An Ohio television station turned up a bizarre Sprint customer experience — thousands of other customers’ payments evidently were landing in his account.
WCPO in Cincinnati talked with Michael Jett, a resident of nearby Blue Ash, Ohio, over the extended Fourth of July holiday weekend. Jett had just signed up for Sprint’s free unlimited offer.
It’s a low-profile offer aimed mostly at Verizon customers who can bring their own phone over to the Sprint network.
Jett did just that; then he got scores of notifications, each showing money being deposited in his new Sprint account.
The money was coming from other customers, $14.02 here, $12.99 there, according to the notices he received and showed to the television reporter.
All told, notices showed $139,419.89 credited to his account, enough to buy a small house, according to the report.
The notifications started shortly after Jett’s service began late Friday. A few times every hour, a list of transactions would hit his email and a notification binged on his phone.
“They would not stop,” Jett told The Star. “They woke me up.”
Jett said a Sprint employee he reached through online chat acknowledged that money was going into his account but that it would stop. It didn’t then, or the next day when he talked with a Sprint official.
The deposits and notifications kept up until July 4 when, Jett said, Sprint closed his account and set up a new one.
It won’t stay open much longer. Jett, a T-Mobile customer who switched to Sprint for the free offer, said he’s heading to Verizon. He’s still worried about the security of account information.
“I’d rather pay more for secured service,” Jett said.
Sprint IT teams worked on the problem during the July Fourth holiday and figured out what had happened.
“There was no money actually going into his account,” said Roni Singleton, a Sprint spokeswoman who spoke with The Star on Thursday.
The company discovered that Jett’s phone number and email had been mistakenly tied to a Sprint “house account.” All that money, other customers’ payments, was going into the company’s account, but confirmation notices of the deposits were going to Jett.
Jett didn’t have to return any money because his account never received it. And Sprint fixed the problem that evidently happened only with that one account.
Although Sprint confirmed that it hadn’t lost any customers’ payments or revealed any personal information, the company continues to look into how this happened in the first place.