OK, here's the after action report: I called Customer Service on July 26 to cancel the account. They said there would be an early termination fee, which I expected. I told them that I did not believe there should be an early termination fee, as they had promised one thing during my 30 days when I could have taken the phone back, and then had reneged on the deal.

After explaining what had happened to the CS person, which made about the 5th time, I was transferred to a different department. I don't know if it was Customer Retention or somewhere else, because they didn't say. That person reviewed the notes, and then came on to apologize. She said that she could see from the June 8 notes what I was told, and that they should not have tried to cancel the offer I had been given. She asked what they could do to keep my account, noting that I had had it since 1999.

I told her that all I had wanted all along was to be for them to honor the offer, which was basically, a free month service in exchange for a new 2 year commitment, an offer that Sprint sent me in the mail. She agreed to that. I also mentioned that it was a little disappointing that it had gotten to this point, and that it had cost me a lot of time. She said she understood why I was upset, and said that Sprint would review what had happened with the reps involved. Whether that was BS I don't know. She looked at the account and said, "I see one of your other lines is eligible for upgrade in December. Would you be interested in upgrading that line now.?"

Well, before this happened, my wife did want to get a Pre when she is eligible for upgrade. I told the rep that, but said that I didn't think we would get anything right away, as I wasn't planning to shell out another $300 just yet. She offered to knock $50 off the price, and waive the need for a rebate, so that the purchase price would be $149 with free shipping, no activation fee, etc. (I didn't know about the Best Buy deal at the time, so this seemed like a good deal.) I said ok.

The rep was very apologetic throughout and interested in working to fix a problem with a customer. It was a big contrast with the last rep who I had spoken to, who was combative and inflexible.

So now, we are still on Sprint and have 2 Pre's. Lesson: Sprint customer service did fix the problem, but it took more work than it should have. They did eventually respond, though. I will chalk it up to bad luck in the prior reps I spoke with, and not to a sign of a systemic problem at Sprint. Problem solved.