Beware of Walmart Family Mobile

If like me, you believed Walmart Family Mobile was a pay-as-you-go, month-to-month plan, you would be wrong. I am finding out the hard way. I signed up for a plan for a family member who was subsequently unable to pay the bill. When his phone service was turned off, I didn’t think anything of it because my understanding was that users paid for service in advance. It makes sense that if the service has been turned off, there should be no charge.

First billing letter

However, I soon received a bill dated May 9, 2016. The letter stated the service had been suspended and the balance due was $39.99. I did not believe I owed the money, but I sent a check dated May 16, 2016, for the requested amount along with a letter stating that I was cancelling the service and under no circumstances was it to be re-established. I wrote “paid in full” on the check. The company cashed the check.

Second billing letter

I thought that was the end of it. Not so! The next letter I received from Walmart Family Mobile was dated May 31, 2016, and demanded another $30.00. Since the telephone number for the customer service department does not allow the caller to talk to a live person, I wrote another letter expressing that the service had been discontinued, and when there is no service, there should be no charge.

Third billing letter

The third letter I received from Walmart Family Mobile was dated June 13, 2016. The explanation for the additional $30.oo charge was that it was for the billing period from April 9 to May 8, 2016. Since their first request for payment was dated May 9, 2016, I can’t help wondering why this $30.00 amount was not part of it.

In every letter after the first one, there is the sentence that reads: “Please submit payment at your earliest convenience to ensure your cancelled account is closed in good standing….” I take that as their “polite” way of threatening to ruin my credit if I don’t pay what I don’t owe. I have decided that I will not pay a bill I should not owe.

I looked online for reviews of Walmart Family Mobile and found a long list of complaints similar to mine. I also learned that the Kansas Attorney General’s Office for consumer affairs doesn’t handle complaints involving telephone service . I have been told the Federal Communications Commission does. I am filing a complaint with them.

Please pass the word along that if you do business with Walmart Family Mobile, you may be charged for services you did not receive.

 

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