• Report: #1040959

Complaint Review: Assurance Wireless

  • Submitted: Fri, April 05, 2013
  • Updated: Fri, April 19, 2013

  • Reported By: Geno — Miami Florida
Assurance Wireless
P.O. Box 686 Parsippany, NJ 07054 Parsippany, New Jersey United States of America

Assurance Wireless Virgin Mobile USA Failure To Honor Agreement Parsippany, New Jersey

*Consumer Suggestion: Activating phones via Assurance

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Plain and simple: Assurance Wireless is a rip off. It is a scam, and a sad one at that as it hurts those of us who sincerely need this kind of lifeline assistance. I was told I was eligible for Assurance Wireless services if I was currently receiving food stamps or receiving similar government assistance. I was and still am. So I applied for Assurance Wireless. The tip off should have been when I faxed over my information and "they never received it." Despite my fax confirmation, they never received it. I called to see what they could do about that little mix up and was told that they would mail me a form so that I could start the process anew. Weeks passed and I did not receive any form from Assurance Wireless, however, I did receive an acceptance letter and a phone - so they must have received my information. The customer service representatives were incredibly incompetent and you could tell that it was all run like a circus, as the left hand did not know what the right hand was doing.

When I took the phone out of the packaging I realized that it was one among a couple of phones that worked on Assurance Mobile. Any Virgin Mobile USA phone that is part of the "PayLo" line will function on Assurance Wireless. This information is on the Virgin Mobile USA website. I was also told this by Assurance Wireless representatives. I decided to purchase another phone, one that was part of the PayLo line - a Kyocera Brio, for $40 at my local Radio Shack. I was told time and time again that this phone was an approved phone. I even looked it up on the Virgin Mobile USA website, and lo and behold, it stated it was an approved phone. I was ready to activate the phone, when I was told the phone was NOT approved. Then I was told it was a system error. They then told me they were going to launch an investigation. This didn't happen and I did not receive any phone calls from them. They did not want to remedy the situation. This went on for a month. I had been approved for a year's worth of Assurance Wireless services and I had already spent a month just trying to get the phone activated. These people don't know their elbow from their a**holes. They didn't know ANYTHING. It was very clear that they were incompetent and not very knowledgeable concerning the phones or the plans or even the mission, which is to help those in need.

On the last day I attempted to get a reaction or response from them, and finally get the phone activated, I was told that the phone was not an approved phone (despite whatever Virgin Mobile USA's website says). I immediately contacted the BBB, and I will be contacting the State Attorney General. They need to know that there is a company that is wasting the money, energy, and time of those who are reaching out to them for assistance and nothing else. Why offer charity and then lie and scam those who request it? Why? I am now out $40, have been out of service for over a month, and need to start all over again.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/05/2013 10:49 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Assurance-Wireless/Parsippany-New-Jersey-07054/Assurance-Wireless-Virgin-Mobile-USA-Failure-To-Honor-Agreement-Parsippany-New-Jersey-1040959. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Suggestion

Activating phones via Assurance

AUTHOR: Logikal1 - ()

Dealing with any company that must handle massive amounts of calls a day can be frustrating.  I used to work in a call center and have been Director of 2 major facilities. There are ways to get what you want, and ways reps won't lift a finger.  Here's what generally works.

1) You must have activated your JAX phone first.  Then just call tech support or the number you used to activate the JAX & tell them you need to switch over to a new phone because the Jax wasn't right. The activation service should switch it w/no problem IF the JAX phone is on already.   If you need to call Assurance to talk to them go to step 2

2) Don't deal w/ call reps. They rarely know more than the basics & even that they can get wrong.  Call 888-321-5880 and listen for the call rep's name. Then, smile the best you can, (literally) & say  " 'rep's name' I need to speak to a supervisor, please."  If they ask why, just say, "'their name', thank you for offering to help, but I need the supervisor, please. Thanks!".  The rep may try once more but smile harder and be even nicer & say, " 'rep's name' I appreciate you want to help but I was told to ask for a supervisor [I'm telling you, right?]. Thanks for offering, but I need to talk to the supervisor now."  They'll switch you to a supervisor.  They can't help it. It's simple human nature. You're a nice guy who treats them with respect. They can't help but want to be nice back. [Learned this as part of my Master's in Applied Mgmt.] Besides, all you keep saying is 'give me a supervisor'. Might as well do it. Once you get the supervisor, same rules apply.  NEVER yell, talk over them or threaten!  That's a guarantee they will stop helping & try to get off the phone asap. This applies to EVERY company. Once a customer stops being nice, so do they. Our legal dept tells call reps this is their safest course of action. The less you interact with a customer who's acting out, the better. Be nice, but get off the call.

Use their name & keep smiling (it really does come out over the phone). Explain you're having trouble activating your new phone & could they help get it switched on?  (Don't mention the fact others have given you a hard time unless you must, & then minimize it) Tell them the JAX that came wasn't right ( if they ask say the sound's too low, buzzes, won't do Internet, whatever) & you bought one of the approved PayLo's but don't know how to get it switched over. At that point the idea is to get her to switch your phone. 

3) Know the rules. Here's what's written: According to Assurance' website it says in response to the query "Can I use a Virgin Mobile PayLo phone with an Assurance Wireless account?" the following: "Selected Virgin Mobile phones other than the primary handset, the Assurance Wireless Jax by Kyocera, may be used with an Assurance Wireless account. However, for the best customer experience, we encourage you to use the handset sent to you by Assurance Wireless. From time to time, a different model phone may be provided to new Assurance Wireless customers due to availability." & "Selected Virgin Mobile phones may be used with an Assurance Wireless account excluding the Party Animal, Super Model, Blackberry and Android models. However, for the best customer experience we encourage you to use the handset sent to you by Assurance Wireless." 
OK, USE this info! They say the selected phones (Pay-Lo) can be used.

4) If they let you tape calls in your state, record every call. Assurance - like everyone else -  is taping YOU so YOU should be able to legally tape them. You can briefly mention it ... say something like " OK, you tape me and I'll tape you. Why should you have all the fun? and laugh. They'll think it's a joke. (In OH it only takes one party to agree to being taped, so it's a no-brainer here) But getting them to agree on tape is pure gold.

I didn't have any trouble getting a Paylo phone accepted. I opted for a Kyocera S2300 with a full keyboard.($15,00 from Virgin Mobile). Buying it from Virgin's operator not only saved me a bundle, their operator helped me pick out the phone models that were approved [those change often].

I called Assurance also to see how the procedure went before I ordered the phone, telling them I needed the texting keyboard d/t hand problems (no lie).  I was told to activate my JAX phone first & go ahead & order the Kyocera from Virgin.  When the phone arrived all I had to do was call the same number that activated my JAX phone & have them switch it over. No hassles, no problems. Then I donated the JAX to a shelter for domestic violence.  You always have to put your ducks in a row & assume nothing. 

I've had great service & no hassles from Assurance. But I did my homework & kept my purchases 'in the family' using the website. I make sure no matter how aggravated I get the person on the other end never knows it. I want them to want to help me so bad they can taste it. 
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