Sprint Not Honoring 14 Day Return Policy?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by itzcoolz, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. itzcoolz, Oct 28, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011

    itzcoolz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    #1
    Update (10/31): my story is featured on consumerist.com! Link. See the story in the article for more updated details (which are also chronicled chronologically in this thread).

    Original post below:

    I recently ordered an iPhone 4S that arrived on 10/14 (launch date of the iPhone 4S). I activated it after work, and had decided to return it. i was planning on returning it yesterday (10/27), but ended up staying late at work (returns number and store closes at 9PM PST).

    I called today (10/28) at 5PM, and was told everything was fine, but that I would need to go to a Sprint store to return it. Then, I went to an official Sprint store at 7PM to return it, where I was told to call Sprint and request a "return kit."

    Then, I went home and called Sprint to request the return kit, when I was told that the 14 day Satisfaction Policy starts the day it was activated (10/10!, before i shipped it). Then, I was told that the 14 day policy begins on the day it ships out, which was (10/12). I argued this, and then was told that it includes the day of activation (10/14), making the 14 day window end on 10/27.

    While I was arguing my case, the manager had the audacity to tell me that Sprint would be willing to buy back the phone at a discounted rate. He also told me that I shouldn't have waited until the last minute. I somewhat understand, but i genuinely stayed late at work (i'm a physician working in the Intensive Care Unit. no joke), and isn't that the downside to shortening a return policy from 30 to 14 days?

    While I was speaking, the phone lost signal (After 1 hour of solid signal), and then the number was no longer active as it was after hours. I'm quite upset. It's somewhat reasonable that perhaps the 14 days included the first day of activation (which is unclear on the official terms page), but am still frustrated that I was given the runaround, and then not offered any sort of grace, despite a recent change from 30 to 14 day return policy.

    any idea what i can do to avoid the $350 ETF?
     
  2. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #2
    Well he was right, you shouldn't have waited until the last minute.
    I'd go at least 3-4 days earlier and not exactly last day possible.
    Now you are past the 14 day return period and you might be out of luck.
    I'd call customer service and see if they will do anything for you.
    If not you can try selling it to make up for the ETF.
     
  3. rustyosaurus macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    #3
    okay, i just went through this a few hours ago. i pre-ordered on the 7th, it was delivered to my house on the 14th and i didn't activate it until the 22nd. i was on vacation in florida and even though i tried to have it shipped there, they wouldn't or couldn't and they also told me they couldn't cancel the order. then i decided to cancel my sprint account and switch to ATT but i really wanted to hang on to my phone until the 14th activation day (11/4) just in case i changed my mind.

    i had heard stories of people having problems so i called a few times and did a few chats. i definitely suggest the chats because then they email it to you and you have a record. on each of the phone calls and chats i was told different information from 14 days from date of purchase to 14 days to from date of activation - but they had activation as the 10th, not the 22nd. i would correct them each time and ask, how can i have used the phone for 14 days when i didn't even activate it until the 22nd or even have it delivered until the 14th? they would always end up agreeing with me.

    even though i had been assured i had until 11/4, i started to get nervous and also fed up with sprint because the whole thing has been such a mess - spent almost 2 hours on chat one night for them to finally tell me they couldn't figure out when i activated the phone and that i needed to call customer care.

    so i went in today to return it. just like i thought, they totally tried to screw me over. had it down as activation date of 10/10. after arguing with them, they said they would return it but they put a note in there that i was beyond the period. more arguing from me. they assured me the note was just to cover themselves so they wouldn't get in trouble for accepting it back late but then i realized that when they calculate my EFT they will see the note that it was late and charge me the full EFT. i asked about this and was told i had 14 days from the date of purchase to cancel my upgrade and avoid the EFT. i went ballistic then. i'm like - your return policy says i have 14 days to try the phone after activation. more arguing. they wouldn't budge - kept saying the computer said activation was the 10th and there was nothing they could do. i tried to escalate and she said i was already talking to the manager. refused to give me any contact information to escalate. they directed me to call customer care which i think we all know is a cluster F.

    at that point i said this isn't going to get resolved so i just said - fine, return the phone. then they asked for the purchasing credit card, which of course i didn't bring with me. sigh. so i went home to get it and on my way back decided to drive 30 minutes further to the sprint campus (i live in kansas city) and go to the sprint store there. what a difference!

    got an awesome guy who was totally understanding. i showed him the email sprint sent me when i activated on the 22nd, i forwarded him both chats where the reps said i could return it 14 days after activation, he went to his manager and showed it all to him, came back and fixed it all for me.

    he made a point of telling how screwed up it was that the other store said activation occurred on the 10th. and i hadn't heard this - he said the system will attach the phone to your account when it is shipped in case it gets stolen but that some reps think that is the activation date and they actually have to look further (or on another screen) to see the real activation date. then said we have a note in your account that your package wasn't delivered by UPS until 5pm on the 14th, therefore at the very least you have until today, the 28. i know some people are being turned away on the 14th day but 14, 24 hour days really would come out to the 28th - i don't care what Sprint says.

    then, instead of telling me to call customer care, he called the secret sprint sales rep customer care number and handed it all for me, making sure i wouldn't be charged EFT.

    sorry for the very long response but moral of the story is, use the chat function to document, bring your documentation with you, and if all else fails, escalate or try another store. try not to get too angry (like i almost did).

    i think there is an executive communications email somewhere that some people have used. you might try that.

    perhaps i'll try sprint again someday - when their data speeds improve - and this from an 11 year customer.

    EDIT: also, i ordered online, but customer care told me i could return it to a corporate store (not 3rd party). you should be able to do that too.
     
  4. farmermac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Location:
    Iowa
    #4
    I have a friend who's on sprint and your story isn't atypical. Basically their cs sucks and they don't give a ****.
    You are in your right to return the phone on the last day. No bs about returning 3-5 days early. Att would have taken it back no problem.

    People bitch about AT&T all the time but their cs doesn't play games.
     
  5. ijohnbro macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    #5
    I remember back in june of 2010 I got the Evo 4G and I end up returning the phone because I didn't like it. I returned it a good 4 days before the return period was up. Sprint still tried charging me and got collections after me. I fought it and I was pissed. One of the big shots at Sprint corporate finally called me about my BBB complaint against them. It was hell to get out of that damn contract, but I did. Sprint said one of the salesman working at the Sprint store must not of took you off the account and cancelled. What a bunch of hogwash
     
  6. fattire357 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    #6
    This is why a 14day return policy is absurd. It's totally reasonable to not have time to visit the Sprint store. It usually takes a week to figure out if you like it.. then another week to get around/find time to return it haha

    sorry to hear that. hopefully you aren't a resident/fellow/in 6 digit loans and can take a lame ETF hit
     
  7. jenn571 macrumors newbie

    jenn571

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    #7
    Big red plays this game too. I've read where they start your "14 days" when you order the phone online or when they ship it out to you or when they deliver the phone or (last but not least) when you activate the phone. The last phone I got with them I just made sure to call them soon after I activated my phone to see when my 14 days were up. They told me it started when they shipped my phone, fine, at least I had "so" amount of days left to test the phone. When I went in to exchange the phone, they told me it was when I activated the phone which gave me a few more days to decide on the phone. I really wish they were more clear about this. Hope you can get your phone/Sprint issue resolved OP.
     
  8. Stealthipad macrumors 68040

    Stealthipad

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    #8
    And people complain about AT&T! No one I know on Sprint is happy.:apple:
     
  9. bidwalj macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    #9
    The store gave you the run around too. I had the same thing happen to me. On sprints website, it states you can return it to an official sprint store. Well the store closest to us refused, said he couldn't refund the tax and wold charge me a restock fee on closed sealed phones ( decided to not go with sprint but the preorder had already shipped). I then called cs and they mentioned I HAD to return it at a corp store and they couldnt do it otherwise. I told of how the store refused and they said go to different store. I had to go to a different store and that handled the refund. I refuse to go to sprint ever again.
     
  10. Mhotep macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    #10
    Almost same situation. Was with Sprint two years, decided to switch to Verizon. I had already preordered the Sprint Iphones. The other day on day 13 called Sprint to return phones, actually never opened them, to return. Told same info. Called the next day on day 14 finally got them to see if it correctly, but told I have to go to Sprint store which is an hour away to return. Will do that this evening. Hopefully they will take back. The teo lines have already been ported over to Verizon. They were supposed to note my account.
     
  11. ijohnbro macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    #11
    Ever talked to Sprints customer service on the phone?? I don't know if I talked to someone from a different department, but they barely spoke english and I could hear a horrible echo on their end, and they had a bad habit of hanging up on customers unless you totally kissed their behinds?? Any of this sound familiar to you?
     
  12. itzcoolz thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    #12
    wow. it gets worse. so i called back again today, with the aim of reasonably asking for some grace as the 14 day return policy is somewhat vague. It literally just says:

    "We love our products and services, and we think you will too. With the Sprint Satisfaction Guarantee, you can try your new product for 14 days. If you aren't 100% satisfied with your product you can bring it back to your original place of purchase within 14 days of activation and Sprint will:"

    I repeatedly escalated and tried to explain my rationale:
    1) I was given the run around yesterday with incorrect information (14 days started on 10/10, then 10/12. Also that i needed to return it to a store, where the store told me to return it via telephone)
    2) The 14 day return policy is somewhat soft and does not explicitly mention that the 1st day ends the midnight after you receive it. My argument was: "if i gave you a pen right now and said you had one day, you would think you had 24 hours. you wouldn't give it back to me later that day." So in the end, i was returning the phone within 14 twenty-four hour periods.

    Despite that, they repeatedly stone-walled me. Later, they told me that I could try to convince the store to accept the return. So i told them that the STORE had already told me that they don't accept returns of online orders. I literally walked into the store WHILE talking on the phone with the customer service rep and handed the Sprint Store Employee the phone, who confirmed with me that management had instructed him to not accept online store returns.

    So after confirming that the store and the telephone support lines were clearly contradicting each other, the customer service rep still told me it didn't matter, because I was trying to return the phone on the 15th day.

    i am never dealing with sprint again, and I will not recommend them to anybody.
     
  13. rustyosaurus macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    #13
    have you posted your story on the sprint forums? there are lots of reps there that patrol the boards. maybe one of them could do something for you? i imagine there are notes in your account that you tried to return the phone yesterday.

    after that, file a claim with the better business bureau. also start trying to contact upper levels of management.

    you may just feel like giving up at this point, but if you keep at it, i think there's a fair chance it could get resolved.

    EDIT: itzcoolz - send me a PM with your number and i'll ask the guy who helped me if he can help you out. not sure if he'll be able to do anything since i doubt he is in your location, but it might be worth a try.
     
  14. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #14
    Welcome to Sprint customer service.
    What a joke.
     
  15. dmusicman385 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Location:
    New York
    #15
    I have never had an issue with Customer Service with Sprint.

    Can I ask why you are returning it? Is it the Sprint Service or you just do not like the phone?
     
  16. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #16
    I thought the iPhone return policy was 30 days? I know that's the case with both AT&T and Verizon.
     
  17. rustyosaurus macrumors regular

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    Jun 13, 2009
    #17
    Sprint changed their return policy in September. It used to be 30 days and now it is 14 days. For all phones.
     
  18. jeffe macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    #18
    I'm actually surprised by this as it does not sound like sprint customer service at all to me.

    I've used sprints return policy before, waited to the last day, and never had a problem. Where are you located? I've been with Sprint a few years now since customer service has been a priority and have always been impressed..they even call every once in a while to check in and see how I'm doing and if I have any service complaints.
     
  19. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Location:
    NYC
    #19
    Another reason not to go Sprint it would seem… :(
     
  20. siurpeeman macrumors 603

    siurpeeman

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    Location:
    the OC
    #20
    it's thirty days at the apple store. Verizon changed their return policy to 14 days early this year.
     
  21. rustyosaurus macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    #21
    i loved sprint - i'm a little disenchanted now. but i've been with them for many many years. the whole "we're going to activate the phone when it ships" and then you have 14 days (not the previous 30) to from that day to return it seems almost fraudulent to me.

    lots of sprint people have reported that they have been told by reps or turned away at the store because they actually had to return it by the 13th day, not the 14th.

    it almost feels like they are doing whatever they can to lock in this first batch of iPhone people to their two year contracts - maybe to then give them time to work on the network? they really aren't in the best position right now financially.

    or who knows, maybe its just the typical no one really know what they are doing.

    ----------

    when i got my ATT iPhone at the apple store earlier this week i was told i had 14 days to return it, but i have 30 days to try out the ATT service before canceling - which, this seems weird to me, but whatever.
     
  22. siurpeeman macrumors 603

    siurpeeman

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    the OC
    #22
    check your receipt. I bought my 4s a week ago, and the return date printed is November 22nd. it's weird that your iPhone return date wouldn't be 30 days if it was purchased at an apple store.
     
  23. AndrewR23 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #23
    Wow...If that was me...I would have just cancelled my contract right then and there in person.
     
  24. rustyosaurus macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    #24
    You're right! I didn't even think to check my receipt - I just went by what the apple guy told me. Weird - they are usually pretty on top of stuff like this. Maybe he was new . . .

    Now I'm happy . . .
     
  25. itzcoolz thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    #25
    the Sprint Service coverage in San Diego (where I am) is fairly good. It was equivalent to my coverage with AT&T, although Sprint had better service in one particular part of my work. I felt that the data speeds were slightly slower, and in the end, I didn't want to leave my unlimited data plan with AT&T.

    I had nothing particularly against Sprint until i actually tried to return the phone. Now, I will have no mercy in directing people away from their direction as my customer service experience in them was easily the worst i've ever had in my life. My last day off of work before today was 10/17 (80 hour work weeks as a medical resident), and I literally spent 6 hours (and 2 separate trips to the Sprint store) of my first day off in nearly 2 weeks arguing with Sprint, and in the end, i'm still stuck with a $350 early termination fee.
     

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