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An open letter to Assurance Wireless regarding the UMX U683CL model phone

November 15, 2019

[I just sent this message to customer service, but decided that it should be made public.]

This model phone is going to get people killed.

This phone’s favorite message is “not responding,” but more often than that, it’s a blank screen–usually black, sometimes white, sometimes the background graphic. In an emergency, I’d be dead, possibly literally depending upon the emergency.

In a different homeless shelter, I’d be dead. It’s lucky for you that, at my current shelter, I have only one roommate and that he leaves for work at 5:30 AM, an hour before my alarm goes off. It’s not unusual for the phone to be so slow that it will not allow me to access the snooze and dismiss buttons, or there is a major delay between when I hit the buttons and this slow phone actually cuts off the sound.

This morning, all that showed was the background. After the alarm had been going off for several minutes with the screen showing me nothing more than the background, I held down the power button and hit restart. The alarm clock app finally showed after the phone had already begun the restart process.

The phone crashes so often, even when I’ve just pulled it out of my pocket after not having used it for several hours, that restarting it often isn’t good enough. In order to get the phone working again, I have to remove the battery and let it sit several minutes with the battery out, a method a friend taught me. Even this is a problem because the power and volume buttons are not attached to the case, so I have to be mindful of their potential to fall out and get lost. Again, imagine if this were an emergency.

These issues seem to be endemic to the model phone I have, so there doesn’t seem much point in asking for a replacement, since this was a warranty replacement for a phone that was not even the same make, let alone model.

The one positive thing I can say is that when SMS Backup & Restore had put all my previous apps on the phone, I was able to add the apps for my bank and church, as well as a meditation app my church recommended, all of which got me asled to delete apps by my previous phone when attempting to download them.

These phones are an indirect safety hazard and ought to be recalled and replaced altogether with better models. With what the government is paying you to provide these, there is simply no excuse.


Scott Andrew Hutchins

  1. Since the restart of the phone, writing this message, and posting it on my blog, I went and looked at my phone. It was doing nothing but displaying the startup logo. it then turned itself off, so I had to turn it on again.

  2. Sunday morning, my phone refused to turn off the alarm for over two minutes of hitting “snooze” over and over again rapidly in succession, clearly well over 100 presses. My roommate got annoyed, and I was so frustrated that my “I”m trying to!” was loud and even more disturbing to him, though I quickly apologized I like to keep the snoozes going on Sunday mornings, or any morning I’m trying to get somewhere (9:30 for church–very rarely make it to the pre-service class on time) until I’ve gone to the shower because sometimes I will fall back asleep, so I didn’t want to turn the phone off, but I was just about to when the appropriate screen finally came up (I was previously hitting the snooze button on a drop-down alert).The further snoozes gave more no more than the usual trouble of having to put in my PIN first. My previous phone didn’t require me to put in my PIN to hit “snooze” or “dismiss” because apparently whoever programmed it realized that that could cause a problem.

    I’m not banned from Facebook, so I can look but not respond, and I saw this:

    Scott Hutchins
    November 11 at 8:00 AM ·
    My Assurance Wireless phone has been freezing so much since I got this replacement that I have to take the battery out multiple times a day, which is annoying because the switch falls out.
    2Mwidali Georgewilliam and 1 other
    1 Comment
    Angelia Walker
    Angelia Walker I’m pretty much having the same problem …. Can’t get help from ANYONE!
    Delete or hide this
    · Reply · 17h

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the FCC under Trump is too corrupt to care given DeVos et al.

    • Richard Hickman permalink

      I feel you man. This phone blows horse C**k. I’m having the very same issues. I was talking with my daughter on the phone when it just shut down for no reason, I had just taken it off charge when she called. I’m in the process of trying to get them to send me a better model. I’ve been dealing with Assurance prior to them even having android support(long time). Each different model of phone the give me works amazing for a month, then steadily declines until it’s unusable!

      • I got a new one from them. It’s working OK, but I think it’s declining already. The camera won’t work anymore, telling me it needs an SD card. That’s never been an issue before.

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  1. Assurance Wireless Rips Off the Government to Make a Profit from Shitting on the Poor | Scott Andrew Hutchins

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