15 April 2015

MAGIC JACK HORROR STORY

I'm turning over my blog to Kinsey this morning. She had quite a day yesterday and you may be interested in the story.

Hi, this is Kinsey writing. As Molly said I had a heck of a day yesterday.  I have used Magic Jack for a number of years and generally been happy with the device. Yesterday morning I tried to install my magicJack on my computer and it would not work. After several attempts I went on line to magicJack's customer service chat. I reached a fellow who tried to help me but after about thirty minutes we were cutoff without a resolution. I tried the chat line again and got hold of another agent who proceeded to take me through the same procedures I had gone through before. I tried to tell her all the things had already been tried but she insisted I do it all again. This was another lengthy call at the end of which the person told me my Magic Jack was bad and I needed to replace it by going to my online account and ordering a new one.

I logged on to my account and did as instructed. It turned out that my device was no longer under warranty and I needed to purchase the replacement. I proceeded to do that. I punched in my card information and got and error message saying something about it being "null". I'd never seen a message like that before. I had found the chat line so unhelpful that I decided to call customer service directly. A man named Steve came on the line and I explained to him I could not get my card to work and read him the error message. He said that message meant the problem was not with the Magic Jack but with my computer. He said he could find out what the problem was if I gave him access to my computer. I trusted him because he worked for Magic Jack. The first thing he told me was that someone had hacked my computer and turned off my firewall. Not only did they turn it off they disabled it so I couldn't turn it on. This was a lie. I later checked with Apple and they ship iMacs with the firewall off as the default setting.

Then he ran some other data on my computer and told me that indeed I had been hacked and the hackers had made an 85% penetration. That they were very close to being able to hack all my internet accounts and steal my identity. To say that I freaked out is an understatement. The agent told me I would need a level 7 technician to fix the problems and asked if I knew one.  I said no I didn't. He said well he could put me in touch with a company that specialized just this type of work. The company was AGA Tech Experts. He said they had an office in Billings. I checked this morning and can find no record of such a company in Billings. They do have a very sketchy website.

Steve told me he could arrange a conference call with the company and so he did. The AGA person Albert said he was a supervisor and quoted me to $149.95 to do the work. No money up front. I would be invoiced with a description of all the work done after it was complete. Keep in mind I am on a conference call set up by a representative of Magic Jack I reached through Magic Jack's customer service number. I had no reason to think this was not on the up and up. I was then turned over to a Damien who would do the work. At this point Steve bowed out.

Now AGA has control of my computer and they set to work. Or so I think. I have no idea at this point. AGA had control of the computer for several hours. I good part of that time was spent using my name to chat with Magic Jack about the device not working. The following is a transcript of AGA impersonating me.

Natasha: Hi there!
Please hold on while I read your previous chats.
Natasha: Are you familiar with MAC computer?
Mary Barnard: yes
Natasha: Okay.
Natasha: One moment please...
Natasha: Ok
Mary Barnard: it appears to me there is problem with my magic jack
Natasha: Yes I checked the whole notes and it seems that the problem is the device itself.
Natasha: Ok magicJack, LP warrants the Device against component defects for one year after purchase. We have determined you need a replacement device, but your device is outside the one year warranty. We charge a fee of $24.95 to ship a replacement device to your US address. (Only if applicable, and an additional $6.00 to ship your replacement to a Canadian address.) When you receive the replacement, just plug it in and you will be prompted to select the device you wish to replace. Your remaining time and telephone number will automatically transfer. For you to be able to get a replacement just go to my.magicjack.com then go to Account tab then locate Warranty replacement you can process your own replacement.
Mary Barnard: okay
Natasha: By the way, the device that you will receive for that could be a new model.
Natasha: Is there anything else I may help you with today?
Mary Barnard: no
Mary Barnard: when i will get it replaced?
Natasha: Ok Mary, thanks for your time.
Natasha: If you wished to process it now you can get it 2-4 Business days.
Natasha: You can process it to your own account.
Mary Barnard: ok…but how can i process
Natasha: For you to be able to get a replacement just go to my.magicjack.com then go to Account tab then locate Warranty replacement you can process your own replacement.
Mary Barnard: let me check
Natasha: Sure
Natasha: Click here to login
Natasha: Are you there Mary?
Natasha: I have not heard from you in a while. Do you wish to continue this chat session?
Mary Barnard: i want to change my card detail
Mary Barnard: how can i do that
Mary Barnard: so that i can pay
Natasha: Hold on
Natasha: Put the cursor on the ACCOUNT tab then locate the MANAGE PAYMENT INFORMATION then add your card,
Natasha: Please check to be sure you have entered all of your credit card information correctly including your card number, billing address (The address where your statement is delivered.), expiration date and card security code.
Mary Barnard: okay
Natasha: ok
Natasha: How was it?
Natasha: Ok it's done Order Number: TS54718043, Order Date: 04/14/2015. It will be on Express Shipping and will typically be delivered in 2 ? 4 days after shipment. Expect a notification via email when the order is fulfilled. You will receive an email within 24 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) that will confirm your order and provide a tracking number.
Natasha: Is there anything else I may help you with today?
Natasha: I have not heard from you in a while. Do you wish to continue this chat session?

(AGA asked me for the card information so they could order me a new device.)

Since I have not heard from you for some time, I am going to close this chat. If you need any help in the future, please do not hesitate to chat with us again. Good bye
Since we haven't heard from you, we must release this chat. Please click here should you need further assistance: www.magicJack.com/techchat

(AGA just abandoned the conversation. Something I would not be inclined to do)

The AGA people came back and said they were finished and the cost of the Magic Jack would be deducted from my bill. The they wanted me to sign a contract and pay them. I had started this trip down the rabbit hole around 9:00am. It was 3:30pm when they said they were done. I was fried so I told them I could not sign anything I could not have time to read and understand. They tried to pressure me but I said no. There was no invoice with a description of services. They are supposed to call back today to finish the transaction.

I don't know much about this sort of thing but it seems to me that either an employee of Magic Jack is running a scam or Magic Jack has itself has been hacked. Either way it calls having dealings with the company into question. Again keep in mind, I got into this mess directly from a phone call to Magic Jack's customer service line.

I contacted Magic Jack on Facebook this morning and they told me they had no third party relationships. They responded "That company is not affiliated with magicJack in any way whatsoever. You should receive an email shortly from our Misrepresentation Team".

It's been several of hours now and no word from Magic Jack. They clearly do not share my level of concern. Which is in itself very concerning to me. The a quality company response  would been more along the lines of .... We are sorry to hear of your experience. We will do everything we can to sort out exactly what happened.

I also asked them in a separate message if they had an employee named Steve S. They chose not to answer.

I will keep you apprised of what I find out but, in the meantime, if you have any dealings with Magic Jack I suggest you use extreme caution.

Please pass this article on to anyone you know who might find my experience useful.  Honestly, you would not want a friend to go through an experience like this one.

©Kinsey Barnard




2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just to let you know if you search magicJack in Google Search bar or Yahoo Search bar you will be going to a different page or company that pretending magicJack. The authorized website of magicJack is "www.magicjack.com" and the phone numbers are 1-800-magicjack and the 1-844-866-2442 ..

Kinsey Barnard said...

Thanks I am aware of this 844-866-2442 was the number I called when I got into this mess.