Report: #484472

Complaint Review: Alltel /Z Wireless

  • Submitted: Mon, August 24, 2009
  • Updated: Mon, August 24, 2009
  • Reported By: Mart n Lisa — tucson Arizona USA
  • Alltel /Z Wireless
    United States of America


* : Are you new to cell phone contracts or something?

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

First of all thx to rip-off report for the informative website that they have created. I recieved a postcard in the mail from Alltel and Z Wireless for a new cell phone with $0.00 money down. I was APPROVED!!!

I thought about their "free phone offer"  for a couple of days before  I finally called them.HUGE MISTAKE!

To make a long story short I now have two motorola cell phones,one I cant even activate, and somehow owe them $216.95. And I havent even made a phone call yet.On top of the $200.00 i just read the 15 day"risk free"  return and exchange policy,and all im responsable for is shipping,handling and processing fees as well as charges based on usage such as a pro-rated portion of the monthly fee.Thats "FEE" not risk "FREE".                                                             

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/24/2009 01:47 AM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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Are you new to cell phone contracts or something?

AUTHOR: ReactorCore - (Canada)

I have to wonder, because from your report, it makes me think this is your first real cell phone purchase and plan. Let me explain...

I went for a long time doing "pre-paid" wireless in order to understand minutes, how to manage them properly and such. A really good step for any consumer to take, actually. It teaches respect for how easy it is to gobble up time on a cell and start incurring additional minute charges. Anyway...

I was soon comfortable enough to actually sign on to a "real" month to month 3 year contract at each of the 4 providers I've been on. All of them do the exact same thing. I'll set up the scenario then break the charges down for you, OK?

I got my phone for the free "$0" as advertised. Literally. With my current carrier, the actual activation was done at another location than the phone was purchased at, and it felt really, REALLY strange, walking into a department store, asking for a phone, getting some preliminary paperwork done and walking out without having given that department store a single dime. Let's continue, shall we?

All cell providers charge you the following: the first two month's cost of whatever plan you signed up to, plus any system access, activation fees or additional charges (like taxes). ALL ON YOUR FIRST BILL.

In my current sign up, my fee for my plan (which is pretty bare bones) per month is only $22. I know that my first bill is going to be high. Because I'll be charged $44 for 2 months of the plan itself and my activation fee of $35. In addition, if I got any ringtones or games, or I used a service that charges my cell bill directly, like #TAXI (a texting based service to call a cab if you don't have a number for them: $1.75) are all going to show up too.

So, in my case, I have $44 + $35 (all to do with just the phone and base plan), then 3x $6.95 for 3 games to keep me happy, and I've used #TAXI once when I was in a bind. I know I'm going to be staring a final total of $101.60, before taxes, in the face, and I haven't even looked at my online bill yet.

Am I surprised, shocked or angered? No. I'm not, because I know this is how the system works, and it's no different anywhere else. I asked a lot of questions regarding my billing when I started. In the case of my latest carrier, they just told me flat out upfront to expect this without me even having to ask. However most other carriers will have expected you to read the terms and conditions regarding billing, or at the very least, hope that the sales staff where you got the phone will have an in-house policy to explain them, although I don't think there's any actual requirement to do so.

However, on the upside, I get 26 days (this varies a little with each carrier) to satisfy the bill. More than enough for me to go through a couple of pay periods at my job and pay the two month charges as if they were separate, breaking the total down into two equal payments. It'll just look like I'm paying close to my regular rate, the difference being I'll be doing so once per payday for one month. Big deal.

The carrier won't care, even if I pay in two equal sums in the space of that 26 days. Even if I'm going to be a few days late with the final payment, all I have to do is call and tell them so, because they said they see this all the time from many people who ultimately just don't "get" how the "two months advanced billing" works.

Now, since I know how to NOT go over my minutes, I'm not going to see any charges like those. I'm actually able to check how many minutes and texts (that are built into the plan) are left to me and I do so on a very regular basis. So, I know my estimation above is going to be very close.

Now, let's look at you:

What you didn't provide in your report, was what kind of plan you chose, but I'm going to hazard a guess that you went with something middle of the road, around $35 - $45. You also got a second phone. You said you can't activate the second one. Without more detail, I can't say why that is, and it may be because you can't activate a 2nd phone without having the first activated or something along those lines, but I'll bet in the case of your bill, you're being charged the plan rate, plus the other access fees, taxes and such on both phones.

It was the same with my last carrier when I had someone else on my plan... You shell out for the main account phone, but that second phone doesn't come for "free" as such. It has initial fees that have to be met, such as activation, too. It'll be charged it's own plan rate. So if you got a $35 plan, every month, you'll pay $70 between the two phones.

As I said, you didn't detail your plan in your report, so there are gaps here. However, the basic problem is as outlined above. You always pay two months up front on your first bill. Unless you're doing a prepaid plan, in which case, you'll not find a phone for free anyway.

Hope this helps.
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