7OYS helps woman get defective cellphone replaced from Sprint

7 On Your Side's Michael Finney helped a local woman get her defective cellphone replaced from Sprint.
January 21, 2014 3:05:02 PM PST
It was one problem after another. Our viewer's cellphone plan lets her replace a broken phone with a refurbished one. However, she tried several and none of them worked. She was locked in a contract with nowhere to turn, except to 7 On Your Side.

Erin Conner is the director of the Golden Gate Academy, a private grade school in Oakland that is set to reopen next year.

"I work here in isolation, but there's a lot of people to talk to all the time," she said.

Conner is the lone staff member working in a small office with just a laptop and smartphone.

"My cellphone is my primary means of communication with the outside world," Conner said.

So it was a big problem when her cellphone stopped working one day.

"My phone started showing me high voltage warnings and it spontaneously started opening apps and acting really schizophrenic and crazy," she said.

Conner showed us how apps were opening up by themselves until the phone just died.

"I realized my phone battery isn't charging. I can't manage to charge my phone. It's completely dead," she said.

Conner went to her carrier Sprint, which told her to buy a new battery. But that one didn't charge up either.

"Completely dead, gone, no phone, my mother couldn't call me on my birthday," she said.

Technicians later found the charging port had burned out on her Galaxy S2. She had insurance, so Sprint replaced her phone with a refurbished model, but that broke down too.

"I notice that it's having the same issues, the same erratic behavior," she said.

So Sprint gave her a third phone. However, it had even more problems.

"The microphone doesn't work on it. So when someone calls I can hear them talking to me, but they can't hear me speaking to them," she said.

Conner couldn't talk on the phone, couldn't call home, couldn't do business. She asked Sprint for a different model this time.

"You've got a problem with the Galaxy S2 that whoever does your repairs in the refurbishing shop doesn't know how to fix," Conner said.

Sprint said her insurance would only provide a comparable phone and there were no other choices.

"So I said forget it, I'll just have to cancel my Sprint account," she said.

Conner was willing to pay the early termination fee and get a new plan, but she says Sprint wouldn't let her do that either.

"Because they had sent my account to escalation and once it goes to escalation I guess nobody can touch it," she said.

Finally she contacted 7 On Your Side and we contacted Sprint. Within days Sprint came through with an upgraded Galaxy 3S, which works great.

Sprint issued this statement: "We are continuing to work with Ms. Conner to try to reach a satisfactory resolution, but cannot provide details due to our customer privacy policy."

Sprint added: "While we are still investigating the facts, it is contrary to our policies for a Sprint representative to tell a customer they cannot close their account."

Conner is just happy her phone works.

"Just being able to pick up a phone wherever you are and communicate with somebody else means so much," Conner said. "It was wonderful to be able to get my phone service back and I'm confident it never would have happened without ABC on your side."

Conner says she's glad she has been carrying cellphone insurance, which guaranteed a replacement phone that works even if it is refurbished.


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