SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Aaron Tucker’s cell phone has seen better days.
The phone looks every bit the three years old Tucker claims it is; the wear and tear is undeniable — the plastic finish now decorated with dents and dings, scuffs and scars.
On occasion, the phone’s miniature keyboard occasionally unhinges from the screen.
“It’s at that age, that ripe old age,” Tucker said, laughing. “It’s time to go.”
And in November, Tucker thought he found the perfect replacement.
It was an LG Marquee smartphone on Boost Mobile, sold on Home Shopping Network that caught his attention.
“Wow, wow, wow,” said the saleswoman on HSN. “This phone is the nicest phone we have ever offered in a today special.”
But when Tucker bought the phone and paid Boost Mobile $55 to activate it for the first month — it wouldn’t work, he said.
“They said, ‘We can’t get it activated,’” he said.
HSN’s online product listing indicates dozens of complaints about the same thing: Phones consumers report won’t activate.
While HSN is allowing customers to return the phones for refunds, customers like Tucker report they’re out the money for the cell phone service they didn’t get.
“They took [my money] so fast,” Tucker said. “It seemed like they should put it back the same way.”
Unless Boost Mobile is to blame for the phone problem, consumers may be forced to find another phone that works on the network, according to Gary Almond, president of the Better Business Bureau of Northeast California.
“He didn’t buy the phone from Boost, he bought it from a secondary source,” Almond said. “So he’s really responsible for that equipment.”
HSN never responded to CBS13′s requests for comments regarding complaints about the phones it sold.
Boost Mobile, however, said customers who never used the service should get refunds.
“We’re not proud of how this was handled,” Jayne Wallace of corporate communications told CBS13.
Boost arranged a new phone for Tucker for free, hoping to keep him as a customer.
He said he can finally ditch his old phone.
“I am happy, very happy,” he said. “Thrilled to death.”
Tucker plans to use the new phone with Boost Mobile, he said.
Boost Mobile told CBS13 it will work with all customers to issue refunds if their service has not been used.