Sept. 22, 2007- 2pm: Salem, Ohio Cellular ONE Store. Was waited on by store manager Amy Henley. Amy spoke with a deep, gravelly voice that, in MY OPINION, to me, conjoured up images of years of cigarettes and whiskey. Amy sold me a $50 pre-paid phone after assuring me that it would work in a nearby wooded area where I hike daily. A while later, I drove to the wooded area and found absolutely no signal. I headed back to the store.
Sept. 22, 2007- 5pm: Returned to Salem, Ohio Cellular One store to return phone. Salesman Don told me that he regularly boated in the lake adjacent to the area where I hike and coverage was indeed spotty. Something about the towers not being licensed to beam in that direction. (Hmmm.. I wonder if Amy knew that when she told me it would work there.) Don said my refund would have to come from Amy's register, and unfortunately, Amy had left for the day. I asked him to call Amy which he did, reluctantly. She told him to have me come in tomorrow (Sunday, Sept. 23, 2007) and she would give me a FULL REFUND from her register. I felt very uneasy about this but apparently had no other option.
Sept. 23, 2007: Returned to the store. Amy gave me the third degree. "What's wrong with the phone?" Me: "Well, it doesn't work where you said it would". Her: "Well it should". Me: "Well it doesn't". yada, yada, yada
(are you beginning to see a pattern here? Even though she promised me a full refund the day before, she was now going to do everything in her power to see that I didn't get and such refund.)
Amy made several calls, supposedly to people who could help resolve the situation. None of this helped, nor do I believe any of it was ever intended to help. They simply wern't going to give me a refund. I was told that I should have brought the phone back in the first 24 hours. Well, duh, I did. I brought it back 3 hours after I bought it! That's when they told me to come back tommorrow!
After much discussion about Small Claims court, the Uniform Commercial Code and other relevant subjects, She just kept repeating that she wasn't going to give me a refund. She even tried the old cell phone marketing scam that I just paid for the minutes and the phone was free and unused minutes are non-refundable. This is FRAUD and I told her so. The phone has a value - nothing is free. It just the way the cell phone companies try to avoid giving you refunds on non working phones. I left the store.
After about 15 tries, I reached a pleasant girl named Melody in Cellular ONE customer service who said she would have the corporate office in Oklahoma City mail me a rebate check for $50 (I guess I have to eat the $3.86 state tax) and that I should recieve it in 4 to 6 weeks. When I expressed uneasiness about the wait, she said she would mark it "Rush" and I should get it in a week or two. Stay tuned.
After recent dealings with different cellular phone providers, It is MY OPINION that the cellular phone retail store industry is shot full of overly aggressive people, many of whom have the same amount of moral fiber and business ethics that you would find in your average styrofoam cup.