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Runaround ends in Sprint discount

THE FIXER HAS SAVED YOU

$1,418,830

Updated: November 9, 2012 6:08AM



D ear Fixer: My soon-to-be ex-husband and I have been Sprint customers for many, many years. We have received a 25 percent discount through my job.

Now we need to separate this account into two. I called Sprint in June about my leaving the account since it was under my husband’s name, but I wanted to confirm that I would still receive the 25 percent discount. I was told yes.

After opening my account, I awaited an email giving me my 25 percent discount. When it never came, I contacted Sprint again. I spoke with three different reps on separate occasions and they all said the same thing, that I would get the discount.

August approached and still nothing. On Aug. 2, I spoke with yet another rep who told me the same thing once again. Keep in mind, each of these phone calls was anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.

On Aug. 13, I spoke with another representative, who sent me to her supervisor. He discounted the first bill by 25 percent and said I would definitely be receiving the email about my 25 percent discount on future bills.

I never got it.

On Aug. 28, I spoke with another rep. She promised that a supervisor would call me, but I never got a call.

When I called them on Sept. 4, a different rep sent me to the account manager, who sent me to the supervisor. The supervisor said he couldn’t do anything. I tried to explain that because of so many people misinforming me, as a consumer I couldn’t make an educated decision. If I had known that the new discount I would receive per my school discount was now 15 percent, I never would have left the account. I would have changed the name on the account to mine.

I’d like one of these two options: Either Sprint can honor the 25 percent I was promised or they can let me out of the contract. I have been happy with Sprint for years and years, so the thought of a new carrier was not what I had wanted. But the amount of time, stress and energy I’ve spent on this is ridiculous.

Jill Weinberger, Buffalo Grove

Dear Jill: The Fixer is wondering if there’s anyone in Sprint’s customer service you have not talked to in the course of this cellphone saga. In your notes, you’d written that you’d spoken with a Jesse, Anita, Mark, Andrew, Danielle, Rebecca, Alex, Audrey, Dylan, Phillip and Rick, taking up untold hours of your time. The good news is you can put away the Dramamine because your ride on the customer service merry-go-round is over. After we got this to Sprint’s PR folks, they were able to get this into the hands of an account analyst who could figure out what happene

d. A couple of weeks later you got the good news that they are restoring that 25 percent discount to your account, which will be your account only.

Good luck with everything.

The power of numbers

It’s often true that misery loves company. But there’s another saying about there being strength in numbers — and that’s what a newly launched consumer website aims to channel.

ConsumersCount.org aims to swing the pendulum back toward consumers following a 2011 U.S. Supreme Court decision that favors corporations who put anti-class action clauses into the fine print of their contracts.

The 5-4 decision in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion allows corporations to keep using fine print in their contracts to outline what consumers can and can’t do if they have a dispute. Often, this fine print says consumers can’t sue the company and have to undertake binding individual arbitration instead. Consumer advocates argue that arbitration favors the corporations, and that customers are unknowingly signing away their legal rights.

The new website lets consumers launch new cases or join cases that others have started (by clicking where it says “It Happened to Me”). As of last week, cases included title insurance companies that allegedly overcharged homeowners and a car company that allegedly failed to refund lease payments to veterans as required by law.

The organizers’ hope is that as various complaints gather large numbers of people, the corporations will have to listen.

Getting the runaround over a consumer problem? Tell it to The Fixer at

suntimes.com/fixer , where you’ll find a simple form to fill out.



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