Consumer Cellular - #1 buy phones direct from the manufacturer. do not purchase a phone from a provider.
Samsung Galaxy S 10 + Consumer Cellular Issues
At the end of August I contacted Consumer Cellular about a failed headset jack on my Samsung Galaxy S 10 + [The phone was purchased June 14th 2019 for $851.31] the jack had been used possibly 20 times. I had used the same cord with my Samsung S8+ mobile phone many times and knew it was a good cord.
I tested the jack with the NEW ear buds supplied with the new phone as a means of verification of the diagnosis along with a headset ear bud set that was used with the S8+ I had prior. I also performed a hard reset at the behest of Consumer Cellular Support. The phone company told me that I had to turn the phone in to square trade insurance to have it repaired. I contended that the phone was only two months old and the jack should be a 1 year warrantee item.
I noted that I keep my phone in a protective case so was confident there were no scuffs dings or damage in any regard. I have been paying insurance thru Consumer Cellular to Square Trade covering damage loss or theft. I conveyed my contention that my insurance should not have to pay for a repair and require me to pay the $50.00 dollar co pay to Square trade for a replacement phone. Consumer Cellular told me if I was confident that my 2 month old phone was otherwise un-damaged they would send me a replacement phone (shipped September 26th 2019) and a mailer to return my phone to them.
The replacement phone that I received was a refurbished model. I sent my defective phone in exchange. I believed that the phone I received was a reconditioned phone. I was disappointed in the condition of the phone but considered that having used my previous phone it was a dissatisfying but necessary trade.
. I proceeded using my refurbished phone with the idea that the matter was resolved. I considered the matter closed. On the 19th of October on when I returned to my home after being out of town for about a week I went to the post office to collect my held mail I received my original Samsung S 10 + with the broken phone jack from Consumer Cellular UPS package dated October 9th 2019.
Having considered the phone issue resolved I was surprised to receive the phone. The box contained a note dated October 9th that there was corrosion in the jack and charge port. Being as I seldom charge my phone with a cord as I have a magnetic charge pad I did not expect to receive that kind of a notice from Consumer Cellular or the phone for that matter. I waited till I had some time to resolve the issue of the unwanted phone as I had appointments that took precedence.
I logged on to my account with Consumer Cellular to find my account number and their contact number and discovered I had been billed for a second NEW S 10 + at the $849.00 price. Consumer Cellular shipped the 2nd phone with an invoice that listed all contents as FREE according to the shipped paperwork from 9/24/2019 with a balance due of $0.00 I attempted to resolve the issue by contacting Consumer Cellular attempting to return the second phone but was told It could not be returned. In the midst of that conversation I was advised that they had indicated that sending my phone in as a warrantee item would result in a charge for the other phone. I would NEVER have agreed to that kind of an open ended purchase nor was I ever advised of the possibility of a refusal to repair.
Consumer Cellular took it upon themselves to refuse the warrantee not Samsung. I was under the impression that Samsung was the party who would warrantee the phone and return the refurbished phone to Consumer Cellular. That made sense to me as I felt they provided me with a “refurbished phone”. I can’t use two phones I never ordered the second phone and refuse to pay for it.
I have researched the price of a refurbished phone online as E bay is the defacto arbiter of the price of goods. The refurbished Samsung Galaxy S 10 + has a somewhat nebulous value of $450.00 (November 2019) governed by condition after refurbishment. I now have two used phones one with a bad headset jack and another refurbished phone that gently used. My opinion is I am being defrauded $850.00.
I feel I have made a good faith attempt to resolve the dispute and return the reconditioned phone that has not changed condition since received. I see no obligation on my part to pay for the unwanted device at any price. I am still willing to return the refurbished phone and have indicated this fact to the customer service people at Consumer.
*note After talking to Consumer Cellular subsequently on several different occasions I canceled my Debit card used by Consumer Cellular for monthly bill payments so that they could not automatically withdraw the cost of the unwanted phone from my account. After talking to two different mobile providers I attempted to use my phone on the Sprint system network.
Not only is my phone now locked out of any useful mobile data contact with the communications systems of anyone but Consumer Cellular - I am being held hostage by Consumer Cellular as the phone I purchased that supposedly was totally unlocked will only work on the Consumer Cellular system. In addition on November 1st 2019 I contacted Samsung mobile directly and inquired about the possible warrantee on my defective phone. I was assured that the phone was covered by a warrantee. Samsung E mailed me a label to ship my phone to them via UPS.
The Initial contact and arrival of the E mail with shipping label took less than 15 minutes. I am now faced with getting the phone I originally purchased unlocked. My contention is Consumer Cellular advertizes no contract service but ensnares customers with deceptive practices and outright fraud in their dealings with trusting consumers.
Appearances are that Consumer Cellular is
1.Arbitrarily denying warrantees and forcing the sale of a second phone on consumers
2.Locking customer’s phones to prevent them from changing providers.
I have requested an assessment of the headset jack and charge port on the phone shipped to Samsung to know if in fact there is any “corrosion” present as stated in their denial of warrantee letter dated October 9th 2019. Consumer Cellular stated they have photos showing corrosion during two separate conversations.
It will be interesting to see if the Samsung Corporation finds the same corrosion and still honors their warrantee..
---------- Further Developments ---------
November ---- Samsung fixed the phone under warrantee. There was a bit of dirt in the charge port it appeared to be a fleck of black paint.
Consumer Cellular agreed to reverse the charges if I would return the second phone they sent me a mailer. I sent the phone in the original box even though I have a hard time trusting them. Though I would be well within my rights to keep the phone my feeling is it would not be forgiving to do so.
I sent them the phone in the provided mailer with all the attachments in the original box. I had the phone inspected by an agent of the Sprint Store who stated the phone appeared in “excellent undamaged spotless condition”.
December ----- My original repaired by Samsung phone is still not unlocked by Consumer Cellular as of 12/5/2016
Code § 3009 - Mailing of unordered merchandise. (b) Any merchandise mailed in violation of subsection (a) of this section, or within the exceptions contained therein, may be treated as a gift by the recipient, who shall have the right to retain, use, discard, or dispose of it in any manner he sees fit without any obligation whatsoever...}
Product or Service Mentioned: Consumer Cellular Cell Phone Replacement.