LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- I have never experienced such incompetence before as I have with Sprint. I have been trying to get an old phone unlocked for international use for over a month now. The phone in question has already been completely paid off (so I fully own it) and it should not be such an issue to unlock it. The first time I called was back in December, when I was still in the states.
I requested an INTERNATIONAL unlock as I was going to CANADA. I repeated this many times, and thought that there would not be an issue and I would be able to get the phone unlocked within 72 hours, as this is what the service representative notified me of. Instead, I received an email 72 hours later saying they could not unlock my phone but gave me an MSL code instead. Upon looking up what an MSL code was, it is for DOMESTIC unlocking. So after waiting 72 hours, the representative did not even complete the request I asked for and did something completely different and wrong. By this time, I was already heading to Canada.
Fast forward a couple of days, after settling in Canada, I decided to use the instant online chat to talk to someone about getting the phone unlocked. They notified me that they could not unlock the phone unless it was activated on a line for 24 hours... while also being in the states. As you can imagine I was extremely angry and frustrated because if the original customer service agent had properly submitted my ticket, I would have been in the states to keep the phone active.
As stated earlier, I was already in Canada at this point so this was not possible. I asked the agent to leave notes about my case in the file as I would need to figure something out and call back. After another few days I called Sprint again to see what was possible for the unlock, and there were no notes left in my case file about the online chat.
The customer service representative notified me that a new ticket had been created for an international unlock, and that it would take 5-7 business days. I asked them to expedite the service, as this call was made on January 22 and it had been nearly a month since I had been trying to get the phone unlocked. After waiting 4 days, I received an email notification on the morning of January 25 stating the phone would be unlocked in 48 hours.
As this was a Thursday, I called again on Friday to check if the 48 hours included weekends, to which the representative said yes. I was expecting the phone to be unlocked by Saturday morning based on this answer. Saturday rolled around and my phone was still not unlocked. I called again and asked for a supervisor, who notified me that the 48 hours actually doesn't include weekends. He asked me to try the SIM card again anyways and that he would call me back in 2 hours time.
More than 3 hours passed with no call so I had to call them again. They couldn't help me and said they would email the manager and see if they could do a manual override and would call me back in 24 hrs. Again, more than 24 hrs passed and no callback. I try calling again, more angry than ever because I have been lied to several times now and have had 2 supervisors blow me off and not call me back like they said they would. I talk to another representative and they say that the phone will definitely be unlocked by Monday morning, as it will be 48 hours then since I received the email.
Monday morning rolls around, the phone is still not unlocked so I call again. After having to speak with 2 reps, 2 supervisors and a manager they notify me that the wrong ticket was submitted and they have to start the process all over again and it will be another 24-72 hours. I ask if they can just call their backend office to get this very simple and quick process completed, and they say that they only communicate by email. The manager says he will submit an escalated ticket (which still takes 24-72 hours) but will call me back after 24 hrs after hopefully receiving a response about the request. More than 24 hrs pass by and I have, yet again, not received a callback.
I need this phone for work and I have wasted so much time trying to get it to work. I needed this phone specifically for work and cannot buy a new one right now as they are so expensive. This whole experience has wasted my time and money. Comparatively to other carriers in both Canada and the US, I have never had such a frustrating and negative experience as I have had with Sprint.
They don't offer any kind of reparations for the mistakes that they made (a mistake which was made several times, wasting over a month of my time). I am actually in disbelief at how incompetent the support staff is at Sprint. This is an extremely simple process that they have dragged on. I would never recommend Sprint to anyone and I would give them zero stars if possible. My phone is still locked as I write this, and I am trying to talk to another representative again.
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- When I first decided to join Sprint, the salesperson gave me the wrong cost breakdown for what my plan would be. After realizing, she apologized and corrected herself and it was quite a difference. Still, I decided to go with Sprint because my previous carrier didn't have iPhones available. I got 2 lines since there was a Buy One Get One Free promotion, where I received a free iPhone SE with my 7 Plus.
For some reason, the promotion was never recorded and they started trying to charge me monthly for this free iPhone. It took 3 months for them to finally add the promotion to my account, discounting the monthly payment as an adjustment to my bill. Aside from those billing issues, the service is terrible! My calls were always dropping. When hurricane Irma hit, a bunch of their towers were either down or functioning at their lowest capacity. I couldn't use my phone anywhere without wifi. Meanwhile, my boyfriend and his family who have AT&T were using their phones without a problem.
I called Sprint and asked for a credit to be added to my account for the time I was without service. They told me to call when the towers were completely back up so that they could assess me for a credit that would cover all the time I was without service. Months later after continual calls about this, I was told Sprint was not going to be issuing any credits.
Which brings me to another point, their customer service is terrible. No one ever knows what they're talking about. Every time I call I learn that the last person I spoke to left out a key detail. I paid the pay-off price for my phone since my 2 year lease was finally up and I asked if I could have my phone unlocked. I was told yes, that this was completely possible because I paid my phone off.
A claim was submitted and I was to wait 48-72 hours. After this period of time, I called and found out that the request was blocked because I have a past due bill for both of my phone lines (which I already have an automatic payment scheduled with them for). How ridiculous! What an inconvenience.
The person I spoke to said they had no idea why the claim was even submitted, as the person should have known it would be denied due to my past due balance. I've really had enough of Sprint. Too pricey for the terrible phone service and terrible customer service that they provide. And way too shady.
LINDENHURST, ILLINOIS -- I have been trying to get a phone unlocked for 8 days. There is no credibility within Sprint. They will tell you they are doing something. When it doesn't get done, you call in again, and you cannot talk with the original person. They all promise to 'personally make sure this happens.' Still waiting to unlock a phone for 8 days. I've been promised numerous times and then have to wait for a team that no one can contact to get it done. Most will refuse to send you to a supervisor when you request to speak with one. I've asked for managers names and contact information. I am given first name only and the general phone number that throws you into the queues of calls. Extremely frustrating. I have spent over 15 hours so far trying to get the phone unlocked.
CANTON, OHIO -- I walk into the Sprint store to check out the iPhone 7 when approach by a representative. She told me the service is really good and that I will not find better reception in my geographical location. This is the biggest con company I've ever done any business with. I can't believe consumer protection laws can't be enforced on these cons.
I take my phone to the local tech because I couldn't use the network when the WIFI can't be used. He response with, "You need to connect to WIFI..." So my response was, "Why am I paying for Sprint network then." Of course he doesn't answer my questions. Then I tried to switch service providers and the pricks lock my phone so I can't it and spent 650 on this stupid crap. WARNING. WARNING. WARNING. BUY SPRINT service.
TEXAS -- Because of Sprint's dishonesty both when we signed up with them and as we were leaving, our family will NEVER use them again. I was told at the store that I would receive a $180 credit to use towards accessories for my phone when we opened an account with them. I was then charged that $180 on my next bill! I called customer service, and they told me that it was not a "credit" but rather a delayed payment. The salesman completely lied to me. I would not have purchased these accessories had I been told the truth.
Fast forward two years later to the end of our contract. Sprint charged me for one last month because I transferred to a new provider during the middle of a billing period. So even though we did not use Sprint's service during the last 25 days of the billing cycle, their system is "just set up that way." Their system is set up to gouge their customers coming and going.
DELRAN, NEW JERSEY -- I leased an android phone price 1000 dollars. People were calling me not receiving the calls, went back to 6 times for a band-aid fix. I decided to return the phone. They did not offer me another phone. I had to pay and return the phone, 400.00 dollars I was charged. Their thing is you bought it, it's your problem. DO NOT DEAL WITH SPRINT. THEY WILL RIP YOU OFF.
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA -- I ordered a phone online thinking it would save me time, but the joke is on me. Never have your phone delivered to the store, especially the Sprint store on City Ave. I thought I would pick up my phone and go after making an online appt. I had to wait to be waited on. Wait for a tablet to become available. Then wait for my phone to "get into their system." Can you say irked to the 10th power!
First I was told cell phone would be unlocked in 48 hours. Then when phone was not unlocked I called again & was told that a "future" bill had to be paid first before the secondary line would be unlocked. Why wasn't I told this initially? Secondly, why was my phone unlocked which is primary account before I paid the "future" bill? BEWARE of Sprint. My new carrier service told me that Sprint is a PROBLEM!!!
Day 1, Purchased 4 iPhone 7 Plus on the 4 lines @ 22.50 per line plan. Also added a phone I owned for a 5th line Free. Couple Days later, checked bill online and signed up for Auto Pay and ebill. Couple Days later, checked online, one of the discounts for buy 1 get 1 free on the iPhone still missing. Autopay & ebill discounts missing, chatted with online support, they told me I had to go back into the store (Solon, Ohio on SOM Center Road. Next Day, went into store. They escalated the issue and said it should be resolved for my next billing period.
1st billing cycle and I overpaid the following: $5.00 per line for 4 lines (20.00), $ 7.99 Limited spend (waived with autopay & ebill), $1.86 Limited spend (waived with autopay & ebill), $ 22.92 missing discount for buy one get one free for iPhone 7. TOTAL 52.77 plus tax
2nd bill cycle hits, $5.00 per line discount has been added but they did not reimburse for the 1st billing cycle overpayment. Still incorrect. $ 7.99 Limited spend (waived with autopay & ebill), $1.86 Limited spend (waived with autopay & ebill), $ 22.92 missing discount for buy one get one free for iPhone 7. TOTAL OVERPAID TO DATE 22. 85.54 plus tax.
Went into store again. Waited 30 minutes. My turn finally. They called and then showed me on the screen where the discounts and overpayment credit were processed and would appear on my December bill. December bill appears on my account. Still missing $ 7.99 Limited spend (waived with autopay & ebill), $1.86 Limited spend (waived with autopay & ebill), $ 22.92 missing discount for buy one get one free for iPhone 7.
Tweeted Sprint. Responded to their request for a secure chat. Sat on secure chat for 10 min before first response. I typed my reply and sat for another 10 min waiting for second response. I typed my reply and sat for 45 min waiting for a reply... meanwhile I am getting a reply on Twitter about the agent who is assisting me but the agent is not assisting me.
NEXT called store. They will submit a case and escalate and I cannot expect to get a response for at least 3 days. I have been patient and nice and waiting for months to have this resolved. There is really no reason that I need to be nice anymore. Being nice has caused me to overpay over 85 dollars and that is not going to go well over 100 on the 12th when they hit my card again. Sprint has awful customer service and they are not a company who stands by their service or contract with you.
If you're an international traveler, I wanted to pass along an horrid experience I've had with Sprint that forces me to cancel my years-long relationship with Sprint. The bottom line of a long note below is that my advice is to avoid/abandon Sprint if you need reliable service and support in foreign countries.
Here's a long explanation, long so you realize the magnitude of the problem. It began this summer when my international roaming (GSM) Sprint sim chip failed to work (in both Spain and France). I immediately contacted Sprint's international number, but I never got a straight answer, despite being put on hold for long enough that I ultimately racked up more than $100 in international roaming (on a separate European sim GSM chip I've got).
Worse than that, some of my calls clearly were being connected to an out-sourced service that had no idea what I was talking about. More than one did not even understand the difference between GSM (the cell-phone system used in Europe and most of the world) and CDMA (used by a few U.S. companies like Sprint and Verizon).
Years ago, Sprint sent me GSM sim chips for the phones my wife and I use out of the country to make sure we could get our cell phone calls when traveling abroad. I'm a reporter, so must have 24/7 phone access. For years, they worked perfectly -- late as March of this year in Germany. It was in Spain and France when Sprint's sim chips would not connect with networks for roaming.
I never got a meaningful response to my calls to Sprint from Europe, despite time-consuming transfers to a number of various Sprint persons (some, I sensed, where simply out-sourced phone service operations). It was so bad that one idiot said he/she would text message my Sprint number with information (despite my informing the person my cell number was unworkable in Europe). Eventually, after more than $100 in international calls to Sprint on my EU phone, I gave up.
When I got back to the U.S., I called our local Sprint store to see if I could order new GSM sim cards since Sprint now sells phones that support both GSM and CDMA. Yes, the store representative told me after checking our Spring account, but I needed to contact "customer support" for the cards. So, I called customer support. That led to 2.5 hours on the phone being passed around a bunch of clueless Sprint employees before being told no, I can't get them.
The initial customer support person said, "Yes, it would be no problem." But, after nearly an hour on the phone entering various information, he told me that he had prepared my request, but I had to talk with the international service desk. Part of the delay was answering a bunch of idiotic questions, including "why did I want a GSM sim?" Duh, maybe to be able to get calls when I'm outside Sprint's US CDMA network.
The first person on the international service desk seemed to have no idea what I was requesting and tied up my time asking the same questions I was asked from the first Sprint person. Eventually I got to a person who asked for my phone's IMEI number. When I heard her answer to my question as to why, I knew I was dealing with another clueless Sprint person. Her answer was to see if my device was on the list of devices that would support a GSM chip. Wrong!
The IMEI number does not identify a type of phone, as she said. Instead, it's a unique number to identify a particular mobile device transmitter. There are millions of IMEI numbers covering every cell phone manufactured -- and, in fact, a dual-sim, like my international phone, two IMEI numbers for each SIM slot. So, after yet another delay on hold, she got back to tell me my IMEI number didn't match any number in their database. And she proceeded, again, to push me to buy a new cell from Sprint.
I suspect that what's happening is that Sprint will NOT allow a sim chip in any phone that's not registered with Sprint (similar to the old dark days of locked phones). Unfortunately, the person with whom I was talking could not comprehend my question as to how I could get this particular Samsung phone in Sprint's DB of accepted phones.
After more than two hours, I eventually gave up on Sprint. Given some of the precarious situations in which I've encountered in foreign countries, I need a phone service and company service representatives far more reliable than what I encountered with Sprint.