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. 

#bad-businesses, #business-that-abuse-their-customers, #businesses-that-lie, #cell, #cell-phone, #cell-phone-carrier, #phones, #poor-customer-service, #t-mobile, #tmobile, #un-carrier

Falling Apart at the Seams: Today’s Hell

The truck overheated today, water hissed out from underneath the hood as I went into near panic mode in the parking lot of Tractor Supply Co. My poor Ford Explorer spewed her coolant onto the ground in a violent temper fit that almost matched mine to come. I carefully popped the hood hoping to be able to pinpoint the source of the problem because all the coolant was gone. I could tell a hose wasn’t the problem, meaning most likely it was my radiator. With the heat index the temperature outside way 104 degrees, and with no air conditioning in the truck, this meant sheer misery as we waited for a ride. I have AAA roadside assistance, so my wife called them after texting her mother to come pick up our two children so they wouldn’t have to sit in the heat.

When she called the roadside assistance for a tow (I do all my own work on our vehicles) we were told initially that because she called and the service was in my name that we could not do an unattended tow, and would have to wait for the driver to arrive. She was told that the driver was only 45 minutes away. This was around 11:45 this morning, at 12:30 the driver still hadn’t shown up and the heat was well on its way to something akin to the Sahara Desert. We had been in the hot vehicle for over an hour at this point because we HAD to be with the truck. My mother-in-law had already picked up the kids (15 and 11) to take them home to wait for us until we were able to make it home. On the plus side, we found my wife’s truck keys that she had lost.

My wife called AAA again to ask where the tow truck was at around 12:30 and was told that it was going to be 1:20pm before they arrived, nearly two hours of sitting in a hot vehicle because if we left (she wouldn’t leave me alone to wait in the heat by myself) the driver wouldn’t tow the truck home.

It was 1:10pm before the driver arrived and then informed us that he didn’t think AAA was going to cover the tow because my truck wasn’t registered. To explain, I have farm use tags on my truck, I really can’t afford the money to tag and title it right now, so we just use it within the restrictions of the Farm Use tags.

To say that I was livid would have been like saying that a Siberian Tiger was a house cat. I was pissed. I had waited in the heat for this truck for two hours and now they weren’t going to cover the tow!?!
I lost my cool, not that I had any after staying in the heat for that long.
My wife finally got the tow situation worked out while I sat in the truck shaking because I was so angry and so close to losing the last shred of self-control that I had.

If I had the part or money for the part, I could have completely changed out the radiator in the parking lot and gotten home before the tow truck showed up. When I got home, it took me less than ten minutes to pull the radiator from the truck, only to find it was absolutely no good, there isn’t even a way to do a temp fix until payday.

Now my truck is sitting in the driveway at my house waiting until next Friday, so I can go to the junkyard and pull a used radiator from another Explorer and replace mine, and my wife has a doctor’s appointment tomorrow and I have a therapist appointment as well.

Why does it seem that no matter how hard I work towards making my family’s lives better everything seems to be falling apart at the seams? I have to fix my truck now, which puts us back to square zero on trying to attend my brother’s wedding in Vietnam towards the end of August. Also, we have a birthday coming up on August 1st for one of our children. Things like this make me feel like I’m losing hope for anything in life other than a hard time.

I get so depressed when I see the e-mails that GoFundMe sends me, bragging about raising 500k for this person or 110k for that person. I can’t even raise 3500 to attend a wedding; I’m beginning to wonder if something is wrong with me.

#aaa-roadside-assistance, #broken-vehicle, #hot-vehicle, #mechanic-work, #poor-customer-service