How can I break my Sprint contract?
September 18, 2012 10:16 AM   Subscribe

Help getting out of a cell contract because I have no service.

I've been a Sprint customer for 13 years. But I recently moved to Seattle and Sprint service sucks here. In my house/neighborhood I get 3 bars. On my commute I have service about 2/3rds of the ride. And most importantly, I get NO service on campus.

I've talked to Sprint technical support. The coverage maps show good coverage in these areas, although anecdotally I've not heard good things about Sprint coverage here.

The first few technical support people flashed my phone (an Evo Shift, if it matters) and did some resets, to no avail.

They are now offering me boosters - which might help the home situation, but wouldn't help on campus. I'm in dozens of places all over campus every day. (And yes, I can get on campus WiFi, but really I want to be able to make a damn phone call without using Google Voice or Skype.)

They are "checking" the towers near campus, but I don't have high hopes.

At this point, what sort of things can I do to convince them to let me break my contract?
posted by k8t to Technology (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I assume you mean break the contract without paying any contract-ending fees, right? I had this same problem with Sprint about 7 years ago and I called customer service from a landline pretty much every single time I had a dropped call, which was every single time I tried to make a call. After about 6 weeks of this they were glad to be rid of me. It was incredibly annoying and inconvenient to make all the constant complaint calls, admittedly.
posted by elizardbits at 10:21 AM on September 18, 2012 [2 favorites]

I had this problem with AT&T and needed to switch back to Verizon almost immediately. I called them and let them know that since calls were dropping in my kitchen, they weren't fulfilling their end of the bargain. I also threatened to report them to the CPUC (California Public Utilities Commission)... so I was able to terminate the contract right away.

Focus on the fact that a contract can only be binding so long as BOTH parties are fulfilling their end of the bargain. And then look up what your counterpart to the CPUC is for added punch. Good luck!
posted by ohyouknow at 10:53 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Are you absolutely sure you are currently in a contract? I mean, I'm on month-to-month, because the last time I got a new phone (seven years ago --- yeah, I'm a bit of a Luddite!), it came with a requirement for a two year contract..... so for the last five years, I have not been under any contract that charges extra to quit that carrier.
posted by easily confused at 10:54 AM on September 18, 2012

I went into a store and talked to a manager. I explained that even though we were supposed to have good service, I consistently had problems. I was extremely polite and made it known that i would prefer to stay with them, but it wasn't working. They worked with customer service to cancel my contract with no ETF.
posted by Silvertree at 11:06 AM on September 18, 2012

Response by poster: Yes, I'm currently under contract.
posted by k8t at 11:19 AM on September 18, 2012

Have you asked how much it will be to break it? I was surprised how small the amount was when I wanted to break my contract with Sprint.
posted by flug at 11:24 AM on September 18, 2012

I've gotten my ETF waived before in a similar situation. I broke my contract with Verizon after moving to the bay area about 5 years ago because service was nil.

I called customer service, was very polite but firm, and made it really clear that this was not a matter of disliking static-y calls, but a personal and family safety issue for me. (I actually did have issues trying to call people in urgent situations, which was scary and made me move quickly to switch providers.) As mentioned above, I also pointed out matter-of-factly that they weren't fulfilling their part in the contract. I was able to cancel my contract and waive the ETF in a single, ~15 min phone call. I think it also helped a lot that they had gotten similar complaints from lots of other people (which they actually eventually admitted in the phone call!), so you might want to encourage fellow students to submit complaints. Good luck!
posted by nemutdero at 11:39 AM on September 18, 2012

Response by poster: Oh, I did play up already that I have a child in daycare and that being able to be contacted in a safety issue to me.

@nemutdero, I'm faculty. :)
posted by k8t at 11:53 AM on September 18, 2012

k8t, sorry for the faulty assumption. I aspire to be you :)

I do recall telling them that I'm a poor grad student and would be hard pressed to pay a couple hundred dollars, but who knows if it helped. Too bad Sprint is being so resistant.. sounds like it's time to start threatening to report them to someplace. Good luck.
posted by nemutdero at 12:14 PM on September 18, 2012

Call. Escalate. Keep calling. Be persistent. Then try an EECB.
posted by radioamy at 2:56 PM on September 18, 2012

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