Wednesday, February 08, 2006


The Daily T-Mobile sucks post: Cramming explained

I you read yesterday's post, I won't blame you if you didn't get all the way through it, I ended with a someone's experience off a Harley-Davidson messageboard.

t mobile truly sucks. now that sprint has combined with nextel, these suckers are tying to squeeze their customers. they have enabled international dialling on the phones and not let the customers know that well in advance , since its a policy change to extract money. u make a calling card call and it is dailled "incorrectly" and still the number gets through and all u can see on ur next bill is the heftier than ur paycheck!
way to go, t mobile!!

This is exactly what happened to us. We used an international calling card and were charged T-Mobile's international rates. This happened 10 times according to T-Mobile. I don't believe Inna made 10 mistakes when that is about the total number of times she called home. Of course, i won't know for sure until next month when I get the bill. A short aside: yesterday a T-Mobile customer care representative promised I could access these charges via their website after I begged them to help me. It involved jumping through some hoops, since it was late I opted to try this this morning. I just spoke with Ann 0252088 and was told that accessing my charges is impossible. Only if I agree to pay half of the amount will they let me see the billing statement before it is mailed out. Naturally I refused.

As I said yesterday, after looking through my service agreement and the terms and conditions of my service I found no mention of international service.

My contract is clear in that it says I will be getting weekends and nights free, mobile-to-mobile free (between the two of us), and nationwide calling. According to their "help" desk, with nationwide service comes international calls- for a fee, a really big fee. They said that customers used to have to call and activate this service but they stopped doing that at some point in the past. Also, I asked them specifically where it says on my contract or in the terms and conditions where I would get international calls and they said it was not on paper. "It was implied." And, "We don't have to put it in the contract."

Let me add that T-Mobile said that simply by using the international service I agreed to accept it. The FCC has a name for when telecom companies put unauthorized services on a customer's phone. It is called cramming.

Cramming also occurs when a local or long distance company or another type of service provider does not clearly or accurately describe all of the relevant charges to you when marketing the service. Although you did authorize the service, the charge is still considered “cramming” because you were misled.

T-Mobile seems to have this scam down. You use their phone to call overseas with a calling card and they charge you for an overseas call and accuse you of dialing direct and using their international calling function. T-Mobile told me that international calls used to be a feature the user had to turn on. I remember when I was planning a trip to Russia a couple of years ago I looked into having this service turned on but decided against it because the price was too high per call. My next step is to go to the T-Mobile store and tell them I know what they are doing is wrong and give them a last chance before I go the legal route. I am not optimistic.

I will fight this and I will keep you informed.


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