Saturday, July 28, 2007

Sprint PCS Termination Fee

Sprint PCS Will Not Produce Any Evidence of Contract, Charges Early Termination Fee

So, I got myself an iPhone. Really nice little gadget, plus the reception I get on the AT&T network is so much better everywhere I normally use my cellphone: home, at work, etc. etc. This post is however is not about the iPhone.

Unlike some people I had no problem activating my new iPhone, it worked smoothly and my number of 6 years transferred flawlessly from Sprint PCS network to AT&T network. Here I were, happily enjoying my newly found connectivity until I received a final bill from Sprint PCS with a promise to charge my checking account to the amount of 150 American dollars as an early termination fee.

I have had my phone with Sprint for over two years, and I do not recall changing my plan but I might have done so.
I decided to call them and after a 15 minutes wait I was talking to a guy who told me that supposedly I have changed my plan with them in the December of 2006 and it was then that I have signed a new two year contract agreement with them.
I replied that I do not recall any such thing and that I were not able to access my account info or any of the previous statements on the Sprint web site, and that I would like to have a copy of that contract agreement with my signature sent to me for my records.
The guy on the other end of the line answered that it is not possible, because the don't do that.
I was surprised and I asked him how can I believe that I have actually signed a contract, if they cannot provide me with a copy of one.

His reply was: but we sent you one in the billing statement you received after you have authorized the change.

me Then you would have no trouble sending it again?

him No, sir, no we cannot do that.

me Why?

him Because you changed your plan over the phone?

me Have I?

him Yes, I have a record of it here.

me But you just told me you sent me a copy of a contract with signature. How was it possible if it was a verbal agreement?

him I am sorry I made a mistake.

me So, you do not have any proof?

him You could go to a local Sprint PCS store, they will be able to make a print out for you.

me A print out of what?

him Of an agreement.

me I am not going anywhere, if they can give it to me, you can send it to me.

him No, I cannot do it, sir.

After that I just told him that I am not going to pay anything to them until they will be able to produce a hard copy proving that I have actually signed anything at all.
I am also going to send them a letter protesting a charge. I have already stopped all and any charges to my checking account from the Sprint PCS.

Disclaimer: the dialog posted is not an accurate transcript of the conversation. It is only to the best of my recollection. I am in no way affiliated with either AT&T nor Apple Inc.


Anonymous said...

I just went through the same thing with these scam artists at Sprint. So what, if anything, did they do to you? They claim I will be charged $400 for terminating early (family plan) despite the fact that I have been a customer for 6 years and never authorized anyone to sign me up to a new contract.

Did they send you collection notices? Did they report you to credit bureau? Importantly, did THEY do it or did a collection agency do it?

machinedude said...

I'm really interested in your situation because the EXACT same thing just happened to me (maybe we had the same customer service represetative). I am really curious as to what happened with this - did they end up waiving the fee? If so, how did you go about doing that? Please let me know.

Dima said...

I called a special phone number that is posted on the consumerist website. It helped. Not only the manager was able to retrieve all of my account info, she apologized for the rudeness of the call center employees and just because of that has offered to cancel all of the charges.

Anonymous said...

I was searching for a way to get around this termination fee so I could get rid of my RAZR when I came across this post.

What most likely happened to you was that when a Sprint customer service rep had your account open they used that opportunity to renew your contract so that would count as a sale on their quota system that was devised when Sprint merged with Nextel.

It all came out in the news a couple of weeks ago. The Sprint/Nextel merger went poorly for both companies and they are just starting to sort out these kinds of problems.

I'm sure if you do a quick Google search you can find out more and use that info to get this taken care of. That is if you haven't got it all sorted already.

Mohamedster said...

Man! That sucks. I have had Sprint for nearly 8 years. I keep signing 2 year contracts. I would like to get an Iphone too but I don't want to pay the termination fee (Family plan). I guess I have to suck it up for 1 more year (What's left on my contract). If ATT is really smart, they would offer to pay customer termination fees from other carriers (If you sign up with them something like 2-3 year contract. OR if Apple is really smart, they would get out of their ATT contract and sell Iphone to other carriers!