New York City T-Mobile stores have been selling old cell phones to ‘thousands’ of locals, pretending the devices were new, and conning customers with poor credit into paying extremely high interest rates without permission, a new lawsuit claims.
The city’s Department of Consumer and Worker Protection filed a complaint against T-Mobile USA, Inc., its affiliate, Metro PCS New York, LLC and a total of 43 of the companies’ New York cellphone dealers.
The suit accuses the company of targeting underprivileged New Yorkers with T-Mobile’s no contract wireless brand ‘Metro by T-Mobile’ and taking advantage of them with ‘abusive sales tactics’ at Metro stores.
‘At least several dozen [Metro stores] have sold used phones to consumers as though they were new, charged consumers for fake taxes and unwanted services, or enrolled consumers in expensive financial plans without their consent,’ the lawsuit states.
A new lawsuit claims New York City T-Mobile stores have been selling old cellphones to ‘thousands’ of locals, pretending the devices were new, and conning customers with poor credit into paying expensive financial plans without their consent
New York City’s Department of Consumer and Worker Protection says several dozen New York T-Mobile and Metro stores ‘have sold used phones to consumers as though they were new’
The complaint also accuses T-Mobile’s Metro website of misleading customers about its ‘stingy’ return policy, which the suit says advertises a ’30 day guarantee’ on any cellphone purchase, but notes in the policy’s fine print that returns or exchanges ‘are only available for a small sub-category of transactions, and only within seven days of purchase.’
‘This illegal activity is pervasive, spanning 56 locations across all five boroughs of New York City, and includes both “authorized dealers” and stores directly operated by T-Mobile’s subsidiary, Metro PCS NY,’ the lawsuit states, while noting ‘the deception costs consumers considerably.’
Several examples of New Yorkers being mistreated by T-Mobile or Metro merchants are cited in the suit. T-Mobile customer Kathy Johnson once tried to return what she thought was a new iPhone 6 with a broken button to T-Mobile authorized dealer Wireless Broz Inc., in Staten Island, according to the complaint.
The store’s reps exchanged the broken phone with another supposedly new iPhone. But when Johnson took the device to an Apple store, she was told she’d been given a used phone, not a new one.
The lawsuit accuses T-Mobile authorized dealer Wireless Broz Inc. in Staten Island of giving a customer a used phone instead of a new one and telling her to ‘get the f*ck out’ when she found out and complained
Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Commissioner Lorelei Salas (pictured) said Metro by T-Mobile stores are enrolling New Yorkers in financing ‘that’s destroying their credit, and then trapping them with their deceptive return policy and incomplete receipts’
T-Mobile said it ‘takes the allegations very seriously’ and is ‘continuing to investigate so we can respond to the city’
‘When Ms. Johnson confronted Wireless Broz Inc., the salesperson told her to get the f**k out of the store,’ the lawsuit states.
DCWP Commissioner Lorelei Salas said the city’s Metro by T-Mobile stores are enrolling New Yorkers in financing ‘that’s destroying their credit, and then trapping them with their deceptive return policy and incomplete receipts.’
‘T-Mobile’s rampant and repeated deception is made more troubling by the fact that these tactics particularly harm consumers who are simply seeking to find an affordable wireless plan,’ Salas told the New York Daily News in a written statement.
T-Mobile did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment Thursday.
The company told the New York Daily News it ‘takes the allegations very seriously’ and is ‘continuing to investigate so we can respond to the city.’
‘Though we can’t comment on the specific claims at this early stage, what we are seeing alleged here is completely at odds with the integrity of our team and the commitment they have to taking care of our customers every day,’ the company said.