Earlier this month I had the unfortunate pleasure of ordering a mobile phone from letstalk.com.
Advance Disclaimer: Do a 5-minute research on online sellers before you buy from them. Obviously I did not.
Here is the story. I placed my order for an LG phone on Monday September 15th, 2008 with free two-day shipping. That would mean that I should get my phone in the mail by Thursday September 18th at the most.
The phone cost me $109.99 but the website said there will be $110 mail in rebate associated with it so in the end it would cost me nothing (although they don’t send the rebate checks 8 months later).
So on Tuesday, I received a call from someone at letstalk.com as they were having some difficulty verifying my line transfer from the previous mobile carrier and how glad they were to have me place the order with them and ensured that if not that day, the order will be shipped out on Wednesday so I should have it by Friday. I said ok, not a problem.
2 days pass by, and I still don’t get a shipment confirmation from them. So I called them and they mentioned that my previous carrier is taking sometime to release the number to the new carrier and I should call them and ask them to speed it up. So I did. and the previous carrier mentioned that the number was released the day before. So I called letstalk.com again and filled them with the details. They said yes it’s all good to go (it is Friday by now and I am still on the phone with them when I should have received it by now), and I should receive my phone on Monday.
I asked the lady, are you sure? Because I have 2-day shipping but I would appreciate if you can make it next day shipping for me to get it on Monday and she asserted YES YES.
WRONG, when I received the tracking email, it stated 2-day shipping. So I patiently waited for 4 days until Tuesday (all this time when I was told my letstalk.com on Tuesday that I should get my phone by Friday of the week before). Moreover, they had already transferred by number from the old carrier to the new carrier, so I was without a phone service for about 5 days, without having access to any voice mail even.
When I finally received it on Tuesday, the phone was not fully functional. I had to call the new carrier to have it programmed. Great. Not having a phone for 4-5 days, all the while my number was hanging in the middle of a vacuum.
Everything was seemingly fine for a day or two when I decided to print the rebate form because you never know what is going to happen with the rebate 'scams' so I logged on to my order to print the rebate form but it would show nothing when I click rebate form. I sent them an email regarding that (to which I have not received a reply to this date). Another 2 days pass by, I gave them a call and asked them what’s up with the rebate form, the lady on the phone mentioned, I don’t see a rebate associated with this order and I said it should be. She mentioned, "Ok I will pass your concern to the appropriate department and you should receive a reply soon" (I did not).
Today, Tuesday September 30th, 2008, I called letstalk.com again to see what's happening with the rebate form, and they mentioned that I am not eligible for the rebate because I added a 3rd line to my account while the rebate was only applicable to 1st and 2nd line. I mentioned it to the rude lady that by the time I had activated this line, I only had 2 lines with the carrier but she said no, whatever was processed at the time of order is what it is.
So I said, Ok, I would like to return the phone. She mentioned I cannot return the phone because it has already been past 7 days so I cannot return the product. I mentioned it to her; no it has been less than 7 days. So we 'discussed' for a few minutes and I asked her for a supervisor.
She put me on a loooong hold and came back responding, we can make an exception. If you have used less then so and so many minutes than we can return it. And she asked me how many minutes have I used, to which I said I don't know. She said we can process the return but if you have used more then so and so many minutes than we will send it back to you. I asked her the same question I had 20 minutes ago; Can I talk to your supervisor?
She put me on another hold and transferred me to some voice mail. I did not want to leave a message; I wanted to solve this right there and then so I hung up and called again.
This time I directly asked for a supervisor. The supervisor, named Steffan/Stefan (extension 2022) told me that since as of order date I already had 2 lines with the carrier, I was ineligible for the rebate. When I mentioned that what about the fact that two of their people had talked to me BEFORE shipping the phone, and how come did they not mention it then, to which Steffan/Stefan said that I should have read the rebate fine print. RIGHT.
I know why they did not mention it. BECAUSE THEY WANTED TO MAKE THE SALE AND JUICE UP THEIR COMMISSION.
(At this point, I have collectively been on the phone with them for well over 35 minutes).
I asked Mr. Steffan/Stefan what my options were at this point. He said I can exchange it for a cheaper phone but I can also return It. I asked him if I can return the phone only and keep the service. He said yes I can do that, since they have nothing to do with the service, they can just process the return. But, Guess what?
I HAVE TO PAY SHIPPING OUT OF MY POCKET TO GET THIS SHIPPED OUT TO THEM. WHAT A SCAM RUN BY LETSTALK.COM @
6341 Boulevard 26
North Richland Hills, TX 76180
9/15/08: Order placed.
9/19/08: Order promised to be delivered.
9/23/08: Order Received.
9/25/08-9/30/08: Without access to a phone service that I am paying, in the meanwhile.
9/24/08: Emailed to inquire about rebate (no response)
9/26/08: Phoned customer service to inquire about rebate (lady promised a response, but no follow up).
9/30/08: Called to inquire about rebate and being told not eligible. Eeventually setting up a return AT MY EXPENSE.
Again, make sure you read up on every single fine print with this scammer and player retailer. Moreover, make sure you save every paper work you receive in the mail. When you submit your rebate several months later, you will have to attach a sticker from the original invoice you received with the phone.
What are the odds, you will still have 'that sticker'?
I will post any and all updates and all the hiccups along the way.