US Cellular ‘Battery Swap’ Has Scammed ME!

They INTENTIONALLY gave me a compromised batteries HOPING that I will, in despair, either buy a new battery or get a new phone. Not once, but twice — and the second time around my wife told them that the first replacement had been defective.

I had a perfectly good, long-lasting battery on my Motorola Razr V3. But one day, while in Concord, NH, I noticed that I was ‘low.’ I happened to be driving past a mall with US Cellular and since I had been bombarded with promos for this battery swap I thought I will give it a try. They, as ever, were as nice as can be. Didn’t ask any questions. Just looked up my account. Took my phone away and came back and said here you have a replacement battery. It looked charged. Within 24 hours I realized that something was very wrong. This replacement battery wouldn’t hold a charge! I was lucky if I could get 4 hours STANDBY on a charge. In despair, I sent my wife to Tilton, NH, to see if my ‘friend’ who works for US Cellular was there and he could give me a battery comparable to what I had.

When she got to Tilton my friend wasn’t there. He has had some health issues. She was instead served by a female rep. I think I know who it is. Yes, I think I know her name. My wife, who very rarely has anything bad to say about people, said that this rep. was RUDE. Well, she put another battery in the phone. This was a couple of months ago. This battery does NOT hold a charge. My phone is continually turning itself off. I have it plugged in permanently. I don’t go out much. When I do, and I need a phone, I take my wife’s! It has got that bad.

What is galling is that I am supposed to be a ‘preferred’ customer, having been with them, uninterrupted for over 10 years.

Yes, my wife keeps on saying I should go and see my friend in Tilton and that he will get me a good battery — because he is a good guy, salt of the earth. I am sure he will. he has looked after me, well, for 7 or 8 years. But Tilton is 45 minutes away. Concord is 35 minutes away.

But, I don’t want to. I know the game they are playing and I will tango with them.

I just bought a new battery for $5.40 (inc. shipping) from eBay!

I have been ‘off-contract’ for 10 months. That kills US Cellular. They are hoping that they can force me to buy a fancy new phone and then get me to lock into a 2 year contract by saying I can have it for free.

I am NOT a big phone user. E-mail is my preferred mode of communication given that I am, in the end, a writer. So I do not need a fancy phone or lot of minutes. I have never TEXTED and have had texting disabled on my phones from day one. The only people that sent me text messages was US Cellular telling me that I should activate my texting feature!

Earlier this year we got a Magic Jack. Magic Jack works. It is a marvel. I love Magic Jack. Don’t believe any of the FUD you hear about Magic Jack — like it doesn’t support 911. It does. Yes, we in NH do not get a 603 number. That is annoying. But, I kind of like my 207 number since people now think I am calling from Maine.

So bottom line, DO NOT succumb to the US Cellular Battery Swap. It is a scam. It would be CHEAPER in the long run to buy a car charger. Trust me. I have no reason to give you bad information.

All the best.

P.S. Magic Jack Rocks.


3 thoughts on “US Cellular ‘Battery Swap’ Has Scammed ME!

  1. gary

    i’m very curious as to what you base your blanket hatred of the battery swap program that has worked splendidly for thousands of us cellular customers? did you try a battery swap battery? why do you dismiss your “friend” without so much as trying the FREE program? you’re out $5.50 when you could get up to 4 free battery swaps a month, if you didn’t get a decent battery the first time.

    and as for the contract, yes, cell companies like contracts (having predicatble, locked in customers is nice), but to think that you’re “sticking it to the man” is silly. by not having to subsidize your new phone, you’re actually saving the company money.

  2. aguruge Post author

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I am glad that the ‘battery swap’ has helped thousands of US Cellular customers, BUT I can only speak to what happened to me.
    I am not sure about YOU, but I live in the STICKS OF NH. The NEAREST US Cellular outlet that does battery swaps is 35 minutes away, in Concord. I am a bit of a recluse. I stay at home, go running for exercise and then spend most of my time writing. Other than my running and walking the dog there can be stretches of 4 to 5 days when I don’t go out. Going to Concord 4 times a month is a rarity.
    Not sure about YOUR time Gary but mine is VALUABLE TO ME. Yes, my time is not of value to anybody else but it is ALL I HAVE. My time is the ONE THING I have that puts me on a par with Bill Gates, the Pope and Tiger Woods. I would rather not spend my time hanging around US Cellular stores waiting to swap my battery.
    $5.50 was well worth it.
    Basically US Cellular took a good, long-lasting 720mA battery and gave me one that would hardly hold a charge for 4 hours!
    I was forced to take it back. The next one they gave me … dies on the VERY FIRST call I make. Call time, about 3 minutes. Yes, I use it by keeping it constantly plugged in. When I need to make a call from the car, I use my wife’s cell. That is sad.
    So, that is my story.
    What is yours?
    Many thanks. All the best.
    Anura Guruge

  3. gary

    just confused as to why you’d trade in a “good, long-lasting 720mA battery” in the first place, but that’s just me.


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