13
Mar
Tab5-Page5

Assuming you didn't need to actually touch a phone before buying it, Wirefly has long offered cheaper prices on new devices with US carriers. That may be in the past now – we've been getting reports that Wirefly (and parent company Simplexity) is shutting down and filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If true, that's the end of the line for Wirefly. [Update: We were able to get in touch with Wirefly to confirm the closing. A lawsuit is also being filed on behalf of former WireFly employees.]

 large

The first sign something was wrong came yesterday when a few customers were told by Wirefly's third-party device insurance provider that all Simplexity accounts had been canceled for non-payment. Wirefly affiliates are also getting the bad news. The website is still technically up, but it's throwing some odd errors and many pages are 404ing. Some reports on Twitter from current and former Simplexity employees (well, they might all be former employees now) also indicate the company is shutting down.

5hcjrTq 

A customer provided us with a screenshot of a conversation with the Wirefly Facebook account (embedded at the top) where they confirm the shut down. All pending charges will allegedly be cancelled and customers are free to place new orders elsewhere. Wirefly has not responded to inquiries about the alleged Chapter 7 filing yet, but it probably has bigger problems than press inquiries if it's all true. Chapter 7 is different than the more common Chapter 13 – this isn't debt reorganization, it's liquidation. Someone might buy the Wirefly name, but it won't be the same company.

[Facebook 1, 2; Wirefly – Thanks, Matt]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • yodatom10

    Not surprised you can add Wirefly to Amazon's kill list

    • Dominick White

      but they always had way better prices than amazon.

      • anonJR

        Funny thing about that (former employee here) the previous CEO (AZ, now with a direct competitor of ours) signed on partners like Bestbuy and Amazon (before they were known to do wireless) then later sold trade secrets to them on the back end, so those partners now equipped with the "secret sauce" had no reason to renew contracts. After AZ milked the cash cow that was once Wirefly, he got hired by our biggest competitor. We all saw it coming, but they paid very well and no one was actually working so it was hard for a lot of them to leave. Oh, your order was cancelled, and you got your money back? We were informed that we will NOT be getting paid on the 15th, no severance, or insurance/COBRA...

        • Dominick White

          Anyway can get back pay. Or are you all just screwed over?

          • Another former employee

            Chapter 7 is brutal. Complete liquidation and payroll becomes just another on a list of liabilities that won't be honored. The owner (Versa Private Equity) decided it wasn't worth trying to save. Sort of amazing given that this shut down half the wireless shopping on the internet in one fell swoop. Notice the cell phones with plans at WalMart, RadioShack, and others also disappeared or are going to error pages. Yikes. They must have been bleeding cash but still it's surprising one of those guys wouldn't have wanted to step in and buy the assets to keep it going. The market lost a valuable player and more importantly good people lost their jobs.

            For what it's worth, AZ did not bring on Amazon or BestBuy. Those were before his tenure. Amazon did in fact screw over these guys, going to school on them and screwing them over, ending in a legal battle like so many other Amazon partnerships.

          • Andrew Rios
          • jimmy

            But, lets agree that AZ was an ass...

          • anonJR

            A bigger ass was David Steinberg, he started the trend and AZ followed. FB tried to save it but it was too late...

          • Kaka

            Yes that mother fucker was an ass and he will fuck the current company that he works for as well and bright star will get into even deeper shit the more Andy the fuck face works there.

          • Another former employee

            I can agree with that. But mostly just not a leader.

  • mustbepbs

    Poor Bob is out of a job :(

    No more Schmack Downs!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Pretty sure Bob has been gone for years now.

      • mustbepbs

        Oh he has? I remember watching his Rezound vs RAZR Schmackdown when I was deciding between the two. Guy was a moron.

    • userofphones

      Bob here. I left Wirefly/Simplexity in April 2012, exactly two years ago. When I was there, 2010 was a good year, 2011 was not so good, and 2012 didn't start out any better as far as I knew (not that I was in the loop on such things). I liked many of my coworkers there, and the company was generally good to work for. They moved my management around in early 2012 and I wasn't happy about it, so I left. I really didn't need the money or stress.

      I'm sorry to hear that my former co-workers got dumped without warning, and that customers were paying for services they didn't receive... that's a bad way to do business. Overall, Simplexity/Wirefly was pretty good to me, and I value my time there. I thought I helped a few people on YouTube with my videos and comments.

      And yes... I was undoubtedly a moron at times.

      Bob Kovacs

      • mustbepbs

        Love you, Bob.

  • Shayna McCullough

    I bought a phone from there will I even be refunded my money?

    • Matt Sasges

      Yes, I was told all pending orders will be refunded

      • Shayna McCullough

        Thank you. Do you possibly know how long that will take?

        • Matt Sasges

          Not really sure on that. My charges have already been refunded. Typically I think it takes 3-5 business days.

          • Shayna McCullough

            Ok. Thank you.

  • Jesse Vitrone

    That's a shame, I always liked WireFly, I've ordered multiple phones from them in the past. I guess it's on to Amazon now...

  • cantdisclose

    Former employee here. Management had been telling us things were going well. We landed a major contract we were all working extra hours on. Suddenly Wednesday we were called into a meeting and told to be gone by noon. Not only no severance pay, but no pay for the last 3 weeks we worked. This is about as bad as it gets. I have no idea how they can do that to us. It seems like at least the venture capital company that owned Simplexity should have to honor the pay for the hours we've already worked. My family and I are devastated.

    • Forget_you

      wow that is bullshit. they need to pay you for the hours you worked. isn't there some law that they have to pay for hours worked? sorry about the job, but keep your head up. stay positive and good luck

      • cantdisclose

        Thanks. I believe once they actually file I may be able to put a claim in for the money I am owed, but that will be a long drawn out process and nothing is guaranteed. But my family needs my paycheck for this week. I don't know what we're going to do.

        • Mike Reid

          I've worked for a LOT of companies and several went bankrupt.

          It's pretty much the same story as you wrote every time. They deny there is trouble until the last minute. Then it's all over, and sometimes there are even locks on the doors when employees show up for work.

          Sad, but do not expect to get a single penny more at this point. Secured creditors like banks, and the bankruptcy trustees usually ensure that there is nothing left for employees. It's useless to go to the meetings, unless you just want to shout at them or see your former fellow employees.

          Labor laws about what they owe you usually mean nothing in a bankruptcy.

          If the company is sold, they may lie and tell you that you will have a new job with the new company. Don't believe it. Get your resume refreshed and get out there looking ASAP if your finances are tight.

    • Nicholas Ruiz

      Wow :'(

    • Andrew Beard

      Long story short they can't just hold back wages. The longer version is to sure you file as a creditor with the bankruptcy court. The company owes you money, the same as any other company that had a contract with the company. All the company's assets are going to be sold off and whatever they get is going to be paid out of registered creditors. The good news is that unpaid wages are usually given priority, so there's a good chance you'll get paid. The bad news is that the process can take a long time, and there's no guarantee you'll get everything you're owed if they were really far underwater. Seriously, though; make sure you file a claim with the bankruptcy court. Good luck

    • RA

      cantdisclose. I feel for you and your family. How can I help you? email me here helpwirefly@gmail.com

    • Brendan

      Isn't that technically illegal to not properly inform your employees of closing without x amount of time ahead?

    • anonJR

      Versa employs a lot of managing partners, those partners manage portfolios, comprised of many other companies. I compare it to owning stock that continues to lower in value, at some point you have to cut your losses. We were just a drop in a bucket, another write-off, and dead weight to versa. I was employed for 10+ years, it hurts but moving on is the best approach. Andrew Bead has some good advice "file as a creditor with the bankruptcy court. The company owes you money, the same as any other company that had a contract with the company. All the company's assets are going to be sold off and whatever they get is going to be paid out of registered creditors. The good news is that unpaid wages are usually given priority, so there's a good chance you'll get paid."

      • STM

        T-Mobile has many job openings available all over the US. Shoot me an email if you're looking, I'll do my best to get you connected to the right people in your area. stm121184@gmail.com

    • krisstpher wells

      Sorry to hear about that. Things can be tough after losing a job but, the alternative I can offer you would be to visit http://www.5Linx.net/l592021/opportunity

  • eirrom

    Businesses do not file Ch 7 or 13 Bankruptcies, since these are for people to utilize.
    Businesses file Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, often referred to as Chapter 11 reorganization.

  • mcnegro

    That site always seemed stupid. Everything they sold was tied to contracts with carriers. Contracts are bullshit and Americans are finally starting to wake up to that reality [see the explosive growth of prepaid].

    They should have focused on selling new and used phones outright rather than simply reselling the "subsidized" business model.

  • JOE WRIGHT

    If you paid via a credit or debit card and the funds have not yet been refunded, call your bank and dispute the charge. In most cases they will give you immediate credit. In some cases, they may need to wait up to 10 days or so to get your money back. I was in banking for 14 years and we disputed charges for clients all the time.

  • Jurk

    I bought a phone from them last year with a clause that I hold onto the phone without any contract changes or they'd charge me a $300 fee. That clause should be up in April but... would this event mean I can get out and break up with Verizon now?

    Pretty please?

    • Michael Maxwell

      Same question for me, Bueler, anyone?

  • Kecia

    I just want to say I'm sorry to all of you who lost your jobs. I got so frustrated trying to figure out what was going on with my wirefly order today. However, that is nothing compared to what you guys and your families must be feeling. I hope you all find something even better right around the corner.

  • Jordan Long

    i watched your videos religiously back in the day. I liked the old white dude.

  • Rodger madden

    no more waiting out the 181 days

    • Chris Koulermos

      Can someone actually confirm this?? I can't stand the Moto X anymore after 4 months and wanted to see if i can return it as a way to get around that penalty fee and go back to using my iPhone 5 which i already have in my possession...

  • http://www.xtremetechnews.com/author/chris-pagan Chris

    damn that sucks. even the link above for android phones is gone

  • PRM

    Does anyone know the status on refunds for recent purchases from Wirefly. I purchased a cell phone on March 10 and currently today (March 13) that payment is processing through my bank per Simplexity. Are they planning to refund clients there money back or am I just out of luck? If so, I hope it don't take forever...Thanks, any information is appreciated.

    • Kym Nichols

      If its still processing, call your bank and dispute the payment

  • http://batman-news.com Samantha Pudlewski

    Im still being billed for my device protection but just received the email that it was cancelled back in december. Unfortunately they are still taking $20 a month out for the device protection, how do I get that to stop

    • Kym Nichols

      Yep this is what I just found out to. Wirefly cancelled my protection service from Mobile Device Protection Services in December but Wirefly kept taking money out of my account for the service in January & February. I will be calling the Mobile Device Protection Services to ask them why they waited almost 3 months to tell that Wirefly me my protection was cancelled. Had I know I would have been able to dispute the charges from Wirefly when they took my money in January and February. Now I can't see that Im going to get any money back.

      • http://batman-news.com Samantha Pudlewski

        I tried calling they say they are closed

        • Kym Nichols

          Yes not only that but as soon as they said closed they hang up the call. They knowing stole money from us and probably millions of other people for the last 2 months.

      • Dana

        I had the same thing happen, but I wasn't notified until March AFTER they'd already deducted the payment! So my policy was cancelled 12/31/13 but I wasn't notified of this until 3 months later so they fraudulently took money from me for 3 extra months and it seems there is nothing I can do about it. No Calls to any of the companies are returned.

        • Michelle

          Me too Dana-and no way to cancel it in the future or contact anyone to cancel it. I guess I am just going to call my bank-but not sure what to do about phone insurance now...

          • R..

            Just call you bank and change you card #. Yes I know it's BS but it will stop them going forward.

      • Michelle

        I have called Mobile Device Protection and they only have a recorded Message to email them. Bad deal. I got my phone through Sams Club and the phone numbers I have for them are not valid now...But THEY were-the only way to stop any more payments from coming out of my account is to have a new Debit Card issued. What a pain in the butt. Bad deal for everyone, except those in UPPER Management who screwed their employees and customers over.

    • Jones

      The same thing has happened to me. I ended up filing a claim through my bank to get back my money and stop any further payments

    • Jones

      The same thing has happened to me. I ended up filing a claim through my bank to get back my money and stop any further payments

    • Karen Sloan

      If and when you find out, please email me! I've been trying for weeks. Please & Thank you! msdevyne25@sbcglobal.net

  • Susan Preece

    Is it just coinky dink that my phone stopped connecting to the network on Thursday? Can't get it to work and Sprint says it is dead. So Wirefly says click here with Mobile Device Protection Association. MDPA says Wirefly/Simplexity cancelled my service 12/31/2013, But I have confirmation emails and debits from my account saying I have protection and made payments for protection since July 2013 thru March 2014. I have already gone 2 days without a phone.....this stinks!!!

  • cantdisclose

    Just found out Simplexity filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. WTF is going on?

  • Sylvia

    They need to pay back the money they took of your credit cards for a phone you think you're getting now to find out they are closing, now that's bullshit.

  • Chris Koulermos

    Can someone confirm if I do not have to wait the 181 days to do anything because I can't stand the Moto X anymore after 4 months and wanted to see if i can return it as a way to get around that penalty fee and go back to using my iPhone 5 which i already have in my possession and was using before I "upgraded"....

  • http://poshhub.com/ Phone Source

    I was just getting ready to add some Wirefly banners on my website and I found out that Wirefly is no longer a member of the affiliate network. Fortunately, I work with other affiliate networks that sell smartphones for the major phone carriers.

  • disqus_3j1m8xuGeN

    As I read through these comments, I hate to know that I was so mad about my service being cancelled and not being able to talk directly to anyone at Simplexity or MPD, that I needed some answers, so GOOGLED it...and found the info about a shut down and so many out a job. I can't imagine. Devastation only beings describe for some, I'm sure.
    While I try to figure out which direction to take, as I have proof I am no longer thru MDP-you can only contact them by email, the Reputable Discount Store that I got my phone through-#;s don't work to call-is my device protected at all? When will they stop taking my $ from my account? They just took another Monthly Payment this morning-and how do I stop it?
    I get that it is only $30 that I am out-which is nothing compared to the amount of $ employees are out-but what happens in the meantime, if something happens to my device? I'm only 6 months into my contract....CUH-RAP....this so blows for everyone involved. Any direction would be greatly appreciated-

  • jake

    Wow....Confirmed!! I bought my phones through wirefly for years...This morning I broke my phone....after spending a few hours trying to contact wirefly, I called verizon. After 45 minutes on the phone with Verizon I found out the insurance was through Mobile Device Protection LLC and they gave me a website and 800 number. I filed a claim through the website...recieved an auto message email back. I tried calling the company...no answers, full mail boxes....turns out this company is in Boca, Fl... I'm in Fort Lauderdale 10 miles away. I drive up there andfind an office building...there name is not on the directiory....I eventuall walk into an UNLABELED DOOR...there are 4 people eating lunch. They tell me they are closing there doors because of non payment for months from wirefly. Meanwhile my accounts were debited on March 4th. WTF....calling attorneys right now

    • jake

      I saw piles of copies of checks, emty desk, phone wires.....place is packing up. Looked like a scene from the movie BOILER ROOM

  • Ed Ward

    Wirefly/Simplexity screwed me out of 2 phone lines I was returning to them 3 weeks ago, they were supposed to cancel my contract they created for AT&T but they shut down on the same day my contract was supposed to be cancelled.
    These crooks were using the Walmart.com Wireless store front and now Walmart claims no responsiblity in this mess. In the meantime, AT&T thinks I still have both of these phones which I returned like 3 weeks ago to these shady dicks to thier fulfillment center in Largo, MD. AT&T wants to charge me nearly $600 in ETF fees for something that Simplexity caused in the first place. In the meantime, I have no contractual phone service nor do I have any smartphones, I'm schlepping around using pre-paid flip phones for the last 3 weeks like it's 2002.
    What a clusterf@#CK. All I know is that I'm not paying a penny to anyone until this is sorted out. Shame on the numbnuts that work for Walmart for not even taking responsibility for dealing with a company that has a history of going bankrupt just 10 years earlier. I feel for all you others on here screwed by Simplexity as well! If a good lawyer wants to go after them for a class action, I'm all for it just on grounds of violating a return policy alone.
    Also, just looked into a legal document (pay site) that indicates Simplexity now wants to sell its assets and online store-front to Walmart.com for $10 million as part of their bankruptcy agreement. These guys are true assholes. I hope they rot in hell. Thanks for hearing me rant!

  • utilitybroker

    Energydereginfo.com

  • FB3

    Seems that Simplexity had been in discussions to sell themselves to Walmart for months. The deal was, file for bankruptcy protection so they don't have to pay all their creditors, then Walmart would come in and buy them at a fraction of their value and acquire all of their software assets without all of their debt.

    • Mr404error

      sounds like a plan ……...

  • Pissed Off Ex

    Where can I sign up for the class action suit? I was employed there and unemployment is giving me the run around about the money I earned that they won't pay me.

  • Richie

    So what do we do if we need a phone replaced