Wirefly Inphonic Sucks

Pardon my rant, please skip this post... :)

I dont know where else to vent so I’m gonna do it on my blog and perhaps save some people from falling for one of their “deals” which I’m embarassed to say I did. (or hope it get indexed by Google so when someone searches on Wirefly they land here... and cause them to lose a couple of sales... thats see if thats worth trying to screw me over for a few hundred dollars).

Over a year back I bought a ROKR from them (again I’m embarassed to say I’m one out of the 100 people that actually bought one). At the time I thought, hey just like Amazon, after rebates the phone is free.... I should have read the disclaimer they put in 8 point font.

Well, once I recieved the handset I realized I could not send in the rebates until 180 to 210 days after activation. I knew I was tricked and tried to refund the phone but they asked for a fucking re-stocking fee. I was stuck and thought I’ll just have to be diligent and remember to send the rebate within the 30 days freaking window that they give you after a whole 6 month of waiting. (pardon my french).

Its kinda of obvious the game of slippage they are trying to play... not exactly the most ethical business practice already... and probably illegal with their lack of visible disclaimer and re-stocking fees.

The worst part came when I diligently saved all the boxes, cutouts & reciepts and sent in the rebate forms (BTW why are there 2 rebates in 2 envelopes for the same damn purchase? Why are they called “customer loyalty rebates”... they are just pissing on my grave at this point) and patiently waited. I got an email from them saying that they are processing the forms a few weeks after I mailed it in. After that... dead silence... again they are betting that I would forget about the rebate. Unfortunately for them, I’m a cheap bastard and keeped on emailing and calling them.

After quite a few non-responses, they told me that my rebate was dated 11 days too late... after waiting 6+ months, they are telling me that I’m 11 days too late? I’ve been 11 days late on my credit card bill and not get charged interest because I’m a long time customer !!! So now the only way to get my rebate is to send it “proof” of mailing date. Who the fuck mails rebates in certified mail? ARGH... the worst part is I have no idea if I am 11 days too late... I’m pretty sure I wasnt, but

So there you go, I’m out close to $300 bucks... (yes, I’m a dumb fuck, I could have just straight out bough the phone $100 but I tried to get it for free... not withstanding “time value of money”)... now that I’m worked up again, I’m going to call them and complain again... I promise to use up atleast $300 worth of customer service cost :)

On a more serious note, I dont think these guys understand that on average customer retention cost is significantly lower than acquisition cost for a new customer. To make me jump through hoops like that is a definite a drain on my satisfaction and loyalty. They will have to rely on new cusotmer acquisition for revenue growth rather than repeat customers. Furthermore, given that they are an online company reliant on search marketing as the key driver of their business, it is not wise to piss off customers who can just write a post on a blog or BBS and complain. When someone types in “ROKR Wirefly”, they will eventually be served up organic results with the title “Wirefly Sucks” along with their ad on the right hand side... at that point, who is going to buy more phones from them? to think of it... hmm... I’m gonna make my money back by shorting their stock...