See how an old, washed up ex-carpet cleaner strikes back at Sprint!

[private]After almost three years of care-giving for my in-laws in the States it is time for us to return to our home in the Dominican Republic.  (Both of Sioux’s parents have passed away in the last year or so.)  But hey, NEWS FLASH here- Cell phone and cable companies are not your friends when it comes to ending contracts!

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 …

cell-phone-irritationsSo 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 I’ve learned about a great “penalty-free out” for unhappy Sprint customers through a very interesting web site called 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]

2 thoughts on “See how an old, washed up ex-carpet cleaner strikes back at Sprint!”

  1. Well Steve I would like to say that you could have chosen a better cell phone provider but we all know that is an oxymoron.

    But because I teach cleaners about pH balancing, I will give a shout out to great customer service. I know you will be surprised that it comes from my favorite airlines Southwest, you know the people that don’t rip you off for placing your luggage on the plane.

    Th government has recently said your ticket must match exactly your drivers license. My license says William but everything else says Bill (they wouldn’t let me put Big Billy.) I knew this was coming so I started using William on my tickets. Unfortunately I had made my Christmas tickets in July before this all changed. I didn’t realize that my ticket said Bill until I hit those nice TSA people in Indianapolis. The lady told me she could send me back to the ticket counter but let me through and said on Jan 1 no one would be allowed through without the matching name. This panicked me because I would be flying back after that date and my ticket had already been bought.

    When I went into the Southwest terminal I went to the gate agent and told her my problem. She said no problem. Once you board this flight I can change your return flight and she did.

    Now if I had been on American (the official airlines of Island Boy)or any other airlines it would have cost me hundreds of dollars for them to type my name.

    Just another example of how Southwest creates customer cheerleaders. They must have attended one of your early classes.

    Big Billy
    Southwest Cheerleader

  2. Ooh I can pile on here! I’ve had a similar experience with Sprint. I spent an hour on the phone with a foreign cs rep trying to explain that I wanted to port my work number to my cellphone. She never came close to understanding, but she wouldn’t pass me up the line. I canceled my account and ate the fees.

    Dan Keech
    Raleigh NC Carpet Cleaner

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