Sprint Sucks

Their service is so bad on so many levels it defies belief. Need an example?

I have five Sprint phones of various models, shared between my family members and for work. Around Christmas 2011 we started noticing that all of their batteries were running out much faster than usual, and that we were having problems placing and getting calls while at home. Home, by the way, is in Los Angeles, where one might expect a cell phone to work. In fact, the phones have worked just fine here for the past seven years we have been with Sprint.

Well, something changed for sure around Christmas. I called Sprint and they said there was a cell tower issue near us that was impacting voice and Internet service, but it should be fixed soon. I have come to realize that Sprint's version of "soon" differs from how most of us would interpret it.

Things didn't get any better so I called again, this time on January 1, 2012. The first agent I spoke to told me the tower had been fixed and all was well in my area. Her only suggestion on how to get my phones to work again was to install a mobile access point in my house and use that to place calls through an Internet connection. I explained that I had been living here for all of the years I had Sprint service and that everything was fine until the local tower had acted up. None of that mattered to her, as she said there was no charge for the access point and that it would fix my problem. Oh, there would be a $50 fee to activate it. So, for $50 I could get back what I was already paying more than $200 a month for. After I told her that was not acceptable and asked to speak to a supervisor she put me on hold. Five minutes later I was disconnected.

I promptly called back and got another agent. More time spent to explain the whole thing all over. He said he looked at the local tower logs and it was running at about 70-80% efficiency, as they evidently had problems repairing it. He said it would be another week to repair it as they were out of spare parts. How could that be in a major market like Los Angeles, I asked. His explanation was just amazing - it seems that ever since the earthquakes in Japan and Washington, DC Sprint had been running out of spares. Now it seems to me that many months had passed since those two events, but it appears Sprint was incapable of getting anything in place since then.

Well, another week went by, and still no improvement. The phones kept switching from Sprint service to roaming. Calls got dropped. Incoming calls went straight to voice mail. Texts could take more than an hour to arrive.

Another call to Sprint, another promise of a repair "soon".

By Jan. 17th I was getting pretty upset at Sprint. I called again and spent another 45 minutes telling people about the problem. I ended up with an agent named Gare who promised that the problem would be fixed - absolutely, no worries - by that Thursday, the 19th. He also promised that he would call me on Friday to confirm everything was working again.

I never heard from Gare again.

If I had I would have told him that the problem was exactly as it had been. No improvement at all.

I decided it was time to escalate the matter so I looked for a way to contact anyone in Sprint management. A posting on one of the Sprint support boards said to write to dan@sprint.com for help. I sent a note out that Thursday.

I was given your address as a venue for resolutions. I have been having issues with a down tower near my home for a month now. Lots of promises to fix it but it's still broken. I have 5 Sprint phones and all are impacted. My main number is (xxx)xxx-xxxx. I would appreciate hearing back from someone. They would probably have to call my land line (xxx)xxx-xxxx though due to the HORRIBLE Sprint "service" I am paying for and not getting.
 
Any help would be appreciated.
 
Bill Cotter

I was pleased to get a response fairly quickly:

Thank you for taking the time to write me.

A representative from my office will be contacting you.

Once again, from all of us at Sprint, thank you.

Dan Hesse
CEO
Sprint
 

Wow. The CEO. That was impressive. Perhaps now things would finally get better.

I didn't hear anything more for most of the next day, so I called Sprint again. Another 45 minutes of futility brought a new promise from Sprint that the problem would absolutely be fixed by Saturday 1/21. This came from a supervisor named Carlos, ID #DQ279116, who also promised me he would call me to make sure everything was ok.

I never heard from Carlos again.

If I had I would have told him that the problem was exactly as it had been. No improvement at all.

Anyone see a pattern here?

By now it has been a month since the problem first occurred. I've spent several hours on the phone with Sprint - thankfully I still have a working land line! I've had lots of promises and zero improvement.

What became of the promise of help from the CEO? Well, on Friday 1/20 I got a call from someone in his office who said the person who was assigned to my account was out that day but that I would get a call from her the next day. She even confirmed that in an e-mail.

Dear Bill Cotter,

Thank you for contacting Dan@Sprint.com.  It was a pleasure speaking
with you today January 20, 2012 on behalf of Tamara who is expectantly
out of the office in reference to, your email that was sent to
dan@sprint.com.  Per our conversation, I will inform Tamara that I spoke
with you today and she will follow up with you on January 21, 2012. 

I can be reached at xxx-xxx-xxxx, Monday through Friday, 9:00am Ė
6:00pm, and Saturday 9:00 am to 1:00 pm EST or you can reply to this
email.  Thank you for contacting Sprint.

We value your business and appreciate the opportunity to answer your
questions. Please reply to this email or visit sprint.com if we can be
of assistance.

Sincerely,
Renee L.
xxx-xxx-xxxx
Sprint

On Saturday my cell phone rang. Unfortunately there was no signal when I answered it. It then beeped and said I had a voice mail. Unfortunately the cell phone wouldn't work - big surprise - so I had to pick it up on the land line. It was Renee saying that Tamara was still out and would have to call me on Monday. I immediately called her back and left her a voice mail. She then confirmed the change in another e-mail.

Dear Bill Cotter,

Thank you for contacting Dan@Sprint.com.  I attempted to contact you
today January 21, 2012 on behalf of Tamara who is expectantly out of the
office in reference to, your email that was sent to dan@sprint.com
Tamara is expect to return on Monday, January 23, 2012 and contact you
accordingly.

I can be reached at xxx-xxx-xxxx, Monday through Friday, 9:00am Ė
6:00pm, and Saturday 9:00 am to 1:00 pm EST or you can reply to this
email.  Thank you for contacting Sprint.

We value your business and appreciate the opportunity to answer your
questions. Please reply to this email or visit sprint.com if we can be
of assistance.

Sincerely,
Renee L.
xxx-xxx-xxxx
Sprint
 

I also sent her an e-mail:

You couldn't reach me as my cell service is so bad that when it rang there
was no caller ID, then no signal. It then let me know I had a voice mail
which I could not pick up. I used a land line, got your number and left you
a voice mail in return.

After three plus weeks of this I'm really frustrated, as this is happening
on all 5 of my Sprint phones. At this point if you can let me out of my
contract I'll be glad to take my business elsewhere.

Regards

Bill Cotter
 

So, here I sit, paying $200+ a month for phones that can't make or get calls. Sprint seems unable to address this problem despite my being in one of the largest markets in the United States. They seem unable to keep their promises to call back.

And yet they expect me to keep my promise to pay on time. Somehow that just doesn't seem very fair.

Does anyone disagree with me that Sprint sucks?

I'll update this if anything changes.

January 22, 2011


January 23, 2011

It's 11 AM and no promised call from Sprint yet - and no improvement with their signal. I left another voicemail and e-mail for Renee. Let's see what happens next.

1:45 PM - no change, another voicemail to Renee.

3:30 PM - I went through another dance with Sprint. Renee called back and said she would be taking over the case. She then said she couldn't find any tickets showing a problem with my local tower.

Well, no less than 8 people at Sprint have told me there is a problem with that tower. Renee said she saw it was down on Christmas, which is when we first saw the issue, but it seems ok now. I described how I was looking at my phones flickering from 2 bars to "Searching for network" as we spoke, so she said she would open a new ticket for me. That was fine, until she said I should allow another week to see some results. That would be 5 weeks then. I told her I want to hear back by Wednesday or they can cancel my service. She seems quite nice, and I'm sorry she has to bear my frustration for the broken promises of her co-workers, but this has become stupid.

She also said she will send me an Airave to help my connectivity issues inside the house at no charge. She did say it needs to connect to a cell tower though so it may not work...

I've been researching Verizon, as my neighbors seem happy with them. Although it will cost me more to go with them I would rather pay for a service that works. Even if I had Sprint for free what good would it be if we can't make or get calls?
 


January 24, 2011

Another day of next to zero service.

A woman called from the Sprint team that assigns work tickets to let me know they have confirmed there is indeed a problem with the local tower - the same tower that Renee said was just fine yesterday. In fact, the woman today said it was a major failure. Their new ETA for a repair is this Sunday, January 29. She didn't have any details on what the exact problem is or why it is taking so long to fix it.

Please forgive my skepticism in accepting that date.
 


February 29, 2011

I haven't updated this page for a month now in the hopes, apparently as misguided as they were, that Sprint would actually fix the service at my house.

They haven't.

I've had around 4-5 calls a week with various Sprint people who promise they will get it cleared up, but the service is still in the toilet. They got it "improved" enough that we can often get 1 bar now instead of 0, but then the call will drop as it goes back to 0. We are less than 1/2 mile from the tower, with no large buildings or mountains in the way, and that's all they can deliver. I just had yet another call with someone from the CEO's office and she said - AGAIN - that they needed to get parts. It has been 3 MONTHS and they can't get parts! I asked if they would be as understanding if I couldn't pay my bill for 3 months. Want to guess the response?

The woman I have been working with is pleasant but nothing is changing, so I told her I want to cancel my service. She said there would be cancellation fees as a result and I said fine, as I fully intend to sue Sprint in Small Claims Court to get them back as they are not delivering the contracted and paid for service. That brought a promise to have someone higher than her call me tomorrow.

Dear Bill Cotter,

Thank you for contacting Dan@Sprint.comIt  It was a pleasure speaking
with you February 29, 2012 on xxx-xxx-xxxx. Per our conversation, I will
be escalating your concerns to a member of my management.  I will have
someone contact you between the hours of 9:30 am to 12 noon or 2:00 pm
to 5:00 pm PST.

I can be reached at xxx-xxx-xxxx Monday through Thursday, 9:00am Ė
6:00pm and Friday 9:00 am to 1:00 pm or you can reply to this email. 

We value your business and appreciate the opportunity to answer your
questions. Please reply to this email or visit sprint.com if we can be
of assistance.

Sincerely,
Renee L.
xxx-xxx-xxxx
Sprint
 

I can't believe anyone at Sprint would think they could defend a 3 month service outage like this.

Stay tuned.


March 1, 2012

Sprint did call back as promised. I went through the 3 month saga with yet another agent. No resolution as she needs to check with engineering, etc. A promise of a result by tomorrow.

 Thank you for contacting Dan@Sprint.com and speaking with me on
Thursday, March 1, 2012.   On behalf of Sprint, I apologize for any
inconvenience you have experienced due to your coverage in your area.

Please allow me the opportunity to recap our conversation; per our
conversation you stated that you have been experiencing poor service for
the last 3 months.  You stated that you noticed this decrease of service
on December 25, 2011.  We discussed that I would contact our engineer
department to see if we could get a field review to visit your area. 
You also stated if we are unable to fix this problem that you would like
to be released from your contract without penalty.  I have scheduled a
call back with you on March 2, 2012. I assure you that Sprint places all
of our customers concerns as a top priority.  We do not want to lose you
as a valued Sprint customer as your business is very important to us. 

However, in order to deliver a better Sprint in the future and to
continue to offer customers the best value of affordable unlimited data
plans in the industry today and cutting-edge devices at great prices, we
have to make the necessary changes that will support the growth and the
vision for the long term goal.  You also stated that there isnít any
further billing, equipment, or coverage issues. Thank you for allowing
Dan@Sprint.com the opportunity to address your concerns.

It is our goal to provide exemplary customer service and to render the
appropriate resolution available.  The feedback that you have provided
enables Sprint to continually improve our products and services, which
includes providing world-class customer service.

If I can be of additional assistance, please contact me and I will be
happy to assist you. My hours of operation are 11:00 AM-8:00 PM EST,
Monday-Friday.

Thank you again for your time.


Sincerely,

Sandy B.
 

I then got a call later in the day from Steve in the technical support area. He reviewed the case with me (I just love going through this over and over and spending my time on it yet again) and agreed that there must be a service problem. He said that they replaced parts in the tower but that they obviously need to do more.

In discussing it with him I mentioned that my Blackberry has a signal strength meter and that the numbers were going from -83 to -110. Evidently the lower the lumber the better, so -83 is what I want, not -110. He said anything over a -100 would be bad and at -110 unusable. He then agreed that they need to do a field survey (something I have been promised for the last three weeks) and would request the technicians to stop by my house when they do it.


March 2, 2012

Another day, another call from Sprint. And another day without resolution. The agent, Sandy, said that they needed to review the results of the requested field survey before they could rule on my request to be let out of the contract. That is now supposedly going to be by March 7. I told her that I am no longer going to take them at their word but am going to file formal complaints with the FCC and my state's public utility boards, and that I was also prepared to file in Small Claims Court if I need to to get any Early Termination Fees Back. In case you haven't read the fine print in the Sprint service terms, they specifically say Small Claims Court cases are allowed.

So now it's time to write some letters while we play the next round of the ongoing Sprint Delay Game.

Thank you for contacting Dan@Sprint.com and speaking with me on Friday,
March 2, 2012.   On behalf of Sprint, I apologize for any inconvenience
you have experienced due to coverage in your area.

Please allow me the opportunity to recap our conversation; per our
conversation you stated that you were contacted by our engineer
department and they didnít provide you with any updated information.  We
discuss that your field review has been ordered but no date was
provided.  You stated that you are tired of waiting for this issue to be
fixed.  You stated if your concern is not resolved by Friday, March 9,
2012 you are canceling your services and if you need to you will suit
Sprint in small claims court.  I have scheduled a follow up with you on
Wednesday, March 7, 2012.

I assure you that Sprint places all of our customers concerns as a top
priority.  We do not want to lose you as a valued Sprint customer as
your business is very important to us. However, in order to deliver a
better Sprint in the future and to continue to offer customers the best
value of affordable unlimited data plans in the industry today and
cutting-edge devices at great prices, we have to make the necessary
changes that will support the growth and the vision for the long term
goal.  You also stated that there isnít any further billing, equipment,
or coverage issues. Thank you for allowing Dan@Sprint.com the
opportunity to address your concerns.

It is our goal to provide exemplary customer service and to render the
appropriate resolution available.  The feedback that you have provided
enables Sprint to continually improve our products and services, which
includes providing world-class customer service.

If I can be of additional assistance, please contact me and I will be
happy to assist you. My hours of operation are 11:00 AM-8:00 PM EST,
Monday-Friday.

Thank you again for your time.


Sincerely,

Sandy B.

One good thing did come of all of this though! A college buddy from decades ago saw this tale of woe and dropped me a line. Hi, Lee! Small world, huh?
 

I've contacted the FCC to start things rolling:

FCC Submission Confirmation: 2000B
Acknowledgement of Submission from William Cotter on 03/02/2012, reference number 12-C00377307.
Thank you for your information. The FCC will contact you if additional information is required. Please keep this information for future reference.
And on to the California Public Utilities Commission:

CIMS
 

Complaint Submitted.

Thank you for providing us with your information.
We will respond with a case number after your information has been reviewed

 


March 29, 2012

Well, a lot went on since my last post here. Following my complaints to the FCC and PUC I was passed along to another team. This brought me into contact with Tyrone Handon at Sprint. He contacted me, we went through the whole scenario yet again, and he promised to call me the following Monday with a resolution.

Not surprisingly, he failed to call as promised, nor did he answer e-mails. I had to call him and when he did answer there was no apology, just "I was out of the office". Well, Tyrone, you had set the date to call me back, so it's not my fault you weren't there, or that you were the latest in a long chain of people at Sprint who don't keep their word.

On March 27th I finally did hear from Tyrone. The decision was to let me out of my early termination fees but not to issue any additional credits for the problems Sprint had caused for the past 4 months. I wasn't happy with that last part but by now I was just glad to be done with them. I was promised a letter would come from Sprint detailing all of this and showing that my account was closed. It would go out, for sure, by the end of that week.

I never got any such letter. Nor did I get any responses to me e-mails to Tyrone asking for the letter.

But I did leave Sprint and now am with Verizon. I am glad to finally be rid of this lying and incompetent company. It is costing me more for my service but the phone actually works...

The night after I switched all of my phones to Verizon I received a call from a Sprint technician. He said that they were still unable to repair the tower and had pulled a major component to have it worked on in their Orange County facilities. He apologized for not knowing when they would receive it back. It felt good to tell him it didn't really matter any more as I was no longer a Sprint client.


April 11, 2012

I received a letter from the PUC asking if things had been resolved. I replied with details showing that Sprint has not sent me the final bill as promised.

I then went on the Sprint site and tried to pay the bill to make sure they don't make things worse by dinging my credit. For some reason they were unable to accept payment using the same checking account I have used with them for 9 years. Their message said to dial *2 on a Sprint phone for help. Well, that's kind of hard to do without a Sprint phone...

I then noticed that they had changed my preferences for my billing statements. It just says changed, not what was changed. To get details just dial *2. Sigh.

I tried to update my post on their customer forum and got this: It appears you're not allowed to view what you requested. You might contact your administrator if you think this is a mistake.

Why doesn't any of this surprise me in any way?

This may be the end of these updates. For anyone in a similar predicament I offer this advice:

My major piece of advice, though, would be to drop Sprint. They don't care at all about their customers, so why should you care at all about them?

 

Counters+ more than 2,400 readers on Sprint's site: http://community.sprint.com/baw/thread/84310?tstart=0  <Maybe you can see this page now but I can't! I

I wonder if anyone in management cares about any of this.
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