Cellphone dispute leads Gilbert woman to 3 On Your Side

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GILBERT, Ariz. -- Like most consumers, Trinka McCabe relies heavily on her cellphone.

"Every day, you use them, not only for contact but in case there's an emergency," McCabe said.

Her teenage son also has a cellphone and together, the two of them share their minutes through a family plan offered by Verizon Wireless.

But, ironically, McCabe said her phone along with her son's cellphone started acting up right around the exact same time.

"You would hold it to your ear, take it away and the screen would be black," McCabe explained.

McCabe said she took both phones to an authorized Verizon Wireless dealer where she was told the two phones would be replaced under her warranty. All McCabe had to do was mail the two malfunctioning phones back to Verizon Wireless and McCabe said she did. In fact, she said the employee at that authorized dealer was nice enough to do almost everything for her except mailing it.

"He did it for me," she said. "Put it in the box, taped it up and handed it to me and I dropped it off [at the post office]."

However, on McCabe's next statement, Verizon Wireless charged her $300 because it claimed the phone was cracked when they got it in the mail.

McCabe told Verizon Wireless it wasn't cracked or damaged. She even did a three-way conference call with the employee who inspected the phone and placed it in the box and taped it.

She said that employee reportedly told Verizon, "She [McCabe] did not send you a damaged phone. I put it in the box and I put the tape on the box for her."

But, Verizon Wireless sent McCabe a photo proving the phone was in fact cracked when they received it. To keep her cellphone service from being shut off, McCabe said she reluctantly paid part of the $300 and then contacted 3 On Your Side for help.

I got involved and asked Verizon Wireless to look into the issue for me. They did and Verizon Wireless subsequently reversed their initial decision and considered the matter closed. McCabe said a Verizon Wireless representative told her that they would just "take her word" that the phone was not cracked when she mailed it.

McCabe is relieved and said she couldn't have done it without 3 On Your Side.

"I wasted a lot of my time and a lot of my energy," she said. "I made several phone calls for 45 minutes at minimum apiece. After Gary Harper sent one email [to Verizon], I got my money back the next day."

I have to say, Verizon Wireless was great to work with and I appreciate the company looking into the matter so quickly and resolving this dispute like they did.