Friday, March 04, 2005

my T-shirt - and SPRINT sucks.

i found this T-shirt in the bottom of my drawer today, and remembered how shocked I was when I found it at Council for the Blind. Thought I'd share:

That's all really.


Oh yeah, and I just thought I'd put a shout-out to Sprint cellular, for making Jessica cry. Their billing department decided to sic a collections agency on her for a $150 fee they've waived 5 times, in 5 consecutive months.

Each month since she cancelled service (and they waived the cancellation fee because her new address doesn't have sprint service), they have billed her $150. And each month she calls and has a long conversation with "customer support", and they assure her it will be cancelled out on the next bill.

the next month, the same $150 is still there. then she gets contacted by a collections agency for delinquency. She ended up spending a good part of a day on the phone with them. each time she was close to talking with an collections accounting supervisor, the line would be disconnected.

This is a prime example of the new "support" paradigm where more profitable customers get ranked for preferential customer support, and less profitable customers get shafted. In her case they're clearly walking a thin line as they can to try to squeeze a dime. Since she's no longer a customer, it doesn't serve them to resolve her case, and I'm sure some customers will cough up money they don't owe when threatened by a collections agency. We just happen to be broke, so we can't do that so easy. the last time the line was disconnected she ended up in tears.

I can just picture a service strategist in a back room thinking, "okay, so we'll string them out for 5 months, and disconnect them 5 times, because that's not quite enough frustration to sue us for psychological distress, but it is enough to get a lot of people to give up on it and just cough up cash they don't owe. People who call back for 5 months, and 6 times in one day are just plain persistent, and we should give them what they want because they might eventually take it to court."

It's strategic bad service and legal risk management wrapped into one evil burrito. In my mind, Sprint was criminally delinquent with her account, and if we'd treated them the same way they'd treated us, we'd surely be having legal troubles right about now.

I think she should bill them for her time.


Blogger Onyx said...

Unfortunetly it doesn't work that way.

Since going by phone doesn't work, start sending letters to the customer service department, and make them ceritified, return reciept.

In the letter, describe the dates, times and persons she spoke with, include copies of the bills and the collection agency notices.

Tell the collection agency on the phone you are currently disputing the bill with Sprint, and they HAVE to leave you alone. In addition, just in case, get the address to send a Cease and Desist letter to the Collections Agency, but only use that route if they continue to call back. Also get the address to send documentation proving that is a bogus charge.

Write EVERYTHING down. Once you've got the reciept back showing they've received it, wait 10 business days from their reciept and call them. They can't say they didn't get it, because you can prove they did.

If they still give you the runaround, tell then you are going to your state attorney general's office. You'll prolly get escalated to another sup at that point.

Make the supervisor send you a letter stating that the $150 will be removed from your account and that they will correct her credit report. Get this in writing. I cannot emphasis this enough.

Once you have it, send a copy to the three credit bureaus and the collection agency.

Hope this helps. :)

12:51 PM  
Blogger aaron said...

case resolved just yesterday - thanks for the advice.

my point tho was that bad customer service isn't just a mistake. it can also be a money-making scheme that makes very nice people cry.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Jessy Jessy said...

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7:40 AM  
Blogger James Duncan said...

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7:13 AM  

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