Sprint PCS Service - A nightmare to resolve
NEAR SEBASTOPOL, CALIFORNIA -- Maybe it's appropriate I'm writing this on Halloween eve as my experience with Sprint has been nightmarish. It began three years ago in St. Joseph, MO when Sprint ran an ad in the local newspaper offering a phone with 1400 anytime minutes for about $40. I stopped by the local Sprint PCS store, signed a 2 yr. contract, and walked out with my shiny new "free" phone. As I signed, I was told that unless the phone was used within county boundaries, roaming charges would apply. (the so-called "Alamo" plan) No problem-I seldom traveled outside the county.
In April 2006, I traveled to Oregon & California to visit relatives and ran up a large roaming expense and paid it without complaint. In May 2006, I decided to relocate to the Portland, OR area and in June stopped by the Sprint store in Oregon, OR, a Portland suburb. I asked to change my plan and was handed a new two year contract to sign. Reluctantly, I did, and now had 1000 anytime minutes (400 less than the old plan) with no roaming for about $65 a month. I was having problems with the phone keeping a charge and asked if a new free phone was available and was told the only ones they had would cost me starting at around $35. I declined and asked about buying a replacement battery for the Samsung unit and was told they cost $60.(available now after market for $1 plus shipping) I declined that offer too and left with my new 2-yr. contract and old phone still with a MO area code.
A month later a job offer took me to California and until the construction project ended last November I kept my phone religiously on the charger and managed to get by OK. Afterwards, I relocated to Green Valley road in rural Sonoma County 60 miles north of San Francisco and discovered to my dismay that cell phone reception was nil. No cell phone companies have towers nearby. I stopped by the local Sprint store in Cotati, CA for help and was nearly chased to my car by the sales rep. urging me to sign a new 2 yr. contract without resolving the problem-I was also told the same $60 replacement battery story except they would have to order one. My residence is in a valley topped by 600 ft. hills and it was impossible to call out or receive calls. I could get minimal reception by climbing atop one of the 600 ft. hills and dubbed one tree up there "the cell phone tree" as it was the only spot near my home I could usually call out.(I'm 56 yrs. old and climbing the steep hill takes nearly 30 mins.requiring a major physical effort) I could also drive 12 miles into Sebastopol and make calls there, which I sometimes did. After missing too many important calls (which negatively impacted my livelihood) and using only about 10% of my monthly minutes, I decided enough was enough, I would terminate my Sprint account and get an AT&T land line.
On October 8, 2007 I tried to contact via internet (Hughes Satellite) the Sprint customer service site but gave up after several attempts and receiving a "technical problems" message at the Sprint website. The following day, a neighbor was kind enough to let me borrow his land line phone and I got through to customer service. The C/S rep first suggested I change to a reduced minutes plan, then suggested I might SELL my account to someone else,(WHAT, am I supposed to be a salesman for Sprint!?) she also suggested Sprint maps showed I should have reception and I asked her to call me right then to verify my non-reception,(I had my cell phone with me) she said she couldn't. I told her I disagreed being charged an early termination fee but needed to terminate my service immediately as I had ordered an AT&T land line. She said she would have to transfer me to finalize my request and suddenly I got disconnected-I had waited nearly an hour going through all of the phone prompts, music on hold, and didn't want to abuse my neighbor's courtesy. I typed an urgent request letter that afternoon and mailed it by certified mail the next day. A Sprint employee, "Philip", signed for it on Oct. 15th.
Two weeks have passed without a response. A new Sprint bill arrives in the mail yesterday, so here we go again. I finally have a land line phone and called customer service today. I first get an outsourced call center and speak to someone with an Indian accent, he transferes me to another location and I talk to Carla, a cust. service rep. I hurriedly go through the details, give my last four social security digits, and Carla says she will take care of my request. Success at last? NO...Carla says I will still owe a $150 early termination fee plus another month's service bill which will be at the end of the next billing cycle ending Nov. 21st, I believe. She said she could not terminate my service immediately as I requested because the billing system would not process the service termination request until the end of the monthly billing cycle. Neat huh? So, I'm going to be charged for TWO months of NO service ($130) and get a farewell gift charge from Sprint for another $150! By this time I was highly upset and asked to speak to her supervisor, she said OK, but the facts will remain the same. At this point I no longer cared about anything except getting this ordeal over with. She said I could fax her my electric utility bill and she would review it with her supervisor. (I did fax it, but what difference will that make?) These are the true facts to the best of my knowledge and I'm prepared to testify to their veracity under oath in a court of law, if required. In my 56 years, I've never dealt with a company like Sprint and honestly hope I never will again. My blood pressure must be off the scale today and I feel physically ill.
Living in the boonies does have one advantage-no trick or treaters tonight, unless Sprint again ignores my service termination request. I feel like I've got a leech attached to my wallet.