NBC10 Boston Responds: Phone Service Switch Gone Wrong

An viewer in Nahant, Massachusetts was out thousands of dollars in a cell phone carrier switch-up and didn’t know where else to turn when he contacted NBC10 Boston Responds, writing, "LESLIE PLEASE HELP." 

Joseph Bouthiller was hoping to save some money by swapping cell phone service providers, but instead, he said it was a costly and complicated mistake. 

"It’s been a total nightmare," Bouthiller said. "A $6,300 bill around Christmastime. It’s just been a total nightmare." 

He switched from Verizon to Sprint, transferred over five phone lines and traded in two of his old phones. That’s when the trouble began. 

"I left the Sprint store and I thought I was going to have good coverage, and when I left there, I started to lose calls right away," Bouthiller said. "My children had the same issues. The internet kept freezing and it was just a nightmare."

It was so bad that he went back to Sprint a few days later to cancel his service agreement and return the phones so he could go back to Verizon.

Sprint told him that in order to keep his existing phone numbers, he would have to have them transferred back to Verizon before canceling his contract. But the only problem was he needed the phones he had traded in to do that. Sprint had already shipped them out of his local store and said two replacement phones would arrive in three to five days. 

"I went back there on day seven, day 14, and day 21 and still never received the phones," Bouthiller said. 

Frustrated, he bought two new iPhones from Verizon to transfer his lines. In the meantime, Sprint billed him $240 for the first month’s service and more than $2,700 for the phones he had returned. 

"I stopped in the store I’ll say a half a dozen times. I called customer care at least three times," Bouthiller said. "I was getting nowhere. I called NBC Responds at that point." 

We contacted Sprint and asked them to take a look at Bouthiller’s complaint. They quickly credited him $3,026.74 for the charges. Sprint wouldn’t reimburse him for the two missing phones, but sent out replacements and suggested he sell them to recoup his money. But there was a problem with one of them. 

"I went into Verizon to trade it in and they told me that someone in Washington State owns this phone and owes money on this phone, so they couldn’t accept it and wanted to know what I was doing with it," he said.

NBC10 Boston Responds contacted Sprint again, and they overnighted Bouthiller another phone. Sprint tells us it’s our goal to provide a positive experience for every customer.

"This was not the experience we strive to have with our customers," Sprint said in a statement. "We are pleased that Mr. Bouthiller’s concerns have been resolved to his satisfaction." 

Bouthiller said he is still out some money after the ordeal, but is happy to have a resolution. 

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