When I first talked to the salespeople at the clearwire kiosk in the Union Gap valley mall, I was told I could get 1.5 Mbps internet connection and phone service including unlimited local and long distance, all for $49.99/month. I was told the modem lease and phone box is included in that price. I was told there would be no deposit or activation fee because I was doing a 2 year agreement and I just had to pay for the first month in advance for $49.99 plus sales tax, for a total somewhere between $54.00 and $54.50, depending on tax. Because they did not accept cash or checks as a form of payment, they suggested I get a pre-paid visa gift card from Safeway, as I did not have a credit card. So I went to Safeway and purchased a pre-paid visa gift card for $5.95 and put $55.00 on to it so I could make my purchase at clearwire. I then went to clearwire and they ran the card for $54 and some change. It was denied "by provider." I then called the 800 number on the back of the card and we came to the conclusion that my card wasn't loaded yet because it takes up to 30 minutes to load the card. It was almost closing time at clearwire so I went home.
The next day I came back down a 2nd time and they ran the card again for the same amount. Again, it was denied "by provider." So I called the 800 number again from the kiosk and asked some people in India (which I could barely understand) why it wasn't approving the transaction. They told me the sale was being posted as a "recurring transaction" and to tell the merchant (clearwire) to run it as a one-time transaction. The salesperson for clearwire assured me that it was a one-time transaction and I even handed them the phone to tell visa the same thing. I ended up being on the phone for close to 2 hours and got nowhere. The pre-paid visa gift card that the representatives from clearwire told me to get would not work, and I wasted over 2 hours of my time with no results. I went home.
The next day I got my hands on a regular debit card and came back down for a 3rd trip. There was $58.00 in the account attached to the debit card. They ran the card for a charge of $54 and some change...and it was declined again. At the point, for whatever reason, the salesperson knew that by taking off the phone box and just charging for the modem, it would work. She said I could just take the modem home and order the phone box over the internet. I did not want to do this because I had already shut off my phone and needed phone service, but I didn't have any other options. So she ran the card for just the modem for $35.38. At was approved, finally!
After going home and hooking up the modem, I got online to order the phone box and they wanted to charge me shipping for the phone box plus an extra $15. I then talked to clearwire chat support. At that time I was told for the first time that clearwire only uses auto pay for payment and my debit card was on file as a recurring payment. It then occurred to me that this was the reason the visa pre-paid card would not work. Even though the salesperson assured me it wasn't running as a recurring payment...IT ACTUALLY WAS!!! This was why I wasted 3 trips, over 3 hours of my time(2 hours on the phone with visa) and $5.95 on the visa card that would never work because of the recurring transaction!!! GRRRRR!!!
The next day I went to an actual clearwire store (not the kiosk located in the mall) and told them my problem. She then sold me the phone box (which turned out later to be a KNOWN defective box by clearwire.) I also discovered on my bank account a charge of $45.00 instead of the $35.38 they ran at the kiosk. I was told at the clearwire store that they always run a pre-authorized charge of $45 to verify the credit card and the difference would be released to my account in a couple days. I was NEVER told this before I was charged, just like I was NEVER told that clearwire REQUIRES a form of automatic payment on file. I was very upset at the lack of disclosure and I felt very deceived. After I got the phone box (which was defective) I went to the kiosk to ask them why they never disclosed this information to me before the sale. When I arrived, the manager was there. His name is Chris Fish. I told him about the 3 extra trips, the 2 hour phone call that I made from their kiosk to visa, the $5.95 I spent on a the visa card that their salespeople told me would work but didn't because of the required form of auto payment (recurring charge,) and their lack of disclosure about the auto pay and $45 pre-authorized charge on my account. At that point, instead of being charged a total of $49.99 plus tax, like I was told from the beginning, I had been charged 2 times for a total of $65.64. That's between $10.00-$11.00 TOO MUCH (depending on sales tax!!!) However I was charged two pre-authorized charges of $45 each totaling $90. Because this money in my account was tied up, my car payment was late that month. Again, I was never told ahead of time about the $45 pre-authorized charge.
Chris Fish told me he would take care of things for me. He took my number, and told me he would contact clearwire, and I would be credited $5.95 for the pre-paid card they told me to get but never worked. He also said I would be credited the $11.00 difference between the $49.99+tax and the $65.64 I was actually charged. I was NOT going to be compensated for all the extra trips, the gas money, and inconvenience to me that occurred to get service. But at that point I just wanted what I was promised.
I later had to take several trips back down to the actual store because they sold me a defective phone box. I was given a 2nd box that was also defective. Clearwire tech support is who told me this and they said those boxes should have not been sold to me because they were KNOWN defective. I finally got a good phone box on the 3rd try, however I had to wait 2 more days to activate the box. Because of the phone box problem, clearwire credited me $20 to my clearwire account because I had no phone service for a few days but was being charged for it. So I felt compensated for that. However, it has been over 2 weeks and I have not seen any of that $16.95 promised to me by Chris Fish. He has not attempted to contact me either. I have called him twice since and he told me he would call clearwire and call me back. He has not called me one time, and now he is avoiding my phone calls all together. Not only was I deceived by Chris Fish and his employees, but he has lied to me and not followed through or followed up on anything he told me. I will keep my service with clearwire ONLY because of the lack of quality service providers in the area, but I will be sharing my story with as many people as I can, including ripoffreport.com and every newspaper and tv station in the area, unless I am compensated. At this point it's not about the $16.95 or all the time on the phone or the extra trips and gas money...it's about Chris Fish and clearwire lying and deceiving people.