I had ordered a phone from Inphonic. The phone was supposed to be free when I signed a 2 yr Cingular contract.
The phone that arrived was not even new. It was refurbished. Secondly I had requested my old phone number to be ported to the new phone. Cellularchoice.net/Cingular could not port my old phone and gave me a new phone number without my knowledge.
When I realized the phone number was not my old one I decided not to activate the phone and terminate the contract. However before I could terminate the contract I got a call from Cingular saying someone(Inphonic?) had already activated my phone. Since they were worried someone could be misusing it they asked me to clarify the matter with the local Cingular store.
By the time I sorted the matter out with Cingular(they still have all the records of my interaction with them ) it was almost 4 weeks. Cingular terminated my contract within 30 days without any issues and didnt charge me a single dime since I never used the phone.
Among the terms of the agreement was that I could terminate the agreement within 30 days without any penalty charges. I had done so but I didnt know where to return the phone.I tried calling up cellularchoices customer service which was pathetic to say the least. For one, they are open only from 9am to 7pm weekdays and never on weekdays. I tried calling them but was put on hold for almost 20 min on weekdays thrice and had to disconnect. How do they expect working guys like me to contact them ?
Then I got following email from Inphonic :
"Your InPhonic, Inc. equipment agreement, which is separate from your AT&T agreement, requires that you maintain service on this wireless account for a minimum of 181 consecutive days in order to retain the equipment discount applied to your initial order. As service has not been maintained for the required period, and in accordance with the consent granted by you when the order was placed, reimbursement of the equipment discount in the amount of $250.00 is now due."
I called up Inphonic again. After just 35 min of waiting on a weekday I finally got through to a rep. She was rude and told me not to bother sending the phone since I would have to pay $250 or they would refer matter to collections. Her reason: Even though I terminated the contract within 30 days I did not return the phone within 30 days. She transferred to someone higher in hierarchy(named William) who didnt even pick up the call. I left him a message on his voicemail and he didnt bother to call me back(Not that I was surprised).
I have now figured few ways how this fraud company makes money:
1.They give refurbished phones as new.
2.They allow you to terminate Cingular contract within 30 days with no penalty but they charge you $250 if you dont maintain service for 181 days.
These 2 conditions are in conflict with each other so even if no penalty is charged for terminating within 30 days you still get charged 250 bucks for not keeping the service for atleast 6 months!
3.Even if you are not charged penalty for terminating contract within 30 days you are still charged $250 for not returning phone within 30 days. So how does a person like me who terminates a contract on say 28th day ensure the phone reaches them within 30 days when he doesnt know where to ship the phone ?
I was googling Inphonic to find some contact for this company. I was shocked to reach this forum instead and find so many posts against.Then again maybe not .
If everyone knows what a fraud company this is how is it still running and why isnt action being taken to close it down ?
white plains, New York