MagicJack / won't refund for unusable product
I am posting this on as many sites as possible in the hope they will be effective in getting this company’s attention. If Magic Jack straightens up its act, I have kept track of where I posted and I will rescind my current post. For now, here goes: Do NOT buy the Magic Jack (MJ). I bought a product because of a TV ad (something I rarely do) because the product was supposedly backed by some high-profile companies and TV stations one would normally trust, somewhat. I also thought I could help my budget and save nearly $1, 000 a year by getting away from AT&T phone service. By the way, I now currently have Vonage, which costs half what I was paying for AT&T service with a few basic frills.
Right after I called and ordered those darned things, I went to the MJ website because I had an attack of hindsight (and panic). The website surely didn't tell me much. So I hooked the thing up and just as the ad said, establishing service and getting a new phone number was very fast – within five minutes, I was talking to my best friend who saw my new number on her caller ID. However, also within minutes, my phone started to make loud, weird noises, off and on. I also experienced about 10-second periods of dead air space as I was talking to my friend. I thought she had hung up, but yet not. I also had this sense that I was hearing “other voices” on my phone while I was talking with her. (That’s not something I currently have with Vonage.)
As I began to realize that this product wasn’t going to work well for me, my friend and I also realized that my PC would have to be on, non-stop, if I wanted to use this as a normal phone. Sadly, in my quest for a refund, I was forced to face the possibility that I, the careful, cautious one, had been scammed, even though I'm usually very careful not to get caught in something like this. I must have been having a no-brainer attack.
Anyway, here's a list of things they don't tell you until you get the thing - and some they won't tell you at all.
1. Satellite cable users can't use it. (Everyone I know has satellite. I don’t.)
2. Large blocks of dead air space pop up frequently.
3. Loud squeals occur right in the middle of conversations.
4. My laptop would have to stay on at at ALL times to use this as a normal phone service, as I used Vonage and AT&T.
(My definition of Normal Service: INCOMING: Calls can come in at any time and you will hear the phone ring right away. OUTGOING: You can easily pick up the phone and dial. Magic Jack service means NO service if you turn off the computer. If your computer is off and you want to make a call, you have to boot up the old ball and chain before you can call.)
5. Leaving the laptop on so their service is always running opens your computer up to hackers.
6. THY LIE! See my tirade below.
7. You will never see your money again, even if you send back the product.
They will steal your money right out of your account the day after you order their little product, even though they say they won't - until after 30 days is up. ALL LIES! Your bank won’t refund the money if you’re honest and tell them you gave permission to this company to take the money after 30 days, even though they took it too early.
I was stupid enough to buy two and they sent both in one very small package but charged me for TWO packages - duplicate shipping charges. (I wouldn’t be buying from HP or any other online vendor if they charged a separate shipping charge for every little item, I order! What if I bought five pens, for Pete’s sake?) I tried to chat my way through getting a refund for at least one of the charges, but they blew me off right along with the rest of my issues.
You can never get in touch with a live CSR (Customer Service Rep). When I realized that and finally gave into the stupidity of trying to do something, via a chat (big joke), I spent three or four 1-hour chat sessions trying to get results. In the last session, the chatter told me that accounting would be emailing me within a day or so to get my info so they could refund my money.
Never happened. It's been almost two weeks since I was told that lie. Beside! What info do they need? They TOOK my money. They have the info they need to GIVE IT BACK! I think they just string you along until you get tired of trying and give up. The chat responses to my comments were most often, a useless little, "I see". I say, NO, they don't SEE, and they don't CARE what your issue is, nor will you ever get results.
See, I realized the day I got my product that this thing wasn't going to work for me. (They had already deducted the money from my account before I got the product, by the way.) By the time those CSR’s who were chatting with me got around to considering a refund, they left me sitting for about 10 minutes, then came back and told me my 30 day trial was up. With glee, I'm sure, the CS rep kindly pointed out to me that I couldn’t get a refund because the trial was up, even though I had been trying to get this refund since the first day I received it. (The IRS is also famous for pulling this one when you need to correct an entry on your return – an adjustment that could lower your taxes.)
So, in a nutshell, you will spend endless, pointless hours trying to get your money back, but you will get absolutely nowhere. God help you if you've sent the thing back. You'll NEVER see that money, even if you follow their rules, and you'll also have no product for all that cash.
I say it again - DO NOT BUY THIS. And for those of you who think the rest of us who are dissatisfied are nuts for complaining, you are a minority. Furthermore, there is no way this company will be in business next year with the track record they have been and are creating for themselves.
The Better Business Bureau rates them with an F (as of July, 08) for very bad service and shady practices in all areas. The phone numbers listed on the BBB site for this company don’t connect you with anyone. No one returns the messages left at these numbers.
One very risky thing about this product:
As I mentioned earlier, your computer must be on at all times if you want others to call you on this phone whenever they feel the urge. If you leave your pc on all the time, a live stream of read/writes is flowing from/to your computer. Guess what that subjects the computer to? Hackers, who can also use that highway to rid you of any of your personal information, such as your bank records, tax records - business records, whatever you keep on your computer. Or do anything else they want when you aren't attending that PC so you can have this "great" little phone service.
If you leave your computer plugged in so you can receive calls as usual, you are opening up your computer to anything, by anyone, at any time. Even terrorists can "borrow" your pc's hard drive space to do their work, then jump to another fool's PC that is also logged into this service - and you'll never know it, unless the government finds what they left behind and blames you for it. NOT a good idea for any of us unless we have what amounts to a dumb terminal that is used strictly for that purpose, and no other. If you go this route, no data files whatsoever should be stored on the dummy unit used for this phone. It should not be connected to a network where it can gain access to your other computer(s) with data.
Why am I so concerned about leaving my computer up and running, with this service active at all times? If they can't get their CS right, or they can't get their refund procedure right, how the heck are they going to keep up with security, hacker-safe practices and everything else they need to get right? If they don't care how they treat their customers, what says they'll care about how safe we are?
And here's something fun to do. Check out the owner. He's had his fingers in all kinds of businesses that he's had to step out of, end, or whatever he did with them. In my book, that makes him a Jack of all Trades... Master of NONE. He seems to be no master of his latest venture, either. Too bad he used his little girl to make his product look so innocent. What a scammer he is. Maybe losing $133 isn't much to those of you who think we’re just whiners, through many hardships in my life, I've learned to appreciate the money that comes my way via my hard work. Sadly, I bought this thing to HELP me (and my daughter, who has satellite service) SAVE money - not LOSE it.
Oh! And I forgot one thing. I did make some anti-progress last time I chatted with their little CS people(?). They are willing to do one thing, now, for me. They are willing to discontinue my unused phone service for the year, for both units, but won't take back the product. So, that means I'm stuck with a useless product - with no service.
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