So I have been waiting for a year for the Iphone 4s to come out so I can finally upgrade to a smartphone like the rest of the modern world. I order the phone online and get to the credit check/ID verification process, and the Sprint rep asks me, "What is the age range of Duong Lin, A, B, C or D?" "Excuse me?" I say. "I don't know anyone by that name. My name is 'John Lin' not 'Duong Lin'." Well, the rep replies, too bad you failed the test, you can re-apply in 2 months from now.
Of course, I ask to speak to the rep's supervisor. They say I can take the test again, but if I don't pass, I'm locked out from re-applying for 2 months. I cross my fingers and say okay. First question, previous city you lived in. Whew, no problem. Second question, previous street address I lived at. Again no problem. Third question, "What is the age range of Helen Lin, A, B, C or D?" I don't anyone by that name, and stupidly in hindsight, don't try to guess, although I would've had a 1 in 4 chance of getting the question right. So I'm locked out for 2 months. They tell me to check my credit reports and go down to the county courthouse to check my public records, because Sprint's computer system asks me random questions I'm supposed to know according to those public records.
I call Sprint's corporate office, because there must be some way around this red tape, right? After all, I *am* the person I'm claming to be, even though Sprint doesn't know that, and I freaking own my own home with a mortgage at Bank of America, have a car loan, etc.! I'm just trying to get a cell phone here, for chrissake!? I check these forums, and find out there are other people with the same problem I'm having, albeit a year or two ago. However, when I talk to the Sprint corporate office, there is no workaround in place, even though I'm willing to go in person to the nearest Sprint store and provide whatever documentation they need--U.S. passport, California driver license, social security card, copy of my mortgage or auto loan bill, etc! Trying to get a cell phone through Sprint is harder than getting a top-secret clearance! I can fly internationally, get a home loan for hundreds of thousands of dollars, much less auto loans or credit cards, but nope, not a $199 Sprint cell phone.
I even got copies today of all three of my credit reports from Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. Everything is in order, and there is no mention of "Duong Lin" or "Helen Lin" on any of them. Ironically, in order to get those three reports, I had to answer random questions of the same sort Sprint asked, except each of those websites asked questions I knew and I was able to pass and get separate credit reports from all three. So I call shenanigans on Sprint's flawed credit check/ID verification system.
I guess I can bite the bullet and get an Iphone 4s through AT&T or Verizon, but their plans are more expensive than Sprint's, plus there is no unlimited data plan available which I really want. Or I can wait another 2 months and re-apply with Sprint, but if I have the same bad luck, one of the three questions might again be about someone I don't know, and I'll be locked out for another 2 months and have waited on getting the Iphone 4s for nothing.
I'm not sure why I'm even posting here, since all my efforts have completely failed, but I'm hoping for a miracle that someone knowledgeable here can help or a Sprint rep will read this and find a solution for me. It just seems to me that there should be some backup solution for people like me who are who they say they are, but can't pass their credit check for some reason. But Sprint doesn't have any last resort solution of going to the nearest office in person and presenting official U.S. identification to confirm identity. If anyone can help or has any other suggestions, please post here or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
I had the exact same problem yesterday. They asked me the age of someone called Thomas Doherty. Doherty is the last name of my ex but he has no Thomas in his family. I asked to speak to a supervisor and he told me there was nothing he could do for 60 days. When I went online I saw that a Supervisor can regenerate new questions so I called back today and they told me that the notes showed this was already done for me by the supervisor yesterday which was completely untrue as the supervisor yesterday told me there was nothing he could do for 60 days.
I have written letters to the Corporate Office but don't know if this will help any.
The poster right above you, "Robataholic," is a technical support rep for Sprint. He contacted Sprint's "Manual Credit Review" department and thought they could help me, but to his surprise, found out that they couldn't. He then said that he would forward my post to [....]someone like that. Apparently this person is a high-level executive with a support team who can cut through red tape in special cases like us where legitimate customers fall through the cracks. I am still waiting to hear back from him, and will let you know if I have any luck.
Still waiting with my fingers crossed,
Message was edited by: mapesy who removed private data
I hope someon gets back to you soon. When I googled this issue apparently it happens a lot with Sprint. Hard to believe they are willing to lose customers this way. I had my driver's license and social security card and paystubs with me at the store - you would think this would be enough to verify my identity. They said it was to protect their customers from identity theft. Surely providing documentation is the best way rather then asking obscure questions that don't relate to me.
Please post if you receive any help from Sprint.
@John - Sorry to hear your having a problem with Sprint's credit check process. I had a similar issue with another company and found out I was a victim of identity theft. Based on info you posted where the agent was asking you about someone else who is not you, that might be one possibility or the agent did not enter your social security correctly. You might go to a Sprint store and make sure they have your information entered correctly and if it is, I would check your credit report. It took me awhile to get mine cleared up and I hope the agent just fat fingered your information.
@Be-Honest: Like I said in my original post, after my problems with Sprint I got copies of all three of my credit reports from Trans Union, Experian and Equifax to make sure it wasn't an identity theft issue. Everything looked fine, I recognized every account on there. When I called Sprint back, the only answer they had was, well there must be something wrong with your public record. Go to your local county courthouse to get it. I then even called the county courthouse and while at first they had no idea what I was talking about (after all, they process criminal and divorce cases, not cell phone credit checks), they said I could come down in person and pay to get my public records. But this just sounds like something Sprint does to pass off what I believe is a fundamental flaw in their system. After all, I have a mortgage, car loan, and several credit cards, but can't get a cell phone? Ridiculous. I also talked with around 10 different people from Sprint so far so it's not an issue of getting my social security number wrong; I've triple and quadruple-checked, and made sure they were accessing my "public record" (whatever that may be) with the correct SS#, full name, birth date and address.
I had the same problem this morning. It turned out that the question was legitimate, but it involved an address from 25 years ago that I had forgotten. I'm also interested to hear if you were able to escalate this successfully.
From the types of questions I've seen mentioned, it seems that Sprint uses sources besides credit reports; I've never seen any other names on my personal credit report.
Hi Larry, unfortunately I have not heard back from the Sprint representative "Robotaholic" who posted above. After our last telephone conversation, he said he was going to forward my problem to someone at Sprint's corporate headquarters for individual attention, but still no response. I will e-mail him again to follow-up but am not very hopeful at this point.
Sprint definitely uses sources other than credit reports. I got all 3 of my credit reports and they were fine, no references to any other names.
My plan is to wait one more month and try to apply again (I first applied and failed in mid-October, when the Iphone 4s released). If I still can't pass Sprint's ID check, then I'm going to give up and sign up with AT&T or Verizon, and Sprint will lose a customer.
Dear RC1024, thanks for the response. I did not know that the information is gathered by a third party, but if so I believe they are definitely failing their job, and since they are acting as an agent for Sprint, Sprint is failing its (prospective) customers like me. Like I said above, I checked all three of my credit reports, from Transunion, Equifax and Experian, and all are fine. When I called Sprint corporate back to explain that I wasn't a victim of identity theft, the only answer they had was that something was wrong with my "public record," whatever that may be. They even tried to refer me to the Superior Court here in Los Angeles, but when I actually called the court, they were completely confused as they deal with family law and criminal cases, and were wondering why a cell phone customer would try to call them to obtain their "public record." The questions that I was asked during the credit check that I couldn't answer were about people named "Duong Lin" and "Helen Lin," both of whom I don't know. I honestly answered "none of the above," but on my next attempt a month from now if I am asked a similar question again I am going to simply guess and hope that I get lucky, 1 out of 4 chance. I think this system might have failed because my first name is "John" and my last name is "Lin," very common first name in English and very common last name in Chinese. However, the third party risk management group claimed that the information from my public record was pulled not only by name, but also birthdate and social security number, so that shouldn't be the case. Nevertheless, with a name like mine, I can see how simple human error, garbage data entered into the database, messed up the "public record" that I supposedly have.