Woman receives Sprint wireless broadband bill for $14,062.27

Woman receives Sprint wireless broadband bill for $14,062.27

Summary:  This fall, a Sprint customer named Krystyl signed up for Sprint's $59.99 a month unlimited broadband service.



This fall, a Sprint customer named Krystyl signed up for Sprint's $59.99 a month unlimited broadband service.

Unlimited? I don't think so.

As Krystyl's YouTube video (via the Consumerist) reveals, she didn't get an invoice for $59.99, but um, uh, $14,062.27.

Here's Krystal's version of what went down:

My name is Krystyl. I recently signed up for Sprint, to utilize their wireless broadband card, where I can use the internet on my laptop virtually anywhere where there is a wireless signal. I signed up for the unlimited $59.99 plan, at which I had 30 days to keep or cancel the service.

Within the first week of having the service, the card that was sent to me no longer worked. I called to cancel the service, and the gentlemen I spoke with told me that they didnt want to lose me as a customer, so they would drop my service for half the cost and send me a new card. I figured, why not, this is still within my 30 day trial. They sent me a new broadband card, and it the speeds it gave me were in a 14k modem speed, which is about a dial up connection speed or slower these days. I called Sprint for them to tell me to take the card to the store and do an instore return.

The nearest store they sent me to that allowed returns was 25 minutes away from where I live. Once I got there, the store told me they could not return the package because the upc code was different than that they carry in the store. The next day I called sprint for them to tell me to give me a run around. After 2 hours on the phone, I finally told them I wanted to cancel the service. At which they did on December 10th.

I checked my mail today to recieve another bill from sprint, for $14,062.27.

My take: Sprint's clueless, but this takes the cake.

Topics: Telcos, Broadband, Hardware, Networking, Wi-Fi

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Unlimited?

    This doesn't look like that kind of issue. With speeds of 14K modem I doubt the woman could have done anything to rack up that kind of bill. This looks like billing glitch.
    • I would love to know how the bill was broken down?

      Pagan jim
  • I have thr sprint card..

    Unlimited plan, but is $99.99 a month. Expensive yes, but it is worth it to me. The $59.99 plan she got is not unlimited, and no Sprint Store I know of, or thier on-line offers unlimited for $59.99.

    Something seems very odd with this story. Was she on roaming on clicked OK?

    Some area's I travel to and use my card I get a warning about roaming fees and have to click OK to contnue. Roaming charges and the Card is NOT included in any plans. Roaming does cost more.

    14.4k where was she? In most areas I travel to I get a good 1.5 meg download speeds.
    • Well I just went on the sprint site...

      $59.99 Unlimited plan

      You maybe getting ripped off.
  • LOL

    I must have missed the fine print, but does "free trial" extend to abuse?

    I'll admit, Sprint sucks and I've not used them for years (their automatic contract renewal + fee burned my bippy, let me tell ya), but I think there's more going on to the entire scene than just her POV. (Oh, 14k is rather slower than 56k; the latter is the best dial-up speed possible...)

    After all, I've watched too many edited "skateboarding brat being harassed by the police" videos to know it's rarely 100% like what the receiver says. A pity, but even if every detail was stated in that video, who'd want to listen? Nobody wants to be a juror. Only a pawn.

    In her position, assuming I wanted such a feature, and had the same circumstances, I'd:

    1. Double verify the plan truly was unlimited. (few are, it'd cost the provider way too much money...) Voice cell phone plans are never unlimited during peak periods, and since computers are used more often - they sure as heck would never be given a free deal here.
    2. Keep all model/serial numbers and receipts until I knew things worked. That would negate some of the return hassles she sadly had to endure.
    3. Point #1 redux. Always check for fine print and don't read things backwards.
    4. Have competent salesmen tell the truth. I love "playing dumb" in stores to catch the crooked weasels and saving their butts. Especially when there's a security camera around. I too sometimes get fooled, which only means I need to spend more time making up my loss of knowledge. But most salesmen are there to peddle a product; they either won't know anything decent, or do know but only for the sake of getting more money out of you.
  • I'm not surprised by Sprint

    Nothing really amazes me about Sprint anymore. After my wife passed away they wanted a $150 early termination fee, to turn off a phone in only her name. I also sent them over 1,000 copies of the death certificate over a six-month period, since they kept 'misplacing' it and/or would not acknowledge that they received even one copy with the numerous faxes I sent them. It was finally settled before it made it to a local news station for a consumer help segment.
  • WOW..Open Mounth Insert foot.

    I should have chacked thier website first. After going to thier website and seeing the $59.99 unlimited I called customer service since I was no longer under the 2 year contract and asked for the $59.99 price. I did have to signup for another two years, but they offered me two months free since I did over pay, and now starting in March only $59.99

    Thank you ZD posters for correcting me.
    • Well hey it saved you some money....

      and now for the more important question,
      WHERE IS MY CUT !!!!!

      • It is in the mail.

        Please allow 52,000 weeks for delivery. :)

        Thank you.
        • Well enjoy your $480 dollars this year...

  • Not sure what the problem is here..... just don't pay.

    Yeah I know "MY credit rating!!" Well this is what I've
    found more and more people are getting caught with ID
    theft, and and increasing number of people in this
    country are being swamped with medical bills yes even
    those with insurance. Then there are these bogus
    charges. Look no matter how badly this person might
    have blanked up there is no justification for this kind of
    charge.... none what so ever. So what I've found is that
    the whole "effecting your credit rating" threat is
    diminishing. Take me for instance I'm a diabetic and a
    kidney transplant patient. I recently had too move to a
    new apartment and the landlord did a credit check on
    me I told him strait out that I had outstanding issues
    with the medical industry and explained my situation.
    He did not even blink, checked my report to verify and
    allowed me too move in.

    Heck more and more people know someone who finds
    that they are victims of some impossible situations
    where credit is concerned. That number increases year
    after year. Some of it is self inflicted don't get me wrong
    the whole credit card fiasco has been a disaster for many
    but in most cases its a self inflicted wound. Still there
    are other situations where no matter what you do it's
    unavoidable unless of course some of use choose death
    over debt and well I'm not willing to lay down and die for
    someone's profit margin...... sorry. But I am willing to go
    the other direction if someone indicates that FOR their
    profit I must die.

    Seriously now don't be shocked by what I'm going too
    suggest here but none of us should be surprised with 40
    million plus and the situation only getting worse that an
    increasing number of people are expected to just die
    quietly and that they and their families might not see the
    wisdom of such action. Perhaps they figure heck if I'm
    expected to die then why not make some noise on the
    way out? After all the end results are the same and by
    noise I mean BOOM!!!!

    Pagan jim
    • It is a big deal if...

      you let become a big deal. Most likely Sprint will reduce the cost or wipe it completely. Do you still have to pay for the calls you make on a free trial? I remember seeing ads that clearly state that you owe nothing if you are not satisfued during the free trial.

      Sprint has been the best for me and my family. Verizon has been the worse, and while AT&T was decent they were behind the game.

      When Cingular bought them out then they became something good, so why would AT&T take it back. Hopefully they will not go back to thier bad habits.

      The iPhone so keep them busy for a while at least.
      • Let me ask you something....

        Who pays me for my time when I'm pulled into these things? I get this all the time
        with insurance and medical bills. To make a long story short I for a time had to
        have Medicare on top of my normal insurance from work (some absurd legislation
        where the government gives the insurance industry like a 3 years pass and
        medicare takes over as primary for 3 years) Which meant I had to pay not only for
        my work insurance but for medicare and of course all those blankedy blank co-
        pays. Now every now and again I get absurd bills from the hospital saying they
        were having a time collecting money from my two insurances and the hospital tried
        to make it my problem. So I was to take MY TIME (Everyone knows time is money
        right) to wrestle with a major insurance company, and medicare. So who pays me?
        Why is everyone elses time pricey but they expect mine to be given away for their
        benefit ie they get money. If I spend time doing anything for the hospital, the
        medical industry in general, or the insurance industry i'm going to get paid or NO.

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
        • Do what I have done

          Invoice them. Make it legit, no "10,000 dollars an hour" deal, something reasonable along the lines of what a legal assistant might charge, and honestly track time taken to "resolve" the issue.

          When accounting gives you a call inquiring what it is all about, you know you have the attention of someone hire up then the billing clerk.

          It has worked for me.
          • Excuse me: that should have been

            "higher up"
    • Suicide bombing? Wha????

      Are you seriously suggesting that blowing ones self up is an appropriate response? Dude, you have bigger problems than medical billing - as if that even enters into this discussion to begin with.
      • Really? You think?

        Then what suggestion would you give me? I laid it out for you society
        seems to except that people should simply die silently and with as
        little fuss as possible for the greater good or PROFIT. Now I haven't
        even heard you argue that this is not the case and I understand why
        for it is. I see constant examples of the 'cost" being mentioned in the
        decision process of life and death. So again given my explanation I
        am told that I am to die and to do it quickly and quietly or I have a
        choice to go making some noise then logically why not choose the
        later? One method means I do nothing to state my dissatisfaction
        with the treatment of myself or my loved ones the other I make it very
        clear how I feel and oddly enough the end results for me my life
        being forfeit is the same. In the case of a loved one who knows if I
        make a big enough statement perhaps I could save someone I care
        for but even if I could not I could at least avenge them.

        So again I do not except the "Oh just be a good boy and do what
        polite society dictates" especially when polite society isn't so much. I
        did state this as a last resort facing death type situation did I not. So
        where is the flaw in my logic?

        Where does one draw the line?

        Pagan jim
  • Bottom line: our phone companies are filth

    All of them specialize in deceptive sales and billing practices, unconscionable contract terms, and laughable support. They lie about coverage, quality, bandwidth, rates, and charges. I've spent man-weeks on the phone with them to remove completely bogus charges and to complain about coverage. I've been through Cingular, T-Mobile, and now with Verizon. I have their wireless card, and it has NEVER reached the kind of throughput stated in the docs. As I'm sitting in LAX, the usual speed is 14K modem level, with big dead gaps where their network is just unable to handle the load at all.

    I would just tell you to bend over and take it, except that I've been to countries where the cellphone carriers are top-notch, customer-oriented, and on the ball. So it's not an industry problem, just a US-industry problem. That means the regulators also share a lot of the blame.
    terry flores
    • Regulators!?! WHAT regulators!?!

      Has anyone noticed the number of instances where poisons such as LEAD have
      been found in products from China and the like? How about poisons in pet food?
      What about the cases of e-coli in normally harmless stuff like lettuce and spinach.
      The cases nation wide of food poisoning. Anyone else get the idea that the whole
      idea of regulators with an "s" might be just wishful thinking? If you think Katrina
      and the Iraq War were the only examples of this current administrations failures
      you don't have to look too far to find many, many more.

      Regulators.....HA! It is to laff......:P

      Pagan jim
  • Russell, where is the rest of your post?

    Why does Sprint think this woman owes so much? At a minimum that information should be part of your entry. C'mon, at least put some effort into this.