Couple Can't Get Rid Of Cellphones No Matter What They Do

A desperate salesman wouldn’t take no for an answer when Rob and his fiancee visited Mobile Solutions in Blaine, MN last month. Rob writes,

The sales rep did his song and dance and insisted that I test out the phone service for 2 weeks. I said no a few times but he wouldn’t hear it. Well, he gave me 2 phones and 2 phone numbers. No credit check, no money whatsoever. I walked out of the store with 2 free phones and some paper work.

Now Rob can’t give the phones back. After several fruitless visits where the store manager told Rob he had to talk to the original salesman (who was never there) to return the phones, Rob simply left them on the counter. A few days later, they arrived at his doorstep via FedEx—along with a photocopy of another customer’s driver license.

Here’s the full story of what happened after Rob brought the two phones home back in July:

Seven days later we returned to the same store to drop the phones off. They hadn’t been opened or anything. Previously in the week I was cleaning and probably threw out a white piece of paper with what phones we had.

…I had to speak with the exact rep because I didn’t have the all important white piece of paper and there was no way to look at what I had. The rep was not working that day and was told to return Tuesday during the afternoon. I refused because I don’t drive and I’m not taking a bus to a mall from the southern part of the twin cities to the northern part just to drop phones off.

We return that next Sunday (27th) and again were told we can’t give back the phones because the rep isn’t working. I demanded to speak with a manager. I tell him my story, and he finds it interesting about how I got the phones and service. I made a point to say “I said no,” and he said, “Yeah he does that a lot.” He mutters something about letting him go and says he can’t do anything because I don’t have the piece of paper.

Flash forward to August 11th, almost a full month after getting the phones, my fiancé and I finally have time to go back to the mall (she works nights I work days). I walk in with the phones. The manager sees me, throws his hands up in the air and says “Not you people again.” He tells me to stand over out of the way while helping people. We wait for 15 minutes. Only one person approaches us, some sales rep, and I explain the story and he’s dumbfounded. Finally I walk up to the counter and put the phones on the counter and explain again what’s going on and all I want to do is drop them off. I was assured that it would be taken care of.

Later that night my fiancé and I went to a real T-Mobile store and purchased our phones and service.

On August 15th, a Fedex box is sitting on my door step. Not expecting anything, I open it—what do you know they sent the phones back to me! But whats this, there is more then just two cell phones. The missing piece of white paper they said they don’t have, the whole reason I couldn’t return the phones. But wait there is even more! Two other identical pieces of paper but with others people’s phone information / plan information and a copy of someone’s drivers license!

So I quickly called Mobile Solutions HQ and talk to some girl in California. I explain the situation and she says, “Well we need those phones back. I’m shipping you out some prepaid UPS labels.” I asked what about me getting other people’s identification information. “Well I’m not there so I don’t know what to do.” I look at the address of the license, and it turns out the woman on the license only lives about a mile and half from me if that.

My fiancé and I get in the car and we drive to her house. I knock on the door, ask her if she is so and so on the card she says yes. I asked her if she purchased a phone from the Mobile Solutions in Northtown Mall in Blaine? Again she says yes. I then ask, “Does this look familiar?” showing her her license. Her jaw is on the floor. She exclaimed, “How in the world did you get that?” I explained to her how it came in a Fed Ex package and she was very grateful and thanked me several times, and she was also upset and said she would call Mobile Solutions promptly.

So now I’m still stuck with 2 phones, 2 lines of service that I’m sure still runs if I cared to try and other people’s information. What should I do now?

If Mobile Solutions doesn’t have any of your personal information where they can’t ruin your credit, return the phones via the UPS labels and promise us you’ll never step foot in that store again.

If they have a copy of your drivers license or other important personal info, it’s time to make it very clear to Mobile Solutions that you have no intention of being their customer, no matter how hard they make it for you to return the unopened phones. This is a funny story, but it sounds to us like they’re trying to force a sale on you, which is criminal rather than incompetent.

Contact Mobile Solution Corporation’s main office in San Diego and file a complaint against the Blaine store. Make it clear that you have tried three times to return the phones, and that they are refusing to accept your return. You should also make it clear that the only acceptable resolution for this issue is for Mobile Solutions to accept your return and promise to leave you and your credit history alone. Look at our various EECB posts for more information on how to effectively communicate with a business.

Mobile Solution Corporation
3030 Plaza Bonita Rd
National City, CA 91950
(619) 472-1018
(619) 479-1648

You may also want to contact the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General and file a formal complaint against the store for its business practices, even if the corporate office in San Diego is able to resolve the problem for you. We suspect the Blaine store has some rotten apples on staff and you may help future customers by sounding an alarm now.

Update: Rob sent the following information to us after we posted the story.

As an update I called back the corporate # and [they] didn’t find it cool I wanted to sell the phones. There is some sort of investigation being done and the original salesmen has been fired. After reading some comments I could have been more clear. The only info they got was a copy of my State ID which had my current address on it. I also signed a piece of paper saying “You have two weeks if you don’t return them the phones in two weeks we can charge you blah , blah, blah.” Well, they never took money or a credit card.

Anyway people have been in contact with me. I took the phones because the guy kept insisting and I wanted to be nice. At best I thought what’s the worst can happen? I keep the phones for a week bring them back unopened and that will be that.

We still think you should make sure the company accepts a full return and absolves you from that signed agreement, because even without a credit card they may still try to bill you, then eventually send the bill to a collection agency.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.