Thursday, August 11, 2011

Jitterbug Nightmare Story?

Do you have a Jitterbug Nightmare Story? Did Jitterbug sell you a cell phone that left your elderly parent in a dangerous situation? Did they bill you for minutes you didn't use and fail to provide detailed billing? We want to hear from you! Email us at

Please provide a detailed description of what happened to you, contact info, and a picture of you and/or your parent/grandparent with a Jitterbug phone.

If selected, you could be a part of a documentary and tell-all-book on the illegal billing practices and fraud perpetuated by Jitterbug aka Great Call Inc.

Everything you write will remain confidential. If we use your story we will request your authorized consent. Email us at with any information you have regarding your Jitterbug experience.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fed up with Jitterbug aka Great Call Inc. ripping off grandma and grandpa? File a complaint with the FTC

To file a complaint against Jitterbug aka Great Call Inc. with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) go here:

You can also file a complaint with the Consumer Affairs website:

Why is Jitterbug Cell Phones still scamming seniors? Taking advantage of the elderly? More complaints about the Jitterbug Cell Phone Company

I am absolutely disgusted with Jitterbug company. I was an unhappy customer for two years. Unhappy about missed and delayed calls. Unhappy about charges higher than competitors. Unhappy about bills with no detail. The only draw you have is the ease of use of your phone. My daughter finally transferred my number to a new phone service on March 16 - 2010. The company told us that once the number is transferred, the service would be cancelled with Jitterbug, since there would be no account associated with the number.

However, I received a bill in April. I called on April 26th and talked to an associate to officially cancel the account. In May, I received a bill for two months of service. I called on June 1 and spoke to Amy. She explained the overlap of service from March 17 April 16. I immediately sent the $60.77 payment for that month even though I had already transferred the number to my new account by then. Amy said the additional $60.77 was for service from April 17 26. First of all it is ridiculous to pay for a full month even though it is only for 9 days! Second of all I DID NOT use the phone. I told Amy this and she said she would refer the account to financial services and they would contact me with a decision.

I received NO response from them. Instead, I received another bill. On July 1, I called and spoke to Carlos. He tells me that the bill is actually for Feb March which is a LIE. I tell him I want to speak to a supervisor. Jason Long gets on the line and tells me no, the bill is for the partial April month. I tell him I didnt use the service. He says I did. I cant know this because there is NO detailed information on the bill. He says he will send me the detailed bill. I ask him to read me the numbers over the phone. He says that would be an unproductive use of my time and Im not going to give you the information I can send you and My going over this bill with you is another hoop for me. These statements were condescending and offensive. When I said this to him, he hung up on me!

I find this treatment deplorable. I believe your company takes advantage of elderly people by luring them in with your product and then treating them like imbeciles.

Jeanne of St. Louis, MO July 22, 2010

I called for information on the Jitterbug phone - CSR convinced me to look at the phone and try it for FREE for 30 days and only be charged if I use the phone. I said I didn't want to use the phone just look at it to see the features and how it worked - she said OK and that it would be free shipping too. I got the phone looked at it decided it wasn't any better than the one I had and sent it back the next day - then they refunded everything except for $50.39 which Beth CSR said was the activation fee that they did at their center before shipping it out and the shipping out fee. She refused to refund the balance. Total ripoff for senior citizens.

Laverne of Fargo, ND June 10, 2010

I originally purchased the Jitterbug phone because I didn't want a monthly service fee, which they said I could buy my minutes as I used them. Which was fine until the first year was up and they renewed my plan and started charging me for a monthly service fee. I feel that the phone was misrepresented to me and that Jitterbug charged me fees that I did not incur myself, the whole phone is just a ploy to get money out of older people. Do not get involved with this company. Loss of $400. and no help from Jitterbug to recover.

John of Greenville, PA May 27, 2010

Jitterbug should be shut down. Their billing is deceptive, if not illegal. They cannot provide accurate minute usage because they say it takes 3 days to collect the info from other carriers. They do not provide itemized statements.

Susan of San Jose, CA Feb. 2, 2010

I bought a jitterbug phone and then signed up for service only to be told they had no numbers available in my area code. After several calls and promises and phone numbers over the course of 5 months, including one that belonged to someone else, I gave up. Glad I disconnected my other cell phone service. Be sure to ask if they have a number in the area you want!

Anne of Kennebunkport, ME Jan. 5, 2010

I too purchased two phones. One for my elderly mother and one for my husband. My mothers phone sat on the charger for over two months while I tried in vain to get the number from her old cell phone switched to the Jitterbug. The Customer Service is awful and the people are rude and nasty. They would never let me finish a sentence, they would continually talk over me. When my check did not reach the payment center on the due date they immediately cut off phone service and left my elderly mother without phone service. The bill's that have come are never the 14.99 plan that I signed up for. The last bill was 86.00 and I still can't understand why. I would not recommend this phone company. They have horrible customer service and I believe they are trying to con money from the elderly.

Deana of Midland, MI Dec. 9, 2009

I called about a Jitterbug phone for my elderly father. The first question I asked was about service where he lived. I was told it was the best. I also asked about the return policy and was told if I was unhappy for any reason I could return the phone within the first 30 days for a full refund.

I ordered the phone and had it shipped directly to my father. He was so excited to receive it until he tried to use it. The reception was horrid. He could hear us but be could not hear him it was breaking up so bad. There were several calls made to Jitterbug in an attempt to fix the problem. At one point he was "switched" to another carrier and was totally unusable for 6 days out of the 30 day return period. It still didnt work.
I called to cancel the service and return the phone within our 30 day trial period. Had to return with a RA number on the outside of the box or would not take it. We did that. Received at Jitterbug on November 12th and still have no refund. As a matter of a fact on November 20th they deducted another $49.00 from account. Clearly their mistake. According to them they forgot to stop the automatic withdrawal upon cancellation. So sorry for the inconvience. Called them again today November 30 and still no refund. Refund of the phone takes 21 working days and 5 working days for the additional amount taken after cancellation. The 5 days will start from November 30th not the 25th when I made the first call about the "Mistake".

There are also "rules" about returning the phone. Only 30 minutes could be used, no scratches on phone, and the list goes on. They will adjust the refund accordingly. Here is the best one. When I asked for the number to the financial department I was told from customer service they don't have that number. Their only communication is e-mail or fax. Are you kidding me!

Anyone considering a Jitterbug my advise DONT. I added my father to my Sprint plan of shared minutes for an additional $9.99 per month and it is great! Phone works wonderful and Dad has no problems with it. He is once again happy.

Karen of Roswell, NM Dec. 1, 2009

I recently purchased a Jitterbug phone with a Simply 29 plan (250 anytime minutes, 500 evening/weekend minutes) for my elderly mother. She tried using it for a month but was unhappy with the service for several reasons, so I decided to get her a landline. My mother has difficulty dialing numbers due to the rheumatoid arthritis in her fingers, so she used the Jitterbug operator service to dial her numbers. Little did she know, every time she dialed the Jitterbug operator, she was billed for 5 minutes of Jitterbug service! She though that this was a free service provided by Jitterbug. NOT! Be sure you READ THE FINE PRINT!

Then she gets her bill and she was charged for 120 minutes for dialing the Jitterbug voicemail retrieval number!!! After seeing the initial bill from Jitterbug, we decided that Jitterbug is definitely not "elderly friendly" as had been described, so we got a Comcast landline and changed the Jitterbug service to a basic plan (50 minutes per month for $14.99) for emergency use only. We made this change on the last day of the current billing period. Here comes the next bill.....WHOA! We received a bill for $86.00 when we were expecting a bill for $14.99! Ends up they treated all the calls in that billing period (400 minutes) as if we had been on the $14.99 basic plan the entire prior billing period! We were never told that we should wait until the first day of the next billing period to downgrade our plan! UNBELIEVABLE! In my opinion, Jitterbug preys on the elderly population. Many of the elderly will not be savvy enough to read the FINE PRINT and to question what is going on with their bill. Oh, and talking about the bill, did I mention that the bill does not include a call detail list that shows each call made? This information is not available on their internet site either! You have to call the Jitterbug operator (which you WILL BE BILLED FOR!) and ask for a call detail list to be emailed to you; it took them 72 hours to email it to me! I cancelled my mother's Jitterbug service today. BYE BYE JITTERBUG! GOOD RIDDANCE! I'm out $200.00 for a phone and various accwessories that I purchased, plus an additional $71.00 in phone call charges that I should not have had to pay for.

Janis of Arvada, CO Nov. 30, 2009

Here are things I believe greatly need improvement with Great Call's Jitterbug's billing and website:
The monthly bill needs to show ALL calls made to help the customer reconcile the minutes used and be on the same page. Currently it only shows the minutes used and cost, but not itemized as other phone companies do. Isn't it a regulation to do so?? It takes 48 hours for the used minutes to show up on MyJitterbug?? The change to the phonebook can be put in right away, why can't not this technology be applied to the minutes?? The used minutes on the phone show TOTAL usage of the phone, not the recent minutes purchased - it's too confusing to NOT show usage of the CURRENT minutes last purchased only. This would greatly help in keeping track of current minutes used.
I appreciate the phone,it's easy to use for my mother-but the billing combined with the site, isn't, and these need some major improvements to catch up with the times.
I'm only a consumer, and some companies would rather ignore than deal with the issues. I have used the comments area on the site to bring my concerns, but pretty much ignored.

If Jitterbug/Great Call is now promoting a new phone, they had better improve their billing/website as well to accommodate, or folks will surely find other solutions!

Karen of Santa Cruz, CA Sept. 24, 2009

I bought Jitterbugs services for my parents as there phones are eaiser for elderly to use. I purchased 500 minutes for them, not knowing there was an EXPERATION DATE on those minutes of 1 year.

Parents do not use phone much so 190 of those 500 minutes EXPIRED.

In todays mobile phone business I thought those plans were history. Why would minutes EXPIRE? The only reason I can think of is take advantage of seniors?

Kevin of Glendale, AZ Aug. 10, 200

Sunday, January 2, 2011

It's 2011 & Great Call Inc aka Jitterbug Cell Phones for the Elderly are still defrauding customers

Plenty of awful reviews still popping up everywhere on a company that is supposed to be helping the elderly and is just contributing to elder abuse and corporate fraud.


Dana 2010/08/15
This would have negative stars if I could.

I thought I cancelled my mothers Jitterbug 5 months agoI had sent an e-mail to their customer service asking how I can cancel the account and did not receive any reply) and they never sent a final bill (since I paid ahead, and had a credit balance, I never thought anything about it). Now I get a call on my phone saying I need to call them since some mail was returned. Turns out they were sending mail to the wrong address (magically I got mail from them before I tried to cancel the account).

They let the account go for 5 months, presumably sending them to the wrong address. Who does this? Any other company would have cut it off by the second billing cycle that was missed. When I returned the call they tell me that you can't cancel by e-mail and must call customer service to cancel. I asked why their customer service did not reply to my e-mail explaining this I was told that they don't reply to customers who do not have an e-mail address on file. Something that is not disclosed on the site.

I asked why they did not call me before 5 months and he said they tried to call the Jitterbug phone 3 months after I sent the first e-mail. Since that phone was sitting in a drawer not being used, because I thought it had been cancelled, that was a pretty futile thing to do.

I set this up for my 70 year old mother, I paid all the bills, and I was the contact on every other occasion. Yet they called my mother 3 months in and did not bother to call me till they finally cancelled the bill at 5 months past due at which point they somehow remember that I pay the bills and call me for payment.

When I called customer Service the first customer service rep was AWFUL. The First time I asked for his supervisor, instead of giving me to the supervisor, he replied why should he do that since he was answering all my questions (though not to my satisfaction).

When I finally got the supervisor, after explaining everything and being told about the customer service I told him how dissappointed I was at not having at least cut the bill in half (even though I think they should dismiss it all) he said he would not do that because he considered it all legitimate even though there was no usage on the phone, because a lot of people use the phone for emergencies only and have zero usage and I could understand that if I had the minimum coverage, but at one point there was large usage ($250 in the first month and we upped it to more minutes) how is that for emergencies only in this case?

If you are going to use it only for the pre pay it might be good but if you think you may need customer service at any time do not use them.

If you plan on skipping on the bill then use them as they won't cancel you for 5 months.


Jitterbug / Great Call Informative
JItterbug Rip Off - Cell phone service
Posted By: krasavka on 12/26/2009

Location: Carlsbad, CA

Jitterbug is ripping off elderly customers by billing them for calls never made and then threatening to turn them in to a collection agency if they don't pay their bill. They treat their employees like crap and then terminate them if one of them attemps to correct the "error" in a customer's bill.


Several years back I obtained the Jitterbug Service for my mother. She is now 93 and is not using the phone. I even set up the web site with password etc. Yesterday I called Customer service to cancel her service and was told only she can do that. I went on the web site and could not find any place to cancel the service. It is going to be difficult to get mom to say the right things on the phone. Since this company is dealing with primarily the elderly and, in turn, their caregivers they need to learn to accommodate the situations this will present. There should be the opportunity to cancel service on line if you have the account information or even through customer service if you have the account information, log in etc.


Jitterbug charges a $35 activation fee to initiate service in the light that there is a glaring absence of this charge in any of the literature or packaging on the Jitterbug Samsung phone packaging or mention of it prior to its purchase.

Customers should be alerted to the the charge before spending time and money purchasing the phone.

As it is, for those of us who are on a limited budget and fixed income, the glaring omission of any mention of a $35 charge for activating service with the purchase of the Jitterbug phone raises suspicions, and it makes me not want to do business with a company that indicates future business dealings may also be shady in the future.

The company mantra is, "The $35 activation charge is paid to Verizon, and we don't collect this fee, and we hope that the customer will pay the fee anyway despite no verbiage or indication of an up-front charge." Wow, now that's Chutzspa--hoping you'll succumb to their unethical practice anyway! This is indicative of a company that is not up-front and honest with their customers.

I hate hidden charges.

Jitterbug / Great Call, Inc. Informative
Jitterbug is an Embarrassment

Posted By: TOKER66 on 4/29/2010

Carlsbad , CA 92008
Phone: 7606026700

As an employee of Jitterbug since 2007 I need to say that Jitterbug is a a lousy company to work for and do business with. The company does NOT care about it's customers or employees. The Customer service Director, Abe Bui, is a real piece of work---this is a guy who had absolutely NO experience in the wireless industry prior to coming to Jitterbug.

he also has NO people skills whatsoever and walks around the call center all day scowling at and intimidating employees. When it comes to customers, Jitterbug really takes the cake. Customers are treated as if they are stupid because they are of a generation that finds electronics challenging.

There have been many instances of Jitterbug printing incorrect billing statements and when the customer calls to inquire, the customer service reps are FORBIDDEN to contact the billing department directly to provide a resolution for a customer--this in turn causes an unnecessary delay, which in turn causes the customers cell phone service to be interrupted...any way the Jitterbug Management team can screw a customer is OK with them...


(Note from bloggger. Yes, Abe Bui has the ugliest scowl you'll ever find on anybody here in southern California. No People Skills is an understandment). LMAO!!!


Jitterbug Complaint
Dishonest Sales People - Cell Phone
Posted By: Mad in NC on 6/21/20

View Company Response To This Review!

I returned the cell phone in April of this year. They are still charging my credit card which I never authorized for a cell phone I do not have. I get a song and dance every time I try to talk to a sales person. This company as per all the other complaints I have read as well from my own experience is stealing money from my account which is factual as I can prove from my credit card company. They should be run out of business and I intend to report them to Attorney General office here in NC.

Editor's note: It looks like the "take advantage of the elderly people by overcharging them and leaving elderly people without service" business model plan is still in action. There is a sucker born every minute.