Buying a Phone with Affirm

 

Today I tried to purchase a new iPhone through Ting. My ancient mobile died a lackluster death this morning and I assumed that Ting would be like any other company and offer me a quick and easy range of options for replacement. I discovered that I would have to use Affrim's service to make monthly payments on that phone. Fair enough, I thought. Everything seems to be contracted out to other companies these days, so why not monthly financing for a phone? First, I filled out the order incorrectly and I had to contact Ting costumer support to cancel the first order because I could not retroactively add Affirm's monthly financing to my completed order. That's fair, my bad. So I went through the process of filling out all the info again for Ting and then Affirm to complete the purchase order. And here's where the real frustration began, I was prompted by Affirm's website to type in a confirmation code that would be sent to my phone via TEXT or a PHONECALL. A text or a call. To my phone. Which I don't have. Because Im trying to buy one. Essentially through Affirm. There was no option to exit the prompt. There was no option to select the code to be sent to my email. Just the same circle of prompts that lead no where.
 
I contacted Ting customer support for advice. The best they could supply was to add the phone number of a family member or a business for the code to be sent to. Im working remotely on a project where I don't have access to a phone, just my computer. If there was a way for me to get a code sent to my email, I couldn't readily find/access it. I even tried going back and altering my account but Affirm stated that my account was already associated with my current number. Great! Affirm has a poorly developed interface and it was frustrating enough that I decided that I would buy a phone through Amazon and pay the full price rather than try to navigate Affirm's website again. Its not the end of the world, but it was enough to disrupt my work day and to prompt me to do something that I have never done before; write an email and post in a forum complaining about a bungled retail/financial experience.
 
I hope for Ting's sake, a company I've come to like and rely upon for a better than average experience, that Affirm's interface is changed to offer other options to confirm purchase orders. I wouldn't consider purchasing a phone with Affirm as a partner otherwise.
 
I'd like to offer up a shout out to Ting's customer support team. They were great. They were friendly, helpful, and sympathetic to my issues. I hope that my general frustration and slight snarkiness is received as something aimed at a shortcoming of the companies involved and not the support staff.
 
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Comments

2 comments
  • I am sorry you had so much trouble with replacing your phone, and during the worst of times, which of course figures (if you have the fortune I have-Murphy's law is very well known by me).  Thank you for sharing your experience with Affirm, though I would never willingly make payments on a phone, this will undoubtedly prompt Ting to choose a better partner for financing.

     

    If I may make a suggestion, I always have a backup phone on line now, and it serves me very well.  It also only costs an additional $6, which is inconsequential when considering the trouble you have been having.  I recommend purchasing an el cheapo and keep that baby subscribed and handy, especially when you are traveling.  This just may keep you from having the same experience you are currently suffering.

     

    Also, +1000 for not blaming Ting.  This is by far the best cellular company, and even though I have terrible service where I live, I am going NOWHERE unless I move somewhere where service absolutely does not work at all.  I do hope that we go with a much more user-friendly financing company, and soon so others do not have to suffer what you are.  Hope everything pans out for you!

  • Thanks fo the kind words, Shaun. It's not unheard of that Affirm would absolutely require some method of contact that required verification of a US or US-adjacent presence to protect themselves from overseas fraud. 

    That said, in future a Google Voice number should suffice for subsequent queries. But if Bruce is now a Ting customer, there should be a phone number that can be used for future requests like that.

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