I foolishly thought since we had signed “one year contracts” three years ago we could say sayonora whenever we wanted. But noooo- you only get a 30 day window one time per year and then the contract automatically renews! Grrrr …
So we bite the bullet and personally go to a local Sprint center so that, as Sioux said, “Nothing can go wrong.” We wanted our cell service to terminate on January 7th but the young man said it couldn’t be stopped till the end of the billing cycle on the 10th. OK, I can live with that.
But no- on New Years Eve all our cell phones went dead! A frantic call to Sprint- “No, sir, we cannot reconnect your cell number once it has been terminated.” Stay calm, Steven, do not explode! “Let me talk to your supervisor.” 30 minutes later the supervisor Jennifer and I are on a first name basis, she has admitted that “we screwed up but basically there is nothing we can do.”
Steve: “Jennifer, dear, when I come back to the States my family’s combined account will be worth almost $3,000.00 per year to Sprint. We’ve been loyal Sprint customers for years. Do you really want to send me over to Verizon?”
Jennifer: “I’m very sorry that you would choose Verizon over Sprint.”
Steve: “No, Jennifer, don’t you understand? By your inability and/or refusal to help me Sprint is making the choice, not me. But tell you what. I don’t want to leave Sprint. So why don’t you have a customer service rep or manager call me and I’ll listen to what they say. Let me give you my non-Sprint phone number!” Four days later I am still waiting …
You know, they say the customer always gets their “pound of flesh” when they feel mistreated. So I’m serving all of you my “pound of Sprint”- maybe a bit more! Courtesy of our friends over at Mikeysboard.com I’ve learned about a great “penalty-free out” for unhappy Sprint customers through a very interesting web site called www.Consumerist.com Here is an excerpt of the article:
“Starting tomorrow, Jan 1, 2010, you can cancel your Sprint cell phone contract without early termination fee. They are increasing monthly regulatory fees from $.20 to $.40. This constitutes what is known as a “materially adverse change of contract” and means you can break the contract without penalty. An official Sprint spokesperson officially confirmed this for us. A few things to know:
* When you call, they will ask you why you are cancelling and try to get you to say you are unhappy with some other aspect of the service. You need to stick fast to your guns and insist, no matter what, that the only reason you are cancelling is because you are rejecting this materially adverse change in contract terms and conditions.
* Not looking forward to playing head-games over the phone? Some readers have had better luck using online chat. “They just copy-and-paste a few canned pleas for you to stay, and all you have to do is type no thanks,” says commenter ohenry. “Plus then you can save your chat.”
* Yes, you can keep your phone number and port it to another provider.
* Yes, you should be able to use this to switch to a month to month plan.
* You only have until Jan 31, 2010 to cancel.
Note: to read the entire article and follow-up comments just go to HERE.
Now for the “rest of the story”. I read all the above the day AFTER I cancelled my service and lost my phone numbers, etc. Then to add salt to the bleeding wound Sprint terminated me ten days early!
Thanks for letting me vent. Ahhh, revenge is SO VERY SWEET! I feel so much better now!
PS: By the way, what can a humble carpet cleaner take out of this sad story? When you screw up a) admit it (Sprint did), b) do everything in your power to make it right (Sprint didn’t), c) reach out to your customer (they haven’t) and do some form of “Symbolic Atonement”. (Not going to happen!) Yet think of how many millions Sprint and other big corporations will spend advertising to win over customers just like me while at the same time they callously trample us under foot with their inflexible rules! Learn from their stupidity![/private]