Just Shelley

SprintPCS Nightmare

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I’m broke. I barely have enough money to get by through the next month. And my “royalty” check I received this weekend was only 36.00 – I was expecting 1000.00. Still, I can manage. I can manage…until today.

Don’t worry – I’m not asking for money. Support, yes. Advice, yes. But not money.

The story:

When I moved to San Francisco last year, I let Sprint talk me into covering my long distance in addition to my cellphone. I figured what the hey, I use my cellphone for long distance anyway.

Long story short – I had International calls in May. Total time of 195 minutes. That’s a little over 3 hours.

I tried to call with my cellphone, but was told that I didn’t have international calling turned on for the cellphone. So, I used my regular phone and my Sprint long distance. I assumed that the rate at the time was the standard high but manageable amount of 40 cents a minute, US. Cost would be about 80.00 at this – stiff, but I could still swing it.

Well, I just received my bill – $618.84. Let me repeat this amount – $618.84. Over $3.00 a minute.

I called SprintPCS – there must be a mistake. There had to be a mistake. I don’t have this kind of money. I was told by Sprint “customer service” that since I had not signed up for International calling, I wasn’t eligible for the .40 a minute rate. I told the person I wasn’t originally told that I had to sign up for International calling when I signed up for SprintPCS to cover my long distance. I didn’t even know there was a specialized international long distance calling plan until I tried calling with the cellphone.

(If I had stayed with the regular phone company, it would have .40 a minute.)

The supervisor told me that they didn’t say anything to me when I signed up for long distance, because I had never called International numbers before. (And I’m not exaggerating this one, this is exactly what he said.)

Since I had never called International, they didn’t feel that they had to tell me there was a massive penalty for calling international numbers without signing up for international service. But once I had, they would tell me the next time I signed up for long distance service and I could get international rates on calls in the future.

(Question – why let the call go through if a person is supposed to sign up for international calling in the first place?)

I told the supervisor that I was signed up for international calling on the cellphone. This doesn’t matter because I needed to be signed up for the other phone – the regular phone. The process isn’t by customer, it’s by phone.

Oh – and there’s nothing they can do about the fact that they didn’t tell me ahead of time about having to sign up for international calls or face a penalty.

If anyone has suggestions on how I can fight this, please, please, please email me. Please. I’m pretty desperate.

Update: I had thought about some form of call in campaign against SprintPCS, but let’s face it – we’re all nothing to corporations such as this. If you don’t believe this, all you have to do is look at the daily paper.

Moral of Story: It may seem as if there’s no difference between your national and international weblogging buddies, but there is – about 3.00 a minute. As a suggestion – stick with email.

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