• Report: #244998

Complaint Review: Dobson Communications - Cellular One

  • Submitted: Fri, April 20, 2007
  • Updated: Sat, January 26, 2008

  • Reported By:Hinton West Virginia
Dobson Communications - Cellular One
550 N. Eisenhower Dr. Beckley, West Virginia U.S.A.

Dobson Communications - Cellular One fraudulent, dishonest, excessive billing, ripoff, crooks, terrible customer service, scam Beckley West Virginia

*UPDATE Employee: 30 day notice is on all CELLULAR ONE contracts and hear me rant customers and ex-customers!

*UPDATE Employee: 30 day notice is on all CELLULAR ONE contracts and hear me rant customers and ex-customers!

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We originally opened an account with Highland Cellular dba Cellular One at the Hinton, WV location in Dec. 2003. We signed a two-year contract and received the Nokia phones then (we got two lines).

When that contract ended we re-signed at the Crossroads Mall location in Beckley, WV, but changed our plan to a less expensive one (19.99 per line plus taxes). That was Jan. 21, 2006. We signed to a one-year contract on that date. We kept the same telephones and numbers.

On Feb. 11, 2007 we called Cellular One to determine when our contract was up so that we could cancel it, as we wanted to switch to a prepaid plan and stop wasting money each month on a phone and service we weren't using. We were told by the customer service representative that our contract ended on Feb. 12.

We thought we had to go to the store to cancel the plan, so the next time we were able to go to Crossroads Mall was on Feb. 17, 2007. They informed us that we had to cancel by telephone. So, we called on Feb. 17 and spoke to Paul, who agreed to cancel the service but said that it wouldn't be effective until 30 days later. At the time, that didn't register with us, as we have a new baby and taking care of him was first and foremost on our minds.

The next day, someone called us back and told us again that the service would terminate in 30 days. At that point we began to wonder what was going on and looked at our signed contracts. Since they didn't say anything about a 30-day termination policy, we started to wonder what was going on.

When we got a bill in the mail on Feb. 20 for another month of service we called back to Cellular One customer service. We were then put in touch with Chris in "Customer Retention" who was very rude and told us that it was Dobson Cellular's policy to have a 30-day termination policy and that the company had sent us information regarding the buyout of Highland Cellular. We disputed this fact with him and told him that all our bills are carefully examined for extra messages, such as buyout information, and this was never seen.

Unfortunately we did not have copies of old bills, as we shredded them after we paid them. We asked him to send us copies of these bills which would have told us of the change in ownership, which he said would arrive in 10 business days. Additionally, he said that we should have read the Dobson Cellular web page for any changes to our policy. We argued that there was no reason for us to have looked at it because we didn't know it had changed hands.

We ended the conversation with Chris expecting to receive the old bills reflecting the new ownership notification, but we never received them. We then contacted their customer service office and requested copies of our contracts to make sure we had all the information they did.

We received both our contracts, as well as someone else's contract (we can only assume the organization there isn't all that organized). In any case, there is no mention of a 30-day termination period. The only mention of any cancellation information states that if you terminate your contract before the required amount of time that you will be charged for that. We clearly were not in violation of that. We paid the bill we received in full ($62.56), so as not to affect our credit score and filed a complaint with the WV Attorney General's office.

We then got another bill from Dobson Cellular for another five days of service in the amount of $26.84, which we also paid so as not to affect our credit rating. We sent this information to the WV Attorney General's office as well. On April 7, 2007, we received a copy of a letter from Dobson Cellular to the WV Attorney General's Office stating that they would reimburse us $6.70. Their letter indicated that the Highland Cellular policy was to also charge for the full month of service until. Again, there is no mention of this on the contract we signed.

The WV Attorney Generals Office stated that since the company agreed to refund $6.70 that they were closing the case. We paid $89.40 more than we should have and they are only giving us $6.70 back. That seems completely unfair. We fulfilled our obligations to them, completing our contracts and paying our monthly bills, and they continued to bill us, knowing we would have to pay or risk ruining our credit scores, which we have worked hard to maintain. As there is no mention of any termination policy, and we have never had to wait 30 days and continue to pay for unwanted service to cancel with any other company, we want our complete amount refunded and we want them to disclose this information to potential customers in the future.

And now, we have received yet another bill, this one for $9.50, which they claim is "regulatory fees". They are a bunch of crooks if you ask me!

Kathryn
Hinton, West Virginia
U.S.A.

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/20/2007 01:21 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Dobson-Communications-Cellular-One/Beckley-West-Virginia-25801/Dobson-Communications-Cellular-One-fraudulent-dishonest-excessive-billing-ripoff-cro-244998. 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 Employee

30 day notice is on all CELLULAR ONE contracts and hear me rant customers and ex-customers!

AUTHOR: Diva D - (U.S.A.)

A 30 day notice for cancellation is always displayed on the back of all Cellular One contracts. Once you enter into the contract, you do not have a case. I work for Cellular One and we honestly try to help customers the best way we can and do not try to rip them off. If there are any mistakes, which no company is perfect, we will correct them. It is the customer's job to catch these mistakes on the bill as they arise and to read the contract before signing or watching out for service changes which can change terms of contract as stated on contract. There are many loop holes as a consumer that can be taken advantage of by simply reading the contract.

We get customer complaints all the time. The customer goes a whole year paying for a plan they did not want, then all of sudden notice this when they get a big bill. Again, it is the consumer's job to pay attention to this and being the good company that we are, we often give one time courtesy credits for these issues. Then customers say, "Well you guys are supposed to tell us when we go over our minutes or make long distance calls." We do not babysit customer, as there are over a million customers with cellular one whom we can not keep up with.

Again, it is the customer's responsibility to keep up with their billing and their usage. I get tired of hearing so many people trying to downgrade Cellular One whenever they do not get what they want. Well, Cellular One has now switched to AT&T and a lot of customers are going to miss us when AT&T takes over all Cellular One accounts!! We have customers who have switched to AT&T who are begging to come back and escalating to the highest supervisor they can, but it is too late. You miss a good thing when it's gone. AT&T has the highest rate plans; no unlimited plans included at all, worst customer service of all. I've even got a taste of it, and they have over 60 million customers. Seems like they should be able to afford cheaper plans?

Cellular One has cheap rate plans with unlimited plans and had just 1.7 million, and we treated our customers with royalty and offered the best rates. People are just so uneducated on cellular services and when you try to explain things to them, they say this has never happened before which is completely untrue. I have had service with Alltel, Verizon, AT&T, and US Cellular. They all operate the same. They all prorate your bills. You are going to be billed a month in advance. You get a phone at discounted pricing, you are now obligated to a contract because you are buying the contract price of the phone. They all make mistakes on the billing. I catch the mistakes immediately and call in to get them corrected. I

am also reasonable and able to accept the fact that there are some things I can not change. A lot of that goes over customer's heads. If some customer's call our reps rude, it's because they call in screaming and cursing and reps just kind of lose it after trying to reason with them. What do you expect when you are screaming and cursing? And believe me, our reps try so hard to reason and keep their cool; and their patience; and their sanity. We get graded on our calls closely and there is no room for rudeness, but it can happen to where a customer has pushed a rep off the edge and you try not to let this job get to you, to where it goes to that point. Well, I am done now, and I am sad to lose Cellular One to such a company like AT&T. I may consider resigning. It was nice chatting with you.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

30 day notice is on all CELLULAR ONE contracts and hear me rant customers and ex-customers!

AUTHOR: Diva D - (U.S.A.)

A 30 day notice for cancellation is always displayed on the back of all Cellular One contracts. Once you enter into the contract, you do not have a case. I work for Cellular One and we honestly try to help customers the best way we can and do not try to rip them off. If there are any mistakes, which no company is perfect, we will correct them. It is the customer's job to catch these mistakes on the bill as they arise and to read the contract before signing or watching out for service changes which can change terms of contract as stated on contract. There are many loop holes as a consumer that can be taken advantage of by simply reading the contract.

We get customer complaints all the time. The customer goes a whole year paying for a plan they did not want, then all of sudden notice this when they get a big bill. Again, it is the consumer's job to pay attention to this and being the good company that we are, we often give one time courtesy credits for these issues. Then customers say, "Well you guys are supposed to tell us when we go over our minutes or make long distance calls." We do not babysit customer, as there are over a million customers with cellular one whom we can not keep up with.

Again, it is the customer's responsibility to keep up with their billing and their usage. I get tired of hearing so many people trying to downgrade Cellular One whenever they do not get what they want. Well, Cellular One has now switched to AT&T and a lot of customers are going to miss us when AT&T takes over all Cellular One accounts!! We have customers who have switched to AT&T who are begging to come back and escalating to the highest supervisor they can, but it is too late. You miss a good thing when it's gone. AT&T has the highest rate plans; no unlimited plans included at all, worst customer service of all. I've even got a taste of it, and they have over 60 million customers. Seems like they should be able to afford cheaper plans?

Cellular One has cheap rate plans with unlimited plans and had just 1.7 million, and we treated our customers with royalty and offered the best rates. People are just so uneducated on cellular services and when you try to explain things to them, they say this has never happened before which is completely untrue. I have had service with Alltel, Verizon, AT&T, and US Cellular. They all operate the same. They all prorate your bills. You are going to be billed a month in advance. You get a phone at discounted pricing, you are now obligated to a contract because you are buying the contract price of the phone. They all make mistakes on the billing. I catch the mistakes immediately and call in to get them corrected. I

am also reasonable and able to accept the fact that there are some things I can not change. A lot of that goes over customer's heads. If some customer's call our reps rude, it's because they call in screaming and cursing and reps just kind of lose it after trying to reason with them. What do you expect when you are screaming and cursing? And believe me, our reps try so hard to reason and keep their cool; and their patience; and their sanity. We get graded on our calls closely and there is no room for rudeness, but it can happen to where a customer has pushed a rep off the edge and you try not to let this job get to you, to where it goes to that point. Well, I am done now, and I am sad to lose Cellular One to such a company like AT&T. I may consider resigning. It was nice chatting with you.
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