Bad, really bad customer service at Sprint in Kennewick. I purchased a Palm Pre 30 days ago at 10:30am on June 6th. Within a week I concluded the phone was bad and today I was refused a return by Kennewick Sprint's manager!   My story... [caption id="attachment_3677" align="alignright" width="277" caption="Palm Pre Kennewick Sprint Unhappy Customer"]Palm Pre Kennewick Sprint Unhappy Customer[/caption] I thought I would give the phone a fair shot under Sprint of Kennewick's "30-day customer satisfaction guarantee" and made a note to myself to call Kennewick Sprint on Friday, July 3rd, three days before my 30-day trial would expire. I made several calls to the store on Friday the 3rd with no answer (see attached screenshot of phone record) and concluded the store was closed for the July 4th holiday. We were headed out of town for the July 4th holiday on Friday evening and thought I would simply do the return today (Monday, July 6th) at 9:00am. Wrong! The manager refused to except my return! She stated I was past the "30 days!" At 9:00am this morning I explained to the manager I still had 1.5 hours to go on the guarantee, and also explained to her I tried calling several times on Friday the 3rd! She dug her heels in. While in the store, the manager had me call "Sprint Retention." Over the phone, the operator told me the return is the store's decision. I confronted the manager again, and the manager refused my return, again. When I returned home, I reread the "Sprint 30-Day Risk-Free Guarantee," and the guarantee states I have "30 days" to return my phone. June 6th at 10:30am to July 6th at 9:00am is 29 days, 22.5 hours. Did someone add an extra day to June? Did I miss that? Customer Service At It's Worse What an incredibly stupid decision and poor customer service. I'm left with a phone I do not want, and Sprint of Kennewick has a black eye as I'm sure when someone searches Google for "˜kennewick sprint' this blog entry will show up. I wonder how many sales Sprint will lose as a result of their decision to save a few bucks at the expense of an unhappy customer (I guess 6 years and a family plan of 4 phones doesn't amount to much these days). Friends Do Not Let Friends Buy A Palm Pre! Regarding the Palm Pre. Do not buy it! Come to find out, the phone is still in the beta testing stage.  Glitches continue to surface in the Palm Pre software.  Plus, the phone is very cheaply built. If you buy this phone, insurance is a must as the phone will not last. 30 days into ownership, the slide is already not sliding properly. Last but not least, for those of us who opted for a Palm Pre to sync with our Palm software, forget it. After a one time synchronization, there is no syncing to the Palm desktop software. What is even worse, there is no way to enter contact info into the phone except hunt and pecking the 1inch x 2inch keyboard. Yikes! The Takeaway If you are a Sprint customer and bound by the contract, you are stuck but beware and watch your backside. If you are not a Sprint customer and straddling the fence on what provider to use, do not use Sprint of Kennewick Washington. Lastly, unless you are happy with a phone in the beta stage, only need the phone for texting, and are happy with the 20ish apps (compare to iPhone's several thousand apps), then my advice is not purchase the Palm Pre. Sadly, even if I was out of warranty (and I am not), Kennewick Sprint could have gone the high road and chose to honor the wishes of a paying customer.  Personally, we've had several service businesses over the past 20+ years,- we've always put the customer's needs over the dictates of a contract whenever possible.  In this case, in my opinion Kennewick Sprint was (and is) under obligation to honor their guarantee. Posted by Colleen Lane on
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I saw this on Twitter. Apparently this kind of bad service has gone uncontested. Until now a person had no recourse, but with the advent of social media, these kinds of behaviors can be exposed. Thanks for posting this.

Here’s hoping Sprint Kennewick will come to their senses before this thing becomes a monster.

Posted by Jerry on Thursday, July 9th, 2009 at 5:38am

Looking for Sprint's website and searched 'Kennewick Sprint.' Found this article instead.

Unbelievable poor service. I cannot believe they did not honor their guarantee, especially given you had a few hours left AND you produced evidence you tried contacting their store days before the guarantee was to expire.

I guess Sprint truly does not care. By now, I would imagine someone has told them about this story made public.

Posted by Palm Pre on Thursday, July 9th, 2009 at 5:42am

I just wanted to say I read your article and I understand where you are coming from, but if you count from the day you bought it to the day you went to return it, it was in fact 31 days. I pulled it up on my calendar and counted it several times, and if you knew within the first week you didn't like it, you should have returned it long before then to prevent this from happening. Further more, I am sure the store's manager is just doing what she is told from her boss, as I'm sure your employees give you the same respect.

Posted by Chillaxin on Thursday, July 9th, 2009 at 5:50am


<strong>Are you a Kennewick Sprint employee? Sounds like it.</strong> For your benefit, and anyone else reading this article, I'll respond to your comment by quoting you then offering a more detailed explanation.

<em>"...if you count from the day you bought it to the day you went to return it..."</em>

I did count the days. June 6th at 10:26am (per my Sprint receipt) to July 6th at 9:00am (my wife and I were at the store when they opened at 9:00am) is 29 days, 22.5 hours. June has 30 days! <strong>Besides, we called several times on Friday, June 3rd.</strong>

<em>"...if you knew within the first week you didn’t like it, you should have returned it..."</em>

Perhaps you need to read my story a bit more carefully. I stated I would give the phone a "fair shot." Initially, my main beef was the phone would not sync with my Palm software (this is a Palm phone, right?). I thought perhaps this would get corrected by Sprint or Palm, but nothing has been corrected. Over the weeks following this first observation, several other problematic issues became evident with the phone.

<em>"...I am sure the store's manager is just doing what she is told from her boss..."</em>

Uh, she <strong>IS</strong> the boss, as she <strong>IS</strong> the store manager. Again, re-read the article Chillaxin. In my article I mentioned this store manager had me call <em>Sprint Retention</em> while I was in the Kennewick Sprint store. The <em>Retention</em> operator told me the decision to accept the phone return is the manager's decision. I confronted her with this and she still refused my return.

Posted by Joe &#38; Colleen on Thursday, July 9th, 2009 at 6:05am

I tried to warn you about the lousy Sprint service in this area, I to was with Sprint for many years but after living here 3 years and having bad service &amp; little or know support, when my 2 year contract ran out I couldn't wait to drop them.

I'm now with ATT &amp; an IPhone and I am reasonably happy with the service &amp; customer support ...

Good Luck

Posted by Jon Jeter on Sunday, July 12th, 2009 at 5:30pm

Hey just stumbled across this article looking for stuff on the Pre. Interesting article very well articulated looks like you have all your facts in order. I've been a Sprint customer for 13 years and I like the company overall. Although I've had many problems with that Sprint Store in the past but most of the time they are great, the problems I usually have are with the over the phone customer service, witch can be frustrating. I just got the Pre and I love it, its taking me a while to learn but I think that you have just saved yourself by waiting until the last minute. I had a similar experience at Best Buy and I didn't take a $960 Blue ray player back until the last day and it snowed badly the night before and I couldn't make it. When I came in the next day they wouldn't allow me to return it and I ranted and raved about it but it was to no use just made me look pretty stupid then months later it became the standard for High Definition not HD versions. I was wrong for taking it back so late, but still I felt it was their fault that I sat on it for 30 days. I have noticed that many small situations in life are just a microcosm for societies problems. McDonald's hot coffee burning, the failed law suit for people saying that McDonald's made them overweight, people signing up for house loans not reading the fine print or being able to afford it, the overall credit crisis, diet fads come and go but America just gets fatter, people want big trucks, SUVs even though fuel prices are increasing. It just tells me that people don't want to take responsibility for their actions, if we all did maybe we wouldn't be in our current situations, people would take care of themselves and not be looking for government help/bailouts/stimulus checks or company help. Look I'm all for complaining about bad customer service when they disrespect customers or not have enough people to help the people that give them money but it doesn't sound like from your article that it is all that bad, besides them not answering the phone. I called them the other day to see if my sons replacement phone was in and no one answered I called back 3 times still no answer so I decided to stop by and check em out but I needed to see what time they closed so I pressed the button on the automated system to listen to their hours. It was B. S. that a company as big as Sprint didn't have someone just to answer their phone calls but then on the way over their I had to call Charter for my internet 2 times and both times got an automated system. Called At&amp;T for my wife's phone and got an automated system, all of these were local offices. Just sayen that I think that this phone is out of this world. After Sprint made me really mad I decided to keep my sprint until I got another carrier. When the original iphone came out my wife and I were stuck in that long line at the AT&amp;T store we got the best phone in wireless to date, this was like no other phone then i lost it at a trade show, no insurance, tried to plea with AT&amp;T to get me a deal on a new one or even let me renew my contract for one even at a discount and they said no. I tried getting the phone that would be the iphone killer, Palm 700p, then back to sprint with the Samsung Instinct then to the Pre...lotus based OS. Look at some of the other pages that come up when you search for the Pre its tight! Btw one of those 20+ apps has a syncing ability on your computer via wifi that works great for itunes and outlook. Why would you use palm desktop manager anyway, little dated. The phone will have tons of updates to fix bugs, no other phones have that ability, the app store is waiting on developers to make apps, plus iphone home brew apps are the best anyway and most of the best ones for the pre are home brew. Anyway I'm sorry to hear that you had a bad experience it always sucks when that happens and it brings out the worst in people on booth sides but I'm sure that you will like the phone in the end. Take what you want from my article and I hope that you have a different outlook on the Pre.

Posted by Jake Tomas on Monday, July 13th, 2009 at 9:26pm

I knew after opening the box and picking up the device that it was cheep and poorly made.

I tried to work with the phone for a week before I knew it was pointless. It is a shame that they did not take the device back.

More important, the Retention department is there to try and keep you. If you remain calm, dont yell, dont cuss, chances are they would have found away to take it back even if it was just for replacement.

Posted by Robert Winslow on Tuesday, July 14th, 2009 at 8:54am

This is free of speech. I don't understand bad comments. The people read the story and decide themselves. I am a great fan of Palm Pre and see such negative customer experiences as a nice thing for increasing overall service quality.

Posted by Palm Pre Case Reviews on Tuesday, July 14th, 2009 at 10:37am

Too bad Sprint Kennewick took the stand they did. I was looking for the store location of the Kennewick Sprint store (I Googled <em>'kennewick sprint store location'</em>) and found this critique. Makes me reconsider my options.

Posted by Bummer News on Tuesday, July 14th, 2009 at 11:34am

thanks for the info on the new pre. i was actually going to purchase one but i figured they would have glitches in the beginnnig models. thanks for the update

Posted by Jeff Ellis on Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 at 10:54am

I have analytics set up to monitor traffic to this blog. It's amazing the number of phrases folks are using to find this post, and the huge amount of traffic this blog entry is receiving. This blog entry may very well be my most trafficked (read) blog entry!

By now, the Kennewick Sprint store has got to know about this story. The fact they have not tried to contact me to make things right is a testimony to the customer service one can expect at the Kennewick store. Perhaps other Sprint stores as well?

Btw, I continue to have issues with my Palm Pre. :(

Posted by Joe &#38; Colleen on Thursday, July 23rd, 2009 at 7:07am

Joe &amp; Colleen:

I bought the Blackberry 8830 as US Cellular is the carrier of choice at White Pass. My spouse has a Windows Smart Phone that does not appear to synch with anything "Windows" related.

I had a regular Palm that I had wanted to update but, again, it did not appear that Old Palm was New Palm compatible.

If you have issues with your cell carrier, one way to seek relief is to write up and send the scenario to the respective states' attorney general's office, i.e., WA State Attorney General's Office. They have a consumer advocacy department that seeks to resolve these types of issues.

Posted by John Haworth on Sunday, July 26th, 2009 at 7:07am

Thanks for commenting John. Sending something (perhaps this blog entry) to the WA State Attorney General’s Office might be an option. Thanks for the tip. :)

Posted by Joe &#38; Colleen on Sunday, July 26th, 2009 at 2:27pm

Phone companies showed up as the top reason to complain to the Attorney General's office.<br />
<br />
<a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"></a><br />
<br />
Below is the link to their complaint site:<br />
<br />
<a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"></a>

Posted by Me! on Monday, July 27th, 2009 at 7:25am I'm looking for my "can of whoopass." Thanks for the heads up.

Posted by Beverly Henson on Friday, July 31st, 2009 at 7:10am

<p align="left"><strong>Here ya go Beverly...</strong></p>
<p align="center"><img src="" alt="Can Of WhoopAss!" width="204" height="300" /></p>
<p align="center"><strong>:-)</strong></p>

Posted by Joe &#38; Colleen on Saturday, August 1st, 2009 at 12:09pm

I bought the Palm Pre on Monday night and it was broken on Tuesday. Went to Sprint store Wednesday morning and they refused to replace a new one. They insisted that I physically damaged the phone. Go figure how well built is this phone? Customer Service at the Sprint Store is absolutely pathetic.

Posted by Eliza on Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 at 7:47am

I am so glad that this is posted. I don't waste my money on the lastest and greatest phones because of situations like this. Not faulting anyone, but I just refuse to give Sprint my money behind a useless phone!! I too am a Sprint customer and have been for 8 years. I was their biggest advocate and fan because while everyone was complaining about dropped calls years ago, I never experienced that. All of the upgrades I got were free and were good Samsung phones......that it until I upgraded to the RANT last October. I dealt with the issues thinking that an "update" would fix the problems, but it never happened. I won't get into the nightmare that occured while I was getting the phone activated and porting in a relative for the second to keep the story short, I ended up switching the phone out 3 times for the same issues, getting updates, calling tech support, writing the corporate office, just to have them tell me the same thing....Call Retention. Retention says it's up to the store manager because they can't physically see the phone to swap you into a new device. I went to one store and they acted as if I was in there for my health and gave me the run around. I called corporate again (I saved their number) and they suggested that I go to another store. I did. I was in there for 3 hours!!!!!! I don't even wait at the doctor's office that long! The store manager hesitated for like 20 minutes with the tech before he finally decided to put me in a cheaper phone and I told him no, I wanted one equivalent to the one I had, then he wanted to try and get me to go into a Blackberry curve and pay "just $50" excuse me??!! I finally got into the Samsuck Exclaim and it's okay, but the screen doesn't flip back to portrait.

Any who...this is exactly why they are loosing me.

Posted by NolaHou on Wednesday, August 19th, 2009 at 1:26pm

Thanks for chiming in NolaHou. :)

Things around here are going from bad to worse! Colleen purchased the Palm Pre when I did and had reasonably good luck with it. However, this week her Palm Pre went down (haven't we addressed how cheap this phone is previously) and used her insurance to return it. Come to find out, the insurance deductible is now $100 (up from $50)! Can we expect to pay $100 to use this phone every 2.5 months if the phone breaks down every 2.5 months? Yikes! What made things worse is the supposed <i>2-minute</i> setup and transfer of data from the broken Palm Pre to the new Palm Pre took the better part of the morning. Thanks Sprint and Palm Pre! :(

Posted by Joe &amp; Colleen on Thursday, August 20th, 2009 at 5:56pm

I myself just bought a phone in August 18, 2008. I upgraded my phone with a new 2year contract and it was such a hassle just to get the Samsung Rant. It took them about a week to correct my upgrade elgibility and get me my phone. Now i have had it about a Month and it turned out to be defected phone. I have tried for 2weeks again to get my phone replaced because it has been with in my 30days. I have been sent back and forth from store to call center reps. I am still with out a phone and i continue to pay my bill. I called today to customer service for a tracking number on my device and what another mess. I just cant see why sprint can not work with store locations and reps correctly. I tracked my phone mailed to an unknown address. I then call the customer service and a rep did says yes ma'am the phone was mailed to the unknown address. I then spoke to a supervisor and was told i don't know how they got the unknown address but the phone has now been mailed to the store. So once again i am with out a phone and can not cancel my contract because it has been past my 30days. I am so willing to pay my 500.00 deposit with a competitor who can provide better service.

Posted by Priscilla on Monday, September 28th, 2009 at 7:19pm

I too have a Sprint Palm Pre, and have absolutely loved it. I have heard that there are some bad ones sent out by Sprint, I felt that it is a bit cheaply made, but I have dropped it a few times, and I have owned my since August of 2009. Like all smart phones, out there and I have had a few of them, most of the errors that come up, and if you read blogs out there and understand that things happen, most errors are buyer/owner operator fault. Most people do not know that sometimes by opening the back of the phone, taking out the battery resets the phone, it doesnt take brain cell one to figure this out, or try GOOGLE for some of your answers. To pre-emptively squash said bloggers notion that I work at a Sprint store, I do not, I just happen to be a bit more informed with common sense than some other posters here, as for if you KNEW the phone was bad, within days, why not take it back? Also if you purchased it at a Corporate Sprint Store, which the Kennewick location is, you also have the option to take it to another Corporate Sprint Store as they are not a franchised Third Party Dealer and must honor the 30 Day exchange. Also, my question again is why wait till the 23rd hour? It is just stupid to wait and give them any reason to not want to help you. Also as far as things go, Sprint will do what they call an "Advanced Exchange" for customers with the "total equipment protection plan" this is a free service that allows customers with Software related issues to get a "free refurbished or new like condition phone" for free. But if the phone is found to be defective ie it was dropped, water damage etc, Sprint will charge you up to $300 for this phone they sent you. Also, TEP the insurance is still a great way to go, I have used it for times I dropped my phone in the water while fishing and it was completely fried. Anyway, sounds to me like you folks had a bad experience and then just took it lying down and didn't completely educate yourselves on what you can do. As far as things go, the Palm Pre was awarded one of the top ten most innovating products to hit the market for 2009. Wow, and this phone sucks?

Posted by Bill on Thursday, April 1st, 2010 at 8:42am

palm pre is a piece of junk too complicated to work, and sprint unwilling to trade out after spending $400.00 on blackberry 8330 less than a year ago then $257.00 on palm pre still dont have a phone that i can use. Sprint very unwilling to compensate and give me a leeser phone without having to pay another $200. to $300.00 absusd. This is NOT good customer service.

Posted by robin sidbury on Saturday, April 10th, 2010 at 9:22am

I am going to have to agree. Sprint has poor customer service. My ex went into the store and by knowing my the name of my elementary school he printed off my call log history. RIGHT THERE IN THE STORE WITH THIER HELP. As you can imagine I was furious when my friends and family members called me saying that he was calling them asking questions about me. I apologized to all of them and the next day I went into the sprint store located here in Kennewick. A young lady helped me and said that she was unable to access my account. Funny how they could do it a day before for someone who didnt even know my pin number and was not on my account. I left the buliding and called sprint to have my info changed and requested that no one but me can have any kind of access to my account but me. Come to find out the same person walked into the Kennewick store and recieved my info again. I was beyond flabbergasted. I feel betrayed. I immediately called sprint and chewed them out. An employee said that "they do not print info out at the store" instead they showed that individual how to get my info online. How sweet of them. I am beyond furious.

Posted by Sabrina on Wednesday, August 18th, 2010 at 8:30am

That store is the worst at cstomer service. Everytime I go in there they don't do
Research. They just say whatever they want. I go home every time
And look the shit up and they have no idea what they are saying.
That store cost me so much, because of their mess ups.they loose
Money from me, I call in from my phone and complain and they refund
Their mess ups.the call center is thebest!!
I don't care what phone its about!!:)call center my friends

Posted by karman jones on Sunday, June 5th, 2011 at 7:32am

Thanks for this post. I just found this while looking for sprint tri-cities. Specifically I was looking for where all the stores are located. I planned on getting an EVO 3D. Now probably not.

I would have filed a case against them in small claims court. You had the evidence when you bought it. I'd have put together some kind of evidence of when you tried to return it. If it was bought with a credit card, I'd also have gotten the credit card company involved.

I printed out your story and I'm heading over to Sprint now. I'm going to tell them I want to cancel my pre-order on the 3D.


Posted by Kirt on Friday, June 24th, 2011 at 10:14am

Good luck Kirt. I hope you have better luck than I did!

Posted by Joe &amp; Colleen on Friday, June 24th, 2011 at 10:39am

I agree that this place sucks. I went there on a Sun. to purchase a new 4G phone. Since I don't do Facebook, twitter or none of that, I merely wanted a phone for travel purposes where I could go on the Internet, even though I don't travel more than once or twice a year. Jez talked me into a Galaxy pad, which I thought was nice with the bigger screen and all. We spent almost two hours in the store and he kept trying to convince me that I keep my old phone with its plan and purchase the tablet and I could get a one gigabyte plan for $19.99/month and that would be plenty for my purposes because I could use the wireless at home. This option would save me ten bucks a month, but I really wasn't all that concerned about the ten dollar savings. The two gigabyte option was $29.99/month and he said that that would be too much gigabyte for my purposes. So, I go home and decide that I do not want the tablet. I take it back and I'm standing there and standing there waiting for a freed-up customer service rep. Then the lady starts yelling out names. I'm like, Do I need to take a number like at the deli? They told me I'm supposed to sign in. DUH! Stupid me should have known that, right? Where is the sign saying so, I asked, but got ignored. SO I signed up, got my name called and then she took the phone back no problem, even looked up my receipt and credited back my account. When I inquired about the $19.99 charge and to make sure I got that money back too, she said, oh, it's $29.99/month. There is no $19.99/month plan. Boy, I was pissed. Not only was I apparently lied to or duped about the plan, but also time we took at that store trying to figure everything out.

Then as you leave, there is a sign thanking us in Spanish. Where is the English sign? I'm offended by that!
Oh, by the way, the phone comes with a $50.00 rebate that you have to send in and everything, but I found out that if you buy the phone elsewhere, like Best Buy, Costco, etc., you automatically get the rebate price. So that's a no-brainer right there!

Posted by Denise on Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011 at 9:32am

I meant to say when I returned the "tablet." I've been trying to call the manager to complain about what happened but you can't even get through on the phone. Yep, I'm getting hung up on right now because they're too busy to come to the phone. This is a bunch of crap.

Posted by Denise on Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011 at 9:42am

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