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SPRINT Chicago area service issues since April 2012 with no end in sight, and WIMAX 4G discontinuation

Journeyman

SPRINT Chicago area service issues since April 2012 with no end in sight, and WIMAX 4G discontinuation

We have been loyal SPRINT customers for 4 years with 3 lines on a family plan.  In April 2012, we started having major service issues with our 3 phones on a daily basis. We regularly do all the updates on our phones as far as software, hardware, profile and PRL, so this is not the issue.

1) Many times when you are calling someone on their SPRINT phone, it does not even ring even though you hear it ringing on your end and then goes to voicemail.  The only indication the person you called knows that they have received a call is 15 minutes later when they get a voicemail notification, which itself is delayed as well.  We know this is happening when the phones we are calling are in the service area, so it is not a matter of not having service to the phone, it is a matter of the call not getting connected properly through the SPRINT network to the phone.

2) Many times when you are calling someone on their SPRINT phone, after a small period of time, between 5 seconds a couple minutes, the call gets dropped.  We are calling from a SPRINT phone to a SPRINT phone so this is all SPRINT.  When the call gets dropped it says on your display, CALL DISMISSED on the screen.  I did not dismiss the call, my call was dropped by the SPRINT network. This happens repeatedly over and over again, call after call. When I look through my call records and see the number of repeated calls I see where I have to keep calling people again and again, because the call keeps getting dropped, it is staggering.   Usually after getting dropped a couple times, I switch over and call back using my work phone which is a VERIZON Blackberry, and have not been dropped one time in 3 months.

3) I have called SPRINT many times about these issues, because our problems are continual, and we are paying $200 a month for a family plan for 3 lines, and the phone portion is virtually unusable.  We keep being told there are major outages in the Chicago area and the towers are being upgraded, but the time frame changes every time we call.  We've been told the following as far as when their tower "upgrade" project will be completed. We've been promised vague credits when these upgrades are complete. But it seems like the target is continually moving. These are actual statements that have been told to me on my conversations with SPRINT about when their upgrades will be complete:

  • It will be completed by June 1
  • It will be completed by June 15
  • It will be completed by July 15
  • I can't tell you when it will be completed or I would be lying to you

4) I've done some research on my own and found out that many people are having the exact same issues we are having, and we are all over the entire Chicago area (Northwest suburbs, West Suburbs, South Suburbs, Southwest Suburbs, far Southwest Suburbs).

5) I find this ridiculous that we are being forced to pay our bills ever month for service that is unstable and mostly unusable. Seems like a breach of the contract that we are paying for.

6) Just yesterday doing my own research, I also discovered that SPRINT has abandoned their plan to continue the 4G WIMAX service altogether.  They announced this publically in July 2011, but I just found out about it yesterday July 9, 2012 a year later. From what I can tell, they have completely stopped upgrading any 4G WIMAX as of December 2011. SPRINT is switching to 4G LTE service, which is not compatible with our 4G WIMAX phones.   So the 4G WIMAX phones we have will not benefit from these wonderful 4G upgrades we keep getting told about on our calls to SPRINT. It appears that our service will continue to decline since they have publically announced they have abandoned the technology our phones were designed to most benefit from.  Look this part up if you don't believe me.

7) I am at a crossroads because we have been loyal SPRINT customers for 2 full contracts over the past 4 years and paid them approximately $10,000 in invoices over this time.  I cannot sign another contract with them in good faith at this point with all these broken promises and misleading statements we have been made.  It appears that for us to continue with SPRINT we will have to buy all new phones in order to take advantage of their new LTE technology.  But a promise of better service on top of all the horrible service we have experienced over the past few months does not give me any comfort level. The thought of signing another contract at this point to pay up to another $5,000 over the next 2 years for service that is a big unknown does not appeal to me at all.

I would be interested to know what opinions other people have about this situation.  Thank you

45 REPLIES 45
Journeyman

Re: SPRINT Chicago area service issues since April 2012 with no end in sight, and WIMAX 4G discontinuation

Illinois Tony;

Made the worst choice to switch to Sprint in April of 2012 since then I have experienced the same issues. First it was June, then I was told yesterday that it would be October. Called again today since EVERY call I made today was dropped. Not one call was completed without dropping and calling back. They told me the same thing, that they could not give me a time frame. I asked why I would pay my bill if I didn't have service. It doesn't make sense. I am in the 60074 area. I can't take it. This is giving me an eye twitch

Journeyman

Re: SPRINT Chicago area service issues since April 2012 with no end in sight, and WIMAX 4G discontinuation

I understand your frustration, we are experiencing the same thing!! This is long, but I just posted a separate post, but figured I would post it in the other Chicago threads I saw as well...

Like many others in the Chicagoland area, my family (5 lines) has been experiencing unacceptable service from Sprint that includes many of the same complaints I see from others on these forums including:

-Texting not working

-Dropped calls

-Inability to make calls

-Slow internet

-Delayed text and voicemail messages

-The runaround-being told it is the phone when calling Sprint and to go to the store, then go to the store and they tell you it's the network, etc.

-Promised time-lines that do not come to fruition

-Being offered inadequate discounts on service (i.e. $25 off our $250 bill when our service is basically unusable many days)

Today I was finally told that Sprint is completing "network vision," basically combining 3 towers into a "supertower." They have stated that they cannot give a time estimate of when this will be done and service will be sketchy throughout that time (as others have stated as well). I am unsure why I am paying $250+ a month for service I am not receiving and cannot be given a response as to when I will be receiving it. I am concerned that Sprint would embark on such a major upheaval of their services without a back-up plan of how to support the existing network

.

This is obviously a chronic problem in the Chicagoland area; however I do believe that in order for any positive changes to be made in service, as well as any concessions in the form of major refunds for lack of service, many people are going to have to band together to make a difference. The gentlemen I spoke to from Sprint today literally told me that he gets a lump in his stomach each time he has to deal with people from Illinois calling, it is that bad!

I would encourage those having problems to do the following:

First, contact the Better Business Bureau. It only takes about 5 minutes to fill out the form here: https://odr.bbb.org/odrweb/public/complaintlink.aspx

In the section that asked how I would like my issue resolved, this is what I stated, feel free to copy and paste!

This matter can be resolved by providing:

1) A definitive time-line as to when my service will be working with no interruptions

2) A back-up plan of how I am going to be provided the service I pay a contract for (phone calls, voicemail, texts, and internet that all work)

3) If I cannot be given a back-up plan, I would like to terminate our 5 lines at no cost

Second, contact Chicago TV networks investigative reporters, as well as the Chicago Tribune. No major company likes bad PR and perhaps having a major television market looking into their inadequacies will encourage some more honest and forthcoming answers, as well as speed towards rectifying the problem. Type up a list of your complaints (or copy and paste them from here), write up your letter and send it off to each of the email addresses here. The more similar complaints they get, the more likely they are to look into things and focus on Sprint for one of their investigative pieces.

[..]

Spread the word to others you know who have Sprint and are experiencing problems, as well as in other threads you see here.

Message was edited by: mapesy

Journeyman

Re: SPRINT Chicago area service issues since April 2012 with no end in sight, and WIMAX 4G discontinuation

Thanks for posting this & for the responses.  This is really helpful because I've been experiencing the same exact issues. 

I've made repeated calls & inquiries to Sprint.  I even dropped off my phone to them for a few hours to have it tested, & Sprint's service dept. told me that there was nothing wrong with it & confirmed that the issues I've been having (the same as everyone else) is their fault.  I'm elgible for an upgrade but am holding off until I have some clearer indication of what's happening with Sprint's network including the HD voice thing they're promoting. 

I've been on Sprint for about 4 years now.  I switched from Verizon & before that T-Mobile.  Frankly, none of the cell providers have that great of service.  Cellular service is great in theory but terrible in real world applicability.  That is, they all have coverage issues, including dropped calls, poor call quality, etc., etc. 

If I leave Sprint to go back to Verizon, which seems to be considered the best, can I really expect to receive great service?

Journeyman

Re: SPRINT Chicago area service issues since April 2012 with no end in sight, and WIMAX 4G discontinuation

I upgraded last week to the new Samsung Galaxy SIII from my old original EVO 4G.  While 3G on the EVO was getting worse all the time, the SIII either rarely gets more than one bar on the service signal or states full signal but barely has one.  I cannot even get dialup speed on this phone.  On WiFI it works grate but its a phone and not a Kindle Fire.  I cannot get a signle web page to load without multiple attempts and the other day that took 30 minutes.  Having just paid $275 for this phone, SPRINT YOU NEED TO DO SOMETHING OR NOT CHARGE FOR SERVICE UNTIL IT ACTUALLY EXISTS!  Shame on you!  Sprint, if you were a fast food hamburger shop, you would be touting the biggest best burgers served faster than most places and actually only give your customers a few seasame seeds off a bun after waiting in line an hour.

Journeyman

Re: SPRINT Chicago area service issues since April 2012 with no end in sight, and WIMAX 4G discontinuation

I'm also in the same boat, started about 3 weeks ago for me in 60428 I’m near the intersection of I-80 and I-294 and I saw someone in another thread advised he gets dropped there every time. Phone is unusable at home, not just spotty, completely unusable. I have to drive about 4 blocks away before I start getting texts and data or can make a call. I have another phone on my account in the 60126 Elmhurst area and they are the reporting the same issue.

I did a hard reset on the phone thinking maybe it was a misbehaving app or something, reran all the android updates, checked for firmware etc. and it still didn’t correct it.

When at home I’ll get 1 or two bars but it will drop to the no signal "do not enter sign" and then back to 1 or 2 bars every 20 secs or so I’d say. It seems like the phone is really struggling as it will drain the battery very quickly. Even if I have a few bars and try to send a text as soon as I send it will drop the connection completely. I’ve never had less than 3 or 4 bars and stable when at home until about 3 weeks ago.

I understand projects like these can be difficult to implement and I’m sure their techs are under the gun to get this done, so I don’t want to join a witch hunt for sprint at this point I guess. But I have been looking at the new Gal S III and not being under a contract is making it difficult not to just move to Verizon. I really think sprint should do something for their customers to keep them, especially since a lot people pay almost a small car payment in phone bills.

Journeyman

Re: SPRINT Chicago area service issues since April 2012 with no end in sight, and WIMAX 4G discontinuation

I too am having the same issues.  I have been calling Sprint Customer Service since March and keep being told it will be done at the end of the month (Mar, Apr, May Jun, now July).  Every day I have to call the person I am talking to back several times to complete the conversation because of the CONTINUOS dropped calls.  My internet has not worked since April...

Yesterday I called again and they offered me a $5.00 monthly credit for 4 months.  I find that completely insulting since my phone has not worked correctly since March and Sprint thinks $20 will suffice!  I then asked to talk to a manager (whom I can only assume must have been the CEO because I was advised there was no manager above her to elevate my problem) and requested to get out of my contract.  She said they would not let me out of my contract early and that I would have to pay $190.00. 

She then continued to tell me that she is looking at my activity right now and my phone IS working properly and there is no reason for Sprint to let me out early.  I find this interesting since every time I had called before was advised my phone was only working at 50% and I drop calls everyday, every phone call (even when I was talking to them!).  Needless to say the conversation turned sour and in my frustration I mentioned gathering all my fellow Chicagoland Area Sprint customers to begin a class action suit.  After a snicker from her at the thought of the little guy bringing a suit against Sprint...I hung up.

All I want is out at this point...I can't go on with this service any longer!

Journeyman

Re: SPRINT Chicago area service issues since April 2012 with no end in sight, and WIMAX 4G discontinuation

It's getting worse day by day here.  Today there's all kinds of "popping" in the audio when I make a call around my house and it's also the first day I've noticed that I have 0 bars while at home.  I used to have at least 2 and now I have 0.  It's definately going to get worse before it gets better.

Pretty much the entire route of I355 is a crapshoot.  There's NO SERVICE between North Ave and Roosevelt Rd, Boughton to 63rd,  I290 at Golf.   I almost forgot the Indiana Toll Road!  I had to get on a conference call and what seemed like every handover to a different tower would drop a call, it was embarrasing! It's to the point where I don't trust the service now.

We have 3,000 field employees in the U.S. and the vast majority have been ported out of Sprint.  At first I was thrilled that I got to keep my GS2 and not go to a BlackBerry, but it's getting to the point where I would gladly accept going back to solely a BlackBerry.

Journeyman

Re: SPRINT Chicago area service issues since April 2012 with no end in sight, and WIMAX 4G discontinuation

IllinoisTony wrote:

We have been loyal SPRINT customers for 4 years with 3 lines on a family plan.  In April 2012, we started having major service issues with our 3 phones on a daily basis. We regularly do all the updates on our phones as far as software, hardware, profile and PRL, so this is not the issue.

1) Many times when you are calling someone on their SPRINT phone, it does not even ring even though you hear it ringing on your end and then goes to voicemail.  The only indication the person you called knows that they have received a call is 15 minutes later when they get a voicemail notification, which itself is delayed as well.  We know this is happening when the phones we are calling are in the service area, so it is not a matter of not having service to the phone, it is a matter of the call not getting connected properly through the SPRINT network to the phone.

2) Many times when you are calling someone on their SPRINT phone, after a small period of time, between 5 seconds a couple minutes, the call gets dropped.  We are calling from a SPRINT phone to a SPRINT phone so this is all SPRINT.  When the call gets dropped it says on your display, CALL DISMISSED on the screen.  I did not dismiss the call, my call was dropped by the SPRINT network. This happens repeatedly over and over again, call after call. When I look through my call records and see the number of repeated calls I see where I have to keep calling people again and again, because the call keeps getting dropped, it is staggering.   Usually after getting dropped a couple times, I switch over and call back using my work phone which is a VERIZON Blackberry, and have not been dropped one time in 3 months.

3) I have called SPRINT many times about these issues, because our problems are continual, and we are paying $200 a month for a family plan for 3 lines, and the phone portion is virtually unusable.  We keep being told there are major outages in the Chicago area and the towers are being upgraded, but the time frame changes every time we call.  We've been told the following as far as when their tower "upgrade" project will be completed. We've been promised vague credits when these upgrades are complete. But it seems like the target is continually moving. These are actual statements that have been told to me on my conversations with SPRINT about when their upgrades will be complete:

  • It will be completed by June 1
  • It will be completed by June 15
  • It will be completed by July 15
  • I can't tell you when it will be completed or I would be lying to you

4) I've done some research on my own and found out that many people are having the exact same issues we are having, and we are all over the entire Chicago area (Northwest suburbs, West Suburbs, South Suburbs, Southwest Suburbs, far Southwest Suburbs).

5) I find this ridiculous that we are being forced to pay our bills ever month for service that is unstable and mostly unusable. Seems like a breach of the contract that we are paying for.

6) Just yesterday doing my own research, I also discovered that SPRINT has abandoned their plan to continue the 4G WIMAX service altogether.  They announced this publically in July 2011, but I just found out about it yesterday July 9, 2012 a year later. From what I can tell, they have completely stopped upgrading any 4G WIMAX as of December 2011. SPRINT is switching to 4G LTE service, which is not compatible with our 4G WIMAX phones.   So the 4G WIMAX phones we have will not benefit from these wonderful 4G upgrades we keep getting told about on our calls to SPRINT. It appears that our service will continue to decline since they have publically announced they have abandoned the technology our phones were designed to most benefit from.  Look this part up if you don't believe me.

7) I am at a crossroads because we have been loyal SPRINT customers for 2 full contracts over the past 4 years and paid them approximately $10,000 in invoices over this time.  I cannot sign another contract with them in good faith at this point with all these broken promises and misleading statements we have been made.  It appears that for us to continue with SPRINT we will have to buy all new phones in order to take advantage of their new LTE technology.  But a promise of better service on top of all the horrible service we have experienced over the past few months does not give me any comfort level. The thought of signing another contract at this point to pay up to another $5,000 over the next 2 years for service that is a big unknown does not appeal to me at all.

I would be interested to know what opinions other people have about this situation.  Thank you

The upgrades are causing hand off issues when handing off between old towers and new towers, it's a known problem. To fix the issues with hand off sprint is going to need to replace every tower and that's just fact. 4G WiMAX will be supported by Clearwire until 2015, you'll have to upgrade your phone to use 4G LTE. The Chicago Market is going to be completed by years end but will launch in September or Mid-October. I expect the roll out to be 50% complete or more by September.

Highlighted
Journeyman

Re: SPRINT Chicago area service issues since April 2012 with no end in sight, and WIMAX 4G discontinuation

They have been upgrading in my area 60140 since March.  The service has been just horrible.  I am ready to cancel all five lines.  I called customer service and they told me they were done with the upgrades.  My calls still drop all the time and I get my text messages hours later.  I have to go outside to make calls when I am at my sisters house and cannot make calls from my office at work or get any kind of internet connection.   When I call customer service they only want to give me a $25.00 credit.  I have only been able to use my phone half of the time yet expected to pay my full bill.  That is unacceptable.  I pay 250.00 a month for service I cant use and am told I can only receive a 25.00 credit?  Time to start looking at a new phone provider.  I am willing to pay the 600 in early termination fees to have a service that works.  Sorry I ever left US Cellular I never had dropped calls.  Looks like I am going back to them.

Journeyman

Re: SPRINT Chicago area service issues since April 2012 with no end in sight, and WIMAX 4G discontinuation

Sprint has really dropped the ball this time. I cannot believe they would offer $25.00 credit when their expensive service is completely unusable. They should have issued a warning prior to these tower upgrades. I used to be a loyal customer but verizon is looking pretty good right about now.

Journeyman

Re: SPRINT Chicago area service issues since April 2012 with no end in sight, and WIMAX 4G discontinuation

I live in Chicago and was doing ok with my old HTC Evo Shift then i upgraded three weeks ago, BIG MISTAKE. My new phone (HTC EVO 4G LTE) is made for the new 4G LTE network, and SURPRISE, it isn't working for several more months.  I havent been able to receive calls for two weeks, text messages take anywhere from 30min to 8 hours to show up, internet feels like im being throttled....Im P*SS*D!  Ive called several times to be told it will be fixed by 7/30, here we are 8/3 and its still not fixed.  I was just told that it will take until at least october 2012 before the network in Chicagoland is up to 80%.  Keep in mind my 4G is turned off and Im strictly working off their 3G network, so no 4G netowork for months, and nearly non existant 3G network in Chicago (on the north side, edgewater 60660, where i live).

I am a Sprint shareholder, and when listening to the conference call there was no mention of loss of service, nor turning back on my dividend.  The "escalation team" told me tonight there is nothing that I can do, and I said why am I paying $200 a month for these phones for no service.  I was told I was in a contract and was obligated to pay.  Wrong responce!  That employee has some nerve, and Sprint for that matter has quite the ballz to allow this kind of issue to continue. the ability to put up temporary towers until the issue is resolved is not that hard.  Perhaps we should suggest that it come out of the CEOs bonus, dont even get me started with the compensation packages for executives.

Shame on you Sprint, you have been in business for decades, you know better than to upgrade a network and cause massive outtages/delays all at the same time.  You allowed me to sign a new 2 year contract three weeks ago, with a $500 phone, and didnt even tell me that I wouldnt be able to use it until October. 

I am a 7 year loyal customer, shareholder, advocate, but you have p*ssed me off, and Im seriously considering switching.

Lastly, the "canned" responced from your Tier 1 support and customer service is really annoying, if you dont know something, TELL ME YOU DONT KNOW, DONT WASTE AN HOUR OF MY TIME.  WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE, YOUR INCENTIVES IN PLACE FOR COMPENSATION AND BONUS ARE CLEARLY GETTING IN THE WAY OF TRUE CUSTOMER SERVICE.

Nat222 I have to be honest, I did some comparison with Verizon and Im considering a switch.  If I have to sue over the contract termination fee and outstanding balance for no service/delayed service; so be it.

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