1,095 negative comments and 94 positive comments. Overall rating of 32.9 out of 200.
The above screen-capture for Walmart’s Straight Talk prepaid wireless service is from the Customer Service Scoreboard website. I should have researched Straight Talk customer reviews before committing myself to a month of their service because, by the time my experience with Straight Talk was over, I was ready to commit myself to a mental institution. I’m not kidding you.
For years I’ve been using T-Mobile’s “No Friends or Family Plan.” It’s basically pay as you go, and $50.00 worth of minutes would usually last me for about two months of talk and texting—a wireless social butterfly I’m obviously not. T-Mobile’s coverage and service has been great, and I have no complaints—which again, I should have researched T-Mobile’s other cell plans before switching to Straight Talk—but I’m a stupid jackass sometimes.
You see, I’ve been using my cell a lot more for my part-time job at Glitter Lens Photography, so around the first of December I purchased a Straight Talk SIM card along with one month of service for my iPhone 3Gs. The SIM card (a one-time purchase) was $15.00 and the monthly rate for unlimited talk, text and data was $45.00. My plan was to activate the SIM card on the Straight Talk website, then port over my cell number from T-Mobile. However, me being a jackass sometimes, when Straight Talk asked me to enter my T-Mobile security PIN to allow them to take my existing cell number from T-Mobile, I accidentally entered the wrong security number.
The next day I called Straight Talk Customer Service—which is outsourced to agents in the Philippines—and although the agent was polite, I had a hard time understanding her because there was a delay and echo on the phone, plus she had a thick accent. She managed to get a teleconference going between us and T-Mobile, and my correct PIN from T-Mobile was obtained. I was told my phone should be working in 24 hours, and to call back if it wasn’t.
EIGHT DAYS LATER, MY PHONE WAS STILL NOT WORKING. EIGHT DAYS I TELL YOU!
I called every day for a week, and despite having reference and case numbers, every conversation was basically the same:
THEM: Well sir, we’re showing we don’t have the correct PIN to access your account with T-Mobile.
ME: I’ve given you the correct PIN every day for the past 6 days.
THEM: Okay, we have the problem rectified. Your phone should be working within 24 hours.
ME: That’s what you’ve been telling me for the past 6 days.
This went on and on, over and over again for a week. Asking for a supervisor didn’t help. I tried to arrange for some kind of cancellation and a refund, but the Straight Talk agent said they didn’t give refunds. Folks, I smell a class action lawsuit here, as this company is not providing the service it’s charging for.
6,413 customer reviews. 2.5 star average rating out of possible five stars.
I confirmed with the agent that if and when my phone finally started working, my service plan would start then, and I wouldn’t be docked for the week or so that the phone was inactive. Of course when the phone finally started working, my plan had less than three weeks of service left on it. Before I was able to call and address this problem though, my phone stopped working. It would still get data and iMessages, but I could not use standard texting, nor place or receive phone calls. My voicemail had never worked, not even for the two days the phone was active.
I called Straight Talk again and after waiting five minutes for the agent to boot-up her computer (seriously, she didn’t even have her computer turned on when she took my call), I was told, “We need to send you a new SIM card.” This is when I nearly called Bellevue Mental Ward but instead, managed to tell Straight Talk to shove their SIM card up their ass and that I was going back to T-Mobile. Really though, yelling at the agents doesn’t help any because I think they’re so used to people yelling at them, they’ve become immuned to it.
I was so damn flustered with the whole situation, I decided to wait a few days and simply chilled-out before trying a new service plan. During this time I researched all the different plans T-Mobile has to offer, as they have a lot of different plans online that aren’t available in their local stores. I finally decided to get the monthly 1,500 minutes of talk and text with 30MB of data, all for a mere $30.00 per month. The data thing isn’t a big deal for me because I often travel with my iPad and either way, most everywhere I hang-out has free Wi-Fi.
I called T-Mobile and spoke with a friendly agent in Chicago. His name was Travis and I told him how sorry I was for closing my T-Mobile account. I told him I would fly to Chicago and shovel snow out of his driveway if only T-Mobile would take me back and recover my original phone number from Straight Talk—who by now, I was sure, had probably assigned my number to someone else because that’s what happened to a lot of other people according to the negative comments on the Customer Service Scoreboard website.
Within a few days I had a new T-Mobile SIM card and within 15 minutes of installing it—and after purchasing my monthly plan online—my iPhone was working perfect. Less than 15 hours later I received a text from T-Mobile saying my old phone number had been recovered and was now mine to use again. I damn near cried, although I’m not sure if it was because my phone was finally working, or because I said I’d fly to Chicago and shovel snow.
So for my friends who tried to get in touch with me over the past month, I’m back. I wasn’t ignoring you, and I still want to be your friend and to keep in touch and hang-out with you.
Caveat Emptor. Let the buyer beware. That, I have learned.