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Sprint Rebates Suck

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On Friday, I came home to following letter:

Sprint Rebates Suck

Sprint Rebates Suck

This letter is in response to the Palm Pre that I bought and activated within the Sprint store - an hour after it became available. How dare they say that I haven't activated in time? Without causing injury to other Sprint customers it would have have been impossible to activate it any faster.

Where does Sprint Rebates, who owe me money, get off sending me a letter saying that they aren't going to pay and "no further action is required." On a list of most obnoxious responses, I think this has to be at the top, right? I'm thinking of not paying my Sprint bill this month and instead sending in a letter that says, "You are not being paid because [insert a lie that would a valid reason if true], no further action is necessary." I might give that a try with the copy of the rebate letter.

Nonetheless, it's time to call up Sprint and find out what's going on.

The first guy doesn't know anything about rebates. He tells me that it's another number. I realize that rebate-handling is typically outsourced, but I don't want to talk to the third party and have them tell me that I didn't actually by the phone and have it activated. I argued for a minute and then decided to see how the Sprint Rebate company would go.

After about 15 minutes on hold with the Sprint Rebate company, they found the problem. They had mistaken one of the digits of my phone number - entered it in as a 6 instead of a 0. Being that it was their mistake, I figured, they 'd be rushing out a check to me right away. Not so. They said that they'd process it in the next 15 business days. I have to wait three weeks for their mistake? Here's how the rest of the conversation went:

Me: Overnight the money.
SR: Sorry can't do that.
Me: Overnight the money.
SR: Sorry can't do that.
Me: I'll have the money in my hands in the next 15 days?
SR: We'll process it in the next 15 days.
Me: I'll have the money in my hands in the next 15 days?
SR: We'll process it in the next 15 days.
Me: You realize that I my money shouldn't be delayed based on your error.
SR: Sorry there's nothing else we can do.

I realized that there's nothing more I can do either. I suppose I can think twice about using Sprint in the future. In fact, I'd say there's a high likelihood I'll do that as soon as mine and my wife's contract is up.

That might be a little over-reacting to this incident, but they've taken away my grandfathered billing plan because I got a new phone (note to carriers - new phone should not equal new plan). Sprint is still the cheapest as far as I can tell, but it's getting worse and soon I will pay more to deal with a different company.

Last updated on March 24, 2011.

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27 Responses to “Sprint Rebates Suck”

  1. kosmo says:

    Or, maybe just have their system kick out a check when you activate, rather than go through the rebate process.

    Oh, yeah. Because they count on a few people forgetting to send in the form :)

  2. AY says:

    I loathe Sprint. I’ve been with them since 2000. I hated them then, and I hate them now, and if it wasn’t for the fact I use the service so little (and am thus riding on my parents’ family talk plan), I’d have moved to Verizon or T-mobile by now.

    Their customer service is terrible; I have more dropped calls with Sprint than my friends do with their carriers. I think that’s why they’re cheap. They have to keep their customers somehow.

  3. Andy Hough says:

    Sprint’s customer service does suck. If it weren’t for the fact that I am on their SERO plan which is far cheaper than any similar plan I could get from another company I would no longer do business for them. Luckily, I don’t need to deal with their customer service too often.

  4. Lazy Man says:

    In general, I don’t mind Sprint’s customer service… it’s only been lately that it’s gone down hill and they’ve ended every conversation with a “nothing I can do to help you.”

    I like the service and love the Palm Pre (which I might write about on Friday).

  5. Brian says:

    Long time reader, first time commenter :)

    I dropped my rebate for our two new Palm Pre phones at the post office literally two minutes before I read this. I’ve always had rebates taken care of over the phone via retentions in the past but this time we signed back up with Sprint (4th contract) getting a 20% discount from a corporate store.

    Been following some message boards about the rebates. A number of people have had their rebates denied for one reason or another and have been able to have the actual rebate form canceled and a credit applied to the account. Of course it’s kind of hit or miss with who you get on the phone.

    If it’s still a problem, search google for Sprint Executive Services. They have the real power to wield around.

  6. My Journey says:

    Lazy Man,

    Did you have the SERO plan? It is what I am using now and can’t imagine giving it up? Where else would I get 30 bucks for 450 mins and unlimited data?

  7. Randy says:

    Every time I change phones, I have trouble with Sprint. But I’ve written letters to their support people and gotten VERY good replies. In both cases, I’ve gotten at least what I deserved, and more in the form of credits.

  8. Tara says:

    If you’re leaving Sprint for bad customer service, don’t go to T-Mobile. I’m absolutely fed up with them. They’re cheaper than AT&T and Verizon but I’m not sure it’s worth it anymore.

  9. ADD says:

    Had a very similar experience with my family’s four phones; it took hours of dealing with the Sprint Consumerist Hotline people to get it relatively squared away, and we still ended up not getting all the rebates we were entitled to. It’ll be time for a new carrier the next time our contract is up.

  10. Rambo says:

    dude, that’s the way the rebate system works. they hold on to the money for 6 months and you keep trying. Fight like rambo – it’s what you signed up for when you saw that low price (not the real price) the low price is for rambo.

  11. Becky Johnson says:

    O!M!G! Every 3 days im getting charged for overages on a phone I dont use because im still waiting for it to come in the mail (8 wks later)… wtf? and when i call them i get some jaggoff who tells me I have used 1800 text msgs. 4real? r u serious? where r the cameras? i guess they figured out a way to charge extra for msgs i would send if i had a phone. maybe i should go back to my beeper

  12. SDS says:

    Got the same card. Called and they said it was a business account and could not give me the rebate. It isn’t a business account, they had the wrong phone #. The # I sent on the rebate card was correct so how was it possibly wrong. Also they are the phone company, couldn’t they check. They are making up excuses and creating false info. in order to not pay the rebates. Sprint is the most dishonest company I have ever seen. I got mail that looked like junk mail last year from Sprint saying I had signed a new contract in exchange for a small monthly reduction. I never even contacted them. If I hadn’t read the mail and just thrown it away I would have been stuck with the new contract. No wonder why users are fleeing Sprint in record numbers. If it weren’t for the Pre they would already be dead. Stop trying to scam the customers Sprint! You are only hurting yourself!

  13. tray says:

    Received my sprint rebate check yesterday took it to the bank and they say it is not a valid check that they can verify and that they have had others returned to the bank. Contact Sprint with this info and they say that they never heard of this and give me a number for my bank to call and validate the check when we(me and the bank) call they say they no longer validate sprint checks. Where to go from here!!

  14. eno says:

    They count on people giving up & not being persistent that way they don’t have to send a rebate & they just keep getting richer!

  15. jadon says:

    You guys are stupid. Errors happen. To the OP, you called, they recognized the error, and they corrected it. You want to bitch because you’ll wait an extra few weeks? They’re a company, not a bank. Learn a little about accounting.
    As for the other posts, seriously?
    Tray, your bank probably wouldn’t cash it because YOUR account has had checks returned. A bank won’t refuse to cash a check for their own customer, unless you’ve been the problem.
    Becky Johnson- 1993 sent a text. They want you to come back to your “beeper” friends.
    Really, follow the instructions, stay within the guidelines, and your rebate is processed and mailed with 45 days. It’s not excessive.

    • Lazy Man says:

      Funny jadon… you say that stay within guidelines and your rebate is processed and mailed with 45 days… but earlier you said that “errors happen.” I understand some errors, but when you stand in line to buy a launch-day device and get it activated within the first hour you can, you should not receive a letter that you didn’t activate in time.

      If there’s a .0001% chance of an error happening with a rebate, the company should just take the money off the device from the start and not rely on “breakage.” Or they should offer to give you 50% more money for having to take time out of your day to chase them down for their error.

  16. charles pringle says:

    I’m going through the same s**t right now, sprint sent me a post card instead of my rebate claiming they can’t identify the fucking fone # I’ve had for the past 6 years !!!

    I’m going right to the store where I bought the phone.

  17. BradyDale says:

    Don’t listen to jadon! this guy is living in La-La land!

    Corporations are making LOTS of money promising rebates and not delivering them. They intentionally make it too hard to get them and LOOK for reasons to deny them.

    I am very reluctant to buy products with rebates offered. For example, Spint has a pretty nice mobile broadband program I’d like to get on, but the price of their products is too high.

    Sure, they have great rebates, but I don’t honestly believe I will ever seen the money.

  18. anthony says:

    i can agree with all the statments about the sprint rebate issues i to had a simmular issue with the rebate return and got a letter stating that my rebate was denied due to the fact that all the information was not received after several calls to the rebate dept. i was able to get it resolved but once again it was their mistake and i ended up having to be the victim of it and delayed in receiving my money i dont think the rebates are worth the hassel they send you through to receive them once again another tactic just to get your money

  19. sbeatty says:

    i to had a prolbum with the rebate-they said they couldn’t find my number-wtf call it than you’ll find out that it is indeed valid. they were the best company around, but they have done so much shit to me and my daughter, now they now have become very dishonest company.

  20. Mzz V says:

    Ive done the mail in rebate deal with sprint twice and both times I’ve received my check within the 8 weeks they stated on thre form. Matter of fact, I cashed my $200 rebate check today! I love sprint! Sucks that you guys are having problems….

  21. bree says:

    Wal-Mart won’t cash my sprint rebate check where can I??

  22. dan says:

    same crap happened to me. bought Evo HTC and mailed in rebate. after waiting 4 weeks, i saw online that my rebate was denied. after calling in, they said “must haven been a mistake.” wondering if they are delaying rebates for a reason…like maybe they are going broke?

  23. Antoinette says:

    Sprint sucks i have been waiting on my rebate for three months everytime i call they tell me thirty days after cursing for a half hour they discovered they had my number worng in the system they said they would have it to me in 15 days i agreed…Its been beyond 15 days now there telling me a additional thirty days is required…HELPPPPPP

  24. chyna says:

    Ive been with sprint since i moved to las vegas 6 years ago an ive done two rebates through them an never had a problem receivin or cashin them ive had a few issues with sprint but i have always had them resolved after calling customer service

  25. James says:

    Sprint does suck but get this. If you do not receive your rebate in a timely fashion, and you are getting the run around, PUT IN A BBB COMPLAINT!

    I’ve fought since January, they sent my check 3 times. It wasn’t until I put in a complaint with the BBB that I got someone “assigned” to me from Sprint to work on my complaint resolution.

    I asked if Sprint runs their own rebate program or if a 3PL provider does it for them and this is the answer I got from and Executive Services Analyst:

    My response to the BBB would be that it is resolved to this point, pending receipt of the rebate check. However, if you want me to wait, that is fine.

    Our rebates are handled by Parago, who is a 3rd party vendor. Sprint is not involved the rebate process.

    Have a good day!!

    Sharon xxxxxxx


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