My daughter, a 20-year-old young woman, moved to Washington, D.C. Within one week of her arrival, her phone was stolen. She had her laptop with her, located her device with track my iPhone, and watched her phone drive away with the thief. Knowing no one, and completely unfamiliar with the city, she was extremely reliant on her phone and maps to find her way around . . . even back to her new apartment. The police department was unable to help her. She then went to the Sprint store.
We have insurance on our mobile devices. The Sprint sales representative, ABU, advised her that she could pay her $200 deductible and a new phone would arrive within 2-3 days. She was in tears, afraid, and asked if there was any way she might receive a phone sooner. ABU told her that for the same amount, $200, he could upgrade her phone and she could leave with it that night. She asked if this transaction would renew her contract. He assured her that there was no contract. Knowing that I was strongly considering departing from Sprint, as she was signing “a small electronic pad” (not an easily read document, certainly not an obvious contract) she once again asked ABU, “Now, this isn’t a contract is it?” ABU responded, “No, this is just so you can get your phone.”
Months went by. I’m usually in a hurry and pay the amount due to Sprint unless something unusual alerts me. There was no obvious increase. My cell service continued to be a challenge. In April, my phone failed and I thought it a good time to not only get a new phone but make a decision whether I was going to upgrade and renew with Sprint or move to a new carrier. I chose a new carrier. I then learned that 1/20/18 ABU not only sold my daughter a phone, but renewed the lease as well!
I called the store in Washington D.C. asking for the contract to be eliminated. They were of no assistance. They attempted to argue that she did not “sign a contract,” but a lease. That is asinine, as we all know, a lease is a binding contract or I wouldn’t be in this mess.
I have talked with more Sprint customer service representatives for more than an hour and a half (a conservative estimate, as most calls were in excess of 2 hours) more times than I have kept count. I would guesstimate it to be in the neighborhood of ten times, maybe more. It was typical to be transferred to three operators, finally reaching a supervisor. Each supervisor gave different information. I have been disconnected many times. I wish I would have kept better notes with exact dates and times; however, I never dreamed this would become such a nightmare . . . I continued to hold on to hope that someone would do “the right thing” and this would get resolved. I did not expect such detailed documentation would be necessary. There were many, many more calls than the ones listed below; however, I have listed some highlights:
April 19 I discontinued service with Sprint
May Talked w/ Jessie, interaction ID I1402337107. Recommended that I file a complaint with the fraud department. Complaint filed. Assured that fraud dept. would contact me to follow up. I expressed great concern for my credit. He stated this would not be turned over to collections until 06/21. He expressed further concern and reason to refer to fraud dept. is that my daughter is not a signer on the account; therefore, not authorized to make changes or renew a contract.
Received a collection notice prior to 6/21! No follow up from fraud department. I called the number provided by Jessie for the fraud department. It was an automated system. I called back several times entering every possible numerical option. No possible connection to a live operator. Exasperating. Previous call a full waste of time.
June 18? Talked w/ Gabriella “Gray,” Interaction ID I1416626661, confirmation 1233172588. After many transfers, and hours on the phone with Gray placing me on hold to work with her supervisor, coming back to assure me she was working, holding as she worked with her supervisor . . . for hours . . . . She was very empathetic and apologetic. She explained that she could waive all but $84.14 in late fees. I explained that the reason I was late was because the balance had been in dispute! She understood but explained that was the best she could do. I conceded that this was the best way to bring this to an end. I told her that promises are often made yet not executed, and then I have to follow up to try to straighten things out. She assured me that if there were problems all I would have to give is the interaction ID and confirmation code. I thought it was over.
About one week later: I received a call from GC Services, a collection agency, attempting to collect the $364.43 Gray assured me would be waived! I explained the entire situation. I gave the interaction ID and confirmation numbers. There was no record of the waived charges. I pleaded with them to retrieve and listen to the recorded call. After being on the phone for a couple hours while the tape was being reviewed my call was disconnected.
Days later: I called back and talked with a supervisor named Christopher. As exasperating as the whole process has been (and representatives haven’t always been helpful), all had been respectful and pleasant until Christopher. This man was awful. After I came to understand that this man had the authority to waive fees without transferring me (I believe up to $500, which would cover my dispute), I explained the situation. I was SHOCKED when he stated, “this is America and I should pay my bills.” I explained that I have been more than willing to pay what I owe in the way of usage; however, I was disputing a transaction entered due to a lie! Not only was it entered in following a lie, but he took advantage of a vulnerable person. And there was no authorization to make such a change to my account. I further explained that I was promised reimbursement. He told me that they would be looking into this, as “that is a personnel issue.” I told him that we’ve had a few personnel issues . . . a liar in DC; and misrepresentation, or lack of execution, within the corporate offices; and I, the consumer, am the one to pay the cost! This is deplorable! He was of no assistance, and more interested in explaining to me his ability to collect—that he was good at what he does.
There is more. I became so exasperated in trying to accomplish implementing what was promised to me by Gray . . .
There have been many promises with lack of follow through. The time spent on attempting to straighten this out is exhausting, and I decided to exhaust myself one more time to warn you all of this pathetic company and it's unethical practices.