6 Ways to Make a Claim Against the Phone or Cable Company

Want to Make your voice heard? Or Make them Pay?
We break down your options

So you have a complaint about your phone or cable provider’s service—maybe they’re overcharging you, or a salesperson misled you, or their service isn’t what they promised.

At this point you’ve probably tried calling customer service. You’ve spent hours on the phone with hold messages, computerized menus, and—if you’re lucky—a few humans. So now you want to know: How do I file a legal claim against the company?

File an insurance Phone claim With Your Phone Company (or your insurance provider)

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What is it? A lot of people looking to file a claim against a wireless phone company like AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon are looking to make a claim with the insurance covering their broken phone. If you bought your phone insurance through the phone company, you can check here to find out here where to make your claim.

If you didn’t buy your insurance directly from the phone company, it may have come from:

  • SquareTrade (make a phone claim here)

  • Geek Squad (make a phone claim here; you should know that Geek Squad plans are sold by Best Buy and may say they come from Assurant Solutions)

  • Apple Care (claim information here)

  • Samsung Premium Care (call 1-800-SAMSUNG or learn more here)

When to try it: If you have a damaged phone that fits within the situations covered by your device insurance.

What you need to do: Go the website of your phone claim insurer (such as Asurion, Apple Care, Samsung, SquareTrade, or Geek Squad) and answer a series of questions about the damage to your device.

What to expect: You’ll probably be asked to wait while the insurance company reviews your claim. If your claim is approved, they may offer to repair your phone or to pay for a replacement device. Follow their instructions carefully to make sure you are able to get this repair or replacement phone paid for.

File a claim against the Phone or Cable Company in small claims court

What is it? You’re not allowed to bring a claim against companies like AT&T, Verizon, or Comcast in most courts (it’s true — it’s there in the fine print of your contract with them). But the exception is small claims court, which is an opportunity to bring your claim locally before a judge, up to a certain monetary limit.

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When to try it: You have have time and energy on your hands, and you want the chance to make your case against your phone or cable company in public.

What you need to do: Follow the steps laid out here in Radvocate’s Guide to Sue Your Phone or Cable Company in Small Claims Court.

What to expect: If you follow all the steps precisely and have a strong claim against the phone or cable company, there’s a good chance you’ll get compensation.

File a claim against the Phone or Cable Company with your credit card provider

What is it? Any time you pay for something with a credit card, you and the company you are buying from (like AT&T, Verizon, or Comcast) agree to follow a set of rules from the company issuing the credit card. In cases such as fraud, overcharges, or when the product or service is not actually provided, credit card companies have a procedure for you to dispute the charge.

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When to try it: If your claim against the phone or cable company is about a one time charge that was made using a credit card, and when you will be able to provide documented evidence that the phone or cable company charged you more than they were allowed to, or for a service they didn’t provide.  

What you need to do: Most credit card companies will let you do this process entirely online. Log in to your credit card account and look for more information on how to dispute and challenge a charge. Typically you’ll have to identify the charge, describe your claim, and if possible provide evidence to support it.

What to expect: The credit card company may temporarily remove the charge from your bill. They will then likely ask the phone or cable company for a response. You may also be asked for more information or evidence before they make a final decision.

File an FCC complaint against The phone or cable company

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What is it? The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is a government agency that regulates much of the cable and wireless business. The FCC provides an informal channel for consumers to submit claims and complaints against phone and cable companies.

What happens to these claims depends on the internal procedures of the FCC. The FCC also provides a more formal complaint procedure, but there is a monetary charge for this.

When to try it: You’re frustrated with a company like AT&T, Verizon, or Comcast and want to make your complaint available to the government and the public. An FCC complaint is not a way to pursue compensation.

What you need to do: File an informal complaint against the company on the FCC’s public website by following the instructions here.

What to expect: Your complaint will be posted online in a public database. It may be used in setting the FCC’s priorities for regulating companies in the telecom and wireless industries. The company may be asked to respond to it. You will not necessarily receive an individual response.

File a Better Business Bureau complaint against the Phone or Cable Company

What is it? The Better Business Bureau and its local chapters are private organizations that collect and publish complaints against a wide range of companies. They are mainly funded by affiliate fees from businesses, and usually offer these business an opportunity to respond to consumer complaints.

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When to try it: When the company’s BBB page show that it is actively involved in responding to complaints. Or, alternatively, when you want another way to get your dissatisfaction out there on the internet.

What you need to do: Go to the company’s BBB profile and follow the instructions for submitting a complaint.

What to expect: This depends on whether the company actively responds to its BBB complaints. If it does, you may receive a response directly from them, or via the BBB. You may be asked for further documentation or clarification on your complaint. Ultimately, it is up to the phone or cable company whether they choose to acknowledge and offer compensation for your claim.

File a complaint against the Phone or Cable Company through independent arbitration

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What is it? Remember that thing about the small print of your contract with the phone or cable company? Well instead of most courts, what their contract allows you to do is to file a claim that will be argued before an independent individual called an arbitrator.

Because this process costs the company money, often they’ll try to settle your claim once you put them on notice that you plan on taking them to arbitration. That’s what Radvocate can help with!

When to try it: Any situation in which you believe the company has misled you, violated their contract with you, or violated the law can be pursued through arbitration. Typically claims involve a specific request for how the company can fix the situation, which may include financial compensation. Radvocate will help you pursue claims up to $10,000.

What you need to do: Fill out our form below, to start your claim against your phone or cable company. Or, for more information on the steps in pursuing an arbitration claim yourself, click here.

What to expect: For more details about arbitration, click here. Or start your claim below and let us help!