Bottom line: my belief is that because Inphonic, the Liberty Wireless parent company, is located in DC, where there is no consumer complaint investigation, the company has little incentive to improve unless someone litigates.
I called the Liberty Wireless sales line on May 28, 2005 and spoke with someone whose name sounded like Phillipe. I asked him about the different phone options and told him that I didn't want a commitment and might just be a customer for 1-2 months. He strongly suggested the LG 5225, saying that it was a really good phone and deal. I asked what the terms were and he confirmed the cost and told me that I would receive a rebate in 4-6 weeks.
I went to the Web site to look at my new phone, and read that I have to use the phone for 24 weeks continuously to be eligible for the rebate. Only then would the rebate be processed and I'd wait an additional 4-6 weeks!
I called the sales line back and Phillipe answered and (it seems to me sheepishly) confirmed this. He gave me the customer service number so that I could cancel. It was very difficult to reach customer service since I needed to input a Liberty Wireless phone number to get through.
When I finally spoke with customer service two days later they opted to cancel my contract rather than keep me as a customer by switching me to one of their truly "no commitment" phones.
The fact that Phillipe was apparently the only sales person and that customer service was willing to lose a customer who wasn't signed up for the presumably really profitable LG 5225 plan made me suspect I wouldn't get my money back...but I did, and very quickly.
Nonetheless, I was worried about the deceptive practices and the legitimacy of the company so I sent a report similar to what's written above to firstname.lastname@example.org and the Maryland Attorney General.
Maryland referred the report to DC because the parent company, Inphonic, is headquartered in DC. I spoke with a DC investigator today who said that DC does not fund/allow investigations of consumer complaints anymore. So, I thought others who had similar experiences might want to know that DC seems to have been selected deliberately for the location of this company with a national customer base because no action can be taken from far away (small claims court would be the only recourse).