Thisisyourbarry vs. Sprint

Those of you who know me personally know that I am not one to raise a ruckus when things don’t necessarily go my way.  When faced with a challenge I like to man up and do what needs to be done, whether I like it or not.  There are, however, exceptions.  When I’m shopping and a retailer refuses to honor simple agreements, I get upset.  And typically I’m right about whatever the issue is, and I’ve been known to become a complete jerk in my pursuit of what I believe is right.  Just ask the guy who runs this site.  So recently when I received an error message on my phone I was more than shocked and annoyed to learn that my cell phone bill had been run up more than $900.  What followed was what can only be described as a torturous slog though Sprint’s atrocious customer service.

                Sprint is fairly well documented for having, shall we say, “sub-par” customer service.  When I realized my service had been disconnected, my first reaction was to call Sprint’s customer (don’t)care line for assistance.  Because my account had exceeded it pre-set spending limit (which I’ll get back to in a bit), my call was forwarded directly to the finance department to make a payment.  Needless to say I was in no hurry to make a minimum payment required to restore service, a whopping $560.  However, without making the payment, my service could not be restored and I could not get an actual human being (or what passes for one) on the phone to discuss the problem.  This went on for hours. 

                Then days.  Eventually I went into a Sprint corporate store (not a retailer, they’re even more worthless).  I was greeted by a lady named Claudia who seemed pretty willing to help me out.  Apparently she had heard of cases similar to mine, all tracing back to hacked accounts on sprint.com and fraudulent international calls.  Sure enough, my account showed $600+ of calls to and from international destinations.  Obviously I had not made these calls, nor had my mom or wife. 

After Claudia called some magical number that is answered by a person, we were told that a fraud investigation would have to be done before my service could be reactivated.  Well that’s fine, let’s get to it.  Oh but wait, this was Saturday, and fraud doesn’t happen on weekends so there is no fraud department employee working until Monday.  I was then told that my service could not, under any circumstances, be reconnected until Monday at the earliest.  I found this to be totally unacceptable, as I’m sure you can imagine.  After ten more minutes of escalating the issue and my frustration growing, I simply asked to be transferred to the cancellation department.  Surprise surprise I was transferred to someone who put a temporary credit on my account and got my phones turned back on.  A little arm twisting never hurt anybody.

That was Saturday.  By Wednesday I still had not been able to get a hold of the fraud department and the phones were off again.  I went back to see Claudia.  She worked some magic and fraud came on to tell me they were removing the charges and the record, plus updating my security info so this wouldn’t happen again.  Great, problem solved!

Oh, except that, while my service is still on, the record of all those stupid calls and their costs are still on my bill.  It’s now been 9 days, countless lost hours, 4 days of no service, a dozen phone calls, 2 trips to the store, and one angry letter to Sprint’s legal department.

Legal department?  Yeah, that’s right.  In my eyes, when Sprint decided to ignore my “pre-set spending limit” as agreed to in my service contract with them, they effectively breached and voided that contract.  So it is my feeling that I am no longer responsible for any other terms of said contract.  I’m not looking to sue them or any garbage like that, and I’m not looking for a quick and easy way out of the mess.  But really, their disregard for our contract and seeming lack of any desire to fix the problems in a timely fashion lead me to believe that they just don’t care about me.  Heck, what’s one more customer lost?   

Basically I just want to take my phone numbers and head on down the road.  I need to know that when stuff like this happens I’m not left blowing in the wind.  I’m not an unrealistic guy, and I know that these huge megacorprations are busy folk.  I just hate the feeling of being one more person on a long list of problems to deal with whenever they get around to it.  Having worked in retail lo these many years, I know darn well that the old adage “the customer is always right” is a bunch of bull.  But gosh darn it, sometimes the customer actually is right.

  So Sprint, let my people go.    Maybe Verizon or AT&T can do a better job of keeping me happy.  There are plenty of ways to keep a guy like me sated and content, you just gotta pick one and stick to it. Might I recommend cheesecake

(Editor’s note:  I swear to god the Google image search for “cheesecake” turned up that picture.  I have no Earthly explanation as to why.)

(Editor’s 2nd note: I’m not sure why I chose to capitalize Google, but not God.  Subconscious ranking of importance?  Probably not.)

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