The following was distributed throughout my apartment complex and neighboring townhouses (at least 450 addresses I know of), and verified by me to be true, so I felt it should be posted here as well:
Attention All Tenants Considering an Assurance Phone
If you currently have lifeline service through AT&T or Safelink, and file to get a phone with Assurance, at the bottom of the application in the signature section, it states, in extremely small print, much smaller than the rest of the application, even though it is the most important part:
I understand that Lifeline Assistance is only available for one landline or wireless phone per household. [continued below]....
..... If I currently have a Lifeline plan with a different phone service provider, I will notify my current provider when I am approved for Assurance Wireless service.
In the same section (Signature), the very first statement says:
By signing below, I certify under penalty of perjury that the information contained within this application is true and correct and that I am head of my household. I also acknowledge
that providing false or fraudulent documentation in order to receive assistance is punishable by law and the penalties of perjury include monetary fines and potential imprisonment.
Legally, this means that if you have Lifeline either through AT&T (reduced rate price on your home phone), or have a Safelink Phone, you MUST upon approval from Assurance, cancel your service from the other company, whichever that may be for you.
Please note this information is not being told over the phone, and is only in small print at the bottom of the application. While it is legal for them not to verbally tell you this, it is also considered highly unethical, so you may want to think twice about switching to Assurance, and know that you will have to cancel your service with Safelink, or AT&T or whoever you have life line service, whichever you may have. Also note, that a company that would do this, most likely is not going to provide you with the same quality of service you may or may not be accustomed to.
This notice is posted to help protect you from agreeing to something and falling into a trap of getting in trouble later, because you did not read the fine print. The law is blind as to whether you read it or not, once it is signed, you have sworn (legally) that you have read it.
While there was an application to them attached to this, I decided not to post it, as this can easily be found by going to their website.
This notice apparently was posted after many of the tenants were tricked into applying with them. Apparently, the tenants called to apply (after receiving advertisements through the mail), and then were told on the phone that they could keep their current service as well. The only thing they could not do was have 2 phones with Assurance. Luckily this notice prompted many of them to call and cancel before their application had been approved.
Upon reading and hearing this information, I called to hear for myself what they were saying, and I asked specifically, could I keep my Safelink phone (a Lifeline service), and have Assurance's phone as well, and they told me yes.
Knowing that this is against the law, I asked to speak to his supervisor, at which time he informed me that he had no supervisor for me to speak with at that time. I then requested to have them call me back, and he told me that he would not do that. Now, the fact that you can not speak to a supervisor of any company should set off alarms with someone, at least it does me.
I then called Virgin Mobile, who transferred me right back to Assurance (probably standard practice), however this time was allowed to speak with a supervisor. This 'Supervisor' then tells me that this is how their people are trained, and that yes while a person can not have 2 lifeline services, they are not required by law to tell anyone that. She went on further to tell me that it is the consumers responsibility to know the law and their rights.
Personally, I have no idea how their service may be, however, I definitely would not be doing business with a company that is so deceptive in their means to try and get customers.
What this company is doing, is reaching out to places that are already serviced, and trying to take that business away by making it seem like the consumers can keep both services. The problem with this is, the consumer who does this, if caught not only stands the chance of losing that service, but because it is a federally funded program, they stand the chance of losing all programs they are enrolled in that are federally funded, including food stamps, medical, and housing.
Hope this helps anyone out planning or considering service with this company. A company like this should not really be allowed to be doing this, however, apparently our current laws do not prohibit them from doing such. Although, this reminds me of how long distance companies tricked consumers into switching to their service over the phone. This did prompt laws to be made against this, so maybe...