Bad business at Nextel!
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!!