Outraged by Unethical Practice - SmartPay
On December 13, 2014, I bought my son a Samsung Galaxy S5. And the Metro PCS agent suggested that I use SMARTPAY because I would have an opportunity to pay off my bill with a 20% service charge if paid by March 31, 2015. A few minutes and a phone call later, he told me I was approved and that SMARTPAY would take 149.46 from my checking account once per month, and a total of 877.59 paid by March 31, 2015 would be my buy out number. No other charges or penalties would be added.
The first payment was due January 13, 2015 which would be automatically taken from my checking account. I tried to make a payment of the required 149.46 and was going to top off the payment to make it a total of 400.00 even, but the Smart Pay system only allowed me to pay 149.46. The next 2 payments for 149.46 were again debited from my account as stated by the Metro Rep.
On March 20, 2015, 11 days before my buy out was to come due, I called to pay off the amount which I expected to be 382.00 and was flabbergasted when I was told 638.25. This was 256.25 higher than anticipated. Apparently, I missed the buy out day. I was told by the SMARTPAY agent that my buy out date was March 13th, not 31st. When all my reasoning proved futile, I asked for a supervisor. I was put on hold for at least 15 minutes, then the supervisor came on. I explained my concern, but she too was adamant that the numbers are generated automatically and there was nothing that anyone could do. I then asked for the supervisor’s supervisor and was told they were not available by phone and that I would have to email them at email@example.com. I then asked to make an additional payment of 382.00 to show that I was sincere about paying off the phone today. I was told that unless I paid 638.25 they could only accept a 149.46 payment at a time.
So, I made the 149.46 payment and told them I would phone later that day to make another and another until it was paid. In my busy day, I didn’t have a chance to call back that day but made an attempt the next day again, hoping I would get a more reasonable supervisor. I didn’t. Instead I was given a new buy out figure of 558.47. Wait, that doesn’t add up 638.25 – the payment 149.46 should be 488.54.
That was when I was told the that the figures are calculated by a computer and the fees and taxes had been added for April’s payment, which isn’t even due until April 13, 2015.So an additional 69.93 was added to the previous charge of 256.25. So I decided to try to make another payment. Again the system would only take 149.46 unless I was going to make a payoff of 558.47, so I made the payment. 558.47 – the payment for 149.46 should be 409.01 but the SMARTPAY Rep said now my pay out was 478.69. Another fees and taxes charge was added in the amount of 69.68 for May. After they couldn’t provide me with an explanation as to why I was getting an almost 70.00 charge each time I made a payment, I was told now that I have until May 29, 2015 to either make the next payment or buy it out, and that the figures are generated by the computer and there is nothing they can do about it. I spoke to the supervisor and got the same story. And again was told that the Supervisor’s supervisor was not available via telephone.
I guess I’m stuck. I owe $478.69 by May 29, 2015, and there isn’t anything I can do about it. They have overcharged me in fees and taxes of 256.25 + 69.93 + 69.68 = 395.86, because they told me my pay out date was March 31, 2015 and it was really March 13, 2015. This is so sad.
The moral of the story is, if you don’t have the cash, don’t buy by SMARTPAY! It is disheartening that for having missed my buy out day same as cash pay off date, and those are calendar days, not business days, by 7 days, because I was given a wrong date to begin with (looks like someone transposed the numbers 13 to 31), my 731.33 phone, and tax will cost me 1127.19, if paid by May 29, 2015, or will I have another charge added by then? But, as the SMARTPAY representative pointed out, at least that is better than the $1793.52 it would have cost had I not paid before the end of eleven payments!
SMARTPAY firstname.lastname@example.org | 800-374-5587
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