I share with you my negative experience with StraightTalk.
I was a happy user of AT&T but wanted to save some bucks and StraightTalk looked nice and I figured I give a try.
By the way, this is an article that costed me 59.06$ (and 2+ hours of frustration) because I paid for something I never received and could not get a refund. Read on to know why.
Buying the kit
I went online and bought the “Bring your own phone” activation kit + 45$ account + shipping and paid a total of 59.06$.
One week later, I received the new SIM card with instructions on how to switch my current cellphone number to StraightTalk.
For that you need some information, namely the provider’s name (AT&T for example), your account number (you take that from your phone statement) and the PIN (or password).
I went online and filled all this information and clicked OK. Their site showed a “Please wait while activating” and then midway through the page just displayed an error and aborted the operation.
I kind of panicked and felt unsure what happened and whether my cellphone number will be transferred or not.
I switch the SIM cards and wait for like 15 minutes and then I receive a text message saying something like: “Welcome to StraightTalk…your number is 123-456-7891”. The number they printed is a new number and not a transferral of my existing number!
Calling customer support – round 1
The next day I called customer support to tell them that I want to switch my number from AT&T to StraightTalk. After waiting a lot to get hold of a representative, they start to ask me lots of questions which I happily give to assist them.
Midway through the phone connection drops and I call support again. Then again they ask me the same information. This time I tell them to write this down and give me a ticket number.
Finally, after almost one hour on the phone they figured out that they have to deactivate my SIM and send me a new one since a “once activated SIM cannot be re-activated with another number”.
They will send me a new SIM for free….but that is another week of waiting.
They said, once you receive the new SIM don’t do anything, just call us and we will help you on the phone, then they gave me the ticket number.
Receiving a new SIM card – round 2
A week later, I get a new SIM card. I call them and again the horror starts over again. Even though I have a ticket number, they keep on asking the same questions over and over again.
I was patient and gave them all the information they needed (including everything they need to transfer my number). I had to repeat a few times and confirm with them: “I want to switch from AT&T to StraightTalk and keep my number” and they would answer: “Yes we understand”.
The first part of this process took around 30 minutes and then she told me now I will transfer you to the department where they can move your existing number. They gave me another ticket number and a new phone number to call.
Calling another department and giving another ticket
So again, I call and give the ticket number. I had to give repeated information again and again even though I assume they must have associated with the ticket number most of the information they asked me in their system.
After another 30 minutes on the phone, they told me: “now switch off, put the new SIM and switch on again and wait. After the phone works (from one hour to two days), then you should have your same number but under StraightTalk”.
I felt relieved to expect the end of this horror. I hang up.
Ten minutes later, my phone receives an SMS and this time it is again….A NEW NUMBER and not my existing number.
I got so pissed. It is either:
- They don’t understand English properly: the customer support people are based in the Philippines…no wonder
- They don’t know what they are doing: It is possible they are not trained well enough
- I was unlucky; It could be that the system does not want me to work with them and wants to save me future horrors
I gave up on them.
Asking for a refund
So I shot them an email and gave them both ticket numbers and asked for a refund and explaining that I can no longer waste time with their customer support people after wasting 2+ hours on the phone and waiting two weeks.
They areplied to my email with a generic message and gave me a direct phone number to call with an access PIN.
I call that number and give the PIN.
Guess what? Again they ask me all sort of repeated information! God damn it! Don’t they have a database system or some sort of ticket tracking system?! why then do they give me a ticket number if they want to keep asking the same things.
I give them the information they need, repeat my story (although my email was very detailed) and at the end the guy says:
“Oh sorry, we cannot refund. What we can do is give you a better service”
This is the peak of irony: “A better service”. No thanks, not for me.
You get what you pay for. Don’t be lured by their pricing or service.
There are always hidden surprises and for me it started by the incompetency of their customer support team in the Philippines.
Who knows later in the future what kind of problem you will run into and then you will have to be frustrated with them.
My advise: pay a bit more and support a local company that has point of sales and people that can assist you in person.
Save your self the trouble and don’t use StraightTalk.
By the way, many other people are complaining about their service:
- Straight Talk Sucks – Facebook page
You have negative experience / stories about StraightTalk services, leave your story in the comment line.