, you have to listen to Claire, the friendly Sprint Virtual Representative, and yell “BILLING DEPARTMENT” and “OPERATOR” while everyone nearby wonders what the hell you’re doing on the phone.

Funk Sprint. Funk them, I say.

I’ve cussed Claire out before…saying
“I want a F—ing Customer Service REP NOW”–
will result in one more ?..she will then ask what area you need help with…after you tell her that, boom, you go right to a CSR.

Just lie back and think of the future of England.

I’m being screwed by Sprint PCS. What can I do?

Bellow “WHO’S MY DADDY!” ?

Seriously, though, don’t file a lawsuit.
Call the Sprint Store and have them explain why again you need a fucking credit check to get a copy of your bill.
If they still say you do, cancel your service and ask for a final bill to be sent to you. Make sure that you also write a letter or email to Sprint stating that you expect a final bill to be presented to you in order to pay it, lest they never get back to you and then try to send you to collections, you will have a paper trail.
Sprint sucks.
They are laying off by the thousands in all departments as we speak will hardly spare any gray matter on one person’s cell problems. They are more concerned with trying to stay afloat after some hard economic times and some really fucked up management.
Good luck.

If you want a customer service representative immediately, when Claire starts to speak, say this:

“International calls.”

Boom, you’ll get a service rep.

I’ve had Sprint now for about a year. My service has been fine with the exception of a few billing errors which have been corrected upon my calling up. I am, however, pissed off that new customers get $100 off of a new phone. I am going to royally bitch about that because I want the Samsung SPH-460 coming out later this year.


These fuckups at Sprint cancelled my account by accident right? So I call them up one day because I can’t make or recieve any calls on my phone. They inform me of the cancellation and I inform them of thier mistake.

They say sorry and promptly reactivate my phone. WITH A DIFFERENT PHONE NUMBER!! I told them that I wanted my old phone number back, the one I had for the last 2 years, and they said they couldn’t assign the number to my phone because it had been put back into the “# recycling pool” and couldn’t be retrieved.

Then the dipshits tried to charge me an activation fee for when they reactivated my phone frmo thier messup!!

I only signed up with sprint in 99 because they did not have any contracts. I had Verizon and they made me sign a long contract for service that sucked. I dropped them and got sprint. Then I find out that you MUST renew a brand new 1 year contract with them EVERYTIME you make ANY changes to your plan. If you want to add minutes, remove minutes, add a feature, anything, you start your one year with them over.


The only reason I stay with them is because my samsung phone has worked like a champ for over 2 years and it gets great reception. Never drops calls.

I also recommend against MCI/Worldcom (who, I think but am not sure, may now be part of Alltel).

In my three years on their service (most of which was only because I REALLY LIKED my phone number and didn’t want to give it up), I never once got through to customer service without having at least a twenty-minute wait. Forget about getting through on a Monday morning. At least if I were travelling and on hold with them, they’d credit the minutes back to me when I called (and was put on hold for half an hour) and complained.

I have AT&T now. I love it. Call customer service - boom - right through to someone who can help. But I never have to CALL customer service because everything is fine.