SimonCells Ship This! Ship This! Ship This!

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Reader Andrea can't catch an break in her efforts to store electrons for her wireless telecommunications needs, and she's looking for vengeance. Or at least a battery, and a refund for the expedited shipping she actually paid for.

Reader Andrea can’t catch an break in her efforts to store electrons for her wireless telecommunications needs, and she’s looking for vengeance. Or at least a battery, and a refund for the expedited shipping she actually paid for.

First her cellphone’s battery dies, then various sellers try to milk her for outrageous cash money for a replacement, and then she just can’t receive what she bought in the timeframe she specified.

SimonCells, of beautiful Brooklyn, New York, doesn’t have a spotless record in the Better Business Bureau’s records, with a couple unresolved cases, but it’s not horrifyingly bad, either. (Run a search at if you’re ever unsure about an online seller. It may tip you off to problems.)

Andrea still doesn’t have her battery. Time to call customer service, Andrea. And not having a working phone isn’t an excuse. Borrow a phone, or use a payphone… C’mon!

If that doesn’t work, threaten to call your credit card issuer (again, use another phone!), and use the magic word “chargeback.” Unless readers have other bright ideas.

Andrea’s complete e-mail after the jump…

I’m really not sure which of the companies in my tale of cell-phone-battery woe come out the worst, but suffice it to say that none of them have done me any favors thus far.

I got my current cell phone about a year ago, when I was due for an upgrade. Last Tuesday or thereabouts, it began to refuse to charge. By Thursday, it was apparent that it was dying.

No problem, right? Cingular must have the battery, or at least be able to order it. So I go to my local Cingular. I explain my situation, and the guy says yeah, batteries tend to give out after a year. He rummages through a box that contains the batteries they sell, and is unable to match my phone to any of the batteries they have on hand. He recommends I head up the street a few blocks to Radio Shack, as they carry Cingular products.

So I go to Radio Shack. The salesperson there tells me that yes, they have the battery I need, but it’s $70+, and wouldn’t I rather just pay $50 for a new pay-as-you-go phone that I can slip my SIM card into? I am not so sure about this being a good idea (if it worked that way, I would think Cingular would have suggested it).

So I march back to Cingular to ask if maybe I can get an early upgrade? No. Then what’s the cheapest phone they sell without changes to a service plan? $169.99.

Back to Radio Shack to just buy the battery already. Another salesperson sees me looking at the rack of batteries the first guy pointed me to, and asks if she can help me. I tell her what phone I have, and with whom, and she says they normally don’t carry Cingular products. She goes to the computer to see if she can order it, and the first salesperson reappears. He begins pushing me to buy one of the pay-as-you-go phones. I tell him I really just want the battery, regardless of cost, and he says that they don’t have it. In other words, he knew I had a Cingular phone, and he knew they didn’t have Cingular batteries, and he cheerfully lied to me nonetheless.

At this point, I have no intention of buying anything at Radio Shack, so I head home to buy the battery over the internet. I find it at for the reasonable price of $15. Normally I would overnight it, but as it’s past 2 PM on a Thursday, it won’t be processed in time for Friday delivery, and UPS doesn’t deliver on Saturdays. (None of the websites I checked could get it to me on Saturday). So I throw in $15 for UPS 3-Day Air, figuring that it stands a decent chance of arriving on Monday, and if not, what’s another day at that point?

No package Monday. No package Tuesday. No package Wednesday. At this point, my order will arrive at least one week after I placed it. My current status on the website reads simply “Paid.” “Shipped” is, indeed, an option, but my status hasn’t changed since Friday morning, when the payment cleared. Nor am I provided with a tracking number. I e-mailed them tonight after I got home and discovered that there was still no package. (Sadly, I can’t call customer service because … you guessed it, I don’t have a phone.)

I don’t know who to file a complaint with as far as the shipping goes – I have a feeling that UPS and won’t hesitate to pass the buck back and forth, but it’s obvious that I paid $15 for a service that was not rendered at all. And even if it’s ridiculous and petty, I’d like that money back. Any advice?

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