Sprint PCS consumer cellular phone nightmare
I got a cell phone in July. I was told for signing on I would get 500 extra minutes (anytime minutes) to use over the next two months. My first bill was higher than expected, but I paid it assuming that it included one time sign on fees. The second bill was again high, so I talked to them and they informed me that a mistake had been made and I had never been signed on for the bonus minutes. Instead they offered me their then current bonus of 1000 off peak minutes. The next bill was high again.
I called them, and here the fun begins. Holding, telling them your name, address, cell number, home number, and password. Then they decide they can't help you and need to talk to a different department and transfer you. Hang ups are frequent (I am not rude, even more recently that I have become terribly irate, I try to convey that I am terribly dissatisfied, but never rude). I finally found a sympathetic operator who actually took out a calculator and tabulated all my calls depending on time of day and week. I was told that the bill was in fact incorrect.
The nature of my plan is so that I get 120 anytime minutes each month for $29.99, these exclude calls made between 7 pm and 8 am, and all weekends. I was told that the first 120 minutes I had used had been counted as anytime minutes, and every call since had been billed accordingly, that is, if they were made during non off peak hours, they were billed as additional anytime minutes that are of course pretty expensive. I replied that I had asked about this situation when I agreed to the extra minutes and was told it would not be billed as such.
The operator told me that it is in fact incorrect. He assured me that he would fix the error and that it would be the end of my problems. If it were only so. The next month the bill was incorrect again. I called again and went through the same process (terribly irritating, takes about an hour and a half each time, and hung up on at least twice during transfers). Finally, I got another competent operator and the problems from the month before were again detected and fixed. Again, I was told that this would be the end of the mistakes. The operator was also kind enough to inform me that there is a not much advertised promotion at the time and that he would sign me up for it.
After my two months of free off peak minutes (the aforementioned 1000 minutes) were up, I could choose to receive 500 off peak minutes in addition to my regular 120 minutes, for only five more dollars a month. He told me that with the current promotion I could receive the bonus minutes at no additional charge (I cant remember exactly until when) for at least the next eight months or so. Great.
My next bill was incorrect. This was in December. I did not have the time during the holidays, but more importantly the will to call again. So I let it slide and let it slide for too long. My service was shut off about a week and a half ago. I finally broke down and decided to call them last Sunday (2-13). Without going through all of the details, I finally got to an operator who was, I am sorry to say, rather dense. I explained the story up till this point, but she would not buy it, that it was inconceivable for them to make a mistake, and that a mistake had been made-by me.
I asked for a supervisor. The supervisor charged out of the gate and was combative (I was not-yet). She conceded that yes mistakes had been made, but they were fixed and had no bearing on the current issue. I explained that if nothing else, given the past mistakes, parsimoniously, she must admit that there is a good chance that they had made a mistake-if she would only check. By this time ! she had raised her voice, and was talking to me in this manner while I was still talking. I became irate, and the extent to which I let myself go was this: I asked her what department she worked for, she replied customer service, and I told her that so far it has been anything but. Eventually, she had a sudden change in tone and became apologetic. She said that she was going through my case history, and that she could see a lot of mistakes had been made, and that they went so far back that her department did not even have all the records. She apologized, told me she would personally send some sort of request to billing to try to get to the bottom of things, that she would let them know that it was urgent and that I was irate. I was promised a reply in 2 to 3 days. It never came (that was last Sunday morning, it is now Sunday night/Monday morning).
I tried calling again tonight. I kept asking for a supervisor. They would ask me why, and I would explain that I am an irate customer. They would not transfer me. I got hung up on twice (again, not rude, with the sweetest-not patronizing-voice I would say that I am an irate customer. At one point, one of the operators did not put the receiver back down correctly to put me on hold, and I could hear him talking to what I assume to be a supervisor. The supervisor would ask why the customer wants to talk to her, and they both made fun of the ustomers irateness, not knowing I could hear them. The operator finally got back to me, asked again why I want to talk to a supervisor, I told him that I explained the situation fully, and advised him to actually put me on hold this time. He put me on hold, then hung up!
I called back, got a different operator, and she conceded to let me talk to a supervisor-no questions asked. She came back after a couple of minutes, and asked me why. I explained that I had been trying to talk to one for about an hour, and that I had been ridiculed and hung up on. She puts me on hold and fully ten minutes later (my phone times calls) informs me that she forgot that supervisors go home at 1 am EST. I live in Central, and it was close to 1 am here, so the supervisors would have been long gone if she was telling the truth. She explained that she forgot.
Not believing her, I called back, got a different operator, asked if the supervisors had gone home, and was told that no, they are still on duty. I asked for a supervisor, after explaining why I should be granted an audience and after the customary wait, got to a supervisor, who explained to me there was nothing she could, as their computers were down! As it stands, my monthly bill should be $35.40 after taxes are added on. My bill for the months of December, January and February total over 180 dollars. I realize that you do not have all of my bills for the past few months, do not have the itemization of every call with time of day and week for the last 90 days, but what can be done? What can I do?
My experience has been that usually if you encounter such a problem they would bend over backwards for you and try to make amends. Others tell me I should demand them to fix my bill and offer me bonus minutes to make amends (I have never made any such demands), but I would just like to have my bill fixed, and hopefully, if I'm a really good boy, eat my vegetables, and go to church every week, I will receive a correct bill in the future. What can I do?
To say that I am terribly dissatisfied and angry would be an understatement. That I have been treated rudely and egregiously goes without saying. If my complaint rambled, I am sorry. If you have gotten to this part of the complaint, I thank you, and if you can give me any advice on how to take care of this problem, I will be even more grateful.
First and foremost, I would like to have my bill corrected, and perhaps be assured that such gross mistakes will not be made in the future. Furthermore, I think I would like to see some concessions on the part of Sprint PCS for their gross incompetence, rudeness of their operators, and the simple fact that even after the bill has been corrected, I would prefer not to be faced with a whopping bill for three months.
I have spent too much time on this, and I want to know what they are willing to offer me so I do not switch companies.