Open Letter to Dan Hesse (Sprint CEO) From A Long Time Sprint Customer

Mr. Hesse,

I have been with Sprint overall since the late 1990s, and my current account which came from combining 2 single accounts into a family account since 2005. In all my time with Sprint, I heard from friends and family that I should move to other services, but I STAYED. I heard the media put Sprint down and recommend everyone else but Sprint, and I STAYED. I moved to an area that had virtually no Sprint service, where I ended up getting an Airave device (provided by Sprint) hooked up to my home internet, which was the only way to get any service while at my residence, yet I STAYED! For over a year Sprint charged me “Fees” from both my former residential area and my new residence (which were in 2 different states), which is double billing, and it took multiple phone calls that went on for months, until I was able to get someone @Sprint who was knowledgeable enough to correct my billing, yet I STAYED. 18 months ago, during an upgrade period, we got a LG Remarq phone on upgrade, which turned out to be one of the worse phones we have ever had, costing 6 different replacements of the same phone in 60 day period, and ultimately costing me the upgrade on my 2nd phone, yet I STAYED!  I have paid the “Data” fee that come in with the Wi-Max service since the start on both of my phones, even though I have had minimal access to 4G (Only been able to use it when traveling to specific cities on business), since 4G doesn’t work where I live or work, yet I STAYED!

Yesterday, I went to my local Sprint store, because I wanted to hand you @Sprint more of my money, and agree to go back on a 2 year plan. I wanted to use your “Buy one get one free” Samsung promotion and replace my existing phones (Original HTC EVO 4G and EVO Shift) with 2 Samsung Galaxy SIII phones. Prior to going in, I looked online and saw that one of the phones in my plan was set for upgrade and the other phone in my phone would be eligible for upgrade as of January 1, 2013.  However, being that I have been with Sprint for so long, I went it with the hope that maybe Sprint would do right for me, considering all the thing they did wrong, and wave the 16 days so that I could get both lines upgraded.   However, with multiple calls from the Sprint store to Sprint customer service, I was informed that the only way I would be allowed to upgrade was if I paid the early upgrade fee of $50, that on top of everything else I was going to have to pay. Needless to say, it isn’t about the $50, it’s about the customer  “first” or lack of customer “first” appearance that I find insulting.

So met me get this straight, Let me break this out and you can tell me if I’m wrong Sprint

  • 2 Samsung SIII phones – $199
  • 2 Activation Fees – $72 (you charge $36 each phone)
  • Premium Data add-on charge – $20 per month ($10 per phone line, that I have paid for since you started that fee even though I have used 4G at most for 5 days in 2 yrs.)
  • Spending Limit Program Charge – $4.99 per month (that you say I can only remove if I go to auto pay, even though I have been with you for how long now? So that additional $60 / year from me means what now? )
  • A 2 year contract agreement, in which you will be my only provider unless I pay I huge $$$ dollar amount to leave, which guarantee’s you my payment of $176 per month for the next 24 months

Yet you tell me that if I want to get my upgrade 16 days early I have to also pay $50 on top of all of that and you say that it’s because the “deeply discounted phones”.


Here is a Review of just some of the things I have had to put up with while on Sprint

  • We got an LG Remarq, which using one of our upgrades 22 months ago. In less than 60 days, we had the phone replaced 6 times, we had an additional 3 times where the phone was “fixed”. In addition we had dozens (yes dozens) of calls with Sprint Tech Support. We had over 20 hours worth of my time, time that you @Sprint didn’t pay me for, and yet during this time, your only answer to me was that you would replace the phone with another phone of the same model.  Do you NOT think that if 6 of the exact same phone didn’t work, that suddenly a 7th would work. REALLY!  How about all my time wasted with tech support on the phone, or my gas used to go to the Sprint store over and over. After 60 days of battling back and forth, and not getting a valid solution, the only solution I could come up with was to use my 2nd upgrade to replace the phone with another model. So in fact I WASTED an upgrade because you would NOT do what you should have……. and yet (some people would say stupidly) I STAYED!
  • For years my job involves me traveling a lot, all across the country. I visit big cities and small towns all year-long. Since I upgraded to the HTC EVO 2 years ago, I paid that data fee. So far I have paid you over $480 in just a premium data fee, but yet I have maybe 5 days worth of use of 4G service. I understand that it takes time to roll out services, but if I get to use a service for 5 days out of 2 years, that ISN’T A RETURN ON MY INVESTMENT.
  • I moved from one state to another. Upon moving, you started billing me “Sprint fees” in both states. You were billing me for both my old location and my new location. I understand that it was only a couple of bucks a month, but unlike most CEO’s, I make enough money to survive, keep a roof over my head, and eat, and I have to value what I make because there is very little left over and every penny counts. It took 1 year and multiple phone calls where, I kept getting told it would be taken care of, but it wasn’t. Again, where is my payment for having to take so much time out of my life to get you to fix your mistake. As you can see, I’m including a copy of that part of the bill where I was paying for charges in Pennsylvania and Georgia. In the end I did get a refund, for the overage but I didn’t get a sorry for our mistake, or let us make it up to you. Everyone makes a mistake, but taking a year to fix the mistake, and it was only fixed because I keep “bugging” you, is unacceptable.


Sprint Do You Even Care About The Customer?

I wish those were the only issue, I have many more that I could list, but that would just be beating a dead horse at this point. Like I said at the beginning of this letter, I STAYED. In over 15 years of total Sprint service, I have NEVER once looked at going anywhere else. I was loyal. Even with all the problems. I guess that is my fault for trying to be loyal. However, now that I come to you @Sprint and ask to be allowed to get my upgrade 17 days early, not 2 months, 5 months or 10 months early but 17 DAYS , you’re your only response is I have to pay even more money ($50) on top of everything else to upgrade. That sadly shows me that its time to stop being loyal, because being loyal should be a 2 way street and you are not doing your part.



Alex Novelo

Head of Tech Geek and More