on January 19, 2014
I do not recommend this product to anyone. Nor do I recommend Sprint as a mobile broadband carrier. Please be patient and read my entire review. It is thorough and you will have the complete details as to why I've reached this conclusion!
In November of 2013, our two-year mobile broadband service with Sprint ended. It was our second two-year mobile broadband contract with Sprint. During the entire time we had Sprint, our connection speed was always slow and mediocre at best. My wife and I own a home in a very rural and remote location and our choices for broadband are very limited. The two big carriers have been AT&T and Sprint for our area. Since, we already had AT&T as our wireless carrier for our cell phones, I chose Sprint for our mobile broadband laptop connection.
I had originally canceled service after the first two-year contract due to the painfully sluggish internet connection speed. After an intermittent time without any broadband service, it became apparent that we needed some form of broadband for the convenience of paying our bills online. I visited the same Sprint store where we initially signed our first two-year agreement. I clearly voiced my concerns about the slow connection speed we had experienced during our first contract. I was assured that this time we would receive substantially better connection speed due to the new 3g/4g wimax technology. This proved false. However, I did not cancel during the grace period because I had been assured that their system was still being upgraded and would soon show remarkable improvement. Again, this proved false.
I also inquired if my wife qualified for a 15% federal discount as a federal employee before signing the contract. (As a federal employee, my wife has always received a 15% discount with AT&T through our cellular service.) After checking her status on a Sprint computer, the salesman assured me that she did qualify for the discount. My wife then filled out the proper documentation on line as instructed by the salesman.
However, when our first bill arrived no discount had been applied. So, I immediately began corresponding by phone and email with Sprint representatives to resolve this issue. Sprint informed us more documentation was needed. They requested a copy of my wife’s employee identification and a verification of her employee email to authenticate her status as a U.S. federal employee. All was provided as requested. However, no discount was provided on the following bill either. So, I continued to correspond by email with Sprint to follow up further.
Incidentally, I still possess those original emails from Sprint that document these events! One Sprint representative sent me an email confirmation stating that my wife's discount had been processed and approved. She also stated that the discount would be reflected in the following bill. It never happened! No discount had been applied. So, I then followed up by email to inquire why the ‘processed and approved’ discount that had now also been promised in writing had not been applied.
Another Sprint customer representative responded by email. He stated that my wife was not eligible for a discount because the service had already been discounted. This made absolutely no sense to me! I replied that I had already received quite contrary information by an online representative and an in-store sales associate. I also copied him the prior email that stated it in writing on an official Sprint document.
Sprint refused to admit any wrongdoing and denied any responsibility for the misinformation given to me by any of its employees. So, I phoned Sprint relentlessly to find a resolution to this issue. Finally, one representative offered me a six-gigabyte plan for $49.99 instead of the five-gigabyte plan at $59.99 that we currently had. It was a very coy attempt to act as though Sprint was offering me a discounted plan. In reality, Sprint had changed their prices by lowering them for all customers in order to be more competitive in the market. So, my wife and I were still not being given the discount that had been stated both verbally and in writing. I grew weary of the problem and choose not to pursue it further at that point.
So, let's fast forward to approximately twenty months later when the contract ended in November 2013. I canceled our Sprint contract, once again, due to mediocre connection speeds. I made changes to my account with AT&T to accommodate broadband for our laptop. Their service was outstanding. Their 4g LTE speeds were day and night compared to the poor service provided by Sprint. However, the actual cost for the service provided by AT&T was about $30.00 per month more than I had been quoted originally.
So, once again I visited the very same Sprint store. Both AT&T and Sprint had recently completed upgrading their respective networks with 4gLTE. I reasoned that Sprint could finally fulfill its promise of fast broadband connection speeds. When I entered the store, I soon remembered Sprint’s broken promise to apply the discount that had never been honored. I again voiced my concerns with the utmost clarity. And once again, a salesman used his computer to check Sprint’s records and assured me that my wife did indeed qualify for a 15% federal employee discount. He also stated no connectivity issues would occur provided that I purchase one of the newest broadband mobile air-cards when I signed up for my third two-year contract. This time I would be certain to cancel within the allotted grace period if any issues surfaced.
However, the sales associate lacked credibility for me due to my prior dealings in this very same store! There’s an old adage that goes something like this, "If you fool me once, then shame on you. But, if you fool me twice, then shame on me!" I told him that I must investigate the matter before signing yet another two-year contract! And that's exactly what I did.
I endured several frustrating calls with customer service agents, supervisors and managers. After about a week, I finally discovered the real policy! Sprint does offer a 15% discount on their cellular phone service for federal employees. However, this discount does not apply to broadband wireless card service. Arriving at this information required a great deal of time, patience and aggravation. From my experience, several Sprint employees were not informed about this very basic policy. Unless, of course, the in-store sales associates were deliberately misrepresenting their claims to garner sales! This may or may not have been the case.
Nonetheless, the fact remains that three Sprint representatives on three distinct occasions misrepresented a very basic policy to me. Two in-store sales associates and an online customer service representative falsely stated my wife qualified for a 15% federal employee discount on our broadband service. The online representative even stated in writing that the discount had already been processed and approved! To be very candid, I began to suspect both fraud and incompetence on the part of Sprint. As a result, my patience waned.
Next, the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back occurred from my vantage point. I requested to speak with a Sprint supervisor by phone once I discovered the actual policy. A very hostile and condescending woman spoke with me in an accusatory tone. It would be better properly phrased to say she spoke to me! She stated that we did not receive the discount because my wife had never submitted the required forms. I then informed her that I had documentation from Sprint proving otherwise. I also asked her how she could possibly make baseless accusations concerning what had actually occurred without investigating the matter.
Later, I called Sprint back and requested to speak with a manager. The manager was much more amenable and granted me the courtesy of listening to my concerns. I requested that Sprint send us a refund check for 15% of the total amount we paid on our account during our last two-year term contract. I wanted to communicate my displeasure in a way that a large company would understand – dollars and cents! Misrepresentation, misinformation and abuse would not be tolerated. This same manager reviewed Sprint's own documentation and told me that the company was at fault. She agreed to process my request. It took Sprint nearly two additional weeks to respond!
Sprint’s decision was not to comply with my request! Their spokeswoman stated by phone that Sprint was in no way culpable. Sprint’s only admission was that their employees required further training! The only explanation she offered was that Sprint did indeed offer a federal employee discount of 15% that applied to their cell phone service. Although broadband services were exempted from the discount, Sprint was technically in the right because the discount was available for their cellular phone service. I informed her that the discount in question had always only been discussed in the context of only broadband service. Our contract was only for broadband and had never included wireless cell phones. Additionally, all correspondence both verbal and written was clearly defined in terms of broadband only. I then informed her that the company was not dealing in good faith and was now fabricating a lie!
I requested that Sprint put their decision to my request in writing and email it to me. Why wouldn't a reputable company dealing in good fiduciary practices be willing to do so unless there is something to hide?They refused! I then experienced a very brief, yet surreal moment of disbelief! As a very young child, my mother once told me that a bad apple is rotten at its core. This entire experience brought a new profound meaning to that life lesson! I simply have never had a worse experience with a major business! Please be aware that I possess the documentation from Sprint to add verification to what I've just written! I feel violated by Sprint's actions and very disappointed. However, I didn't write this post to merely rant about the unprofessional and shameful conduct of Sprint. That is obvious by now!
It is my desire that my words serve as a sound warning to others. It is a given that people within corporations do sometimes make mistakes. That is understandable. However, in this case, an issue came to Sprint’s attention with proper documentation. Yet, they refused to properly resolve it. Furthermore, they fabricated a lie to justify their wrong actions and shun responsibility. In my view, there are much deeper issues with both the structure and character of this corporation that strike at its very core. Based upon my personal experience, Sprint is a very unattractive and distasteful company. Again, a bad apple is rotten at its core! Consumers can be much better served elsewhere! This is evidenced by the overall general consensus about Sprint’s service that has been so aptly expressed online. I'm only one person in a long line of highly dissatisfied former Sprint customers.
I'll be sticking with AT&T for now. Yes, they've made a few mistakes along the way during the years we've been with them. However, they've always treated my wife and I with dignity and endeavored to amend their mistakes. And I appreciate that very much – particularly so after this trying and ugly experience with such a bad apple. By contrast, AT&T possesses a special and rare quality that is unheard of in Sprint! And what exactly is it? I'm glad you asked! IT IS CALLED… WAIT FOR IT… CLASS!!!