Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sprint terrible customer service saga

I'm very close to being done with Sprint. I've been here before over the last 10+ years and it always boils down to the same thing: Sprint's customer service is terrible. So if you'll indulge me (and this is my blog, so you have to indulge me,) I'd like to share my story from today.

I figured I'd go buy the new HTC EVO™. And yes, I gave up on my halfhearted attempts at getting them to give me one. As a Sprint Premier customer, I'm eligible to upgrade yearly. And my year was up in early June. So down to the store I go.

Ceser was great. He managed to produce two phones -- the plan was to buy two of them to replace our getting-worse-by-the-day Palm Pres -- and started the process. But he was quickly thwarted. Seems that my phone number wasn't the one that had the "Premier" status associated with it. Neither was it associated with Sheila's. They stuck it on NJ's number, for some inexplicable reason. No, he couldn't fix it there in the store, but it should be cleared up quickly enough with a call from me to... Customer Service. Que the "dun-dun-DUH" effect.

The first person I talked to (from Topeka, Kansas, she proudly offered upon answering) said they could easily make my phone the primary number, in effect associating the Premier status with me. The problem was that it wouldn't be active in Sprint's computer system until the start of the next billing cycle. Next month. So those phones Cesar found? Not gonna happen on a free upgrade.

But I'm no fool. I asked if she could bring in a supervisor to see if things could be hurried along. Since I'm right here, right now, and ready to purchase. After a few short minutes, I'm on the phone with Cindy(?) from Albuquerque, New Mexico. (There's probably a good reason for telling customers where the rep is located, but it escapes me right now. I mention it because I thought it humorous at the time.) Cindy informed me that the prior rep was incorrect, and that it might take several billing cycles before the error could be fixed.

This didn't sit well with me. Mustering some righteous indignation for my voice, I impressed upon Cindy the inconvenience lumped upon me due to a clerical error. I also mentioned I cared little for "the process" and wanted to see if someone might be able to force a change through their system outside of said processes. Acting upon this new found line of reasoning, Cindy checked with a manager. And wouldn't you know it! There was indeed a work around.

Turns out that the person -- she made it sound like the ONLY person -- who could fix the issue just happened to be there in the Albuquerque office. But the fix would not be instantaneous. This unnamed person would begin forcing the change right away, but it would take some time. How long? Cindy wasn't sure, but she was sure it would be longer than a few minutes. But the unnamed person with the magical fingers departed work at 5:00p local time, so it would be before that. Huzzah! A solution had been found.

Not wanting to waste a trip back to the store, I asked if I could receive some sort of notification when the change had been made. Cindy said that she would call me as soon as she received the confirmation email that the work had been completed.

That was... 3 hours ago? Cindy hasn't called. I called Cesar back at the store to see if the status had been moved in his system. It had not.

So thanks once again, Sprint, for living up to your continued reputation of shitty customer service. I hear that new iPhone 4G is pretty slick.

Update Tuesday, June 29th @ 1:42p

    Yesterday I received the following Tweet from @SprintCare:
    Saw your tweet. Were you able to get that issue resolve?

    To which I replied:

    No, not at all.

    And that earned me the following suggestion:

    Hmmm, u can send us an email w/ details (incl acct phn#, name on acct, + PIN) to & we'll have smbdy check

    So I did. I emailed all the info, starting off with "The details can all be found here" and including a link to this post. They just responded to me with the following fantastic reply"

      Thank you for your email. We reviewed your account records and found that phone line (928) 593-9678 will be listed as the Premier line of service effective July 7, 2010, which is the first day of your next billing period.

      According to, you are currently eligible to upgrade that line of service. I recommend visiting a Sprint store location and speaking with a member of management regarding your upgrade options.

      Thank you,


    As you might imagine, that's not response I was hoping for. Yet completely within the realm of what I expected. Here's my unedited reply back:

      Did you even bother to read what I wrote? Did you even bother to read
      what someone at your organization promised, then failed to follow
      through with?

      The answer to both of those questions is an obvious "no". Please
      change your account to SprintCaresNot.

Wow. Can't wait to see how this ends. Not. Though I'm pretty sure I can predict the future.


  1. [...] original post here: Sprint terrible customer service saga | Fun Anymore Comments [...]

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Evo Terra, Tom Boucher. Tom Boucher said: RT @evo_terra Sprint terrible customer service saga [...]

  3. [...] Sprint terrible customer service saga | Fun Anymore [...]

  4. Yeah, @sprint pretty much sucks... it seems for other people too.

  5. Hey Evo. I have an eerily similar story to tell about Sprint - why I just switched back to the "Other" evil cell carrier, Verizon. Jim and I went to a Sprint store, cash in hand, ready to sign a two-year contract to buy a MiFi. Because we were on a corporate account, they couldn't do it. The sales guy (have his card, but not with me) tried his darnedest to call every person in the Sprint phone book he could think of to get them to let me purchase the WiFi and walk away with it that day. After about 45 minutes of this, we gave up. Our sales guy knew he had lost, not just a sale, but a corporate account, but was powerless to do anything about it. I have more issues with them wanting to charge an early cancellation fee for a phone they admit was purchased along with all my other phones but they claim was re-activated after purchase. I think this may have something to do with the fight we got into with our Sprint rep - my guess is she did something to make it look like we had agreed to a new two-year contract, since the "renewal" is at the same time period as our fight. Whatever. Sprint can rot in hell for all I care.

  6. Wow, Sonia. Thanks for sharing the story.

  7. And to think 2 months ago I was thinking about switching from T-mobile (8+ years) to sprint for the EVO. I couldn't get over their poor logic of the $10 "premium data / awesome hardware tax"

    Evo, you know that Tmobile is launching a 1ghz processor Android w/ a 4" screen (Samsung Vibrant / Galaxy S) Next month, with an even beefier super phone in the fall? TMO customer service rocks & you might save $ on their family plan over sprint.

  8. Thanks for the info, Adam. I'll check out T-Mobile as an option!

  9. Great info, Adam. I'll check out Tmobile as an option!

  10. Good luck with getting the primary phone changed. A couple of years ago, Sprint accidentally changed our primary from me to Bruce's Mom. We have been fighting to get it swapped back ever since. Fingers crossed, it might actually have been done (last month). Not holding my breath about it, though.

    What's worse is that we are stuck with Sprint. They are the only carrier that works at Bruce's Mom's place in rural Iowa.

  11. The reason they tell you what city they're from or in is because they want to seem American. Likely they were in a call center NOT in the US.

  12. Been there. Done that. I hate Sprint and they do have THE worst customer service. I have worked in the customer service industry for 18 years, 10 of them in a call center and I have to agree Sprint has been the worst, next to Quest, that I have ever dealt with. You know how much I want the new Evo but the thought of extending my contract once again makes me think otherwise. If my phone plan wasn't so cheap through the Whole Foods employee discount program, I would have left 2 months ago when I had to make changes to my account. . anyway, that really sucks. Bottom line, they should have just given you a phone for free cuz it's YOUR phone!!!! ;P

  13. Wow this sounds somewhat like the reason I left Verizon. Everyone has told me how much love them and I can say that I don't.

    In my case I had to buy a phone in between contracts because I accidentally washed it, when my contract was up for an upgrade I was told no, and it would be another two years before I was eligible. All because I had replaced my phone in between contracts, which I paid full price for. That was four years ago and I haven't looked back since we switched to AT&T.

  14. Oh that's not at all encouraging, Kathy. But thanks for the warning. :(

  15. I know some firms do that, but not in this case. Sprint has call centers in Topeka and in Abq. But... you probably hit on the reason why: since these call centers aren't outsourced, they're saying "see how good we are? We don't outsource, so we have excellent customer service". Too bad the evidence doesn't support that last part.

  16. Damn skippy, Angela. And there are lots of new and cool phones coming out this year, so keep your options open. That's my plan.

  17. And that's the sad thing, Crys. I know that Sprint isn't alone in their shitty customer service offerings. Every carrier has people with horror stories. And it's not just mobile providers. Every company has detractors with horror stories. I get that. I'm just sick of being the patsy on this one. ;)

  18. It's a shame. They were doing so well for a while. Up until this year, I was actually able to speak with someone who you could understand, and was able to fix my problems. Now, not so much.

  19. I've yet to have someone from Sprint that I couldn't understand. It is, however, almost always a challenge to get someone to actually understands my problem and can come up with a solution in a timely fashion. Hence my quickness to ask for escalation so quickly. It's as if they train the first-line phone-answers to deal with questions like "Where is the star button?". Beyond that, they don't seem to be much help.

  20. It isn't "See how good we are? We don't outsource, so we have excellent customer service." Not even close.

    The subtext is "See how we're just like you? We dislike those foreigners just as much as you do, and we won't make you talk to one."

    I wonder if people calling from New York City or Seattle would also get American call centers, or if they look at the demographics and politics of the region the call is coming from to decide whether to route the call to an American center, or overseas.

  21. Its July 14th, how did this turn out? Any final status?

  22. Funny you should ask. Met a guy at TAM who offered to help. Got a call from Sprint today. It was rather comical, but they've put forth a possible solution. I've still not decided if I'm taking it, and I'm not 100% convinced it will work. I'll decide in the coming days.

  23. I am a recent victim of sprint. After 2 years of being a customer, they are charging me $500 for calls that my plan would have made only $120. They changed my plan because of a customer service reps poor ability to do their job. I made close to 20 calls, spending all day Friday and Saturday morning on the phone, transferred multiple times and was also hung up on multiple times, just to get it fixed. when i finally got a someone on the line to help, they told me the only way to solve the problem would be to listen to the recording of the call. I said ok please do, thinking i would finally get this straightened out, after 20 minutes of waiting the rep came back and said "sorry the recording has expired and there is nothing we can do". I will have no choice but to dip into my tuition to pay this or im sure they will disconnect my pone leaving me with no service for work or emergencies.

    I am beyond livid with sprint. They cannot keep treating people like this. I had no idea so many people had such bad experiences with them. I will tell everyone i can

    Like "Sprint is the worst - Buyer beware and be afraid" on face book (too bad there is no hate button)

  24. I've been trying to close my account with Sprint for the last SIX MONTHS!!!! I called last October, and they said everything was fine. Let my phone die and put it in away because I got a new one with a different carrier. I then got a letter from a collection's agency in February. I paid the bill (big mistake), and then called Sprint to ask what the deal was. They informed me that in spite of my request (which is documented on my account they said), it never was done and I was charged. They promised to close my account and send me a refund. I hadn't received the refund, so I called and guess what? The account was STILL OPEN!!! They had taken my refund, credited to my account, and had continued to use that money to pay my bill. I have never been so furious in my entire life. I just want to be done with this horrible company, and I want my money back! I called and talked to a supervisor and she said she needed 48 hours to review my case. Really? I will never ever do business with this company ever again.


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