Law enforcement sirens

Trouble At Q Link

On Wednesday, investigators from multiple federal agencies raided the office of Q Link Wireless and Hello Mobile. While I’m not sure what’s going on, I’m suspicious investigators are looking into possible misuse of the government’s Lifeline program.

The program offers telecom providers subsidies to help low-income consumers pay for phone or internet service. Fraud isn’t anything new for Lifeline. The FCC recently caught Sprint misusing the program. Sprint’s misuse ultimately lead to a $200 million fine.1

CBS4 covered the raid and shared this quote from Ivan Ramirez, a member of one of the agencies involved in the investigation:

We are looking into how they provide their services…If they are to provide a service that is backed by the federal government there are certain stipulations and guidelines that must be met. If they’re not meeting those guidelines or there are some situations where anomalies pop up somewhere we’re going to come in and look.

The websites for Q Link and Hello Mobile were down when I tried to access them on Wednesday, but both websites are back online now. This latest incident only adds to my reservations about both carriers. Just a few weeks ago, I was discussing Hello Mobile and shared my two cents about the company:

I’ve just been so floored by its [Hello Mobile’s] unprofessionalism…seen an outrageous number of customer support horror stories relative to the company’s size…Hello Mobile responded horribly to what was already a pretty unimpressive security failing…the company (or someone it hired) seems to have left spam comments on my site.

A Reddit comment gives a feel for the frequency of the customer support fiascos. Ars Technica covered the security issue. One of my blog posts discusses the spam comments.


Hat tip to Joe Paonessa of BestMVNO who alerted me about this story.

Footnotes

  1. Since Sprint was acquired by T-Mobile, it was ultimately T-Mobile that paid a $200 million fine following a settlement with the FCC.

23 thoughts to “Trouble At Q Link”

  1. I was promised a tablet and i never got one even though i have emailed them many many times they never responded back was supposed to have gotten it in early june and still waiting. They keep sending text messages asking if i opted in for a free tablet even though i have before and was confirmed that my enrollment is confirmed but guess thats something i will never see.

    1. I had the same problem Nancy. The emails about opting in for it came just as you said. I gave them the same answer as you did, and nothing. I sent another email to them about the tablet and waited for their email about opting in. I gave them the same answer, except this time I included my enrollment id number, etc. I received the tablet within a week. Try this and I hope you have success.

    2. Trust me you aren’t missing ANYTHING. The scepter 8, for which QLink sells for $100, but for EBB it is “valued” at $110 so they can collect from both the government and clients, isn’t worth the $39.95 it sells for on Ebay. The processor is so slow, it literally takes 3-5 minutes to change to another app

      1. The tablet is absolutely garbage. It’s like Qlink bought a ton of factory rejects from China, rebranded them to their name, and overcharging the Govt for these sh*t tablets. No wonder they got raided by the feds last June.

      2. Totally agree. I gave it to my Great Grandson to play games on. It kept timing out and freezing up on him. He got a new tablet for Christmas.

      3. I agree 100%. It tried to load default apps when setting up- I tried to not have loaded but still it wants to “set up” with these apps. Then it ran out of space loading the defaults. It took 3 hours to delete 2 of these apps. It’s not even functional.

    3. Hello. How are you? My name is Finitria D Stinson-Evans. I order a new phone with Q link wireless and never got the phone. And Q link doesn’t want to refund my money. So I don’t have a phone or my monies. I ask for the Corporate number, Quote we dont have a Corporate number.

      1. Finitriia,
        Contact the better business Bureau and Qlink will be getting back to you promptly. Just file a complaint online at bbb.org.

      2. the only number that is avaible for qlink is 855-754-6543 ok but the so call company is stated in florida so no matter how many times you call that number to speak with somebody it is always somebody from a diffrent country, but they will tell you that their from florida but they are not as well they do not have a American customer service human to speak with, & you have to give them your ss# to access your account?? not your phone number or your acct id, ect only your ss#.. they state this is the only way to access ur acct if having issues, are they kidding me.?? what i do not understand what idiot out their would give their ss# to anybody in a diffrent country??? that to me? hummmm sounds very fishy to me.. oh they can not help you unless you give them your ss#.. well than i do not need your service..

    4. Do what I did, report this to the US Postal Inspector an DOJ.
      QLink is abusing their free ride of government money.
      This is exactly what they USPI and DOJ need to hear about.

    5. I’ve had nothing but problems with them since using their service. I applied for their byop sim card. Worked great! Then a week later, they turn it off saying I am using another life line program. Lost my number! I had ported it over from Assurance, so that should have canceled Assurance, apparently not. Then I re-sign up, by porting over my old Verizon number that was still active. So far it was good for a couple of weeks. Then I sign on to my account online and it tells me I need to click this link to keep my services active, or it’s canceling on 03/31/22! I call, they say it’s a standard message everyone is getting because they are switching to 5G. They ordered me a new sim and canceled my old one so I’ve been without service for days! I’m getting very tired of their mistakes. Then they are blaming me for ordering the new card? I’m like I never ordered it! I never got a confirmation Email saying I ordered anything! So get this, then because I have to have a phone, I stick my old sim card in from them that I had ported to them, that they turned off and it still works? Guess I can use this until I get my new card, but I am definitely calling to get my account number and pin, so I can be rid of this! Horrible service. Great when they keep you turned on, all works super good. But they turn you off every week for their mistakes.

  2. They switched my phone 📱 for the new offer in APRIL have had no phone service since! Over 200 emails to them told me 20 times that my phone is processing. Got tablet but still no phone. I HAVE HAD TO USE MY NEIGHBOR phone. Disabled on SS fixed income. I’m don’t know what to do went and bought a new phone through them Doesn’t WORK K!!!! MESSAGE d them on FB over 6 months just got excuses asked for refunded money for the phone .. still waiting.. reported to FCC last week Will see what happens 😭😭🙏😡😡😡😫😩

    1. keep in mind their are other goverment wireless service you can go through. qlink is a very fishy company. & it would be giving your personal info to how many 3rd party. DO NOT TRUST THEM..

  3. The tablet finally showed up after many many complaints and a merry-go-round on the phone to support. Also the website said and still says after doing this many times to update my address and still nothing. Then many months later I received an empty box ìn the mail it had some big bubble packaging , an advertisement for Emergency broadband network that has 2 barcodes one saying Multi Kit Sim Tablet – Active and the other one says Upc Barcode and one last tiny slip of paper that says Wireless fulfillment Qlink Wireless Connecting America Multi Kit Compatible/Active X——QSJ and finally a date it said it was ordered in June 2021.

  4. I have a question for a lot of people who signed up or qlink cell phones and being told by someone in the Florida q link life line. Has anyone who has a bought the phone with q link being told by the operator that they can’t find their money if so please let me know

  5. I also ordered a phone in October and it never came in. I called qlink who ordered the phone threw Amazon and Amazon shipped it with ups. But ups didn’t come to my house they see that they couldn’t verify dropping my phone off and needed qlink to send them the info to reimburst my money to me but qlink still hasn’t sent them anything and they can’t tell me nothing.

  6. And herein lies a major problem when government intervenes in business.
    And gives away free money.
    The government is NOT any better nor more efficient than many businesses.
    The blind leading the blind.
    Government Bureaucrats are often those looking for the easiest work, and do as little as humanly possible.
    Companies can easily abuse that, as once they become government registrants Bureaucrats are highly unlikely to continue to review and/or scrutinize the operations of those businesses.
    It’s just too much work.

    We are amidst an disastrous environment with many companies, corporations and industries failing.
    And the government agencies tasked with oversight of those businesses, corporations and industries failing even more.
    It’s a good time to be a company that contracts with the government.
    Poor quality work for large profit.

  7. PPL DO NOT USE QLINK, GOVERMENT OR NOT QLINK IS OPERATED IN OTHER COUNTRYS.. EVEN THOUGH THEY HVE A BUILDING IN FLORIDA? TATS ONLY TO GET GOVERMENT FUNDED. ANY COMPANY THAT ONLY HAS OUT OF COUNTRY CUSTOMER SERVICE TO SO CALL HELP YOU AND NO MATTER WHAT TO ACCESS ANY THING TO YOUR ACCT YOU HAVE TO GIVE THEM YOUR SS# ?? NOT YOUR ID NUMBER NOT YOUR PHONE # NOT YOUR NAME. ONLY YOUR SS# ??WELL WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD GIVE ANYBODY IN ANOTHER COUNTRY THEIR SS# WELL THAT TELLS ME THAT COMPANY IS DEFF NOT SAFE.

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