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Account spending limit "service"

Journeyman

Account spending limit "service"

I discovered I have a spending limit on my account. If Sprint feels that's necessary then fine but in all their descriptions of the limit the $4.99 monthly charge is described as a "service fee". Sprint is not providing a service with the spending limit, they're imposing a limitation. This limitation does not serve me but instead serves Sprint as a risk management device. It was added to my account months after my service began and I received no notification of the change. Penalizing customers who're most in need of a fair deal is a very unethical business practice. I'd be interested to know how many millions(?) in revenue they generate from these fees each month. It should be criminal. Any attorneys out there? If it is criminal a class action should be brought.

19 REPLIES
Wizard

Re: Account spending limit "service"

Nonexistant,

Thanks for the post. Here is some info about the program.

  • Effective 1/10/2010, Sprint charges an automatic $4.99 monthly fee for every ASL account unless the account is set up with Automatic Monthly Payments.
     
    • It is not calculated against the account spending limit until the bill due date.
       
    • It is taxable, applies to seasonal standby plans, and can be a partial month charge based on account status.
       
    • It does not apply to suspended accounts, including military suspend.
  • Sprint notified existing customers in the December 2009, January 2010, and February 2010 bills and via mail from Customer Finance Services (CFS) in December 2009. 
  • All accounts with a spending limit will incur the $4.99/mo per account charge with the following exceptions: 
    • Lifeline customers, a government program 
    • Third party employees 
    • Employees 
    • Suspended accounts, including military suspend 
    • Customers who enroll in automatic recurring payments
  • You can set up Automatic Monthly Payments and the fee will be waived.  
  • If you want to enroll in automatic payments, you can either enroll through sprint.com/myaccount, which is the quickest and easiest way if you have Internet access, or contact Sprint Customer Service by dialing *2 from your phone, and customer service will send you and enrollment form for you to fill out and return. 
  • Sprint verifies that a customer qualifies for an account with a spending limit based on their credit history when setting up a new account.  
  • Customers who demonstrate a responsible payment history after 18 months of service may qualify for ASL Upgrades. Sprint may graduate a customer out of the ASL program by removing the preset spending limit and the program fee. The review happens automatically. We'll notify you by letter when it occurs.  
    • The 18 month period begins when a customer opens an account, and not when Sprint implemented the Account Spending Limit program charge.
  • Sprint charges the fee until the request processes, which can take 1-2 bill cycles. 
  • If recurring automatic payments are canceled, the fee will be applied to your account.

Please let me know if you need any further assist with this.

Victor

Sprint Social Care

Journeyman

Re: Account spending limit "service"

so is this per account or per line?

Highlighted
Wizard

Re: Account spending limit "service"

This is just a sketchy way to do business. Not only does it bring in millions (per month even?), but it's a convenient way to force customers into auto bill pay.

If it was truly a credit issue, there wouldn't be the ability to remove with auto-bill pay. But just like the reps who often fail to note this when we sign up (or the way sprint doesnt send out the written notice until after the return period ends), Sprint is unjustly taking advantage of customers.

I really expected Sprint to be a step above the major players, but it seems they all play by the same manual.

Journeyman

Re: Account spending limit "service"


It's great that "Sprint notified existing customers in the December 2009, January 2010, and February 2010 bills and via mail from Customer Finance Services (CFS) in December 2009."  but I wasn't a customer at any of those times and neither were a lot of other people who are now.

Enrollment in automatic monthly payments doesn't guarantee the money will be available on the exact due date. It just increases the chances of ending up with a bank service fee should the payment fail. Besides, why should I prioritize Sprint over my house payment, insurance, credit card, etc?

Sprint is a cellular carrier. An industry with one of the highest customer churn rates out there. They need their customers badly but this policy indicates they don't think they do. The policy is also completely counter to values and service commitment implied in Sprint's advertising campaigns. If the company really understood service they could redirect millions of dollars from their monthly ad budget into loyalty and retention programs. They'd see a greater ROI for sure.

Wizard

Re: Account spending limit "service"

Nonexistant,

Thanks for your post. Im sorry you were not our customer back then, I wish you were. We have all the notifications on www.sprint.comto look up. The enrollment in auto pay is a choice, its not something mandatory. We would not want you to feel like Sprint is trying to take priority over any of your other obligations. The ASL program is a program that helps customers that would of gotten a deposit for opening up an account with us. So to avoid paying a security deposit,we add the ASL program to your account. Good news is if you have perfect payments for 18 months the ASL gets taken off.

Victor

Sprint Social Care

Journeyman

Re: Account spending limit "service"

"The ASL program is a program that helps customers that would of gotten a deposit for opening up an account with us. So to avoid paying a security deposit,we add the ASL program to your account."

Weak.

If this had been explained to me by the store personnel at the time that I signed up, I never would have agreed to it.

Your contract is nearly as bad as the service that I have received from the sprint store, and the so-called repair center when my wife's phone stopped working after two months. It wasn't damaged. It just died.

After that, I early terminated my wife's line so that she could be free to receive better service from another provider.

Then when the ETF hit my account, the service to MY line was interrupted.

I believe that it had tripped the "spending limit".

But guess what?

I never received a text or an email to notify me that my service was going to be suspended.

Sprint just did it without warning.

I believe that is a breach of the contract on Sprint's part.

After I got home from work, I logged into my account online (using my desktop computer since my phone had no data service either) and saw a notice that read

"Oops! You've reached your limit. Make a payment to continue downloading."

"0 Devices".

My bill had been paid in full and on time, early in fact. The ETF which had apparently ballooned to $234 from the $200 quoted to me by the rep who I had spoken with when I called weeks ago to terminate the second line, was showing as a balance due.

I paid the bill, and my phone service immediately resumed.

You held my service as ransom for the ETF. You did not even warn me that you were going to do so.

So far, I have been with Sprint for one year, and Sprint has never failed to let me down when I need them the most.

Wizard

Re: Account spending limit "service"

prestachuck

Sorry to hear about the unexpected billing concern. Just as you stated, the services on your account were temporarily suspended due to the balance on your account exceeding the account spending limit. It's unfortunate that you did not receive a message allowing enough time to avoid the service interruption and I do want to apologize for this inconvenience. Once you continue 18 months of positive pay history, without any interruptions, your Sprint account will graduate from having the account spending limit.

Ruth E

Social Care Team

Wizard

Re: Account spending limit "service"

Nice response......."sorry we didn't inform you properly, but it is what it is"....

What a profit generating scam.

Wizard

Re: Account spending limit "service"

prestachuck,

Thanks for the post. Sorry to hear your so unhappy with us. Where did you get the phone from? Was it a sprint owned store? Sprint does in fact inform you of pending ASL suspend. The issue is this, if you go over your limit and get suspended for going over your limit faster then we can process the text to you, you wont get it because your already suspended. So if you were getting close to the limit you would have been informed. Sorry this happened to you, I can imagine how frustrating it must of been. I was not privy to your conversation but I think the balloon your speaking of is actual tax on the ETF. Are you in California?

Victor

Sprint Social Care