Pre-owned phone not what it was cracked up to be? Your options vs. Sprint
Were you sold a refurbished phone from Sprint that doesn’t work? Were you sold a refurbished phone as new? Here’s how you can get compensation.
Sprint stipulates that if you purchase a pre-owned or refurbished phone, it will be thoroughly cleansed and be tested for functionality. They perform a full factory data reset and inspect things like the battery receives charges, the headphone Jacks and Screen function properly, and the liquid indicator hasn’t been tripped.
If you purchase pre-owned or refurbished phones from Sprint, they might have visible wear and tear like small chips or scratches but no cracks on the front glass. You get a 90-day limited replacement warranty from the day of your purchase which means if you have any problems with the device you can have them repair the parts that aren’t working or give you a refund if you so choose.
If your refurbished phone doesn’t work or was sold as new, you need to report it. Start with Sprint. If you purchased directly from a Sprint outlet, begin there. Submit your complaint with the higher headquarters as well so that they are made aware of what happened and can provide a resolution.
Thereafter you can submit formal and informal complaints about the situation.
If you want to contact the authorities or regulatory government agencies, you can submit a formal complaint.
A formal complaint should clearly state the problem with as many details as possible, including the dates your phone was purchased, the facts involved in the purchase, and the names of any Representatives with whom you worked. Explain what the problem was and how it went against the policy for the cell phone provider; after all, when you purchase a refurbished phone they don’t sell it to you under the auspices that it won’t work, it’s locked, or it will fall apart.
If you just want to make your issue known, and you understand that it probably won’t get you compensation, you can submit an informal complaint.
An informal complaint is more of a review or a post that you make publicly to draw attention to the situation. You don’t have to mail a hard copy to anyone or use as formal language as you would with something sent to the FCC.
Formal complaints should be submitted to the FCC first. The FCC regulates wireless carriers and they want to know when things are not as they should be so that they can follow up with the issue especially if it is a prevalent issue; You might not be the only one for whom your refurbished cell phone is no longer working.
You can also file an official Complaint with your State Attorney General’s office. There are online forms that give you prompts for phone carriers. You can also keep copies of these complaints and send them to your phone carrier to try and prompt them to take action and resolve the issue.
Tip: The FTC keeps records of what is currently under investigation. You can learn more about what is currently going on or under review between the FTC and Sprint at ftc.gov/exploredata.
An informal option for submitting your complaint is through the Better Business Bureau. The Better Business Bureau monitors company activities and provides a place for customers to submit complaints. From those complaints they generate a rating for each company which can go up or down based on what you submit. In some cases the company might reach out to you to try and offer a resolution for your refurbished phone problem.
One informal solution is to post your complaint on consumer affairs. It is unlikely that this will get you a resolution but if you are very lucky the company might patrol the review boards from time to time and offer a public resolution. Instead what this offers is an opportunity for you to publicize your situation, the events leading to your refurbished phone not working or how you were duped into purchasing a refurbished phone as a new phone. It also offers the opportunity for other consumers to read about these situations before they fall victim to the same thing.
If none of these methods help you or you just want another way to publicize the issue, you can always try posting your complaint on social media.
Tip: Unsure whether your “new” phone is actually new or just refurbished? Here are some quick tests you can do to see.
After submitting a complaint to any of these areas, be sure to keep copies of what you sent. This is especially pertinent for formal complaints. Having copies of everything you tried to do in terms of communication and correspondence might prove useful in a later situation.
Chances are pretty low that formal or informal complaints will get you compensation, they just make it known that the company has behaved in this way. We can help you with FairShake’s consumer arbitration process.
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