Motorola V3i Stops Working For No Good Reason, Wants To Charge $175

ConsumerAvenger bought a Motorola RAZR v3i quad-band world cellphone on Ebay, with warranty. The phone had full bars wherever she went. Two months later, it stopped working completely.

Thus began her legendary journey with Motorla to get them to give her a working phone. At first they want her to send the phone back and pay $175. She rejects the offers and files complaints with the FCC, the FTC and the Florida Attorney General’s office. Not all at once, mind you. Just at various stages in the game as she maneuvers through the levels of “customer care” in gimlet-eyed pursuit of her goal: a working phone at no extra charge.

Following along her path, it becomes quickly apparent our she is one of the most informed and tenacious consumers we’ve ever heard of.

Read her IM’d story inside. It will peel your eyelids off.

UPDATE: Missing sections fixed. Sorry for the inconvenience.








Digg this story.


Edit Your Comment

  1. He says:

    Sooooo, any chance you guys could paste this stuff as text instead of pictures?

  2. Mattazuma says:

    You didn’t change the person’s screenname in one of the logs.

  3. Re: companies not letting you talk to the legal department: In one case I actually had to go ahead and just file the lawsuit (for a client) before they’d even give me the proper ADDRESS for service of legal papers. It was relatively lame because I filed using the corporate HQ name and address confirmed by the highest level of management they’d let me reach (as a lawyer). They immediately filed to dismiss the suit based on the fact that I used the wrong name and an improper address. But obviously their motion to dismiss had their proper name and address, so I filed a corrected doc., and the judge was wildly unimpressed with their games.

    (Oh, and PS – I’ve also had random-ass customer service people, when I’ve called about my own problem, tell me I’m obviously a bad lawyer because I don’t know the law. No, I’m actually pretty sure that if you signed a contract with me, you have to hold to it even if you don’t feel like it.)

  4. That Guy says:

    I’ve been thinking about getting one of the Moto’s for a while now, the v3 actually. Thanks to this tale, there is no way I will do any business with them, ever.

    Thanks for the heads up about this horrible, horrible company.

  5. Triteon says:

    OK, so the buyer went to Moto with the problem. Did they try any recourse with the eBay seller?

  6. the cultural icon says:

    they have a 7 day return policy which is clearly stated.

  7. Nifle says:

    I have a Moto V3 and it’s screwy. It loves to shutdown whenever it feels like, especially when I’m talking to my boyfriend. This is my second Motorola model and it will be my last. LG here I come!

  8. Ben Popken says:

    Our blog software can only handle so much text. This is our admittedly less than ideal workaround.

  9. Ben Popken says:

    Lisa writes:

    “I also bought a Motorola phone from an eBay seller and when it failed after 3 months I sent it back to Motorola who confirmed that it WAS still under warranty, and then sent it back unrepaired saying that the sofware for not for the US. I didn’t fight with Motorola about this, but plan to bring this to the attention of Ebay. At least on Ebay the sellers are smaller than a company like Motorola and worried about their feedback ratings; also Ebay will actually intervene on your behalf. I’ll let you know how this goes for me.”

  10. Lemurs says:

    I was with her until the end there. There’s just no excuse to dehumanize the person on the other end of the phone, even if they’re rude and unhelpful. That is the kind of stuff that makes people who answer the phones shut down and stop wanting to help you instantly. Just an FYI.

  11. I have to agree that Motorola’s phones are somewhat shoddy.

    I have an e815, which I got because it was hackable to re-enable the features turned off by Verizon, but it’s construction is poor, loose hinge, etc.

    I feel so bad for ConsumerAvenger, but I completely agree that she is the bees knees! Good luck with the rest of lawschool and sue these bastards into the dirt! On a side note, this was one of the most entertaining chat logs I’ve seen on here.

  12. AcilletaM says:

    I like how they work to get any amount of money from here that they can. Sad, sad company.

  13. AcilletaM says:


  14. the cultural icon says:

    I didn’t call her satan. I said “lady.” By the way, she’s dehumanized me. Seriously, I feel like I’ve just been violated by a multi-national corporation. Oh wait, I have.

  15. Boo says:

    I am confused, are some of the posts repeated, missing or possibly out of order? Was Dorathy the bitch wolf? Sorry if I am missing something obvious, it’s early here.

  16. Hitchcock says:

    Um, the cut and paste job got botched. Some sections repeat, and there’s obviously big missing sections.

  17. ExVee says:

    Some parts are repeated, and it certainly appears that there’s at least one stretch missing, since not all of it feels like it “clicks”. Might it be possible to put an iFrame into the full length post and then set up the chat log or whatever lengthy document as a basic HTML file which would be the source for the frame? If it can be done, it’d be a nicer workaround than these image files.

  18. ExVee says:

    (or maybe just make the logs available as text files for download, even?)

  19. Jimmy M says:

    Not sure if this is kosher, and remove this post if not Popken, but:

    There’s the URL to the missing section. Replace the two repeats with that one.

  20. Jimmy M says:

    cultural icon: unrelated kinda by my wife had a similar situation with an apartment she rented while we were dating. The managers inspected her apartment on move-out and gave her a rediculously high fee for carpet cleaning.

    Except, they told us they were replacing the carpet anyways as regular maintenance.

    When we called them on it, they lowered the cleaning fee $25. TO CLEAN CARPET THAT WAS BEING REPLACED. They even admitted it as a tactic to cover some of the cost of the new carpet verbally.

    We were so pissed but in our case lawyers were more expensive then paying the f**king fee.

  21. “We were so pissed but in our case lawyers were more expensive then paying the f**king fee.”

    That is sadly frequently the case.

    Even as a lawyer it’s often cheaper for me just to pay their stupid fake charge than to pay the court filing fee over it. Unless I get statutory court costs and attorneys fees.

  22. mrrobotanger says:

    I have a V3 and have had no problems with it, so far, knock on aluminum, but my bosses razr, it’s apparently possessed. Whenever she opens it, it just keeps pressing the 6 button repeatedly. Really annoying to call her, I just keep hearing that damn button!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Even though you can’t get punative damages, there is a way to make them pay a little penalty. It would also be a fitting end to this saga with you getting the last laugh.

    Call your credit card company and do a charge back since you never received the new product that you paid for. The Merchant Bank will reverse the charge and charge their Merchant a $25.00 Chargeback fee. This fee is automatic and there is no way to avoid it except to avoid situations that would require the Chargeback in the first place.

  24. cnguyen412 says:

    I have the same problems as the OP. I used their online site to enter my IMEI number and it say I have a valid warranty until 7/31/2007. However, when I called their support, I get nowhere. Something like ‘sorry sir, your phone is not manufactured for the US’. Then why did my warranty information show up on the US website! This is a real headache. It is astonishing that the OP got a working phone for no charge, although a used one.. any tips OP?