A few weeks ago, my Samsung Galaxy S10 developed an issue that prevented it from charging. I brought it to a repair place and was told the charging port was bad. He said the entire motherboard would need to be replaced and it wasn’t worth the cost.
I thought it might be a good time to change carriers. My wife has two business phones with T-mobile and pays $55 per month for both together. I went to T-mobile thinking that four lines would be cheaper per line than two lines. Instead, the man there told me it would be $160 for four lines. He also said that the $55 deal was no longer available for new accounts so I couldn’t just get two two-line accounts.
I ended up checking the Boost Mobile website which said I was elegible for a discount on a new phone. I found one I liked, a Motorolla Edge Plus that was regularly $749 but was marked down to $149. I wanted to make sure there was no catch, like a ten-year contract. I checked the fine print but saw nothing bad. I still wasn’t convinced so I called Boost to confirm that I didn’t have to give up my first born or something like that.
When I called, their computer didn’t recognise my phone number. When I was able to talk to a real person, they couldn’t find my number in their system. “Your kidding?” I said. “I’ve been a customer since 2009.”
I ended up giving my wife’s phone number which he found. He told me the only stipulation was that I couldn’t get the phone unlocked to take to a new carrier for one year. I thought that was reasonable, so I went back to my cart on the website. It said my total would be about $160. I clicked the buy button.
A few seconds later an email arrived with a receipt for $802 dollars. I was shocked and immediately called Boost back. I told the woman on the phone what happened, and she told me I would have to wait until the phone arrived and then send it back. “I said, “No, no, no! I just ordered it five minutes ago. You need to cancel the order.”
She said she couldn’t do that. I said, “What do you mean you can’t do that? The phone hasn’t been shipped yet. Just cancel the order.”
She repeated that she couldn’t cancel the order. “I said, “That’s crazy. You are now going to tie up $800 of my money for God knows how long while I wait for the phone to arrive, which hasn’t even been shipped yet. I then have to send it back, pay for postage with my money, and hope that the post office doesn’t lose the package.”
The conversation went on for quite a while and eventually I was transferred to a supervisor who told me the same thing. He sympathized with me but there was nothing he could do. I might have asked if Moe, Larry and Curly were running the company. The supervisor mentioned that he had a similar problem earlier that day when a woman’s child ordered a phone without her consent.
I thought then that this must happen multiple times a day. Multiply that by many years, it was shocking to know that company as big as Boost Mobile had no way to deal with the problem. It seems like such an easy fix. To let the problem linger for so long tells me they don’t want to fix it.
I learned from the supervisor that my wife was eligible for the discounted phone, but I wasn’t. It turns out that a year or so ago we switched from individual plans to a family plan. Somehow my wife’s number became primary and mine became secondary. Actually, not even secondary. My account essentially became so unimportant that they couldn’t even find my phone number in their system.
My wife thought we should order the $149 phone too, so through the supervisor, we ended up placing another order for a second phone that we were told could be used with my phone number. We ended up having to wait for both phones to arrive and then make sure we sent the expensive one back. The last time I ordered a phone it took two days. This time I waited five days before the expensive phone to arrive and another two days for the cheaper version of the same phone. I took the expensive phone to the post office, bought the extra insurance, and shipped it.
Friday my wife asked me to call Boost Mobile because they had the phone in their possession for two weeks but have not reimbursed us the $802. When I called, they still didn’t recognize my phone number, even though the supervisor told me he would report the problem. When I got someone on the phone, he told me it would be two to four weeks before we would see the money back in our account and since it was not four weeks yet, we needed to wait another two weeks.
I’m sure I don’t have to spell out how insane all of this is. The thing I regret most is purchasing the second phone. I should have just sent the one phone back and put Boost Mobile in the rear view. I would love to protest their treatment by going with another carrier but now I’m stuck with them for another year.