Sprint - Misleading Dishonest
3G for Wireless Hotspot - Complaint
STUDIO CITY, CALIFORNIA -- We bought a ZTE Peel 3200 from eBay, thinking we could use it as a wireless hotspot device for my wife's new iPod, and cancel our old T-Mobile 3G service for her BlackBerry cell phone.
We had planned to sign up with Virgin Mobile's 20/month plan; unfortunately, it turns out that the ZTE Peel comes in two versions, one that works only with Virgin Mobile and one that works only with Sprint. We had one that worked with Sprint, so we went to the Sprint store to activate it, where we were told that the cost is $30/month - $5 more than our old T-Mobile 3G service and $10 more than the Virgin Mobile service we had hoped to get. Despite the increase, we decided to give it a try and see how it went.
First problem: the representative at the store adds an $8.00/month insurance premium on ZTE PEEL. This a device that costs less than $20 (you do the math and decide whether it's worth it). We say we don't want the insurance; the representative says not to worry, he'll take care of it.
So we go home and later I look up the account online. The $8.00/month insurance is still there. Fortunately, we can delete that charge.
Unfortunately, a while later a new fee shows up: a spending-limit fee of $5/month. We were not told about this at the time we signed up. We agreed to $30/month, not $35. So I call to complain and am informed I can get the fee waived if I sign up for Sprint's automatic payments.
By this time, we are fed up with the unexpected extra fees; we're feeling deceived, asked to pay for something we did not agree to. The actual cost is not so much an issue as the fact that we were misled or simply not informed about this stuff when we activated service. We want out because we are not getting the deal we agreed to.
So I call up Sprint to cancel the service. They say we will be charged an early de-activation fee. Why? Because the ZTE Peel is showing up as if it were purchased in the store. My understanding of early deactivation fees is that they are to prevent this scenario: someone signs up for a 2-year contract in order to get a great new phone for a reduced price (or even for free) and then cancels the contract after a month. The service representative at Sprint tells me to go back to the store and get them to fix the paperwork, so that it shows that the Peel was not purchased new at the store.
I go back to the store. They say they cannot help me. It does not matter where the device was purchased. All their service comes with a two-year contract, like it or not. Strange how no one mentioned this at the time we set up the service. In fact, we were told just the opposite.
Now Sprint refuses to terminate the service - which we do not want! - without charging us the $200 de-activation fee!
What exactly has Sprint done for us that deserves $200? Omitted details when we signed up, charged more than we used to pay at T-Mobile and would have paid at Virgin Mobile, and on top of that added fees that we did not agree to.
By the way, according to Sprint, it's all our fault for not cancelling within 14 days (a time limit that was not explained to us when we activated service).
Sprint has done nothing for us except tell us one thing to get us started and then tried to change the deal afterwards. Now that we want out, they want to penalize us. This is lousy customer service.
We never want anything to do with Sprint again.