12 OYS: Cellphone service accused of not delivering on promise; no refund says woman

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News 12 at 6 o'clock / June 16, 2014

12 On Your Side

WARRENVILLE, S.C. (WRDW) -- It was an offer Queen Colter could not let slip away.

"I received a flier in the mail and I thought we were going to get a deal," Colter said.

The mailer from a company called TeleCircuit, offering her home phone service for as little as $19.99 and a cellphone for just $9.95. Colter could have both for around $30 a month.

"I need a phone service because if I fall or anything happens, I'm always relying on the telephone," Colter said.

She said she wanted a more affordable home phone for her medical alert system. On a fixed-income, the offer sounded so good, Colter even convinced her friend to get the same package deal. When the cell phones arrived, there were problems.

"It didn't work," Colter said.

She said neither did her friends. She called the company several times trying get an exchange or her money back for the phones.

"I was waiting being patient with them," Colter said.

She said she mailed both phones back to the company and asked for a refund. In the end, Colter said TeleCircuit denied her refund request.

"There's nothing on that flier that said you can't get your money back," sColter said.

We called TeleCircuit to find out why Colter was not given a refund but a representative hung up on us. When 12 On Your Side did some digging, we found the Georgia-based company has a history of complaints.

In 2012, the FCC accused TeleCircuit of slamming.

That is a practice in which "a telephone subscribers service is changed without their consent." A check with the Better Business Bureau found the company has an F rating.

"I need my little change back. I need my money back," Colter said.

While that does not appear likely, Colter said there is a lesson to be learned.

"Well, I will not be trying anymore fliers in the mail, that's for sure," Colter said.

Colter said she regrets not doing her homework first. Meanwhile, if you are in the market for a phone plan, check out Consumer Reports which provides ratings and plans. Also be sure to check the company's rating with the Better Business Bureau.

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