QUEEN CREEK, Arizona (3TV/CBS 5) – David Croom says he and his wife were initially pretty happy with their cell phone provider.
“Consumer Cellular had the best prices at the time, so I thought I’d give them a try. And it was fine at the time,” Croom told 3 On Your Side.
That is, until recently, when Croom got hold of Consumer Cellular and asked them to upgrade both of their iPhone 11s. The company sent them the two new phones, but Croom said the phones weren’t working properly after using them for just four days. And he claims Consumer Cellular couldn’t get them to work either. “I spent probably 40 hours talking with their techs trying to get all my data onto one phone,” Croom said.
Knowing that Consumer Cellular has a 100% satisfaction return policy, Croom says he packed both phones in perfect condition and mailed them back. But Consumer Cellular sent them back with two notices for each phone saying, “The device has physical damage with scratches on the screen.” Croom says he was shocked because he barely handled the two phones. “I said I didn’t see any scratches. I gave them to my wife, and she said I didn’t see any scratches either,” Croom explained.
If this sounds familiar, 3 On Your Side ran a similar story last year about a woman in Litchfield Park. After 3 On Your Side sent a video of the woman’s scratch-free blank cellphone to Consumer Cellular, she finally got all her money back. “Thank you so much for helping 3 On Your Side,” she said at the time.
Back to Croom, he says Consumer Cellular claimed they had proof of the damaged phones and would not accept them as they must be in like-new condition. “I got them on the phone, and they said, ‘Oh, we have some pictures, and they’re very minor, but they’re scratched up. So, we’ll send you the pictures. But they never did,’ Croom said.
Frustrated, Croom took both iPhones to an Apple Valley store and used his Apple insurance to replace both screens on both phones. Croom says an Apple technician used a magnifying glass and found there was a “small, light scratch in the upper right corner” of both phones. And even after replacing the screens, the Apple technician wrote, “Once the repair is complete, both phones will be like new and returnable under Apple’s terms.” Croom said, “They’re like new.” 3 On your side, Gary Harper replied, “Did you feel good about that?” Croom replied, “Yes, I did. I did.”
So Croom sent the repaired phones back to Consumer Cellular only to be told the company wouldn’t accept them because they were considered “refurbished” and continued to send him bills totaling nearly $2,000 for the two phones. . So 3 On Your Side got involved, and Gary Harper asked them to review the issue, and they responded by sending me photos of scratched phones they said belonged to Croom.
Regarding Apple repair, Consumer Cellular wrote that all “…repaired phones are considered refurbished, not new.” Croom says he can’t believe it. “Look, I’m a fat man with high blood pressure. It really pissed me off.
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