Fine print on return policy....
- From: Jeremy.Deats@xxxxxxxxx
- Date: 5 Aug 2006 10:37:06 -0700
When signing a Cingular contract you'll fine this in the fine print of
"... 30 DAY CANCELLATION PERIOD/TERMINATION
You may terminate this Agreement within thirty (30) days after
activating service without paying an Early Termination Fee. You will
pay for service fees and charges incurred through the termination date,
but Cingular will refund your activation fee, if any, if you terminate
within three (3) days of activating the service. Also, you may have to
return any handsets and accessories purchased with this Agreement."
You'll find this in contracts offered by Verizon, TMobile, Sprint,
etc.. I believe their is a law that forces the cell companies into
providing this, but I'm not sure. This grace period of return is
different based on the provider... Verizon offers 15 days, Cingular and
T-Mobile only offer 3. I just know it's there and the sales assoicates
at the service outlet of your choice will confirm its there and boldly
state that they will honor it..... "Just make sure everything is in
perfect condiction, bring the handsets back within 3 days and you can
terminate the service and pay nothing except usage fees, as long as its
within three days". That's what the manager of a local Cingular outlet
A fiiend of mine recently put this to the test and here's how they get
you.... Should you decide within three days that you're at happy with
the service, the plan or the phone and you want to make the cell
provider make good on this offer, here's what you'll encourter.
1. The mail back check... Regardless of how you paid (if you paid out
any money for the phone or security deposits; my friend used his Visa
checkcard) your refund will be a mail back check that you'll get within
10-12 weeks. Before this check arrives you will be billed for the
service and activation cost and will be expected to pay that bill in
full. If you don't you will not get the mail back check and will be in
breach of contract so you will not qualify for the "return policy
clause" refund.... confused yet?
2. Cingular (and other service providers too, to be fair) have found a
way around the "return without early terminate fee" clauses by taging
on additional terms tied to specific phones. For example, if you
purchase a Cingular 2125 at a discounted price you can expect this
addition to your contract terms, what follows below is taken from the
terms and conditions:
"...By accepting this Equipment Discount, you agree that for a period
of 181 days after your new equipment is activated on your account, you
* will not disconnect this Cingular line of service
* will pay your balance due to Cingular each month
* will not change your Cingular service rate plan to a lower
monthly service rate
* will not transfer this equipment to another Cingular line of
* will not port an existing phone number from another Cingular
account to this new line of service
If these conditions are not met, you herein provide authorization for a
$250 reimbursement to be charged to your credit card by this Cingular
authorized agent without need for further approval. This reimbursement
of the $250 Equipment Discount will only be charged if the above
conditions are not met... "
So if you decide to you are unhappy with something and want Cingular to
make good on the 3 day return policy, guess what? You can't because
you've given up that right as part of this agreement... but the clerk
was too uninformed to know this was the case, they let my friend return
their hardware and promised the mail-back check... a few weeks later he
was informed that $250 was charged to his card.
The clerk and manager I worked with at the Cingular stores was
unfamilure with the fine details of the Cingular service contract....
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