UPDATE 2: After emailing Sprint, I finally got a hold of someone in the Executive team, they responded and also they forwarded my message to the appropriate people. I was called in a matter of minutes afterwards and the gentleman on the phone was very apologetic first and foremost and wanted to do everything to make me happy, which is all I asked for from the start. He explained to me why I wasnt given a different device when I asked, which was because the issue I had (and thousands of others had as well) had not been documented in their systems. So they had no knowledge of this issue and he is going to study this issue since he Googled it and found that it does indeed exist. They are going to work with HTC to figure it out and soon going forward, customers with the same issue will be able to call in and have Sprint understand the issue as opposed to being blind to the problem.
I did discuss other things with this gentleman, but that will remain off this site as it was more personal but I wanted to let you all know that Sprint does care about its customers, they just have to know what is going on first. I completely understood they have policies, but I also felt that when a customer has a legitimate problem and isn’t looking to cheat the system, has an account in good standing and is a loyal customer, they should be taken care of… at any cost.
So I want to thank Sprint for the quick reply and the swift handling of this issue.
Thank you. Case closed.
Ok, so this is going to be a rather long one, so I hope you’re ready and read it thoroughly. For those of you who visit the site often you probably know I’m an HTC EVO 4G owner and honestly have been happy with the phone until recently and most of that displeasure comes at the hands of Sprint. For those of you who don’t know, I was an Apple iPhone owner (1st Gen, 3G and even the iPhone 4) before I left AT&T for Sprint and the EVO 4G. I liked the monster of a phone, the freedom of Android and the great Sprint plans and coverage (at least where I live). I even thought (and still do) that Sprint CEO Dan Hesse, from all his commercials, just looks like a really nice guy. He comes off like someone I could sit down and talk to about everyday things and have a smooth conversation and I feel that he genuinely cares for his customers. So that why this whole experience is so hard for me to swallow.
Over the past few months I noticed a bright white spot on my EVO screen about a half inch up from the back button. As it got worse it really annoyed me, so, I called my local Sprint store and was told that I needed to take it to a Sprint store that has a “repair” service. The closest location was 35 minutes away. So on a Tuesday afternoon I drove 35 minutes and had them look at the phone. The repair tech comes out and said that my phone has a “known” issue but HTC has not acknowledge it. He said he has the same issue on his phone and pulled it out of his pocket and sure enough, he did. He then told me this was his second phone due to the same issue. I asked him how big of deal was this issue and so he told me to Google it and I found a forum (one of many) that had people posting of this issue (HERE and HERE are just two examples). I was amazed that this had not been brought up before, at least on the bigger blog sites. So I asked him what’s next. He told me that he couldn’t guarantee me that a replacement wouldn’t have the same problem or develop it later. He then told me he could order me a replacement and we could try.
I left the store feeling pretty upset that this great phone was so flawed and honestly wasn’t sure I wanted to spend the next year and half with a phone that would potentially suffer the same issue and continually get worse. So I called my Sprint insurance which is handled by Asurion to see if they could replace my EVO with a different device. I explained the problem I was having and my concerns and they basically told me, if I haven’t lost, dropped, or broken my phone, we can’t help you. Call HTC since they manufactured the device.
So, I hung up and called HTC. After spending a ridiculous amount of time on hold I finally got someone, and once again, explained my situation. To which the customer service representative (CSR) told me she knew of no such issue. That if I wanted a replacement they’d send me one but I’d have to first send them my phone (which would leave me without a phone) and they would investigate the issue. They would NOT guarantee me they would find anything wrong in which case they would not send me anything but my phone in return. She said and I quote “we’ve never seen it.” I told her, all you have to do is Google “Bright White Spot on EVO 4G,” you’ll find plenty of them. She said, I’m sorry sir, but there is nothing else I can do.
So at this point I thought, well I’m stuck with this EVO I might as well give it a shot and wait for the replacement, which I was told would be in on Thursday (remember, I went in on a Tuesday). I called the store Thursday around 5pm to see if the phone was in and was told without any hesitation, yes. I told them I would be out of town until Saturday evening and would pick up the phone on Sunday. So, Sunday morning I got up and drove down to the store (another 35mins) and walked in and was not even greeted, I had to approach the CSR (who was dressed in black jeans, a white t-shirt and a San Antonio Spurs hat on backwards, guess that’s allowed at 3rd party stores) and he was like, “yeah” I told him about calling on Thursday and was here to pick up my phone. He told me yeah, it’s here, one second. After about 2 mins he comes back from the stockroom and tells me that he can’t find it in the box. He claimed someone must have sent it back. I was shocked. I said are you kidding me? I told them I’d be in on Sunday to pick it up. He just stared at his computer and then said, hmm, well I guess it will be here tomorrow. It never came in apparently. I looked right at him and said you just told me it was here, that you had it because your computer said it was here, then you tell me it was shipped back and now you’re telling me it won’t be here till tomorrow? He said yeah, give us a call tomorrow, we’ll let you know if it arrives.
I walked out enraged. I’ve had it with Sprint, regardless of them being a 3rd party (Sprint’s name is on the door) and this phone, this customer service and just wanted a damn phone that worked. So I called Sprint via 611 on my phone and explained to the CSR what happened. I don’t know if it was her inability to speak proper english or is she really didn’t understand the problem that an “Authorized Sprint Retailer and Repair Store” told me my phone was in, then told me it wasn’t and then told me it would be here tomorrow. I tried to explain how the store lied to me, didn’t have the device and I just wanted to get rid of the phone and get one that worked. She still did not understand, so I asked for a supervisor. A gentleman got on the phone and AGAIN I proceeded to explain everything up until this point. I said I’m really frustrated and honestly unhappy with how this whole mess is being handled. I said I’m not happy that my phone has this issue in the first place, only to be told that it is a known issue that HTC is not owning up too and after all this I’ll have to wait and see if the replacement has the same issue. I said I’d rather just return the phone and get something entirely different. He said he couldn’t do that. I said sir, it’s not like I’m looking for just a free upgrade. I have a legitimate issue with my screen, the repair tech even showed me his and pointed to thousands of others having the same issue and if I am going to have a phone for the next year I don’t want to have these problems. I told him I’ve enjoyed Sprints services as far as the coverage goes and that I have even added my parents to my plan, giving them two more customers. The least he can do is allow me to return this device and get something not plagued with an issue. He refused to budge, he said I can’t give you a reconditioned phone from out selection that we have, he offered me an LG Rumor or a Blackberry 8530, to which I scoffed. I said are you being serious, I said, one, I HATE Blackberry (as people who read this site have clearly seen) and two, do you honestly feel that is an equal replacement for my EVO 4G, I won’t even dignify a response to the LG Rumor? I said I’ve had enough, do you have a supervisor, I’d like to speak to them. So after waiting for what felt like 30 minutes, I got his supervisor, the Account Manager, who was just a stubborn. I also had to, again, explain my whole story, which I thought he would have done. So she said she will see if she could find you another EVO replacement. She comes back and tells me that all the stores are out of EVO replacements and they don’t look to be getting any in stock for a while. So I asked her, so why don’t you just replace my phone with something new? Obviously, I have an issue here, it has been reviewed by a tech and noted in my account, you don’t have any to replace it with, I’m not happy with the phone or my service (customer wise) at this point and you have the opportunity to make a customer happy, just take the phone back and issue me a credit or allow me to get pick something else out that’s “comparable.” She would not budge. She said she would call the store that was suppose to have my replacement to make sure they would indeed have it for Monday. She said if she can’t get a hold of them today (Sunday) that she would call Monday to confirm. So I settled back down and begrudgingly said, okay if you can do that, fine.
MONDAY (it gets worse):
I never got that call. So I called the store again myself, and spoke with a woman this time and asked her if my phone had come arrived and she asked for my name and number. She said, yes it’s here. I, being skeptical, asked her to make sure, she said yes sir it’s here. So once again, I drove down another 35 minutes (keep in my it’s 35 mins both ways, so now I’m up to 3 hours of driving for all this) and when I get down there I see the same guy from yesterday. I said I’m here to get my phone, I called and they said it was here. He went to the back and then came back empty handed. I was like you have got to be kidding me. He asked me if I was sure it was it was in and I repeated to him, yes, I called and spoke to a female who said it was, twice. He went to the back again and this time stayed back there with my phone. He came out and said, the tech is transferring your data (lie # 1). I waited for 30 more minutes, I said does it take this long to transfer data. He said the phone ordered had a busted speaker and the microphone didn’t work and he was using that phone’s screen and putting it on my phone. I said WHOA, wait…you told me he was already transferring my data, that was 30 mins ago, now he’s switching screens…can I talk to him? So the tech comes out and I asked him to be completely honest with me. I said did my phone NOT come in and you’re using a busted phone and just using the screen on mine? He said no, that it came in busted. I said, really? Sprint sent you a refurbished phone that had a busted speaker and a microphone that doesn’t work?
So I look at my phone and I peeled the protective plastic off the screen (which looked tampered with) and when I did I saw scratches on the screen already…I was speechless. Add to that, the screen doesn’t work correctly. It won’t recognize my touch, it won’t drop down my menu and the calibration was way off even after trying to set it. I had him mark up his statements which you can see here:
So here I am with an HTC EVO with a second screen that is far worse off than my first, it doesn’t respond, it doesn’t work and Sprint won’t do anything. They’ve called around to other stores for replacements, I appreciate that, but there aren’t any. All I’ve asked Sprint to do is to make a customer “HAPPY.” To make a customer who has brought two other people to his account (which is in good standing by the way, see the first picture above), a customer who’s had real issues with his phone and scheming for a new phone, a customer who has been been forced to drive over 3 hours only to be screwed with a phone that is worst off….happy.
Is a new device really to much to ask for having gone through all this? Is giving a different device to a customer whose experienced not ONE but TWO issues with their screen. You may say well the first was the fault of HTC and the manufacturer should be held liable. But that’s tough to do when the manufacturer fails to acknowledge it has an issue. Sprint sold me the HTC EVO 4G and should be held liable for what they sell. If that isn’t enough, my phone was not repaired properly by an “Authorized” retailer. If Sprint “authorized” this third party to fix devices, they SHOULD be held liable.
I understand there are policies in place to prevent people from just complaining to get a new phone or an early upgrade, but this is beyond that. This is about a phone that is defective and then repaired and made useless and now they have nothing to replace it with. Watch the video below to see what I’m talking about.
I’ve sent an email to Sprint to show them that this complaint is in print (online) and their is actual proof the replacement screen was damaged before being put on my phone and how it works afterwards. My account has been marked up internally so they know the details. The question is will they do anything to make this right.
Is giving me a different device to make me happy worth losing me as a consumer. Believe me, when and if Sprint reaches out to me, I’ll write an update about how they handle the situation. Hopefully, they do the right thing.
So if all of that above wasn’t bad enough, today I received a “nice” mailer from Sprint letting me know that my TEP (Total Equipment Protection) Plan was going to go up by a $1 more dollar. This $1 (more per month mind you) gives TEP customers access to the TEP App that gives users the ability to locate a lost phone, sound an alarm for a misplaced phone, lock a lost or stolen phone, remotely wipe a phone and sync, manage and restore your contacts. All this for an extra dollar a month…while the rest of the services have not changed.
Sounds like a deal right, not really when you consider that Apple gives these same features to its iPhone customers for free (i.e. Find my iPhone) and HTC is building those into its Sense Experience, again for free. So why should I pay more for a service that I don’t need OR want others are giving away for free? Here I thought Sprint couldn’t get any lower by screwing its customers especially after they took away the yearly upgrades from customers who signed up for service before they “axed” the plan. Since I was a customer before the change, you’d think Sprint would “grandfather” customers in, much like AT&T did for iPhone customers who had unlimited data when they switched to teared data, allowing them to keep their unlimited plans, regardless of how long they’ve been a customer.
BREAKING: As I am typing this…my Sprint Service has failed, here I thought they cut my service off, but instead I find that they are having problems all over so much so that Engadget reported on it, HERE. I’m having a great week, thanks Sprint!