Report: #1373800

Complaint Review: Sprint

  • Submitted: Wed, May 17, 2017
  • Updated: Sat, June 17, 2017
  • Reported By: randomguy — Austin Texas USA
  • Sprint

    Nationwide
    USA

Sprint Sprint lied to me about the terms of my contract, did not properly repair my phone or submit my phone to the company for warranty, and took hundreds of dollars for services they never rendered Austin, Texas Nationwide

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May 11, 11:17 AM EDT

In 2015, I signed a contract with Sprint to purchase a phone, and was presented with a monthly option for insurance. I noted then that the insurance was much more expensive compared to what I had experienced, but the agent reassured me that the reason for this was that there was no copay on this insurance he was upselling me. They said that if my phone malfunctioned, all I had to do was bring it in and they'd replace it with no additional payment, for 13 dollars a month. I signed up. We often rely on representatives to paraphrase lengthy and complex contracts to us, and I generally assume their honesty and professionalism, so I had no logical reason to assume anything else.

Almost immediately after purchasing the phone in 2015, I tried to back out of the contract. Because, after getting my real bill, I learned that the representative had presented us with a number on paper that did not include any taxes or fees before I signed. He told us in clear terms that the number he showed us would be approximately the total monthly bill, but my actual bill was about 30 dollars more per month than the number they showed me on paper in the store. My partner was present during the contract-signing, and felt that the representative had intentionally mislead us about the nature of our contract. We thought that perhaps the representative had felt hesitance when we told him our budget, and maybe felt it necessary to leave off information to secure the sale.

I immediately contacted Sprint and explained the situation, mere weeks after signing the contract, and asked to maybe go back to the store to renegotiate the contract, or to switch to a phone I could afford. They declined. I informed Sprint that I had been presented with false information by their representative, but that I still wanted to be a customer if possible and work something out to keep a contract with them. That failing, I wanted to send feedback about the store so that there could maybe be some training to prevent it from happening at that store again. On all these counts, Sprint declined to assist.

In August 2016, my phone stopped functioning. The Sprint store said they could not repair my phone, even though it would be the kind of repair that the store would normally be expected to perform. They told me that they couldn’t figure out how to take off the screen of the phone to diagnose the issue. They then stated that I was not at fault, that the phone was not damaged, but that my insurance would have to cover the repair because the Sprint store could not figure out how to disassemble the device.

Sprint then requested hundreds of dollars from me as a copay to start the process. I was shocked that they were requesting hundreds to assist with an insured phone, when the phone wasn’t even damaged and was under manufacturer warranty (it was under a year old). Even more shocking was that the store had so blatantly lied to me repeatedly about the cost of the insurance to make it more appealing during an upsell. Nonetheless, they told me, this was the only way my phone would be fixed.

I explained that I could not come close to affording 300 dollars on the spot one month for my cell phone, with the medical and student bills my household was incurring. Sprint shrugged. Left with no other choice, I kept paying for an inactive phone line to keep it out of collections. Due to my contract with them, they continued to take over 100 dollars out of my account per month. The only other remedy I had was to pay hundreds of dollars to end the contract or replace the phone, which I did not have.

Sprint has been demanding payments, while not providing any service to me, since last summer. In fact, Sprint has received over 600 dollars for phone and data service that they have not actually rendered services or honored the contract for. They are aware they are requesting and receiving large amounts of money for what is essentially an inactive “dummy” line that they have been unwilling to service.

In February, I explained the situation again to Sprint, expressing my interest in seeking a resolution, and Sprint admitted fault. This time, they told me that they should have fixed it in store, or at least submitted it to the manufacturer for warranty before giving up on the phone and leaving me to deal with it alone. They stated that the representatives at the store were supposed to have fixed the phone initially, and that the problem was caused by their failure to properly do so. Then they agreed to work something out with me. In the mean-time, pending the details, they told me they had made a payment arrangement for two weeks out, and agreed not to submit anything to collections in the meantime. I was pleased with this.

However, before the due date of the payment arrangement, I received a letter in the mail from a collections agency stating that they had reported me after our conversation. I checked my account and, indeed, I could not see they had set up the payment arrangement they had verbalized to me, or done any of the things they had agreed to. I continue to receive bills from them, as recently as this week.

I’ve reached out to Sprint multiple times since then. Then I filed a BBB complaint. They responded with ambiguous statements about how the insurance company, Asurion, would need to help me before they’d look at my case or consider credits. That isn’t even possible because the phone falls outside of Asurion’s contract terms now that time has lapsed. Every time I mentioned this, Sprint just stopped responding to me.

While Sprint would not respond to my emails, they did write to the BBB to say that I never responded to their offer. Never did they disclose to the BBB that I had written several unanswered emails to them regarding their offer; nor did they disclose to the BBB that they were aware that Asurion would decline to assist me. Sprint decided to omit all these details from their response.

When the BBB was made aware that Sprint was mischaracterizing our email exchanges, and I offered to share images of them, Sprint then said they would be “willing to see if you are eligible for an advance exchange”. Having worked in call centers, I immediately recognize that “willing to see” is not an offer. Rather, phrases like “willing to see” are defined as “noncommittal language” in the call-center world. They are basically the opposite of an offer; when we use them in customer service situations, we are avoiding commitment, rather than offering it. In any case, I said an advanced exchange seemed like a fair thing to work towards, although I was never offered one.

Sprint then responded that, once I had “remitted payment” to them, they would consider assisting me. This was the first mention of any “remitted payment” from me. So, on May 7th, I responded with a confused email saying only "Remitted payment on what? I thought Sprint was going to credit my account." Like my emails regarding Asurion, I never received a response. Instead, they went to writing the BBB again. They told the BBB that, in that very email, I had offered to premit payment for them for an advanced exchange. 

When I ask about the collections issue, like my questions regarding Asurion or advanced exchanges, they simply don’t respond to emails or calls. I’ve reached out so many times trying to figure out how they are handling the collections/payment arrangement issue, what’s going on with my account, but I receive radio silence from Sprint. And I’m very concerned about what might be going on with that.

This is similar they’ve handled other requests for information. For example, last year, when checking on an unexplained charge on my account (prior to this incident), an agent told me that someone had successfully attached a fraudulent line to my account, and said he removed it and the subsequent charges for me on the call. I also received a mysterious email around that time stating that someone with a different first name than me was on my account. Since then, Sprint has declined to speak on the subject when asked about details. They deny what the representative told me, but refuse to elaborate.

Sprint haven’t explained if it was a misunderstanding or mistake on the part of their rep. If so, they haven’t explained how the confusion happened, or what the initial charges on my account were. It’s not as though I ever asked compensation or sought retribution for that incident. I only wanted it for peace of mind regarding my security. But even then, much like the collections issue, Sprint wouldn’t comply with giving me transparent information about my account when I asked.

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/17/2017 12:47 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/sprint/nationwide/sprint-sprint-lied-to-me-about-the-terms-of-my-contract-did-not-properly-repair-my-phone-1373800. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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