Sprint #2 Charging $3.00 more a minute than agreed to
From: Nicole [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Below is the email letter I sent to 50 of my closest friends last night regarding a horrible customer experience with Sprint Long Distance. I also copied several Sprint employees and Executives, as well as the Tennessee Regulatory Authority. No reply from Sprint thus far (and I doubt I will receive one).
Friends and Family:
I need to tell you about an ongoing customer experience nightmare I've been having with Sprint Long Distance, in the hopes of protecting you from such flagrant ineptitude and poor business practices.
As many of you know, I have been arguing a $669.52 phone bill with Sprint since February of this year. It started with receipt of a $461.35 phone bill for February. Although I had previously discussed with Sprint Long Distance putting me on the "International Global Plan" for Russia at 40 cents per minute with a monthly fee of $7.95, they somehow failed to capture this change. I was instead charged between $3.62 and $3.98 per minute for each of my 5 calls to Moscow, Russia.
The calls were made between 1/13/02 and 2/9/02. Obviously, I was surprised to receive a $461.35 bill in February. All corporations make billing mistakes, so I called Sprint on March 7th and spoke with "Craig" (name changed for this email), who patiently listened to my situation, put me on hold and confirmed with his supervisor that my account would be re-rated.
I was to receive a credit of $336.91 and pay only $124.44 based on a rate plan of 31 cents a minute (notice I was quoted a new per minute price). Elated at having this problem fixed so easily, I waited for him to finalize the transaction. We were suddenly disconnected and I was forced to call back and wait almost 1 hour in que. I received a new agent, who read "Craig's" comments on the account and instructed me to send a check for $48. This didn't seem right, so I did my own calculation and sent a check for $124.44 that night.
The next day, I returned from work to find a voicemail message from "Craig" explaining that his management had suddenly decided to deny the request Let me clarify that while on the phone a day earlier, he placed me on hold and supposedly got the re-rating approved. Now, a day later, since I'd been on a domestic rate plan since joining Sprint and they didn't show my plan change request, I needed to send in the whole $ 566 I owed. (Again, notice a different amount).
Instead of going into great detail here on my many subsequent calls, let me summarize by saying that I have made no less than 10 calls reagrding this matter since my inquiry call on March 7th. At least 4 times I've waited in que more than 50 minutes. 3 times I've been disconnected and have had to call back in and wait all over again. After much "discussion" with representatives and supervisors, I have not only gained several negative comments written on my account, but also a "we can't help you" response. I offered to compromise and pay a portion of the remaining bill, but Sprint was not interested.
One Supervisor told me I had to speak with the original Supervisor that had denied my claim. There is no direct number to reach this Supervisor, or even her Zepherhills, FL call center. Advice given to me by a Sprint representative was to play around with the automated system and try to get transferred to that center. Maybe if I didn't have to work and wanted to spend several hours a day rectifying this problem, such advice would be useful.
In addition, I canceled my Sprint long distance service when after a few months it became clear this fiasco would not be satisfactorily settled. Sprint has pretty much refused to deal with me as a result. The account balance was sent to collection at NCO Financial, even though I repeatedly requested that Sprint open a formal dispute on the account. In the end, I had to pay the full amount to keep Sprint from placing a negative mark on my credit.
So, my friends, I aim only to warn you about one of the world's worst CXM systems. Because their system does not show me requesting an International rate plan, they insist on charging me extortion level rates for Moscow calls that could be made through Net2Phone for six cents a minute (https://dcs.net2phone.com/account/net2phonedirect/english/rates.asp#).
Putting the rate plan issue aside, does $3.98 a minute not sound excessive for any long-distance phone call? Never mind that the calls were due to a medical emergency with my best friend. Never mind she was in a hospital waiting on information from me. That's all besides the point. It is obvious that Sprint will spend millions of dollars incenting new customers to try their service, but they will spend zero dollars fixing mistakes to retain existing customers.
Several Sprint employees and executives are copied on this email, as is the TN Regulatory Authority (TRA). I have copied the TRA because of the $3.98 per minute rate. One of the TRA's responsibilities is to ensure that telecommunications companies "are charging just and reasonable rates". (http://www.state.tn.us/tra/telecom.htm). I doubt I will receive a response from Sprint Long Distance or Sprint Corporation, but should that occur I will forward it to everyone on this list.
Former Sprint Customer