Well, there goes my Christmas.
I had a cellphone account with Sprint for the last decade. I had added my roommate as a second line a couple of years back. The contract was up last February, and Sprint made us an offer: two free phones if we signed back on.
We went down to look at the phones, but they were awful. Cheap plastic pieces of crap. Then we found out at the store that the phones were free, but there would be a 30.00 activation fee for each. We bagged out.
A few months later, I checked to see when the contract termination was, and the system said February, 2008. I figured, what the heck, even though the phones were failing, I’d go until the termination date and then we’d just cancel the account.
I called a month ago to double check the termination date, and was told, then, that no, it was for another year, until 2009. I wasn’t happy, because now I’d have to pay a contract termination fee of $200.00. I canceled the account and asked the young woman I talked with to guarantee that there would be no weird, unexpected charges on the bill, and I’d only receive a bill for the 200.00 plus applicable taxes. Yup, she assured me the bill wouldn’t be more than $200.00 plus state and local sales tax.
Well, you know where this is going. I get a bill today for 400.00 plus 75.00 in state and local taxes. Yup, Sprint charged 200.00 per line to cancel the account. Even thought the account was a ‘family’ account and the second line was free and included in the account.
I was very unhappy, and yelled a lot but of course the gentleman in India stuck by the “what the contract” says. I asked, which contract? One of the bill stuffers in tiny print? The ten page TOS agreement? The online one? One of the dozens they send out a year? One of the many they have on file they can pull out based on whatever action?
Of course, I can just keep the account going until February of 2009. Oh, so sorry, the cheaper plan I had is all gone now. I’d have to sign up for the more expensive one.
Before you suggest it, yes, I am taking this one to small claims court. Contract be damned, I’ve always understood the fee was for the contract, not each specific line. Not to mention I was guaranteed that it would be no more than 200.00 to cancel.
It would be nice if the candidates of either party would reign in the telecommunication companies, but that would mean offending an important corporate donor. After all, Sprint needs the $400.00 to help buy elected officials.