Phone Services

Sprint Credit Check Without my Permission

I went to a Sprint store in Ocala Florida to sign up for services.  The situation I wanted and was told I would be getting is that I would get a total of 4 phones by paying $190 cash for the 1st phone, get 3 more phones for free, pay the $60 activation fee for 2 lines and $64.50 per month for 4 lines.

First problem, when I came to sign up I was told by the sales guy I couldn’t get 4 lines until I was a customer for 1 year.

Next, I was told that I couldn’t pay $190 up front and then get the other 3 phones for free. The only option was to pay up to $140, then have the rest financed over 2 years. He stated that upon initially signing up for the “buy 1 phone and get 3 more free deal” I would be charged $8 per month for each phone until the “promotional deal” was processed and it could take a few months.

So being told that I could buy 1 phone for $190 cash, then get up to 6 more phones for free was false.

I then pressed him for paperwork which would state I would be getting the phones for free and the $8 per month charge would go away. He stated there was no paperwork which stated that, so I then decided to abort the signup process and told him to delete all of my information.

I thought that was the end of it but then a few weeks later I got a letter in the mail from Sprint indicating a credit check had been ran on me without my knowledge.

I was outraged because at no time did the sales guy or anyone I spoke with at this Sprint store indicate a credit check would be necessary for me to get the buy one phone for $190 and get 3 more free deal. I didn’t want any credit. I wanted to pay cash for everything and only wanted what I was told I could get.

I spoke with 3 different people at this store and have a email from one of them and in the email, there is no mention of a credit check being needed for me to get the buy one phone for $190 and get 3 more free deal.

The sales guy used a iPad for the sign-up process where I couldn’t see anything except him telling me to “sign here” and “sign here” while not property advising me of what I was signing and I was not able to see what I was signing was.  The sales guy said nothing would be final and the agreements I signed would not be valid until I made a payment, never mentioning that he had ran a credit check.

I have a friend who works for AT&T Wireless who was there with me and witnessed everything who will attest that no one told me they would be running a credit check.

It is my position that Sprint’s employees had a duty to make it abundantly clear that they would be doing a credit check on me to get the buy 1 phone for $190 and 3 more free deal.  All three (3) employees I spoke with at this store failed to do so.

It is also my position that this employee and Sprint engaged in “Bate and Switch tactics” by not allowing me pay $190 cash and not giving me the 3 phones for free as I was initially told and trying to trick me into signing up for a credit / finance deal I didn’t want.

At this point, I’m looking for an attorney to file a lawsuit.

If you had similar problems or your an attorney who may be interested in this case, please contact me using the contact form on this website.

Vonage Deceptive Business Practice

Be aware that Vonage is deceptive in its advertisement and service charges

We were told that the monthly charge for phone services was $25.99 for the unlimited calls, including domestic, long distance and international. So, we signed up in October 2010. We were also told that we must use a credit card for payments. So we gave our credit card number.

Since then, Vonage has charged $33.59 to our credit card. I was puzzled by this higher cost than the advertized $25.99. When I called Vonage, customer specialist explained that this monthly charge included taxes and fees. So, I requested for the breakdowns of taxes and fees in my monthly charge of $33.59. Unbelievably, I was told that Vonage does not provide billing statements. Furthermore, the customer specialist refused to provide any information regarding their surcharges and other fees.

The difference between the advertized price ($25.99) and the actual charge ($33.59) is $7.60, which supposedly includes taxes and fees. Because this amount seems too high, I did some calculations as follows:

Federal tax at 3% è 0.03*25.59= $0.77

Ohio state tax at 6.75 è0 .0675*25.59= $1.73

Thus, total taxes = 2.50

If you subtract these taxes from $7.60, Vonage charges $5.10 for surcharges and other fees. With local phone company, I used to pay $1.46 monthly for surcharges and other fees. Thus, Vonage charges almost $4.00 more for surcharges and fees than my previous local phone company does.

To keep unfair (perhaps illegal) surcharges and other fees secret, I now realize that Vonage have used clever tactics such as charging to credit cards and no provision of monthly statements. By the way, is the refusal to provide information about surcharges and fees legal?

Paying $4 more for these unknown, secret fees is not big deal in our monthly budget, but I am appalled by Vonage’s dishonest and deceptive business practice. I am going to switch back to my previous local carrier