CHARLESTON -- A St. Albans man is suing Sprint for violating its contract with him and harming his credit in the process.

In November 2009, Christopher Lee Umberger had a contract with Sprint to provide cell phone service with unlimited minutes, texts and Internet at a rate of $69 per month, according to a complaint filed April 19 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Umberger claims Sprint never honored the contract and in fact, billed in excess of $100 every month and sometimes in excess of $200 per month.

Sprint customer service corrected the bill time after time and Umberger warned the company in writing and verbally in February 2010 that it must stop its illegal billing practices and that any further fraudulent bills would terminated the contract, according to the suit.

Umberger claims Sprint again sent a fraudulent bill well over the contract price and refused to lower the incorrect amount by more than half and that he verbally and in writing terminated the contract and returned the phone.

The phone number Umberger was using was "illegally reassigned, though federal rules allow people to retain their phone number," according to the suit.

Umberger claims Sprint had no legal claim to the number and that his credit was harmed when Sprint listed an unpaid bill on his credit report that was not correct.

On Dec. 20, 2011, Umberger filed a Better Business Bureau complaint and Sprint apologized and told him it was eager to resolve his concerns, according to the suit.

Umberger claims in his BBB complaint, he demanded that all debts be removed from the account, that his phone number be returned to the account, that the account be reactivated and the contract go back into force and that his BlackBerry be returned to him, but the defendant failed to resolve the matter.

Umberger is seeking punitive damages in the amount of $5,000, reactivation with the same phone number and for debts on the number to be removed. He is representing himself.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib Jr.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-694




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