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(The Consumerist)   Dear Consumerist: Sprint didn't monitor my data usage and then suggest a lower plan that would save me money. Should I get a refund?   (consumerist.com) divider line 67
    More: Stupid, 2GB, four-wheel-drive, usages  
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8118 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Sep 2012 at 4:49 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-09-11 01:07:45 PM
I pity any poor fool who uses more than 2 GB of data per month on a hotspot at the 3G speed

rookery.s3.amazonaws.com
 
2012-09-11 01:20:29 PM
You know what's funny? Several years ago, when I opened up an absurd bill, I called Sprint and the lady said I'd gone over my texting by a huge amount. So, she suggested I pay an extra $5 a month and get 500 more texts. And then she reduced the overage charge, because this had never happened before and I'm a good customer.

I have a feeling it had a lot to do with the fact that I was polite and treated her like a human being, instead of being an absolute cock about it, like this person probably was.
 
2012-09-11 01:20:55 PM
The war crimes Consumerist headline from yesterday was funnier.
 
2012-09-11 01:25:01 PM
A refund? Really? Next time I get a party tray of Buffalo wings, I'll take the leftovers back to the shop and demand a proration. farking entitled biatches.
 
2012-09-11 01:25:36 PM
It greatly heartens me that the standard Consumerist headline submission now assumes idiocy on the part of the complainant. Now maybe we can take the next step and stop even accepting articles from that insipidly worthless shiatscape of a wasteland.
 
2012-09-11 01:27:18 PM
Sprint and I seem to have an agreement. I root my phone and use it as a wireless tether to give my computers internet while on the road, and they don't bust me for it as long as I keep paying for my 4-phone unlimited data plan.

/my phone's current connection is named "FBI/DEA Van 4"
 
2012-09-11 01:28:15 PM
Dear FARK: please stop greenlighting these dumbass Consumerist articles.
 
2012-09-11 01:28:59 PM

what_now: You know what's funny? Several years ago, when I opened up an absurd bill, I called Sprint and the lady said I'd gone over my texting by a huge amount. So, she suggested I pay an extra $5 a month and get 500 more texts. And then she reduced the overage charge, because this had never happened before and I'm a good customer.

I have a feeling it had a lot to do with the fact that I was polite and treated her like a human being, instead of being an absolute cock about it, like this person probably was.


Sprint also tends to have the best customer service when surveyed.
 
2012-09-11 01:30:54 PM
Has anyone noticed a perceptible shift in the way The Consumerist responds to these e-mails now that they've basically become the laughing stock of Fark and elsewhere?

More often than not recently they tend to, if not side with the business, at least point out that the e-mailer is being kind of whiny about it. 

I'd like to think Fark has played some small part in this.
 
2012-09-11 01:51:06 PM
No, you shouldn't get a refund. You should get a kick in the lady parts for being so dumb.
 
2012-09-11 02:19:12 PM

sigdiamond2000: Has anyone noticed a perceptible shift in the way The Consumerist responds to these e-mails now that they've basically become the laughing stock of Fark and elsewhere?

More often than not recently they tend to, if not side with the business, at least point out that the e-mailer is being kind of whiny about it. 

I'd like to think Fark has played some small part in this.


Yeah, I've noticed that too. They're far less "this is an obscene violation of your rights as a consumer, and nobody should ever have to experience the gut wrenching trauma of not having the HD cables included with the floor model TV"
 
2012-09-11 02:50:04 PM

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: what_now: You know what's funny? Several years ago, when I opened up an absurd bill, I called Sprint and the lady said I'd gone over my texting by a huge amount. So, she suggested I pay an extra $5 a month and get 500 more texts. And then she reduced the overage charge, because this had never happened before and I'm a good customer.

I have a feeling it had a lot to do with the fact that I was polite and treated her like a human being, instead of being an absolute cock about it, like this person probably was.

Sprint also tends to have the best customer service when surveyed.


I left AT&T back when it was called Cingular because they farked up my bill and outright refused to fix it. Went to Sprint. Started with two phones, now have four, and pay them a healthy bill every month. About 80 percent of the time when I reup, change phones, or do ANYTHING to change my plan, they fark it up and I have to call them. However 100 percent of the time they've fixed it and re-rated my bill correctly. So if you count about an hour on the phone every year or so making them fix a problem, but always getting it fixed, Sprint holds up fairly well.
 
2012-09-11 02:51:14 PM

scottydoesntknow: Dear FARK: please stop greenlighting these dumbass Consumerist articles.


Is it just Fark, or is The Consumerist devolving into an echo chamber of customers proclaiming their always-rightness?
 
2012-09-11 03:13:31 PM

Raging Whore Moans: Is it just Fark, or is The Consumerist devolving into an echo chamber of customers proclaiming their always-rightness?


It's always been that way. It's a symptom of the problem that is the mantra of "The Customer is ALWAYS right.". Even when he's a flagrant, dithering idiot who has no clue what he's talking about, or agrees/signs something he was too stupid to read in the first place.

4.bp.blogspot.com

The consumerist just gives a whiny, hipster voice to passive-aggressive, beta consumers who are too chickenshiat to deal with things on their own.

/can you tell I don't like that website?
 
2012-09-11 04:35:46 PM

what_now: You know what's funny? Several years ago, when I opened up an absurd bill, I called Sprint and the lady said I'd gone over my texting by a huge amount. So, she suggested I pay an extra $5 a month and get 500 more texts. And then she reduced the overage charge, because this had never happened before and I'm a good customer.

I have a feeling it had a lot to do with the fact that I was polite and treated her like a human being, instead of being an absolute cock about it, like this person probably was.



Pretty much this.  Not in all cases, but face it... they want to keep customers and they deal with assholes all day.  Giving them a 5 minute break from the assholes may get you some sympathy.
 
2012-09-11 04:52:55 PM
Is this all they're doing know? Just printing letters of biatchy losers with lots of time on their hands? I don't know, I swore to myself I wouldn't give them anymore clicks.
 
2012-09-11 04:53:37 PM

what_now: You know what's funny? Several years ago, when I opened up an absurd bill, I called Sprint and the lady said I'd gone over my texting by a huge amount. So, she suggested I pay an extra $5 a month and get 500 more texts. And then she reduced the overage charge, because this had never happened before and I'm a good customer.

I have a feeling it had a lot to do with the fact that I was polite and treated her like a human being, instead of being an absolute cock about it, like this person probably was.


Verizon did the same for me. I went to the UK in July and inadvertently ran up a $500+ bill because I didn't have an overseas data plan. Like you, since this was the first time it'd happened and I was a good customer, she set up a reasonable plan and activated it retroactively. And, also like you, I was very polite and treated her nicely since I was asking her to do me a favor. I'm sure that's NOT the attitude the person in TFA took w/the Sprint rep.
 
2012-09-11 04:54:09 PM

InspectorZero: A refund? Really? Next time I get a party tray of Buffalo wings, I'll take the leftovers back to the shop and demand a proration. farking entitled biatches.


This

/can i cash in on the extra breadsticks left over at Olive Garden. I know they're "free" but I feel there needs to be a return value added.
//entitled to entitlements
 
2012-09-11 04:55:45 PM
I think its nice that consumerist exists, so all of those people from 10 years ago who would threaten to call the better business beurau on you over dumb things have a place to go.
 
2012-09-11 04:57:26 PM

what_now: You know what's funny? Several years ago, when I opened up an absurd bill, I called Sprint and the lady said I'd gone over my texting by a huge amount. So, she suggested I pay an extra $5 a month and get 500 more texts. And then she reduced the overage charge, because this had never happened before and I'm a good customer.

I have a feeling it had a lot to do with the fact that I was polite and treated her like a human being, instead of being an absolute cock about it, like this person probably was.


When I first switched to a tether plan on AT&T, I went over my two gig allotment on my Iphone by a Gig. Rather than them charging me for it when I called about it, they offered to contract me into a 4gig plan, and write off the charges.

brigid_fitch: Verizon did the same for me. I went to the UK in July and inadvertently ran up a $500+ bill because I didn't have an overseas data plan. Like you, since this was the first time it'd happened and I was a good customer, she set up a reasonable plan and activated it retroactively. And, also like you, I was very polite and treated her nicely since I was asking her to do me a favor. I'm sure that's NOT the attitude the person in TFA took w/the Sprint rep.


I left Verizon as a customer because they got the bill wrong for eight months in a row, and I had to go through hoops to get it fixed each time.
 
kab
2012-09-11 04:58:02 PM
"She said Sprint does not have "the manpower" to notify customers of pricing changes that would be in their favor."

More like "they don't feel like notifying you of a price change that would be in your favor".

Case in point... AT&T telling you that you HAVE to have a data plan with them if you have a smart phone. Which actually, as it turns out, isn't true at all.
 
2012-09-11 04:58:56 PM
Meanwhile, in Bizzaro World:

"Dear Bizzaro Consumerist: Bizzaro Sprint monitored my data usage and had the gall to suggest that I get a different plan. MY PRIVACYS!"
 
2012-09-11 04:59:22 PM
Weeners on the page:

I have to side with Sprint on this one

Reason? On consumerist? Umpossible.
 
2012-09-11 05:00:50 PM
I paid $200 for an iPhone 4. Now a year and a half later I want to get a new phone and see that you can get an iPhone 4 for $50. I want my $150 back.
 
2012-09-11 05:01:53 PM
I've been on the Sprint SERO plan for 4 years now. I pay $37 each month including all taxes and fees for 450 peak minutes, nights starting at 7pm, unlimited texts and data, and free calls to other Sprint cell phones.

There is no way I could get that unless some other schmuck is overpaying for his plan. That's the way the cookie crumbles.
 
2012-09-11 05:06:12 PM

The Southern Logic Company: Weeners on the page:

I have to side with Sprint on this one

Reason? On consumerist? Umpossible.


We can only hope that when consumerist readers turn on each other and create a holy war of entitlement that normal intelligent human beings will rise from the ashes.
 
2012-09-11 05:06:57 PM
DEAR CONSUMERIST:

I AM UPSET, AND I AM ENTITLED. PLEASE FIX THE FIRST ONE IMMEDIATELY.
 
2012-09-11 05:07:02 PM

dahmers love zombie: TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: what_now: You know what's funny? Several years ago, when I opened up an absurd bill, I called Sprint and the lady said I'd gone over my texting by a huge amount. So, she suggested I pay an extra $5 a month and get 500 more texts. And then she reduced the overage charge, because this had never happened before and I'm a good customer.

I have a feeling it had a lot to do with the fact that I was polite and treated her like a human being, instead of being an absolute cock about it, like this person probably was.

Sprint also tends to have the best customer service when surveyed.

I left AT&T back when it was called Cingular because they farked up my bill and outright refused to fix it. Went to Sprint. Started with two phones, now have four, and pay them a healthy bill every month. About 80 percent of the time when I reup, change phones, or do ANYTHING to change my plan, they fark it up and I have to call them. However 100 percent of the time they've fixed it and re-rated my bill correctly. So if you count about an hour on the phone every year or so making them fix a problem, but always getting it fixed, Sprint holds up fairly well.


I've had my personal cell plan with Sprint for a long time now, and have to say I've generally had a good experience with their customer service; much better than any other wireless company I've dealt with. This is one reason I've stayed with them as well as what I think to be a pretty reasonable unlimited plan. I just wish their damn 3G network in Chicago wasn't so farking miserably slow. Supposedly they're working on it but it's been getting worse and worse over the course of the past year.

I'm currently having to determine if I want to stick with Sprint because of the good service/good deal I get or if I should try a different carrier and forego customer service in lieu of a good network.
 
2012-09-11 05:07:18 PM

kab: "She said Sprint does not have "the manpower" to notify customers of pricing changes that would be in their favor."

More like "they don't feel like notifying you of a price change that would be in your favor".


Why doesn't Sprint spend the time and money to create a network monitoring service that 1) identifies all usage rate, 2) compares that rate against plan limits, 3) runs it through metrics to determine if this customer wants a lower plan (no idea how they determine that - sounds like months of meetings), and then 4) contacts marketing who 5) analyzes the current usage and 6) suggests a new plan based on some other criteria as not defined through 7) direct mailing/emails.

Why doesn't Sprint increase expenses in order to lower revenues? They must be jerks.
 
2012-09-11 05:07:34 PM

dahmers love zombie: Sprint and I seem to have an agreement. I root my phone and use it as a wireless tether to give my computers internet while on the road, and they don't bust me for it as long as I keep paying for my 4-phone unlimited data plan.

/my phone's current connection is named "FBI/DEA Van 4"


Mine is

"DHS_Listening_post S12b"
 
2012-09-11 05:13:28 PM

what_now: I have a feeling it had a lot to do with the fact that I was polite and treated her like a human being, instead of being an absolute cock about it, like this person probably was.


I used to work retention for (insert very large nationwide cable company here). And that was a big part of it, frankly. If you call me because you think your bill's to high, there's a lot I can do for you. But I also have a lot of discretion and flexibility, and honestly, if you're a dick, my willingness to help just starts ratcheting downward in a hurry. I could have knocked $50 off your bill, but you'll never know it, because now I'm offering $5 - take it or leave it.  The extra $45 you missed out on...call it a dickhead tax.
 
2012-09-11 05:15:51 PM
It's looking more and more like Consumerist readers are very, very dumb. I guess we are treated to a Consumerist link every day now so we can feel superior to the brain donors who ask for help with their "problems." Or maybe it's a nefarious Republican trick to make us sympathize with huge corporations.
 
2012-09-11 05:17:33 PM

kab: "She said Sprint does not have "the manpower" to notify customers of pricing changes that would be in their favor."

More like "they don't feel like notifying you of a price change that would be in your favor".

Case in point... AT&T telling you that you HAVE to have a data plan with them if you have a smart phone. Which actually, as it turns out, isn't true at all.


Have things changed? I seem to remember that it was illegal for them to monitor your usage unless you invited them to. Once you allowed them to, then they could recommend changes to your plan. 'Course that was back in the 'pre-wireless' days
 
2012-09-11 05:19:14 PM

Pocket Ninja: It greatly heartens me that the standard Consumerist headline submission now assumes idiocy on the part of the complainant. Now maybe we can take the next step and stop even accepting articles from that insipidly worthless shiatscape of a wasteland.


I rarely comment on a Pocket Ninja post, but I agree with this one wholeheartedly.
 
2012-09-11 05:22:00 PM
At what point is someone going to organize some sort of yearly awards ceremony for Consumerist whiners?

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: Sprint also tends to have the best customer service when surveyed.


They better, since their network is a few steps up from cans and a string.
 
2012-09-11 05:30:46 PM
Dear Consumerist: I really have nothing to blame on (Insert Corporation name here), but can you go ahead and put my letter on your site, to help damage their reputation and satisfy my narcissistic need to get "published" on the internet?

Thanks!
 
2012-09-11 05:31:55 PM
Sprint does have better rated customer service than other providers. Which is like saying people prefer eating the shiat of vegetarians over the shiat of meat eaters.
 
2012-09-11 05:35:32 PM

LineNoise: I think its nice that consumerist exists, so all of those people from 10 years ago who would threaten to call the better business beurau on you over dumb things have a place to go.


The BBB is still around, and they even accept complaints on a website now. They've helped me with some pretty ridiculous problems I had (Like when AT&T started forwarding me spam mail from an sbcglobal account that had been closed for years and refused to acknowledge the problem "because the account was closed" or when Sharebuilder started sending me account emails for a closed account that I couldn't stop because the account was closed. Yes I've had that problem with multiple companies. You'd be amazed how fast companies respond to legitimate BBB complaints)
 
2012-09-11 05:41:45 PM

The Southern Logic Company: Weeners on the page:

I have to side with Sprint on this one

Reason? On consumerist? Umpossible.


And then there are people like this on Consumerist that seem to miss all the other reasonable replies:



The bottom line is that tiered plan based companies, should bill based on what tier you've "actually used" that month, and what tier your actual usage falls under, rather than on our own prognostications as consumers.

It's an unethical way to do business, to charge for services not even rendered, merely because they've set it up unilaterally in their favor. Companies should not be allowed to do this in the first place.

Overages should not even exist. As it is now, overages only exist to compel consumers to sign up for higher plans than they actually will use, in fear of being dinged even further, in the event that their usage encounters a spike.

This type of billing doesn't need regulation, it just needs to be abolished.


facepalm.jpg
 
2012-09-11 05:45:53 PM
The BBB called me to tell me how good my rating was and how for some $ it could be even better. The BBB has its uses but its mostly a scam in my view.
 
2012-09-11 05:50:05 PM
I know it's fun to bash on Consumerist links, but to be fair at least this woman isn't a *complete* moron. From teh letter:

Without question Sprint or any company can charge whatever they want at any time, and it's up to the consumer to pick the company or service that is the best deal for them.

How dare she be so reasonable?!?
 
2012-09-11 05:55:42 PM
The Consumerist has done more than Adam Smith, Ayn Rand, and Milton Friedman combined to persuade me that some people really need to be fleeced.
 
2012-09-11 05:56:29 PM

ZeroPly: I've been on the Sprint SERO plan for 4 years now. I pay $37 each month including all taxes and fees for 450 peak minutes, nights starting at 7pm, unlimited texts and data, and free calls to other Sprint cell phones.

There is no way I could get that unless some other schmuck is overpaying for his plan. That's the way the cookie crumbles.


The intrinsic value of peak minutes, texts, data and calls is exactly zero. Or marginal costs, at any rate. What costs money is digging ditches, laying fiber, installing base stations and antennas and the like. As long as the grand total of customers don't utilize the network for 100%, everybody may well be charged the same flat fee for unlimited everything. 450 peak minutes is less than that, which might suggest you are in fact the schmuck :-)

On the other hand, Sprint's average revenue per user (arpu) is $63.38, though this probably includes handset subsidies (paying back the "free" or discounted iphone), which probably amount to about $31 which leaves a net arpu of $32. So maybe you are paying less than average, and getting more in return, but it depends on how much handset subsidy you received.

Sprint are also posting losses at the moment, so maybe Sprint itself is the schmuck.
 
2012-09-11 06:05:55 PM
I've always had a good experience with Sprint customer service for my phone. The trick is not to be a dick/biatch or have an entitled attitude at the outset of the call.

As far as the entitled consumerist biatch FOAD: it's your responsibility to choose a plan that meets your needs, not theirs. As far as Sprint goes there's even a farking tool on their website that compares your usage to available plans to help you choose one. Farking personal responsibility, how does it work?
 
2012-09-11 06:18:00 PM

what_now: You know what's funny? Several years ago, when I opened up an absurd bill, I called Sprint and the lady said I'd gone over my texting by a huge amount. So, she suggested I pay an extra $5 a month and get 500 more texts. And then she reduced the overage charge, because this had never happened before and I'm a good customer.

I have a feeling it had a lot to do with the fact that I was polite and treated her like a human being, instead of being an absolute cock about it, like this person probably was.


This happened to me with AT&T last year. I didn't realize my texting plan didn't include sending pictures, so while on vacation I was sending people pictures like crazy. A few weeks after I got home, I got my phone bill and it was $350. I called up, explained what I had done, the CSR explained what had happened. Since I wasn't a nightmare about it and was calm and nice to her, she retroactively gave me a texting plan that included pictures and wiped all the extra charges off my bill.
 
2012-09-11 06:27:24 PM

fusillade762: I know it's fun to bash on Consumerist links, but to be fair at least this woman isn't a *complete* moron. From teh letter:

Without question Sprint or any company can charge whatever they want at any time, and it's up to the consumer to pick the company or service that is the best deal for them.

How dare she be so reasonable?!?


If she was really reasonable she wouldn't be complaining. Just including a sentence, which makes sense in a whining post does not make the person reasonable. It makes her an idiot who knows how unreasonable her demand is but still wants to write to consumerist and expects Sprint to give her a refund.
 
2012-09-11 06:38:30 PM
I'd just like to point out that ting.com does this. They'll credit you if you stay in the lower bracket.

/ not ting.com, just a customer
 
2012-09-11 06:38:58 PM

moof: ZeroPly: I've been on the Sprint SERO plan for 4 years now. I pay $37 each month including all taxes and fees for 450 peak minutes, nights starting at 7pm, unlimited texts and data, and free calls to other Sprint cell phones.

There is no way I could get that unless some other schmuck is overpaying for his plan. That's the way the cookie crumbles.

The intrinsic value of peak minutes, texts, data and calls is exactly zero. Or marginal costs, at any rate. What costs money is digging ditches, laying fiber, installing base stations and antennas and the like. As long as the grand total of customers don't utilize the network for 100%, everybody may well be charged the same flat fee for unlimited everything. 450 peak minutes is less than that, which might suggest you are in fact the schmuck :-)

On the other hand, Sprint's average revenue per user (arpu) is $63.38, though this probably includes handset subsidies (paying back the "free" or discounted iphone), which probably amount to about $31 which leaves a net arpu of $32. So maybe you are paying less than average, and getting more in return, but it depends on how much handset subsidy you received.

Sprint are also posting losses at the moment, so maybe Sprint itself is the schmuck.



Uh... yeah... let me break this here conceptual framework down because apparently the economics terms are overriding your common sense and all basic logic:

1. Sprint needs a certain amount of money from each subscriber on average to stay in business.
2. If certain people pay less than that number, other people have to pay more.
3. I like being in the first group mentioned in point #2.
 
2012-09-11 06:54:39 PM
This is the phone analog of walking into a McDonald's, ordering a large fry. Getting your large fry, then going "I'm not really this hungry... Wait, you can get a medium? Why didn't the cashier ask me if I was really that hungry when I ordered?! They should refund me the difference!"

Which has probably happened to this moron's sister as well.
 
2012-09-11 07:11:22 PM

dahmers love zombie: Sprint and I seem to have an agreement. I root my phone and use it as a wireless tether to give my computers internet while on the road, and they don't bust me for it as long as I keep paying for my 4-phone unlimited data plan.

/my phone's current connection is named "FBI/DEA Van 4"


So "DHS-9997-3846-6480-82-6367-488467-0-48386469462760---439--694372693" isn't you?
 
2012-09-11 07:12:02 PM
Of all the people who have been screwed by The Phone Company, this really isn't one of them...
 
kth
2012-09-11 07:17:56 PM

BMFPitt: At what point is someone going to organize some sort of yearly awards ceremony for Consumerist whiners?

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: Sprint also tends to have the best customer service when surveyed.

They better, since their network is a few steps up from cans and a string.


They've gotten better lately.

It used to be that I couldn't get a signal in my brother's house, which was about a half a mile (a very important half a mile in terms of property values) from the CEO of Sprint. Which always amused the fark out of me.

Now, I'm in the middle of rural Missouri, and get a fairly decent signal.
 
2012-09-11 07:32:00 PM

BronyMedic: Raging Whore Moans: Is it just Fark, or is The Consumerist devolving into an echo chamber of customers proclaiming their always-rightness?

It's always been that way. It's a symptom of the problem that is the mantra of "The Customer is ALWAYS right.". Even when he's a flagrant, dithering idiot who has no clue what he's talking about, or agrees/signs something he was too stupid to read in the first place.

[4.bp.blogspot.com image 400x318]

The consumerist just gives a whiny, hipster voice to passive-aggressive, beta consumers who are too chickenshiat to deal with things on their own.

/can you tell I don't like that website?


Whenever people complain about crummy customer service, I have this voice in the back of my head that tells me that it comes from the complete breakdown following years of "the customer is always right." Once that got ingrained into people's heads, they assumed any request, no matter how ridiculous, should be complied with, immediately. After dealing with this sort of attitude for long enough, disempowered employees retaliated by not giving a shiat about even normal and proper complaints.
 
2012-09-11 07:36:28 PM
Straight Talk - $45 unlimited everything. I've been with them for 6 months and have been really happy. 3G is fast enough to watch Netflix in most locations, GPS, unlimited texting, unlimited talk, Android OS. I got fed up with Sprint over the years with various b.s. fees, taxes, etc.
 
2012-09-11 08:17:31 PM

scottydoesntknow: Dear FARK: please stop greenlighting these dumbass Consumerist articles.


please let us know where you are and we will send help. obviously someone is holding a machete to your throat, forcing you to read the Fark posts you consider dumbass.

/you poor baby
//we are all worried about you
///truly, deeply concerned
 
2012-09-11 09:14:52 PM
Personally, I consider these types of posts to be sanity checks on Consumerist. It helps keep them honest and helps their readers keep things in perspective.
 
2012-09-11 09:22:05 PM

sigdiamond2000: Has anyone noticed a perceptible shift in the way The Consumerist responds to these e-mails now that they've basically become the laughing stock of Fark and elsewhere?

More often than not recently they tend to, if not side with the business, at least point out that the e-mailer is being kind of whiny about it. 

I'd like to think Fark has played some small part in this.


I suspect that it has something to do with some Farkers becoming semi-regulars over there and playing enough Devil's Advocate to chase away the more insane super-consumers.
 
2012-09-11 09:49:36 PM
I think Pocket Ninja summed this up very well

/realized hey, i'm not using the damn hotspot, guess what I dropped it.
 
2012-09-11 09:54:59 PM

InspectorZero: Next time I get a party tray of Buffalo wings, I'll take the leftovers back to the shop and demand a proration.


I wasn't aware that me buying a data plan prevented other people from using the bandwidth related to the plan. Oh wait, it doesn't. And Sprint won't even guarantee that all the data I paid for will be available over the network; if a restaurant wouldn't guarantee that all the wings I paid for are actually available I sure wouldn't agree to pay for them up-front.

I agree, this particular complaint is a bit entitled, but Sprint certainly has the capability to make their billing more fair -- if they aren't going to refund for underages they shouldn't charge insane rates for overages either (particularly without confirmation that you want to pay for the extra usage).
 
2012-09-11 10:07:04 PM

SpaceyStacey: what_now: You know what's funny? Several years ago, when I opened up an absurd bill, I called Sprint and the lady said I'd gone over my texting by a huge amount. So, she suggested I pay an extra $5 a month and get 500 more texts. And then she reduced the overage charge, because this had never happened before and I'm a good customer.

I have a feeling it had a lot to do with the fact that I was polite and treated her like a human being, instead of being an absolute cock about it, like this person probably was.

This happened to me with AT&T last year. I didn't realize my texting plan didn't include sending pictures, so while on vacation I was sending people pictures like crazy. A few weeks after I got home, I got my phone bill and it was $350. I called up, explained what I had done, the CSR explained what had happened. Since I wasn't a nightmare about it and was calm and nice to her, she retroactively gave me a texting plan that included pictures and wiped all the extra charges off my bill.


This is a basic upsell, like the classic "the first hit's free" drug dealer. For phone company, getting anyone to upgrade to a higher subscription is always better than forcing a one-time charge on them, because they'll always forget to downgrade the plan when they don't need it anymore. Now your customer is paying dollars more for cents worth of usage, and feels good about it! You can't beat that.

In fact, I think AT&T invented that scam back in the old Ma Bell days, but don't take my word on it.
 
2012-09-11 10:32:26 PM

what_now: You know what's funny? Several years ago, when I opened up an absurd bill, I called Sprint and the lady said I'd gone over my texting by a huge amount. So, she suggested I pay an extra $5 a month and get 500 more texts. And then she reduced the overage charge, because this had never happened before and I'm a good customer.

I have a feeling it had a lot to do with the fact that I was polite and treated her like a human being, instead of being an absolute cock about it, like this person probably was.


I've worked Sprint Customer Service before, for 2 years. In a complaint department actually.

We had authority to credit up to $500 back on a bill for overages if the customer actually changed their price plan to ensure it wouldn't happen again. We could technically go up to $5000, but only with management approval, which they were shy to give. Anything beyond that would have to go up to corporate.

We had people who refused to believe the messages were even sent. We had dozens and dozens of cases like "My Daughter doesn't text message! She's only 12, I gave her that phone for emergencies! She didn't send 2000 text messages in a month!" In those cases, no credit would ever be given. They didn't seem to understand that just refusing to admit it happened wouldn't get them out of the charge. We couldn't volunteer the information that if they put a texting plan on the line, we could credit back the charges. We were only supposed to offer half the charges up front, but if they pushed we could credit it all back. Some reps gave away more than they were supposed to like that, corporate hated it, griped at us constantly for giving away too much money.

Yeah, if you were a cock, no, you wouldn't get shiat, but if you were nice and cooperative, we could do a lot for you. Our stock phrase for that was "I am sorry Sir/Ma'am, but all charges are valid, and no credit is due. Thank you for choosing Sprint."
 
2012-09-11 11:52:14 PM

foxyshadis: SpaceyStacey: what_now: You know what's funny? Several years ago, when I opened up an absurd bill, I called Sprint and the lady said I'd gone over my texting by a huge amount. So, she suggested I pay an extra $5 a month and get 500 more texts. And then she reduced the overage charge, because this had never happened before and I'm a good customer.

I have a feeling it had a lot to do with the fact that I was polite and treated her like a human being, instead of being an absolute cock about it, like this person probably was.

This happened to me with AT&T last year. I didn't realize my texting plan didn't include sending pictures, so while on vacation I was sending people pictures like crazy. A few weeks after I got home, I got my phone bill and it was $350. I called up, explained what I had done, the CSR explained what had happened. Since I wasn't a nightmare about it and was calm and nice to her, she retroactively gave me a texting plan that included pictures and wiped all the extra charges off my bill.

This is a basic upsell, like the classic "the first hit's free" drug dealer. For phone company, getting anyone to upgrade to a higher subscription is always better than forcing a one-time charge on them, because they'll always forget to downgrade the plan when they don't need it anymore. Now your customer is paying dollars more for cents worth of usage, and feels good about it! You can't beat that.

In fact, I think AT&T invented that scam back in the old Ma Bell days, but don't take my word on it.


Well, since it was $5/month to have unlimited texting, picture texting too, I figured it was worth it. Much better than the $350 one time huge bill, and getting charged for every text that I sent and that I received.

You are right though, that the companies count on customers forgetting to downgrade their plans when they aren't needed anymore. Back when I had Cingular, and the Razr phone, I paid extra on my plan for some sort of data plan (it was so long ago I forgot exactly what it was for). I got rid of that phone, got the iPhone 3 and had it for 2 years before I went to change something on that plan when the CSR asked if I still had my Razr and if it still worked. Since that phone was long gone, I asked what he was talking about and he showed me my plans, and I was still being charged extra for the data plan on a phone I didn't have any more. My own mistake, but still frustrating.
 
2012-09-12 12:44:51 AM
What's getting Redlit so things like this can get Greenlit?
 
2012-09-12 12:46:02 AM
wait..i thought all those tinfoilers over there couldn't afford a cell phone and all went prepaid...now i'm really confused.. but i refuse to click link to find out
/ohh well
 
2012-09-12 02:04:42 AM
Sprint's website actually has an "analyze my plan" tool that will tell you if you should change plans.

I don't know if it works because it's never told me anything except "your plan is a good fit for you."
 
2012-09-12 02:49:24 AM

kab: "She said Sprint does not have "the manpower" to notify customers of pricing changes that would be in their favor."

More like "they don't feel like notifying you of a price change that would be in your favor".

Case in point... AT&T telling you that you HAVE to have a data plan with them if you have a smart phone. Which actually, as it turns out, isn't true at all.


Actually, it is. Short story: if you have a smart phone and don't, they'll automatically add a data plan randomly and with no warning or notification. Every month it will be a huge hassle to try and get them to take it off. That's even assuming you're grand-fathered in with an agreement where you don't need a data plan. Look forward to spending hours either at their store or on the phone with those assholes. AT&T is the worst company I have ever had to deal with in my entire life.

Long story:

Before they came up with that policy, my family all got refurb Blackberrys with AT&T. The phones were cheap, and great for texting, but we had no use for any kind of data plan, so we didn't get one.

Fast forward like a year or so, we're in the middle of our contract and they start saying everyone with a smartphone needs a data plan. We're fine, grand-fathered in, not like they can change the terms of our deal in the middle, right? We check with them to be sure, and everything is good, we don't need one.

Another month or two goes by. "Huh, that's odd, why is there a charge for data plans on our phones?" *call AT&T, 5 hours later, finally we get it taken off* Rinse and repeat every month or two for the remainder of our contract. Sometimes they'll take it off, sometimes they just stick to their script and say "no, you need one". Go into the store, it's the same crap-shoot. Sometimes one person will take it off, sometimes not, but either way it's a huge pain in the ass.

Lots more crap happened, I'll stop there. In short, don't even bother, AT&T will make your life hell if you even try. Just avoid them like the plague.

Will never get another cell phone contract as long as I live. Now I have T-Mobile, pay month-to-month, no contract. I have to buy the phone out-of-pocket, but it's much cheaper so I've already paid the (very nice) phone off in savings after less than a year.
 
2012-09-12 08:47:47 AM
The tiered system is much like a chinese buffet. You pay for it, then use what you want. Some go over, some go under, it all evens out. Where this lady might have a complaint, is that imagine if you went to a chinese buffet, and when you're paying the bill, the guy in front of you pays $7 and you pay $9, simply because you've eaten there before.

As far as monitoring her usage and such, that's simply a service she is wishing they would perform. But, a simple "Your plan no longer exists, check out our two new plans" email isn't asking too much, IMO. This is the way many people assume businesses operate, that they advertise their products to the customers. They're clearly wrong, but it's still the assumption many people make. But they do fail to remember, a business isn't there to provide you a service, it exists solely for their own benefit, to make money. It's why Hardee's sells a $1 chicken sammich, but it isn't on the menu. You just have to know it exists and ask for it. They don't wanna give you a $1 out, they want you to buy their $5 burgers, but they still keep it cuz it draws people like me in. They don't make money on the sammich, but will when I get fries and a drink. A business will ALWAYS set itself up in its own favor.
 
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