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Thread: How I Dealt With Excessive State Sales Tax and Monthly Administrative Fee Charges

  1. #1
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    How I Dealt With Excessive State Sales Tax and Monthly Administrative Fee Charges

    This is an actual chat session I had with Sprint...

    Melody K.:*Hi
    Melody K.:*Let's move this chat and make it a window of its own. It will enable you to view other Web pages while we chat.

    Simply click the white Yes button below now.
    Melody K.:*I'll be glad to help you.
    Melody K.:*Thanks for moving the chat window.
    Melody K.:*Please give me a moment to review your account.
    Melody K.:*Can I have your Sprint phone or account # to access the account ?
    You:***********
    Melody K.:*Thanks.
    You:*I was surprised to be charged sales tax well beyond the state amount.
    You:*I would like to have the excessive tax payment be refunded to me.
    Melody K.:*I understand you are concerned about your account bill charge.
    Melody K.:*May I please have your 6-10 digit numeric PIN to access your account?
    You:*I have no idea what it might be, and I do not care to remember something that long.
    Melody K.:*Since you don't have your account PIN available, please answer your backup security question:Street you grew up on?
    You:*#########
    Melody K.:*Thank you.
    Melody K.:*Allow moments to check your account bill now.
    Melody K.:*Thank you for waiting.
    Melody K.:*I can see first bill generated on your account so only surcharge added on the bill which is just $2.39 and no tax amount charged on the bill. Please check our account bill to verify the same.
    You:*I cannot. I cannot get into the account. It says my password or something is wrong.
    You:*The tablet was $49.99, no charge for shipping, and no activation fee, but the total charged was $72.49.
    You:*This means the tax had to be 22.50, almost 50% tax!!!
    Melody K.:*Allow me a few moments to look into it.
    Melody K.:*Thank you for waiting.
    Melody K.:*I have checked the details.
    Melody K.:*I have checked the order details and found $22.50 is tax amount which includes $19.50 state-sale tax + $3.00 country sales tax.
    You:*The state sales tax in CA is not that high.
    Melody K.:*Let me check what can be done in this regard.
    You:*7.5% is listed on Google as the current state sales tax.
    You:*California
    Main article: Sales and use taxes in California

    California has a base sales tax of 7.50%, and can total up to 9.00% with local sales tax included depending on the city in which the purchase is made.[58] Sales and use taxes in the state of California are collected by the publicly elected Board of Equalization, whereas income and franchise taxes are collected by the Franchise Tax Board.
    You:*The CA sales tax should have been $3.75 only.
    Melody K.:*Please don't worry I am checking it.
    Melody K.:*Thank you for waiting.
    Melody K.:*As per details tax charges are correct. However since you our valuable customer & looking at the situation I am offering the credit of $15.00 against the tax.
    Melody K.:*Will that work ?
    You:*OK
    Melody K.:*Allow me a few moments to apply the credit of $15.00 on the account.
    You:*OK, I also want an email to show the credit applied.
    Melody K.:*You can keep this chat session id as 74************** Terence and the credit will also updated on your online account within half an hour.
    Melody K.:*You will also get the chat transcript at your email address within couple of horus.
    You:*I can't get into the online account.
    Melody K.:*You will also get the chat transcript at your email address within couple of hours. I can help you with your online account as well.
    You:*I will need that.
    Melody K.:*Sure, thing.
    Melody K.:*Let me apply the credit first.
    You:*Thanks.
    Melody K.:*Thank you for waiting.
    Melody K.:*I have applied the credit of $15.00 on the account. Now let me help you with your sprint online account.
    You:*OK
    Melody K.:*The updates are taking me a little extra time. I should be done shortly.
    You:*Ok
    Melody K.:*Thank you for waiting.
    Melody K.:*It's done.
    Melody K.:*Please login by using your online account username as - ********* and password as ******
    Melody K.:*Please login & confirm the status.
    You:*Okay, I'll do that now.
    Melody K.:*Sure, thing.
    You:*Okay, I can get in, and I can see the credit. Thank you.
    You:*Now, I want to find out about the next issue.
    Melody K.:*Sure, I am here to help you only.
    You:*I would like to find out why a $5 a month data plan is actually $8 a month.
    Melody K.:*Please check the account bill you will see the prorated charges on the bill + $2.39 surcharge. However applying credit of $15.00 you have now -$6.93 credit balance on the account.
    You:*I am looking at the bill now. I can see that there are administrative charges.
    Melody K.:*If you log out & login back you may see the update credit balance on the account.
    You:*It was my understanding in the online description that these additional fees would not be larger than a certain percentage. These administrative fees are almost half of the cost of the service. This is not what it said in the agreement.
    You:*By the way, the credit you just applied was for overcharged sales tax. I think the state of CA would be interested to hear how Sprint is trying to overcharge for sales tax.
    Melody K.:*Alright, I am creating dispute against the administrative fee.
    Melody K.:*It was reviewed by the billing team & they will verify & remove the charge amount accordingly.
    You:*I am unclear. Are you saying that I won't be charged the administrative fee?
    Melody K.:*It will*
    Melody K.:*I meant you will only charge certain percentage of service plan charge . So they will review it & remove the additional fee.
    You:*When will I find out about this review and its outcome?
    Melody K.:*You will get the notification from them within 48-72 hours.
    You:*How will I be notified? By email?
    Melody K.:*Yes.
    You:*Okay.
    You:*Now, I have questions about the 5 a month plan.
    Melody K.:*Okay.
    Melody K.:*What's your question ?
    You:*If I have not used up my data for the month, am I charged if I am on 3g Sprint network?
    You:*I see the plan says it is free up to a certain amount if I am using roaming. Am I charged any time I use Sprint 3G with this plan?
    You:*This is confusing. Much of it is.
    Melody K.:*One moment please.
    Melody K.:*Thank you for waiting.
    Melody K.:*I can see you have 25 MB data plan for your tablet of $5.00. If you exceed it the overage charge would be $0.25/MB

    I hope this helps others.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeacherF View Post
    This is an actual chat session I had with Sprint...

    Melody K.:*Hi
    Melody K.:*Let's move this chat and make it a window of its own. It will enable you to view other Web pages while we chat.

    Simply click the white Yes button below now.
    Melody K.:*I'll be glad to help you.
    Melody K.:*Thanks for moving the chat window.
    Melody K.:*Please give me a moment to review your account.
    Melody K.:*Can I have your Sprint phone or account # to access the account ?
    You:***********
    Melody K.:*Thanks.
    You:*I was surprised to be charged sales tax well beyond the state amount.
    You:*I would like to have the excessive tax payment be refunded to me.
    Melody K.:*I understand you are concerned about your account bill charge.
    Melody K.:*May I please have your 6-10 digit numeric PIN to access your account?
    You:*I have no idea what it might be, and I do not care to remember something that long.
    Melody K.:*Since you don't have your account PIN available, please answer your backup security question:Street you grew up on?
    You:*#########
    Melody K.:*Thank you.
    Melody K.:*Allow moments to check your account bill now.
    Melody K.:*Thank you for waiting.
    Melody K.:*I can see first bill generated on your account so only surcharge added on the bill which is just $2.39 and no tax amount charged on the bill. Please check our account bill to verify the same.
    You:*I cannot. I cannot get into the account. It says my password or something is wrong.
    You:*The tablet was $49.99, no charge for shipping, and no activation fee, but the total charged was $72.49.
    You:*This means the tax had to be 22.50, almost 50% tax!!!
    Melody K.:*Allow me a few moments to look into it.
    Melody K.:*Thank you for waiting.
    Melody K.:*I have checked the details.
    Melody K.:*I have checked the order details and found $22.50 is tax amount which includes $19.50 state-sale tax + $3.00 country sales tax.
    You:*The state sales tax in CA is not that high.
    Melody K.:*Let me check what can be done in this regard.
    You:*7.5% is listed on Google as the current state sales tax.
    You:*California
    Main article: Sales and use taxes in California

    California has a base sales tax of 7.50%, and can total up to 9.00% with local sales tax included depending on the city in which the purchase is made.[58] Sales and use taxes in the state of California are collected by the publicly elected Board of Equalization, whereas income and franchise taxes are collected by the Franchise Tax Board.
    You:*The CA sales tax should have been $3.75 only.
    Melody K.:*Please don't worry I am checking it.
    Melody K.:*Thank you for waiting.
    Melody K.:*As per details tax charges are correct. However since you our valuable customer & looking at the situation I am offering the credit of $15.00 against the tax.
    Melody K.:*Will that work ?
    You:*OK
    Melody K.:*Allow me a few moments to apply the credit of $15.00 on the account.
    You:*OK, I also want an email to show the credit applied.
    Melody K.:*You can keep this chat session id as 74************** Terence and the credit will also updated on your online account within half an hour.
    Melody K.:*You will also get the chat transcript at your email address within couple of horus.
    You:*I can't get into the online account.
    Melody K.:*You will also get the chat transcript at your email address within couple of hours. I can help you with your online account as well.
    You:*I will need that.
    Melody K.:*Sure, thing.
    Melody K.:*Let me apply the credit first.
    You:*Thanks.
    Melody K.:*Thank you for waiting.
    Melody K.:*I have applied the credit of $15.00 on the account. Now let me help you with your sprint online account.
    You:*OK
    Melody K.:*The updates are taking me a little extra time. I should be done shortly.
    You:*Ok
    Melody K.:*Thank you for waiting.
    Melody K.:*It's done.
    Melody K.:*Please login by using your online account username as - ********* and password as ******
    Melody K.:*Please login & confirm the status.
    You:*Okay, I'll do that now.
    Melody K.:*Sure, thing.
    You:*Okay, I can get in, and I can see the credit. Thank you.
    You:*Now, I want to find out about the next issue.
    Melody K.:*Sure, I am here to help you only.
    You:*I would like to find out why a $5 a month data plan is actually $8 a month.
    Melody K.:*Please check the account bill you will see the prorated charges on the bill + $2.39 surcharge. However applying credit of $15.00 you have now -$6.93 credit balance on the account.
    You:*I am looking at the bill now. I can see that there are administrative charges.
    Melody K.:*If you log out & login back you may see the update credit balance on the account.
    You:*It was my understanding in the online description that these additional fees would not be larger than a certain percentage. These administrative fees are almost half of the cost of the service. This is not what it said in the agreement.
    You:*By the way, the credit you just applied was for overcharged sales tax. I think the state of CA would be interested to hear how Sprint is trying to overcharge for sales tax.
    Melody K.:*Alright, I am creating dispute against the administrative fee.
    Melody K.:*It was reviewed by the billing team & they will verify & remove the charge amount accordingly.
    You:*I am unclear. Are you saying that I won't be charged the administrative fee?
    Melody K.:*It will*
    Melody K.:*I meant you will only charge certain percentage of service plan charge . So they will review it & remove the additional fee.
    You:*When will I find out about this review and its outcome?
    Melody K.:*You will get the notification from them within 48-72 hours.
    You:*How will I be notified? By email?
    Melody K.:*Yes.
    You:*Okay.
    You:*Now, I have questions about the 5 a month plan.
    Melody K.:*Okay.
    Melody K.:*What's your question ?
    You:*If I have not used up my data for the month, am I charged if I am on 3g Sprint network?
    You:*I see the plan says it is free up to a certain amount if I am using roaming. Am I charged any time I use Sprint 3G with this plan?
    You:*This is confusing. Much of it is.
    Melody K.:*One moment please.
    Melody K.:*Thank you for waiting.
    Melody K.:*I can see you have 25 MB data plan for your tablet of $5.00. If you exceed it the overage charge would be $0.25/MB

    I hope this helps others.



    That was really hard to read. Sprint charged you the correct amount in sales tax. In California, sales tax would be against the full retail value of the subsidized device. I think that device is about $300.00 retail.

    Read more here: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/oct...zarus-20101026

    Sprint is still obligated to pay the sales tax despite giving you credit for complaining about it.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by whathuhwhat View Post
    That was really hard to read. Sprint charged you the correct amount in sales tax. In California, sales tax would be against the full retail value of the subsidized device. I think that device is about $300.00 retail.

    Read more here: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/oct...zarus-20101026

    Sprint is still obligated to pay the sales tax despite giving you credit for complaining about it.
    Yep. Absolutely right. Kind of a scam but that is how California does it...the sales tax is based on the full, unsubsidized cost of the phone.

    The OP should be complaining to his state legislature, not Sprint.

  4. #4
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    Arizona does the same thing the last time I remember buying a device on a subsidy - I think part of the reason it should be viewed as illegal tax practices (by both the company and state) is they allow them to show it as only a $199 dollar device. It's not, it's a $500 you get some money towards for a contract and most of the advertising shown, especially on the radio and such, doesn't spell this out.

  5. #5
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    Good job Terence, the uninformed consumer. CA law is you pay sales tax on the full price of the phone, not the subsidized price. You can put the $15 towards the overages incurred on the 25MB plan

  6. #6
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    If you really want to have fun go to a NYC Sprint corporate store and buy something, then go to a nearby Verizon/T-Mobile/AT&T store and buy the same item. Examine the receipts and notice that you were charged almost 50% more sales tax by Sprint, for the exact same item. Go back to the Sprint store and watch the manager stutter as they try to craft some BS explanation.

    That is a real example of excessive sales tax, not the OP which is just a misunderstanding of the CA tax code.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
    If you really want to have fun go to a NYC Sprint corporate store and buy something, then go to a nearby Verizon/T-Mobile/AT&T store and buy the same item. Examine the receipts and notice that you were charged almost 50% more sales tax by Sprint, for the exact same item. Go back to the Sprint store and watch the manager stutter as they try to craft some BS explanation.

    That is a real example of excessive sales tax, not the OP which is just a misunderstanding of the CA tax code.

    Need more details than that. For all we know, Sprint is charging the correct sales tax and others are mistaken, or perhaps there is some small local tax we are not aware of.

    Sales tax calculations can be complicated and I usually find it best to not dispute it and assume the responsible party billing me knows what they are doing.

  8. #8
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    I can verify this. Every time we have to order a phone in our store to be shipped from Sprint warehouse to the customer, somehow the sales tax are a lot higher than the 8.875% sales tax in NYC.

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