Report: #474202

Complaint Review: Wireless Advocates At Costco Wholesale

  • Submitted: Tue, July 28, 2009
  • Updated: Mon, December 10, 2012
  • Reported By: Pierce County Washington
  • Wireless Advocates At Costco Wholesale
    Seattle And Puyallup
    Puyallup, Washington
  • Phone: 206-428-2400
  • Web:
  • Category: Kiosks

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

I had asked my wife when she got a new phone. She said last week. She stated that she got it for free. I asked her if she signed a contract. She said "No"

I thought about it for a second and went to Costco to order some eye- glasses. I stopped by the Wireless Advocate Kiosk and asked if I could get a free phone. The guy at the Kiosk asked for my phone number and looked me up. He said I would have to sign a contract. I told him that my wife got a free pone without signing a contract so why can't I? He said that we made her get a 2 year contract to get a phone.

I was kind of taken back because my wife said she didn't sign a contract. After I got my glasses ordered I went home and asked her.

She said that she told the Wireless Advocate at the Kiosk not to give her a contract so he didn't - she said he just said "OK no contract, just sign here for the phone" It became apparent that he openly lied to my wife and using this deceptive tactic - openly and blatantly stole 2 years of service payments openly from my family.

I went with my wife back to Costco and asked for the money back. Doogie the Wireless Advocates and Costco Wholesale Phone Rep did not have the contract and stated "It is somewhere else but we have it!!! Doogie (Real Name) who was a smart mouthed customer service rep for Wireless Advocates representing Costco Sales said "Your a liar, we wouldn't do that - Give me $200 now!!!!

I replied "Step Back" to the guy (Doogie) and stated that " You have lied about the contract and deceptively took 2400 from my family so this is not the time to get insulting. Doogie said get the hell out of here I'm calling a Costco Manager to get you!!!

Sure enough Costco Management showed up and said "Lots of people complain about them but what can you do if you signed the contract. I said that I never saw a contract and neither has my wife. We are sure that the only way that my wife signed a contract was because the guy at the Wireless Advocates said it wasn't a contract. The Costco Management handed me the boxed phone and said here you go - See Ya!

I was surprised that Costco with dropping stock values, high priced memberships (for stuff that you can buy cheaper elsewhere without a high priced membership) would act in such a way. But it happened and here we are.

Lied to, insulted, $2400 in the hole and a Costco member paying overpriced dues for junk we can get cheaper elsewhere. Lesson learned - don't join costco, avoid Wireless Advocates and don't get anything alone.

Where is Jesse Jones when you need him
Pierce County, Washington
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/28/2009 12:23 PM 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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#1 Consumer Comment

Hilarious idiotic

AUTHOR: respondent - ()

This has to be the most hilariously idiotic post I've seen on this website. "B.O." and his wife actually think companies are in the business of handing out phones for free? The dim-witted wife obviously couldn't follow the conversation she was having with the employee at Costco. And then his wife spent half an hour signing a contract (you have to sign quite a few things) and gave all her info (social security, etc.) and STILL didn't notice that she was signing a contract? How dumb can you be? Is she even literate? And the husband blames this company instead of realizing he is married to one of the dumbest people on earth? Wow. 

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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Wireless Advocates

AUTHOR: jon - (United States of America)

I worked there for several months. They are a good company who also goes above and beyond to make the member happy. Even if a phone was out of the 2 week return date, the costco mangers often return through the store.

Silly customer....... Nothing is free 
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#3 Consumer Comment

Wireless Advocates Never Again

AUTHOR: Business owner - (USA)

I acted in a timely manner.  I had dealt with this for 10 month. I was in Costco and on the phone with Wireless Advocates quickly.   They told my wife to come back and put her off during the 2 weeks after buying the phone - a dishonest tactic. I did switch all my families phones to another carrier and quit costco for letting the Wireless Advocates in their store. In the long run I have saved money from quitting both and am handling the business end of everything. Salesman are more likely to lie and mislead women. This was just a warning to others - that is what this site is for.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Here endeth the lesson...

AUTHOR: Vince - (USA)

The experience of B.O. shows that not every salesperson is perfectly trained or honest. (I know, duh, right?) It's important not to duplicate his mistake by waiting before escalating his complaint. If possible, do so before the end of the buyer's remorse period given by every carrier (varies from 14 to 30 days last time I checked). I'm not saying what happened was this guy's fault -- or his wife's -- , because the explanation he initially received was garbage. But by his own admission, he waited 10 months (!) before calling a T-Mobile representative. By then the moment had been lost and his claim of never using the account when indeed it had been became a big factor in T-Mobile's decision to accommodate him.

My two cents:
1. Don't let that happen to you. Don't be passive and don't wait.
2. Escalate if necessary, but be constructive. You're usually talking to someone who wants to help you, so laying out the facts and what you want helps. Ridiculing rarely helps.
3. If all else fails, vote with your feet. There are almost always other providers. 

One footnote: One thing I have liked about my own Costco/Wireless Advocates experiences is they generally do a good job of covering the agreement's t&c's in a so-called "customer letter." There will always be detractors, but others must like shopping there. In its article on where to get superior customer service when buying cell phones and service, Consumer Reports listed Apple and Costco. No carrier or other retailer made the list.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Done With Wireless Advocates Forever :)

AUTHOR: Business owner - (USA)

The situation is a result of driving sales at any cost. This time the consumer paid the price. Yes it was dishonest of Wireless Advocates and it is easy to see that the cover up (above) is an attempt to make light of the situation.
The fact is:  (1)It happened.
(2) Wireless Advocates do lie to cover up
 (3) The attorney general's office in many states have stepped in to help folks.
 (4) I will never buy a cell phone from wireless advocates or anyone associated with them
(5) lesson learned.

Thank you, Rip Off Report!  I hope that folks that avoid Wireless Advocates will find better service and be happy as a result of this information. Good Day and God Bless!
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#6 UPDATE Employee

Wireless Advocates Customer Service

AUTHOR: Customer Service - (United States of America)

As a customer service specialist at Wireless Advocates, I'm disturbed to hear of any dissatisfaction with elements of our service.

If our customers are unable to get an appropriate resolution to ANY problem at their local Wireless Advocates kiosk or through our online ordering, I strongly urge them to immediatley contact our customer service team at (206) 428-2400 or by mail at Wireless Advocates Support Headquarters, 2101 4th Avenue, Suite 1250, Seattle, WA, 98121.

I'd like to note that at Wireless Advocates, our teammates of all levels and positions are dedicated to core values that help them to help our customers, and for our customers to view us as experts.  These values include a strong service ethic and integrity.

If we come up short in these categories, please contact us directly in customer service so we can address the situation!
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#7 General Comment

No Costco employee, just an aggressive consumer

AUTHOR: Vince - (USA)

For the record "Business Owner" is wrong. Since I first bought a phone at Costco in 2005 I was directed to the sign explaining that an agreement was required. It's still there as of last weekend. Look for the white strip under the phones at your Costco kiosk.

Also for the record, I find the Wireless Advocates people more knowledgeable, and less likely to mislead me than the staff at Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile corporate stores. (I've never had AT&T so I can't express an opinion about them.)

Look, "B.O." is an easy target to ridicule, but that isn't my intention. My point is that too often we cede power to others too easily. His wife was misled or didn't understand and when he tried to correct the matter he received poor customer service. Then he gave up.

Actually, he continued to complain -- here, to the wrong people. He should have called his carrier immediately, rather than wait until he read my initial rebuttal. He also should not have let the WA and Costco staffers get away their weak "nothing we can do" positions. 

Lesson learned: Complain and explain what you want. The company will likely explain it's position. If it's reasonable, there may be no other recourse, but if it's not and get nowhere, then escalate. Falsely claiming (or threatening) "class action suits" to bolster one's position doesn't help. Keep an even tone but be firm. If you don't know how to properly complain, get help.
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#8 UPDATE Employee

That is not the company standard

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

I apologize for the actions my "peer" has done. That is an individual case, and maybe the ethic of that individual kiosk, and perhaps the DM of that district if actions like that are not being held accountable. That is FAR from the integrity the company tries to impose on its employees.

I ask that you not take it out on our company, or Costco. We do not work for Costco, and the fact that the management of that Costco said those things about THAT kiosk shows a lack of concern for its own business and members. I encourage you to provide feedback to corporate Wireless Advocates if that is the case.

However, I work in a store in Virginia, and we pride ourselves on being a service provider, not JUST "salesmen." Often, we get real-time customer feedback stating they prefer dealing with us versus the appropriate corporate provider location.

I do not expect you to change your thoughts on the company. That is not my intention. It did concern me to hear that type of feedback about a "peer", which I find unacceptable, and just wanted to give my voice. BTW, I am not in any type of leadership position. I am a "peon" in the company, and have acquired a small degree of success thus far. Thanks for reading.

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#9 General Comment

Rebuttal to the Costco Employee remarks above

AUTHOR: Business owner - (USA)

Well we can see that a costco employee is remarking on this. By the way - no signs are placed around the kiosk stating that you must have a contract to get a phone or anything of the sort - seems you made that up. Wireless Advocates doesn't return anything - they delay you until the 30 days is up and you can't return it. Wireless Advocates and T-Mobile has been taken to court in class action law suits in other states for this deceptive practice. Washington unfortunately hasn't done this yet.

I talked with Brian (Phone 877-290-6323 ext 8029) from T-Mobile - 2 days ago. I informed him that I haven't had an account with T-Mobile since August of 2009. I in fact have Boost Mobile for 50/mo- no contract  and month to month unlimited everything and costs less than T-Mobile. Brian stated that he knows that I call people with T-Mobile phones so he is still billing me $100/mo even though I have no contract with the Scammer. I pretty much laughed at him and his immaturity. He was suffering from "T-Mobile can't tell the truth syndrome"

 But I am not powerless. I have good credit, I own a business, I canceled Costco and saved the membership fee and over $2, 500 in costs because office products are cheaper elsewhere. Costco lost a Biz that spent over 10k/yr there. T-Mobile is just a bunch of lying scammers that will eventually get caught - I'm just doing my part and not leaving it up to others.
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#10 Author of original report

Wireless Advocates and Costco - Further Deception and False Statements

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

It appears that the only recourse is to call customer service who then refers you to the Kiosk of Wireless Advocates who then refers you to the customer service who then refers you to Wireless Advocates Kiosk and on and on.

Everyone went to the same Training to lie to customers.

But "NOBODY" can find a contract. But they sure as heck say they are definitely sending me a big bill. Good job Costco :) you are only as trustworthy as your employees and in this case - your management. Hmmmmmmmmm??? No contract - No deal - except in Costco
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#11 Consumer Suggestion

You exaggerate; you have options

AUTHOR: Vince - (USA)

You act as if you had no recourse when you obviously had. Cheated? Maybe, I wasn't there. Powerless? Definitely not!

I'm sorry this happened to you, but you don't need to have the original or copy of your contract to reverse your upgrade. Don't pretend you're helpless because you weren't. Why didn't you call your carrier, the entity your contract was with in the first place (not Costco, not Wireless Advocates)? They would have told you what the contract also says. Return the phone in 30 days (14 for T-Mobile outside CA) and your upgrade gets reversed. And you KNOW how easy it is to return things to Costco!

And you should have filed a complaint to Doggie's district manager.

It's too late to correct painlessly now; your 30 day window are long past, but next time your wife doesn't read the signs I see plastered all over the Costco kiosks that say a contract is required, try manning up instead of hand-wringing "woe is me".
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