Sprint PCS Informative - Sprint PCS fraudulent billing practices
I have emailed Sprint several times disputing the following charges on my last three invoices, and before that spoken to several CSRs on the phone and gotten NOWHERE with correcting their billing obfuscation.
The phone bill dated October, 2005 contained Additional Usage Charges & Purchases $33.50 Other Charges $29.84
The phone bill dated November, 2005 contained Additional Usage Charges & Purchases $18.05 Other Charges $16.63
The phone bill dated December, 2005 contained Additional Usage
Charges & Purchases 11.03 Other Charges 34.37
The phone bill dated January, 2006. UNKNOWN. Although my billing date is the 3rd of the month (last I heard, although the date is elusive and it keeps changing!) Sprint has not mailed a statement and they have changed their web site AGAIN making it impossible for me to access my account online. I have no doubt that there will be "Additional Usage Charges & Purchases and Other Charges on the January statement, but I am not able to determine the amount to formulate a dispute at this time. I have been trying for over an hour to get onto my account online with no success.
When I wrote to inquire about the nature of the Additional Usage Charges & Purchases and Other Charges, I was told A) that they were third party charges to the phone and corresponding late fees B) that Sprint could not and would not credit these fees, and C) I was given opt out instructions.
As I explained to Sprint several times, since receiving this explanation the problem with this explanation is: A) None of the third party services had been subscribed (by us) or were being received on any of the phones. B) The opt out instructions given were physically not possible to follow using the phones and returned a mesage of "invalid response". C) Sprint charged late fees and taxes for these unpaid disputed services.
When I explained this to Sprint, several times, these are some of the obtuse and belligerent responses I received:
December 21, 2005, CSR "Lydia D" replied..."it is not possible to apply the credit for the premium services or for late fee. The charges are valid and correct."
December 6, 2006, CSR "Rebecca H" replied..."I understand your frustration and concern with these charges. The "Other Charges" on your invoices are late fees. Regarding your premium subscriptions, as mentioned in previous correspondence, these are charges incurred by third party service providers, not Sprint. To stop the charges you need to contact the providers of the services, Sprint cannot cancel these purchases for you. You will need to visit the following links to unsubscribe from these services to stop the charges:
Opting Out Via website: www.mobilelifestyles.com Text "STOP END QUIT CANCEL UNSUBSCRIBE" to 21277
Opting Out via website: www.dadamobile.com or text keyword "STOP END QUIT CANCEL UNSUBSCRIBE" to 63232
If you have any further questions, please let me know."
On November 6, 2006 CSR "Michelle S" wrote: "Some examples of Premium content purchases would be a daily joke, daily horoscope, chat lines, ringers, screen savers etc.
When the phone downloaded the content, it was actually subscribed to the service. The name of the service is called Dada Binary for the Ringer. You will need to send a Text Message to 63232 stating Stop, Quit, End, Cancel, Unsubscribe to unsubscribe to the service.
The name of the service from the messages is Mobile Lifestyles. You will have to send a Text Message to 21277 stating Stop, Quit, End, Cancel, Unsubscribe to unsubscribe to the service.
You can view these charges on page 28 of your invoice. (DUH! Except that Sprint refuses to provide or allow me access to an invoice unless I pay another $10.00 for it, which I refuse to do!)
You will have to unsubscribe to the service in order to stop being billed for the content. I do apologize, but Sprint is not liable for Third Party Vendor charges."
Yet none of these so called "third party services" being billed by Sprint are being received nor has anything been downloaded!! They apparently don't GET THAT. The phones being charged are not being used by children, nor were these services subscribed to "inadvertantly" as several Sprint representatives have suggested. Furthermore, even if it were possible to actually perform the "helpful" instructions for opting out of these services, which it is NOT, opting out of these services does not rectify the problem of having been overcharged $143.42 for services that were never downloaded or subscribed to in the first place.
My monthly service plan is $69.99 per month and the advertised month rate for each additional line is $9.99. Yet Sprint has continuously charged me for $98.99 for the primary monthly plan and $23.50 for each of the two additional phones. Since this has been going on for at least 6 months, the overcharges for this bill padding are at least $336.00.
I have had a horrible time getting my bills, they want to charge me for sending copies when the originals were never sent, and then tell me I can get a $5.00 monthly credit (which has never EVER been applied) if I get my bill online, and then I find I am locked out of my out of my online account. I do not know YET what the overcharges were for January because of failure or refusal to allow me access to my bill. CSR "Lydia" wrote me some kind of cryptic threat that she had "done something" to "fix" my account to keep me from receiving any further third party charges. I did not authorize her to make ANY changes to my account other than the credit for the over charges which she did NOT do.
I have demanded a credit in the amount of $479.42 from Sprint PCS. It is too bad that Sprint "customer service" has been trained to be as obtuse and belligerent and anti-customer as possible, because I haven't really had all that many problems with dropped calls. Not like with Cingular. But the good connection service is not worth the hours spent trying to get hundreds of dollars of billing FRAUD straightened out. And apparently they think that if they simply state the bill is "correct and accurate" without any regard to the FACTS they can bully me into paying the padded bill, but I have repeatedly told them I will not pay the disputed charges.
I learned today that in October, 2006 Sprint made a material change to it's contracts by increasing the price of text messages from free incoming and $.10 outgoing to 15 cents for every message. Not only was I not informed of this change by Sprint, but I learned that this information would have voided my contract obligation to them if I had known about it.
I have complained to the FCC and the Better Business Bureau and I am in the process of reposting this complaint to every single online consumer complaint site I can find on the internet.