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.”
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 **) 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. ** 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 ** 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 (**!) '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 **'s supervisor and coach ** 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 ** 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!!), ** 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!!
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 **. 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.
FLORIDA -- Nextel has become the most customer unfriendly company in the world. I guess since their merger with Sprint, us little guys just don't matter as the make the millions/billions (from us little guys). My phone was recently stolen/lost, and the first problem I encountered was there was nobody available to shut off the service until the following day, allowing unauthorized usage to cost me ridiculously (should Nextel have made international calls, long distance calls, or just went over my minute plan).
That's not the issue, the fact of the matter is that there was nobody available to service a customer in distress trying to do the right thing: STOP SERVICE ON A MISSING PHONE!! LET'S PROCEED TO THE NIGHTMARE ON NEXTEL STREET. We notified the customer service dept, and advised of the situation, and was notified at that time that our contract had repair/replacement insurance and would be easy to resolve the situation. Calling the customer service center a little later, to confirm that all details were finalized, I was told by another customer rep that we did not have insurance on the phone, and would have to pay full price on the replacement phone.
I made another call to the customer service line, and was ignorantly placed on hold for more than an hour, as the message stated that the calls were answered in the order they are received. Finally I got tired of holding on for nothing, and recalled another phone number for customer support, and was speaking with an agent within several minutes that was less than knowledgeable in their job description.
After several requests, I was FINALLY TRANSFERRED to a customer service supervisor, who, based on the circumstances of the inefficiency of their own customer service agents agreed to compute (credit) me with the cost of the replacement phone, and further agreed to upgrade the unit for no charge at all. The Supervisor transferred me to the shipping dept, who advised that there was no order posted on my account to credit or to ship me a replacement phone of any type.
When asked to transfer me back to the supervisor, that person couldn't be located, and I was transferred again, this time to a supposed member of management, who failed to stand behind his/her own Customer Service Supervisor, claiming that there was no insurance on the account. How many sets of contracts do they keep at Nextel, as each agent reads something different from the other?!
I am now requesting a copy of the "taped" conversations we had, including the outrageously long on ignore. I will not let Nextel treat me like this, as I pay my bill, at the rate Nextel charged me for minute usage. Now it's up to Nextel to honor its own Commitment of Customer Service, even if they have to spend some out of pocket money. No Phone In Hand. 12/18/06.
HUNTINGDON VALLEY, PENNSYLVANIA -- Where do I begin. My husband got a Nextel i530 phone a year ago. He liked Nextel phones because of the walkie talkie feature. I had Verizon (never, ever should have switched). I decided to switch to Nextel. I got the i710 phone a year ago. My husband gets about 7 dropped calls a day, no service in a lot of areas in PA, when someone tries to reach him, people get "please hold while the Nextel subscriber you are trying to reach is located". It goes right into voice mail. God for bid if there was an emergency. We take both phones to the Nextel Service store. The guy at the store said my husband's phone was discontinued because a lot of people have complained about this phone.
Also, he takes the phone in the back to check out the battery. He comes back and shows us a dent in the battery. My husband has to pay for phone. He doesn't get one for free. He checked out the battery the day before and there was no dent in the battery. We both got new phones. The guy said you should upgrade your phones every year. He also said that phone my husband got, he should not get dropped calls, he should get service in all areas in PA. Well, he still got dropped calls, no service in areas of PA and that annoying message when someone tries to call him. We decide to send both phones back. My husband goes to the store to return the phones, they can't help us.
We have to call Nextel to see what we need to do. My husband calls Nextel and they say the place we got the phones has to send the phones. My husband goes back to the store and they can't help us. We have to send the phones back. My husband has his old phone and Nextel's service is the worst. Dropped called, no service, etc. Luckily his contract is up. My phone needs a new battery. I have to pay $60.00 for the battery. Mind you, the phone is under warranty. I get no service in certain areas of PA. I am fed up with Nextel. I never should have switched.
My husband has lost business due the bad service. In order to break out of the contract, it is $200.00 which I think is ridiculous. The service sucks, so why do we have to pay the termination fee. Nextel is the WORST!!! I will never recommend anyone to go with Nextel. They lie!!!! Whoever is thinking about going with Nextel, think again. You will have problems. Trust me!!!
INDIANA -- In April I upgraded to an i930 Nextel phone so I could "take my world with me". Because it didn't allow me to "take my world with me" as they promised I called Nextel on May 10 (within my 14 days for returning the phone) and after talking to at least 5 different people I got someone who did know how I could return the phone. She did all the things she needed to and then said she would email me the information I needed to send the phone back. I gave her my email address and she read it back to me. However I never received the email from Nextel. On May 23 I sent them an email inquiring about returning the phone.
Today, May 26 I got an email back with a number to call. The first person I talked to looked up the info, said that they had probably gotten the email wrong and passed me off to a different person. This person had to go through the whole process again and when she finally got through reading my file said that since the 14 days had passed that I could no longer return the phone. I requested a supervisor and was told her supervisor had just stepped out. I told her I'd wait. Five minutes later she said the supervisor would be gone for quite a while. I told her I'd wait. Five minutes later I got a "supervisor".
This person said the same thing. That I wouldn't be able to return the phone because it was past the 14 days. And to make matters worse the two women were laughing like it was the funniest thing they had ever heard ("come on - let's see just how mad we can make her"). I kept requesting a higher manager but was told there wasn't one. I finally hung up after fully expressing my feelings about Nextel customer support. I replied to the email I'd received from Nextel this morning but suspect it will be several days till I hear anything. I did include a link to my3cents.com at the Nextel reviews. I will be writing a letter to our Attorney General and contacting my lawyer to see what he can do. I will NOT be a Nextel customer again!
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- It's hard not to spend an insane amount of time writing about how awful this company's service in almost all departments really is. The only place where you will be treated courteously (but note: but not with promises that will be kept) is from sales. And I could literally (not an exaggeration) write many, many pages documenting how terrible they treat their customers, starting with rudeness, disinterest and lack of knowledge and going downhill from there to outright lies, total ignorance about their own products, services and company organization, but I'm truly worn down.
The smart thing for all of us to do is start a class action suit against this beast, which at least might get the judge to order not only some compensation, but require certain behaviors and policies when dealing with customers. From returning a new phone that's defective, to getting to a supervisor (name any department, the problem is the same in that regard), to getting follow up or call backs (in the real world it's called "adult responsibility"), it's truly unbelievably bad. They sold me a phone that requires one to have a Windows PC (I don't) in order to upgrade from the operating system they sold it with and which they tell me is older than I need.
The OS it has is defective, and because the backlight doesn't work properly, downright hazardous (think life-threatening) when used while driving and trying to place or answer calls. Yet to upgrade I'd have to buy a Windows computer - they can't do the upgrade in any store, whether company owned or a franchisee. Every store has different service capabilities, none of them knowable until you call the store or - worse, just walk in after driving there.
Last week I drove a total of 250 miles trying to return a defective new phone and transfer my data from my old phone, along with over two days (FULL days) of my time. When they sold the original phone I was replacing two years+ ago, I paid for a service contract that was supposed to include upgrades, repairs, etc. Oooops, they just didn't bother to tell me no shop is capable of doing the work. While I generally can't complain about the phone service, itself, in most areas, buy this brand only if you are prepared to do battle to get your needs and their promises - both stated and implied - met.
And don't be surprised if each time you have to try to get something done by them, their "customer care" or "support" departments (oxymorons of the largest magnitude) bounce you from pillar to post all over the globe to people who know nothing of the company, their products and services. Finally, never expect to be able to know to whom you spoke, so if you want to escalate your issue, or complain about how the person dealt with you, you can't. Terrible company. Terrible service. Stay far away.
NEW JERSEY -- We have been with Nextel for 4 years. Very loyal customer. Paid bill every month. Like most of you I cancelled my service because it was getting bad, dropped calls, no signal. I had a 2 year contract on my phone and when I called I swear they told me the 10th it would be out of contract. OK so when the 10th got here I called again just to make sure it was out of contract, they then told me no the end of contract was the 19th. I am like what but said o'well what's 9 more days. Let me tell you what 9 more days is. My billing started on the 17th of each month and the 19th put me into the next billing month.
So on the 21st I cancelled Nextel and went to another carrier and had my number ported over. Now because I had my number ported over and according to section 8 of the contract of which I did not have a copy. It says they will not prorate and I had to pay for the next months service and My phone is shut off and my service is cancelled. Now please explain to me how can you be billed for a service that is no longer in effect? The one to ask that question is not the FCC, they are on the side of the cell phone companies. They say well it must be in the contract and we have no control over the cell companies contracts.
I looked over my contract I got back in 2001 and the section 8 in my contract is not the same as Nextel's section 8 and when I signed my contract there was no such thing as porting numbers over to other phone or wireless carriers. Because we change our calling plan in 2003 that put us under the contract which I have never seen or was told about. How can we be held responsible for something we never seen or knew about. Bottom line is only in America can you be billed for a service you don't have and don't call your government and expect them to help you because they like most government and political pass the buck and the American people pay for it. Thank you.
Originally I was with AT&T wireless for 2 years and saw them deteriorate in service whereby I switched my phone 2 times thinking my phone was getting old. Then after the big news hit that AT&T was going down and overcrowded their towers, I switched to Nextel because: they were around for a long time, they had the fancy black big walkie talkie phones, and was told government officials like FBI/CIA have special towers. BIG DEAL... READ ON. Their customer service is WORSE than AT&T.
Since this is my 2nd cell phone provider, I wanted a special feature whereby I could use my cell phone as a plug in feature for my laptop's 56 baud modem (laptop runs the show) just like it would at home on my LAN line. So I went ahead and splurged on the i730. Since I'm basically a meat-n-potatoes kind of guy, I don't need any fancy features. Heck, I never even use the address book or have special ring tones, wall paper etc. Just give me the basics - COVERAGE. I was told the i730 (a $200 phone) would do what I wanted with a USB adapter. I go ahead and place the order on the phone. The adapter never arrives. Then I get a credit for it and then it arrives.
I get this adapter, guess what. I looks like nothing that will work. Its a usb port on one end and a plug for the phone. Of course it won't work. It needs to have a normal phone jack from one of the cord to the phone. But I try it and even bothered my ISP knowing. Later, NEXTEL tells me after 90 minutes that they made a mistake. Fine, I was stuck with a phone that I didn't need.
But read on... The thing that bothers me the most is the following: Bad coverage in modern buildings. Why is it that other people's provider gives them coverage and mine won't work. Why cannot I dial 911 when the battery is dead or when I'm in a dead zone. Isn't there a law on this? Why is it that the sales tax on the bill is more than 15%. Since transporting number capability became legal last year, once I get this contract completed in July, I'm leaving them. Though incoming service is free, I'm fed up. My main goal is to have a phone that works in the most important spots.