I purchased three new smartphones from a large, well-known, phone company on 11/27/2015. Each phone qualified to receive $300.00 in promotional credits after trading in a separate smartphone in good working condition. In this case, I'd receive $900.00 in credits after all was said and done.
I've spent the past 6-7+ months trying to get these credits. I've talked with literally 50+ different respresentatives over 30+ separate days. My family and I have spent dozens of hours trying to work with the store, the phone reps, in chat, etc. and I'm burnt on putting more effort into this. This is a very cut-down synopsis of the chronology:
- The first month was solely trying to receive the promotional codes after the phones were activated. Repeatedly calling/driving to the store to check on this and being told to wait. Eventually the codes had to be manually created since they agreed the codes were not actually processing.
- The second/third month was various attempts to bring in phones to redeem the credits with. Multiple stores over multiple days couldn't get the codes to go through. Dozens of hours into calling to try and resolve this. Eventually, after the two months they agreed the codes were defective and that they'd manually credit the promotion to me after taking my three trade-in phones.
- The fourth/fifth month was waiting out the billing cycles and keeping ahead of checking on my status. Nothing went through and I was even told they didn't have a record of where the phones I brought in were due to no tracking number.
- The sixth month has been my ongoing attempt to voice my complains over how long this has taken. I've wrote a formal letter to their correspondence team and called multiple times to try and come to some kind of settlement before considering legal options. It's been two weeks and I haven't received any formal response to my letter or calls.
What, if any, legal boundary have they crossed by not having this resolved in a timely manner; or by having such issues with the entire process (still ongoing)?
Would punitive charges/compensation be possible if I brought this to small claims court? If not, would it be better to arbitrate/mediate to try for compensation?
I hope these questions aren't too broad and that I was clear enough in my information. I'm ultimately trying to find the best way to move forward and recover. I've missed enough work over fighting this that even the $900.00 I'm trying to resolve doesn't cover the lost wages.
I ended up calling and explaining the urgency on how I wanted to speak with someone about resolving this. I was told that the two weeks I waited wasn't a guarantee and I could send another letter directly addressing a specific team if I wanted a formal and quicker response.
Update: (06/09/2016) After days of back-and-forth of trying to get in touch with their Executive Relations Team, they offered the $900.00 in promotional credits and a mere $100.00 credit as compensation for the, now, 40+ hours of time I've put in. I'm planning to go through arbitration to take advantage of their arbitration clause— if the arbitrator deems compensation higher than what was offered, the value is raised to a minimum of $5,000.