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LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
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I had a non working wireless phone and when send back to verizon- they got it too late and

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I had a non working wireless phone and when send back to verizon- they got it too late and are now charging me over $500 for the phone. They also reported this to the credit bureaus, which severely affected my rating. Do I have a case? They will not take waive the fee for the non working phone. I told thm I will gladly pay for the usage, not for a non working phone in which I do not even have. And to add, it was refurbished and didnt even cost that much.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

LegalGems :

Hi! LegalGems here. My goal: To Do My Best To Assist You. Please remember, I can only provide general information,as this is a public forum. Dealing with wireless carriers can be extremely frustrating and difficult to contest. I will do my best to let you know of any available options. How long ago did you purchase the phone? Was it under contract?

LegalGems :

Were you able to view my above response?

Customer:

I have had verizon for year and the phone had to be replaced about three times. The phone was refubrished and did not work properly so they sent me another one. In the midst of me moving from one state to another, sending back the old phone was delayed/

Customer:

They did get it back but not in a timely matter. They are charging full price for a phone which wasnt worked and wasnt even new, AND they have!

LegalGems :

Thank you for that. How long was it delayed for; and how long did the contract allow for the return?

Customer:

I cannot answer that

Customer:

This happened MONTHS ago, yet still this year

LegalGems :

OK; can you give me a general idea of the time frame?

Customer:

No I cant because they wont tell me

Customer:

I swtiched to another company in February

LegalGems :

So the $500 includes the phone and early termination charges, would that be correct?

Customer:

I have never dealt with a company so unwilling to work with me. This completely hurt my credit rating all due to a phone

Customer:

Nope. The bill is over $800 now and the phone alone was $500

LegalGems :

As for the credit reporting, you can dispute this directly with the credit bureaus. They actually have a duty to investigate the dispute to determine if the entry is invalid and should be removed from your report. Have you disputed that yet?

Customer:

I just today said I will pay my USAGE if they waive the phone and they wont

Customer:

No because I do owe for the usage still

LegalGems :

OK, a few minutes please. I am going to look into a few alternatives.

Customer:

and if I do pay my usage, I will still have a bill and it will still be on my credit report

Customer:

My monthly bill was about $150

LegalGems :

One option is to file a complaint with the FCC: http://www.fcc.gov/complaints - however, this is a rather slow process, as they are inundated with complaints. A more realistic approach, and it will be difficult and time consuming, unfortunately, is to file in your small claims court for breach of contract, and possibly misrepresentation. The contract likely provided that they would provide a working phone (it probably permitted refurbished phones for replacement phones). The consumer may argue breach of contract and/or breach of warranty, along with misrepresentation, due to the fact that the carrier was unable to provide a working phone after several attempts, resulting in a monthly phone bill (usage) that was often unable to be accessed due to the carrier's inability/unwillingness/negligence in providing a working phone.

LegalGems :

Another option is to hire an attorney to write a settlement offer letter, outlining the situation and explaining why you are willing to pay only $X, and in exchange they will release all claims and remove any negative reports from your credit reports.

Customer:

I would rather take them to small claims- attorneys cost more money which I just dont have right ow

Customer:

now

LegalGems :

OK. Let me get you the information for small claims. Be sure and document as much of your case as possible. What county are you in?

Customer:

Would it be my state or the state I started the contract with them?

Customer:

I am now in Mecklenberg

LegalGems :

It would be in the state the defendant does business in or where the business is located; it would be easiest to do it in your state as that increases the likelihood of a default judgment ( a no show). Since this is a big company and they have a business presence in all states, that should not be a problem from a jurisdictional perspective.

Customer:

Ok good

LegalGems :

I'm downloading some information - just a moment please.

Customer:

thank you

LegalGems :

Here's a basic how to article: http://www.freelegalaid.com/nav/north-carolina/other/article/filing-small-claim-mecklenburg-county-north-carolina and here's some information on small claims: http://www.nccourts.org/Courts/Trial/SClaims/Default.asp. The problem you will likely encounter is that these contracts have every legalese imaginable; however, they still have a duty to provide the service/product as represented. Following up with a FCC complaint can get them governmental scrutiny, which would hopefully result in tighter industry regulations if enough consumers do this!

Customer:

Thank you. XXXXX want to pay to usage, not the "equipment"

LegalGems :

Yes; so in your small claims you would include that in the information. But technically, if you were unable to enable usage due to faulty equipment, during the times you had this issue a refund should be issued for this period.

Customer:

thats great

LegalGems :

Yes, if it works - in theory it should. But again, these guys are big and powerful and they likely have a very comprehensive contract. However, after such frequent negligence/breach of contract, you would have a better shot than most. Especially if it's a default judgment.

Customer:

Ok great. Thanks so much.

LegalGems :

You are welcome. Very good luck on this as I know how frustrating/time consuming it can be to deal with these type of companies, especially when you are on hold forever...

Customer:

True. have a great day.

LegalGems :

You to. Take care.

LegalGems, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 3726
Experience: Research Attorney; Private Practice; Attorney Mentor; Mediator
LegalGems and 10 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.
I wanted to be sure and thank you for using JA/Pearl.

I hope you found the information I provided useful.

If you would like to request me for your future legal inquires, please put TO LEGAL GEMS in front of the question, and I will do my best!
Take care.

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