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Why Nextel Customer Service Is so Bad
Posted by on
Why is Nextel Communications customer service so bad? First of all, they outsource their customer service to a Texas-based company called ACS. In Portland, OR, site of one of their larger centers, they pay people the state minimum wage to start, and currently agents will top out at $10/hr. Many other call centers in the Portland area start people off at $9/hr. or more. So a lot of the people they hire have no experience. It is not uncommon to find people there who have never held a job before.

ACS does not get paid by Sprint Nextel to train people. It's all "non-billable" time. TMobile trains their people for eight weeks (or so I've read elsewhere on the Internet and heard from other agents at the Portland location (yes, I work there, but not for much longer, I hope). Verizon trains their people for five weeks, even at their outsourced call centers, although having been through their customer service training at an outsource center in the Portland area, I question if the training is as good as if Verizon itself were doing it.

What ACS ends up with is a wide range of people answering phones for Nextel. Some can be very good. They're there for the customer and willing to take the time to explain stuff and correct problems, in spite of ACS's insistence on keeping average handle times short (under six minutes and the agent gets a bonus, over seven minutes and the agent gets negative points on the bonus system). But many calls are, by their nature, short, so even helpful agents can average under six minutes without sacrificing good service, even if an occasional call goes well over a half hour or even an hour.

But not all agents are that good. Some simply have no work ethic and practice call avoidance. I know of one person who, when he takes calls, is pretty good, or so I've been told. Problem is, sometimes he just takes off his headset while he's still got his phone set to receive calls and goes wandering off to chat with his friends. I've seen him ignore calls for at least fifteen minutes at a stretch, and it doesn't bother him one bit. It also doesn't seem to bother any of the supervisors much, which is pretty bad. Other agents put customers on hold to answer personal cells phone calls (taking cell phone calls on the floor is a big no-no, although it's a rule that is only occasionally enforced), chat with their buddies who are either on break or ignoring calls, whatever.

When I started working for ACS two years ago, I got trained for two weeks to do the Welcome call. That's where new customers call in and we verify their information, make sure their price plan and any additions were set up correctly, remove a block on outgoing calls (sometimes customers have not been informed of this block and the need to call in), and do a short pitch for calling 411. Welcome agents do not get involved in billing issues. That's for Care agents or Customer Finance. Welcome agents don't do sales, but they do frequently have to unscrew screwed-up accounts because Sprint Nextel (and just plain Nextel before the merger) outsource their telemarketing (where salespeople call customers) and telesales (where customers call in) to foreigners in places like India, the Philippines, and possibly Argentina, although the latter may be Customer Finance.

Whoever came up with the bright idea to outsource sales to foreigners is not living in the real world. As a Welcome agent, I was used to getting several calls a day where customers complained about hardly being able to understand the foreigner, and those calls usually involved accounts that were totally screwed up. I simply can't understand why someone would think that starting a business relationship with a customer is best accomplished by having the customer talk to someone who is barely understandable and often misrepresents what is being offered. Nextel offers plans that have free incoming calls. They also offer what they call the Fair and Flexible plan for individuals and families. The Fair and Flexible plans DO NOT have free incoming calls. I can't tell you how many customers I've talked to who were told that Fair & Flexible plans DO have free incoming calls. Some have told me they questioned that, and the foreign salesperson insisted that incoming calls were free on the Fair & Flexible plan. Lying to the customer does not strike me as being good customer service. Maybe some of these foreign salespeople simply don't care if they misinform American customers. Maybe they were poorly trained. Probably its a little of both.

The ACS call center in Portland is highly dysfunctional, and lately, things got worse. Management decreed all Welcome agents had to also be "trained" in Customer Care. I put trained in quotes because the so-called training was a disgrace - for me, it was four days classroom time, with the second day being a repeat of the first because they decided to add a bunch of people to the class on the second day. The new bunch started three hours later than my group, so we had two instructors, with a lot of unnecessary repetition. Then I spent a day with my headset plugged into another agent's phone, then a week taking calls in an area with people available to answer questions. I quickly found out how grossly inadequate the so-called "training" was. I'm reasonably intelligent, but suddenly I was lost in a sea of stuff I'd never been told about. Most of the problems have been with billing. A good training center would spend easily a week on billing. I got about half a day, and very little of that was hands-on.

So now, even though I really want to help customers, and do my best, I feel incompetent. I do what I can. I ask questions, get help from supervisors either over the phone or in person, and really want to help customers as long as they're reasonable. Some have been quite patient and willing to work with me, and I'm sorry I've taken up so much of their time for what is often a routine call for someone properly trained or someone who's flubbed around enough to learn what to do. It's getting better, but it's not good enough. I hope to be out of ACS very soon.

I will never buy a Sprint or Nextel phone. I know how bad their customer service is, from the inside, and I know why J.D. Powers and Associates ranks them sixth out of six among the major cell phone companies.

As for a decline in Nextel customer service since the merger with Sprint, it might not have much to do with the merger. I do know that ACS has been paying people hired after I was hired less, with raises coming more often but only equalling 2/3 of the former rate over a year's time. I don't know why phone service may be worse, but I suspect it might have a lot to do with increased sales resulting in a greater load on cell towers. Maybe Sprint has mandated cutbacks in maintenance, but I don't know.
     
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Toni I. on 2006-09-27:
I used to have an account with Nextel, but I dropped them soon after they merged with Sprint. Customer service has always been substandard, but it has gotten progressively worse to the point where it is now unbearable.
Anonymous on 2006-09-27:
I don't care for the Sprint customer service either. I had to unravel a billing error with them yesterday!
know what you mean on 2006-09-28:
In late 2005 I started working at ACS in Portland. I got the job through a temp agency Spherion. I had never worked at a call center before so I wasn't really sure what to expect. I was told by this temp agency that I would be well trained. The first two weeks were the "training" classes. You sit at the computer and go through a program which I found relatively simple. During these two weeks we were told that we were not being trained on everything we would need to know. After those two weeks we were sent out to "training bay" which had us taking calls with customers while help walked around that got all pissed off whenever somebody would ask a question. They treated not only me but pretty much every person that asked a question like dirt, which would intimidate some people into taking chances rather asking a question. I was amazed at how little I knew. I felt guilty at not knowing what I needed to know to help the customers. When it comes to going in and making changes on an account, reps should have no major questions. If you screw it up, the customers will have to call again later and hope that the next person will get it right! Absurd. For those two weeks I was able to wing it because I just decided to take the crap and raise my hand if I needed help. Also called the help desk if necessary. Then they had us "hijack" where we would put on a head set and listen to the "experienced" reps take calls. One of the girls I was working with was terrible and should have been fired, especially since she went on and on about she hated her job anyway and the pay etc. This girl was so rude and she kept this going on threw out the calls until several people became so angry they were screaming at her and then she would put them on hold until they dropped off. And all of the people around us would laugh. Like that's how they want to be treated when they call one of these places!? She also played with her cell phone while being rude to the customers and sent text messages. She said that she had been there for about a year. Since they keep track of what you do on your phone, I find it hard to believe that they would have not picked up on this at some point. This call center also said that they had a huge problem with credit card fraud. Then why do you allow people to have cell phones, pens and paper etc at the computer while they are taking payments from customers and also have access to other info such as ss#? After those two weeks I felt absolutley overwhelmed when I officially went out onto the floor and had to take calls with no help except for the help desk but they don't like to get too many calls of course. I was definitely not given the training I needed to be successful at taking calls. It is absurd to hire mass amounts of people and not train them properly and then have more problems later. They also, had some of the more experienced reps acting as supervisors on the phones and yelling at customers. I saw that as well. If I had been the customer I would have paid the $200 and taken my business elsewhere.
Basically having a cell phone is a pain. I am doing prepaid and if I ever can get myself to sign a contract it will definitely not be Sprint together with Nextel. They do not care about their customers.
breezybrook on 2006-12-11:
My god, those are horror stories!!! I work for Nextel government/corporate customer care, but it is NOT part of ACS. We were very well trained, 6 long weeks of training, in fact. The behavior you both described by your fellow employees is absolutely unacceptable in my call center, and quite frankly, I would kick everyone's ass at one of those centers. Good God. I do have to say, obviously, some agents are better than others, no matter how much training is involved. As someone who works for the company, I know just how terrible their cellular service really is, and I feel awful for most of my customers. I'm the jerk who probably loses the company more money than anyone else because, these customers go through hell. I'm constantly adjusting bills and giving out discounts on phones and sometimes waiving early termination fees (don't tell, it's a big NO-NO) I just do not agree with Nextel's policies, considering how terrible their cellular service is.
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Swap Return Policy
Posted by on
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- My boyfriend robert got me a cell phone for my b-day , he add it on his plan this makes 3rd phones that he has now, so Nextel send me the phone out in 2 days, first it was not the phone I wanted , I said I'll use it for a couple of days then return it if I didn't like it that's what Nextel said to do. After one week I really didn't like it so I called Nextel customer care... While I was at work , they kept me on hold 4 ever and they send me to another department I was on hold again I just got mad and tied of being on hold , cause I was at work and had to do my work , so the next day I called back on my way to work it was around 7 am hoping since it was early in the morning I wouldn't be on hold , ohhhh what a joke this customer service had me on hold again from one department to another telling them the same inf and story over and over again, I just hung up... So now it's 2 weeks since I had this phone that I don't want !!!! I decided to call after work since I knew I had 30 days to return it I said I got to return it for the phone I wanted . I called Nextel customer service I explain to 4 different departments my story and told 4 different department my inf over and over I was at the 3rd operator I was on hold for 25 min before speaking with the 4 person by this time I was so tied and mad the operator final got on and asked for my inf I said no I don't want to speak with another customer care person just get me a supervisor now ..He said he would need to know why and needed my account information I told him I was tied of giving my acct inf over and over and over again no more just get me a supervisor he said the supervisor would need my inf before getting on the phone. So their I go again giving him my inf and telling him all I want to do is return this phone they send out to me which is the wrong phone... And I wanted them to send me out the phone that I wanted. For my b-day after all it was a b-day gift ,, so this operator said to me you need to speak to someone in sales I said no !!!! I already spoke with someone in sales , billing , customer care, and return and in return and swap department I told them what I wanted to do return this phone for the phone I wanted in the first place I spoke to this person for 20 min she said OK she gave me a tracking number to return the phone and she said OK what's the phone you want then we got disconnected after talking for about 20 min I told her I was talking on the phone they send me she knew the number since I already told her and all the other sales persons there so we got disconnected I waited 20 min I thought she would call me back to get the inf on the phone I wanted and to finally finish this order hell no I waited 20 min no one called me so now you know why I don't want to speak with no one but a supervisor.... This is so freaking....Bad... Nextel is so (what they say )is a good company ....Is so false... My old phone company T-Mobile never gave me the run around like Nextel service why is it so hard to return a phone and get another one is that so hard....

Nextel you need to stop transferring customer's from one department to another ...
     
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CrystalSword on 2007-07-12:
Please don't use caps, it's rude, and you are YELLING!
CrazyRedHead on 2007-07-12:
Yes,typing in all caps is rude and from the tone of this letter it seems that you were also yelling at the reps, which is why you were getting nowhere. No one wants to talk to someone that is yelling and throwing a fit, regardless of why. You need to calm down and ask for a supervisor calmly.
Anonymous on 2007-07-12:
It was your B-Day and you got a gift and you didn't want it! Now that's just ungreatful...
Starlord on 2007-07-12:
At one time, I wanted to get the Nextel phone, because of the walkie-talkie feature. Then I saw they had merged with Sprint, and I wouldn't cross the street to spit on Sprint...if they were on fire. Oh, well.
firengine103 on 2007-07-12:
EeeeeeYaaaah, Puppyluv, you sound like a cajun gal I know
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Cancel Service / Bad Credit Threat Letter
Posted by on
I canceled my Nextel phone service about 2 weeks ago after 7+ years of dropped calls, disconnects and general poor quality service.

My wife enjoyed the 2-way walkie talkie feature, so I kept her phone and 2 for my children. I also had a Nextel through my work.

When my wife passed away last month, I decided to drop Nextel and get my children T-Mobile service. They absolutely love it.

I just received an important email message from Sprint telling me to read the attached letter.

The letter goes on to state that since they have not heard from me regarding my outstanding balance, they are going to forward my account to collection in 7 days.

I NEVER EVEN RECEIVED MY FINAL BILL YET !! In fact, I had just made a payment 1 week before I cancelled the service.

They go on to state that my account will be considered '"bad debt" in 7 days and will be reported to the 3 major credit bureaus.

This after over 7 years of paying my bill every month BEFORE THE DUE DATE !!!

I went online to pay the bill, because now I am worried about what they might pull with my credit but my website login was shut down.

I won't even bore you with the 1 hour run-around I received from their "customer service" fiasco.

Needless to say, they are unethical and unscrupulous for threatening a loyal customer's credit with absolutely no justification.

I wish there were a way for us to band together to put this company where they should be( OUT OF BUSINESS ) to protect future consumers from their abuse.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
UPDATE: Here is a copy of the collection letter:
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

COLLECTION AGENCY ALERT!

Dear FRED

We would like the opportunity to resolve any issue that may have caused your Sprint account to become past due. As of the date shown above we have not received full payment, and your account is scheduled to be placed with a collection agency within the next seven days.

Our goal is to reactivate your Sprint account as soon as possible. Please call 800-639-6111 to discuss payment arrangements or any other concerns you have with our service or the billing of your account. It is important that you call us immediately to prevent further collection action that may include:

* Your account will be sent to an outside collection agency.
* An early termination fee may apply to your account if the Sprint services are canceled within an active contract period.
* Your account may be classified as “bad debt” with Sprint if the account remains unpaid at the collection agency.
* Your account may be reported to the three national credit bureaus as past due.



Please help us avoid the additional collection activities.

We value you as a customer! Please call us today at 800-639-6111.


Sincerely,

Customer Finance Services


Note: This letter is for the purpose of collecting a consumer debt owed to Sprint and any and all information obtained will be used for that purpose.
     
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Yasemin on 2007-05-20:
WOW! They can be that bad, huh! This is scary! I am still trying very hard to let them know that I want to cancel my 300 text plan and turn off that service completely. And they still try to trick me by saying that they can celled my plan but every time my daughter send or receive text message, they will charge 0.15 cents for each. Does anyone know any way to let them know that;
TURN THE DAMN THING OFF COMPLETELY AND STOP CHARGING ME!
lancer on 2007-05-20:
TO Yasemin,

It is scary! You would think we would have somewhere to turn beside these gripe sites to resolve these issues.

We don't stand a chance.

Read this post of 9/26/06 by Etaoin Shrdlu "Why Nextel Customer Service Is so Bad - Customer Service " this is from a former Nextel customer service employee!!

Sorry I have no suggestions.
Yasemin on 2007-05-21:
I read it, thank you. Hope there is more employee like Etaoin Shrdlu!

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Nextel WILL Rip You Off!
Posted by on
SPRING LAKE, MICHIGAN -- I began with Nextel in January, 2006. When I started with them they told me that I had to have a $100. security deposit on my account because my credit is not so great.
OK... I agreed. No big deal.
I ordered my i265 phone and when it got to my house I called to get it activated.
I was told that to get my phone activated I would have to pay $150. to get it activated.
I was angry about that because no one told me this ahead of time.
OK. I have poor credit. So, I went ahead and paid the extra $150. for a total of $250. in deposits before my service became active.
It is now August, 2006.
I called Nextel yesterday to get another phone on my contract. I needed two phones on the same line. I upgraded from 800 minutes per month to their "Business 3000" Plan. That would have given me 3000 minutes for each phone.
The woman on the phone (Christine) told me that there was No Problem for me to upgrade. She told me that all they needed to do is sell me another i265 phone for $49.99 and a $25.00 activation fee, and that the charges would come out of my security deposit and that they would bill me for all of that in my next bill. My phone bill balance was up-to-date, as it has been each month.
Today, August 23, 2006 my new Nextel phone came to my home. When I called Nextel to activate the phone I was told that they could not activate the phone until I paid them $100.
I was so damned angry that I told them they could stick their phones and their service up their behind.
They are NOW going to keep my security deposit and try to bill me $200. for cancellation of my Nextel account. I told them that they will NEVER get $200. from me, and that I will be telling everyone that I know that Nextel is disgusting.
Not only that, Nextel is expensive!
I am NOW with AT&T Cingular Wireless.
I have 900 minutes for $49.00 per month, plus taxes and service charges.
I was paying Nextel over $100. per month for 800 minutes.
Cingular has the same coverage and I have a better phone... and the phone is FREE, except that I don't have free incoming calls. Oh well!
Goodbye Nextel!
NEVER again. NEVER! ...and you will NEVER get $200. from me for cancelling your lousy service. When your service is lousy and someone at Nextel tells me one thing and then later tells me that I have to pay another $100. to activate a phone when that was never mentioned before I purchased an upgraded contract with you. No Way! Why would I stay with Nextel (or anyone) when the terms of service are misrepresented... for the second time!
And then, a customer rep. began telling me that if my credit wasn't so bad I wouldn't be having this problem.
The issue wasn't my credit. The issue is Nextel!
To those who are reading this: If you think that this can't or won't happen to you, you are mistaken. Go with Nextel and see just what they do to to you, as well. Good luck!
and... goodbye Nextel!
My God, Nextel... you suck! Bad!!!
     
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Anonymous on 2006-08-24:
Yikes! You needed to 'talk' for 50 hours a month?
Anonymous on 2006-08-25:
50 hours? I know maney girls that can do that in less than 48. lol
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Loss OF My money!!
Posted by on
MADISON, INDIANA -- My Husband & I ordered a Nextel phone from Nextel via the internet on 06/05/2006. On 06/06/2006 they took our deposit out of our bank account. We opted for the free 3 to 5 businees day delivery of the phone. After 7 days went by we had not received the phone. To make a long story short and many hours on the phone (over a week & half period) with very rude csr's and numerous departments they agreed to send us our phone. We got our phone on 06/15/2006. Two days later the phone was shut off due to the deposit not being paid according to them. I had to fax them copies of my bank statements (numerous times) to show them they took the money out. I had to give them my debit card numerous times also. Today's date is 07/15/06 and They have still not found my missing money. Today I was told to fax in the info once again that I might add is a costly little expense. They keep telling me to go ahead and pay the $100 again along with my bill and when this is resolved they will credit me. My bill which I received is $85.81 for billing date of 06/13/2006 to 06/17/2006. For which $30 is for shipping and handling. If you go back and read the first part of this I did not get the phone until the 06/15/2006. My question is why was the phone activated & sent to begin with if they had not got my money. Where had my money gone, which I know they got it because my bank says so along with my statements. My husband and I are over the road truck drivers and we have missed out on about $5000 worth of loads because we was at the end of our contract with a previous cell phone provider and had it turned off when we got our Nextel phone. Our disbatcher was unable to contact us which about cost us our job also. For 2 weeks I had to call them every morning to have them turn it back on to have it shut off in a couple of hours. In order to keep our jobs we had to buy a prepaid to keep in touch with our disbatcher which is also costly. So every time they had cut the phone off and turned it back on it was a $25 reconnect fee!! So now my bill is extremely outragous due to their mistakes which will go on our credit!!! I no longer ask for the phone to be turned on because I cannot afford the reconnect fees. I talked to a Lady in Customer Care by the name of Chen that had more or less called me evry thing under the Sun and when I told her this conversation was being recored she tried to tell me I couldn't do this because of FCC regulations. My comeback was yes I can as long as the other party is aware of this do to me being in law enforcement for years and she transferred me in a bat of an eye. I have never been lied to, treated as bad as I have, or shuffled around more in my entire life. I have sent an e-mail to consumer affairs, the Attorney General and contacted my news station. Monday I plan on making an appointment with an attorney which will cost me a weeks worth of pay by having to stay at home to take care of this. If anyone has any other suggestions or would like to go in on a lawsuit with me please feel free to contact me!!! From my understanding there are a lot of people not Happy with Nextel and I think it is time we stop this nonsense of them walking on us and get what we deserve back!! Under what review does this fall into ALL OF THE ABOVE!!!!
     
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Sunchaser1469 on 2006-07-29:
Words cannot describe (well they can but they are not nice words) how Nextel treated my husband and I. I kept on calling them and kept on asking for discounts since they screwed up all the time. The department you want to speak to is Retention. Keep a log of who you talk to and their id number and date and time. Writing letters to Nextel does not work either, don't bother e-mailing them because as a lovely customer service rep advised me "if we get your email and it is worth responding to, we will." Also, a service rep screwed up and gave me the phone number of a supervisor, to their direct phone number. His name is Mike Miller at 254-295-8724. Hope this helps.
Nextel/Sprint Hater on 2006-08-07:
I, too am having issues with them. I called to change my rate plan and was told that I had to extend my service another 2 years...this didn't happen in March when I changed my plan then! "They should've but, I don't know why they didn't" is what they told me. And then when I expressed to numerous RUDE csr's and a bit** of a supervisor that I sufferd a pay cut and couldn't afford my $80+ plan nor could I afford an extension...she told me that it was MY choice to change my plan in March..to which I responded but NOT MY CHOICE to take a paycut....and she basically told me it was my fault..that she was giving me options (change plan and extend contract or stay with $80+ a month) but I refused to work with them...didn't refuse..can't afford...then she complained to me about her bill being over $120 and problems with her phone...I didn't have problems with my phone, just their CSR's and HER. They really don't hold customer service and loyalty high...and from what I read, Sprint could give a flying F**K about Nextel's former loyal customer base pre merger...lovely isn't it? She told me I could pay the 200 ETF..I laughed right in her face
glenn47 on 2006-08-19:
Nextel, needs to be sued and put in there place they refuse to talk with you and each and every store has a different story, they lie cheat and steal from comsumers they can not and will not help anyone after they get there money and they can not answer any questions, why do we as comsumers take this lets get together and start a lawsuit to get our money back and to put this bunch out of business or at least make them stand on what the advertise. Am going to file a complant with the BBB and to contact my state rep of Florida and see if this can;t be stop. lets make this a team effort and show them that we have rights and stop them in there tracks if not we are going to just end up like what happened with enron and mci. but it will be us that gets the shaft or gets more of a shaft.
dcham81 on 2006-10-11:
I have Nextel right now and I am having the same problems. It took me forever to get my phones and now I am getting high bills that I know are not correct. Whenever I call the company I get the most rude employess up there. I can't afford to disconnect my phones until I get new ones because my husband is a truck driver just like you. I am considering when I do cancel them to sue them if for the money that I feel they took from me. I dare them to try to stick me with an earlt cancellation fee too.
s5056 on 2006-11-20:
LETS SUES THESE IDIOTS NEXTEL SUCKS SO BAD DON'T BUY NEXTEL.
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Beware of Nextel
Posted by on
DALLAS, TEXAS -- I had a Nextel wireless cellphone for almost 5 years. First with the company I worked for and then my personal phone since I really liked the service and quality.

During that period of time I had changed plans many times to meet my travel needs and business requirements. On each occasion the customer service representative said there was no problem with my "contract" and I could change as many times as I wanted without my begin date starting over. I had this last phone for over two years, which is the length of their initial contract period.

In the last year of service with them I acquired a second phone and added it to the first phone's billing statements. Everything was great until I changed banks. I contacted them no less than 8 times to get them to stop the automatic bank drafts. They NEVER did stop even after the account was closed!

They caused numerous NSF charges each month and each month I faxed written instructions to stop the ACH debits and followed up with phone calls to their customer service people.

I was using the phone quite a lot for business and the charges got upwards of $800 once. So I changed my calling plan again.

SBC (Cingular) was offering TWO cell phones with twice the minutes for less than what I was paying for Nextel's one phone - and had rollover for the unused minutes!

I called Nextel to make the arrangements and ask questions - "no problem! sorry to see you leave, you've been with us for a long time". A nice goodbye? Hardly! The next bill I got was for $400 dollars for terminating my contract(s) ahead of time! I called to speak with them four more times about this "policy change" and what their representatives had said. The next bill came in with late fees of $65 - so now they think I owe $465 dollars.

Months past and I did not pay as they told me BEFORE I changed services there would be no charges or problems with my "contract" since I had been a good customer for so many years...

A nasty collection agency is calling and sending letters that they now want $485 for my delinquent bill. I told them the story and they said I need to send notarized copies of my statements, faxes, bla, bla, bla. No way! I still am not paying...

Last month I get a REALLY nasty collection agency, a different one and with a letter threatening to sue me for $485 plus court costs if I do not pay up!

This must be why Nextel is being sued in Federal Court for charging consumers for things that became "policy" without notification to the consumer or providing an "opt out" plan.

I went back to look at past bills and I had been charged for prime time calls when it was after 9 pm! Their so-called after hours or off-hours rates stopped when they changed the cutoff time without letting consumers know!

UPDATE 2/28/2010 - Still getting collection letters and this item keeps reappearing on my credit report...8 years later!!
     
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Bad "connection" with Nextel
Posted by on
Stay away from Nextel. While I have had no problem with the phone itself, I am really disgusted with their deceptive practices for the reasons below:

1. I had a one year contract (2003) and after that expired, I got a plan that cost less for 18 months (8/2004) - this is what the person in the Cancellation Department told me. I was looking forward to March 2006 when I could end my dealings with Nextel. Imagine my surprise when I found out yesterday that I had a 2 YEAR contract with them and would have to wait another year for my contract to be up (8/2006) The Cancellation person told me one thing and put something else in the computer. This was done over the phone. What proof do I have that I agreed to an 18 month contract? They send you no paperwork, it is your word against theirs, and we all know what that means.

2. When I changed my service at that time, I was charged $75 for each of my two phones - and that was not disclosed to me until I received the bill.

3. My son downloaded about 20 ring tones at $1.99 a pop. His phone went kaput and we swapped it for $35. However, no ring tones on the new phone - they are gone. Since Nextel gets them from a third party, I would have to pay for any more ringtones downloaded. I might as well as thrown that money out of the window. Also, about 6 months ago I told the Nextel people I wanted the ability for my son to download ring tones removed and it was not done. Just last month he downloaded 4 more.

4. Text messaging - my son gets them, doesn't answer them and I get charged for them.

5. When I told the person (male) in the Cancellation Department today that I wanted to terminate my contract early and pay the $200 cancellation fee for each phone, he asked me what would make me happy, but he would not honor the 18 month contract term I had. He pitched a "deal" where I could suspend my service for up to 3 months at the cost of $5.95 per phone while I try to find someone to "buy" my contract out. When I told him no, he offered me a $35 credit to keep the service for another month to "think about it." No to that too. I told him I wanted to cancel the plan at the end of the current billing cycle and that I would pay the $400 termination fee. I asked him what would happen if I didn't pay it all at once, and he told me I would be assessed late fees.

After reading some of the other problems people have had with Nextel, I am afraid that when I pay the $400 termination fee, I still may be bothered by them. In any event, I sent a nice, detailed email to the Better Business Bureau. These companies commit fraudulent acts yet are allowed to get away with it at the consumer's expense.

On a positive note, most of the people I have had contact with at Nextel have been very pleasant on the phone, but really could not help me in this situation.

BOTTOM LINE: Some of the people at Nextel don't say what they mean, and don't mean what they say. Watch out!
     
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docme3 on 2005-07-26:
It is not Nextels fault that your son downloaded ringtones.Take his phone away..Its your place
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Deceptive Billing Practices. Unfair.
Posted by on
HONOLULU, HAWAII -- Voice Mail and Caller ID are commonplace today and go hand in hand with wireless phone service. That’s why I was unpleasantly surprised when I received my latest bill from NEXTEL (Invoice Date May 17, 2005). In the “NEXTEL NEWS” section, after 3 marketing messages, there is a notice that the price for Caller ID and Voice Mail will increase to $3.49 each. In truth, it should read “has” increased. Yes, past tense. I have copied the exact text below.

“*** Notice Regarding Your Caller ID Service
*** The rate for Nextel Caller ID will increase
to $3.49 per month. The new rate is effective
with this statement.”

“*** Notice Regarding Your Voice Mail Service
*** The rate for Nextel Voice Mail will
increase to $3.49 per month. The new rate is
effective with this statement.”

The statement I received today (Invoice Date May 17, 2005) covers the billing period of April 13, 2005 to May 12, 2005. In the Subscriber Activity Summary section, it shows that I was charged $3.49 for Caller ID service between 04/13 and 05/12 and $3.49 for Voice Mail Service between 04/13 and 05/12. The previous bill from Nextel shows that I was paying $2.99 for each of these services.
This is the first notice that I have received regarding a rate increase and yet Nextel has already made the increase effective on April 13, the start of my billing period.

In December of last year, NEXTEL made a similar increase. They increased the price of Caller ID and Voice Mail from $.99 to $2.99 each. As with the current increase, they provided no notice of the increase until after charges had been accumulated for these services. It is like agreeing to stay in a hotel room for a certain price, only to have the hotel raise the rate when you go to checkout. While I do acknowledge that wireless providers do have the right to raise rates, it is not right for them to raise prices for services so important to cellular service and expect me to pay. If I don’t want to pay the increased rates, then I believe I have the right to disconnect. They told me on the telephone I could stop caller ID and voicemail. Why would I want to do that? I’d rather disconnect and sign up with Verizon, T-mobile, or Cingular. After numerous calls to customer service, they would not let me disconnect without a $200 early termination fee for each line.
They threatened that if I don’t pay $400, it will go to collections. On the back of the contract, it does say that a $200 fee does apply, except for termination in response to Company changes. I have notified NEXTEL that I do not accept the changes on May 17, 2005. I have continued to pay my bill and use the service since I am paying for it.

I feel that NEXTEL is guilty of deceptive business practices. I also believe they are in violation of the CTIA Consumer Code for Wireless Services of which they are a signatory to. Among other things, it states in Item 7, that “Carriers will not modify the material terms of their subscribers’ contracts in a manner that is materially adverse to subscribers without providing a reasonable advance notice of a proposed modification and allowing subscribers a time period of not less than 14 days to cancel their contracts with no early termination fee.”
     
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rgruenhaus on 2005-08-16:
I have spoken to Nextel about this also. The same thing was happening to me and the caller ID doesn't even tell you who it is, just the phone number!
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Bad business at Nextel!
Posted by on
BEAUMONT, TEXAS -- I usually don't post on things like this because everyone gets duped a little by all companies. But Nextel went over the line.

I got married in March of 2005. My then-fiance had a Nextel contract, but since the reception wasn't as good at my house as Verizon, I told her we should look into switching it.

So we called Nextel and got information on when the contract would expire, and if it would be a while before it did end, how much would the cancellation fee be. A customer service rep told us the contract would end on April 8th, and I think we called on March 27th. I then asked how much to cancel the contract, expecting $150-175. Imagine my shock when the lady (named Susie) said there would be no contract cancellation fees!

In their defense, I should have asked WHY this was so, as it seemed really weird that we could just 'get out' of a contract with no penalties. But I figured that since this was customer service, they would know, right? She then asked if I wanted to port the number to the new service, and I said yes I did. I then asked about when to notify Nextel if we do decide to end the contract, and she said that when the number was ported to the new company, it would automatically end the contract.

At this point, I began questioning the no-penalty part of the contract termination. Susie then again told me that there would be no fee if I broke the contract. I think I asked her about four times if this was true, and I'm sure she was getting annoyed. Only me, my then-fiance, and Susie know what was said. But being that I've been screwed around by companies before, I made sure I understood that there was NO PENALTY to break the contract early, and I also got her name (SUSIE!) 'just in case' it would come back to haunt me.

Now think about this for a minute--if I had been told it would cost us $200 to break a contract that expired TEN DAYS later, would we have gone ahead an cancelled it?? We make 'OK' money, but we're newlyweds and don't have $200 to throw away!

Well, April 15th hits, and we get a $336 bill from Nextel. Why? $200 for breaking the contract, $25 portability fee (we weren't told about that either, but I can live with it), and the rest in phone uses, which I have no problem paying at all.

So I call Nextel last night, and after speaking to a very professional customer service rep, she can't do much to help me so I get on with a supervisor. While being very professional and understanding--and somewhat patient with me during my 45 minute rant--she informs me of the following:

SINCE THERE ARE NO NOTES IN OUR SYSTEM THAT SHOW SHE TOLD YOU THERE WOULD BE NO CANCELLATION FEES, THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT THE $200 CHARGE, SIR.

Now think about this a minute. It appears to me that Nextel's policy is to avoid putting anything in the notes that could 'hurt' Nextel, because then when a mad customer calls back, if it's not in the "NOTES", there's nothing the customer can do. Hey, let's just record that 'customer x' called, but don't put in what you told him or her. That way, whatever you tell him/her to do can't be held against NEXTEL, and they are screwed. I tried for 45 minutes to get this supervisor to understand my side, but she kept reverting to the fact that there was nothing in the notes, so I have to pay it.

She then informed me that there may have been some misinformation by the rep, or even misunderstanding on MY part. To fix this, she said she would be sure to notify Susie's supervisor and coach Susie on proper handling of contract terminations. Does that help me? Nope, I just need to pay the bill I was told we wouldn't get.

Don't pay it, you say? Can't do that--it'll go on her credit. And since we want out of this apartment soon, it won't look good to have an unpaid bill on our credit. So, I have to scrounge up some money that would have helped eliminate our credit cards and instead pay Nextel who 'misinformed' us.

You can say it's our fault for terminating a contract and not expecting a fee. You know what, the supervisor said the same thing. What should one do in this case? Maybe call the company's customer service and get a quote of what it would cost. OH WAIT, WE ALREADY DID! She then said I should have talked to a supervisor. No, I did what I was supposed to do--call customer service, and do what they tell me. But since Susie didn't put in her notes what she told me (she did put in about me asking about cancelling the contract and porting the number though--how convenient for Nextel!!), Jen and I are stuck with this bill.

So I'm on a campaign to use the internet to get the message out: Avoid Nextel!!! Go Verizon!!
     
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Avonlady on 2005-04-20:
You may find it useful to also read posts on this site regarding Verizon's service
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Did Not Receive Voicemails for a Month!
Posted by on
SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO -- This is the complaint letter I sent Nextel:
I am writing to express my complete dissatisfaction with the quality of service which I am receiving from Nextel Communications. My cellular number is (xxx) xxx-xxxx.

The reason I am writing is that I did not receive my voicemail message for AN ENTIRE MONTH! I am a single woman who lives alone and I have no land line in my home. I am 100% dependent on my Nextel cell phone to keep me in contact with business associates, family and friends.

This afternoon, while I was at work, I received a call on my Nextel cell phone. However, due to a deadline, I was unable to answer the phone in that moment. A minute later, the phone chimed again, letting me know that I had received a voicemail. When I checked the voicemail, I discovered, to my complete horror, that I had 19 voice mail messages. I sat at my desk, stunned, as I listened to messages dating all the way back to mid-December 2004 until the present time. This was the very first time that I was listening to these messages. I had never received any of these messages previously!

I immediately called Nextel Customer Service and Customer Support. I was told that there was nothing wrong with my Nextel cell phone. I was given a very vague explanation about how Nextel noticed a problem on their end and had subsequently "pushed" the voicemail messages through to me. I was told to call back if I ever experienced this problem again!

I am OUTRAGED. I depend entirely on this cellular telephone as I do not have a land line in my home. I need to receive my voicemail messages in a TIMELY manner. Some of the messages I received were from my personal physician, who was calling to give me test results that I was anxiously awaiting. She and her staff members left SEVERAL messages. Do you know that pain and anguish that I experienced while I waited to hear from them? Do you know how embarrassing it is that she believes that I ignored several calls? There were many holiday greetings from friends and family that I never received until today. Some had called more than once. I will now have to make many phone calls to apologize to many people for not responding to their voicemail messages, messages that I never received until today!

I have been very dissatisfied with Nextel Communications in the past. I experience dropped calls most of the time. Check my records. You will see that I often have to call a party SEVERAL times in order to complete a conversation. This is NOT acceptable.

Next week, I will be traveling to Puerto Rico. I can make calls to Puerto Rico through Nextel's Nationwide Long Distance network but for some inane reason I have been told that my cell phone will not work on the island. This is just another example of the inadequacy of Nextel Communication's service.

Not receiving my voicemail messages for an entire month is totally UNACCEPTABLE. There is no excuse for negligence like this. I expect to be released from my service contract IMMEDIATELY, so that I can seek a RELIABLE wireless service provider.
     
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wearecruisers on 2005-01-14:
I have had nothing but problems with this company for 8 months. If you live and work within 5 miles of one of thir towers you are fine but if you travel you can figure spending 1/2 of your day without cell service. I explained my situation to them and they told me for $200 I could get out of my contract. It will be a pleasure writing that $200 check.
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