• Report: #817517

Complaint Review: Straight Talk

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  • Submitted: Tue, January 03, 2012
  • Updated: Fri, February 03, 2012

  • Reported By: PatJ — Waynesville Missouri United States of America
Straight Talk
9700 NW 112th Ave. Medley, Florida United States of America

Straight Talk TracFone Wireless, Inc. Fraudulent enticement to replace problem phone with "far superior phone and generous minutes" = 30+ hours invested for spit Medley, Florida

*Author of original report: Yes, you are missing the point

*Consumer Suggestion: not missing the point

*Author of original report: REbutt to the Rebuttal

*Consumer Comment: not a rip off

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I purchased a $98 Straight Talk phone and $30 per month pay as you go service. Calls were constantly dropped, reception was painfully poor. My next door neighbors were also less than thrilled with their service. After hours on the phone the technician promised "far superior" phone replacements and that we would be pleased with service compensation once resolved.  Based on this enticement I did not return the phone to seller for a simple refund or replacement, which I could have done at that time. 

More discourse as they wanted my initial phone returned before they would issue the replacement. We were told there would be a 3-5 day turn around. I refused - was not about to transfer an extensive contact book by hand multiple times nor be without any phone service nor be forced to purchase another phone. After repeated calls spanning weeks I received a replacement phone. It was the same phone. I refused to accept and activate it as it was not the "superior phone" promised. Later that same day my original phone was deactivated. It took until afternoon the following day to activate the replacement phone. If anything, the reception was worse than the original.

Repeated calls to Karen Calderon, who is supposed to handle BBB complaints, were not returned. Several more calls and another replacement phone, without a sims card, that utilizes Verizon towers instead of ATT arrived. It's roughly equivalent of the original phone, dosen't have some of the features and certainly is not superior, but the call quality is acceptable. Then I called to ask for the promised "generous" compensation in phone service. I was told they would only award 15 days service. I had spent more than 20 hours on the phone, being lied to, mislead and misinformed by this organization. Now I'm insulted. Two months of this and my time and aggravation are deemed worth less than a dollar an hour? Not even considering the time and loss of dropped calls and reception so poor that communication was impossible. 

My neighbors purchased interrem phones with intent to return them within the 2 week period allowed  for a refund  and sent their phones in when originally requested. It took more than 3 months for the REFURBISHED phones to finially be delivered. Those phones aren't working worth spit either.  They were offered NO minutes and of course the interrem phones could no longer be returned.  I have no idea how many call and hours my neighbors put into even getting that much, but it was considerable.

After more than 30 hours invested in this matter I told them I wanted 6 months of $30 level service.  That's not even minimum wage for my time, never mind the aggrevation and frustration.  With BBB involvment (Complaint ID#: 90121838) the most they "could" offer me was 2 months service. The phone replacement retails for $10 more than the origional, dosen't have games and will not allow individual calling number blocking.  I have refused their offer.  Complaints have also been filed with the FCC (http://www.fcc.gov/complaints) and here.  Additional complaints will be filed with the Division of Consumer services at 1-850-922-2966 or their website at www.800helpfla.com and the Attorney General at 1-850-414-3990 or their website www.myfloridalegal.com.  Further, my vehicle is having lettering to warn other consumers to research complaints and local media attention will be sought.  Since I work for WalMart, having that in thier parking lot will put the word out to a whole lot of consumers.

PatJ, Waynesville, Missouri

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/03/2012 06:19 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Straight-Talk/Medley-Florida-33178-1353/Straight-Talk-TracFone-Wireless-Inc-Fraudulent-enticement-to-replace-problem-phone-with-817517. 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
2Author 2Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Yes, you are missing the point

AUTHOR: PatJ - (United States of America)

The technician was aware that the signal was the problem.  I was told the phone replacement was to recieve BOTH ATT and Verizon signals.  The first replacement phone was the same identical phone that used ATT signal.  The second used Verizon and was essentially the same phone, sans some of the features.  I did NOT misunderstand that a phone would be sent directly as issues with being without service, transferring contacts was discussed.  I was told the phone would be sent directly within 5 days.  Now, ST may have chosen not to do as I was promised by thier representative but that is not due to any misunderstanding on my part.  What he told me is WHY I did not simply return the phone to point of purchase for refund or replacement which I could of done at that time as I was within the period to do so. 

Further, my neighbors did send their phones in in compliance with the modified request by Straight Talk, paid $50 for shipping and purchased temporary phones to have service during those 6-10 days turnaround promised rather than fight to have what was promised held to.  It took more than 3 months and hours and hours of calls on my and their part to get those phones replaced.  Referbished phones, identical to and with just as poor signal as the origionals is what they finially got.  They could not return the interrium phones at that juncture and are stuck with them as well.

What I had requested in compensation is not out of line with the level of effort I was forced to expend dealing with them.  They record these conversations and knew full well what thier rep stated and chose to ignore it, chose to make this as difficult and taxing as possible likely so that I would simply give up as my neighbors did.  Further, if anyone cares to Google Straight Talk complaints they will find no shortage of exactly the scenario that I am complaining about.  This is typical of what can be expected in dealing with ST customer service.  I wish I had checked them out prior to chosing their service and been forwarned.  I will do my utmost to let others know what they too can expect and take that into account in thier buying decision.  

You sir, obviously work for Straight Talk and can try to spin this all you like.  The trail of complaints that can be found on the net back up my experience as typical for this organization.  That you cannot erase. 

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#2 Consumer Suggestion

not missing the point

AUTHOR: toolman90 - (USA)

I am not missing the point. You are right you could have returned or exchanged the phone where you bought it at, but you choose to have straight talk go through the warrenty process on the phone.  Plus the technican promised according to you words, "far superior" phone replacements" It does not say it will be different than the model you bought but would be better than the non functing phone you have. The delay you experianced was not unreasable because that is the standard shipping time 3 to 5 bussiness days. Most cell phone warrenty's require that you have to pay for the shipping and that you must send them the phone before they will do anything. They sent you a replacement phone but it did not work so they sent you a different phone model that works according to your complaint. No company I know of will do that.  Most Pre Paid companys will not do what Straight Talk does. Most pre paid companies will say call the manufactor or buy a new phone. I fail to see how straight talk ripped you off. I think you and the technican had a missunderstanding. You thought supperior replacement ment a different or better phone but what he ment it would work better than the non working phone you have now. The phone you have works and they credited your service for 15 days so that way you would have 30 days of service which you paid for.
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#3 Author of original report

REbutt to the Rebuttal

AUTHOR: PatJ - (United States of America)

You're missing the point.  I could have simply returned the origional phone to the seller for another model myself or chosen another carrier as it was within the period to do so.  Because I relied on assurances and enticements provided by the carrier I did not excercise that option.  The resulting delay deprived me of that opportunity and I was stuck with their phone and no other recourse.  30 hours of my time were ate up as they fought tooth and nail doing ANYTHING as promised.  That is bait and switch, if not outright fraud.
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#4 Consumer Comment

not a rip off

AUTHOR: toolman90 - (USA)

It sounds like you live in a area where AT&T has poor reception. They replaced the phone to see if that rectified the issue which I am surprised they did because you are suppose to send the phone in so they can determine if it can be repaired, if not then they give you a refurbished phone of similar quality. When the replacement did not work they gave you a different model of phone that runs off of Verizon Wireless network which they don't have to do, according to your complaint the reception is a lot better. They even reimbursed the days of service that the phone was not working which was 15 days. But that is not acceptable to you when they replaced the phone which they should not have done because you did not send in the phone so it could either be repaired or replaced. When you recieved the replacement phone you did not activate because you got the same phone you paid and bought at the store. When the phone didn't work and was worse than the last phone they eat the money and got you a different phone model that works on Verizon Wireless network and it works like it is suppose to and they even reimbursed you for the days it didn't work. and you expect them to give you a free month of service. It sounds like to me they went way beyond their duty to try to make you happy but no matter what they did you were not going to be happy and in turn filed a ripoffreport which is not even a rip off.
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