September 20, 2000
Consumer Broadcast Group
RE: Sprint PCS Complaint No.-- WBB CN 224188
Thank you for checking on the status of my complaint. Persistence is truly a virtue when it comes to consumer advocacy!
Thanks to your letter, I finally received a call from customer service on Monday morning, May 15, 2000. It became clear almost immediately that the CSR had only one concern—that I remove my complaint from the Internet. She did not want to address my concern about retailers selling faulty equipment or inconsistent store policies. In an effort to protect Sprint from any liability, she told me the return policy changed on May 15.
Since my problem occurred before that change went into effect, I told her this argument was irrelevant to my situation since I had purchased the Sprint PCS telephone before that policy was changed. and therefore, should be “grandfathered” in.
Clearly, the CSR had no interest in resolving any of the problems I was having with my telephone service. She contradicted herself on several occasions regarding Sprint PCS policies. Yet even still, local retailers were enforcing of neither of the two policies.
Despite having developed an extensive case history with this company since December 16, 1999, she insisted that it was impossible since she had no record of it. She told me that there was no record of any complaint on file, and the burden of proof was shifted onto my shoulders if I wanted them to act towards resolving the problem. Since I have communicated with Sprint both over the telephone and in writing, I was annoyed that I had to explain everything to yet another person who clearly did not want to solve the problem.
Throughout the conversation, she attempted to steer the conversation away from the billing problems only to try to convince me to remove my complaint from the Internet. She told me told me to go to the nearest Sprint retail store and tell them to fax all of the documentation for me, which I did several weeks ago.
After 48 minutes of this, my call was dropped (this happens quite frequently) and despite my advance warning about this frequent occurrence, the CSR did not make any attempt to call me back. To date, I have not received any response regarding the complaint I first filed online in January of 2000.
Again, I was unable to get the name of someone in the legal department or a supervisor in charge, and she clearly has no intention of following through on with my complaint. After speaking with other Sprint PCS customers, and reading an article in the newspaper describing similar cases, I do not feel that the problems I have encountered with the retailer or Sprint PCS are unique in any way. Furthermore, until someone higher up in the company takes notice of the inefficient structure of the Customer Service Department, I have little faith that this will be resolved.
If Sprint has no intention in setting standard policies for retailers representing PCS equipment and services, then who is ultimately responsible for the sale of damaged equipment and bogus policies? If Sprint chooses to make contracts with unreliable retailers and service providers, it should not be at the cost of consumers.
Aside from being a bad business practice, it is ridiculous to have a CSR department that does not keep track of the volume of incoming calls and complaints. Due the random assignment of incoming calls into various regional dial-in centers, it is impossible to speak to the same person twice. This problem is compounded by CSRs are unable to communicate effectively with one another.
Perhaps the pending merger with MCI Worldcom will demonstrate enough market power to warrant intervention from the courts and other regulatory agencies in keeping with other public utilities. Until then, Sprint has a duty to maintain a certain degree of standards that is applied in a uniform fashion to all retailers.
As a major player in the new economy, all wireless service providers should be required by law to formulate and enforce standard company policies. They should actively seek out those who misrepresent their products and services, and respect consumers enough to investigate fraudulent billing activity and retailers who misrepresent Sprint PCS equipment and services.
Unless this company makes some systematic changes to their procedures for handling consumer complaints and services, then I do not think I will be the only one looking to new Verizons!
Thank you again for your assistance! Please contact me should you hear from Sprint PCS in the near future.
Cc: [omitted, Esq.]
[Representative ______, Brooklyn,
by the end of the week, I should be a Genius!