Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Straight Talk Experience..... good deal, or mistake?

 I've been with AT&T for a few years now, but got tired of being in a contract, and I wanted something cheaper, so I started looking at Straight Talk. It sounded like a good deal, and you can bring your own phone now, so I found a good deal on a cell phone on Amazon that was unlocked, called Straight Talk to make sure it would work, and ordered it.

 Then I went to Walmart and bought their "bring your own phone" kit. It had a month of service, plus several different SIM cards. It cost $70.

I came home and called ST to set up the phone, and had nothing but problems. The woman I talked to claimed my phone wouldn't work with ST. I was frustrated since I had been told it would, and asked for a supervisor. He supposedly fixed the issue, but I still had problems. After a few calls, I realized I had the wrong SIM card in - I actually got a woman who had me read the SIM card numbers and told me which one was right...... but there was a problem: That SIM card was too small for the cell phone.

  I went to Walmart, and no luck. They didn't sell adapters. Neither did Radio Shack. The only place I could find was Amazon, so I ordered a pack.... and went two days with no cell phone while I waited for the adapter to come.

 It came, and I put it in the phone, but the internet wouldn't work. I found Straight Talk's recommended APN settings for my phone and reset them.... still no internet. I found people's recommended APN settings on line, still no luck.

  In the middle of my increasing frustration, the new unlocked phone died and would not turn on. So I returned it and had a bright idea: Buy a Straight Talk phone from Walmart and I'd have no problems, right?


  Everything seemed OK, signal a bit weaker than I liked, but still, not bad, until I tried to send a picture via text message. No go. Fail every time, and most of the time when someone tried to send me one. So I called the experts at ST. They told me how to fix it, so problem solved.

  So I call again. Pretty much same instructions. And why do I always get someone who sounds like English is their second language? She put me on hold several times while she talked to a supervisor or someone further up than her - why don't they talk to me instead of going through her? Still no luck, so I email ST. They tell me to dial this number and it will be fixed. Nope.

 By this time. it is too late to return the phone - past the 15 days. I keep calling, with no luck. I Google it, and a lot of people with the same phone - Samsung Galaxy S3 have the same issue and fix it - but their phones are unlocked. Mine isn't. I find myself wishing the people at ST were as good as these random people on the internet.

  I complain on ST's Facebook page and a woman tells me to open a ticket. I do. I get a reply by email asking more details but there is no email to reply to.

 One doesn't realize how often they send and receive pictures by text message until they can't.

  So here I sit, stuck with a phone, and basically stuck with ST - I could leave, but then I am out the cost of the phone.

  And the question remains: Since this is a ST phone, why on earth can't they get this issue fixed? I have called at least 5-6 times and emailed twice, and still it persists.

 Straight Talk may be cheaper, but I am not sure it was the right choice. In fact, I think it was.......

  At this point, I have no idea what to do. I hate the thoughts of just going without the text by picture feature, but I also hate the thought of being out the cost of the cell phone. I wish ST would do something that would really help me out, instead of put me on hold several times and have me try the same thing I tried on all of the other calls.

  I am thinking ST was a mistake, and am missing AT&T. At least with them, I could take my phone into a store and have someone work on it in person. Lesson learned.

1 comment:

  1. My God...you have only just scratched the surface...let me tell you of my experience. I purchased a brand new galaxy s4 from walmart for use with straight talk. up till now they have satisfied my needs. 3 weeks into owning this phone, air bubbles develop in the screen...no screen protector is installed. I am a support manager. I am on call 24X7X365. I call straight talk. Fine send us the phone and we will send you a replacement. Well, as I said, I am on call I can't do that. Let me put down a deposit on a new phone you send it to me then I will send the defective unit back to you...No sir, sorry, we can't do that. It is our policy that you must send us the old phone first.

    How about an escalation to higher management to request an exception given my extenuating circumstances...We can ask.

    A day goes by. Sorry Sir no exceptions. Well it is impossible to send you my phone first. It would jeopardize my job. You guys are brilliant.

    So I say hey, walmart has decent customer service let me call and see what they can do. Three calls, no results.

    Finally, the evening of 9/8/2014, I get a call. By this time I at home nursing an occipital/occular migraine. I have all but given up the idea of replacing a defective phone because the bozos at straight talk. Anyway, I answer the call...it is straight talk calling me.

    Well this is interesting...Yes how can I help you...sir you are not going to send us the phone first? Its not that I do not want to, I can't. Its my job, you understand? Well how about this...take the phone to fedex and as soon as the status says picked up, I will release a new phone. God My head hurts...ok let me talk to my boss tomorrow and we will see...I have a headache I have to go, but what assurances do I have that you will follow through on your end? Oh sir I assure you once the status says picked up...

    Ok so I bite...Hey boss, here's the situation, ok ... thanks...off to fedex the following morning 9/9. buy new shipping box use straight talk label...back to the office. Hey straight talk, per our agreement and the email I got from you last night the phone has been mailed back...What agreement? You told me once the status changes to picked up you would release a replacement. I will check into that...

    Status changed to picked up. Hello straight talk, the status is now picked up. please let me know when you will ship my phone. Well sir we will ship it as soon as the old one arrives at our warehouse. BUT THAT WAS NOT OUR ARRANGEMENT! We'll check into it.

    9/9 Phone did not ship.
    9/10 phone did not ship
    9/11, today, phone has arrived at their warehouse, the replacement still has not shipped to my knowledge...three different calls into the ERD have left me with hold times greater than an hour and STILL not able to talk to a manager level drone to escalate to next level...Lord, Have mercy...