Strange acting and threatening Cricket employee

  • 7 March 2023
  • 1 reply


On 3/5/2023 we visited the cricket store at 5141 O St, in Lincoln, NE at about 350 pm. It was right before closing time, since it closed at 4pm on Sundays.

We asked to buy an older model (cheaper) iphone to replace a broken (and very old, 6s i think) phone on our plan. The man working there provided us with a phone (iphone SE), and when we asked how much the phone would cost, he told us, but did not state that it was a "bundle" price, so we assumed it was the cost of the phone.

Nonetheless, he gave us a screen protector and case. And so we asked if that was included as part of some sort of 'welcome package' for the phone? And he said yes. He did not give us a choice of what phone case we might want, and did not give us the box for the case. He never told us that it was a "bundle" or gave us any choices about having a "bundle" vs. just getting the phone.

Overall, we were conscious that it was after closing time by the time we were done, and grateful for the employee being willing to help us replace our phone so quickly and even though it was so close to closing time when we'd arrived. But we were also rather confused about the sales interaction and why we'd gotten a 'free' case (and screen protector) (we didnt see any posters advertsing such a 'bundle' and the employee didnt tell us about such a bundle or deal). Upon looking at the receipt at home, we saw separate charges for the screen protector and the case, and so it did not look like a "bundle" to us. It looked to us like we paid for separate things since the things were listed separate. There were also other additional charges that we did not understand what they were for.

Given the list of separate charges, I therefore thought maybe i could return the case, which was expensive and i did not want or need it. I also wanted to ask what the extra charges were for. So, the very next day, on 3/6/2023 I went right at opening time to return the case. The store was supposed to open at 10am but it did not open until about 10:17 (there was another customer waiting outside with me too). The first customer just had a couple of questions that only took a few minutes, and so he left by about 1020-25. The same employee served me on 3/6/2023 as who had sold us the phone the day before. I asked if I could return the case because I did not need it. He told me I could not return the case because it was part of a bundle.  But he said I could only exchange it for a different case. I pointed out to him that he never told us about any "bundle." He had given us the case as if it were free, but then when I saw it listed with a cost on the receipt it seemed it was not free. But,  I still said, ok, if it is part of a bundle, then I wanted to exchange the case. He gave me the choice of only 2 other cases. I chose one and I told him that I would also like have the box for the new case too.

The employee gave me the new case I chose but said if i wanted the box I would need to wait and that it "would take a while" because he needed to check in the old case and check out the old case. So, I said I would wait. I still wanted to also ask the employee to explain the additional charges on the receipt, but I thought I'd wait until he was done with the exchange. I had a baby with me so I tried to entertain her while I waited. I waited while he did something at one computer and then kept waiting as he moved to a different computer which was further from where he had been helping me. After about 10 minutes another customer came in and he started to help them. I protested: "arent you going to finish helping me first?" He said he would do so "in a minute." He was clearly serving the other customer instead of me. And I had already been waiting more than 30 minutes (since he opented the store late and I had to wait outside, and then he also made me wait between the time he started helping me and the new customer came in.) So, then I felt frustrated and also just confused by what seemed like too many strange behaviors by this employee (i.e., it was strange the day before that he never told us we were getting a 'bundle' and didnt explain what the 'bundle' included, and it was very strange that he never gave us a choice of cases, and strange that he didnt offer to let us have the box for the first case, and strange that he seemed upset I wanted a different case with its box, and strange that the store opened late, and that it was taking so long to 'exchange' the case.)

Because of all this strange behavior, I felt apprehensive and also wondered if we were somehow 'scammed' by this employee. Especially since I still did not know the meaning of the additional charges on the receipt. So, I reached around the counter and took the box for the new case (he was keeping it away from me, behind the desk, saying it would take a while before he could check it in/out and give it to me). He looked at me from where he was helping the other customer, and seemed almost threatening the way he said "what are you doing?" (I replied that I was taking my box) and then he repeated that he was going to help me "in a minute." But he was still helping the other customer (even though I had been there first).

I wasn't sure if I actually could leave (I wondered if it would be considered stealing if i left even though i had actually paid for a case? I simply did not know what it entailed to check in/out an exchange.) So I put the new case in the box, and held onto everything (my purse/phone/receipts/and the baby of course) and waited very close to the door. He was a very large man and his behavior, to me, seemed odd, and I had a baby with me, and wanted to be able to get out the door quickly if needed. After about 1 or 2 more minutes he told me I could leave and that he would "figure something out" for the exchange.

I was so unsettled that I then drove straight to a different cricket store (the one on Cornhusker). I asked the employee there to help me look at my receipt and if she could tell me about it. E.g., could she tell, did I get "a bundle"? Or could I actually be allowed to return the case? She confirmed that the case was part of a bundle, and that if I wanted to return/exchange the case I'd need to go back to the original store. She started to call the original store, and I told her not to do so because I'd already been there and the employee there acted very strangely toward me, which is why I wanted someone else to help me. I told her I was wondering if we'd been scammed so that's why I wanted someone else to explain the receipt to me.

I asked her if she could help me understand the rest of the charges on the receipt because I was concerned that I did not know what those charges were for. Also, I did not know if they were all one-time charges or recurring ones. She explained that the 'ugrade fee' was sort of like a one-time activation fee since i was getting a new phone from cricket. The other fee, however, was an insurance fee. She asked if I'd been told about the insurance and that it would added as a recurring charge to our bill going forward. I said, "no" because the prior employee never mentioned that we'd be having to pay a recurring insurance fee. We did not want any insurance. I asked what I could do about this, given that the insurance was added without my knowledge or permission. She said that since it was added without my permission, she could cancel the insurance for me. She did that and showed me the credit to my account.

I am grateful to the 2nd employee at the 2nd store for her help and explanation. I still feel very unsettled and unsafe when I think about the interactions with the first employee at the O st store. We will not be going back to that store so long as that employee is there. We will try to go to other cricket stores instead. However, I would like cricket to know that this strange thing happened to us and maybe it could look into making sure this does not happen to others.


Best answer by jdor_Cricket 8 March 2023, 02:30

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Userlevel 4
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Hey @b4026135004 

We’re so sorry to hear about your experience at one of our authorized retailers. We expect all of our authorized retailers to explain all charges and what you are receiving, and I apologize that this was not the case in this experience. We’d be happy to look into this further for you and assist. Feel free to send @CricketSupport a PM with your wireless number (associated with receipt) and the full name on the account for further assistance.