Cells4U LLC - Please Think Twice Before You Order Anything From Cells4u.com
Samsung I8700 Omnia7 Unlocked Smartphone - Complaint
PARSIPPANY, NEW JERSEY -- My experience when dealing with this company is recounted below and you can judge for yourself whether you would want to have anything to do with them.
I had placed order#1131 on 11/22/2011 with Cells4U through www. cells4u. com for SGH-8700-BK Samsung I8700 Omnia7 Unlocked Smartphone $289.99 (Free Shipping 7-days ground). I needed the phone when traveling overseas first week of December 2011. As per company norms, I was to receive the phone within 7-10 business days from the 11/22/2011 order date. They were unable to complete the order in time due to heavy demands, and agreed to cancel my order. December 19, 2011, Cells4U sent an email stating that the money will be credited into my account that day. January 6, 2012, I sent an email to Cells4U telling them that refund has not yet been credited into my account. Cells4U never responded to that email.
On return to USA from my oversees trip, I sent Cells4U an email on April 9,2012 reminding them that they had said that they would credit $289.99 into my account but had not done so even after order had been cancelled. That and subsequent April 19 and April 30, 2012 emails requesting for refund went unanswered. A short reply on May 9, 2012 acknowledged that they had received my email and that I should wait for their response. May 10, 2012, I wrote to them that I had waited for over five months since December 2011 and nothing had been done. They responded by saying that they will work with me to solve the issue and they were waiting for details from their billing department. Subsequent May 16 and 21, 2012 emails to them got a response that they would ask billing department to call me.
May 30, 2012 someone from billing department called my phone number from a blocked caller id and left a sketchy half-minute message which was not understandable. June 6, 2012 I wrote to Cells4U requesting them to ask the billing department to call once again. June 19, 2012 I sent them my entire bank statement showing that $289.99 was removed on November 23,2011 but never refunded to the account. June 26, 2012 Cells4U wrote back saying that my refund had been honored and processed and asked me what was the problem now because the case was closed by their billing department. I wrote back reiterating that the problem was that the money had not yet been received by me. June 30, 2012
Cells4U wrote back saying that a certified check was sent to my address via USPS regular mail. July 17, 2012 I asked Cells4U why they did not refund the money to the credit card as per their company norms and instead sent a certified check. I further asked them to send me details of the certified check which they did not give. July 19, July 23, July 25, July 26, July 27 2012 and Aug 1, 2012 emails to Cells4U telling them that I have still not received the certified check and that they should have sent by FedEx or USPS trackable mail rather than regular mail went unanswered.
August 28, 2012 I wrote to Cells4U that I needed name of owner/partner of Cells4U LLC and name of person who was in major email correspondence with me. August 29, 2012 at 10:22am, I got a call from a person who said her name was Jenny from Cells4U. She claimed that check no 001004 was sent out to me on 6/30/2012 to my address. When I told her that this cannot be true because I never received it, she tried to convince me that someone could have cashed it. When I told her that if the check was made on my name, it is impossible that someone could have cashed it, she told me that she knows that it is possible to cash because she sends out millions of checks. Then she said that she was prepared to make a new check. She insisted that I should just go and cash it after I receive check no 001006. When I told her that I would deposit it into my account, she seemed not too pleased, and told me that she was only trying to help me to get cash quickly. That, of course, was an anti-climax for me since I have been waiting for 9 months to receive the refund!
When I insisted that the check be sent by certified mail, she tried to tell me that she did not know how that works and wondered whether I would be able to track it. How could a person sending out million refund checks not know the procedure of sending certified mail? When giving the certified mail tracking number, she told me that it is the driver who went and did the mailing and not herself. She was thus preparing the ground for lying to me later so that she could then tell me that she had no idea what the driver did because of which I did not get the check. When I told her that the moment post office scans the letter, I would be able to track it, she seemed to be at a loss for words because she knew there was nothing in the mail for me to track as it was a fictitious tracking number that was being given to me. September 10, 2012 I wrote to Cells4U that the refund check had not reached me.
USPS indicated that no certified mail was ever sent to me with tracking number 70110470000312929310 given by Cells4U. This meant that the check was simply not sent out. In response, Cells4U said that the person who was handling my account was on vacation, but it looked like that the refund was sent completely and that it should take a few days, no more than 7-10 days to get it. However, no refund was received by me. September 14, September 18, and September 28 2012 emails reminding them over and over again got no response.
At this point, I was not sure I should pursue the matter. But I knew that I had to do something more effective and initiate appropriate action to recover my $289.99, so that Cells4U does not do the same to other customers. This is when I thought of lodging a complaint with Better Business Bureau (BBB) through their website. I followed the instructions for putting in a complaint and officially registered the complaint 9519189 with BBB on April 25, 2013 which was already over a year that Cells4U withDrew $289.99 from my account but not refunded it though the item was not delivered and order cancelled.
BBB made Cells4U aware of the complaint and asked them to respond. On May 4, 2013, Cells4U wrote back stating that this transaction did not exist in their database, and were not ble to locate this customer. They wanted the customer i. e. me to send the document that states that Cells4U had debited $289.99. On May 7, 2013, I sent a pdf document that had all the screenshots of my entire purchase process with Cells4U, which had all the step by step details of the transaction history. I also sent a pdf of my Bank statement that showed the debit of $289.99 drawn by Cells4U on November 25, 2011.
Cells4U wrote back to BBB on May 20, 2013 that they did not see any statement that showed that they debited customer’s account, and would like to get this information faxed to them. They stated that the refund process takes up to 30 days as per their refund policy, but if the customer wishes to purchase any product they will be able to send it immediately. They further added that they will issue a full credit in the amount of $289.99 and send check number 1057 issued on May 17, 2013 to my address.
On May 22, 2013, I wrote back to BBB saying that I do not wish to get any product from them. I also wrote that I do not wish to fax any more information to them since my bank statement clearly indicated that Cells4U had withdrawn the money. I also stated that I was willing to wait for 30 days to receive the check but I would like to know when the start of the 30 day period is. Cells4U responded on June 11, 2013 by stating that they are not sure what I am saying when they have issued a refund already to me on May 17, 2013 and it will be delivered within 30 days.
I waited patiently for the check that finally arrived by certified mail with tracking number 70111570000154099260 on June 18, 2013 which I picked up from the post office. Thus, after almost 18 months and a great deal of persistence and patience, I could recover my money. The time and energy that went into recovering the $289.99 was certainly disproportionate, but I did not want the company to get free money and get away with it.