Please allow my vent about vendors...


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  1. VentureForth

    VentureForth Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    For those who aren't aware, Letstalk.com has all but monopolized the online cellphone buying experience. There are a few holdouts, but for the most part, they have their sticky 1s and 0s in all things online cell phone buying related.

    Various retailers use the Letstalk engine and can set their own prices. But when it comes to customer service, you call some representative of Letstalk who then at the end of the call says something to the effect of "Thank you for calling...err...ummm...Walmart.com," or wirefly.com or, or, or, etc.

    So I buy my Samsung Captivate that I have lusting over for at least a solid week now from a Letstalk affiliate on eBay this past Monday. Ordered my wife a Blackberry Torch. A white one. Very nice. Paid an additional fee for 2 Day UPS. Oh - how do I know my wife's Torch is nice? Got it yesterday. In the same box my Captivate was SUPPOSED to be in!

    Here's the frustration - Packing slip says that my Captivate is in the box. Unless this is one of those new cool invisible boxes and I'm just overlooking it, it ain't in there.

    Call the toll free number on the packing slip. They inform me that they will have to spend the next 5 business days researching my claim. Then they will ship me out a new phone.

    But I paid to have it YESTERDAY Wednesday, not NEXT WEEK Wednesday.

    Grr...

    Now, I am a bit concerned that there could be some he said/she said. What's for them to say that I didn't just pocket the phone to eBay it for $500 later? After all, for all practical purposes, the paperwork shows that it was in the box.

    Now my only redeeming grace is that I have a printed receipt with the IMEI on it. If anyone else were to activate it, I'm sure it could be discovered. Interestingly, last Monday, my Blackberry email and internet were disabled. When I called AT&T, it was because my Captivate was activated. I'm sure this was a factory activation, so I'm not too concerned. I had to actually switch it back to my Blackberry until I get the thing so that I'm still useful in life.

    So here is my concern. Could a warehouse dude...ummm...pocket the Captivate, send off the Torch, and then take it home and activate it himself? After all, all s/he has to do is call AT&T with an IMEI and put in a SIM card, and they're all set. And, if that happened, will "research" be able to prove that I never got my phone???

    Sure, the phone only cost me $15, but it also cost me a two year commitment and $500 to replace if I don't want to keep using my crappy Bold for the next year.
     

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  2. stevenlong

    stevenlong Well-Known Member

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    Yes they can! They don't even need to call AT&T, just slip a SIM card that has been activated on another phone and they are good to go.

    And AT&T will not help you one little bit trying to track down the stolen phone :( Even though with the IMEI (which you have) they could.
     
  3. VentureForth

    VentureForth Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I was hoping for something a bit more upbeat :eek:. LOL!
     
  4. snapper.fishes

    snapper.fishes Well-Known Member

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    It has happened before. Of course, the person got caught.
     
  5. VentureForth

    VentureForth Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    That's a bit more encouraging. How does one get caught? Who is willing to take on this sort of investigation?
     
  6. dan330

    dan330 Well-Known Member

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    i am guessing you paid with a credit card.... reverse the charges! and walk away....
     
  7. LaTuFu

    LaTuFu Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Since you paid with a Credit Card (I hope) you can always use Visa buyer's protection, if things get really bad with the "research".

    It can be a slow, painful process, but I've had positive experiences with it when I've had to utilize it.
     
  8. VentureForth

    VentureForth Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    But wouldn't I only be able to get my $15? I'm not worried about my $15. I'm worried that I'll have to wait another year before I'm eligible for an upgrade.
     
  9. VentureForth

    VentureForth Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    UPDATE: After talking to Letstalk again today, they are blaming the carrier (UPS). I didn't think the box had been tampered with, but upon further inspection, sure enough the bottom had a 2nd strip of tape on it, and the first strip was obviously cut. Accident or on purpose? Could have been either. But either way, it could take up to EIGHT days to investigate and then issue a new phone.

    NOTE: Talking to the seller and to customer service, they say that all claims are eventually solved and a new phone is distributed. I'm just hacked that I gotta wait another up to 12 days before I get my phone!! (That's 7 more business days, then the Thanksgiving holidays, then time to ship overnight.)

    AAAaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrghhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
    -
     
  10. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum Moderator

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    I've had this happen to me a time or two (not with a cell phone, though.) the one thing that I always relied on was the weight of the package. Usually if the item in question were in the box it would have weighed more. I will always tell them up front that if items X, Y and Z were in the box it would have weighed 5 lbs. but the label only says 2 lbs. so obviously it wasn't in the box. In your case, evidence of the box being opened in transit puts the onus on the carrier.
     
  11. VentureForth

    VentureForth Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Even though they said that 1.8 lbs is indicative of two phones, I'm going to throw the box back together and toss it on a scale - at the UPS service center. :)
     
  12. VentureForth

    VentureForth Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    T+44 hours since I should have had my Captivate.

    Meanwhile, my wife is learning to love her Torch.

    Follow up to previous post. Took everything, put it in the box, went to UPS and sure enough, the whole package only weighed 1.2 lbs.

    Something went MIA after shipment began. BTW, for anyone interested, going in person to UPS doesn't help at all. The real UPS service center, not the UPS Store, mind you. "If an investigation has begun, just wait for it to complete. There is nothing we can do."

    They DID look in their warehouse, though, to see if there was anything in their "lost and found" in case the bottom of the box was snagged on something, the Cappy fell out, and later the package was noticed to be opened by a studious employee who then perhaps patched it up.

    I hate to suspect anyone of downright thievery. After all, how do they know that there are activated cell phones in the box, and that there are two instead of one reducing the suspicion?

    Sorry for the rant. But this saga is more of a thriller than Harry Potter was last night. I guess I'm running on lack of any semblance of sleep!
     
  13. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum Moderator

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    It's hard not to think ill of someone given the circumstances. Assuming that the shipping label was generated after weighting the package at the source and there wasn't any obvious physical damage to the package, the most logical conclusion was that it was opened in transit. However, it is entirely possible that letstalk.com automates the entire order process through shipping based on values entered into their system and not actually weighing the package. As a matter of fact it's highly probable that their system calculates the weight of the package based on the aggregate shipping weights of the box contents and generates the shipping label before anything is picked at their warehouse.

    I am not familiar with the checking practices are with UPS, but i would suspect that if the received weight was under the prepaid amount they would either credit the shipper or ignore the overage without changing the label. They may have a record somewhere of the received weight rather than the weight printed on the shipping label.
     
  14. VentureForth

    VentureForth Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    T+96 hours with no resolution (only 2 business days, though).
     
  15. VentureForth

    VentureForth Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    It is business day +3 (114 hours) since my package was delivered, sans Captivate. The silence is deafening. Hope seems to lurk just out of reach over the horizon. Meanwhile my Bold 9000 is dying of memory leakage and constant battery pulls and resets. I have a spare Nokia 2610 sitting within arms length. I seriously think that it rings quietly every so often just to taunt me. Just to plea with me that a smartphone is overrated. It's simple candy bar display.... Seems.... So.... Simple......... And it's here!
     
  16. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum Moderator

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    For god's sake man, get out and do something to distract yourself from this nightmare before you end up secluded in a Las Vegas hotel clutching a jar of your own toenails.

    The wheels of customer service grind slowly. If it will help, we've all had our experiences with this sort of frustration. I chronicled my experience here.
     
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  17. VentureForth

    VentureForth Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Indeed, I have dealt with Toshiba before as well. My experience took just about as long, but without the hassles. Sigh.

    Must start gathering toenails. Oh, and a jar. Where can I find a toenail jar. PHONE? Sigh. Waiting for that blinking red message light on my life-supported Bold to be from "Them".

    Ooooo. Shiny object.....
     
  18. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum Moderator

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    Just use the Google search widget on the homescreen of your Captiva.... ooops.

    (sorry, that was cruel ;) )
     
  19. dan330

    dan330 Well-Known Member

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    the captivate box would work well too....
     
  20. LaTuFu

    LaTuFu Well-Known Member Contributor

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    If it makes you feel any better to have a brother in misery, my wife and I recently purchased a treadmill. It was drop shipped from the manufacturer, and delivered by a third party shipping company.

    We bought it from Dick's Sporting Goods and paid for "threshold delivery" (meaning they bring it into your house, not leave it in the driveway).

    It took three weeks to get it delivered, and when the day finally arrived, the truck driver showed up, dropped the box in the middle of the driveway and left. The treadmill box has a huge hole in the middle of it from where the shipping company's forklift drove through it with one of the tines.

    DSG has been great about immediately ordering a replacement treadmill, but there is absolutely nothing we can do about the three week delivery cycle starting all over again--or the same POS delivery company bringing it to the house.

    This time I'll be standing in the driveway and making sure the driver understands what "threshold" means, and that they taught their forktruck driver how to operate his equipment.
     
  21. VentureForth

    VentureForth Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Well, I must admit...misery loves company. I'm sorry to hear about that. Treadmill is certainly a lot more expensive than a little phone gadget. I just wish that people gave a bit more care about their jobs.
     
  22. VentureForth

    VentureForth Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Six cups of coffee today, the last one loaded with sugar and creamer. Has brought my anxiety level to defcon 2.

    Business Day 4 since claim filed. Real day since order: 9.

    No update to status. Best hope is confirmation tomorrow and delivery Friday. Have already missed having the phone on a campout with my cubscouts (would have been great to have SkyMap, not to mention how lost I got getting there) and now will miss out having it on Thanksgiving.

    Worst case is confirmation on Dec 1 with a Dec 2 delivery.

    Have now received full refund from Vendor (A whopping $18.98 - $2 per day for my inconvenience).

    Used refund to buy a case. :)
     
  23. Dark Jedi

    Dark Jedi Guest

    there are paper maps to guide you :eek::p

    sorry to hear of your problems
     
  24. VentureForth

    VentureForth Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Believe it or not, paper maps are getting harder to find!!

    Day 5 - original solution promise date - now being told 7 business days which would put decision date to 11/30 (UPS is closed on Thurs & Fri; On Friday, deliverys and pickups happen, but that's it).

    Talked to LetTalk again. They don't like to talk. Said there was no update. Talked to UPS. They said they had resolution and told the Shipper but they couldn't tell me anything. So someone is not talking to someone.

    As time goes on, I get this gnawing feeling in my gut that they're all going to stick this on me and leave me with a 2-year contract and no phone to show for it.

    I'm gonna run to Wal Mart and get one with no contract and return it in less than 15 days for a full refund if they let me. Maybe just a Bravo 'cause it's almost half the price if I get stuck with it.
     
  25. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum Moderator

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    Who'd you talk to at letstalk? Usually first tier support people have no authority and no information other than a script and the lid of the empty pizza box they use to scribble orders on in pepperoni-soaked purple crayon. Try to get to at least a supervisor or a manager.
     

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