Thomas says he was a Sprint customer for seven years and chose Sprint because its cell phone service had decent coverage where he was traveling for work. For most of those seven years, Thomas had no problem with Sprint and even got Sprint cell phones for his parents that were billed to him.
However, since becoming a Sprint customer, Thomas developed Parkinson's disease and is now on disability. He does not work and does not have a landline: his entire phone system, up until recently, was based entirely on Sprint's cell phone service.
One day last November Thomas lost his cell phone service. He was unable to make or receive phone calls and also unable to check his voicemail. [Thomas was at his parents' at this point, four hours away from his home. Sprint later argued that because he was in a roaming area, there was no guarantee of service, but Thomas says he has never had cell problems in that area before. He also says that during the time he had the cell phone problems, no one at Sprint ever offered this as an explanation.]
Thomas spent the next two days trying to reprogram his phone so it would work, but no matter what he or the Sprint technicians tried, his phone would not work. Eventually, the technicians gave up and told Thomas to take his phone to a service center. He did, and after three hours at the center, the technician, who was an independent contractor and not a Sprint employee, said that the problem was with Sprint's network, not with the phone. Essentially, there was nothing Thomas could do to fix the problem.
That would not have been so bad, if Sprint had fixed the problem. But Thomas says that not only did they not fix the problem, they refused to communicate with him about what the problem was and what was being done to rectify it.
"I wasn't mad, I just wanted my phone fixed. Three weeks from the date of the problem, I called Sprint and asked about my phone again. Their technician took my phone number and transferred it to a different phone and it still wouldn't work. Their determination was that the problem was on Sprint's end and the only thing I could do was get a new phone number. I couldn't even access my voice mail to get important information off of it.
"I am disabled: I have Parkinson's disease. If I need medical assistance for any reason, I have to get help through my cell phone. In the three weeks that the phone wasn't fixed, Sprint destroyed my confidence that they could provide me with a phone service that was dependable. Their phone service failed me when I really needed it.
"Somewhere in that three weeks, I thought someone could have said, 'We know there's a problem, we'll get it fixed.' I got nothing, so I made the decision that I had no choice and went to a different carrier. I changed my Sprint number to AT&T and then called Sprint to cancel."
"All I wanted was some communication and Sprint wouldn't communicate with me. They talked more to me about my owing them money than they would talk to me when I was a customer needing to have my service fixed. Sprint destroyed my trust by refusing to communicate with me. I knew they had a high cancellation rate and now I understand why. Their communication with their customers is terrible. They kept me in the dark."
Customers are now filing class action lawsuits against companies like Sprint, alleging that their early termination fees are unjust. If you have been charged an early termination fee that you feel was unfair, contact a lawyer to discuss your legal options.