He can call out — but no one can call his business
BY STEPHANIE ZIMMERMANN firstname.lastname@example.org July 16, 2012 10:56AM
THE FIXER HAS SAVED YOU
Updated: August 17, 2012 6:45AM
Dear Fixer: My problem is with Cricket Wireless, my phone provider for almost three years. When I initially opened the account, I brought over my business line, which I have used for almost 22 years for my sand-blasting business.
For the first two years, we had no problem at all. They have a fantastic service at a very reasonable price. So much so that we carried four phone lines plus the business line with them. After the first two years, my business got slow and our phones were put on hold for a two-month period until we caught up on finances.
Business got better and I paid to turn the lines back on again.
Cricket told us that the numbers were still available and it was not a problem. The lines were turned back on — kind of.
All our other lines are working fine, but when someone calls my business number it shows that the number is disconnected.
I can call out on that number, but if someone calls my number they can’t get through.
Oddly, texting works fine in both directions.
I contacted Cricket’s store in Waukegan and they were very sympathetic. They sent a request to tech service twice to fix the line. Unfortunately, nothing happened.
This has been going on for almost a year.
Everyone asks me why I don’t just get another number and move on, but it’s a terrific number that ends in “000” and I have spent almost 20 years supplying good service to my customers using that number.
These are very tough times in construction. I keep paying the bill every month and I cannot imagine what I have lost in business. All I want is my line to work again.
Keith Ziegler, Johnsburg
Dear Keith: Ring-ring! That’s the sound of your business line, which is ringing again. After The Fixer brought this to Greg Lund and Jennifer Briscoe of Cricket’s corporate PR team, the wireless company got this fixed.
Lund said the source of the glitch was because your account was suspended for more than 30 days, which caused your number to revert back to AT&T. The good news is Cricket was able to work with AT&T and retrieve it.
But be careful: They cautioned that if you suspend service again, they can’t guarantee it’ll still be there when you come back.
Help for customers of Legal Helpers
In case you hadn’t heard, last week Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced a settlement with Legal Helpers Debt Resolution LLC, a Chicago-based law firm that operated nationwide.
The firm had been sued in 2011 over allegations that it unlawfully charged consumers upfront fees to provide debt settlement services, while promising them they’d become debt-free.
The settlement will provide $2.1 million in restitution for Illinois residents who paid fees to Legal Helpers but didn’t get meaningful debt reduction. If that sounds like you, contact Madigan’s office at (800) 243-0618.
A consumer’s tale of woe
K.J. of Chicago was lucky — and then he was not-so-lucky.
First, he won a new mattress set on a televised game show. Yay!
But then the mattress started sagging and developing rips and tears.
Sure, the mattress was free, but it was also only four years old and supposedly still under the manufacturer’s warranty. K.J. was understandably upset. So he called for someone to come out to his home to inspect it.
It was sagging all right, but the inspector noticed something else: a few small coffee stains on the mattress, less than the size of a quarter.
As many other consumers have come to find out, it’s typical in the mattress industry for any stain, no matter how tiny, to automatically void the warranty. And that’s what happened here. Sadly, K.J.’s luck with mattresses has run out.
There’s something else to watch out for with mattress warranties, which is the “limited warranty.”
Many manufacturers stipulate that after some period of time, the consumer must pay a portion of the replacement cost (assuming their claim is even approved, which can be tough). This can impose a hefty cost on the consumer, depending on the age of the mattress.
For more insider tips on mattresses, mattress warranties and buying strategies, check out mattressscam.com.
Getting the runaround over a consumer problem? Tell it to The Fixer at suntimes.com/fixer.