Just when you thought that Sprint- they of the $14,062.27 phone bill-couldn't get any dumber, now comes news that this same booboo-plagued "organization" initially had refused to humanely cancel the account of a subscriber who had just passed away.
Story goes back to December 21, when a 66 year-old man in Framingham, Mass., died of a brief illness. After what had to be a really sad Christmas, the deceased man's son-in-law, Bill Stewart, called Sprint to cancel his father-in-law from the family cell phone plan.
"They said his contract wasn't up and to pay the fee or keep it activated," Bill Stewart told WCVB-TV in Boston. "He came in and said my father had upgraded his phone, so we can't cancel unless we pay the early termination fee or give the phone to somebody else," Stewart added.
The jerk in the Sprint office first suggested to Bill Stewart that they add someone else to the plan. That suggestion didn't go well with Stewart. Then, the customer "service" rep offered to reduce the monthly fee for his deceased father-in-law's phone from $20 to $10 until the contract ends in September 2008.
That didn't go over too well with Bill Stewart either.
Finally, someone (presumably a WCVB-TV reporter) got Sprint spokesperson Mark Elliott on the line. He said that with a death certificate from the Stewart's, well, give us five days and we'll make it right.
So, readers, how does that sound to you? Well, to me, it is Sprint saying to a grieving son-in-law, we hear what you're saying about your loss, but prove it. And we aren't talking about the reaction of an outs-ourced, offshored, clueless customer service rep. We are talking about someone in a Sprint office who had the gall to request official proof of a longtime, loyal (up until then, presumably) Sprint customer of his family's recent and sad loss.
"More disbelief than outrage. My father was the type of man who you'd expect people to do the right thing," Stewart tells the station about the reaction of his family to being jerked around like this.
What bugs me about this incident, as well as the $14K+ errant billing, is Sprint's insensitive corporate culture toward customers.
An insensitive attitude that one would have hoped would have ended with the departure of now-former CEO Gary Forsee, who headed the company during last year's issues with canning members of the military who roamed too much.