The Clusterfuck that is T-Mobile

“Go Magenta.” 

This is one of the tags lines I heard from the T-Mobile crew in Richmond, VA a few years back at VA Pride. At the time my cellular carrier was Verizon Wireless, and while I wasn’t really happy with their service, they had yet to screw over my bill and service to such a degree that I was ready to change carriers. 

It really wasn’t too long before that happened. Verizon Wireless was billing me for “background data” that I was unable to turn off and was told it was just something that happened because I wasn’t connected to wifi or some other form of internet all the time. 

So I switched to T-Mobile. 

I put a down-payment on two phones that were supposed to be “free”, but because I didn’t qualify for their free phones I had to pay upfront and they would “reimburse” me. Yeah, right. Some of the time I get the credits to my account like I’m supposed to and some of the time I don’t. It’s like a game of Russian roulette, except instead instead of a bullet I just got an elevated phone bill. The difference was only about $20 and while it was pretty annoying, it really wasn’t that bad of an issues. 

Then I had to spend some time in Arkansas. 

In late September of 2016, we moved to Arkansas and in December we found ourselves in Springdale, Arkansas. While staying in Springdale we noticed that when we were not connected to Wi-Fi both my phone and my wife’s phone had absolutely no data service. We had full bars of 4G LTE signal according to both of our phones and we could make calls and text without an issues, just absolutely no data. Around December 21st after having dealt with this for over two weeks my wife called T-Mobile customer service and asked for tech support. In the end tech support diagnosed the issue as  problem with the cell tower near Springdale that our phones were using for service. We were told that the issue would be resolved within 72 hours and we would receive a callback when it was completed as well as be compensated for the fact that we were paying for data service and not receiving it. 

Neither the call back, nor compensation ever happened. 

In fact, when we left Arkansas for New York in the end of January, a month after placing the call, we still had no data service when our phones were connected to the Springdale tower. This was a month that we were billed for data when half the time we had to have our phones connected to wi-fi in order to access the internet. 

After moving to New York, I wanted to change to an iPhone because I was honestly at my wits end with my Samsung phone, and we needed to change our phone numbers to a local number. We were told the it would cost $15.00 per line to change our numbers, even though “Pay in Advance” customers aren’t charged this fee. This of course was a lie. It ended up costing us over $17.00 per line to change to a local phone number. While two or three dollars per line isn’t that much, it’s not the price that makes me angry, it’s the fact that I was blatantly lied to. Even on T-Mobile’s website it states the fee for changing your phone number is $15.00 not $15.00 plus tax. 

To make things worse about the store visit, the customer service representative that “helped” us, bullied me into changing my phone plan to a ‘business’ plan and refused to do anything on the account until I did so even though I don’t have a business but rather was thinking about starting a courier business. It took hours to change the account and update the two phone lines before I was allowed to add two new lines. I added an iPhone SE and just a SIM card that I could send to my mother-in-law so that her phone bill would be less each month and she could have unlimited data. I left the store, went home and hooked my iPhone up to the wifi there. It wasn’t until I left to run errands the following day that I found an issue with my data service. 

I took my phone into a different T-Mobile store and found out that the data service for my phone and for the SIM card that I had purchased had never been activated. So once more, I was being charged for data service when I wasn’t receiving it. The representative at the store activated the data on at least my line. I can’t speak for the line that was just the SIM card because my mother-in-law has yet to pick up a phone.  I left the store a bit miffed because of the whole ordeal with T-Mobile from the previous day, after spending hours in the store there were still issues with my account that caused me to have to return to a T-Mobile store. 

Unfortunately, this isn’t where the trouble with my account ended. 

A couple days after adding the iPhone I was checking my account online and noticed that the insurance coverage that was supposed to be added to my account for my iPhone SE was not there AND suddenly one of my phone lines were reported as missing/stolen. I thought the latter was really odd considering I could see all three phones and knew the SIM card for the fourth line was on it’s way to Virginia. My wife called customer service once again to added handset insurance on my phone and to find out what was going on with the “missing/stolen” phone. No one has been able to explain why one of my lines was marked as missing/stolen. We did find out it was the fourth line, but to this day there is no explaination as to WHY  IT IS STILL MARKED AS MISSING/STOLEN. 

We explained to this representative what had happened in-store and was told that she would change the account back to the personal account like it was supposed to be and ship my mother-in-law a new SIM card in case the other one didn’t work. We gave the representative my mother-in-law’s name and address so that the SIM card could be mailed to her. When the SIM card arrived in Virginia, it was sent to me with my name badly misspelled. The sweet 80-year-old woman that my mother-in-law lives with received the package from UPS and had no idea who it belonged to because of this. 

Then today my wife called T-Mobile once again with the hope of resolving two issues, the first issue was with an application not functioning properly, the second issues was the fact that our phone bill is now suddenly almost $300 when it’s been between $130 and $170 since we started our account with T-Mobile. 

Over the course of half a day my wife and I have been given four completely different stories as to why our phone bill is so expensive this month. Each time we correct the issue, we’re given some other excuse. First, we were told that our phone bill was so high because I didn’t pay for activation and set up fees for my iPhone nor did I pay all of the deposit on my phone. When the representative was told that was false and that we had paid in cash and still had the receipt, the story suddenly changed. Then we were told that it was because we were being billed for two months instead of one. When my wife pointed out that if this was the case the phone bill would have been more expensive based on the amount of our previous bill, the reason changed yet again. This time it was because of charges that were made to the account and misc fees, charges that don’t add up because a credit card was used to pay for them, not T-Mobile billing, even the Google tech department agrees with this, and we have the payment receipts for the purchases as well as the bank statements to prove this. 

The T-Mobile staff even went as far as to insinuate that my wife was a liar, and drug Google into the disagreement trying to prove that T-Mobile was right and my wife was wrong. This really is the exact opposite of how a company should treat their customers. Then when I was contacted through Twitter by T-Mobile’s “billing specialist” I was given a completely different story altogether. Big surprise, huh? When I questioned them, rather than answer my questions they simply stopped responding to the conversation.

Between my wife and I, we spent over half of our day wasted with T-Mobile, a company that is refusing to tell us why our bill suddenly jumped by $100. A company that refused to uphold what they promise to do, and even go as far as insult their customers. 

I’m paying off my phones and leaving T-Mobile, and I suggest that anyone else that has an account with them do the same.  They try to claim they are the Un-Carrier and are a great company to do business with, but it’s a lie. If they are UN anything, it’s UN-caring. 

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