Relief has been slowly trickling in for a handful of the hundreds scammed two months ago by an authorized Queens T-Mobile dealer, but deceived victims say they’ll never gain back their wasted time, stolen money and lost trust.
“It was a huge loss. I don’t have words to describe that,” said Dr. Srijan Kumar Bera, 34, of Kew Gardens. “I couldn’t sleep well because of this.”
Bera is one of at least 300 Queens customers who say they were cheated by a T-Mobile preferred retailer — a South Asian man they identified as Raj, who owned two Queens stores, at 138-40A 84th Drive in Briarwood and 134-11 Rockaway Boulevard in South Ozone Park.
Both stores have been shuttered since the end of July and the owner and his employees, victims said, have fled, as the Courier reported in an August 2 cover story.
Bera said the devious dealer, who owns and operates a company called Jagdeep Global Products, Inc., billed him for five unauthorized lines tacked on to his account without permission, having already pocketed $200 in direct cash payments, before bolting.
He was left with $1,200 in charges from T-Mobile thanks to the five lines he said he never used, as well as disconnected service.
A spokesperson for T-Mobile had confirmed the fraudulent activity committed by the store owner and said the company apologizes and is taking “fast action” to correct the issues.
“We have worked together with the wholesaler responsible for the store and the owner has been replaced,” the spokesperson said, adding that those negatively affected should call customer service.
But duped customers said service representatives gave them the cold shoulder, saying the gripes they had were between themselves and the dealer and not the company.
“T-Mobile was not willing to take the blame on themselves,” Bera said. “They kept saying it’s between me and the dealer, but the dealer was using the company’s banner to give us the deals. That was where I felt really hopeless.”
Bera said he went to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) after calling T-Mobile’s Risk Assessment department every night, and writing several letters, to no avail. He said intervention by the BBB and the threat of hiring a lawyer helped speed up the process.
T-Mobile reps then waived $1,000 in termination fees and another $800 from the total bill.
Taliff Mohammed, 44, of Ozone Park — who was billed $1,271.92 in payments after also being signed up for five contracted lines instead of the three prepaid ones he wanted — said charges against him were dropped as well.
“It took some time, but they adjusted everything so I owe them no money,” he said. “It was unfortunate that I was taken advantage of but the big picture is that I wasn’t held responsible for that amount of money.”