Monday, February 18, 2008

Second Class Action Suit Filed Against Sprint Nextel

It seems that 2008 is not a good year for Sprint Nextel.

A few days ago, the major wireless network was just hit with another class action suit. The first complaint the company received involves customers accusing the network of deceiving customers by illegally extending their wireless contracts after they made minor changes to their service. This time, Sprint Nextel is being accused of misleading consumers by improperly charging roaming fees in connection with two “fair and flexible” plans.

Well, Sprint is not the only carrier that has been hit with class action suits this year. A few months ago,
Verizon Wireless was sued for charging unjust early termination fees while T-Mobile was accused charging customers for receiving unwanted text messages. Consumer Rights groups and other activists have been on the offensive to condemn some of the less consumer-friendly policies of wireless contracts.

However, the year has been very tough for Sprint Nextel. The major adjustments began last year when the company appointed
Dan Hesse as the new CEO to curb the significant subscriber losses that has hit the company. The uncertainty about the WiMAX plans also brought negative effects to the company and decreased its stock value. There were also rumors of a lay-off involving thousands of employees as a result of the company trying to keep up with their rivals.

Last week, Sprint Nextel also announced that
they have decided to consolidate the company's operational headquarters and corporate headquarters at its Overland Park, Kan., campus. They are abandoning their traditional campus in Reston, Va. The reasons for this decision involves
improving operational performance, cutting travel expenses and optimizing the real estate assets of the company.

Anyway, the point is that Sprint Nextel does not really want to hit more bumps as the company is trying to recover from its losses suffered at the final quarter of last year. The class action suits that they are facing will slow them down. Let's take a look at some of the details of this new lawsuit.

Here is a statement from
the 20-page suit filed in the U.S. district court in Charlotte, N.C.
“All roaming fees assessed to [Myra] Johnson were wrongful because defendant Sprint did not know and/or failed to ascertain her physical location at the time the calls were place or received to determine whether roaming charges could be properly assessed against her, which is a breach of the terms of the contract,”
And hereis the Roaming statement in Sprint Nextel's wireless contract,
"Roaming" typically refers to coverage on another carrier's network that we make available to you based on our agreements with other carriers. These agreements may change from time to time and roaming coverage is subject to change. Your ability to receive roaming coverage depends on the radio transmissions your Device can pick up. You can pick up roaming coverage both within and outside our network coverage areas. Your Device will generally indicate when you're roaming. Depending on your Services, separate charges or limits on the amount of minutes used while roaming may apply. Certain Services may not be available or work the same when roaming (including data Services, voicemail, call waiting, etc.).
However, the allegations against Sprint is related to their billing process. The complaints is on the company's ability to determine the location of the caller and thus they may be charging them unfairly. The roaming policy does state that roaming coverage may be picked up even within the network so customers have to be wary when they make roaming calls.

When asked to comment about this latest class action suit, Sprint Nextel representatives responded that, “We’re still reviewing the complaint, so we can’t comment on the specific claims. We take great care to ensure that our customers understand the scope of service offered through their plans with Sprint.”

I hope Sprint can sort out these suits that were filed against them. they have been suffering a lot of losses and they can ill afford any wireless contract disputes or any major problems.

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