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The Sprint Who Stole Christmas


My habit is to wake up each day and check the news, and to then our reconcile our checking account to our budget.

I woke up this morning to see that we were about $1,000 less than what I expected to see. Scanning the details of it, I saw that Sprint, my cell phone provider, took out my payment. I have autopay with them, so I go to my Sprint account online and find this:

They took out a payment of $1,197.23.

I had called yesterday, as is my habit, to ensure that I knew what the payment amount due is. It was $148.85.

If you look at the image above, you'll see that my account now has a credit (circled in red) of $1,048.38.

That's a gross error.

I'm now on the phone in the customer service queue - 20 minutes thus far - with Sprint. I'm obviously not the only one affected by this.

Nice little Christmas trick. I hope I have no problem getting my money refunded.

ETC: I get through to customer service, and they tell me that they have to create a "case" for my refund. That process takes 3 - 5 business days, and then they issue me a check, so I have to then wait for the mail to arrive.

I'm now on hold to see if I can cancel my Sprint account without paying $200 per phone to get out of my contract.

I hate this company.

MORE ETC: I finally got through to someone who cared, a guy named Sam. He will personally track this to ensure that I get a resolution ASAP. He promises daily contact with me to keep me updated. Cool.

He also explained that they can't do an immediate refund to our bank account because the error is over $1,000 and some department has to determine that this is not an effort to defraud Sprint.

I'll hear from Sam on Monday.


Tags: my life
by Brett Rogers, 12/1/2007 9:25:24 AM


Unbelievable. I'd call this gross error if they immediately acknowledged their mistake, returned the money, then sent someone from the local store over to your house to personally kiss your backside. What if you were on a tight budget? Ended up bouncing your house payment because of this? The way they treated you I'd be reporting them to the attorney general's office, maybe place a call to the local police department to find out if you can file charges for theft.

This is why I put most of my recurring bills to autopay onto one credit card. I just don't trust companies with direct access to my checking account.

I'm lovin' life with Verizon. I dumped Cingular earlier this year when my contract expired. Lousy customer service and poor phone selection the main reasons. I'll take my orange LG enV over an iPhone any day. I love my buttons and their service is fantastic. :)

Hope they clear this up for you quickly.



Posted by Pale Rider, 12/1/2007 10:14:36 PM

Like you, PR, Tamara has Verizon, and she loves it.

I'd switch over right now if it didn't cost me $200 each for my phone and my sons' phones. My contract ends in August, and Sprint's Sam has said that he will give me January free and a reduced rate on the unlimited text messaging we have. It's compensation for my troubles, and that at least feels like they want my business. Come August, barring some major conflagration with Verizon, I'll probably switch.

The thing is - it's not just this incident with Sprint. I've been with Sprint for about 3 years and they've gotten my billing wrong in half the months that I've been with them. Each month of incorrect billing (always more than it should have been, by the way) required me calling customer service and wrestling with them over the facts. They always eventually relented when faced with the truth, but why it was so hard to do business with them is beyond me. The persistent and sour taste in my mouth leads me to want to enjoy my wife's trouble-free experience with Verizon.



Posted by Brett Rogers (, 12/2/2007 9:34:19 AM

Tough deal, and best of luck dealing with them. I think this would be an appropriate time to inform them of your policy whereby you charge $500 to anyone who you trusted to take the money your owe them from your checking account and takes more than they should.

Seriously, I'd send them a bill.



Posted by Art Dinkin (, 12/3/2007 1:52:48 PM

Any way you can get them on breach of contract? And I thought Cingular/AT&T was bad with their billing. That to me sounds like fraud. Makes you wonder how many customers are being overcharged.

Did they give an explanation on how that overcharge occured?



Posted by Pale Rider, 12/3/2007 2:35:37 PM

Wow, that is too bad! My husband and I have been Verizon customers for 2 years now and have not looked back at the horrible Cingular days.

A story that I love to share about Verizon...

I sent in my $100 rebate for my phone the first of August. Per the rebate directions it said to call if I haven't received my rebate. So I called, they did not receive the paperwork and said it must of gotten lost in the mail.

Most phone companies at this point would say "sorry, that is not our problem". But Verizon came to save the day. They transferred me to another number, I explained the situation ONCE and after I faxed my receipts and proof that I sent the rebate - they credited my account $100 the same day!

Best of luck getting out of the fee's per phone... that is just ridiculous!

It would be interesting if you made a video about this and posted it online at I am assuming you are not the only one this has happened too! That might get some attention!




Posted by Jenni Pullen, 12/3/2007 11:12:37 PM

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