Hemorrhaging Money, A day with Sprint

I made several changes to my cell phone plan in September. I replaced a phone, with a free-up-your-contract phone, and changed the phone number on one of the lines. Now worries. I chose the Optimus S as the new phone. JL has one and really loves it, so what the hell, right? My main line is an Evo, a state of the art beast that does everything My plan was to use the second line as a business line. I just hadn’t gotten around to that yet.

So, the new phone sat for a bit. Then Jamie ad phone issues and I let her use it. Then it sat around a bit. On Monday, I plugged it in to charge it up before I left for an appointment. While I was away, and it was here alone, it did an update. No one asked me if I was interested in this update; it just did it.

I arrived home and it was sitting next to my computer flashing…LG…LG…LG… I tried to power it on. Nope. I pulled the battery, put it back, and tried again. LG…LG…LG…

I called Sprint (you know Sprint that CNN is describing as “hemorrhaging money”). Did you do an update?

No. It didn’t cross my mind that my phone would have made the decision to update without me.

A small percentage of phones are having a problem with the update. You need to bring it to a service center.

Now, as a Mac customer, my response to this was, so make me an appointment.

We don’t make appointments.

So what you’re telling me is that my phone did an update, that I didn’t authorize, through Sprint, and now it’s dead—and I have to go wait at the Sprint store for an undetermined amount of time during my lunch hour(s) tomorrow?

We don’t do appointments they aren’t efficient.

K. Talk to the Genius Bar—you know the guys who work for that company that is second only to Exxon Mobile. It’s a kinda-sorta efficient system. Talk to any doctor’s office… To say the least, I was annoyed.  But ok fine.

I went to the Sprint store between my classes yesterday, I have a long break that I try to use to grade papers, but whatever.

I left my pretty purple Optimus for them to fix. I was assured it was a software update—and it would be running in an hour or so. I ate lunch and returned.

And my phone wasn’t working. It was still flashing LG…LG…LG. I waited fifteen minutes for someone to help me.

The sales associate was cranky. That will be $35.


It’s $35 to replace your phone.

But I got the phone free, a month ago, and can count on one hand the times I’ve used it.


Wow, I’d like to talk to a manager.

What ever you want, lady.

They really need to take lessons from Apple.

The manager comes out of the back room and looks at the paperwork. $35, he says.

Yeah—no. A. the phone is almost brand new. B. I didn’t do anything to the phone and C. I have insurance on it.

No, there’s no insurance on this line.

Yes there is, all 5 of my lines have insurance.

No, no there isn’t.

So, while I was annoyed before that, now I’m angry. Really? I’ve been a customer for 13 years and have always had insurance—never used it, but have always had it.

Let’s see what happened…. It says here you took insurance off this line in February, to save money.

I just laughed. Really? So, I have an Airrave, 5 phone lines, one with mobile hotspot, and all but this one with insurance. Ok, my bill is almost $300 a month, and I took the $7 off one line to save money? Really?

Well, I agree it doesn’t make too much sense. But I can’t give you the new phone until you pay the $35.

I stared. He played with a calculator.

I could reinstate the insurance, but that would cost you $48 because they would backdate it.

I stared some more.  After two hours at the Sprint store, I ended up paying the $35 to get back a black (not purple) phone. People who purchase purple phones are probably pretty sure that’s what they want—purple.

I went out to my car and called Sprint on the phone and talked to the Retention Department. So, what you’re telling me is that I have to pay because Sprint downloaded something to my phone—without my consent—my phone crashed, and I had to spend 2hrs of my day and $35 to have it replaced? There is an AT&T right across the street, I can take my business there right now!

We value your loyalty.

Really? Kinda-sorta isn’t showing at the moment, I just got screwed out of my lunch money for the week.

Well, we’ll credit your account. We’ll send you a new airrave. Is there anything else we can do for you?

Yes, you can take lessons from Apple! You wouldn’t be hemorrhaging money if you got it right the FIRST time! A new airrave is $200+, 4 Sprint employees spent over 3hrs working with me. When my power cord died, the nice man at the Genius bar didn’t ask me any questions, he just gave me a new one – here you go have a nice day. You paid lots of money for your Apple toys and we love you…

Second to Mobile, take some lessons Sprint!


One thought on “Hemorrhaging Money, A day with Sprint

  1. I agree with you about Apple, great customer service. I have ATT and they do pretty good in the customer service. I do, however, have a problem with the billing. My bill is due on the 22nd and I get paid a week later so I get phone calls every day after the 22nd. In order to change the due date I have to pay the current bill and the next month’s bill….about $450 to move it 7 days. My solution is to ignore the phone calls.

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