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.