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LisaGModerator
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When Cell Phone Deals are too Good to be True: a RadioShack Horror Story
      #42485 - 04/16/12 06:34 PM

Sales People Sometimes Lie or are Completely Misinformed, and that Will Cost You: My RadioShack Horror Story, or the Tale of the $1,280 Smartphone

What's worse than the car shopping experience? Buying a cell phone with contract in the US. When buying from an authorized reseller rather than a carrier owned store, you may unwittingly sign a secondary contractual agreement with the retailer that can last up to 6 months. The sales people may not tell you this. In fact, they may deny it. But in the end, the fine print counts, not the sales associate's word. Some companies stand behind thier sales staff and train them fairly well (Best Buy comes to mind), while other companies take no responsibility for their staff's actions (RadioShack in my case).



I've been reviewing cell phones and smartphones for a decade. I also evaluate carrier coverage, customer service and sales policies. I'm harder to fool than the average customer as a result, and I am aware of the Catch-22's outlined in our Think Twice Before Buying a Cell Phone from an Authorized Retailer article .

Still, RadioShack managed to cost me $1,280 for a single smartphone that doesn't even work properly in my area.




Those of you who've been following us for the past 10 years know that we rarely do exposes or focus on negatives. We don't relentlessly pick on manufacturers, carriers or retailers. That's not our coverage angle. Once in a while we have an experience that's so abysmal or encounter a product that's so bad, it's our job to let you know. And my personal encounter with RadioShack has my blood boiling. It was just that bad.

What went wrong? Watch our video to find out and to learn about the potential pitfalls of buying from an authorized retailer:





And here's the teeny-tiny RadioShack secondary contractual agreement printed on the credit card register receipt:








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Lisa Gade
Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview


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GhostRider
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Reged: 04/17/12
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Re: When Cell Phone Deals are too Good to be True: a RadioShack Horror Story [Re: LisaG]
      #42486 - 04/17/12 09:56 AM

Hello,

I read your post and watched your video with great interest so I needed to comment. As a former employee of Radioshack I have no love for this company and I was not present when you purchased your phone so I don't have both sides of the story.

I will say one thing and that it is not fair that you called the Sales Associates "Liars". Again I was not present when this happened but I would think that someone with your vast knowledge of cellphones, cell plans and contracts that you should have spotted anything unusual.

Then again the only thing that Radioshack is concerned with is selling wireless and sell it with accessories. In fact those Sales Associates who can not sell enough cellphones quickly find themselves on the Unemployment Line. I could go into what happens at monthly meetings, Conference Phonecalls, Emails sent from the District Manager but I am bound by the Terms of an Injunction set against my own website by the Radioshack Legal Department.

I'm not saying that there are those out there who lie to customers on purpose but your average Radioshack employee is honest, hard working and under a immense amount of pressure to sell certain items.

Again I have NO love with Radioshack Corporate but I do feel for the Store Sales Staff being I was an Assistant Manager for the company for two years.

Thank you for your time.

GhostRider
OWNER: RadioShackSucks.Biz

PS:Currently "Open" registration to the website is closed due to an ongoing issue so for those of you wishing to join my website please send an email to: admin@radioshacksucks.biz

Edited by GhostRider (04/17/12 09:58 AM)


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LisaGModerator
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Re: When Cell Phone Deals are too Good to be True: a RadioShack Horror Story [Re: GhostRider]
      #42487 - 04/17/12 02:20 PM

In this case, the manager certainly did seem to lie to my face. He told we I did not have to pay an ETF to the carrier when he knew:

1) I'd already had to do so
2) All major US carriers with contracts charge ETFs
3) That ETF statement precedes the Radio Shack fine print on the receipt he referenced.

When I told he I though he knew better than that, he didn't deny it and looked away.

I don't think my statement was unfair given my personal experience. I am certainly not saying every employee lies, and I'm sure many of them don't. But some may lie and it can be to the customer's financial detriment when they do.

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Lisa Gade
Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview


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Re: When Cell Phone Deals are too Good to be True: a RadioShack Horror Story [Re: LisaG]
      #42490 - 04/17/12 04:15 PM

I actually applied to work at Radio Shack myself several years ago. Even though I was applying to work at the one in my town, I had to travel to the regional headquarters for the interview, which cost a total of about $100 in cab fare.

Well once I got to the interview, it was pretty much a complete sham. The interviewer spent about 15 minutes insulting me without even letting me talk or ever giving me serious consideration.

I understand that this story may not be particularly relevant from a "tech" standpoint, but I felt very insulted that they would waste so much of my time and money on something that turned out to be a "fake" interview.

I have also had miscellaneous bad experiences with their in-store employees. No single enormous incident stands out, but they are generally disrespectful and pushy, and on one occasion I traveled a great distance to a store to get something that was listed as "in stock" on their web site, only to find that their web site is totally inaccurate and they didn't have it (and never do).

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GhostRider
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Re: When Cell Phone Deals are too Good to be True: a RadioShack Horror Story [Re: LisaG]
      #42499 - 04/18/12 06:08 PM

Quote:

In this case, the manager certainly did seem to lie to my face. He told we I did not have to pay an ETF to the carrier when he knew:

1) I'd already had to do so
2) All major US carriers with contracts charge ETFs
3) That ETF statement precedes the Radio Shack fine print on the receipt he referenced.

When I told he I though he knew better than that, he didn't deny it and looked away.

I don't think my statement was unfair given my personal experience. I am certainly not saying every employee lies, and I'm sure many of them don't. But some may lie and it can be to the customer's financial detriment when they do.





Lisa,

I worked for Radioshack from approx 9/01 to 10/02 and you can see by the name of my website that I am not a fan of Radioshack and in this case I am actually on your side. When I worked for Radioshack most of the people who worked in the stores were honest and friendly that is why I took a slight offense to your comment about them lying to you. First let me say that there are 2 sides to every story (Technically 3) and secondly I was not there when you purchased the cellphone.

I have been the current owner of the website for just over 5 years now and I have read every single posting to the website. Lately I have been reading more and more stories from current employee's who are under immense pressure from the District Managers to sell cellphones and to make sure that they sell all of the available accessories. It has gotten to the point that if your cellphone sales numbers are not "Satisfactory" that many employee's are finding that they are no longer needed and are let go. In this economy this put's a lot of pressure on the employee to do whatever they need to in order to keep their job's. It is not Radioshack policy to lie to customers but then again what retail store does have this policy ?

From reading your story and watching your video I can safely assume that you are very well educated about cellphones, User Plans and Contracts. I do not know very much about how Radioshack handles new activations and upgrades to current customers. I'm sure that you could educate me very well on this subject as many things have changed since 2002 and after Radioshack I have refused to ever work in retail ever again.

Now I'm sure that there is a percentage of employee's at Radioshack and every other Consumer Electronics store who are not fully truthful in everything that they say but let's face it from what you described you were obviously lied to. In this case I have nothing good to say about an employee who represents a large company who outright lie's to a customer. It has been my experience both as an employee and a customer that most of my dealings with employee's have been positive and I have not been lied to. I still believe that a majority of employee's are honest and hard working despite the unbelievable expectations that are placed on them by upper management to sell as much as they are expected to during a time when the economy is not the best, people just don't have as much extra cash to lay out to buy new cellphones and accessories that you can find better quality and much cheaper prices on eBay. Finally we both know that the cellphone market is over-saturated which is to the customers advantage these days but it makes it more difficult for sales associates to sell or upgrade a phone when if the numbers are not good for them they can walk out the door and go somewhere else.

Like I said before I was not there when this took place, maybe people should start using the features on their smartphones to audio tape the conversations between them and the sales person. I highly recommend though that one should check the laws in their state regarding doing this BEFORE actually doing so to make sure they are not breaking the law. Here in NJ only one (1) party in the conversation needs to know that a recording is being made and the person making the recording is aware of that making it perfectly legal. The reason I mention this is because last year I had a problem with my Landlord who wanted to evict me because after numerous attempts by the proper legal means I needed some situations in my apartment remedied. When they refused to respond I was forced to go to the city Department of Health and also Code Enforcement only to find out that despite the Landlord owning this house since 1996 and renting the 1st floor apartment that they had NEVER received a Certificate of Occupancy for this apartment. After that all conversations were recorded including the one where my Landlord stated that I had to leave because we went above his head and got him in trouble. Also in that conversation were the complaints of what they were required to fix by Law to be told by the wife that "If I didn't like it I could Move Out". I only mention this because of making sure that if you decide to ever record a conversation to be sure to check the laws in your state to see exactly what they are. BTW, the situation here has been remedied and I continue to live here happily.

Well it sounds like this was an incident that would have been nice if you had an audio recording of because now it is your word against his and anything spoken is hearsay.

I am sorry to hear about all the trouble you are going through with this but not to be facetious why did you sign these contracts when you knew that what you were being told was incorrect ? From the average person I could see this happening but you obviously know much more about all of this then the average person. Even myself from working in the field years ago I know darn well that carriers charge ETF's but the one on the receipt of sale that you posted is a new one to me, I have never seen or heard of this one so it is something fairly new.

I hope that you can remedy your situation with Radioshack to your satisfaction and IMHO I would never go anywhere but the Carriers Corporate stores to upgrade my phone EVER. Best of luck to you and I will be checking in here from time to time to see your updates. The reason that I knew about it was because one of my members posted it to one of my forums.

Good Luck !


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LisaGModerator
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Re: When Cell Phone Deals are too Good to be True: a RadioShack Horror Story [Re: GhostRider]
      #42504 - 04/19/12 04:07 AM

Ghostrider, I didn't know that what the Radio Shack employees were telling me on 3 separate occasions was false. I would not have imagined that it was the complete opposite of the truth given the consistency of their story. I assumed they would be familiar with their own company policy and would present it clearly and correctly to me.

As I mentioned in the video, their explanation of the "fine print" made perfect sense and seemed logical (the 180 day clause was there only to catch scammers who bought subsidized phones but never activated them). Unfortunately, it was 100% wrong and cost me a boatload of money. Thanks to this experience, I have learned to never listen to the sales people, and to take whatever is written, no matter how teeny and vague, to have the worst possible implications and follow it rather than the sale staff. I know that's not the answer you want to hear since you're a former sales team member and have known some good employees at the company, but in this case it's the rules I will now follow given my experience. And HQ's refusal to stand behind or seemingly care about the info that the store staff present clearly doesn't make matters better.

--------------------
Lisa Gade
Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview


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GhostRider
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Reged: 04/17/12
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Loc: NJ
Re: When Cell Phone Deals are too Good to be True: a RadioShack Horror Story [Re: LisaG]
      #42508 - 04/19/12 11:49 PM

Lisa,

Please call me Dave, GhostRider is my screen name on my website Radioshacksucks.biz

As you can tell by my domain name for my website that I am no fan of the company. When you have a chance please go to:

Radioshacksucks.biz

Please read the website rules and the Terms of the Injunction against the website brought about by Radioshack Legal. When you have some time please email me at:

admin@radioshacksucks.biz

There is much that I can not talk about on the internet because of the injunction so email would be much easier for me.

Thanks
GhostRider
Dave

Edited by GhostRider (04/19/12 11:50 PM)


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GhostRider
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Re: When Cell Phone Deals are too Good to be True: a RadioShack Horror Story [Re: Jacob_Spindel]
      #42509 - 04/20/12 12:00 AM

Quote:

I actually applied to work at Radio Shack myself several years ago. Even though I was applying to work at the one in my town, I had to travel to the regional headquarters for the interview, which cost a total of about $100 in cab fare.

Well once I got to the interview, it was pretty much a complete sham. The interviewer spent about 15 minutes insulting me without even letting me talk or ever giving me serious consideration.

I understand that this story may not be particularly relevant from a "tech" standpoint, but I felt very insulted that they would waste so much of my time and money on something that turned out to be a "fake" interview.

I have also had miscellaneous bad experiences with their in-store employees. No single enormous incident stands out, but they are generally disrespectful and pushy, and on one occasion I traveled a great distance to a store to get something that was listed as "in stock" on their web site, only to find that their web site is totally inaccurate and they didn't have it (and never do).





Jacob,

Back when I started with this company they would have an "Open House" at the District Office in the District that you were applying to. Your story actually surprises me as they usually blow a lot of smoke up your ass telling you how this is the "Best company to work for in the world". They tell you that you "CAN" make $15 - $20 per hour but they don't tell you how many cellphones a day you would have to sell in order to be able to make that kind of money.

These days with the economy and unemployment rate being what it is i'm really not surprised at your story about the interview process. You are under immense pressure to sell certain percentages of things in order to even get to the point where you make commission. The payplan changes constantly and it's designed to make you confused about how much you will actually make.

I'm sorry to hear about how you were treated but I guess that when a company becomes Evil it comes with the territory.


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