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Wirefly Abruptly Closes Up Shop, Shady Penny Phone Deals and All

wirefly logo

Wirefly (and their parent company Simplexity) appears to have closed up shop within the last 24 hours. We received word last night from a reader who had recently purchased a DROID MAXX, yet had not received his device and could also not check the status on it. He took to their Facebook page, since their entire website had been taken down, and found comments from affiliates and other customers who were showing concern as well. A couple of replies from Wirefly to his inquiry about his order mention that the company has filed for bankruptcy and will be issuing a refund. 

For those new to Wirefly, just know that they were a large online retailer of wireless phones that often sold them for rock bottom prices. I can’t say that we would ever recommend buying from them, but they are were what they are were. If you needed a cheap phone, were willing to read the fine print on their website, and adhere to their strict shady set of rules, then they were an option.

Here is the quick conversation our reader had with them:

wirefly simplexity

Their website is offline, as I mentioned above. All of their individual site pages are returning 404s and their contact phone numbers only say that they are currently closed when called. Of course, it’s now almost noon on a Thursday on the east coast, so you would think that a company who likely fills thousands of orders a day would be open.

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 8.40.56 AM

A quick search of “Simplexity” on Twitter and Google+ returns results from recruiters and employees who are all apparently in mourning today. Mentions of the company closing down are there, even though nothing official has been announced. It sounds as if this came as a shock to all involved.

One employee had this to say:

Good morning, Simplexity Friends. Yesterday we suffered a shock and – let’s be clear – an injustice. Today we have to make our way in the world where that happened. So let’s talk about how we will do that.

Everybody says we need to treat job-hunting like a job. But what does that mean? Put hours per day into it, sure, but how? Everybody who’s ever worked knows that it’s possible to put hours per day into something productively, and hours per day into something unproductively.

If you recently placed an order, I wish you luck in receiving a refund. It could be a rocky road. Hopefully, you only paid a penny.

We have reached out to Simplexity for comment. Who knows if we’ll hear back.

Via:  Facebook [2] | Google+ | Twitter
Cheers Matt!
  • SomethingProfound

    I used to use them, and I’d never say they had “shady” rules. I liked them. They had a great easy to use website, claerly stated the rules (same common rules any wireless carrier had) They were no more shady than any other company out there with contract rules…often times less rules and less stupid fees than the big names, ahem Verizon. Many times, as long as you started a new service contract, with the carrier of your choice, the phones were free or maybe only $10-50. Twice I even received $50 rebates on a free phone, meaning I made $50 after I received the rebate! I’m sure many others out there will attest to this. I can’t imagine this is what led to their downfall, since it wouldn’t have taken 8 years. I did this back in the Nextel 2-way radio days, before smartphones were the common item. Maybe they gambled on sales of more new devices with sticker prices up in the clouds and it didn’t pan out, who knows. I imagine it’s corporate greed or mismanagement to some degree, they had quite the online presence. Sad to hear of so many employees in the “tech” field losing their positions, when it seems this is one of the only secure fields nowadays.

  • Lois sanders

    I always bought my cell phones and service through wirefly. I bought all of my childrens phones through wirefly. Never for over approximately 7 years had a problem with wirefly. Excellent company. Hope they re-open.

  • socy

    purchased equipment protection, need to file a claim. who do I contact?

    • SomethingProfound

      Uggh, scratches head. Warranties should be held with an actual insurance company, not the retailer itself. Research to see who’s actual name is heading your protection policy.

  • ejdaking

    I bought nearly all of my phones through them and it was always very open and on the up and up. Weird.

  • Steve

    When you give phones away for free, the customer really has no value in the product. Free phones deact, this is probably why they went bankrupt. I’ve been in the cellular industry awhile and I saw this coming. Win for retail stores :)

    • SomethingProfound

      You’re a retailer obviously, or employed by one. Your comment is no more valuable here than a verizon employee saying “yay we can charge more now”.

  • Sharon Walters

    So how do I get them to stop debiting my account for a now out of business mobile device protection I was paying monthy for? All numbers disconnected and I got an email saying they were going to debit again on the 27th of March!! I hope that was just an automatic email reminder but I can’t seem to find who to get them to stop future debits let alone refund me the past 2 months payments when the letter I got via email the other day said my service ended 12/31/13!! But they kept taking out their monthly $5.99 in Jan and Feb. Anybody have information on this situation? I can’t be the only one on their mobile device protection auto plan.,

    • http://twitter.com/Vanakatherock Vanakatherock

      If they don’t stop debiting your account, you’ll likely have to cancel your card and get a new one.

    • Punkins6

      Yes, have the same issue……. You have to go to your bank and PRAY they are willing to reimburse you……. What you have to do is also file a claim on-line with the BBB and state your case for the protection plan company…… File a claim with your bank re: fraudulent debit card charges against the company….. They will stop ALL further transactions and need be the bank will give you another card…. GOOD LUCK to you also…….

    • 24 36 58

      I always found it very easy to stop an “automatic pull” on my bank account… its really not that difficult to call the bank.. one time, my rep did have me cancel my debit card and order a new one, but that was because the amount of the debit was very high so we wanted to be sure….

    • SomethingProfound

      Your equipment protection is likely not through Wirefly directly, but an insurance company wirefly contracted to write protection policies. Likely your device is still protected if you’re still paying these fees to this other company. You may need to do a little research to see if that’s the case, or who this company might be (unless you have the paperwork, it should say). I could be wrong but I have a suspicion you’ll be ok.

  • Abby

    I have ordered from Wirefly for years! I have never had an issues with them. I always had my phone within two days, and all I had to do was open the box and turn the phone on. In fact the last three phones I have had I bought through them. I never had to follow rules etc… So I personally hate to see this has happened.

    • 24 36 58

      I used wirefly several times in the past and never had an issue with either the phones, service, contract or insurance…. it is sad to hear theyre gone

    • SomethingProfound

      Same here. They were a reputable company. This article makes it sound like they were some shady small company that got their uppens. Not true.

  • Jason Brown

    only bought 1 phone them but i had no issues other then them trying to hard sell random accessories. sad to see them go.

  • Noah Davila

    not to go off topic but what messaging app is that?

  • http://batman-news.com John M.

    I used them on two occasions and got great deals on a Droid 4 and RAZR MAXX that are still being used today. There was nothing shady with my two tranactions. I was about to order a phone for my son at the end of the month…oh well. I wish all the employess best of luck.

  • stephen

    I just recently ordered a Galaxy & haven’t received it yet. I wonder will I get a refund.

  • master94

    I ordered a phone from them back in the day. Had zero trouble with it. Sad to see them go. Never could understand how the made money with the prices they charged. I guess the answer is they didnt.

    • Jamison

      They were paid by the carrier for the activation of a 2 year contract. This payment varied based on the type of phone you activated. Prices of their phones on Wirefly were their cost minus the carrier activation kickback, thus sometimes free. This is why they had to have strict terms about changing your policy with the carrier after your purchase from them; sometime even a minor change in plan would give the carrier a clawback right. They shut down because the industry is moving away from the subsidized phone model.

  • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

    I bought my Samsung Epic 4G Touch from them with 0 difficulties, and no shadiness. Now I buy only off-contract phones, but still, I had no complaints about them.

  • onedayatatime

    As a former Wirefly employee. Yesterday was brutal and shocking. Customers should work their concerns through versa capital partners in Philadelphia.

  • M3D1T8R

    Well shoot, that’s too bad. Less competition. And bad for the employees obviously. I never bought from them but always shopped around and checked out their deals when considering a new phone. They didn’t seem shady as far as I could tell, you just had to be sure to abide by the 6mo or whatever agreement, just like Amazon Wireless.

  • Chris

    I have heard of Wirefly but never bought from them. Since the site is down, can someone enlighten me on the “shady” rules that they had?

  • Jeremiah Jackson

    Two years ago when the Incredible 2 was well still incredible I used Wirefly to pickup for free when Verizon and other places had it at $100-200. Never planned on switching phones so it was east to survive the contract agreements for well over six months. Like others have said Amazon does the same thing.

  • jamaall

    I could see why they closed. Trying to order my Droid MAXX when it came out was a terrible experience.

  • Booyabobby

    Bankruptcy? Not surprised.

  • James Hill

    Anyone else want to click the Like button or is it just me?

  • Hilarious

    I’m not sure if they were shady or not. Many of these affiliates that form, even with storefronts have their own set of terms and conditions you have to abide by. For example, there is a AT&T affiliate or sub-dealer, whatever you want to call it in our area that if you downgrade your plan within 6 months of the contract sign date you have to pay a fee. I think it deals back to commissions for the rep that sold you the phone. Don’t know how that works.

    For the most part whenever I’ve shopped cell phones from Verizon ( who I have) I’ve always gone to a corporate owned store. When buying outright like I did for my Note 3, I actually got it around $100 cheaper from Verizon than buying it online from from a sub-affiliate.

  • Kevin

    I just got an email ad from Wirefly an hour ago. It was promoting apps and link to this still up and running blogs.wirefly.com page http://blog.wirefly.com/app-reviews/bubble-blast-st-patricks-day-edition

  • nobody72

    If the rules are spelled out why is it shady ? I never used them but i did like their reviews and I have used amazon which also has strict rules. If we want to get into shady what about the strict terms for a verizon contract ? Anyways i find the reporting very bias and a disservice with this level of bias. Now if they actually were stricter than the strict rules they put in black and white or did other ‘shady’ practices such as not abide by the terms, bait and switch or had non-printed terms by all means please report such !
    -
    As to the employees – it sucks and good luck finding a new job.

    • trixnkix637

      What exactly is shady about a Verizon contract?

      • michael arazan

        How about still paying subsidies on your monthly bill even though your contract is up.

        My contract ends in 2 weeks, again, and I will be looking to see if there is a reduction to my bill, but there wasn’t before After my D1 before I bought the GNex, and I doubt there will be a reduction this time as well.

  • hkklife

    Subsidies, affiliates, contracts, authorized resellers et all need to die, along with tiered data. This is 2014, not 2004.

    • InquisitiveBear

      What do you mean?

  • TheRobotCow

    This is why it’s worth paying for Verizon. Never have to deal with crap like this

    • trixnkix637

      Indeed, we’ll never have to worry about VZW going belly up with no communication overnight.

      • Punkins6

        I don’t know where you live but in Riverside County alone several stores……. Also KNOW AS VERIZON STORES are closing, I had to take back ALL of my cable equipment because they were to HIGH and the fees every 3-6 months got even HIGHER…. There is always a fine LINE OF BS with alot of these companies. I had to give ref for employment to the ladies in the office because they HAVE NO JOBS and VERIZON is NOT LOCAL for the region they are willing to have ALL of the UNEMPLOYED … ( sometime in the next couple of weeks) The new location would be way up NORTH….. If they are not able to relocate there Verizon is only giving a 6 MONTHS SEVERANCE package……..

    • http://www.chasehammer.com/ Chase Hammer J

      Yep no need to worry about bankruptcy when they continuously rip people off with their increasing plan costs and plan changes to limit your use without giving them more money.

  • Tim242

    Amazon is no different. Their rules and restrictions are just as shady.

    • TSY87

      except amazon is a large company with exceptional customer support. but yeah, buying phones on amazon always never seemed “right” to me for some reason! haha

  • MrBouche

    One of the places I checked out before getting my latest phone. Happy they didn’t have a deal that appealed to me. Sorry for those of you stuck in this mess.

  • Tony Byatt

    Glad I dodged them a while back and went to Amazon…

    • Tim242

      Amazon has the same shady rules.

      • Kevin

        What exactly are the “shady rules” ?

        • middlehead

          I never looked into Wirefly particularly, but I’d assume most people are referring to the extra ETF they tacked on to your contract. If you backed out before a certain date you’d not only have your carrier ETF but another from them, because they only got paid by the carriers if you made it to a certain term.

          • http://www.mecha-digital.com/ Jason@MechaDigital

            I got a phone for my wife on there a while back – $0.01 for a Incredible 2 that was ~$200 on contract from VZW at the time. The “shady” ETF was for 6 months IIRC, and was never an issue, she kept the phone for almost 3 years.

        • Tim242

          An extra ETF, no switching equipment. If you do, they hit you with an ETF.

          • pappy53

            I have switched equipment 3 times with them, and never a problem or fee.

          • Tim242

            Their terms say you can’t within 180 days of activation.

  • TSON1

    Does this mean I can finally switch to T-Mobile? Jesus, those terms had me stuck for quite a while

    • Hilarious

      Depends. If you are out of contract with your carrier now. Then yes. Otherwise you are still obligated to the T&C’s of your carriers agreement.

      Usually companies like wirefly, letstalk.com have had their own set of rules along the way. Like for example you have to stay on a certain plan for a certain amount of months, can’t downgrade it or they charge you another fee.

  • Ben Garner

    I’ve bought 3 phones from them over the years with no problems. Bummer that they’re gone.

    • Mz. Deb.

      I have bought several phones from them. I have never had any problems sometimes the phones would arrive sooner than expected. I never experience anything shady. I hate to see them close, Praying that the former employees will find new employment.

      • Jennifer Barker

        I’m praying with you for the same thing :) you are very sweet. :)

    • jeandeux

      They were my go-to company. I’ve been with Sprint and Wirefly always had the same damn phone cheaper. Too bad they are gone.

  • wtfsss

    I wonder what this “injustice” could be that it shut down an entire company instantly?

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Probably surprised all employees with a memo yesterday afternoon that read “We are filing for bankruptcy, you are all out of jobs tomorrow, and you will probably not receive your next paycheck.” I don’t know actually, but I’d imagine half of that is right.

      • Ex Simplexity Employee

        You’re about 90% right.

  • Ryan

    But on a positive note. If you ordered a phone you do not have to follow their rules anymore lol.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Hey, this is true!

    • Craig P

      Are their rules different than when you buy from Amazon mobile?

  • Miguel

    Wow just like that, they basically screwed all of their customers without noticed, no wonder why they went out of business.

    • http://www.mecha-digital.com/ Jason@MechaDigital

      Or did them a huge favor if indeed their ETF’s are null.

  • grayson360

    Yeaaa no. Paying a price premium for the security of being to return and warranties is worth it.

  • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

    How are you not reporting on T-Mobile’s announcement of upgrading 2G areas to LTE in 50% of their 2G areas by the end of 2014, and the majority by 2015? This is sad news though :(

    • grayson360

      Maybe he hasn’t gotten there yet? Some days this site posts a ton. Other days, very little. They don’t have the biggest work crew but the people they do have, rock. Plus it’s still the morning. Slow down and drink some hot tea :P

      • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

        Haha I know, but you’d think anything regarding T-Mobile and upgrading 2G to LTE would be huge news, all other Android blogs have already posted on it.

        • grayson360

          Well this is true. Especially since that is the first step to VoLTE. Maybe for once we’ll all be able to have devices of our choosing that support all networks and we just pick who we want dependent on service in a given area. Currently I’ve got Verizon and I’ve been able to keep my unlimited data, which is the only reason I’m here….well and my dad pays for it haha. Sprint needs to step it up though. More competition is good competition.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      We’re a west coast site, meaning we get up at west coast hours. :P

      The T-Mo press release was waiting for us as we awoke this morning and will be up in oh, 7 mins.

      • Ryan

        Boom!

      • T4rd

        Unacceptable! We expect you to be awake and posting news 24/7! =p

        • Milind Shah

          Lol us non US readers would love this to be true xDD

      • The Narrator

        Atleast you are committed. Its been a week and we don’t even know where the plane is lol

        • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

          Seriously…wtf? It’s a giant plane…it’s 2014…w.t.f.

          • The Narrator

            It went north, no south! , no it flew 5 hours after losing contact, it was hijacked, we found debri just kidding we accidentally released it!

            Id hate to be working with them lol.

          • michael arazan

            Now there are tons of reports saying UFO’s abducted the whole Plane

          • michael arazan

            Not to mention the 10,000 satellites in space that could be used, at least 200 of them have to be used for pictures and spying, China “Accidentally Leaked” a satellite image showing debris off the coast of Vietnam

      • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

        Wait you’re a person? I thought you guys were all drones! :P

        • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

          DL bot incoming. :P

      • AnotherAndroidKid

        But don’t you have a new young alarm clock? Sleeping in, unacceptable. :-D

      • Justin Kos

        It sucks I need my fix in the AM sometimes

    • EffAnEx

      If it was news concerning the Moto X you would have heard about it on DL in the blink of an eye…