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After well over 10 years with Sprint, not bound by a contract, I am leaving them. Fortunately, I am not alone as their subscriber base has shrunk substantially in the last few years. If you are planning to start service with them you should know the following:

In January 2009 I made a claim for a replacement phone, because the hinge on my phone broke. Asurion sent me a new one. It was red/pink. No big deal I thought, I just switch the phones with my wife. We got her phone from the Craigslist for $45 dollars. I came to the Sprint store and made the swap of numbers and account information.

Forward to 2011. The hinge on my wife's phone (the phone we've got from Asurion) breaks. We contact Sprint for replacement and find out that they have, or claim not to have the record of the swap or the previous insurance claim. We go to the Sprint store; however, not all Sprint stores are created equal. In the Metro (Phoenix) shopping center they cannot help because they have no access to our accounts. So, my wife and I, with a 3 y.o. in tow, go to the store a block away from the mall. After a bit of wait we get to speak to a cheerful, clerk who assures us that she can solve this issue. She informs us, and gets our consent on the increase in the insurance rates from $7 to $8 a month and that as a promotion this will cover any claims on the existing equipment retroactively for 30 days; she continually 'pimps' herself that we should give her great ratings on the survey that will follow. My wife submits the claim while we are still at the store.

Two days later I am contacted by Asurion denying my claim for a replacement flip phone with a $50(!) deductible. Thereafter, I speak with Asurion rep who tells me that the situation can only be rectified by Sprint; then, Sprint rep who tells me I should be resolving this issue with Asurion, and claims not to have the record of the previous transactions. I go home and go through my records and find the documentation. I call Sprint back, first speaking with Paul, who seems to be the only person who has a professional bone left in him, apparently a great rarity at Sprint. He cannot transfer me to Aaron, the person who I spoke to initially. It is understandable, because these guys probably work in nondescript call centers that take calls for everything from acne medicine to sausage making machine you've seen on TV. Fine, I say, I have found the documents. Paul writes up our interaction and passes me to his supervisor Adam. Adam tells me that insurance is attached to the phone number and not the phone. I tell him about the switch. Adam tells me that he cannot see any relevant notes from January 2009. I tell him that I am done...

I will be leaving Sprint for another service provider. Even though I know the next company will not be much better (I hope to be surprised), I will be buying phones from Craigslist and not entering into a 2-year agreement. My only wish that many more unhappy people could leave with me at the same time, so that we are heard. So, that Sprint's figurehead on TV can speak earnestly about Sprint's losses, not its so called top notch service.

Good luck to all free agents out there.

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