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Problems With Cell Phone Plan Prompts Customer To Roam

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DURHAM, N.C. — Whether for emergencies, business or just to keep in touch, many people rely on cell phones. No matter what the reason, we want a plan that fits our needs.

That is what Salley Gardner thought she got when she signed up with Sprint PCS.

Gardner needed three phones: one for her, one for her husband and one for her college-bound son.When Sprint PCS offered no roaming or activation fees, Gardner knew the plan was perfect for her family.

When the Gardners tried out their new phones inside their home, they were roaming even though they were standing just a few feet apart.

"I thought, 'This can't be. This just can't be happening. Try it again. You know, something must be wrong.' And sure enough he was roaming and I wasn't,'" Gardner said.

The phones were sent back according to the Sprint PCS return policy.

Two weeks later, the Gardners received a bill for $239.63 for activation fees.

Salley Gardner called Sprint and said she was told to disregard the bill. In July, Sprint PCS called wanting payment.

"It made me mad," Gardner said. "I felt I was being dealt with unfairly, because this wasn't what I was told."

Gardner said Sprint PCS then told her the charges were not for activation. Instead, she said she was told the bill covered the cost of the third phone, which Sprint PCS said was never returned.

"I said, well, if they received two phones, they received three, because everything was sent back in the same box," Gardner said.

Sprint PCS said it had all three phones and again claimed the charge was for activation.

"They need to get their story straight and quit bugging me about this," Gardner said before calling Five On Your Side.

Sprint PCS spokeswoman Kristin Wallace told Five On Your Side it was an "honest mistake," saying a representative "keyed in the wrong code." Soon after, Gardner received a letter stating her account is clear.

In the last three years, 197 complaints were filed against Sprint PCS with the North Carolina Attorney General.

The Gardners have new cell phones with a different provider and are not having any trouble. The are able to talk to their son at college without additional charges.


Monica Laliberte, Reporter
Greg Clark, Photographer
Lori Lair, Producer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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