- Report: #931058
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: Reachout Mobile
Reachout MobileInternet United States of America
Reachout Mobile Nexus Communications, possibly Verizon Wireless "Government Supplemented Cellular Service" , Internet
*UPDATE Employee: Response from ReachOut Wireless
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I've had this service for several months--and have come to the conclusion that it is a "government subsidized" SCAM. You'll see why...
When the phone was first sent to me, it was a very old Motorola model, but as long as it worked, i didn't care. Immediately i started having problems with the phone--it wouldn't hold a charge for more than 2 hours dormant. Having no experience with this company, i called customer service (for which you are charged airtime). I was kept on hold for over 45 minutes (at this time unaware of the online "chat" feature). I have no landline and therefore cannot sit on hold and then on the call for almost an hour--so, first--THEY ARE A CELLULAR COMPANY THAT DOES NOT HAVE AN AIRTIME FREE CUSTOMER SERVICE LINE like EVERY OTHER OTHER COMPANY DOES HAVE. QUITE OBVIOUSLY, THEY ARE TRYING TO DISCOURAGE CALLS FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE.
The "tech" performed several "tests" (how this can be done to determine charging status, i cannot imagine), and i was advised that a replacement battery/charger would be sent. Never came, but in the meantime i found a different mobile charger (not the one that came with the phone) that worked. In the meantime, i noticed several other issues: upon opening the phone after hours of not using it, a strange screen having to do with "backup" came up--but since this could be made to go away, i ignored it. Then, the other problems started...
First of all, the initial phone package came with irrelevant, incorrect documentation (one statement was that somehow, they would charge each customer $.99/mo to continue service [that's 99 cents]. strange, indeed.) Also, the method to check airtime balance was incorrectly given in the docs.
Now, the problems... I wanted to check my airtime balance. I followed protocol--dialed #022--and received a message, "0 hours, 0 minutes". This happened only sometimes--the other times, which weren't many--i received a balance statement that didn't make sense--too few minutes. I tried calling customer service--too long of a wait, so i went to the website, where there is an option for an "online chat". Since it was during their stated business hours, i clicked on it, but was informed chat was 'offline' and was offered a service contact form. To date, i have submitted over 10 of these and have NEVER RECEIVED A REPLY. Nor have i ever received even an acknowledgement that the form was ever received, besides the window that came up after submission that stated someone would get back to me withing 24 hours (something like that).
Continued to have problems with airtime. On the 6th of each month, i'd receive a text message indicating that my monthly allotment had been applied to my account. Still can't check balance. Seems minutes are running out excessively quickly.
In July, i needed to purchase minutes, as mine had run out, again, seemingly early. I did receive the purchased minutes, which are supposed to roll over if not all used. August came--i knew i still had purchased minutes left. Received the text stating monthly allotment. Tried to check to verify both purchased minutes and monthly allotment were in account--no luck. "0 hours, 0 minutes". Within a week, phone would not work--no airtime left. I once again submitted e-mail form request--never heard back, as usual. Did another "chat". This took OVER 3 HOURS--half with a "supervisor". They insisted i had used all minutes, did not suggest any remedy for not being able to check airtime, but told me i could view my call records at the website, which would PROVE i had used up the airtime. Well, i could only check back 2 weeks (about 20 calls--which shows that i am NOT constantly on the phone), and the airtime only added up to a half-hour or so. Could not check what had happened to the 250 minutes and the rest of the ones i had purchased. I told them i could only view a few calls on the website. They sent me a "file" of the rest--which received an error message when i tried to open it. No comment. Strange. I was given 20 "inconvenience minutes". I am also told a new battery and charger were being sent. I asked if the not being able to check airtime balance was a phone-related or service-related problem. NO REPLY. I asked if it was a common problem--if i was the only one experiencing this--NO ANSWER.
Two weeks pass. I receive no battery or charger. I go to chat. I am given a tracking number and advised it should arrive by the 21st--the very same date it was. It actually came during the chat. Only it was a charger--no battery. Okay. This day i am on chat for over 2 hours again. Now i am beginning to realize that these "technicians" apparently deal with several customers at once. First of all, the chat window shows they are "typing" almost constantly, but i never get much that comes to me. They constantly avoid answering questions, and the ones they do answer seem to be "form answers"--the pre-prepared ones given them. Second, the average response time on this "chat" is over 10 minutes--when asking for additional info--since they don't answer YOUR questions.
My main problem for which i asked for the chat was this: again, my 250 monthly minutes seem to have run out in less than 3 weeks, even though the call records for the last 2 weeks (all i can check) show i had only used 44 minutes. I was on a call that was interrupted (cut off) due to no airtime remaining. Then, the next day, i magically had minutes again (although, as usual, a check showed no balance)!!! I guess, to find out why i can't check balance, i am transferred to a "supervisor" who gives me all these instructions to call different numbers for "online programming" for the phone. Then i had to go over all these menu options on the phone with the guy. Some of these included him trying to get me to set the 'location' of the phone (TRACKING!!) to "on"--which i don't do purposely. Strange. And when i asked him why, of course, no answer. They never answer ANYTHING. End result of all this nonsense is that now, the phone doesn't work AT ALL. I am instructed to send it to them--at my cost, of course--and when received, they will send a replacement. Until then, i am without a phone.
So--this is what i think: Perhaps it IS a common problem. It seems like they are paid to provide this service and then short the customer on airtime with no way to check it. They make obtaining customer service almost impossible--inordinately long phone hold times, do not reply to THEIR OWN SERVICE FORM, an inadequate chat seems the only way you can get "help". They purposely avoid your questions, take hours to NOT SOLVE YOUR PROBLEM (and IF it DOES gets solved, if there is anything left for them to do once you're disconnected, don't expect it to happen...). And, the other complaints i have seen online seem to have to do with paid accounts and many excuses about why the airtime was not applied...
I AM A TAXPAYER. The reason i qualify for this service is that i am eligible for $42 in food stamp benefits per month because i make such a small salary now (ECONOMY??) compared with what i used to make. There are other government subsidized cell phone companies and i have NEVER heard of such problems with them. I chose this one because they have rollover minutes, which none of the others have with a 250-minute plan. Now, however, Assurance Wireless has supplemented their 250 program with 50 free texts, so i may change--but FIRST, i want satisfaction here. AND PLEASE--anyone reading this who has experienced the same thing (or other problems with Reachout), or, an attorney reading these--contact this site with your problems and maybe we can start a class-action or something as this company is clearly STEALING from the taxpayers...
Thanks for your patience reading this. I know i am verbose, but i try and explain to understanding...
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/22/2012 02:06 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Reachout-Mobile/internet/Reachout-Mobile-Nexus-Communications-possibly-Verizon-Wireless-Government-Supplemented-C-931058. 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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