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Need Help with Worldcom Wireless!

Discussion in 'Western US Wireless Forum' started by Sandy125, Dec 10, 2001.

  1. Sandy125

    Sandy125 New Member

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    I hope someone can give me some help in what to do in dealing with this company. To make a very long story short, in April of 2001, I signed up for cellular service with MCI Worldcom Wireless through a dealer called Nationwide Communications. I made it very clear to them that I commute to and from Canada on a daily basis (live in a border city) and that I required a plan that would include long distance within NORTH AMERICA. I was assured by the dealer that they had the perfect plan. I know that there are such 'North America' plans that include this long distance, but was obviously misinformed by this company. Then, I did not receive a bill from MCI Worldcom for over 7 months. After 2 months of receiving no bill, I called and asked why, and was told they were having problems with their billing system, but that my balance was reflecting as $0. I was not worried since I had a plan that allowed for 2000 minutes. I called again 2 months later, and was again told that I had a zero balance. In October, I received 7 bills, back to back, and now have a balance of over $3000. I feel that if I had received my bills in a timely manner, then I would have seen early on that the plan was not what I had understood it to be, and could have cancelled it then, and only had a balance of a couple hundred dollars. Now, after contacting them several times, speaking to supervisors, and receiving horrendous customer service, they say they can't do anything for me. I don't know what to do. I have filed a complaint with the Consumer Protection Division in Michigan, and have also filed a complaint with the FCC. However, I don't know if I should be hiring an attorney or if I even have a case. Am I the only one that is going through such terrible times with this company? Are the places that I filed complaints with usually successful in obtaining some kind of resolution? I have paid $750 of the bill because I don't want it to go to collections, but I don't want to give too much. I really don't know what to do. PLEASE HELP!
     
  2. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
    Senior Member

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    Location:
    Central Valley NorCA
    My Phone:
    Samsung S7-Edge
    Wireless Provider(s):
    AT&T & Verizon
    Sandy,

    You have taken the right steps. Your story, if you read the forums here on Wireless Advisor, is echoed time after time. People who are new to wireless do not know where to start to get reliable information. They usually believe the first sales person they talk to and not until something goes sour do they come looking here and elsewhere for answers.

    MCI does not have its own wireless network, but rather than repeat myself, read the article I wrote on my own website:

    Wireless Article

    As far any advise, at this point: Any further conversations you have with this company, record them (following the legal procedure). Get names, phone numbers, addresses, etc.

    This business of being told you had a zero balance should have immediately set off bells and whistles in your mind. The monthly contract charge by itself should have been the minimum. You also should have been setting aside that amount every month until the bill came. Because MCI doesn't own its network, it needs to wait for the REAL carrier (Verizon, ATT, Cingular, etc) to bill them. Hence the delay.

    Going forward, check the carriers' websites for rates and plan definitions. If you have problems understanding them, feel free to post here (in the correct region) or email me directly (see my profile).

    Kevin
     
  3. Sandy125

    Sandy125 New Member

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    Kevin,

    I knew when I was told that my balance was $0 that this was not possible, so I did pay $750 of my bills when I did start receiving them. I would have, and wanted to, pay this $750 in monthly increments, as I felt that they were due, even though I was not receiving bills from MCI, but i was told and had letters mailed to me that stated NOT to make ANY payments on the account until I received the final bill. You can imagine my surprise when the bill was over $4000. Don't you think I should have been given the opportunity to see that this plan was not what I thought it was one or two months into my service being started with MCI, so that I could, at that time, either cancel my account or change my usage habits??? I guess I'm just wondering if I have a case here or if they truly have no legal obligation to provide me with adequate billing. What do you think? Any suggestions you have would mean a lot. Should I just pay the full balance to get them off my bank and avoid having this go to collections, or do you think that Michigan Consumer Protections office and the FCC could actually get a resolution for me? I am totally at a loss.

    Thanks, Kevin, for your time,
    Sandra

    P.S. I'm sorry...I know I'm posting this in the wrong region, but I don't know how to transfer this into the Central U.S. region. :eek:)
     
  4. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
    Senior Member

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    Location:
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    Wireless Provider(s):
    AT&T & Verizon
    Contact the FCC. If you are in a position to obtain a lawyer, see if his services would be cheaper than the $4 grand they claim you owe. I take it those charges are technically correct?? That is, they are charging you international roaming even though you were given the false impression that it was included. (That part is unfortunately not MCI's fault, it is salesperson who either intentially or unintentionally sold you the wrong product.) Still, I agree that, given the circumstances, it seems questionable that you had no way of knowing you were not operating in the limits of the plan. If their records show that you called in every month, that might argue in your favor. Unfortunately, sometimes conversations not resulting in changes to the plan are not recorded.

    If they cannot substantiate the charges (detailed bill) then you might also have a point of contention there as well. I guess this is a heads-up to all that run into a similar situation--even if the carrier claims you owe nothing, demand a monthly statement.

    I know that in some cities, there are law students that aid people as an outreach program. This also might be worth investigating.

    Once again, I would highly recommend (within legal limitations and requirements) that you make a recording (digital or analog) of any conversations with this company. You might even decide to send a certified, registered letter, with a signed return receipt required stating that any further conversations regarding this account must be conducted in writing. State you refuse to conduct any live conversations about this matter and you are examining your legal options of recourse.

    I am not qualified as a legal advisor, so please be aware that the above only constitutes actions I might take if I were in the same situation.
     

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