Billing, satisfaction, returns and other questions


Submitted by sirenez on Fri, 12/30/2011 – 8:26pm


If you’ve asked a question, bought a phone, or needed help with a billing or account issue, you’ve been in touch with someone from our Member Care team.  I’m Sandra, the senior manager charged with leading and developing our ability to meet your needs and to make your experience as smooth as possible.


You’ve probably figured out that we’re learning a lot and working through several challenges during our beta phase.  Some of you have experienced a billing issue, a delayed ship date, or have had a question about our service.  We know you have a lot of questions and requests, and we’re taking them on.  In the three weeks since launch, we've processed more than 50,000 individual requests!


Although we continue making incremental improvements in Member Care processes, ultimately our ability to provide you with great service is going to rely on having great systems to enable that.  We’re building up our systems to meet your needs, and uncovering nuances with existing systems that we must address in order to provide you with quality care.


You may have noticed that we try to think about things a bit differently from other providers –so much so that we decided recently to restore the original meaning of “unlimited” to our membership.  We’ve made it our goal to push against the status quo, offering you the opportunity to pay less with our Hybrid Calling technology.  We decided we should apply the same principles to our billing satisfaction and returns policies.


I wanted to highlight some of the more recent questions that our team has been fielding just to make sure you know where we are on our satisfaction guarantee, billing, and returns.


90 day satisfaction guarantee
In the TheProductGuy’s recent blog post in which he announced we’d be delaying our next product update to January, he also announced that we would extend our 30 day satisfaction guarantee to 90 days to make sure you had a chance to test drive the product with the new features we were delaying.  But what does that mean?


Essentially, you have 90 days from your delivery date (the time when we receive notification from FedEx that your phone arrived) to decide whether or not you want to stay or go back to Big Cell.  If you decide you don’t like us for any reason during your first 90 days, you can return the phone and claim a refund for your initial start up fee.


The 90 day satisfaction guarantee applies to anyone in the beta program.  We fully expect to revert to a 30 day satisfaction guarantee once we have the basics of service ironed out and decide to go GA.


Although we hope you don’t take advantage of this offer (and that you decide to stay with us for a very, very long time), we want to give you this option because we’re certain you’ll like where we’re going and the customer experience we plan to provide.  If this isn’t for you, you simply contact our support team, let them know you’re claiming the satisfaction guarantee, and send us the phone back in the mail (I’ll write more about returns in just a minute).  As soon as we get the device, we’ll issue a full refund to the account you provided.


Now, what about billing if you want to keep the phone?  We’ve decided to change that up a bit too because serving you better is a higher priority to us than charging you sooner.  There’s still some work we need to do to make absolutely sure all our order data is properly repaired.  Once we’re sure there won’t be any billing errors, we’ll start billing sometime in January (more info on exact dates tbd).


How does that work? Keep in mind that your start up fee included your phone plus your first 30 days of service.  So if you’ve had your phone for 30 days, we’re just not going to charge you for the time between the end of the 30 days and when we decide to start billing.  When we start billing, your new 30 day anniversary date will be the day billing begins.


For example, if you purchased your phone on November 8 (along with most of our members), and your phone was delivered on November 22, your billing should have begun on December 22.  If we were to start billing on say, January 15, (just an example, no definite date here!) we wouldn’t charge you for the time between December 22 and January 15, and you’d be billed on January 15 and the 15th day of the month going forward.  Make sense? If not, or if you still have specific questions, you can contact our support team here and we’ll help you get it figured out.


Now, on to returns.  We’re hopeful that you’ll never take advantage of this because you’re so happy with the service, but we understand that it’s not for everyone.  Returns are easy.  If you’re within the 90 days we promised (above), you simply contact us, let us know you want to cancel and we’ll provide your refund to the credit card you provided when you ordered as soon as you return the phone.


If you’re not within the 90 days, but decide later on that you don’t need or don’t want our service, it’s okay.  If you tried the phone and are looking for something else, we’ll be rolling out some other options soon. Regardless of the reason, we’ll stop your membership at any time.  Keep in mind that we don’t have a contract or cancellation fees, so anytime you want to walk you can.  You just contact our support team here and let us know your intentions.  Once we get the info we need to cancel your account, you’re good to go (and the phone is yours to keep since you paid for that with your start up fee).


Allowing you to cancel at any time accomplishes two things.  First, it gives you the flexibility to do whatever you want, whenever you want to do it.  Secondly, it makes us aware of the fact that we have to deliver better-than-excellent member care and mobile service to you 100 percent of the time.  We can’t get lazy on our commitment because you signed a two-year contract… because we don’t have contracts and we don’t ever want to be that kind of provider.


I think that covers the basics of the satisfaction guarantee, billing, and returns.  We’re always happy to respond where ever and whenever possible to address your concerns.  Please let us know how we’re doing in the forums in the feedback and suggestions sections.  The bottom line? We want to be the kind of wireless provider you want to do business with. We’ll do whatever we can to make that happen.  After all, we don’t make up the republic; you do!