Tuesday, February 07, 2006
T-Mobile Stinks, T-errible, Ripoff, Sucks, Bad customer service, Holocaust deniers
John, are you still happy with Vonage? I just realized the necessity of having a landline. :-(
Update: Nevermind about the email addresses, I figured out how to download them from Earthlink. I do need to know what cell phone service is good in Chicago and I would like to know your opinion about my situation.
I set up a calling card for Inna to call Russia and Kazakhstan. T-Mobile says she was dialing Russia directly and they charge $1.64 per minute. They say we owe them over $900.00 and they suspended my service. At this point I am ready to run out and get a new cellphone provider but I really don't want to pay T-Mobile anything. (Also, I now appreciate the system they had in Russia. You had to buy cards at kiosks and add the to our phone in order to use the service. If you ran out of money you could not use the phone. No surprise $900 phone bills.) I did not even know we could call overseas using the cellphone.
I have to figure out how I can dispute this charge. I know that I will not be using T-Mobile again.
I got ahold of my service agreement and read it and I read the terms and conditions of the contract which is on the T-Mobile website. Look at the bottom of the page if you are feeling masochistic and want to read them. 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." That is my loophole. There are two possibilities. She either dialed the right 800 number and the phone picked up on it and started billing international or Inna absentmindedly dialed direct on 10 different occasions. The first scenario has us paying for the calls twice. I think her total number of calls, some of which I dialed myself, to Russia and Kazakhstan were 10 so the first scenario is likely. I won't know for sure until one month from know because they are refusing to send me the bill because my account is inactive. Nice catch 22.
So tomorrow I send a nice letter to their customer service dept., legal dept., and an T-Mobile executive's office saying my contract never specified I wanted international calls and that it is clear from the billing that we were trying to use a calling card to call overseas. If they refuse to budge then I file a small claims suit which will keep my credit record clean as long as the suit is not settled and I find another mobile phone company.
T-Mobile did point out to me that I was lucky that they told me about these charges before they got larger. Yup, I feel soooo lucky. Also, I changed the title of this post to make it easier for those thinking of using T-Mobile to find.
More dissatisfied T-Mobile customers:
T-Mobile is T-errible.
T-Mobile: Ripoff Report.
Another catch 22 leading to lost in phone tree land.
T-Mobile treats its customers like dirt.
2. In December 2005 I called T-Mobile with a question about my bill. I was upset, the rep corrected me,I realized my mistake and accepted it. When asked about the name on the account I mentioned that my husband was dead. The rep was annoyed to have to deal with me and we hung up. One hour later I tried to use my phone and it was CANCELLED. When I call T-Mobile, I was told flatly "That's our policy. When someone dies, we cancel the account." Not a hint from the rep I spoke to! I was livid. I spoke to supervisor "Shane" who convinced me to remain w/ T-Mobile, he would activate my account right away, no activation charge. It took ONE WEEK to activate my phone, which is my life-line to elderly parents and teenagers. [Nice...Emphasis added.]
Gizmodo, the giant blog of everything gadgety complains about T-Mobiles customer service. If this guy can't get good service what chance do I have?
So I'm heartbroken. I've just spent a week using the T-Mobile Sidekick II, and I think it's probably one of the best mobile devices I've ever used. And I can say, with total conviction, that I will never, ever purchase one and neither should you. In fact, after the experiences I've had today with T-Mobile, I'm not sure I can ever recommend one of their products again.Why T-Mobile sucks. Includes phone number of execs, probably dead but worth a try.
You may have noticed I'm a little slow on posting today. The reason is, besides being really, really high, is that I've spent about two hours on the phone with various customer service reps trying to resolve an issue that's been plaguing my primary account for the last three months. I've stayed away from mentioning it on Gizmodo, because I didn't want to turn my personal experiences into an overall anti-T-Mobile bias, but after my experiences today, with the yelling, the lies, and the misdirections, I am finally leaving them for good, and I have received such consistent horrible, deceitful service that I've come to realize it's indicative of a larger overall problem with the company - and that's worth telling you about....
Now honestly, if you just have to have the Sidekick II and don't care a whit about customer service - I mean, you will eventually, I promise you, but sometimes gadget lust is hard to resist - then this would be where you can leave off. I'm going to make this short and sweet, though, because god knows I've made this review long enough as it is. Still, I feel like this needs to be made clear.
I have avoided writing about my problems with T-Mobile because, well, shit happens, and as the editor of this site I feel like I have to suck it up sometimes even when I might know some higher-ups to call to make everything go away when I have a problem. Part of that is because I don't want to be an asshole and use Gizmodo as a personal platform of hate, but part of it is because I want to have the same experiences with these companies as anyone else would. But now I feel like the latter is sort of negating my concern about the former, and my experience as your everyday customer with T-Mobile overrules any extra weight writing about it might give it.
Basically, I've been lied to, over and over again, by various customer service representatives from T-Mobile. Without going into every last boring detail, I had tried to purchase a SIM card from a third-party reseller in Brooklyn instead of ordering one through T-Mobile and waiting a week for them to send it. After the guy tried to rip me off, I walked out without paying but he still placed the order. I immediately called T-Mobile and told them to fix it, which they said they did, but it's been screwed up ever since.
So for the last three months, I've been going back and forth with T-Mobile trying to get my service working and my account to where it should be. Everything seemed to be fine, after about eight or nine separate phones calls - I had the second line I wanted, there was a slight billing error that was being looked into, but service was happening and they would let me know what was up with the overcharges.
So then last week my service was canceled. I called them up, they noticed there was a billing investigation going on, and said, "No problem. Sorry we shut you off. We'll let you know what happened."
I was never contacted. Today, my service was disconnected again.
When I called and reached a rep named Patty, I explained what had happened - something I always have to do, despite asking many times for it to be noted properly on my account - and after about an hour was able to finally reach the resolution that the overcharges on my billing would be removed. Keep in mind that this is after she had told me that she would be willing to credit back about a third of them if I "admitted and understood that T-Mobile had done nothing wrong in this matter." Of course, I told her that was rank bullshit, and pressed on. Finally, after speaking to her manager she was able to get approval to make a one-time charge. Already pissed, I asked her, "So are you saying that in this case, T-Mobile was actually wrong?"
"I'm not saying that, sir, but I'm not saying you were wrong, either." That sort of milquetoast response wouldn't have saved me from leaving if it weren't for one thing - dreams of my very own Sidekick II, available only via T-Mobile. So I said fine. She calculated the refund, with tax, told me the amount, answered a couple more questions for me, and we hung up. I had just spent an hour of prime news-posting time dealing with something that should have been fixed three months ago, but I had finally gotten everything taken care of.
Until I tried to use my phone. It was still off, so I called T-Mobile again, not twenty minutes after hanging up with Patty the first time. Long story longer? There was no notes from Patty about giving me a credit. She lied to me. The refund - the one she calculated the taxes for - was a lie. She even made notes on my account indicating that she'd tried to placate me, but ultimately I was inconsolable.
So I lost it.
I worked customer service for AT&T for almost two years. Despite my daily vitriol here, I am the sweetest cupcake of a customer you will ever find to customer service reps - especially those that work for the phone company. You can put me on hold, ask me to wait while you figure out what's wrong, call me back, whatever. I'm a prancing pony of politeness.
I lost it bad.
So... god, this is all so pathetic. But honestly, I don't know what else to do. I'm going to take a $200 service cancellation fee just to escape their clutches. I'll fight it, of course, but they'll probably just mindlessly pass it on to a collection agency, where my refusal to pay it will attempt to deep six my credit (beat you to it, suckers!)
And if it were even one lie, and one screw up... I ignored this for three months, giving them chance after chance to make it better. To continually screw it up, inconvenience someone who was just trying to use their service, who paid bills early is just incredible, and is indicative of an overarching deficit of concern throughout the entire company that I'm finally starting to recognize. I'm used to shitty service - I am an American, after all - but this has been so beyond the pale that I can't justify using their service any longer, nor can I in good faith recommend them to anyone else.
The last person I spoke to was nice, and wanted to let me know how much he sympathized with me, but ultimately said he was powerless, and that in this instance - and I made him verify this to me, repeat it back so I could make sure I heard it - he had to trust T-Mobile over me. My only recourse, he said, was contacting Customer Relations via email and hope they got back to me with some resolution. No one within Customer Care - the people you can speak to on the phone - had any power to resolve my problem.
So goodbye, T-Mobile. I joined up two years ago because you were making smart decisions, had a good price and lots of free features (many of which have been slowly taken away). You guys have a lot of great phones, but until there is a massive, fundamental change in the way you treat your customers, I can't in good conscience recommend your products and services to anybody.
At T-Mobile, communication seems to be a big problem.
It seems as that the phone number to T-Mobile's Bellevue Washington office, the only place you can get anything done, was disconnected in 2003. Hmmm, I wonder why?
Googled: T-Mobile sucks. 314,000 hits. Geesh.
In a nutshell.
It seems like someone else has been ripped off via the enabled international call/calling card. If this guy is right then T-Mobile is deliberately stealing business from other companies in order to over charge customers.
I agree that t-mobile stinks, to say the least. I was waiting for my contract to end (started July, 2003), to switch to a different company. I did switch, back in August, 2004. But, it seems that when I had changed my plan, to increase the number of minutes, it changed the contract as well. The "new" contract wasn't supposed to end until the end of September. So, I got charged $200 termination fee. It's partly my fault since I didn't make note of the change. But, it seems like t-mobile is the type of company that relishes on customer ignorance, or mistakes, since that brings to them profit. When I was cancelling, all they had to do was warn me that I was still under contract. I would have waited a month to prevent $200 termination fee. But, they didn't. And in orther things, like the first month I was on the plan... I didn't know how much minutes I had to plan for. I didn't have a cell phone before. So, I chose the basic. When I was over, I chose to change to more minutes... that's where they get you. They charge more to change (another activation fee) and the new contract is VERBAL only. I dont' know about others, but it's hard to remember the detail when you are just waiting for the date specified on the written contract. So, terminate early... and they charge you, without warning you first when you cancel. That's t-mobile for you. Now, I tell anyone who would listen NOT to get t-mobile. I know I won't be going back to them. I have a happy service with Cingular at the moment. STAY AWAY FROM T-MOBILE, they are blood-sucking leeches... profiting from your ignorance and mistakes.
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!!