07-13-2011 02:25 AM
I've been a TracFone customer for nearly two years and before that I subscribed to TracFone's sister company, Net10. I was always impressed by the economical service, but disappointed by the lack of full-featured phones. It was great to see a smartphone available finally, so I ordered the LG Touchscreen Prepaid 2MP Camera Phone with 1200 Minutes and TracFone's Triple Minutes For Life (item: 135-854), the TS on 06/11/2011. It arrived on 06/16/2011 and I fell in love immediately with the features, including outstanding audio and video quality, ease of use, convenience, etc. I WAS in love with the LG800g until this afternoon, when the handset went crazy and started sending the same text message over and over and over. In a span of only a few hours, I've gotten more than 500 texts. There's no way to stop it other than to remove the battery, rendering the phone useless. Several other customers have complained about this in their one-star reviews on the product page. Apparently we've all had this happen only two or three weeks after getting the phone. Now it's impossible to post a review.
After a nearly one hour wait on hold for a CSR who was difficult to understand due to her lack of English language comprehension, TracFone offered a free replacement: a new touchscreen model, Motorola EX124g, that isn't even pictured on their website yet. They said it's comparable to the LG800g (Blu-tooth, hands-free speaker, video and still camera, 1K entry phonebook, etc.) minus the SMS conflict that triggers the text message nightmare. ETA: 3-5 business days. TracFone wanted me to ship the defective phone to them, but how could I be sure that HSN would process my refund? Thanks, but no thanks.
When I called HSN Customer Service about this, they said they're still selling the LG800g and completely denied getting any complaints. In fact, they denied getting any other calls about the barrage of text spam. How is this possible when the issue is right there on the website? HSN's CSR told me to exchange the LG800g for a replacement (What - and wait 2 weeks for that one to go bonkers, too?) or return it for a full refund. BTW - there was no offer of a pre-paid return label. The CSR instructed me to call Wireless Partners tomorrow to ensure that I retain the Lifetime Triple Minutes feature.
I've spent the last five hours placing multiple calls to TracFone and HSN, (Wireless Partners had closed already), trying to resolve this exasperating issue for which no one is willing to take full responsibility. Whatever happened to Quality Control? Whatever happened to business ethics? Whatever happened to communication among joint-venture business associates? This was an HSN offer of LG hardware with a promotional minutes package offered through Wireless Partners. Attempting to resolve this matter is annoying, irritating and time-consuming. It could have, should have and would have been avoided if only someone had checked the compatibility of the LG800g with TracFone's SMS network. Just Google "LG800g" you'll see multiple pages containing hundreds complaints about the spam texts problem. Why didn't HSN know about this BEFORE they foisted it on a trusting and unsuspecting public?
07-13-2011 11:45 PM
07-14-2011 07:52 AM
KIMBE, as HSN's CSR suggested, you might want to call the Wireless Center (a.k.a. Wireless Partners) at the number listed on the materials that came with your LG800g. That's the entity responsible for the Lifetime Triple Minutes promotion. I called them Wednesday morning and they told me that as long as I had registered for it, the the triple minutes for life, active service period and current phone number should transfer to the new Motorola EX124g without any problems when you call TracFone to activate it. Based on the history with this product, I'm overly cautious and I'll believe it when it happens.
Dealing with HSN Customer Service is another matter entirely. I called back and a CSR apologized for the problem and told me that a pre-paid FedEx label would be sent to me within 3 weeks. They told me not to worry about the usual 30-Day Return Policy. Good, because that will give me time to get the replacement handset and transfer all of my numbers, appointments, etc. to it before I return the defective unit.
To complicate matters, I got this e-mail from HSN, clearly from someone who did NOT understand the problem:
I am sorry to find out that your phone can not receive text messages properly. I can understand your not wanting to pay for return shipping costs on a defective phone. I have a resolution that I hope is acceptable.
I have made a note on your Order Number ... stating that we will reimburse you for the costs of returning the defective phone to Tracfone or the Wireless Center.
Since Tracfone is replacing the phone, HSN can not send a prepaid label.
If you are not sent a prepaid label to return the phone, please send it insured for the full value to the address provided and reply to this e-mail or call us with the cost and your preference or a refund check or a store credit called Spendable Ka$h.
...we value your business and we feel badly that this unexpected problem with the phone has inconvenienced you. As a tangible form of apology I have issued a refund in the amount of $15.00 on your Order Number.... This amount should be reflected on your credit card balance within the next 3 to 5 business days and appear on your credit card statement within the next 1 to 2 billing cycles.
I hope that you will still consider HSN for your shopping needs in the future.
hsn.com Customer Service
Okay, here's what they don't understand:
1. The problem is not that the LG800g cannot receive texts properly, it's that it won't STOP receiving spam texts.
2. The offer of $15.00 refund is nice, but I was expecting a full refund of the initial $24.99 Flex Pay. If they deduct $10.00, that's the same as having me pay the return shipping costs for the defective handset.
3. On one hand HSN says they can't send me a pre-paid label because TracFone is sending a replacement. Then on the other hand, they tell me to expect to receive a pre-paid label. What does one thing have to do with the other? Even if I'm getting a replacement, I'm still required to return the defective unit. Exactly how long am I supposed to wait for the label?
It would be great to hear from others who are dealing with this debacle. How is HSN resolving your issues? Are you satisfied with their proposed resolution(s)?
A TracFone pop-up ad appeared for the Motorola EX124g, that they began promoting recently, but it's still not on their website under "Browse All Phones." It's listed at $79.99. The TracFone CSR confirmed that it's comparable to the LG800g in terms of features and user friendliness, but without the pesky SMS compatibility problems.
BTW - After the barrage of hundreds of texts, they've slowed to a trickle; only 20 or so on Wednesday.