I've been a customer for years. Since 2000, I think. My son used to work for Nextel, so most of the family had Nextel phones. After all these years, I am one unhappy customer.
Last summer, Larry lost his cell phone. I called to let them know, and to see about another phone. Well. Seems they can turn your phone off, no problem. BUT to get a replacement meant either a)pay 199.00, or b)renew the contract for another 2 years.
I didn't want to renew at that point. I wanted to look at other options because I think my plan is more expensive, and Nextel/Sprint's coverage in West Virginia is much inferior to other companies. So why would I pay $200 for a phone when I might not be using that company and phone in 4 months?
I had the phone turned off, but I had to pay out the contract until December or pay $200 for early termination of the contract. Either way, Nextel/Sprint wanted to get their $200 from me.
In December I called to cancel the phone as soon as the contract expired. "No problem," the phone rep told me, "I've got it in the computer and it won't be on your next bill."
Next bill comes, there's the phone still listed. I'm still being charged. I called. "You can't do that through Customer Service," I'm told, although that is the only number listed on my bill. "You have to talk to Account Services. They're closed." Great.
Now, I'm gone from home from 7am to 7pm every day. In the time left to me I have to pay bills, make phone calls, write, clean house, do laundry, grocery shopping--everything. I can't do stuff like this at work, because each time I call Nextel I'm on the phone 20 minutes or more. Lunch? I seldom if ever take my lunch break. I realize I should have called back, but I thought, hey they've got it in their records that I called and what the problem was. My mistake.
So today I'm off work, and I call back to get it straightened out.
"You'll have to pay for it," I'm told. "You didn't call back." I explained the whole story, how I was told it was taken care of. The operator was unmoved.
"I wasn't present at that call," she said. "I don't know what he told you."
"But I was present!" I told her. "And I'm telling you what he said."
"Sorry. I have to go by what's in my records. And you didn't call back."
"So you'd rather lose someone who's been a customer for 8 years instead of clearing $78.00 in contested fees?" I asked.
Yep. They would. And so they will. And I will post this to my blog and tell everyone I know just how Nextel/Sprint treats its long-term customers.
It's a shame, really. Shame on them.