Sprint Customer Service Sucks

I have phone service through Sprint; if you want to call it service. I drop calls constantly and everywhere. Out of probably 30 customer service experiences with them, perhaps only once did I not feel latent hostility from the representative. The Sprint stores themselves are like something dreamt by Dante. But that’s not what has me so frustrated at the moment. You see, I’ve been a Sprint customer for about 5 years now. I have always carried their insurance for my phone on the plan. Heretofore, I’ve at least had no problems getting phones replaced when they weren’t working. This time it has been a fiasco.


I have the HTC touch. Over the weekend, it received some water damage and is completely inoperable. “No problem,” I thought. “I have insurance!” So I went to the Sprint store near my house, where I’ve always gone when my phone was damaged, to get a replacement. I was told I’d have to call the insurance company, have the replacement phone sent to me and pay a $50 deductible. I have discovered since then, that under the terms of my contract, had I, say, dropped the phone in a lake and then filed a police report, I would have simply gotten a new phone sans deductible. Word to the wise.
I spoke to a Sprint customer service representative on the phone before calling the insurance company and when I explained that I came to understand this odd discrepency about losing the phone and filing a police report, I received a condescending lecture about the machinations of insurance. Gee, thanks. After accepting that I would be without a phone for a couple days (they made no offer to provide a temporary replacement) I made the call to the insurance company, Asurion. After navigating their rather terrible phone menu software for a bit, I gave up and went to their website and filed the claim. It turns out that to get my phone quickly, I had to pay an additional $7. Nevermind that I’ve payed for the cost of 5 of these phones in insurance premiums over the last 5 years. Not a big deal. Insurance is what it is. At least I’d be getting a new phone.
So the phone comes today at around 3pm central time. I unwrap it and go through the process of activating it only to be unceremoniously shunted from the Sprint automated activation system over to customer service. The customer service representative asks for all the information I’ve already given to the activation system. They he asks me what I need today. I tell him I’m trying to activate my replacement phone, doesn’t he already know that? He seems confused and stammers for a moment and then asks me for the serial number from the inside of the phone. So I have to hang up with him, have him call me back on another phone, take the battery out of the replacement phone and give him the serial number. Midway through giving him this, he sighs and tells me in a frustrated tone that no, he doesn’t need the serial number, he needs the DEC ESN number. So I give him this. He then tells me to put the battery back in so we can activate. So I do.
At this point, he sits there silently for a few minutes. I’m waiting for the phone to boot. Finally I say, “hello?” Then we have this exchange:
Sprint Customer Service: Sir, I need you to give me that serial number again.
me: You mean the DEC ESN number?
Sprint Customer Serivce: Yes.
me: The phone is rebooting. You want me to pull the battery again?
Sprint Customer Service: Yes.
me: Okay. The number is _________.
Sprint Customer Service:
me:
Sprint Customer Service:
me:
Sprint Customer Service:
me: Hello?
Sprint Customer Service: Uh, sir, we can’t activate that phone. Where did you get it? Did you buy it?
me: (wondering if he’s insinuating that I stole it) It’s a replacement. I got it from the insurance company. Remember?
Sprint Customer Service: Oh yes. Well it’s assigned to someone else. I can’t activate it. Where did you get it?
me: I just told you. I’m reading you the number right from the back of the phone.
Sprint Customer Service: Well then what’s the HEX ESN number?
me: (reads number)
Sprint Customer Service: Yes, that phone is assigned to someone else.
me: How can it be? I’m holding it in my hand. Whomever it is assigned to is probably fairly non-plussed about not having their phone.
Sprint Customer Service: I don’t know, sir. You’ll have to call the insurance company to get a new phone.
me: So I’m out a phone for another couple days?
Sprint Customer Service: Yes, sir.
me: I use this phone for my business, is there anything you can do for me? A temp phone or something?
Sprint Customer Service: Do you have another phone you could use on the Sprint network that I could activate temporarily.
me: No.
Sprint Customer Service:
me:
Sprint Customer Service: Well. I can credit you a couple days on your account.
me: (giving up at this point) Okay. Thanks.
Sprint Customer Service: Alright sir. I’ll credit your account. Thank you for calling Sprint and have a great day.
me: Awesome.
I don’t even know what a “couple days” of credit on my account means. I pay a flat rate for unlimited minutes. So how does that even translate. I’m sure the representative had no idea either.
Now I’ve got two phones that don’t work that I’ll have to send back or they’ll charge me up to something like $200 each. I’m still without a working phone. What’s to guarantee that the next phone won’t also resist activation? If there’s another cellphone carrier out there that would like to pay my fee to get out of my Sprint contract, I’ll happily switch.

3 thoughts on “Sprint Customer Service Sucks

  1. I have a sick fascination with customer service horror stories. I love to read them to see just how bad companies are doing things these days (and I have my own bone to pick with Sprint so this was especially enjoyable) but they also make me cringe and want to crawl and hide and forget that people can be so dumb. Good luck, dude. If it’s any reassurance, I can have my Italian godfather call Sprint for you. That’s how I solved my last problem with them.

  2. Sprint – I can go one better, I changed my plan from a single phone to a family plan last August (07), it Just started out Bad !! I called Sprint because I wanted to upgrade my phone, get a new Razor for my Daughter and combine my Data Card all in one plan. Well, they made me an offer – it was over $1000.00, at the same time I was on the Internet, and I told the Customer Service person I could get the same service,plan and phones from a Sprint service provider for just over $400.00 – His advice to me – “then do that”, and that was the end of the call.
    I ordered the new phones, and plan, what a disaster that was, the company screwed up with thier offer to me and did everything to try to renegg, I eventually got the phones and the plan.
    When the phones arrived, I called and Activated my Motorola Q, the Customer Service rep told me I would have to call back and Activate the Razor ( this was beyond me – but i did ).
    After both phones were activated, I went online to check my account ….. Only the Motorola Q was there ?? Strange ?? I called Sprint ( my mistake ), first they told me the Razor belonged to some one else, even though i had the receipt, the phone, and I activated it ….. they coudl not figure out that they had activated the phones seperately …. go figure !!
    OK – I finally get that mess all straightened out – took days, and many calls and e-mails.
    Then January rolls around, and my bill is through the roof all of a sudden … I call Sprint.
    I ask – why am i being billed for text messaging when i pay $15 a month for unlimited text messaging …. and you billed me back three months for texting ??
    They tell me my plan does not qualify for unlimited texting …. I ask “then why have you been billing me for unlimited texting” and “why are you now billing me for text messages from the past three months” ….. Ummm your plan does not allow for unlimited texting at that price, if you want unlimited texting it is $20 a month and you have to get a higher cost Plan.
    As the arguement insued, i ended up talking to a supervisor who told me “If you don’t like it, you can cancel your account, and you will be charged for the entire amount plus $200 for each line ($600 in my case ).
    I felt threatened, I had no choice, I bought inot the new plan my $160 a month went to $220 a month in the blink of an eye – but they credited me the texting charges ( that should have been free anyway !@! ).
    January comes new things, my daughter starts getting all the Sprint sales and texts to ther phone ?? I call, the fix it – they tell me they made my phone the primary line, so OK, we’ll see about that.
    Since then I have purposely let my bill go late every month, and guess what – yup – my daughters phone gets the messages, and every month i call, and every month they “Fix” the problem … they even issued a trouble ticket back in June – they claim they will fix any issue with a trouble ticket in 48 hours ( too funny ).
    I just had to call again today ( almost a year ), because it is still going on.
    The last customer service person ( Pakistan maybe ?!? ), could not even explain my bill to me, or where the credits were …. i watched my online accoutn bill chane before my eyes while i was on the phone with this guy …… it went up !! from what he was trying to tell me …… i finally just paid the bill ….. Ugh.
    Just a last note, only new Sprint Customers get there accoutn prorated if they cancel, those of us who have been with Sprint for years – well, were screwed, our loyality is no longer appreciated…
    Bottom line, if your considering Sprint, take the Sprint test first, get Two empty cans and a lenght of string, put the cans and the String on the ground and look at it ……. it is the same thing you will get from sprint and customer support !!

  3. Guys, I’ve reading your accounts of horrible Sprint customer service, and I thought I should share mine with you. The irony is that I am not even a sprint customer, and I was planning to become one. I saw that if I would order online directly from Sprint.com, I was going to get free activation (something that no other major US cell phone provider offers), and being an international graduate student, I was trying to save money. So I ordered online, provided all the info, and got a confirmation number. When I got the confirmation email, I found that they only got half of my billing/shipping address right, and the other half was missing. So I called Sprint, was transferred to order/billing department, and had a conversation with this woman called Sabrina (she was probably sitting in a call center somewhere in India or Pakistan). Anyway, I explained my situation, and asked her to correct my address, so that the phone did not get lost on its way to me. What she told me was that she could not do that, and I would have to go to a sprint store, and get the phone from there. She offered to find a sprint store for me (which I could have done by myself by checking the sprint.com site). When I asked her if I was going to get free activation from the store (apparently this was a web-only deal), she said she did not know. The only service that she could provide was to give me the nearby sprint store address. When I told her that I could find the address for myself, she quipped, “then go ahead and find it for yourself.” That was it for me, and I immediately told her to cancel my order (which I hope she did). I’m going to get a cell phone from one of the three other providers; I may end up paying more money, but at least I hope to have some peace of mind with the service.

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