Tell Cricket to take my phone off the blacklist!

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By Christopher Elliott

Dejuan Rasberry-Davis wants me to wave my magic wand and tell Cricket to take his phone off the blacklist.

I won’t until Rasberry-Davis shows me his paper trail.

His request is yet another “Magic Wand” case — consumers who want this site’s help but are unwilling or unable to offer any evidence they’ve given the company an opportunity to fix the problem first.

Magic Wand cases are an inevitable result of this site’s success. It’s easy to get the impression that all we do here at the gleaming world headquarters of Elliott Advocacy, Inc., is order companies to disgorge refunds and issue humble apologies. That’s not true.

Someone stole Rasberry-Davis’ Cricket phone — or so he thought

“I reported it stolen,” he says. “But then I found it.”

He’d already called Cricket to notify it of the stolen phone. The company placed the phone and the number on a blacklist.

He asked the company to remove his number after he found it.

“I went to check the service to see if it was activated,” he says. “But it was still suspended. I called back and was told they couldn’t do anything for 7 to 14 business days.”

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He added, “[I] wish for the phone suspension to lifted and deactivated.”

Yes, he used those exact words. He wished for it.

I hear the sound of … crickets

My advocacy team responded immediately to Rasberry-Davis’ request. We asked him for the paper trail between him and Cricket. (Related: She just needs the extra key to her new Subaru. Where is it?)

Executive contacts for Cricket are on our site, too.

“I don’t have any documents except the case number and Cricket customer service call logs I have on my phone,” he says. “Is possible to receive assistance?”

Yes, but we need the paperwork, we said. (Here’s how to fix your own consumer problems.)

To which we heard the sound of … crickets.

What happened? One of two possible scenarios:

First, the problem resolved itself. Cricket may say the process takes 7 to 14 days, but as a practical matter, it might move faster. Rasberry-Davis’ phone is probably working fine by now and he doesn’t need our help.

Second, he might have lost patience with the process. Show my paperwork? Come on! Can’t you just, you know … wave your magic wand?

I have to admit, going through the grievance process can be difficult and tedious. There are forms to fill out, or in Rasberry-Davis’ case, online chats to initiate. But it’s absolutely necessary, even for us. Or I should say, especially for us.

Our advocacy aspires to a higher standard. Other consumer advocates do brandish a magic wand. They don’t wait to hear a company’s side of the story. That’s not us. We’re effective because we get all the facts. And we don’t quit, even when others do.

You’re not on our blacklist

Dejuan, if you’re reading this — you’re definitely not on our blacklist. We’re here to help you any time. In a perfect world, I’d have access to Cricket’s internal systems and could flip a switch for you, making your phone work again.

Alas, we don’t live in a perfect world.

But I’d like to mention one thing about the rise of Magic Wand cases. Even if my unbelievably effective advocacy team could fix something with the flick of a wrist, wouldn’t it be a hollow victory? We’d just go around magically fixing every case — even the ones that didn’t deserve fixing. That would be no fun.

Should we lift our ban on Magic Wand cases?

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter.

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