I take it all back

I‘m on hold with Sprint PCS right now. Seems when I changed to a more expensive plan a year ago I unwittingly extended my service agreement with Sprint for another two years. In the words of Gomer Pyle, surprise, surprise, surprise. Now they want $150 to cancel my service.
I can understand a service agreement when they’re subsidizing the cost of a new phone, say. After all they need time to amortize the expense. But I’ve been a Sprint customer since March, 2000, paid list price for all my phones, and have been paying for one of their top tier service plans for the past year. There’s no conceivable reason they should be able to extort $150 out of me for cancelling. Is there any other business that can charge you to stop service?

I’m appealing my case to the Cancellation Department right now. (Must be a big department with customer service like this.) I’m going to swallow my pride and make nicey-nice. I hope I can get out of this absurd fee. (Update: They just waived it after noting that I work for TechTV. Hmmm.)

The only bright side to this is that I don’t have to apologize to Sprint on the show any more!

21 Replies to “I take it all back”

  1. Now how many times have you said that you turned down “gifts” from tech companies because it would compromise your journalistic integrity? There you go accepting hush money from Sprint. 😉

  2. Way to go Leo…..stick it to sprint, they’ve been trying to tell me i owe them money when i cancelled my “No Contract” Service with them. I paid my final month and cancelled the service, and they sent me a bill for $0.00. funny how they think i owe them money.

  3. I’ve upgraded my T-Mobile plan twice, it never extened my contract, the initial contract was still the contract. When I upgraded from regual service to the family (free T-mobile to T-mobile calling) that did require a new contract, but mostly because new phones were being added to the plan and it’s a totally different system. I have no idea why Sprint would extend your contract just for upgrading your service. Sounds like bas service to me. I think Spint is going to loose a lot of customers when numper portibility goes into effect!

  4. Great to hear that you’re finally free and clear with Sprint. I truely believe that everyone who has services with them has some problem with the company. Good luck with T-Mobile, I don’t hear many complaints against them.

  5. Good for you Leo. Don’t let them try to rob you. I wonder what they’re reasoning is for extending a contract when you change a service plan? Once your original term ends it should remain month to month.
    Give ’em heck.

  6. Leo,
    The same EXACT thing happened to me. I started out being, “nicey-nice” but that got me nowhere. On top of the cancelation fee, they charged me 7 months of service I never had (never received a bill for) and was told it was my responsibility to pay even without having received a bill (again, for a canceled service and a phone I threw away). I refused to pay and of course I received another bill, this time for $350! The cancellation fee twice, plus some unexplained “other” fee. Of course, I was furious. The person I spoke with said that as a customer service “gesture” she would wave $50 off the bill. I said thanks, but since I don’t owe it, I’m not paying it. I then requested a manager who who was the rudest CS rep in the world who ultimately wouldn’t hear my argument and actually took the $50 offer off the table! Not so nicey-nice anymore… I said things I shouldn’t have and then hung up on her. Eventually, when they came calling again I was able to get the next rep to offer the $50 off, which I immediately took. I swallowed my pride and paid the bill. Of course, only $100 of it since they admitted to double billing (which by the way, was not the first time they admitted to double billing). To say the least, NEVER again will I be doing business with Sprint, nor will I ever recommend them. Perhaps your notoriety will help your situation. Good luck!

  7. I don’t have a cell phone and will put off having one for as long as I can.
    That way I don’t become one of them people who can’t live with out a cell phone AND I won’t have to deal with cell phone companies. He he he.
    Now, if I could just break my TV addiction I’ll be a happy person . . . or happier at least.

  8. well, cingular had me in a contract in which, if i wanted to cancel, i had to pay off the rest of the year plus an extra year… cell phones suck… i think the next one will be a rusty tin can with a frayed string. it’ll be cheaper AND the service will be just as good, if not better!

  9. I guess thats the perk of being a TV celeb, Leo. 🙂 Which service are you using now with your 3650?

  10. Damn! I changed plans when I got my new phone about 6 months ago…so that means I’ve probably got the same stupid contract extension…alas, I don’t work for TechTV so they are unlikely to waive the fee for me even though I’ve been a customer since November 2000…sigh.

  11. Damn fine print! Boy, talk about your delusions of grandeur, extending a service agreement for two years because you upgraded to a more expensive plan, that’s an insult! I’ve never had Sprint and believe me after following your whole story I never will. I’m glad you don’t have to give them an apologize on air now, they don’t even come close to deserving one!

  12. Well, any kind of service provider that does start service with any sort of service agreement, will always have some sort of retention program(ie contract renewals)its unfortunate that alot of reps dont always advise you of this stuff( I think they do, but mumble it under there breath!) Whats really funny, is if you really ever look deep into any providers Terms and Conditions, they really do have you by the neck, they can what ever they want and they tell you from the start!!
    Signed, A wireless provider employee!!

  13. When I upgraded my service plan and phone with Verizon recently, I had to sign another two-year contract, so that doesn’t surprise me that any plan upgrade
    would do the same thing. There’s usually a lot of paperwork with any
    change. So, you had to resort to the ‘ol TTV story, huh, lol! I would
    have done the same thing, lol!

  14. I had a similar problem with Cingular. I think all cell companies are the same. Luckily when I renewed my phone, I caught it early that they tried to give me a 2 yr contract when I just wanted a one yr so I could switch companies faster.

  15. That kind of sucks that they do that just because you work for TechTV…kind of unfair if you ask me…well congratulations on the luck leo hehe.

  16. This is how I got out of it. I had three months left on my unexpected and unwanted “extended contract” and wanted to get rid of the phone because it couldn’t get ANY signal at my new apartment. What I did was downgrade my service to an emergency plan (something like only 50 local min per month) that only costed $10 per month. I found that they don’t extend contracts when you downgrade only after sitting on hold after for several hours. So instead of paying $150 in cancelation fees I pay $30 and have a phone in the car in case of a flat tire or something of the sort.

  17. Welcome aboard to T-Mobile. I have used just about every carrier available, except Sprint (I have heard way too many horror stories to even think about it), and T-Mobile has been the best I have had (stuck with them for 7 years now!). Spotty coverage in some rural or mountainous areas, but it is getting much better — some areas I go ONLY T-Mobile has coverage, and they definitely have the best customer service of any carrier I have tried. I don’t have to call CS often, but when I do, it isn’t uncommon for them to give me an extra 100-200 minutes just for the “trouble of calling in.” And the only time I have had to extend my contract is when I add an additional phone to the plan. Never when changing plans on an existing phone, and never more than one year.
    Plus they are the only carrier with $20/mo unlimited usable data transfers. Gotta love that!
    Just avoid the Sony Ericsson phones in North America… they seem to have poor reception on 1900 MHz GSM/GPRS networks. Nokia 3650 all the way for me!

  18. I’ve been using Virgin Mobile virginmobileusa.com for about a month now and I can say that I’m pretty happy with them, the best part— no contracts.

  19. Must be nice to have some clout like that! I have been a customer since 1997, and at that time they only offered one area code in my state, and I was stuck with it, and everyone locally had to call long distance to call me. Now that they finally have my local area code and prefix, I wanted to change the number. Oh they changed it… but stuck me with another 1 year commitment…just to change the #!!! I guess with all of the competition in cell phones, they have to resort to this to keep their customer base. I had a similar situation happen with DirecTV.

  20. Yup, thats how they make their money- Charging you a million dollars a minute after you use yours, & locking you in.

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