Sprint Cellular: The Final Insult

nealr neal at lists.rauhauser.net
Thu Jan 18 02:07:49 UTC 2007

   We used to have five phones with Sprint. Two months ago we dropped 
them after six months of trying to get them to bill us for our plan. The 
bills had been consistently 50% - 100% over what we expected. Each time 
they were apologetic and a refund was issued. The final straw was an 
hour long call with a very helpful Sprint person who told me their 
internal systems were such a mess it was 'almost impossible' for them to 
provision a customer correctly if the customer had added phones as we 
had done. Her attempts to fix the problem only made the next month's 
bill worse.

   I spoke with someone at Sprint, told them we weren't going to put up 
with it any more, canceled our service, and told them they needed to 
have someone contact us to sort out how much of the $1,400 bill we 
actually owed. No one ever contacted me. A written complaint of a 
similar nature sent to their headquarters has also gone unanswered.

    Today I received a collection notice - not only the additional 
$1,400 due but they apparently failed to cancel our service on the basis 
of that call and let two more months of billing @ $300/month accumulate 
before placing the debt for collections. Our expected monthly rate was 
$175/mo and this 40% overcharge was fairly consistent with our 
experience with Sprint when we were a paid up customer.

    I can at this time wholeheartedly recommend against ever using 
Sprint's cellular service. We liked the service itself and bent over 
backwards trying to get the billing problems resolved, but they seem to 
be relentlessly incapable of managing their own internal systems in such 
a fashion as to provide good customer service.  I have not yet read 
their 10Q/10K filings but when I see stuff like this on my own account 
and many other Sprint customers confirm that they've had similar 
experiences I have to wonder how well the company is doing financially.

    I see this collection notice and I imagine I am going to go ahead 
and pay the bill eventually, but this matter is going to be bitter pain 
for Sprint before I'm done.  Sprint investor relations is the only 
visible receiver of this email but I know that a great many of you are 
like me - owners of businesses that might purchase cellular service, or 
technical staff in a position to influence such purchases. Perhaps a few 
of you are even more like me in that your given to writing the 
occasional freelance article in the telecommunications arena.

   I figure this email alone is worth maybe $200,000 in negative 
advertising for Sprint. That is a nice start, but I feel the urge to 
keep going. I'm going to pay the $2,000 I owe Sprint, but the only 
source of funds for this bill will be articles I write about this matter 
and sell to the various trade journals.  My own story is frightful, but 
it'll be an easier sell if I've interviewed a few other victims. If 
you're smarting from Sprint's incompetent handling of billing please 
feel free to drop me a line and tell me all about it.


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