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Old 12-11-2009, 10:44 PM   #1
Faluzure
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Sprint Store Experience Nightmare

This is what I wrote to dan@sprint.com. If you guys know of any other way to e-mail Sprint (I tried their e-mail form, but my e-mail was too long), let me know.



Dear Mr. Hesse and to others reading this e-mail,

I have been a longtime support & customer of Sprint since July 2000. Despite the ups & downs that Sprint has encountered over the years, I have always felt Sprint is the best cell phone carrier out there. I have always ranted & raved about how great the company and service has been as a whole. However, tonight I am complaining... I'm writing about an utter nightmare experience I just encountered with Sprint and your Sprint stores.

It's the holiday season and I'm sure cell phone sales are booming. Considering I've had my phone for several years now and have been out of contract for almost 2 years, I decided that for this Christmas, I would get a new phone. My girlfriend purchased a gift card from one of your Sprint Stores earlier this week and decided to give it to me early as a Christmas present so that I could get a phone that I wanted at my leisure. Excited, I went to a local Sprint store to look for the HTC Hero and upgrade my cell phone plan. Unfortunately, they didn't have any in stock, which is fine and I went to another store that was roughly 8 miles away.

The store I went to was located at 5360 Hickory Hollow Pkwy, Ste 110, Antioch, TN 37013. The sales representative I dealt with was Said (I don't remember his last name). Despite the fact that I walked in the store 20 minutes after closing time, Said was the most courteous & helpful sales representative I've ever experienced. He worked with me to get my new HTC Hero set up under my account. When time came to pay for the phone, I handed him the gift card. The gift card was a Sprint gift card. It had the Sprint logo on it. He did his best to try & use the gift card, but couldn't use it to pay for my invoice. He went through great lengths to try and figure this out for me. First he called a store associate, who said that they weren't able to process it. Then he called the store that my girlfriend purchased the gift card (1701 Mallory Lane, Suite 150, Brentwood, TN 37027) from who told him that it could only be used at Sprint Corporate stores for phones & accessories. He asked to talk to the manager, thinking it would be ok if I could just use the card to pay for my monthly bill or perhaps get a refund on the gift card, but the manager informed him that it couldn't be used for anything but phone & accessory purchases at Sprint Corporate stores. Essentially, they told him that he and I were out of luck and there was nothing they could do. They told him to just give me back my old phone and to go to a Sprint Corporate store. I'm upset but I really feel bad for Said because he worked so hard to help me out and he doesn't even get credited for a phone purchase. Now I don't know if Sales Reps work on commission, but I do know that sales are tallied. It's not like I was only inquiring about a phone. I was there to purchase one. I was literally there for nearly 2 hours and I ended up wasting his time and mine and now I have no phone to show for it.

I for one, have never seen or heard of a gift card that was restricted to certain stores. Why give customers that option of purchasing a gift card if you are going to restrict where they can use it. They can't even use it online! Secondly, why have a franchisee store be exclusive to Sprint and not honor gift cards? That's like me buying a gift card from McDonald's and only being able to use it at that McDonald's. It's absurd. Your franchisee stores that are exclusive to you sell your own products and even service your own products. If they are "equal", why not give them the same options that your "corporate" stores have. The last time I checked, all Sprint stores (franchisee & corporate) and kiosks say Sprint on them. They don't indicate anywhere that they are franchisee stores. Even your Store Locator on your webpage doesn't distinguish the two clearly. Thirdly, nobody informed my girlfriend at the time of purchase that gift cards were non-refundable and that there were restrictions where it could be used.

So now I have to wait until tomorrow morning to get the phone that I was supposed to have tonight. You may think one day is not that big of a deal, but you don't understand how excited I was to receive this phone. Now it's obvious that all the money will eventually go back to Sprint regardless of where I get this phone. But it's more than that. I now have to decide whether to go back to the store where the gift card was purchased and complain about it, which will might end up that I'll get a free accessory for my troubles OR go to another corporate store altogether. I would rather pull my own teeth than give the store on Mallory Lane my business.

I come to a close with this e-mail and am describing this experience as one of the worst customer service experiences I've ever had in my life. I know that Sprint is trying to aim to improve their customer experiences and hope that you'll take a look at this one very closely.
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Old 12-11-2009, 11:09 PM   #2
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sprint gift cards have always been only been for purchases such as accessories and phones.

unfortunately your gf purchased the gift card at a corporate store, and the rep may or may not have informed her that it could only be used at a corporate location.

my only question is why the store was open 20 minutes past close time?
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Old 12-11-2009, 11:17 PM   #3
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Yeah, the gift cards can only be used at other corp sprint stores. Its like buy a Best Buy Gift card and using it to buy something at Radio Shack. They can sell the same product, but the card can only work at one store, not both.

It doesn't matter if the store you went to ONLY sells Sprint phones, its not a corp store. They cant recoup the money from sprint that was paid to Sprint. Its just a different back office situation. Those employees aren't Sprint employees. They aren't paid by Sprint directly, and the store has its own ways to purchses products and services.

Honestly, its NOT a huge deal.

Last edited by Next Steps; 12-11-2009 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 12-12-2009, 12:19 AM   #4
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I'm slightly confused by this post...what kind of store did he enter that happened to sell Sprint but not actually be a Sprint store? All the "Sprint stores" in my area (well the two that I know of)..all are branded with Sprint signage and the staff all wear Sprint shirts..so I just assume they are indeed a corporate store...

It makes complete sense to me that Sprint gift cards can only be used at Sprint Corporate stores..but what is the difference between a franchised store and corporate store, both in terms of physical appearance and functionality?

*edit: just looked online at Sprint.com's store locator, the franchised stores have "Sprint Store by _______________" in the name...on the locator at least...I guess this is foreign to me because there's only one franchised store in a 20 mile radius of me...
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Last edited by Maximaboy1; 12-12-2009 at 12:23 AM.
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Old 12-12-2009, 12:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Next Steps View Post
Yeah, the gift cards can only be used at other corp sprint stores. Its like buy a Best Buy Gift card and using it to buy something at Radio Shack. They can sell the same product, but the card can only work at one store, not both.

It doesn't matter if the store you went to ONLY sells Sprint phones, its not a corp store. They cant recoup the money from sprint that was paid to Sprint. Its just a different back office situation. Those employees aren't Sprint employees. They aren't paid by Sprint directly, and the store has its own ways to purchses products and services.

Honestly, its NOT a huge deal.
I would have to disagree. I have seen some Sprint stores that were non-corporate that from the outside look like a corporate store. It would be more like buying a Pizza Hut gift card at a corporate store but not being able to use it at a franchise store. Sprint sign outfront and sold nothing but Sprint. How is your typical person supposed to make sense of the situation? A Sprint store should be a Sprint store, regardless if it's corporate or not. If it's going to look like one it should be able to act like one. We understand the difference here but the average joe six pack is not. It cannot be that difficult to be able to let the third party stores use the gift cards, even if they have to call it in. I imagine it's because they don't sell vary many gift cards but it's yet another issues Sprint doesn't need.
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Old 12-12-2009, 12:56 AM   #6
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I would have to disagree. I have seen some Sprint stores that were non-corporate that from the outside look like a corporate store. It would be more like buying a Pizza Hut gift card at a corporate store but not being able to use it at a franchise store. Sprint sign outfront and sold nothing but Sprint. How is your typical person supposed to make sense of the situation? A Sprint store should be a Sprint store, regardless if it's corporate or not. If it's going to look like one it should be able to act like one. We understand the difference here but the average joe six pack is not. It cannot be that difficult to be able to let the third party stores use the gift cards, even if they have to call it in. I imagine it's because they don't sell vary many gift cards but it's yet another issues Sprint doesn't need.
Well, then your beef is with that Authorized Sprint retailer, not Sprint itself. They are presenting themselves like a corp store despite the fact they are not one. The Sprint store who sold the gift card most likely imagined the person who used it would come back to that location. Can't really blame them.
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Old 12-12-2009, 02:47 PM   #7
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I know not everyone reads the rules when they sign up, so, let me give everyone a quick rule of thumb to follow when posting on SU (and generally any forum on the Web): if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all ... and if someone posts something rude, don't respond, REPORT!

Now then, moving this to Rants...

Carry on.
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Old 12-13-2009, 07:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maximaboy1 View Post
I'm slightly confused by this post...what kind of store did he enter that happened to sell Sprint but not actually be a Sprint store? All the "Sprint stores" in my area (well the two that I know of)..all are branded with Sprint signage and the staff all wear Sprint shirts..so I just assume they are indeed a corporate store...

It makes complete sense to me that Sprint gift cards can only be used at Sprint Corporate stores..but what is the difference between a franchised store and corporate store, both in terms of physical appearance and functionality?

*edit: just looked online at Sprint.com's store locator, the franchised stores have "Sprint Store by _______________" in the name...on the locator at least...I guess this is foreign to me because there's only one franchised store in a 20 mile radius of me...
I agree with you that is what it is here in CT. Sprint Logo and you would think it was a SPRINT store I would of done the same thing if I had a gift card..sprint should be sprint no matter what.
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Old 12-13-2009, 07:42 AM   #9
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If they are not a Corp. Store they should have some kind of indication of that so us customers know this and do not make a mistake as above and do not have to go through the hassle and disappointment as he did...Hope you got your phone....Merry Christmas!!
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:38 AM   #10
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www.sprintstorelocator.com this will basically tell you where the corp stores are and which ones are 3rd party retailers. If you take a look at it, it's very easy to see that 3rd party usually out numbers corporate stores by a large margin. customer's have a better chance landing in 3rd party store vs corporate if they just go to a store based on the Sprint sign on the building.
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:43 PM   #11
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OP, did you hear back from Sprint?
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Old 12-15-2009, 06:42 AM   #12
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I bet this 3rd party gets ripped for letting a customer in after closing time more than they do that they have zero ability to use a corporate gift card on their system set-up LOL.
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:52 PM   #13
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My advice: ALWAYS GO TO A CORPORATE STORE. It's the best deal in the end. Trust me I've bought a LOT of phones for a LOT of years.
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Old 12-15-2009, 06:22 PM   #14
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My advice: ALWAYS GO TO A CORPORATE STORE. It's the best deal in the end. Trust me I've bought a LOT of phones for a LOT of years.
I found the corporate stores to be fine but not the cheapest. If anyone asks me where to buy a Sprint phone, BB or radio shack is the answer, only when the phone is on sale.
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Old 12-15-2009, 09:34 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Fubar101 View Post
www.sprintstorelocator.com this will basically tell you where the corp stores are and which ones are 3rd party retailers. If you take a look at it, it's very easy to see that 3rd party usually out numbers corporate stores by a large margin. customer's have a better chance landing in 3rd party store vs corporate if they just go to a store based on the Sprint sign on the building.
So like I said in my previous post, I can tell that a corporate store is one that simply says "Sprint Store" in the title, but how is one supposed to know that when it says "Sprint store by ________" that it is a franchised store? One other difference is that it has a store number listed under "notes"...but that's only because I know to be looking for differences between the a franchised and corporate store.

It's not very clear if you ask me. Quite frankly, had I not read this thread, I wouldn't have even given it a second thought..and I doubt most people who aren't on this forum would....
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