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us cell and the collection agency fraud HELP ASAP


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I have a HUGE problem. Iwent through a 3rd party - online - to get cell service through US celluar. After going through all the agreements yada yada - i recived the phones and service as requested. The deal was "free mobil to mobil", "free incoming", "unlimited n&w" (for $)all this within our local calling are, and a certain amount of minutes w/a standard 2yr contract. After I made sure that we were w/i the local area (i was assured vt,nh,maine was indeed) i went ahead with the service. First bill came in and it was close to as expected, 2nd was a problem - these probs continued for 5 months with every bill I called at least 2 times with concerns. my bill was rising every month and i was noticing the calls that were supposed to be free were counting against my "plan" minutes and/or i was being charged$$ for them. Which of course brought the ??s and the calls. Every month they assured me that this was Not happening and a couple were even refunded. I consistantly questioned them as to why this would be happening. when in the 5-6 month my bill was doubled again now being over $600 i called and asked again...they finally - after a run around game - informed me that our state was indeed part of the local area and the reason i was charged was that they break down our state in different divisions accourding to the "extras" - meaning all my free minutes were only of use if i traveled 50 miles north. i then told them they should have told me this to begin with i would have not even gotten service with them . they then proceded to send me the coverage map - different from the one available online - never offered before - they purposfully hid these facts. now i cant get rid of them or their collection agency - what can/should i do????

please help asap

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As luck would have it, I was a collections paralegal for US Cellular for 2 1/2 years. I know what these bozos do and believe me, you are far from alone. I and several others I know have problems with US Cellular as well. Their financial services center is in Madison WI, and from what I've heard, the turnover there is atrocious. The management reminded me of of the Nazi Gestapo. In fact, I was asked recently by an old boss of mine to come back. I told her no way.

To begin with, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Secondly, the third party providers are either very good or very lousy with no in between. It's always good to remember the Barnum Maxim. Phineus T. Barnum said it best: "There's a sucker born every minute." That means that you and I have to work very hard not to become one, and as you know, it's easier said than done. From now on, NEVER go to a third party again. Go directly to the source. It will save you a lot of heartache in the end.

What US Cellular loves to do - and this is a Chicago based company, by the way - is pad extra charges on the bill. There's a term for it, but I can't quite remember it right now. That means you need to be extra vigilant.

Secondly, you were, from what I can tell, intentionally mislead. It would help if I knew what state you were in. Based on what I see, your third party provider committed contract fraud, which means that you have a legal reason to terminate the contract. But knowing that doesn't mean that there isn't going to be a lot of work to get the contract situation rectified. If I were you, I'd quit using that cell phone for a while.

You'll need to start off by simultaneously contacting the third party and US Cellular in writing. Let them know what the circumstances are: That this is contract fraud brought on by a third party provider. If they don't work with you, you'll get the state attorney general involved. Due to the fact that the contract was misrepresented to you, you are terminating the contract. After that, try working out the bills to figure what you owe and don't owe. Pay them what they are really entitled to be paid. Discard the rest. if they have a problem with it, let them take you to small claims court. And don't let them intimidate you. Stick to your guns. I've dealt with them before for relatives of mine and usually they will back down once you get to a supervisor.

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wow...

thanks for the reply...i have not used the phone since they told me. i told them then and there to shut the GD thing off - they then proceeded to call and threaten me and now it is not them its their ca b*tch. i live in vermont fyi.

thank again for the info ---we shall see

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If it's with a CA, file a DV letter telling them that you are protesting the account on the grounds of contract fraud by the providers. Most attorneys general have a consumer protection agency. File a complaint with the appropriate agency. Send a copy of the complaint to the CA. After that, let them duke it out.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Go ahead and file a suit against them. Why wait. It is garaunteed to get there attention and have them calling you to work it out. It may cost up front, but it sure beats starting a letter writing campaign that will probably get you nowhere. These companies expect complaints because they know what they are doing is wrong. It not like a normal company that is going to try to fix the problem. The problem is built into to their business model on purpose.

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  • 1 year later...

I have a HUGE beef with US Cellular also, which I was thinking about asking you guys about in another post (I'm too tired to type it all out now). However, if you need any assistance nailing their slimy a$$es let me know. They ripped me off bigtime. Straight out LIED to me, and this is the OC, no 2nd or 3rd party involved! I have done tons of research on them and have complained to the BBB, to no avail, on their shoddy tactics (the BBB is full of a bunch of losers too). I'm originally from NH, btw.

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