GTE cellular service - Telephone Service - GTE cellular service, Grapevine, TX charged roaming rates for local call

Posted on Saturday, July 1st, 2000 at 9:39pm CDT by c030d71f

Product: Telephone Service

Company: GTE cellular service


Category: Telecommunications

Cellular Service with GTE in Grapevine, Texas.

My complaint concerns Cellular Service with GTE in Grapevine, Texas. My wife and I are 63 years old and retired. We entered into an agreement for cellular service on 10/12/98 at a GTE store in Lewisville, Texas. Things started going down hill on that date. The salesman told us if we used the phone in Houston, Texas it "would be the same as a local call" The first time I used it in Houston I was charged roaming rates. When I called GTE about that the lady corrected the charges to local rates. The next month my calls from Houston were again charged at roaming rates. When I called again, the lady who answered said that calls made from Houston on my equipment were not local calls at all but roaming calls. I told her what the salesman said and she said since the salesman had mis-informed me I could cancel the service. I checked with my wife and she agreed with me to cancel. However, when I called to cancel the service a different lady told me I had signed a contract for a two year period and I would have to pay for the two years of service whether I used it or not. I informed her that it was not me or my wife that had broken the terms of the contract but that GTE had broken the terms because of the fraudulent statement by the salesman. I also told her the salesman told us that the total charge for the service was as stated in the contract plus a $2.95 insurance fee which we had agreed to. He never mentioned that all the taxes and fees for this service were in addition to our local and long distance service -- an amount that is approximately 20% of the total bill. I was unable to fully identify the lady who said I could cancel the service because they are "not allowed" to give full names. All I had was her first name and nobody at GTE seemed to know her by her first name. So, I was stuck with the service. Then, on or about 11/28/99, the phone with number 972-822-8086 was stolen out of my car's glove box while the car was parked in the driveway in fromt of my house. I, unfortunately, did not discover it had been stolen until 12/10/99 at which time I called GTE to see if any calls had been made from that phone number. There were almost 70 calls on it that I had not made. I cancelled the service to the phone immediately and reported the theft to GTE, The Grapevine Police Department and to Signals -- the insurance company for the phone (arranged through GTE). Weeks went by without me hearing anything from anybody. I subsequently called the insurance company two more times and was told my replacement phone would be mailed to me. I have, to this date, not seen that phone GTE, however, continued to send me a bill for the service. When I called and tried to explain that the phone was stolem and that the service was cancelled, I was told again about the two-year contract. I could not believe what I was hearing. As far as I was concerned, GTE (not me) had broken the contract and so the contract was no longer valid . . . but, of course, there is no mention in the contract about what happens if GTE breaks the contract. I guess it is assumed they never will but in this case, in my opinion, they have. For six months now I have been trying to communicate with anyone at GTE who will listen to me to explain the situation. I have tried the telephone, email, and written correspondence. The answers I have received are pathetic. It's one of those cases where "that is not handled in my department, please call - - - -." They don't know either and it is absolutely amazing how many times I was told, " . . . my supervisor would have to address that and he/she isn't here right now. Would you care to leave a voice mail for her/him?" Nobody ever answered my voice mails. I was finally called by someone in GTE Telephone Operations from Hershey, Pennsylvania saying they had been notified of my failure to pay my bill. When I explained the situation to that lady, she gave me the old "you'll have to talk with my supervisor" bit -- "but she isn't here right now." Deja Vu ! Surprise, surprise, though, the same lady did call back the same day saying she had talked with her supervisor and she wanted to know if I would "split the difference" on the bill. I was shocked to hear such unprofessionalism from a corporate office of GTE. I again tried to explain that I did not consider myself to be finalcially responsible for a service I had not had for six months -- and that the reason I had not had it was GTE's fault. The lady stated it was in the contract that it was up to me to get the telephone replaced. I asked her what more could I do than report the theft to Signals and then follow up with two more phone calls after that. I have 12 pages of printed emails between me and numerous GTE offices dating from April 17th of this year concerning Tracking Number: 000417-403-1. I also have a copy of the written letter I sent them to which no-one ever responded. Today I received another bill from GTE Telephone Operations threatening to "damage your personal credit record for seven (7) years and may inhibit obtaining future credit" if I do not pay $291.91 within the next ten days. This for a man who has NEVER had a late payment or EVER missed a payment to any creditor. Customer Service from GTE? So far, there hasn't been any.


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