MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Thousands of Sprint cell phone customers in the Mid-South were without service for much of the day, leaving people frustrated and worried.
Those frustrated customers tried calling Sprint, by dialing ‘*3’ on their cell phones. But that did not connect them to the cell phone company; they were accidentally re-directed to the WREG newsroom.
“I hope they give me my money back for my service. If you pay for a service, you should get a service,” said Sprint customer Litita Johnson.
The bill isn’t Litita Johnson’s biggest worry with not having a phone that works, her family’s safety is.
“I’m very uncomfortable because I have a daughter in college at UTC. I don’t know if she’s OK,” said Johnson.
The mom isn’t the only one feeling helpless. Crystal Scott tried to call her husband four times in front of our cameras.
“It’s busy. So if I had an emergency, I wouldn’t be able to call out,” said Scott.
A Sprint technician, who worked on the problem Saturday, told WREG engineers the company is having routing problems in Tennessee and Mississippi. But that was the only question they could answer for us.
“I had someone on the service line trying to help me, we couldn’t figure out what it was,” said Sprint customer Pam Walton.
Eventually Walton’s phone started dialing out again, but only if she dialed the 901 area code first.
Juan Castillo turned his phone on an off and his phone started working again.
With many families opting to ditch land lines and pick up cell phones, those families told WREG they don’t know what to do.
“I shouldn’t have to go somewhere else to use the phone,” said Johnson.
There’s no word on an exact number of how many were impacted by today’s problems or how many people are still without service.
A Sprint spokesperson sent the following statement to:
“Earlier today some Sprint customers in parts of Mississippi and Tennessee experienced a disruption in service due to a fiber failure in Northern Mississippi.
The issue has been resolved and service has been restored. Sprint regrets any inconvenience this caused our customers.”