What about me as the customer?
CONWAY, SOUTH CAROLINA -- My mother signed a contract with Suncom for an unlimited package more than a year ago and there was trouble from the start. Upon entering the store, it was obvious to us that the clerks attention to her nails were more important than us at the time, but we took her job into consideration and politely waited until she asked if she could help. We said that we really liked the fact that they had an unlimited package and that's what I'd need for my new job. She gladly helped us and quoted us prices on phones. I selected a razor model, she quoted me the price, then charged me more for the phone. She accepted her mistake when I pointed it out to her from the conversation on the phone previous to our visit, so she threw in a complimentary car charger at no additional cost and I paid the new amount for the phone. After getting service, I noticed that I was no receiving text messages like I should, and NO picture messages could be sent or received. I called customer service and went through what felt like 90 phone calls to address the problem with no solution.
Fast forward a few months. The phone started experiencing strange technical problems in which the phone would turn off by itself, fully charged, it would make a weird buzzing and tea kettle sound during a call, and the screen would go blank from time to time. I am very particular about phones, so I knew that I'd taken very good care of it and wondered what had happened. So, I go into the Suncom store in my home town. The first lady tells me that there is nothing at all that they can do about my phone and I can just buy a new one. That was her quick and abrupt solution. I went around in circles with her, got heated and left. The next time that I went into the store was when I was told to file and insurance claim. I didn't know the rules and stipulations because they were never explained to me or my mother. Not only was I told that there would be a 75 dollar charge for insurance that was then somehow quoted at 100 dollars, but I was told that I couldn't put that money towards another phone of the same value. Since I'd heard very bad things about razors and had problems with text on that one, I wanted a different kind of phone. Nothing extra, I just wanted what was fair.
After talking to the same lady that had gotten me heated before, I asked to speak to someone else. The new lady was much nicer and more informative. She told me that I could get a new phone, and she'd allow me 60 dollars on a new phone since I'd been with the company for so long. So, I pulled out nearly 200 bucks of hard earned cash and purchased another phone that had better rates and reviews and no problems and thought that I was in the clear.
In the meantime, my phone starts getting text messages saying that I've gone over my spending limit? My what? We'd recently gotten the phone turned over into my name, and apparently because I have good credit, but little credit, I have a spending limit that I wasn't told about, nor was it explained to me. The only reason that we turned it over into my name was because my company I worked with at the time had to have it in my name for them to pay a portion of the bill since I used it for work.
So----I call in, accept the changes and keep my trap shut. Only for this new phone, the latest and greatest phone with no complaint history has a funky screen. I didn't drop it, no water damage...again, a defective phone! I go into the store and tell them my problem, explain to them that I had not had the phone that long. They give me the run around, throw out more stipulations and send me on a wild goose chase. The first Suncom store I went to couldn't help me, so they sent me to another even further out of town and a longer drive. I get there, and it's a new store with the same crabby lady behind the desk. She was playing with a cell phone, no customers around her and as the door dinged for my arrival, she didn't even look up. I cleared my throat thinking that may be she just didn't see me. She looked up, didn't acknowledge me, so I had to wait for the other lady to help 3 more customers ahead of me. I tell her my problem and she gives me a number to call. It's for the claims dept. She tells me that I have to send my phone in and the shipping is on me. She says that she hated that I just bought it and won't have a phone for basically a month, even though I will be paying for service, so she tries her best to help me out. She tells me that I can "borrow" or lease rather a phone from them. I think that a small charge that will get refunded back to me means 20 or 30 bucks. Nope, half of what the actual phone costs. 100 - 200 bucks.
If I had that kind of money, I'd just buy a new phone. So, I had to thank her for her time, feel like a cheap skate, walk out of the store with my busted phone and no further help. But hey, I had a claims number. Come to find out, you can only have so many claims in an amount of time. I was told that because I'd had a claim with the razor, I couldn't file one so closely with this phone. Now, here's two problems, not only did I not go through with the claim the first time, spending more money for a phone, the second time around wasn't a claims case anyway. IT WAS A MANUFACTURER'S DEFECT!!!!!
So----months later, they keep turning my phone off because of my spending limit, I keep paying them money to keep it on. The thing is though, with a spending limit, my bill isn't even late. It's just over 200 bucks at the time. Why? Because they charge me over 100 bucks per month for one phone when EVERYONE else that I know pays less than that.
What's the solution? What would make me happy? Why have I still not paid my bill? I'll tell you why.
I've pumped enough money into Suncom, it's products that they clearly don't back and their minion customer service reps to have 10 cell phones. The first phone that I got didn't work on pic messages because it wasn't a real Suncom phone. It was a refurbished one from another company that wasn't programed for it. It's like me taking my sim card and sticking it into your Altel or Cingular phone. It either a. doesn't work, or b. it doesn't fully work because it's not a true Suncom phone. Now, I didn't even know this until I went in nearly a year later with complaints---then they drop the bomb and act as if it's my fault. Like I knew.
Now, I say that with all that happened, crappy service, mean customer service reps, not getting full service because a rep didn't tell me a certain thing, and having the embarrassment of people calling my phone and they think I just didn't pay my bill because it's off because I wasn't told about a spending limit, and all of the other fuss that I've gone through, I should get this....
I should pay 59.99 a month for service. The rep told me that she could do that for me. Good. The bad news is, I'll have to sign another 2 year contract with these people so they can legally stick it to me or get another 200 bucks for disconnection out of me. I want to be able to switch over without the contract, especially since I will not be able to use my phone if it says partner with this price. Also, I would like for someone to work with me on the 200 dollar spending limit. I've never had a problem paying my bill, maybe it's been late, but it's always been paid in full. There is no reason why I should have a spending limit at this point. Now, as far as my phone. I'm using a friend's old broken down, piece of junk phone for the meantime. I have to return this phone, it is not mine. I say, I should be able to walk into the Suncom store and they replace my defective phone with the same one, which has depreciated in price, so it would cheaper for them now to give me the same phone since I bought it at full price before. They still win.
But, due to rules and regulations that can't be bent for good, honest customers, I'm stuck and there is nothing that I can do about, there is no one that I can speak to that is above these customer service agents, so I should have a good day, and they appreciate my business.
If anyone has experienced problems such as these, or they would like to comment, you can reach me at [removed]