Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thumbs Down to Nextel (Sprint)

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.


BYRSTN said...

You go, girl. Customer service in this country is a joke with most companies. Get the district, regional and national reps names and let them know. Let them also know they are now on a heavily read blog. It might help.

Anonymous said...

Ouch, you would not think that 78.00 bucks would be worth the negative publicity and the fact that you will never do business with them again. Sounds like me and my cable company, ut I don't need to get into that....


Angela said...

Oh Granny Sue! I had to write as soon as I read this one! My friend Adona also had Nextel/Sprint and chose to discontinue her service. She made the call but the clerk told her to call back on a specific date to cancel. She missed the date and they told her she would have to wait more time until for another specific date! I couldn't believe it! Next time she called on the specific date and cancelled. Well according to them she cancelled four hours too early on that date and has been charged nearly $500 in cancellation fees!!! Here in Louisiana we have a newspaper columnist who fights for consumers. I am sending Adona's story to them with all the particulars. I cannot believe the nonsense you've both had to contend with through this company! I bet there are numerous other stories as well. The sore spot to all of this is she went into hospital for almost two months for open heart surgery and the bill has been referred to a collection agency! What I know about company's like this is they always get theirs--mark my words.

Granny Sue said...

Too true, Angela. I'd drop cell phone service altogether, but I use it a lot--I drive so much and I work an hour away from home so the phone has become essential. What makes me so unhappy is that I've been a customer so long, and promoted this company to others. But since Sprint took it over, the service has been in the toilet--the people I've talked to have been amazingly rude. Hard to understand when people have many other choices.

Mary said...

Other choices, yes, but any good choices? I've been dealing with the identity fraud situation for a year, and it seems the companies are eager to sign up new customers but not careful to qualify them, and certainly not in a hurry to correct mistakes. If I could find a truly good company, I'd switch in a heatbeat!
Good luck!

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