Dear Sprint: Can I Volunteer for Early Termination?

by Marianne Richmond on July 5, 2007

Earlier this evening I phoned Sprint regarding my bill as I do every month. In the course of the conversation they informed me that my contract which I thought was up in September 2007 was up in August of 2008.

It seems that when they were giving me extra minutes, service credits and discounts in August 2006 to make up for their  billing mistakes they included a special surprise incentive to remain a Sprint customer, they extended my contract for two years. Of course, it really was a surprise to me. Had they mentioned that, I would never have agreed to the rest of it. And had they fixed my problems, the contract wouldn’t have mattered because why would I want to terminate a contract for service that was satisfactory.

You know when you are waiting for customer service to finally take your call you are warned that the call might be recorded. When they told me tonight that my contract had been extended last August, I asked if they had a recording of me agreeing to it. Stefan SPP2621 told me that the recording said "might be recorded". I said I understood that but I was asking him to check to see if this call had been recorded.He said first that they couldn’t do that. Then when I  persisted he said they could check BUT he didn’t need to check because it was noted by the rep that I had agreed to it. Hmmm, those reps are so much more reliable than the customers who have to call in month after month for the same problem that never gets corrected. Well, we didn’t get very far there…but really, where are all those calls that might be recorded anyway?

So, imagine my surprise when I went to Techmeme and saw: Sprint Breaks Up with High Maintenance Customers. It seems that Sprint sent letters on June 29th to some of their customers essentially firing them for complaining about the service. Gizmodo has the letter.

I called Sprint retention back and explained that I had called earlier and was told I couldn’t terminate my contract without paying $200 for each of my three phones but since I saw that they were trying to get rid of "high maintenance" customers that I would like to volunteer. Marlene 3350 refused my offer.

She said that I could cancel my contract and then call 1-866-424-8136. I would then be given instructions to communicate with "the Back Office Team" where I could request a fee waiver.

  Marguerite Reardon had 47 comments on her post at CNET mostly from those in favor of being fired by Sprint. Ultimate irony…I can’t even get them to fire me.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Robert P. July 6, 2007 at 10:26 am

I got news for you – they all suck.

Cam Beck July 8, 2007 at 11:10 am

I love your entire commentary here… The part dealing with “possible” recordings of phone calls resonated with me, as I had a similar experience with my car insurance carrier recently. When I talked to the manager, she told me she know that I didn’t say what I said because her rep took good notes.

Marianne Richmond July 8, 2007 at 1:14 pm

Robert,

You are probably right…so why do we let them ?

Marianne

Marianne Richmond July 8, 2007 at 1:18 pm

Cam,

Thanks for your comments…EVERY TIME I hear the ubiquitous, “This call may be recorded or monitored for quality control” my thought bubble is, “I wish.”

Marianne

Katie Konrath July 22, 2007 at 4:12 pm

Hi Marianne, you don’t sound like a troublesome customer to me. After all, you only call a couple times a month. To be eligible for Sprint’s “Get-Out-Of-My-Service-Plan-Free program, you have to call at least 3 time a week.

BUT, there’s good news! Calling customer service takes so long to get through to a service representative that you could call, and then get plenty of work done while you wait!

If you’re interested, I just did a series on ideas to improve Sprint’s customer service on my blog: http://www.getfreshminds.com/2007/07/more-ideas-abou.html

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