Report: #1014950

Complaint Review: Assurance Wireless

  • Submitted: Fri, February 15, 2013
  • Updated: Sat, February 16, 2013
  • Reported By: caramani — lincoln university Pennsylvania United States of America
  • Assurance Wireless
    PO BOX 686
    PARSIPPANY, New Jersey
    United States of America

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My father-in-law resides in a nursing home and receives $45.00 a month from his social security check. The nursing home receives all his money with the exception of $45.00.  November of 2012 I sent

Assurance Wireless his Social Security benefits statement and a letter from the Nursing Home stating the Nursing Home takes his money to take care of his needs.  My father-in-law was denied due to making too much according to his social security statement.  I told an Assurance Representative that I sent a letter from the Nursing home stating that they take his money for his care.  They told me to mail a copy of his Medicaid card.  I mailed the Medicaid Card (5 times), he was still denied.  I called and they cant help me, and they keep telling me to complete another application.  Almost 4 months later, still no phone and 9 applications completed with all the required information.  The only thing my father-in-law looks forward to is calling his sons and he cant do that because he cant get a phone.  Im going to call my State Representative and put this out on YouTube too.  Im not giving up and will keep calling those higher up to help my father-in-law.  This is so sad!

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#1 Consumer Suggestion

Negotiating Assurance' System for 'Free' Phones

AUTHOR: Logikal1 - ()

I, too, had problems getting my Assurance Wireless phone. I'd decided to mail the documents requested i.e. my proof of income, disability, etc.  I was turned down flat the first time.  So, I fixed the one error claimed (it wasn't mine, actually - someone'd missed the part where I checked off why I deserved the phone) & re-sent the package. Nothing. Turned down again. And again. AARRGGGHH! What was up?  I was more than a little steamed. After 4 months of aggravation I did what I should've done in the first place.  I called the offices & asked for a supervisor (I found out years ago never to talk to the first line reps in any company...they rarely know anything. Why I thought this was different is beyond me).

To call Assurance [or any company]and speak to a supervisor don't waste time talking to phone reps, no matter how much they insist. As soon as they answer the phone, listen for their name & say, " 'their name' I need a supervisor, please." If they ask for what, politely thank them (by name) for their offer to help... but you were told to ask for a supervisor. [It's not a lie...I'm telling you!] Repeat that phrase if you must, but they rarely argue after that. (I always smile & use names while talking to these reps & thank them for offering. It comes over the line & psychologically the person wants to help you because you're a nice person. Learned that trick in my Masters' Applied Mgmt courses)

I taped my call, just in case. (In Ohio it's legal as long as one party [me] agrees). I spoke to a great supervisor who went and got my file.  She checked it over & couldn't have been nicer.  She apologized & told me to resubmit the forms via fax with a few additions (including her name/ID#) to ensure it was handled promptly. 10 days later my phone came.

RE: how much trouble you've had, The fact his Soc. Security check goes to him & then to the LTC facility is your hold-up. I hope the Social Services rep on site at the facility is helping you. It's not a favor, Under the CMS rules & MDS requirements it's their job, in case you didn't know. Unfortunately the way Congress (under GWB) set up the rules for the free phones the gov't didn't take that into consideration. (My mom's 90 & had the same trouble) That's why you need a supervisor to handle the paperwork.

Assurance' supervisor told me they can get over
2,000 applications a DAY. They MUST be extremely careful to dot their I's & cross their 'T's because of the literally 100's of conservative & anti-help-anyone groups trying to shut the free phone program down.  If they approved every application without question it would mean the end of the free phones. Having 2 conservative family members who can't believe I dared to get one even though I'd worked for 40+ yrs & wasn't a deadbeat (they, of course, didn't offer to help by adding me to their plans) I can understand why Assurance often errs on the side of caution. Yes, it's a bloody nuisance but if you stick to it I know you WILL get your dad a phone.  

The supervisor said if I had my original paperwork (I did) I could fax it in vs mail. Either way,they get tons of mail & faxes & sometimes papers can get separated. When you send in your papers (IF you have to again), put your dad's FULL name in BOLD print on the top of each page & number them 1 of 4, 2 of 4 etc. just in case. Just put the last 4 digits of his SS#. [xxx-xx-1234] But I think you've done more than enough for a supervisor to go over everything and find the SNAFU. If nothing else, get the supe's name & phone ext or ID# & fax it to their attention. If one supervisor won't work, go up the line to their supervisor. Sooner or later, you get the person you need. Its the rule in every company.  (My satellite TV provider was so bad I had to go to the VP in charge of Cust. Svc. ! I stuck to my guns & got what I needed.)

I hope this helps. Once the phone arrives the service is quite good. Haven't dropped a call yet and my minutes of use are tallied continually so I know exactly how many I've used by clicking the tab. That's a service my fmr (paid) company never offered...I'd have to call in to get that info.

Good luck to you! I'll keep you & your dad in my prayers.
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#2 General Comment


AUTHOR: FallenAnjel - ()

Your father has an INCOME of at least $2500, (since that is what goes to the nursing home).  Even if that's AFTER taxes that's $30,000/yr. The income limits for NJ are as follows, as found on the Assurance Wireless website:

1---- $15,512 
2---- $20,939 
3---- $26,366 
4---- $31,793 
5---- $37,220 
6---- $42,647 
7---- $48,074 
8---- $53,501 

It doesn't matter if the Nursing home is taking the money, they're taking his INCOME.  Dad just makes too much.  I agree w/ another poster who said the kids should chip in and get him a phone.  You can get Boost Mobile for $35-$50/month.
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#3 Author of original report

Missing the Point and Principal

AUTHOR: caramani - (United States of America)

The nursing facility does have phone, but it's up to the patient to pay their own bill on a monthly basis ($35.00 a month).  My cell phone service has changed and it's now $30.00 a month instead of $9.99.  I already pay for two of our parents and son and have maxed out the lines.  I'm paying for student loans, and helping so many other people too.  The point is that my father-in-law worked all his life until placed into a nursing home and should at least be able to get a pre-paid phone.  He qualifies and we are tired of getting the "run around".  He nor our family never asked for help, but the point and principal is that he qualifies and every time I call, they can't tell me why.  Maybe, if nothing happens, maybe the company will try to improve their customer service.  I will not be responding to anymore reports. 
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#4 Consumer Comment


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

Your father in law monies from SS pays for his nursing home care because he had no assets upon being placed unless said assets were transferred years ago into his children's name to avoid draining his assets for long term care.  Most nursing homes have phones in the residents rooms unless said resident is in a wing that is designed for Alzheimers/Dementia.  IF the nursing home is taking his SS check leaving him with a small balance every month what is he doing on Medicaid??

If you have a cell phone add him to your service - I added my parents for 9.99 a month.  I don't qualify for this service either - my unemployment benefits are more than their alloted terms and I can't even qualify for Food Stamps or Medicaid - I have paid into the system for a long, long time yet I can't get the benefits I need to survive.  So quit bitching until you have walked in my shoes. 
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#5 Consumer Comment

I "KNOW" the facts and wonder why people expect...


the government to pay for everything?

That's what's happening with you and yours.  Get a life and like the previous poster said, all of you chip in a few bucks and get him a phone...geez.

BTW, I don't like MY tax dollars paying for it either.
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#6 Author of original report

No the facts before running your mouth

AUTHOR: caramani - (United States of America)

My father in law receives 2500 hundred a month from social security and the nursing home takes it. He has worked all his life and is a tax payer too. My husband and his brother buy his clothes and help those in need with food and their bills. We too are taxpayers and work for the government, and we will continue to help in those in need. So the person who was rude to leave the comment about we should pay for put father in laws phone, go @$@$ yourself. My father in law has paid taxes and deserved some help. The people that do not work because they don't want too should receive your comment. Not taxpayers like my family.
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#7 General Comment

You know the Tax Payer is paying for this?

AUTHOR: IamGood - (USA)

According to your own testimony,  You said "my father-in-law looks forward to is calling his sons", so instead of you trying to SOAK the tax payers to buy your father a cell phone, why dont your spouse, and the brothers, chip in money and buy a cell phone, and a plan for your Father In Law.

Why should the huge amount of taxes I pay for my internet, cable, cell phone, and home phone be used to buy your father in law something that his sons should be doing for him????


GD GD GD !!!!
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