A Cañon City man says the Sprint store inside the Pueblo Mall damaged his credit for a phone service he never had.
After receiving threatening phone calls from a debt collection company, he called Chief Investigative Reporter Eric Ross for help.
Roy Briggs says employees at the store convinced him to sign up for 2 lines of service for $80/month, but the company didn’t have the phones in stock at the time.
A week later, Briggs says employees told him they were going out of business and switching carriers.
The Sprint account was never set up, yet Briggs started receiving monthly bills for phone service.
The first bill came in January for $137.
“They (Sprint) told me not to worry and that it has all been taken care of,” Briggs said.
Despite employees reportedly telling Briggs the billing error was fixed, Briggs received another bill in February for $210.
“What really annoys me is people lying to me and telling me not to worry and that it has been taken care of,” he said. “I’m saying ‘Great, I won’t worry’ and then the collection agency is calling and harassing me.”
Briggs say an aggressive debt collector demanded payment and warned him that his credit score was going to be damaged.
“I work two jobs,” Briggs said. “I get up at 2 in the morning and work my day job out in the snow and the reason I do this is because my social security won’t cover my living expenses and also to keep my bills current.”
Although the bills Briggs received came directly from Sprint, our investigation found the Sprint store that signed him up for service is not a Sprint corporate-owned store.
It’s actually owned and operated by a company called CCT Wireless, a third party Sprint retailer.
“I want their verification that the billing has stopped and I want them to mitigate the damages they caused to my credit report,” Briggs said.
Chief Investigative Reporter Eric Ross reached out to Sprint’s corporate office. Executive staff immediately apologized for the problem and assured News 5 that the negative mark will be removed from all credit bureaus.
A Sprint spokesperson also confirm that Briggs doesn’t owe them a penny.
“Thanks again for bringing this to our attention,” a Sprint spokesperson said. “The negative mark will be removed from all credit bureaus since it was generated in error. We assured Mr. Briggs that we have partnered with our own credit bureau to confirm the removal, and that his account will reflect a zero balance. Our Care rep also shared his direct contact information so that Mr. Briggs can reach out asap in the future, if needed.”
Frequently asked questions:
Q: Should I buy a cell phone directly from a Sprint corporate store or is it safe to buy a phone and service from a third party retailer?
A: Whether you buy a phone from a corporate store or a third party retailer, the cell phone carrier (service) should be the same. Some third party companies will be able to offer customers additional incentives or promotions you won’t find online or at a corporate store. However, you should always make sure the store is an “authorized” retailer. There are many authorized retail cell phone stores throughout the nation.
Q: What happens if I receive a bill that is not accurate?
A: Contact customer care first. If they can’t resolve the issue, ask to speak with a direct supervisor. If the problem still isn’t resolved, it may be worth looking into mediation services or filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau?
Q: A debt collection company keeps calling me and I don’t wish to talk with them. What can I do?
A: Debt collectors have a job to do, but you have a right to request that they stop calling. If you are receiving calls from a debt collector, chances are the delinquent account has already been reported to the three major credit bureaus.
Q: How do I dispute inaccurate information on my credit report?
A: It’s quite possible inaccurate information or negative marks will appear on one credit bureau’s report, but not the other. Click on the agency below to view more information about their dispute resolution policies and procedures.
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