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Sprint billing error nearly cost former customer his credit

The dispute was over a phone he turned in
Posted: 5:37 PM, Jul 12, 2016
Updated: 2016-07-12 17:45:04-04

When a Pinellas County man discovered a major mistake on his cellphone bill, he called the company for help like anyone would do. But this customer says his carrier did something that threatened his credit, so he made a call for action.

Ward Houfek spent close to three months trying to fix it on his own before the company's mistake nearly left a permanent mark on his credit.

Houfek was loyal Sprint customer for nearly two decades then a lower rate lured him to another carrier. Houfek says he turned in the phone and Sprint offered a $360 credit. But a month later Sprint sent their former customer a bill for over $200.

He started with customer service, who could not tell Houfek if the phone had been turned in by the store. Houfek traveled to the store where he dropped off the phone but was told the manager had been out sick and had not been able to ship the phone to the address where Sprint reports inventory.

Another month went by and Sprint sent another bill but this one was followed by an email that threatened to report the amount to a collection agency and therefore the credit bureaus.

Scared for his credit, Houfek paid the amount due, then he made a call for action. After reading his email we contacted Sprint. They reached out to this former customer in days and explained they’d located the phone and credited his account.

Less than a week later Houfek received a check from Sprint for $385. In an email, Sprit explained to us: “We were able to confirm that the device was returned. We have credited the customer's account and are working to get this customer a refund.”

Houfek had other options. He could have filed a case with Pinellas County Consumer Protection or the Better Business Bureau. Anytime your credit is threatened in error contact all three credit bureaus and file a dispute.