• Report: #177999

Complaint Review: Cricket Cellular

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  • Submitted: Fri, February 24, 2006
  • Updated: Tue, February 28, 2006

  • Reported By:West Seneca New York
Cricket Cellular
cricketcellular.com Nationwide U.S.A.

Cricket Cellular Rebate fraud Outright Lies ripoff Nationwide

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Darn those rebates....

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Purchased a low quality cell phone for $100, with a $100 rebate available after 3 months of continuing service. Since this was for a child, it seemed like a pretty low-risk deal. Nokia phone was entry level, and free from suppliers requiring a 1 yr. contract. Rebate submitted but not received - claimed that they never received it. Resubmitted and met their requirements (copies of original submission and copy of back of phone to show serial number).

Months pass - still no rebate. By this time, a total of 8 months had passed (3 months service + 12 weeks on first attempt) - still no rebate. After LONG hold times on a few days, finally got through. My son was still using the phone and Cricket service. Cricket claimed that they were denying our rebate because our "account did not fulfill the 3 month requirement".

Persisted, and then they said "due to late payments", rebate submission denied. No late payments were ever posted to the account, and account was consistently paid prior to due date. Discussion with the store where I purchased the phone indicated that this was a pattern with Cricket, and this store would no longer distribute Cricket phones or service.

Cancelled service after 16 months - 2 weeks later they offered me a $100 "rebate" if I would renew the service (again, a 3 month requirement delay). Not only are they liars - but they think I would be stupid enough to fall for this for a 2nd time. Would have pursued at a higher level if I knew how. They made a lot of money selling these phones for $100 (wholesale prices at the time were under $20 for this model). Posted warnings at schools and online where I could.

West Seneca, New York

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/24/2006 09:10 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Cricket-Cellular/nationwide/Cricket-Cellular-Rebate-fraud-Outright-Lies-ripoff-Nationwide-177999. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Darn those rebates....

AUTHOR: M - (U.S.A.)

I see now. So you purchased your phone from an Authorized Dealer, not a Full Service/Retail Cricket Store. I can tell by how you said "Discussion with the store where I purchased the phone indicated that this was a pattern with Cricket, and this store would no longer distribute Cricket phones or service". Be aware, the dealers can ONLY sell phones, they do NOT distribute service. Distributing service is Cricket's job, much like Verizon or Cingular or SunCom.

As for the rebate itself, they can be really tricky with it. I've seen your situation time and time again. The BEST thing you can do with those (and any other) rebates is to send everything they ask for and make SURE you get **confirmation of delevery** when you mail the rebate documents back, that way if they deny that they received it, you can tell them that you have confirmation that they received it from the USPS. If they continue to deny it, then you can take legal action. I hate to see people get burned by this rebate issue.

One thing that I did notice is that you said you got a Nokia phone. Nokia doesn't make new phones for Cricket's service anymore, not since late 2003 or early 2004. When did you get the Nokia? If this complaint is from 2004 or earlier, I can understand where you're coming from a little better. But be also aware that dealers have been known to sell "flashed" phones where they have been reprogrammed for another carrier.

As for their statement about "late payments", they may have looked at your due date and when payments posted to your account. If you mailed in payments, Cricket goes by the posting date, which may or may not be the same day you made the payment depending on when you made the payment.

After 1+ year of service, usually a $50 or $100 rebate is offered for purchase of a new phone to continue service. Cricket usually doesn't offer free phones because it is a month-to-month, no contract service. A lot of money would be lost if they "gave away" phones. The reason other companies can give away phones is because they lock you into an extended contract of 1 or 2 years, which basically pays for the phone one way or another. Either you keep service, or you're charged the dreaded "Termination Fee" which is usually over $150 (which covers the cost of the phone in most cases).
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