ヤミノ トラ (yamino_tora) wrote in bad_service,
ヤミノ トラ
yamino_tora
bad_service

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A little over a year ago, I signed up for wireless service from Alltel. At the time, there wasn't a corporate store in the area, and the Radio Shack that had been signing up Alltel contracts was no longer doing so. I ended up going to the Talkabout Wireless kiosk in the local mall, where I got my contract with very little trouble, although their credit card machine was down and I had to pull the money for the $300 security deposit out of the ATM. I wanted to add a second line for my fiance at the time, but that would have cost us another $300 security deposit and we just didn't have that kind of money. I was told by the representative who activated my plan that we would probably be able to add the second line without a deposit in three to four months, and that I would get the $300 deposit that I'd paid back with interest after a year.

I went in after having the plan for five months or so and was unable to add another line without a security deposit. Two months later, we tried again, with the same results. The employees who were there both times we went in had no idea whatsoever why we couldn't add the line without a deposit.

A month after that, we took a phone his grandparents had had over to the corporate store to see if we could activate it on his mother's plan, as her phone was quickly losing reception and she wanted a new one. We couldn't activate it on the Alltel network because it was a Verizon phone, incidentally. I happened to ask about adding another line and the agent I spoke with told me that they require a waiting period of one year from the creation of the account before they waive the security deposit for the second line.

We went in the day after I'd had the plan and got the second line added with no security deposit, and I asked about the procedure for requesting my security deposit back. I was told that I would have to call *611 from my phone and request a check from the corporate office, as they were unable to do it directly from the corporate store, and that's where the real fun and games started.

I called the number when I got home, and the guy I talked to said there was no record of a security deposit being paid on my account. At that point, I still had no idea which box my copy of the original contract was in after moving, so I figured there had to be some way to get a copy of it through Talkabout Wireless and went up to the mall kiosk. The girl there was completely unable to help me and refused to give me a number for her corporate office or tell me when her manager would be in, although she did give me a number for a gentleman who was responsible for "money drawers and deposits." It turned out that he deals with internal things and has nothing whatsoever to do with the security deposits. I went to the corporate store immediately afterwards, and was told there was nothing they could do because the third-party retailer had been the one to sign me up for the service.

We located my copy of the contract, and I called the Alltel corporate number again to see if there was some way that I could fax it to them to get my deposit back. The guy I talked to this time was extremely helpful and, while there was nothing he could do immediately to help me, told me that I'd need to contact Talkabout's corporate office and try to work things out with them but also gave me his personal email address so I could contact him directly in case I couldn't get any results from Talkabout.

I finally got the corporate number for Talkabout from someone at the kiosk, although it's not much use because I have yet to get in contact with a real person and not a voicemail recording. I've left numerous messages over the last few weeks and haven't had them return any of my calls. I also made use of the contact form on their website, which has gotten me the exact response that I've gotten from trying to call: nothing.

I'm in the process of seeing whether or not Alltel can do anything about this situation, but in the meantime I'm tempted to see if going to the local TV station who does 'on your side' reports where they go out and stick up for consumers being cheated will prompt Talkabout to do anything.

I think it's safe to say that I'm never going back to them after this incident gets resolved.
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