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Sprint Refunds My Money

I recently wrote of how Sprint stole over $1,000 of my money through their automatic bill pay. My bill was $149. They withdrew $1,197 from my account.

They couldn't refund the money by the same means that they took it out because the amount was over $1,000, which puts the transaction into their Fraud department to ensure that I'm not pulling a fast one. By policy, they have to then send me a check snail mail.

Six days after this fiasco started, I have received the check. Here's the attached statement.

Art suggested that I send them a bill for all of this trouble. Does it work that they've decided now to give me two months free for my troubles? That's something anyway...

by Brett Rogers, 12/7/2007 6:07:50 PM


If they made the refund in six days (pretty reasonable) and are giving you two free months, it sounds like they are making a reasonable attempt to take care of you.

Posted by Art Dinkin (, 12/8/2007 9:40:59 AM

Yeah, I think so. The first people to whom I spoke on the phone were absolutely the worst customer service people I've ever dealt with. They ought to be fired. Really. And that's something you never hear me say.

When I asked to be tranferred to the Cancellations department, Sam was wonderful and took care of me well.He and his manager pnoied up the two free months. So yes, I feel like they're owning it and working to preserve my business. Good for them. They ought to train the people in Customer Service.

Posted by Brett Rogers (, 12/8/2007 10:37:48 AM

I'm still stunned by this. I don't think 6 days is reasonable. Not when they have stolen from you. Back to my earlier argument that posed the question "what if you were on a tight budget?" Say you bounced the mortage and car payment because of this? They were very fortunate you were able to cover their theft and work with them.

How about the irony of their fraud department being the reason they could not immediately return the money they stole? Sounds like they need a fraud department that protects the customer from the company.

I forget who suggested it, but I think posting this on youtube would be great. Fire some shots back at Sprint for this. Hit them were it hurts.

Lastly, did they give an explanation how this occured? I have a hard time seeing how this would be an automated billing issue. Was it manual error? Can they assure you it will never happen again?

Posted by Pale Rider, 12/8/2007 11:43:57 PM

My understanding is that I was erroneously billed for 984 long-distance minutes at 99 each, plus taxes/fees for those minutes. How will I prevent this in the future? By removing autopay from my billing options, which I've done. That way I control what monies they receive from me.

My vengeance for this will be pretty tame, but enough, I think. I do it in two ways.

First, I've blogged about it. To the extent that my little blog is discovered and read by Googlers, Sprint will endure my bad PR for them.

Second, in August my contract with Sprint is up, and at that time, I'll join my wife's Verizon plan and Sprint loses me as a customer. By going to the lengths that they have in issuing two months free for me, I'm not leaving right now. But this is simply the largest of many errors their billing has thrown at me. Sprint's tech support is horrible. Just horrible. It's far rarer to find someone actually helpful when their billing spits out nonsense than it is to find someone who can absently tell me, "Mr. Rogers, the screen tells me that you've never signed up for unlimited text messaging on any of your phones." After 3 minutes of prodding, I get them to check the notes on the account and I hear, "Hmm... I see that you've called us about this before and that we set you up with unlimited text messaging. But my screen says that you don't have that. I'll need to talk to my supervisor and see if we can issue a credit for the 700 text messages on your three phones. One moment please..." Then multiply that experience across the Sprint PCS Data package, my employer discount, and an increase in the total minutes on my plan when I added my sons' cell phones, and it's no wonder that I have no hair.

I'm sure that phone servicing is a tough business, but Sprint isn't ready for prime time. Verizon seems to be, and so I'll go there for the lack of troubles Tamara enjoys. And I believe you spoke well of them also. As have others I know.

Posted by Brett Rogers (, 12/9/2007 12:18:10 AM

Dear God they actually charge for long distance minutes? I can't recall seeing a Verizon plan where you'd get charged for national/roaming. Even with AT&T (or Cingular depending on day of week, they were AT&T when I first joined, then Cingular, then AT&T again when I left) I never dealt with long distance or roaming fees. If you went over your minute plan then it was like 45 cents a minute. It sounds like Sprint really is out of touch with their competition.

The 2 months free is good. At least it gets you closer to August and to be honest, they have your credit rating held hostage if you terminate and fight the charges. I think the whole concept of a contract stinks though and look forward to the day that phases out.

Posted by Pale Rider, 12/9/2007 2:09:45 PM

Just to be clear, I have 2,100 minutes monthly on my plan and didn't come close to going over. I have no idea where the "long-distance minutes" came from, but I was well within the limits of my plan.

Posted by Brett Rogers (, 12/9/2007 2:58:57 PM

I'm glad you removed the autopay. Sprint was totally in the wrong and should have been more helpful, but on the whole, Autopay creeps me out. Nobody gets auto access to my accounts but me, my employer for direct deposit, and my bank for my mortgage. Maybe I'm a little bit of a control freak (okay, not a lot of maybe about it) but an error that size would have bounced the entire world for me (and by God, Sprint would have paid for it!! I have them too, but have never had any issues with them, other than the really annoying calls they make to try to get me to upgrade my plan--which promptly get hung up on.) They should only get the money when you damn well please, anyway. Personally, I resent them and their sales pitches so much, I don't pay them until the morning of the due date. They can wait.

And they charge you for long distance minutes? WTF? They never did on mine, but mine's a way littler plan. They're probably screwing me some other way. I don't blame you for switching in August. Call Russia in your free two months! Text the whole wide world! :-)

Posted by Bella, 12/10/2007 1:53:03 PM

Now that you mention it, Bella, I do have a few things I want to discuss with Vladmir Putin about his freedom-hating policies and some of the assassinations that he's spurred. I'll make those Russian phone calls in January! Who knew that my problems with Sprint might actually lead to world peace?

Posted by Brett Rogers (, 12/10/2007 2:01:59 PM

....or your own assassination! Don't do it! Got a Geiger counter? A bullet proof vest? :-)

Posted by Bella, 12/10/2007 2:15:03 PM

Bella, you are as much of a control freak as me! Heeeeeeeee.

Better watch where you eat if you call good ole Vlad. You never know what poison you'll end up getting. Talk about a leader who gives me the creeps.

Posted by Pale Rider, 12/11/2007 11:50:33 AM

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