The New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection has outlined “thousands” of instances, involving more than 50 direct and indirect T-Mobile, and Metro by T-Mobile, stores ripping customers off.
T-Mobile is accused of preying on customers with weak credit history by selling used phones as new ones, enrolling victims in costly financing plans without their permission and overcharging them, according to a new lawsuit.
In at least 21 cases, the suit says, customers complained of paying hundreds of dollars for old phones that they believed to be new.
In one example from the complaint, Kathy Johnson returned her “new” iPhone to an authorized T-Mobile dealer in Staten Island. The store agreed to swap phones, but when she took the replacement to an Apple store, the jilted customer discovered that it had been used.
“When Ms. Johnson confronted Wireless Broz Inc. on Staten Island, the salesperson told her to get the f–k out of the store,” the city’s complaint states.
Metro by T-Mobile stores are scamming New Yorkers into buying used phones, tacking on additional costs, enrolling them in financing that’s destroying their credit, and then trapping them with their deceptive return policy and incomplete receipts,” DCWP Commissioner Lorelei Salas said.
“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.”
T-Mobile said 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 in a statement.
Wireless Broz, Inc. could not be reached for a response.
In addition to allegedly selling old phones as new ones, the city accused T-Mobile dealers of tricking customers into “rental purchase agreements” that add hundreds of dollars to advertised prices.
Metro stores were also accused of charging customers “illegal taxes, mystery fees and fees for unwanted services.” T-Mobile allegedly has a “stingy” return policies that it misrepresents on the Metro-branded website, and Metro stores failed to provide legal receipts.
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