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Sunday, April 18, 2010
magicJack has horrible business practices.
A couple of years ago, I purchased two magicJack devices online to help cut my phone bills. While this isn't a post to complain of their sometimes unreliable service, beeps during calls, and strange software updates that seem to make their product worse, it is a note to bring to light some business practices I find troublesome.
I registered my devices a few days apart, and used the included year of service. When it came time to renew in 2009, I renewed one device for another year at $19.95, and the other device I renewed in their 5-year plan for $59.95.
Things went on as normal until this year. The first device came up for renewal. I went to renew on their Web site (the only way, as there is no way to contact them via phone), and their order form would not let me complete the process, giving me a "AddRenewal QuickOrder Problem: K." Chat Customer Service representatives offered no resolution for over a week, although they claimed they'd escalate the issue.
Finally, I made a formal complaint with the South Florida Better Business Bureau, where magicJack is headquartered. In that complaint, I noted my problem. Within a few days, a simple message instructed me to try again. And this time, my order went through.
Now I faced a new problem. My second magicJack was now claiming it was up for renewal, yet, with the 5-year plan, it should not have expired until 2013. I waited, thinking that the erroneous message would go away. But, finally the magicJack was made inoperable, as my service had expired.
I tried contacting magicJack via Chat Customer Service, and representatives were completely unhelpful, and would even end the chat on me. Finally it was determined that magicJack had arbitrarily cancelled my 5-year plan. And, it was even later determined that when they did this, they had refunded my $59.95 back to my credit card! All of this was done without my request, or consent. Now, they tell me the only way to restore service, is to either pay the $19.95 for a year of service, or get my 5 year plan back, at a new price. Now the price is $69.95. It seems like a sort of bait and switch kind of game, where you pay one price, and get certain things promised. But instead of delivering on those promises, they just refund your money in order for you to have to pay MORE money to get what was promised the first time. This is very frustrating.
So, I went back to the South Florida Better Business Bureau. I wrote of my new problem, and how they company had cancelled my cheaper plan, in order to get me to purchase the same plan for more money. magicJack responded, and told me "Customer can e-mail email@example.com and he can assist the customer if he wants to re-order the five year plan for $59.95."
Numerous detailed emails to firstname.lastname@example.org have gone unanswered. I've since submitted 2 subsequent complains to the South Florida BBB, and they will not open a case about it, which is strange.
So, I'm not sure what to do about this. All over the internet, there are complaints about this company and its business practices. I'm surprised that a site like Consumerist.com doesn't really seem to list any information about it. Now my only hope is to bring some light to my situation, to see if it can be resolved.