- Report: #105257
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: Liberty Wireless
Liberty Wireless1010 Wisconsin Avenue Suite 600 Washington, District of Columbia U.S.A.
Liberty Wireless, Inphonic, Star Number ripoff, charged my card without authorization, promises to return my money but never does. Washington District of Columbia *EDitor's Suggestions on how to get your money back into your bank account!
Here's my complaint: I bought a phone from the Internet. I called an 800 number to place the order. The automated system said the company's name was Liberty Wireless. I paid with a credit card and I got the phone within a week. The number to my phone was long distance from my town, so I called them and asked if I could get a local number.
They told me yes but it would cost me $28.00. I told them that it was not my fault that they gave me a long distance number so I refused to pay the fee and told them that I wanted to return the phone. I was then told that they would waive the fee. They attempted to change my number but their computer system was running slow. I was told to call back in a couple of hours to get my new phone number.
I called back and the first thing the automated system ask for is your mobile number. I put it in and it told me that it was an invalid number. The system would not let me get any farther without entering a valid number. Since my number was changed and I wasn't told the new number I had no way of contacting customer service. I looked on their website for another number but there wasn't any others. I tried to contact them through the website but I never got a response.
The next day I got an email from them telling me that they charged my credit card $28.00 but it didn't say what it was for. I found out later that it was the fee for changing the phone number.
After about two days of looking online for a number I thought of going to the website and pretending to buy another phone so it would give me the number I used to buy the phone in the first place. I finally got a real person on the phone. They told me that they were not Liberty Wireless but a company that takes orders for them, even though when you call it tells you that you're calling Liberty wireless. They gave me another number, but it was the same automated system that wouldn't let me in because I didn't have a valid phone number. I called the first number back and explained the whole situation over again. I was told that they would send an email and somebody from Liberty wireless would call me back. I was told this over and over but nobody ever called. This went on for two weeks.
So after calling repeatedly everyday and asking to speak to a supervisor (which) I never did) somebody realized that I wasn't crazy and that I really couldn't contact the customer service. They transferred me to the customer service department. I explained the situation and told them I wanted my money back. I told them about the fee I was charged for changing the number and they said they would refund it immediately, and I would be refunded the money I paid for the phone as soon as they got it back.
I sent the phone back via UPS. I used the tracking number to see when the phone arrived at their warehouse and I called them and I was told it arrived and I would be refunded the money within a week. I gave it a week and a half but the money was never credited to my credit card. I then checked to see if the payment for $28 was ever credited, but it wasn't.
I then call the number where I bought the phone again and they told me they were sorry but for some reason the refund was never processed. I was told that it would be rushed and it will be credited within a week. I told the operator that I was charged a late fee on my credit card. He told me they also pay that too. He told me to give them until Friday.
On Monday the money still wasn't credited. I called again and asked to speak to a supervisor. I was told that I wasn't allowed to speak to one. I gave them the info to open my account. I was told that I need to contact the Liberty wireless customer service to take care of this. I explained to them situation and that I can't contact them. I was told to hold. I was mysteriously disconnected.
I called back, I went through the process of explaining the situation again. The operator told me that he could give me my mobile number so that I could get into the Liberty Wireless customer service. I agreed to try that.
I called the customer service number and put in the number and I was told it was an invalid number. So I called the first number back. I demanded that they let me speak to a supervisor. The guy asked for my account info, I gave it to him.
When he opened my account I told him I wanted to speak to a supervisor. He refused. I told him the situation and he told me I needed to call the Liberty Wireless customer service. I tried to tell him that I couldn't but he wouldn't listen to me, and it turned into a shouting match. After about five minutes of both of us shouting he let me speak to a supervisor. The supervisor explain that they couldn't transfer me to the customer service department all she could do was to send an email.
From previous experience I knew that if she sends an email I would never hear from them. I told her that if I didn't get my money that day, I was going to the Better Business Bureau and Planetfeedback. She told me to do what ever I had to do.
So as I was about to fill out the form for the Better Business Bureau, I found the number to the corporate office for Liberty Wireless. I decided before I filed a complaint I would try and give them a chance to settle this matter. I called and talked to a woman, I explained what had happened and she said that she would look into it and told me that she had another customer before me and asked if I mind if she takes care of them first. I said I didn't mind and she told me she would call me back. She never did.
I bought the phone in the beginning of July and it's almost September. I have been promised that the money will be credited for a month and a half, and I still don't have it.
I'm not surprised, and do you know why? I've been very dissatisfied with your company in the past. But given the nature of this problem, I'll probably take my business elsewhere from now on. And I'll definitely tell other people about my negative experience so they can avoid it in the future.
Here's what I'd like to see happen: I think I should be paid the money that I spent on the phone. $103.86, the money that was charged without my permission for changing the phone number. $28.13 The $28.00 late fee charged by my credit card company. $6 long distance phone bills for calling the corporate offices. Also $50.00 for having to spend two months of my life trying to get money that I'm owed.
I also would suggest that you change your automated system so that this never happens to another customer. Your system has cost you one customer, I'm sure I'm not the first, but you should make sure that I am the last. I also want you to take a look at your feedback page at this website. It shows that what I experienced has also happened to many other people. I'll also post this on a bulletin board that I belong to,it has over 3000 members and I'll also post your replies.
I hope you get back to me soon. In this age of modern communication, seemingly simple things should not go unresolved. I'll expect a response within 10 business days.
EDitor's Suggestions on how to get your money back!
HERE IS WHAT RIP-OFF REPORT SUGGESTS YOU DO:
Go to your bank within 60 days of the charge, or as soon as you know about the charge, don't delay, and tell them that there has been fraudulent activity within your account. Explain that you wish to file a dispute, and demand that they assist you in accordance with Federal Regulation E.
According to the majority of victims interviewed by Rip-off Report, those who immediately called their banks to dispute the charges did not get very far. Many victims got the following responses from their banks: we could not do anything for you or you waited too long; it has been more than 60 days.
If the bank is says that you have waited too long, explain to them how you called their 800 number as soon as the charges were found, and were told by the bank that nothing could be done. Remind the bank that they failed to assist you properly at the 800 #, and instead, provided you with an inadequate explanation of your right to dispute. Tell the bank that it's their fault time has expired, and since they gave you the wrong info to begin with, they will just have to deal with it, take the loss and reverse the charges.
Tell them the truth; this was unauthorized and your account was NOT to be charged! Keep emphasizing how you never authorized anything! Direct them to the hundreds of victims reports that were filed on Rip-off Report.com. And if you're at the bank, walk them over to their computer and make them go to this site! If you are on the phone with them, tell them you will wait while they access this site! Either way, be persistent!
DO NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER!
Let them know nicely, that you were advised to Report them (the Bank) and this situation to the Banking Commission in your state. Since each state has a different name for the agency/controller over banks, find that name before you call or get to the bank so you can throw it in their face. The more knowledgeable you appear to be, the further you will get.
And just continue to demand the Federal Regulation E form! The bank CAN, MUST and WILL reverse the charge! But, you must be persistent; ask to speak to the supervisor or the area manager for all the branches in the state.
Let the bank personnel know you are meeting with the media later in the day, that you would much rather they do the right thing (as most other banks have) by looking at the complaints and immediately reversing the charge(s) to your account; no matter how long ago it was. Be sure to call the Media if necessary so you are telling the truth.
If you have to, be loud (but nice) in front of other customers. If you are just calling by phone, the above tactics should still work. The bank can easily fax or mail to you the Federal Regulation E dispute form.
CHARGES TO YOUR CREDIT CARD
If the charge was to your credit card (not debit card, check card, or checking account), contact the credit card company as soon as possible to request a dispute form. Consumers usually have a little longer to dispute fraudulent credit card charges (up to 6 months), but it is better to act right away. In this type of situation, credit card disputes are usually successful since fraudulent companies often won't contest the disputed charge. In rare cases, credit card companies will review disputes, but refuse to reverse the charges. If this occurs, complain to a manager and let them know you will be filing a report here.
Remember Don't let them get away with it! Make sure they make the Rip-off Report .. The more Reports filed on a Company or individual, the more likely it is that the authorities, media and attorneys will want to take action.
And good luck Let us know how you do!
ED Magedson Founder, Rip-off Report.com & Author of www.ripoffrevenge.com
Don't let them get away with it.
Make sure they make the Rip-off Report!
We are not lawyers.
We are not a collection agency.
We are Consumer Advocates.
...the victims' advocate
WE are Civil and Human Rights Activists
We are a Worldwide Consumer Reporting News Agency
...by consumers, for consumers
CLICK HERE to read about Credit Card Scams... find out how to get your money back. *Rip-off Report Investigation provides valuable information.
Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on InPhonic
STOP! ..before you think about using the Better Business Bureau (BBB)... CLICK HERE to see how other consumers were victimized by the BBB's false or misleading information. Don't be fooled! It has been reported, when there are thousands of complaints and other investigations underway by authorities, the BBB has no choice but to finally give an UNsatisfactory rating to a BBB member business that is paying the BBB big membership fees every year. When a business is reported that is NOT a BBB member, BBB files WILL more likely show an UNsatisfactory rating, then reportedly shake down that company to become a member of the BBB. One positive thing about the BBB is, either way, if a business has an unsatisfactory rating with the BBB, you can be sure, the business is bad. But what about all those BBB member businesses that had complaints filed against them? Consumers never get to hear about them. What about the BBB advertising to the public? Is this a false and misleading perception they are giving about consumer confidence when dealing with a business? Click here to understand more of what consumers and business alike are saying about the BBB. You decide. ..Remember. The BBB membership is not earned, it's paid for!
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/24/2004 08:45 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Liberty-Wireless/Washington-District-of-Columbia-20007/Liberty-Wireless-Inphonic-Star-Number-ripoff-charged-my-card-without-authorization-pr-105257. 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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