Peoples' Report: Disgruntled at LIME customer service
On Friday, April 24, 2015, I visited the LIME kiosk at MegaMart Portmore in St Catherine where I purchased a Huawei Ascend Y330 mobile phone which was advertised at $3,999, plus GCT, with purchase of any 30-day Mobile Internet Plan.
After taking out the SIM card from my old phone and putting it in the new instrument, the sales rep advised that she was unable to activate the data plan and that the problem must be with the SIM, at which point she advised me to purchase a new SIM.
I told her the SIM had been working up to when she removed it from the phone and responded that it was working in terms of sending and receiving calls, but the data plan was just not being activated. At my insistence, she called a technical representative who advised that he could find no fault with the SIM and he advised her to remove it and the battery and try again. This, however, did not resolve the problem and the sales representative insisted that I buy a new SIM.
I advised her that I was not so inclined, since I had that phone number for a long time and so it was not practical to pay for a new SIM, especially since there was no problem with the one I had been using. After waiting for some 45 minutes without a resolution, I left the store with the understanding from the sales representative that she would call me the following day to give an update on the progress in resolving the issue.
Having not heard from her, I went to the store on Saturday, just in time to catch up with the sales rep as she was leaving, and after trying to get the data plan activated, she told me to return on Monday.
When I turned up on Monday, the matter still could not be resolved, so I decided that I would accept a full refund since, after three days, the matter had not been resolved and I was not benefiting from the 30-data plan, which was my reason for buying the instrument in the first place.
The sales representative (not the one I had encountered before) advised that this could not be done since it was not their fault the plan was not activated.
New SIM again
When I asked the reason, she could offer no sensible explanation, except to suggest that I buy a new SIM, even while admitting that they could find no fault with the one I originally owned. After warning that I would take up the matter with the Consumer Affairs Commission, I left the store. Upon reaching work, I received a call from the sales representative, who tried to give me some pointers on how to activate the plan.
After about four phone calls which failed to resolve the issue, I told her she was disturbing me on the job and advised that I would stop by the store on my way from work.
Minutes after I turned up after 9:00 p.m. in the night and handed over the phone, the sales representative returned it to me, saying that the data plan was now activated. However, she advised that the 30-day plan would be activated from the Friday before and not at that time of the night, even though the receipt showed it had been purchased more than three days before. When I then asked to speak to a supervisor, the sales representative then told me she had no contact with LIME personnel since the kiosk was a franchise operation.
I feel cheated, since the fine print to the press advertisement which informed my purchase stated clearly that existing prepaid mobile customers would not need to purchase a new SIM card. Despite my success in resisting this bait-and-switch strategy, I will not be getting more than three days of the data plan for which I paid. To this end, I am still seeking full refund from that store.
Does LIME not have an obligation to customers to ensure that franchise operators hold to the same standards, or can legally justify any such maverick behaviour under the clause that 'Conditions Apply'? What protection is there for unsuspecting victims of this kind of unscrupulous merchandising strategy?
Disgruntled LIME customer