Sprint / sprint shady billing practices
For the past three months my Sprint bill has been incorrect. I have had to contact Sprint for corrections. Even when the service rep indicates that the problem has been taken care of the incorrect service charges continue to appear on my monthly statement.
Most recently one of our Sprint phones failed, the phone was sent to the repair center for service; during the month that it was at the repair center $29 of unauthorized charges were incurred. I’m not sure I understand how that happens, the phone was broken and not functional yet Sprint was able to charge for services. The customer service person told me that she was authorized to credit the account, yet the account was not updated; resulting in a follow up phone call.
The replacement phone failed within three-weeks of receipt, a tech at the local Sprint store determined that the phone could not be repaired and replaced the device; they then mailed the phone to the Sprint warehouse (received and scanned on 11/17/08), where it remains to this date -- 40+ days later. I have for the past two bills been charged for the broken device, $200. Each time I contact Sprint to have this charge corrected I am told that I need to wait for the warehouse to update my bill; no one within the billing department has the authority to update/edit warehouse charges. Not only can they not update the charges related to defective device’s they also don’t seem to know the warehouse process and lack any amount of curiosity and our initiative to understand it. All of the representatives I have dealt with are, however, very competent at reading their script and encouraging me to wait for the process to be completed. In other words, I should be a good customer not make waves and wait for the one - two billing cycles, allowed by the warehouse process, for my bill to be corrected. Interestingly enough, Sprint doesn't seem to think they should have to wait for the $200 for the device (even though you have it in your warehouse.) Your systems were adequate enough to bill my account on the same day that the phone was replaced, five days before the end of the billing cycle. Since I haven't paid for the defective device, Sprint feels it necessary to send me nasty text messages and over-due billing notices on my account. My account is not over due nor am I delinquent. The phone is at the warehouse where it has been for the last 40+ days.
I would like to understand the warehouse process -- what happens at the warehouse that it takes more than 40 days to issue a credit to the customer account? Why does the customer have to wait for this length of time? Why isn't there a daily interface to the billing department to update customer accounts immediately when the defective device is received - I'm sure this can be done because you can easily, effective and efficiently bill the customer for the device the minute it is replaced, shouldn’t the process should also work in reverse? Why doesn't the customer service department know the warehouse process so they can explain it to customers, this seems to be a basic piece of information, especially since the warehouse practice is so unacceptable; why are the inner workings of the warehouse so secretive? Why does Sprint believe it is ok to sit on a defective device for 40+ days but expect the customer to pay? And why should the customer have to pay for the device while they are waiting for a Sprint approved process to complete? How would you expect the customer to have faith that they would be credited for the overpayment in an effective, efficient manner? Why does the billing department feel it is necessary to harass the customer by sending past due text messages and notices in the mail? When they can easily see that the device is "in the system" waiting for the secretive warehouse process to happen?
Consumer Reports recently rated cell phone companies and Sprint landed at the bottom of the pile - they were ranked fourth of the four major carriers in the US -- I understand why. Your billing practices are unacceptable -- I don’t owe you $200 for the defective phone - it was received four days after the Sprint store replaced the defective device. I don’t understand how it has become my problem that your internal systems and processes are antiquated. You have the phone and have had it for the duration of the past two billing cycles; yet it seems to be the Sprint business model to "punish" the customer. I am very concerned about damage to my credit score based on the inaccurate and false information related to my Sprint account. I pay my bill in a timely manner for the services I have subscribed to. I too have a process and it is to manage my bills in a timely manner and pay my accounts on or before the due date.
I signed a contract with Sprint and I feel that I am maintaining my end, I use the services and I pay in a timely manner for what I use. Sprint on the other hand doesn't feel the same obligation to me, its customer. You have had a defective device in your warehouse for 40+ days. You have yet to update and credit my account. Customer Service has no knowledge of the warehouse process only that it exists and therefore cannot adequately explain to me why it takes up to 2 billing cycles (60 days?) to credit my account – does this even seem reasonable? There is no way for me to access anyone at the warehouse for this information. Yet during this entire time Sprint is flagging my account as delinquent and harassing me for payment, which I do not owe and expecting me to sit quietly while my credit rating is damaged and “trust” in them to get this taken care of.
I would like to respectfully request ion that I be released from the Sprint contract at no cost to me for the three phones that I currently have with Sprint. At this time you have neither earned my business nor have you provided acceptable customer service. I can not deal with Sprint on the premise of "good faith" as I have no faith in your organization. The billing practices are questionable and I am forced, by lack of trust in the organization, to audit the monthly statement line-by-line; something for which I don't have time but am forced to make time each month to do. In any other industry that I deal, I am free to make choices. If I am dissatisfied with a financial institution, insurance carrier or credit card company I can withdraw my business at no cost. If I am unsatisfied with a physician, dentist or other healthcare provider I can switch at no cost and with no penalty. I can choose my retail stores based on quality and service, if I don't like them I can choose to shop elsewhere. I find it reprehensible that the cell phone providers are allowed to exhort money, absorbent amounts of money from customers to switch/change carriers. This in no way encourages them to provide quality customer service, honest and correct billing practices, or quality commitment to their customer.
I wouldn’t accept this low quality of service from any other service provider that I deal with and I don’t believe that I should be “forced” to accept it from Sprint. Please notify me of steps I need to take to be released from the contract with Sprint at no cost to me so that I can choose a more suitable cell phone provider.
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