Refurbished Phones from Total Wireless

Pre-owned phone not what it was cracked up to be? Your options vs. Total Wireless

Did you get a refurbished phone from Total Wireless that doesn’t work? Did you buy a new phone only to realize they sold you a refurbished phone? Here’s what you can do. 

Refurbished phone deals and promises from Total Wireless

Total Wireless offers reconditioned phones at affordable deals if you purchase a plan through their site. If you purchase a refurbished phone you need a service plan card and the plans are not refundable or returnable. 

The fine print explains that if you are unsatisfied with the phone you can return it within 30 days and they will give you a replacement or give you your money back. There are many deals that take place at different times such as the tax time deal where you can get new phones for discounted prices or reconditioned phones for monthly installments instead of an upfront flat fee.

What to do if your refurbished phone doesn’t work or was sold as new 

If your refurbished phone doesn’t work or you were sold a refurbished phone as new, you need to start by reporting it to Total Wireless. Give them the opportunity to try and resolve the issue. After that you can file complaints.

Where to file complaints

You can file complaints at the federal and state level, using formal complaints, or online, using informal complaints. 

State and Federal Levels

Start at the federal level. The Federal Communications Commission or FCC is the first place where you should file a complaint about refurbished phone scams. You might not get a direct response from them or see any individual compensation for the issue, but with enough complaints, the FCC can take legal action against the company. Similarly if the fraud has to do with selling stolen phones you can report this to the FTC or Federal Trade Commission.

After Federal complaints you can submit formal state-level complaints. Every state has an attorney general’s office to whom you can submit your formal complaint. If enough complaints are received they can take action against the company and enforce better regulations to limit refurbished phone scams.

Tip: Not sure whether your “new” phone is actually new? You can use some quick tests at home or in the store before you buy. 


The Better Business Bureau is the first place to submit an informal complaint. The Better Business Bureau can be an advocate especially for larger cell phone companies and draw attention to your issue with publicity and power that you don’t have as an individual. In some cases the cell phone companies monitor their pages and so they will respond to your post on the Better Business Bureau and potentially try to resolve the issue.

  • You can file a complaint with the BBB here. 

Consumer affairs is another place to submit informal complaints. It is unlikely that you will get a resolution against Total Wireless but you will at least inform other customers of what transpired and if you are very lucky, generate publicity around the refurbished phone scams.

Other options include social media posts, where you might be able to get a response from their social media monitors, if they have them. 

What to Do After Submitting Your Total Wireless Complaint

Once you submit a complaint make sure you keep a copy whether you use formal or informal measures. You can try to use these complaints as leverage with Total Wireless to get a resolution. However, if you submitted a formal complaint to your State Attorney General office, you might not hear back from the company or from the attorney general but that doesn’t mean they aren’t investigating.

Get a Resolution with Consumer Arbitration

What happens when these methods don’t give you compensation for your suffering, and only give a slap on the wrist to Total Wireless? You can pursue consumer arbitration. We can help you get the compensation you deserve.

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