Get mad and you might just win one

My lackluster start to this year in what I still consider to be my primary occupation, that of a freelance writer, has hit yet another bump in the road after a very unhappy few months with Sprint as my wireless Internet provider.

The problem started when I purchased their so-called “Broadband” aircard only to discover the company didn’t provide Broadband service in my home area. Thus, I was paying almost twice the amount for what a good dialup service (an oxymoron as far as I can tell) would cost yet I was receiving speeds which were slower than or as slow as most dialups.

I decided at some point that, even though I knew I was getting the shaft, I really should deal with the situation so I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau outlining a case of what I considered deceptive trade practices. Although I have not had a lot of luck filing complaints with the “triple Bees” this one got someone’s attention at Sprint.

As a result I ultimately was able to sever my wireless Internet service without having to pay an early termination fee and ended up not paying for the last two months during which I used that service. I should point out that the company asked me to consider giving their service a chance and I ultimately went past their 30-day window when one may avoid an early termination fee for breaking a contract as well as receiving a refund.

The last straw came when I went to pay Sprint what I owed them. The customer service person I talked to said they had not yet received information that I had successfully returned their aircard so I would have to pay the early termination fee until they made sure the card had been returned. I told them in no uncertain terms that they could screw themselves, that if I paid the extra amount I would probably die of old age before I had that amount refunded. Not long after this conversation, I got a letter from Sprint threatening to turn me over to a collection agency. This was after I had offered to pay them.

Luckily, I eventually came across a young lady with Sprint with a modicum of sense who was able to have the amount I owed discharged as paid. I thus ended up having had two months’ of service — albeit crappy service — for free. I would like to thank Sprint for doing the right thing, but this and many other of life’s experiences have left me a wee bit cynical. Okay, a whole hell of a lot cynical.

But there is a lesson here. It is easy to just let these large companies jack you around and it can be frustrating trying to exact justice from corporations who don’t know you, don’t want to know you and just wish the heck you would go away. But sometimes you do win. And it is those times which let you smell the sweet fragrance of success and satisfaction.

In short, if you are getting screwed by a large company and have a legitimate beef, don’t get mad. Well, yes, DO get mad and do something about it. Venting can be mighty therapeutic and just think about what might happen if you win.

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