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Why you shouldn't do Business with U.S. Cellular

Spoons is being screwed by U.S. Cellular. Call it a U.S. Cellular horror story. If you want a review of U.S. Cellular see Spoons.

I'm baiting google in case you wondered.

I've had a cell phone since the days when they had to be carried in a suitcase. I've never been jerked around like he was by U.S. Cellular.

I think every contract I've ever has said you had to pay out the contract OR pay the termination fee. They should charge him no more than whatever his 1 month obligation is. (You have to read it)

Personally Spoons, I'd get a monkey over there that can read... Admittedly that sounds hard. Then I'd point him to your sitemeter. Then I'd point him to Glenn's site meter. (Then to ours et al) On a typical weekday, about 10,000 people will see this rant on this site alone.

The dipwad you spoke to asked "so what's my motivation to ignore the contract?"

There is a statistic often quoted in the restaurant business... If a customer has a good experience at your restaurant he will tell 2 other people. If he has a bad experience, he will tell 8. I think the bully pulpit of the blogosphere could give him a few hundred thousand reasons to reconsider.

I was recently a similar situation. I ordered a pair of computer speakers for a customer. They came to me WITHOUT a proprietary power supply. When I called, they told me that the power supply was not in the picture, so I did not get it. Further, they did not even sell it.

After an hour of arguing with the guy I told him, "OK Fine, you've won... But you know what I'm going to do next? I'm going to go to resellerratings.com and every other business review site I could think of and post this story on line." Suddenly he had a change of heart. He mailed me a bigger set of speakers free of charge.

If you are having trouble with U.S. Cellular service, then other potential customers should be forewarned.

BTW- I'll be updating this post and/or making a new one with the behavior of U.S. Cellular.

UPDATE: Spoons, since nobody has pointed out the obvious, allow me. I've never seen anywhere where you said you tried to cancel the contract. If fact, you have offered to abide by it.

I have not seen your contract but I'm sure you are obligated to pay for the service... I'd very must doubt you are under contractual obligation to use it. IF you want to pay for a month you do not use, they can hardly charge you $150 more for not using it!

AND EVEN IF they want to make the argument that porting the number was a cancellation of the contract, they are still out of luck. If U.S. Cellular. did not allow the number to port, then (by definition) you have not cancelled the contract. DUH! If they disallowed you from changing carriers, they can't charge you $150 bucks for wanting to change carriers.

All jokes aside, gimme the info and 30 minutes on the phone and I'll wrap the whole thing up for you. (No joke, I'm so good at things like this my wife has often said I should open a business where I take on big companies for a percentage of the money at stake. I'd probably be rich. Just gimme the info and I'll be happy to cut thru the red tape.)

Update 2: Well, 11 minutes and 23 seconds on the phone and it was resolved.


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Comments (41)

Wow, two posts on cellular ... (Below threshold)

Wow, two posts on cellular provider preferences on the same day from two major blogs! (Powerline has a post praising Sprint).

What are the odds?

I sense fodder for another wacky conspiracy theory from the leftists.

Wow, I just wanted Paul's o... (Below threshold)

Wow, I just wanted Paul's opinion, and instead I get the awesome power of Wizbang behind me. It's good to have powerful friends.

For the record, the company I switched to was Sprint, and they've been great so far.

I use Verizon and their cus... (Below threshold)

I use Verizon and their customer service is excellent, good plans and good phones. Not to mention good coverage.

the only other service i've heard with excellent coverage is T-Mobile (this is from talkin with sailors who have to use their phones oftentimes miles offshore)

Working as a phone monkey a... (Below threshold)

Working as a phone monkey at Verizon, I can say that we are a better option than the other wireless companies.

Just don't yell or swear at the poor customer service guy on the phone.

Don't stick with inferior companies.
-=Mike

I've just cancelled my subs... (Below threshold)

I've just cancelled my subscription to Sprint. Not because of poor service mind you, I just hate contracts. I've been considering Tracfone.
Does anyone here have a tracfone? How do you like it? For those who are unfamiliar, Tracfone is a no contract service. Instead it requires you to pre pay for minutes. I'm considering it, but don't want to make the commitment until I've heard the good/bad news from those that have used it.

www.tracfone.com

Just wondering, has anyone ... (Below threshold)
Shane:

Just wondering, has anyone emailed US Cellular to point out all these posts? I'd imagine someone upstream would want to make this go away :)

I have a Tracfone. Never h... (Below threshold)
BorgQueen:

I have a Tracfone. Never had any other cell phone, so I'm not sure exactly how to compare it to the others. I don't use it often; I just like having it in the car in case of breakdowns. I blew a tire not long ago traveling the NYS Thruway in the middle of nowhere and was literally back on the road 35 minutes later. If I hadn't had the phone, I'd probably still be sitting there at the side of the road. But that's not what you asked..sorry...the reception on the thing is fine. They have many different choices as far as buying "units" goes. You can buy as few as 40 for $19.99 or so. Local stores carry the cards (Target, WalMart, etc.) or you can buy units online. MUCH more convenient, since I can activate the units at the same time. Units roll over and I need to buy more every 60 days (they do have an option where you have active service for a year). I've even signed up for email service with them and they send me a notice when my 60 days are almost up. It's pretty much idiot proof....or in my case, Borg proof ;)

I posted this at Spoons, to... (Below threshold)
ginabina:

I posted this at Spoons, too, but I think it bears repeating.

Not only didn't he terminate the contract; it is highly unlikely that he signed a contract in 2002 that said that porting his number to a new carrier constituted a termination...

Number portability happened in 2004.

Not that I'm averse to lett... (Below threshold)

Not that I'm averse to letting you try, Paul, but I made the exact argument you suggest. According to them (as I pointed out, I don't have a copy of the contract anymore), I'm required to have an ACTIVE line. According to them, when I asked Sprint to transfer the phone number, that made the line inactive, screwing me.

I plan to go into the store as soon as I can get someone to drive me. Perhaps talking to a human will make a difference.

Regarding TracFone: I used... (Below threshold)
Rick C:

Regarding TracFone: I used one for a year or so. Eventually I went with regular service (Cingular), but I gave the phone to a relative and he still uses it. The reception and coverage is, in my experience, as good as with anyone else's (TracFone doesn't have their own cell towers--or even numbers, so you're actually on other networks!) but the one caveat, of course, is you're paying far more per minute. If I can divide properly, your best deal with TracFone is currently 19 cents per minute (400 minute card, $79.99).

Just a quick word about Spr... (Below threshold)
Chuck:

Just a quick word about Sprint, my carrier. Great service, shared minutes, no issues and the GREATEST part for those who do not know. Sprint Home Long Distance is $15 a month, unlimited, anywhere in the U.S. With tax, about $17 and change. The wife wears the home phone ragged with a daughter in NYC and us in Georgia. A real bargain for us.

(OT - But just wanted to al... (Below threshold)
BR:

(OT - But just wanted to alert everyone: Very interesting prediction based on the stated aims of Thornburgh's law firm's site under "Area of Practice" - section under "Internal Investigations" in a thread called “Thornburgh to Withhold CBS Report To Prevent Criminal Prosecution of CBS Execs, here.)

The best deal around for pr... (Below threshold)
The General:

The best deal around for prepaid cellular is Verizon "Pay as You Go." You pay a 25 cent connect fee for each call, and then only 10 cents a minute after the first minute. You can buy minutes "refills" for as little as $15. And you can't beat Verizon's coverage.


Vaguely OT, but if you've b... (Below threshold)

Vaguely OT, but if you've been thinking of changing your landline to Lingo, Vonage or one of the other Cable/DSL-based phone services, you might want to wait a while. I got Lingo, and while it's dirt cheap ($19.95 total with all features and free long distance to the US, Canada, Mexico and Western Europe, no taxes or other fees), it's been a disaster. First it took four months to port my number over, and even after they gave me a second free month I paid two phone bills for two months. Dropped calls, impossible to send a fax without multiple tries, funky voice mail behavior and tech/customer service people who don't give a flying f%#k about whether you're happy with your service or not. And when something goes wrong, you fix it yourself, often with incompetent tech help. Completely unacceptable.

I don't actually know how Vonage or other services work, but if it's anything like this, it sucks. You don't know how much you miss reliable phone service until you don't have it.

About Shane's remark -- tha... (Below threshold)
-S-:

About Shane's remark -- that maybe someone "upstream" would "want to make this go away" -- no, no they don't or at least, won't.

I had a similar and ongoing horror story as Spoons' only mine was with MCI. I'd just stay on the phone until I advanced past ongoing disconnects from impossible "customer service reps" -- so many I could never begin to write them all up here, because the "customer service reps'" modis operandi is to hangup on a "problem" that they cannot "make" the "customer" "abide by" or similar (no ability by "c.s.reps" to resolve issues beyond a paperwork plan they must be reading from, is my experience) -- anyway, I'd just call back and spend sometimes several mornings and/or afternoons on holds and then calling back and calling back and calling back and always asking for:

address to which to write to someone outside of customer service (in my case, either a telephone number and/or address for a CEO).

What I'd get was this telephone number for the "CEO" of "MCI" and then this woman who identified herself as the "Administrative Assistant" to the CEO would always answer, and was, without a doubt, far more didactic and less flexible than even the "customer service reps" and would disconnect my telephone calls without making my complaint known to the CEO, nor without providing me with an address to which to send a letter of complaint. She was just rude, quite nasty and would disconnect the calls.

I finally, after saying I was going to write to my legislators, got a call back from some "Supervisor" somewhere who explained that MCI was going to issue me a refund but that was THREE YEARS after my complaints began.

And, you know what I was complaining about? It was later, many years later, exposed in media that the Justice Department brought MCI to task about the very problem I was attempting to seek remedy for all those years: overcharges by MCI on calling card use.

All those years, I'd been using a private extension that was assigned as a number to me, and using an MCI Calling Card to place those calls (billed them to me but used a number than ran through a PBX system, something that anyone receiving calls couldn't perceive -- although it wasn't a covert method, it was just what was available to me through a condominium, and using my Calling Card was far less expensive than direct dialing through the PBX and being billed by the Cond. Association for toll calls with a markup later), that ran through a PBX system, so I could get (and I did) the PBX printouts every month that showed when the calls began and ended and then I'd compare them to the MCI monthly bills for that Calling Card.

And what I'd find is that MCI was routinely, as in, constantly, marking up the times involved on all calls such that they'd be billing me far more than was accurate to be billed for my calls.

I got some explanation those three years later that there was "a switching problem" that was advancing the calls forward in time, such that the bills were higher than accurately would be, and they issued me a refund for any/all invoices I could substantiate the misappropriations (notice the responsibility was on me to prove their problem, after they admitted the problem and they never did respond when I'd point out "well, I'm just one customer here in this area who is being affected by this problem and I can substantiate the inaccuracies, but what about all those many other thousands of customers here who are not even aware that there's this 'switching discrepancy' and are just paying MCI these higher fees that aren't even accurate?" -- it was always at that point that the "Administrative Assistant" and the "customer service reps" would disconnect my calls, by the way).

Anyway, they refunded me what I substantiated but also advised me that "if you continue to make calls using your MCI Calling Card, the problem will still exist and we will only issue you a refund for past occurences, so you're responsible for any future discrepancies" or some B.S. similar to that, and it was years later that I read that there was some Justice Department investigation into the "switching problem" that had been going on for years.

I never complained to the Justice Department, by the way, but that's the second time that I've been very much ripped off by a national utility (first one was Falcon Cable in West Los Angeles), who treated me with such horrible disdain that they simply strong armed overcharges and inappropriate charges out of me and refused to discuss my concerns with an account, taking the "use the service or else" position along with the "pay the fees or else" retorts before they'd disconnect calls from me.

It caused me years and years of lost time from work, lost hours upon hours upon hours upon hours on telephones with people who nearly traumatized me to the point of exhaustion, much less how many dollars overpaid for fees I wasn't liable for, all to find out years later that they were, low and behold, being sued by the Justice Department for just such ripoffs on a massive millions of dolars level of customers.

So, never rely on "customer service reps" because they're people who are probably, in my experience, also traumatized with threat of losing their jobs if they even attempt to resolve some issue that jeopardizes the company demands of customers. Even when there are clear violations of ethics by the billing and/or companies involved.

I had a similar problem originally with DELL who has since made efforts to improve but there are still problems with their "customer service reps" who are among the worst in DELL's employ (their Tech Support people are the best, however, and have greatly improved but DELL still has a lot of work to do with their "customer service" personnel and I still have a major issue pending DELL's correction of their own problems so I'll see how it resolves...

But, anyway, lesson is is that the administrative level people aren't to be expected to resolve problems. They aren't your friend, they aren't there to resolve anything. It's a shame, but, that's the way it is in business, and, least of all those "CEOs" who aren't your friend either. In the case of MCI, it appears that there was awareness of the problem that I was experiencing, such that, I suppose, they assumed I'd just go away if they were nasty enough to me. They tried, no doubt about that.

These experiences leave bad memories such that once learned to such a bad extent, as has Spoons with U.S. Cellular and me with MCI (and I have faith that DELL is going to resolve their problems such that I don't have to add them to the list of bad service companies), customers just don't shop with them anymore.

COSTCO is nearing that point with me, despite their worthy stock as investment. I'm on the verge of going to Sam's Club for my next year's renewal of membership as to warehouse shopping.

I agree as to the "pay as y... (Below threshold)
-S-:

I agree as to the "pay as you go" preference with cellular use, unless you are on a cellular in excesss or in huge frequencies of calls and often.

You just pay for calls you place, at a higher rate per call, yes, but you also don't have to pay for services you aren't using. Which is what I find most objectionable about cellular plans: a huge plan fee every month for services you don't always if ever use.

I agree with Paul, however, as to how he reasons out Spoons' issue, and think USCellular should get smart, or lose, if not already. Bah, won't ever use them after reading this and hope that USCellular takes notice.

Ha, <a href="http://66.102... (Below threshold)
-S-:
Regarding the people talkin... (Below threshold)
McGroarty:

Regarding the people talking about pay-as-you-go phones, I like Virgin Mobile. They use the Sprint network, so call quality is good. The plan rate is very fair as well. The first 10 minutes in a day are $0.25 each. After that, it's $0.10/min all day. Minutes last for 3 months, and any time you add minutes your existing minutes' expiry is reset to 90 days. You have to add at least $20 each top up, so at the cheapest it's a $6.67/mo phone.

I'm a very big fan of Sprint if you use enough minutes that it's worth the bother of a contract. Call quality is good, and though they have an obnoxious voice menu system on the help line, you can just chant the magic mantra of 'operator operator operator' a dozen times and you get through to a human.

ATTWS (now merging with T-Mobile) is bunk. Reception is horrible in Chicago, and they lied to me about expanding service. I ended up checking with the local tower operators to see if ATTWS was among the clients expanding service, and the answer was "no" every time. I ultimately used this information to get out of service without paying a contract termination fee, and half a year in they even offered to buy back my phone. Unfortunately, I'd already performed percussive therapy on the thing.

Paul,Please don't ... (Below threshold)

Paul,

Please don't give in to these guys. I've spent the last 17 years "up stream", and believe me, if the "up stream" guys are made aware of your problem (not to mention your resources), they will happily walk away from the $150 - as they should.

Think about it. $150 is less than a 1/10 of what they'll lose, if you convince just ONE person to not sign up for a two year contract.

But, nobody, especially "up streamers", likes to be threatened (not that you have), and will rarely respond to threats. That said, it's been my experience, the more a customer yells, stomps, and threatens, the more harmless they are. Nothing gets the attention of an executive more than an upset customer who's calm, quiet, and focused. The executive is thinking; either this guy is legitimate (which is a shock, because many complaining customers are not - you'd be surprised) or he's crazy.

Finally, people who claim frequent mistreatment by large companies are the ones we (up streamers) look out for. They always have several “I was a victim” stories. We know they aren't legitimate, and they know who they are.

I have had a pay-as-you-go ... (Below threshold)

I have had a pay-as-you-go Tracfone for a few years now. It suits me perfectly. It's there when I need it, I can ignore it when I don't need it, and there are no monthly bills. I use it for travel and emergencies, and the occasional emergency question ("Quick! How much are you supposed to tip a valet?"). Yes, the per-minute cost might be more--but I'm not paying for service I'm not using, either. Unused minutes accumulate so there are no losses. The voice mail can be retrieved from a land line, thus not using up cell phone minutes to do so. They have just introduced text messaging in my area, but not being a teenager, I have no use for that. ;)

Generically speaking Chris,... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Generically speaking Chris, I use an incremental escalation of annoyance method. That is I'm down right friendly to the first 2 or 3 people I talk to.... Then I get increasingly more perturbed as I go up the food chain. (mind you it is all a carefully measured act)

The whole time I remind the "up steam" folks that the reason I'm talking to them and the reason I'm upset is that the "down stream" folks have not made me happy.

Usually, it does not take too long before someone realizes that the fastest way to get off the phone is to do what I ask. Temper tantrum never accomplish anything.

Another secret is NEVER use your ammo too early.. That is if I were Spoons the LAST thing I would mention is his blog. That is a weapon of last resort. If you use it on your first person you are now out of ammo.

The other secret to success is ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS find where you have the moral high ground. [ie YOU frame the debate]

In this case, the "winner" is that Spoons is willing to pay the last month. You can guilt whoever is on the phone with this weapon. It makes them look unreasonable to ask for more than that. I'd use that line on every person up the food chain until it worked.

My strategy is a little dif... (Below threshold)
Xrlq:

My strategy is a little different: start nice at every level. Assume each time that you're now dealing with someone reasonable who is ready to fix a problem the last guy lacked the authority to fix.

Paul,Excellent str... (Below threshold)

Paul,

Excellent strategy. Great point about using your ammo too early. You don't need me. You just need to find the right person at USC.

Good luck,

Chris

Chris: I beg to differ. T... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Chris: I beg to differ. The old "multiple mistreatments" denigration just doesn't fly. There are different types of consumers -- a lot of people never even read their bills before they pay them, and then the general majority do read them, some distrust/question them, but still pay them to avoid any further "inconvenience" but then there are a handful of consumers who actually confront illegitimate charges and dishonest statements. This last type (I'm one of them) are usually the ones that company types up stream and down focus on to discredit for the very reasons you mention (in this area, you're right) and that is, that customers who notice areas of discrepancies who don't receive resolution create larger consumer doubt about a company's credibility.

But, where we differ is that those types of consumers should create questions as to credibility, while you suggest that they should be held as incredible, considered as lacking credibility. Which is exactly what works to a degree, and only works to service company perspectives such as yours and to further denigrate the consumer.

If people yell and are irate, they haven't received any reasonable response. Unfortunately, calm and manipulative people are often the best liars. You should think about that.

I still hold that terrible experience I had with MCI as classic in my consumer experiences because the "up stream" people were truly awful, which then explained to me why those down stream were emulating what model and why. Companies function from the top down and whenever there are front line problems and bad attitudes and general disrespect for consumer questions, however large or small, you can bet that there's a problem in how the company is run. I never blame the front line people when there's lack of service but I always blame the upper stream people where there is. And look for alternatives as to consumer choices because of that.

Funny, I recall several car... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Funny, I recall several car salesPERSONS who lost my busines when they started in with that line of sales, that I didn't know what I wanted or what I needed, but they did.

Never attempt to assume that a display of emotion equals lack of credibility, but, actually, it is true that the opposite is.

I'm being screwed by Nextel... (Below threshold)

I'm being screwed by Nextel. I think they all suck.

Xrlq I kinda do th... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Xrlq

I kinda do that.... but with a twist...

CSR: "Joe Smith, how can I help you?"

ME: "Well, Mr. Smith your company has me fit to be tied over a simple problem, I hope you can help me because the people before you are just wearing me out. First they told me XXX then they told me YYY and you'll pardon me if I'm getting a little hot under the collar but this is really absurd. All I want to do is..."

----------------

I almost always use a variation of this script.

This does multiple things... It both shows that my patience is thin and hopefully gives him a challenge to solve. It also shows him that if he solves my problem I'm a happy boy if he jerks my chain I can really fuss.

And I always explain why I have the moral high ground and (by extention) he is a jerk to disagree. AND MOST IMPORTANT -- I close my opening statement with what I want him to do to make me happy.

That way he knows what I want and how to keep me from getting angry.

In a bizarre way, threatening to be angry is more effective than being angry.

Or in my world anyway.

More on MCI's incompetence.... (Below threshold)
PaulD:

More on MCI's incompetence...

My wife and I tried to switch from SBC to MCI in October 2003. We got a letter stating that they were glad we had switched, and we stopped receiving bills from SBC. However, we never got the full service we had signed up for with MCI, nor did we start receiving bills from them. We are honest people, and my wife and I have tried to tell MCI about the problem but to no avail. Their help hierarchy is set up as to avoid dealing with all problems (even those in their interest). To compound the issue, we've tried to switch to other providers, but our number is now recognized as disconnected. It always strikes me as amusing, when talking with someone about switching phone service, they will always say something about us not currently having phone service. I then ask them to look at their caller display, and they admit that they see the number in question, but deny that it is in service. After months of trying to find resolution, we've finally abandoned the endeavor.

PaulD

I ran into a similar proble... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

I ran into a similar problem to this with Network Solutions when I atempted to move the registrar of my domain. Since I was at the end of my contract with them, they refused to authorize the release unless I agreed to renew with them. Oncew I renewed, they would release it. They refused to budge. I wanted away from them so badly, I ended up paying the fee.

I had the last laugh though. Somehow, in the process of releasing the domain, they registered it for 4 years. I guess that in the end, it paid for them to be stubborn.

Re Vonage - we swapped over... (Below threshold)

Re Vonage - we swapped over when we moved. ComCast had been providing our digital cable/broadband/phone and we were happy with their service.

When we moved, the cable guy came out and Broadband and cable TV was working the day we got there. Phone, however - was going to be a 6 WEEK wait. We tried several times to get things pushed up, 'cause we didn't want to lose our number... but to no avail, and then it slipped two more weeks.

I looked at Vonage and Lingo, went with Vonage. They sent me the box, I disconnected my phone service at the outside junction and plugged in the Vonage box to our telephone system... and it's worked flawlessly (except for having to replace a router that was three years old and needing daily resets) since.

So, since ComCast was pissy about their phone service, they lost the $40 a month we were paying for their service, we cut our phone bill in half, and get better service. Maybe phone service isn't profitable for ComCast, and they're trying to disabuse their customer base of the notion they're a valid provider, but they could have done it a different way.

J.

> AND EVEN IF they want to ... (Below threshold)
brett:

> AND EVEN IF they want to make the argument that porting the number was a cancellation of the contract, they are still out of luck. If U.S. Cellular. did not allow the number to port, then (by definition) you have not cancelled the contract. DUH! If they disallowed you from changing carriers, they can't charge you $150 bucks for wanting to change carriers.

Yes they can. Porting a number is a termination of a cell contract. That's the way it works; even if there are technical glitches in the actual porting, you're asking the company to terminate your agreement. I don't understand this -- this isn't getting screwed, this is abiding by your contract. Or not.

Brett, it was not "technica... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Brett, it was not "technical glitches" that caused the number not to port, they held it.

Therefor if they refused to port it, they can't exactly say it was cancelled because of the port, now can they?

You don't have to answer... I called them on his behalf and it took them exactly 11 minutes and 23 seconds to cave. They knew they are off base.

Paul: nice work.Br... (Below threshold)
Xrlq:

Paul: nice work.

Brett: you're an idiot. Please tell me you work for a cellular company, not for a law firm. The last thing we need is yet another round of lawyer jokes.

If they held up the porting... (Below threshold)
brett:

If they held up the porting, they were wrong. But asking for a number to be transferred is terminating the contract. You are asking them to transfer your number to another carrier. How is that not termination?

> Brett: you're an idiot. Please tell me you work for a cellular company, not for a law firm.

Actually I do work for a law firm, which is why I understand contract law. Do you think all liquidated damages clauses are illegal?

Brett, no one claimed that ... (Below threshold)
Xrlq:

Brett, no one claimed that all, or even most liquidated damages are illegal. Reasonable estimates of damages that could otherwise not be calcluated are fine. Penalties are not. Here, the amount of lost profits for a breach at any point during the 24 month contract could have been calcluated in advance right down to the penny, and $150 is not a remotely reasonable estimate of U.S. Cellular's damages for what could at most have been at most a technical breach, and probably wasn't even that. And the illegal penalty was not the only problem with the application of the charge in this instance. If you had taken the time to read other people's comments on Spoons's blog before throwing in your own $0.02, you might have come across an earlier comment of mine linking to this post, which identifies seven separate reasons why the early termination fee was most likely illegal in his case. If you can show that all seven of these theories are wrong, more power to you, but if you can't, then perhaps it's time to stop defending a position so fundamentally unreasonable that U.S. Cellular itself is no longer defending it.

- S -Suzy, I was m... (Below threshold)

- S -

Suzy, I was making observations based on my experience, not denigrations.

Seeing that you've chosen to go down that road...

I thought my advice to Paul was straight forward. I said: “don’t give in”. His complaint certainly sounds legitimate, and more importantly, he sounds legitimate. I’m sure his problem will be resolved, once he talks to the right person. It sounds like the person he is currently dealing with is new, and is enjoying their new found power a little too much. I thought it was obvious I’m on Paul’s side.

You said: The old “multiple mistreatments" denigration just doesn't fly.

Actually, I said “frequent mistreatment”. The word “multiple” merely implies “more than one”. I went on to say: “They always have several “I was a victim” stories” and “they aren't legitimate”, meaning that an individual who exhibits an exaggerated distrust of people and / or delusions of persecution should be considered clinically paranoid. These individuals are usually hostile and argumentative as well. I was referring to people who think everyone [or every company] is "out to get them". They’re easy to spot, and their complaints should be [and usually are] carefully analyzed. So, yes, I think it flies quite nicely.

You also said: “If people yell and are irate, they haven't received any reasonable response. Unfortunately, calm and manipulative people are often the best liars. You should think about that”.

I suppose that calm and manipulative people would make good liars, but I never said “manipulative” or “liars” – you did. Are you saying that calm equals manipulative? Clearly, you are saying the explanation for someone being irate and yelling is that they haven’t received what you consider a reasonable response? Who decides what a reasonable response is? The customer? You? Either way, it sure sounds as if you're endorsing hysteria [yelling]. Yep, that should do it. I know I’m more willing to work things out when I’m getting yelled at. How about you? I’m sure that sometime in your life, you’ve had someone who was irate and yelling at you. Was it just because you hadn’t given them a reasonable response, or do your statements only apply to customers [like yourself] who’ve been persecuted by the Big Bad Business? Since you included the sentence “You should think about that”, I’m guessing your statements were also meant as an indictment of my character. But, then again, since you don’t know me, it’s probably safe to say that your hostility is directed at the many people, and organizations that have persecuted you. Yes?

Here is an issue I had with... (Below threshold)

Here is an issue I had with TMobile on a phone that was not under warranty. http://saintknowitall.blogspot.com/2004/12/tmobile.html
If anyone has any suggestions, I would be open to them.

Every cellular company has ... (Below threshold)
RJ:

Every cellular company has thousands of customers that are perfectly happy. They also have a few customers that aren't happy. If they find that someone else provides them service that suites them, more power to them! One customer that makes a stink publicly after he didn't research the details of the agreement he signed, does not make any company bad. If you search the internet you will find something bad about every company. Does that make them all bad? NO! Does that guarantee you can have your say? You bet!!! Speaking as a cellular salesperson, 14 years experience, people only hear what they want to hear (free nights and weekends, etc, NOT $150 early termination fee) even when they have been told properly about what the contract says. Having said that, Customer Service could have just accepted the payment for the remaining time and be done with it. I have seen many a customer come back as soon as their contract was done with the cellular company. Guess the grass isn't always greener on the other side! lol Sounds like it has worked out for you, Could have happened easier though.
Thanks.

My phone was just shut off ... (Below threshold)
Jason:

My phone was just shut off the day after i made a payment arrangment and paid them what they said I needed too. There reply was that whom ever made the payment arrangment should not have done so.Then I got 3 different stories from three different people. Then said pay the rest we owe by the 14 or I would owe them $500 for breech of contract. So whatever I will pay the bill but as soon as my contract is up I will NOT be signing another one with them and every person I can tell will hear about them and how much they dont care about there customers and that they should definitly get a phone somewhere else

Two years of service with U... (Below threshold)
aGrumpy1:

Two years of service with U.S. Cellular and I have had to call the many times.
Nine times were for nine separate months of incorrect billing in their favor to the tune of $25 to $78.
Twice I called them because I had no or very poor service, they told me they could not help me, even though I was in my own house. I finally just stopped trying using my cell phone at home.
Several times due to no service including once on a buddies phone (Sprint) while standing on the curb outside their store. Five times because I travel on business to really out of the way places like Denver, Co and Atlanta, GA on business, only to arrive and have no (I mean nada) service at all. That forces me to buy one of those temp phones. (Try explaining that to a customer). All five times I spent the entire trip without any service even though my service plan was supposed to cover out of area service.
Then 5 days before the end of my contract I ported my service to another company since I was going to be out of town the week the contract ended, and they bill me $150 termination fee 24 months into a 24 month contract.

US Cellular1] Sold m... (Below threshold)
leo:

US Cellular
1] Sold me a refurb phone as new
2] Called me a liar when i returned with the phone the next day even though the phone somehow had magically been activated and running on the network, they still somehow didn't sell me "THAT" phone.
3] Refused to show me my customer service info listing the serial number of my phone so i could compare it to the one I brought(FYI, the phone 3 weeks later does not charge)
4] Tuned off account the fist 2 weeks for failure to pay my bill on time and being delinquent even though the account wasn't even active during the billing period in question and at the time i had supposedly 79.00 in credit which is almost 30 bucks more then my monthly bill, the credit oddly never appeared.
5] Charged me $50 per phone to turn them back on after mistakenly turning them off
6] Is still insisting I owe them for 2 months prior to when I signed up
7] Kept my broken phone for a month before sending it back and stating that "refurbished phones don't not come with warranties" (oh so now it is a refurb, amazing, you begin to question reality after this kind of stuff)
8] just sent me a new bill for more then $260 extra for a 11 minute phone call made from a number different then my cell's

I would call them and complain but you know I got the whole phone that wont charge that cost me 100s of dollars thing going on..

This is like some kind of amazing bad dream and if someone told this to me I don't know if i would believe it, believe me, if you buy any equipment from these people realize they don't have the proper infrastructure and policies in place to insure you get even remotely what you pay for, and their current policies leave so much wiggle room for customer service they can literally charge you for service you don't have and call you a liar when you point it out on their own bills, anyways, don't use them, give your money to company that deserves it more and if you have to take photos of all of your hardware, the serial numbers and even the IDs present in your software so when they do this, you can at least take evidence to an attorney.




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