• Report: #124720

Complaint Review: Wireless Retail, SC Kiosk, Radioshack, Verizon Wireless, Sam's Club

  • Submitted: Tue, December 28, 2004
  • Updated: Wed, June 20, 2007

  • Reported By:willard Ohio
Wireless Retail, SC Kiosk, Radioshack, Verizon Wireless, Sam's Club
1070 N. Lexington Springmill Rd. Mansfield, Ohio U.S.A.

Wireless Retail, SC Kiosk, Verizon Wireless, Sam's Club RIPOFF Ended up owing over $1800 for 2 months of CRAPPY cell phone service Mansfield Ohio

*UPDATE Employee: And this is RadioShack's fault.......HOW?!?!!?

*UPDATE Employee: And this is RadioShack's fault.......HOW?!?!!?

*Consumer Suggestion: Alternate perspective

*UPDATE Employee: Blame Wireless Retail not Radioshack

*Consumer Suggestion: Authorised Dealer

*Consumer Suggestion: This is not uncommon.... you've been caught by the dreaded 2-year contract

*Consumer Comment: Mitch Cellular service is not a necessity

*Author of original report: the CRAPPY cellular phone "service" if you can call it that

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OK here it goes, sorry if it runs on too long, or gets hard to follow, but it is hard to type when you're in a fevered anger . . . . I was approached by a sales rep while inside my local Sam's Club, offering a seemingly good deal on cell phones.
Since my wife and I do not have much family we talk to, and really only call each other to and from home to work, and were
considering dropping regular phone service in favor of a pair of cell phones, we were intersted.

I signed a "contract" (legally binding me into a royal you know what) with a total moron (have not seen him since in the store)who did not disclose other fees,terms,per minute prices, out of plan stuff etc. for a pair of cell phones-one for me, one for my wife-did not have full contents of contract shown to me, bought "insurance" ($30 each phone) for phones I paid over $100 for each one to begin with-which would have come in handy when my wife lost her phone, but was told would have to file police report AND pay an aditional $50 to REPLACE lost "insured" phone.

We decided to wait it out a bit and see if her phone would turn up (we were currently in the moving process). For some unkown reason, I received a HUGE bill from Verizon, (I stayed within my plan's allowed minutes on the single phone) and only AFTER I had to ask to have a copy of the contract I "signed" was it given to me (mailed me a small book, not the cheesy carbon copy paper crap I signed at the store). Also did not have any record or even memory of my own of signing a contract with Wireless Retail (whom I have learned are now out of business, or more appropriately, sold out and are still operating inside Sam's Club under the name SC Kiosk)-but I now legally owe them $200 each phone.

Does anyone else know that when you make just one small change to your Verizon plan (i.e. over the phone) the contract AUTOMATICALLY renews itself? I could not even make a Verizon payment in cash anywhere (had to wait in line 45 min. at Verizon retail store before I was politely told by another moron that I can not normally make a payment here, but he would do it only because I waited so long-no signs/notifications/etc. of this anywhere in the store). Also be careful of loopholes in service plans-when wife lost her phone, we had to temporarily transfer mine to the primary number in our plan-ONLY by asking to do so, but in the mean time, I was charged 45 cents a minute/no free weekends/etc. that my wife's phone had-but it AUTOMATICALLY switched back after another 30 days to the secondary phone-again this was not disclosed to me until after I called and questioned and dug through the service reps B.S. about a $400 cell phone bill that should have had all these free minutes/nights/weekends/etc. but did not.

Needless to say I was (you know what) off, and after having my service cancelled for "non-payment"($50 was all I could afford at the time-2 kids in diapers who love to eat food get really expensive fast with only one person working-but it was not enough to keep or even re-instate my service,and Verizon denied my payment). So I cancelled my service all together. Of course I have been informed of my "breech of contract", or actually two contracts, and will have to pay out through the you know what.

Now we are being harassed by bill collectors, threatening legal action against us. I have paid it down some, but I still owe $1400 total Between these two scam artists (Verizon and Wireless Retail), and at one point it was over $1800 total. We live paycheck to paycheck, and I work 2 jobs, just to survive, usually about 70 hours/week so my wife can stay home and raise the kids instead of letting the babysitter do it. I want to go back to school, but how can I financially afford to quit doing the overtime? I wanted to take the kids to Disney this spring with my tax return, but it is going to some fat cat in some office somewhere.

Maybe I am just a retard, but my troubles are not in vain if someone else can learn from my stupidity . . . . Just please BEWARE and read EVERYTHING and ASK QUESTIONS!! Plenty of questions.

I wish there was some way I could tell others BEFORE they fall into this trap, rather than offer my condolences after the fact.

I am switching to digital phone as soon as it becomes available, as well as totally boycotting Verizon, and probably Radioshack, as they now own the remnants of Wireless Retail. I was going to get my sister's family a Sam's Club membership for X-mas, but I do not think I will even renew my own next time,I mean what other kind of crap do they sell there? I found out I was too late to get in on the class action lwas suit against Verizon, but am currently looking into filing my own . . . .
Peace and may God bless and HELP and protect everyone else out there being scammed, and try to pray for your enemies . . . .

Mitch
willard, Ohio
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/28/2004 02:39 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Wireless-Retail-SC-Kiosk-Radioshack-Verizon-Wireless-Sams-Club/Mansfield-Ohio-44906/Wireless-Retail-SC-Kiosk-Verizon-Wireless-Sams-Club-RIPOFF-Ended-up-owing-over-1800-124720. 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:
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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

And this is RadioShack's fault.......HOW?!?!!?

AUTHOR: Kevin - (U.S.A.)

As much as I feel sorry for what happened to you, this was not a problem caused by RadioShack. You weren't approached by any RadioShack employees, because what you just described is not tolerated at ANY RadioShack location. As for the contract, the best thing to do would have been to READ THE CONTRACT!! While people who come to my store usually come to get their phone(s) and get out, I go over every detail of the contract with the customer and make sure that they fully understand the terms BEFORE signing the contract.

If you go elsewhere for a phone, as I said earlier, read the contract, and ask questions before signing. If the sales rep tries to rush you into signing the contract before you're ready to sign, let them know that you are willing to leave the store if you are not given the proper time to finish. Also, on the off-chance that you DO go to a RadioShack store and something like that happens, don't call the store manager, but ask for the contact information of their District Manager. The reason I say this is that if it is left up to the store manager, the associate could end up just getting a "slap on the wrist", whereas the District Manager has direct disciplinary powers up to, and including termination. If they refuse to give you the DM's number, you can also complain by calling 1-800-THE-SHACK. I hope this helps.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

And this is RadioShack's fault.......HOW?!?!!?

AUTHOR: Kevin - (U.S.A.)

As much as I feel sorry for what happened to you, this was not a problem caused by RadioShack. You weren't approached by any RadioShack employees, because what you just described is not tolerated at ANY RadioShack location. As for the contract, the best thing to do would have been to READ THE CONTRACT!! While people who come to my store usually come to get their phone(s) and get out, I go over every detail of the contract with the customer and make sure that they fully understand the terms BEFORE signing the contract.

If you go elsewhere for a phone, as I said earlier, read the contract, and ask questions before signing. If the sales rep tries to rush you into signing the contract before you're ready to sign, let them know that you are willing to leave the store if you are not given the proper time to finish. Also, on the off-chance that you DO go to a RadioShack store and something like that happens, don't call the store manager, but ask for the contact information of their District Manager. The reason I say this is that if it is left up to the store manager, the associate could end up just getting a "slap on the wrist", whereas the District Manager has direct disciplinary powers up to, and including termination. If they refuse to give you the DM's number, you can also complain by calling 1-800-THE-SHACK. I hope this helps.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Alternate perspective

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

Mitch, I truly hate to hear about that experience you had. Unfortunately, almost all cellular companies have many "fine print" items. Many of them have strings and other stipulations that should be disclosed by the salesperson, but unfortunately get left out from the point of sale. Maybe b/c there are too many to remember. I have been in the wireless industry since college, going on 12 years now, for 2 different fortune 200 companies, and I have heard many horror stories like yours.

I agree with some points mentioned in some other rebuttals, and disagree with some as well. I agree that cellular service may not be a necessity, but, unlike 10 years ago, is much more affordable (in most cases) and with being able to replace a home phone with a wireless one, in many cases can save people money (free ld).

It would have definitely help if you know what questions to ask, but if the rep acts at all like he is green, just walk away, b/c there truly are many questions you need to be asking, and they may not remember them all, or selectively forget anything that might change the consumers' mind.

At any rate, I would suggest trying a company that should have service in your area. They actually have the largest owned and operated network in America, and dont extend contracts to change plans and features (I have heard that about verizon from many other customers as well).

If you just need phones for you and your wife to talk to each other, you can get service for like 65 bucks a month for both phones, tax and all. The contract you sign is for the equipment. The phones are actually very expensive. Even the "free" phones cost close to 200 retail without a contract. With them you can do a 2 year, 1 year, or no contract at all (with no contract and 1 yr contract, equipment prices will be higher). And insurance, I wouldn't carry it.

All carriers will have a deductable along w/ the monthly charge. Cheaper to get a used phone on ebay than buy new or carry insurance. Usually the insurance is through a 3rd party company like ensurion. I hate you had a bad experience and hope that it doesn't deter you in the future from giving it a shot again. But definitely dont buy a phone over diapers! LOL Let me know if I can be of help to you!!=
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#4 UPDATE Employee

Blame Wireless Retail not Radioshack

AUTHOR: James - (U.S.A.)

First off, I see no reason what so ever to put any blame onto Radioshack for somthing they had absolutly nothing to do with. I'm very sorry to hear about what happend to you but that is the way that most Wireless Retail workers were trained. I have been in the wireless industry for nearly 3 years working with just about every cellular company at one point in time. I once applied and was hired for a position with wireless retail, upon going to their first training meeting I could see that this was NO company that I wanted to be affiliated with. Now Radioshack on the other, is a very good and honest company as hole. I am currently a worker for S.C. Kiosks and I love everthing about it. When Radioshack first bought Wireless Retail we received tons on complaints from the old reps that WERE Terminated upon the take over, very few actually got to keep their jobs including DM's and RM's. Yet we were still happy to try all that we could to resolve the customers problem the best that we could. My point here exactly is that you can't be angry and upset at your cousin for somthing that your brother did, same situation, no reason to be angry with Radioshack that had nothing to do with what happend to you. Not to mention I am equally not a fan of Verizon or the way that they treat their customers, in my particualr S.C. Kiosks location we do NOT carry Verizon and I couldn't be happier, we get enough upset ppl coming to us for help about their service.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

Authorised Dealer

AUTHOR: Genieve - (U.S.A.)

Im sorry to hear you had those problems. Unfortunately, some authorised dealers can be unscupulous. Their main goal is their commission.

With the authorised dealer, Verizon is responsible for the service only. These other people sell you their equipment and insurance. This person should have given you the information as to how much your first bill would be and gone over the contract with you. This is how its done at a Communication Store.

The contract does not automatically extend with a change. No contract can legally extend for more than 2yrs. Whoever told you that lied. What have you done to try to remedy this? Have you spoken to a supervisor?

Did you by change read your contract? About the phones and your service. That man probably sold you crappy phone. What make and model were they? Just curious.

I do hope things get better for you.
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

This is not uncommon.... you've been caught by the dreaded 2-year contract

AUTHOR: Magic - (U.S.A.)

I'm sorry you feel "ripped off" over this whole matter. I actually used to work for another cell phone company (Cricket Communications).

Unfortunately, you've been caught by the dreaded 2-year contract you agreed to when you bought the phones (I recently signed up for Verizon too). The terms and conditions for the "contract" you signed up for should have been sent to your home/mailing address as well. The contract itself is probably contained in the receipts (mine were), and it actually contained the plan you signed up for (I signed up for one too: $59.99/month, 2 phones, 500 anytime minutes, unlimited night (after 9pm) & weekends, unlimited "in" calling to other Verizon wireless customers).

Your large bill might have been the result of usage during "peak" times, which results in "overage" minutes, of which can be up to and over $1.00/minute with some carriers.

I really feel for you because I know it's hard with 2 kids...I have 3 myself, all under the age of 3, and I'm only 24!!

Your problem is with Verizon Wireless, not Sam's Club. The guy who sold you the phones was just an "authorized dealer". Also, most wireless companies use credit cards or checks to make payments nowadays, which is actually cheaper than paying with cash (credit cards and checks costs the company less...no way for employees to steal them).
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#7 Consumer Comment

Mitch Cellular service is not a necessity

AUTHOR: Susan - (U.S.A.)

Cellular service is not a necessity. With children in diapers why not spend the money on diapers.

People complain all the time about high cellular bills, but they have the stupid thing glued to their ear 24/7.

Stop trying to keep up with the Jone's family and purchase necessities instead of luxuries.

If you don't know how cellular service works, study it - asks questions and use it responsibly. And definitely if the guy was such a jerk why did you buy his product?
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#8 Author of original report

the CRAPPY cellular phone "service" if you can call it that

AUTHOR: Mitchell - (U.S.A.)

Sorry!! I forgot to describe the CRAPPY cellular phone "service" if you can call it that which I "received", or at least the 2 main gripes I had with the service:

1. Lost MANY MANY calls on a "nationwide network"-probably more calls lost than completed or kept, even more sadly, within 20 mins. drive of where I live and bought the phones, even more sad/funny, many calls to Verizon themselves were lost/dropped-usually resulted in us having to ask everyone, just like in the commercials "Can you hear me now?"-maybe that is just an ironic cruelty they put in the commercials so they have something to laugh all the way back to the bank with! Ha ha ha ha. I know that it's somewhat normal/common I guess to lose a call, but . . . .

2. NON-SECURE phone network! My wife was trying to make a call to Verizon, and overheard some other guy paying his bill-name/account number/SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER(!)/BANK account/credit card even-very good thing for him that we ourselves are not scam artists!
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