Consumer Complaints: Paying a fee to pay your Sprint bill

These days, it seems every business has a fee for everything. They're trying to supplement their earnings by charging customers for the most ridiculous things. Want to remove a service from your phone bill... pay a fee! Want to actually pay your Sprint bill? You're going to pay a fee for that too.

I don't blame a consumer for wanting to pay a bill in person. These days, you can't trust the U.S. Postal service to get your check there on time, and late payments can cause plenty of problems for bills from credit cards, to cable service, to wireless service. Online payments help the customer's cause, but not everyone wants to do them.

Michelle just wants to pay her Sprint bill at the Sprint store. What's so crazy about that? After all... the store is already there and the employees are there to help the customers, right?

I just wanted to complain to someone and everyone about SPRINT. We have four cell phones on two accounts with them. We pay our bills in person because everything is in a one mile radius , cable, elect.,phone and cell. If you pay your bill in person at a SPRINT retailer they tack on a $5 fee for each account. They also try and get you by giving you this card that you can use other places like RADIO SHACK which also adds $5. Why do you have to pay $5 to pay your bill? I understand that our grocery store lets you pay some of your bills at it and they only charge $1. then you go directly to a SPRINT store and get ripped out of $5. Also one of our bills last month was $11.80 but you cannot pay that. You have to pay $20. I just do not understand how they can get away with. Any help you can come up with would be greatly appreciated.

Michelle, I'm afraid I'll be of no help. The stores basically get to make their own rules about how and when you can pay them and what fees they'll charge you for anything that happens on your account. Is this fee to pay your bill legal? Most likely. Is it bad customer service? For sure!

I don't know if complaining will help ease some of the silly fees and inconveniences that companies like Sprint put on their customers. But at least by publicizing the complaints, consumers have a voice and can warn others about dumb policies like this. Maybe consumers will even stop patronizing companies like Sprint. Then they won't have to worry about collecting their $5 fee to pay a bill. There will be no Sprint bill to pay!

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Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.
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