ED Magedson – Founder
Michael From Pinnacle Financial Group7825 Washington Blvd S. Ste 310 Minneapolis, Minnesota United States of America
Three years ago my husband wanted to switch our cell phone provider from T-Mobile to Verizon. When we notified T-Mobile of the switch, I was shocked to have them tell me that one of our four lines had a new two-year contract extension. This line was used by our son who was then living out of state. I knew I hadn't extended the contract, and our son was not authorized to do anything other than use that phone.
T-Mobile says that we upgraded the phone on that account, and that's what necessitated the contract extension. What actually occurred was this: My son's Motorola phone quit working. The battery would not hold a charge, and could not be charged. My son tried to take it to the T-Mobile store where he was living to see if it could be repaired. He was told by the T-Mobile representative that they didn't fix phones. He tried to get the phone replaced, but since the account was in my name he wasn't permitted to do anything with the phone.
A couple weeks later my son made a trip home. It was a very brief trip, so I went to the T-Mobile kiosk in our local mall. I was also told that no repair to the phone was possible. My only option was to be given a new phone. I knew the rules about phone upgrades, so I specifically asked the representative if that meant I would have to extend the contract. I was told that because I was merely replacing a defective phone there would be no contract extension. In fact the new phone, other than being new, was a downgraded phone. The defective phone had a camera. The replacement phone did not. The new Motorola phone had no special features at all.
Thus the shock at being told that we were terminating that particular contract early. I explained to the T-Mobile employee on the other end of the line that there had to be some mistake. She said that the mistake should be easily rectified, and it would be no problem for her to take care of it. After going through the particulars with her over the phone, she said everything was handled and there would be no charge for early termination.
Obviously, that wasn't the case. About a month later I got a statement from T-Mobile with the $200 charge on it for early termination. I called T-Mobile, I wrote T-Mobile; but it was all to no avail. The next thing I knew, the account was turned over to a collection agency. I received a call from the collection agency, was able to explain the situation to a reasonable person, and then sent a letter of dispute. The matter was dropped - until T-Mobile sent the account to yet another collection agency, and another. Those collection agencies also had reasonable people I could talk to, and when they received my letters of dispute, the matter was promptly dropped.
Pinnacle Financial is the fourth collection agency that T-Mobile has used to attempt to collect on this bogus early-termination fee. Pinnacle called before their first letter was received by me. The first caller was a woman who seemed very nice at first, but when I tried to explain the situation to her, she began to treat me with disdain as though she thought I was stupid. She assured me that she has an account with T-Mobile and that they would never make such a false accusation. I had to be lying, or making up a fairy tale. She also proceeded to inform me just how a contract extension works. There was a lot of nonsensical double-talk in what she had to say, which was very frustrating. But I listened politely.
The second call came just two days later. I had just received the letter from Pinnacle the day before and had not had the opportunity to write my letter of dispute. The man that called was argumentative and accusatory right from the start. I could not be heard by him over his yelling. I finally gave up and just hung up the phone.
The third call was the same. Although I had sent my letter of dispute out by the time of the third call, I was willing to be patient because I didn't feel they had had time to receive it yet. However, the man was loud and rude, and would not permit me to speak. If I tried I was immediately interrupted. I hung up on him.
The fourth call came yesterday, 11-5-09. This young man started out calmly enough, but his belligerent attitude quickly came to the fore when I tried to tell my side of the story. He, too, has a T-Mobile account with five lines. Hmmm! And strangely enough, there is no record of my letter of dispute which was mailed on October 20, 2009. Hmmm! Before I ended the call with this young man, he was yelling at me, "You should have taken care of this from the get-go! You should have taken care of this from the get-go!" I yelled back that I did take care of it from the get-go. But the man wouldn't listen.
Taking my husband's advice, I terminated the call with this latest, and rudest caller yet, and placed a call to a Pinnacle supervisor. But the "supervisor", if he indeed was one, was even more rude than any of the previous callers. He got upset with me when I "lumped him in" with his rude employees. But I realized then that he was probably the one who trained the employees to be as rude as they are. This supervisor actually blamed me for there being no record of my letter of dispute. After all, I "didn't send it certified mail." I never had to send any of my other letters of dispute to the other collection agencies by certified mail. And, actually, none of the Pinnacle employees said that they never received my letter of dispute - they only said there's no record of a letter. Hmmm! I think my letter did arrive there because I had the correct address as it was recited to me by the fourth caller.
Yesterday, after my encounter with the Pinnacle supervisor, there were four calls that were placed to our home phone where the callers did not respond when we picked up the phone. We could hear them on the other end, but they didn't say anything to us. I cannot say for sure if all of these calls were actually from Pinnacle because the phone numbers were all different. But the circumstances are very suspect. I have heard that this is one of Pinnacle's thug tactics. The last call came at 8:05 PM. Am I correct in my thinking that it is illegal for them to make calls that late in the evening?
I sincerely hope that something can be done to stop the people at Pinnacle from harassing more former T-Mobile customers. I will oblige the Pinnacle supervisor by sending out one more letter of dispute, this time by registered mail with a confirmation of receipt. I hope that will take care of the matter, and that T-Mobile and Pinnacle will learn that I mean what I say. My yes means yes, and my no means no. I do not make it a habit to pay others for mistakes they have made where my money is involved!
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/06/2009 10:50 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/michael-from-pinnacle-financial-group/minneapolis-minnesota-55439/collection-agency-smichael-from-pinnaclmichael-from-pinnacle-financia-54892htm-520532. 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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