5 On Your Side

Cell Phone Woes Lead Local Man to 5 On Your Side for Help

Posted November 5, 2007 5:50 p.m. EST
Updated November 6, 2007 7:13 p.m. EST

— Tom and Mary Wagner love that their Chatham County home is out in the country.

“When you sit up here and the birds are up here, and the deer are down there, it is such a good feeling. It's wonderful,” Mary Wagner said, looking out on her back yard from her deck.

But for all the positives of the Wagners’ secluded home, it does pose some problems.

“One, there's no cable," Tom Wagner said. "Two, our cell phone doesn't work well.”

Wagner said he tried phones from several cellular phone providers, including Alltel.

“It didn't work at all,” he said of a phone he got from Alltel.

So, he returned it, and a store representative promised to send Wagner a refund.

But after a month passed, and he hadn't received the refund, he called Alltel – and quickly got caught in a run-around of store visits and corporate office phone calls.

“'The check's in the mail (they would say).' Every time," Wagner said. "Even when I went to the office in Durham, they would call and come back and say, 'Well, they tell us the check's in the mail. You should have it next week.'”

Eventually, Alltel credited his account.

“The only problem: The account was closed," Wagner said. "There was no account."

Wagner said that after waiting months, his patience finally ran out. That's when he called 5 On Your Side.

“And I'm so glad I called you folks,” he told WRAL’s Monica Laliberte. “’Cause it's not the money – it wasn't that much. But it's the principle of how the company would treat someone.”

When 5 On Your Side called Alltel, a representative checked into it. A spokesman said "incorrect codes" were used and caused the problem.

Soon after, Wagner got his $115 refund check.

“It was authorized and cut within about three days, so, thank you” Wagner told Laliberte.

The Wagners finally did find a phone that works on a limited basis from AT&T Wireless, so now, they can watch the deer and talk on the cell phone.