Sprint Customer Service Experience

I've been a Sprint customer for years.  While I don't think any of the current cell phone providers have what I would call good customer service or a good customer experience, but Sprint has finally gotten around to really pissing me off.

It all started a few weeks ago.  My cell rings and a guy announces that he's with Sprint and that my contract is about to expire and if it would be a good time to discuss my plan, phone, etc.  It was approximately 12:15.  Right in the middle of lunch.  I told him it wasn't a good time and that I was planning on getting a new Treo phone, with PalmOS, in a few months as mine is getting older and I'd review my plan at that point.  Sprint Guy thanked me.  So far not too bad.

About a week later I received essentially the same call and gave the same response hoping this Sprint Girl would mark me off as Contacted, Handled or whatever they needed to do so I wouldn't be bothered again.

I guess Sprint isn't interested in the fact that I'm disinterested in them, as they have responded by increasing the frequency of their calls.  It started with a couple of calls the next week, but this week has been ridiculous.  They have called me with THE TWO EXACT SAME OFFERS 5 times since last Saturday.  Each time telling them I wasn't interested at this time and secret hoping this would be the last call I had to endure.

When I was called again earlier today I asked to be put on their internal "do not call list" after I explained the issue.  Sprint Girl apologized and then said she would put me on the list, but that I should know it can take several weeks before that request would filter through the proper channels.

So why does this piss me off? It isn't that they called in the first place or that the person on the other ends sounds so beaten down and bored reading their little scripts. It pisses me off because it proves that they do not care about me as a customer. Why do I know they don't care? Let me count the ways...

  1. Calling during lunch.  Sorry if it hurts your calls per hour numbers, but you shouldn't bug your customers first thing in the morning, during their lunch, during dinner, or late at night. Please remember that you are calling AN EXISTING customer and the last thing you want to do is actively annoy them.
  2. The first call did not stop the subsequent calls.  This is just plain laziness on Sprint's part. It's extra sad when you consider that they are wasting their own money re-calling people with the same offer they weren't interested in last week ( or yesterday ).
  3. They have no process to ensure they aren't calling their customers too much. I don't mean from the same list/telemarketing plan ( which should have been covered if they did #2 ), but company wide.  How hard it to put together a near real-time database of who has been called and stop any and all subsequent calls for a time period?  Well I'm a software developer and I can tell you it isn't hard at all.
  4. The fact that it takes several weeks for my request to not be called to be processed. What are they doing chiseling it into a granite wall at the call center? Do they need to get signed approval in triplicate from some paper pushing manager?  You're a technology company, start to act like it.

Sprint always seems to be having money troubles and laying off staff.  What they probably don't realize is that it's marketing/customer service mistakes like this that are going to kill them in the end.

Cell phone providers are all basically the same.  Coverage seems about the same from what I've read, same with dropped call numbers, and all of the usual issues. You can't really do much with stats like "We have 1.7% more coverage area" as no one cares. Every competing product works basically like yours. So what does a cell phone provider need to do, they need to make EVERYTHING about the customer experience as easy and painless as possible.

And you don't do that by having the only real contact I've had with your business in years be ridiculously annoying. Hopefully some Sprint folks will run across this post and change their ways before customers like myself who care more about the ease of use and customer experience than they do about brands, phones, features, or even price.

UPDATE: Looks like the amazing Seth Godin agrees with me that Sprint needs to start caring more about their customers before someone else does

Comments

Sprint has lost my confidence, too. After having been a customer for years, I ran into a problem re insurance I had for a damaged phone.
Website IMPOSSIBLE to use.
Telephone customer service manned by less than intelligent people.
Recording says 'we value your business' but they keep you waiting for a half hour, only to talk to a person who confesses 'my English ain't that good... do you speak Spanish?' OUTRAGEOUS!!!!!
This is a very poorly managed company with little or no regard for the customers who have provided it with business.
Next time around, I'm going to RUN AWAY from Sprint.
No wonder they're losing money.
The phone bank is staffed by idiots who most likely receive minimum wage, and fall short of earning it.
By a miracle, for years I didn't need to contact Customer Service.
They lost my confidence forever due to blatantly inept and bungling service.

by Ruddaless on Jun 29, 2007 at 1:12 AM

Any service issue that can be handled the first time it is discovered, it will not be handled. There is endless bureacracies and protocols to be followed. The essence of Sprint's problem is with their personality and incredible size of ego. They are proud of themselves. Too proud they can't really see the world turning round them.

by Sprint Store Owner on Jul 7, 2007 at 9:45 AM

Sprint is HORRIBLE! I've been a customer for almost ten years, have spent ungodly amounts of money on every new "toy" they come up with, yet when I have a problem with the phone i'm told to "make an insurance claim that it's lost?" WTF!

My pocket PC shut down on my AGAIN! I got the run-around at two different sprint stores over the course of three days, then told that it would take 10 business days to get a replacement phone. Customer service was just as bad, I've probably spoken to eight different sprint reps and two insurance reps, I've been hung up on twice and the call dropped twice. AND STILL NO REPLACEMENT PHONE.

If you depend on your pda phone for business DO NOT subscribe to sprint. If your phone goes out, your SOL!

by Rhashad on Jul 16, 2007 at 9:43 AM

they are very very bad, they renew my contract without my permition. i try to cancell that , they said i have to pay $400 find. i hope they will lost enought customer let their businesee go to the hell.

by ning on Jul 31, 2007 at 1:29 AM

they are very very bad, horrible,horrible,horrible,horrible,they changed my plan without my permission. i tried to cancell but they said i have to pay $400 early termination fee.

by Bernie on Aug 11, 2007 at 11:13 AM

My husband has been with Sprint/Nextel for many years. He recently was given a cell phone from him employer, so we called and cancelled the service. Big surprise that even though he has been a customer for so many years he had to pay the contract fee of $200 (of course they had changed our plan so many times over the years that he was continually under a contract.) I called to inform them that I couldn't make the payment all at once and told them I would be making payments. The lady said that would be fine and said to call periodically to make sure the bill doesn't go to collections (We have never made a late payment on any of our bills) I made a payment two days later. Five days after I made a payment my bill was sent to collections! No notification, no warning nothing. When I called to talk to the company, after explaining the situation at least 6 times I was transferred to the finance department who told me that I should have called weekly to make sure that my bill wasn't sent. She even read the note from the previous cust. service person who told me to call in "periodically." I told her that if I had known that periodically meant once a week then I would have called once a week. She then said that if my husband had been a customer for so many years than I would have already known that! Then I was hung up on! I am furious that I was being treated like dirt when I was the one who contacted them about paying my bill! I have never been treated so poorly.

by Holly on Aug 22, 2007 at 12:57 PM

I want to scream or cry, I don't know which one. I went into a sprint store to get my husband's phone off of a different account and onto mine. Two months went by and the switch wasn't made. I called to speak to these foreign people 5 times, waited on hold and right after explaining my situation, I look down and the call has been DISCONNECTED!!!! 5 TIMES!!! So finally, the guy at the Sprint store helps me to switch the line to my account, but what he forgot to do was also carry my husbands plan of 1500 minutes over. A month goes by and my husband thinks he has 1500 minutes when in fact he has 400. I am looking at a $500 cell phone bill right now. I just called sprint, on hold for 15 minutes, I explained this whole situation to the foreign guy, look down and line is disconnected. Sprint is HORRIBLE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE. I wish I could get out!

by Lindsey on Aug 28, 2007 at 6:10 AM

I HATE SPRINT CUSTOMER SERVICE:-(
i just got off the phone with them. I lost my phone and left an alternate phone number on my voice mail for callers to call me up. When i asked sprint to temporarily suspend service, they did something which now gives callers an error message instead of my voice message of an alternate phone number. First the customer rep said it cannot be fixed till i have the phone in my hand. Duh!! if i had my phone in my hand, would i go to all this trouble???!!! Next, his manager tells me to find out what the error message is so that it can be resolved. Basically, that translates into the same thing. 'We can't do anything for you Go and buy another phone.'

I got the name of the manager and the original customer rep. I even got the manager's employee id. But i dont know whom to approach to file a complaint!!

I am 4 and half months away from finishing up with my 2 year contract. No guesses on whether I plan to renew my service with Sprint.

by Tejus on Aug 29, 2007 at 1:46 AM

For Those who want to get out.

I thought it might be important to inform everyone here that a contract is to protect 2 parties. Not just the other party. As much as sprint would like to take the clause out by law they cannot. They must provide you with service. If you keep records of who you spoke with and what times you can easily contact their cancellation department and furish them with this information and inform them that if they would like to give you a cacellation fee. you will see them in court. Trust me they
almost always back down. But be ready to act. because they are aware of this tactic. So if your gonna say it be ready to do it. I really feel that Sprint needs a class action suit filed against them. Loosing a few million dollars should change things rather quickly.

by For Those who want to get out. on Aug 31, 2007 at 3:06 AM

I would like to join the ranks of 'I can't believe a company would treat their customers this way'! I have been with Sprint 6+ years and never had reason to contact customer service with a problem until i recently lost my phone. Did you know you cannot buy a replacement phone for use with your current contract. You must sign a new contract with them in order to purchase a phone....and this I learned after more than 3 hrs on the phone, being transferred repeatedly, just trying to replace a lost phone. Get this, I find the phone in my pants pocket literally right after I got off the phone with them as I was changing the laundry. I immediately called them back to cancel the order & restore service to my old phone. I thought everything was taken care of until my son found a package on the front porch....they sent me the phone & charged my credit card even though I had cancelled it w/in 5 minutes of ending the conversation to order. I never opened/accepted the package, contacted them, was advised I needed to return it to their store over an hour from my home. I did so & the store said they cant take it, called customer service, & put me on the phone to handle it with Sprint. After yet another HUGE runaround & being told that because they shipped it & I have already paid for 'its mine', the supervisor in the background told the rep if I leave the package it becomes the stores responsibility, she then advised me to put the store manager back on the phone so she could send an email with shipping info. He was not happy, I walked out leaving the package at their store and they have now blocked outgoing calls & voicemail access on my phone and are still charging me for the replacement phone that I returned at their direction! How can they get away with treating their customers this way. If I had heard this story from someone else, I would have thought for sure there was more to it as no company would treat a long time customer in good standing like this. Well let me assure you, Sprint would. I have since sent the cancellation fee with my last bill and have been informed that I will have to pay for service thru the 20th as they dont prorate but yet I still cant make a call or access voicemail! How can they possibly charge me for a service I am not getting? If anyone takes the initiative to start a class action suit, I would love to be amongst the first to sign up.

by Sarah J on Sep 5, 2007 at 12:22 PM

These are all horrible stories about Sprint and their customer service but I can top them. My son deployed to Iraq for a 15 month tour in May 2007. He provided documentation and requested to be put on their deployed military plan on that date and was not to be charged for monthly service until he returns in August 2008. After being deployed for a month his mail which is forwarded to my home during the deployment contained a Sprint bill. With his permission I opened it and found they had automatically charged his checking account for that months service. After placing a call I was assured they would correct the error. The next month, same thing. I then wrote a letter to Sprint customer service explaining the situation and requesting the $134 be refunded to him as well as for them to contact me when the error had been corrected. After no response I sent a second letter (both were registered and I have proof of receipt by Sprint). Finally in early August I was contacted by a Sprint representative who assured me the billing would be stopped and the money refunded. After numerous phone calls to Sprint customer service, one in which despite maintaining my cool the customer service representative informed me "I am done talking to you, have a nice day" and hung up.

Today is September 26th, 140 days after my son deployed and Sprint has not refunded the $134 they acknowledge was incorrectly charged to my son. Today I was told, "They are still working on it". My response to the customer service representative was "Everyone one in Sprint should be ashamed of how they are treating a deployed Soldier, serving his country under trying conditions". Thank God our Soldiers do not have the same work and professional ethics of Sprint.

by Randy on Sep 26, 2007 at 4:58 AM

sprint is the best!

by marly on Sep 28, 2007 at 12:24 PM

Recent problems with Sprint include their failure to block internet and picture services as directed. Employeees were surfing the internet and sending expensive photos to loved ones on our dime. After months, they were all finally blocked. Second problem: getting phones off the plan. Two employees left, and they wouldn't cancel the accounts without a $150 fee each. We put them "on vacation" for $5 per month, to wait out our contract. After 6 months, they advised me of the 6 month limit, and threatened to put us back on a $29.99 per month minimum plan, unless we paid the $150 fee. After climbing up two layers of supervisors, an actual caring person arrived on the scene, and said that since the plan was a minute-sharing plan, they could leave the phones on the plan and just de-activate them, with no further charges. Thankfully, I am wondering why there isn't some consistency, and plan-holders have to go through so much anquish just for phones. I will stay with them, for now...

by Dennis Vennen on Oct 10, 2007 at 6:17 AM

I have a story similar to the one with the deployed soldier. I transferred within my company to the United Kingdom in May 2007 from New York. When I cancelled my cell phone plan with sprint they said that I would not be responsible for the cancellation charge because I was moving out of a sprint area. When my next bill came -- of course there was a cancellation charge ($331 for cancelling 2 phones). They told me that I would need to send proof of my move to the UK. So I had my dad back in the US fax over a copy of my contract with my employer and my lease in the UK. He asked for a response in the fax to verify they got it - but of course he got no response. I waited a few weeks and decided to use the email support. After going back and forth with them a number of times with them asking me for account info that I had already included in the email 2x over they finally said we have enough info but we can't refund you until we see proof of the move. So I scanned in the documents and sent them in via email. Now they tell me they see no evidence of a cancellation charge on my bill. This is just ridiculous -- I have yet to resolve this issue and it's been 3 months. They are sure quick to bill you for something but to process a refund is just torture.

by Tom on Oct 11, 2007 at 9:31 AM

Does anyone know how to actually reach a manager at sprint? Every department i speak to, tells me they are supervisors and there are no managers ANYWHERE to speak to? I have spent hours trying to get something resolved but there is no one competent to speak to or who has any customer service skills in dealing with problems

by rosa on Dec 5, 2007 at 2:11 AM

I just got off the phone with Sprint "customer service" and I am disgusted. I have been a sprint customer for 10 years. In September of 06 my husband company started picking up the bill for his phone if he switched to their carrier. They even paid the 200 dollar cancellation fee for him. This left two phones on our contract with Sprint. Even they received the cancellation fee they considered that a change to our contract and renewed our contract. I spoke to someone (after forever on hold) who said he would "work with me" and only extend our contract by 6 months. Whatever, I felt like they had tried and got over it. Now that my contract should be done, they have no record of this conversation and are going to charge us 400 dollars more to cancel the other two phones. After being disconnected, put on hold for 27 minutes and 22 seconds and disconnected again, then put on hold for 29 minutes and 56 seconds, I told the "customer service" guy that I would be taking my numbers elsewhere tomorrow and would see them in court if they tried to come after me for the cancellation fee.

by Norma on Jan 3, 2008 at 9:31 AM

I recently signed up with Sprint, after waiting four days to get my old number ported over from At&T and calling and getting multiple responses, the last one saying it would take up to 5-7 business days to get my phone working and that was on an expedited schedule, I took my phone back and cancelled, so did my husband. I dont want anything to do with Sprint and their terrible customer service. In this day and age, over a week is too long to wait for a phone to work! Went back to At&T and got a working phone within 20 mins of signing up. When I took my phone back to Best Buy the lady who did the return said she paid money to get out of her Sprint contract as every month her bill continued to rise and they would not remove the charges she did not make.

by Melissa on Jan 23, 2008 at 6:34 AM

I've gone over my minutes this month and called to find out why I was charged for calling voicemail. If you go over your minutes on the $59.99 plan, you are charged $.45/min for calling voicemail. Sprint will never have me as a customer again after my contract is up.

by Zee on Feb 4, 2008 at 11:26 AM

I too have a Sprint/Nextel horror story that I am still living. I entered into a 2 yr contract with Sprint 3 years ago and have been trying to cancel it since it expired in April of 2007. The coverage did not work in our area and I even received credit in January of 2007 because of it. I told them at that time that I would not renew the contract since it didn't work where we lived. (When we got the service the salesman promised that a tower was to be built near our house so we would get service...never happened!) After our contract expired we continued to get charged monthly. We had sent back our bills with please cancel written on them. In June of 2007 I called customer service and asked them to stop sending the bills and to cancel. We obviously were not using the service, no calls were being made and they could see that. The woman on the phone told me she couldn't cancel it because we "owed money", (on service we never received). I told her our contract expired and we had not requested the service but she told us it didn't matter. I asked if it didn't matter, why do they have contracts to begin with? Anyway, it was sent to collections and then they started calling. We finally paid the bill in September to get them off of our backs. So guess what happens next. They start charging us monthly again and include a $25 reconnect fee! I start the phone calling in October again and talk to umpteen people,including Tenisha, Dave, and a Gordon. Nothing was done. They couldn't cancel it because I OWED MONEY! So here we are now in Feb. 2008 with $117 sent to collections. They call at least 3 times a day. I wrote a letter last week addressed to customer service: To whom it may concern, preferably some one that can get things done! I pleaded for help. How the heck can I get this cell phone cancelled, one that doesn't have a contract and is not even used? My next letter is to our State's Attorney General. Sprint sucks.

by Ursula on Feb 10, 2008 at 1 AM

A contract is a promice between 2 parties to perform!! You give me a service , i pay you x amount of money. Every time i change any facet of my service plan with sprint i get put into a "new 2 year contract". Well no more. When this one runs out im gone for good. Metro offers a monthly service for a third of what im paying now. No contract. If sprint where that good, they wouldnt have to extort you with a 2 year contract. Who knows what we will need in 2 years, or how bad sprint will have gotten in that time?

by Sean on Jun 21, 2008 at 1:59 AM

I could write a book on my nightmare customer service experience with Sprint.

I'll give you the short version:

1) I Made the mistake of buying a Blackberry from a Sprint
telemarketer. I travel extensively, and was in need of a new phone so I was actually glad the guy called. He told me that Sprint was offering a special price with rebates galore. Hey, Sign me up! I purchased the phone using a Visa card. The phone I ordered was the wrong one so I went to the Sprint store to excange it for an upgraded
Blackberry World Phone. The store didn't have one in stock, however the clerk kindly handed me their phone to order it from another department. The clerk then did an exchage using my Visa at the cash register, and I my new phone arrived at my home two days later. Cool.

2) Since I'm not exactly a tech-savvy phone genius, I returned to the Sprint store to get some help setting up my new Blackberry. They were marginally helpful, however they got me fixed up nonetheless.

3) I chose the Blackberry World Phone because as I said, I travel extensively. I was leaving for China in a few days and just as I do every month, I dial *3 to pay my Sprint bill. I was a bit shocked when the lovely robo-woman told me that my new balance was $1100.00! As I said, I purchased one phone, exchanged it for another, all on my Visa card. My normal phone bill is around 100.00 per month, and now I'm looking at an $110.00 phone bill. I called "customer service" immediately to get to the bottom of it.

Oh my God! I spent two days, and a total of 9 hours on the phone dealing with one idiot after another. In two days, I spoke with 29 different people. I was hung up on, mysteriously disconnected, put on perma-hold, and treated like dirt by these evil mutants employed by Sprint. I was yelled at, called a liar, insulted in a half a dozen
other ways, and still nobody could figure out why my phone bill was $1100.00.

I had only two days to go until I'm on a plane for China, and I'm going through a living hell with Sprint!

On the third day, I return to the Sprint store to try to resolve the issue. The manager of the store dialed some kind of secret magical number and handed me their phone to speak with some big chief, or the "king of Sprint", or whatever. The guy was very pleasant, and tried to help me unravel the whole mess. Turns out, I was charged for three
phones. They charged my Visa bill, and there were overlapping charges on my Sprint bill. He credited me for part of the damage, however I was told that the credit for $700.00 on my Sprint bill wouln't show up until my next montly statement.

At this point, I was just happy to know that I had a working telephone to take to China, and I was glad to know that the issue was more or less resolved. Had I not been on such a hectic travel schedule, I would have dropped Sprint immediately.

4) One month later: I return from China, dial *3 to pay my Sprint bill, only to hear robo-woman's voice telling me that I'm past due for the amount of $700.00. Now, I've never been late with paying my Sprint bill. In fact, I usually pay early. I've been a loyal Sprint customer
for eight years.I didn't use my phone in China, except to answer annoying messages from Sprint which I was recieving daily.(Apparently, when you have an open dispute with them, they try to annoy you into submission by hounding you to death accross the globe. You can run, but you can't hide!)

So once again, rather than go through another two days of degradation trying to resolve anything on the phone with "customer service", I drive to the Sprint store. During my jet-lagged attempt to get some answers from the guy in the store, I was told that this was somehow my
fault because "we told you it would take a month for the credit to show up on your statement". He also suggested that I pay the bill, even though I don't owe them money, and wait until yet another month goes by for the billing department to straighten it out. Rather than get violent with the guy, I marched out of there and promtly called
"customer service" again to see if I could find some answers.

Finally, I get someone who isn't on drugs to speak with. The "supervisor" more or less got it straightened out.
It's been almost three months, and I'm still waiting for that rebate. Never did get that "special offer". After the mental anguish Sprint put me through, they should give me free phones and free service for life. I would drop Sprint, however I'm in China again this month. As
grueling as my travel schedule is, I don't have time to change service right now. Whenever I can take a break, dropping Sprint is high on my
to-do list!

by George on Dec 5, 2008 at 2:28 AM

This is the worst nightmare I ever encountered with a company who doesn't care about their customers. That company is soo-called "SPRINT." I just bought a Samsung Rant around Novemember 15th, 2008 and was soo excited and thrilled about it, I even paid for accessories from their website as well totaling my purchase to $149.99. Once I got my phone and other things in the mail, I talked to a representative on the phone that helped me activate the phone, and she was really nice. She told me what plan I was using which was the $69.99 + tax and mobile data plan. I was soo happy, the phone looked soo awesome, and I was testing it out to see what it could do.

About 4 days later after I got the phone my phone stopped working. I found out why cause they put my account on hold. I called Sprint immediatlely to see what was going on and the CSR said I went over my spending limit? I thought that was odd, after the CSR told me this, because I haven't even started using it yet or even transfered my old cellaphone number to the Samsung Rant. To my surprise I found out why.., the service rep I talked to when I activated my phone refunded me the money I bought for the phone?? I was like what the hell, I didn't ask for a refund. I talked to five service reps that same day and they seemed to not have a clue what was going on or why my account went over the limit until I told them what happened. Then they said well you will have to pay it back, which I didn't care I was willing to until I encountered even more problems with Sprint. The CSR that I activated the phone with told me I had data plan unlimited, but that is not true, they put me on 450 minutes and unlimited messaging only which was just stupid on their part and not what I asked for.

I spent day after day trying to get this issue fixed with the CSR's at Sprint until I got tired of it; and on December 2nd, 2008 I returned the phone to the Sprint Store, where the sales rep deactivated my account and sent the phone right back to them. Plus they charged me for using the internet?? I was just testing it and the plan said unlimited website access.. For people who want to get Sprints phones, don't be fooled, the phones look really nice, but watch out this company is crooked and only care about your money. They will even directly show how much you owe them in about 1 week after you bought the phone with strange charges. Customer service reps are mean, rude, and really don't care about the problem. I even had one customer service rep tell me she prefered Verizon. Not a good thing to do if you want to keep your job.. Anyways the moral of this story is Be Smart!! Don't get suckered into Sprints propaganda because they are good at screwing their customers. Infact go with a different provider like AT&T, or Cellular, or some other company that care about customer service. I learned a hard lesson and that was, what looks good on the outside, looks ugly on the inside..

by Jigga J on Dec 13, 2008 at 10:30 AM

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