T-mobile customer service finally comes through

masthead_tmobile.gif After a few weeks of pleading with my cell phone carrier, they have finally resolved a billing error. This is a good thing for both of us. Good for me, because I generally like my calling plan and would hate to give it up, and good for them, because they will continue to get my business.

Back in March, we traveled to Italy, Hungary, and Israel for a couple of weeks. Since I have a GSM phone, I called T-mobile from the airport to find out if I could use it overseas.

The customer service rep told me that yes, in fact I could use the phone in Europe and Israel. When I asked about rates, she said that it was basically 29 cents a minute. I asked several follow-up questions — 29 cents a minute from Europe to the US? Yes. How about from Europe to Europe or from Europe to Israel? Yes, same 29 cents a minute rate applies. From Israel to US? Also 29 cents. Same per-minute rate for incoming and outgoing calls? Yes. Any service charge or monthly fee? Nope.

This seemed like a pretty good deal. So sure enough, we used the phone quite a bit to make hotel reservations, reconfirm our flights, and call our friends and family. In total, we made 166 minutes of calls while we were overseas.

When we got back to the US, I got the bill. Instead of the $48 in roaming charges I was expecting, somehow we managed to rack up a total of $313. Simply put, the rates were totally different from what the rep quoted me. I was billed 99 cents a minute for calls made within Italy and Hungary, and $2.99 a minute for calls made within Israel.

So I called T-mobile customer service and explained the situation calmly and patiently to the rep who answered. Laura seemed very friendly and sympathetic, but ultimately was unable to help me. She explained that the other rep must’ve been confused, since the 29 cent rate is for the opposite calling direction.

Laura even put in a request for a $265 credit, but she said wasn’t sure it was going to go through. The fact that the original rep never mentioned the 29 cent rate explicitly in my file meant that the billing folks would likely reject my credit request. I explained that I would be happy to talk to her supervisor or anyone in billing if they wanted more details.

A couple of weeks passed and no contact from T-mobile. The auto-pay thing kicked in and my credit card was charged for the $313 amount. I guess they rejected the $265 credit request.

I called back today and got a hold of another rep. I explained the whole situation to John, and he put me on hold so he could read up on all of the notes in my file to see what happened. When John came back from hold, he apologized for the overbilling problem, but explain that the billing department rejected the claim because there was no evidence in the file that the rep in March said anything about the 29 cent rate.

I told John, “I’m really frustrated because I think T-mobile should honor the rate that I was quoted back in March.” I even explained that I understand now that the actual rates are $0.99 and $2.99 and that the original rep was wrong to quote me 29 cents back in March, but that I feel that I shouldn’t be penalized for her error. He apologized and empathized, but admitted that he was powerless to help me. He offered to put in another credit request for $265, but was pretty sure it would just get rejected again.

I told him that I guess I’m going to need to cancel my account if they can’t honor the rate that they quoted me.

Those must have been the magic words, because John said, “Well, before we go down that road, let me see if I can find someone in a different department to help you.” He put me on hold for a while longer, and Susan got on the phone. She had already read my file, but asked me to explain what happened in my own words. We talked for a while, and she said she needed to talk to her supervisor, so could I please hold.

Susan finally came back from hold with the greeting, “Good news. We’re going to honor the rate you were quoted, so we’re going to credit your account for $265.”

Apparently I found the right person to talk to. Thanks, Susan. You’ve restored my faith in T-mobile.

26 thoughts on “T-mobile customer service finally comes through”

  1. When I used to work at GTE, there were two magic phrases that guaranteed a 180-degree turnaround in how much leeway I, as a CSR, was permitted to give the customer:

    Public Service Commission (a/k/a Public Utilities Commission, depending on the state) — because of the wonky way the PUC works in some states. For example, let’s say you complain to the PUC about GTE. It doesn’t matter if you’re right or GTE’s right, GTE is going to end up paying the PUC for the time they spend investigating it. So there’s dollar limits for what CSRs could write off just to avoid a PUC complaint.

    “Service Performance Guarantee” this was the GTE catch-all. All the customer had to do was ask for it, and whether the CSR thought the customer was right, or whether they thought the customer was stoned, the policy was “they get the SPG”. That was one of those credits that was designed for “when our policies and procedures are what is screwing the customer” … it was only $25.00 ($100.00 for business customers), but still.

    I’ve grown very accustomed, in my own customer-service fiascos, of asking for supervisors, taking down names, etc. etc., partly so as to be able to argue effectively with them, but mostly so I can tell amusing stories online when they inevitably screw it up.

  2. Oddly enough I’ve had a similar situation, but only while in Canada recently. I was told that the minutes could (and would) come out of my monthly minutes first, before being charged. T-Mobile later disagreed with this and charged me for them (at $0.99). In the end I paid for it, but a few months later I received a note of “we’ve upped your minute usage by 300 minutes a month for your troubles”. All fine and dandy, but I don’t really need more minutes…. :\

  3. I have 3 phones on my bill. I would like to know if I can separate this phone bill into 2 bills. The phone numbers 253-223-1154 & 253-335-1429 one bill and the number 253-335-0185 another bill? the first 2 numbers, I would like the bill to come in my name, Corrine Glaser, like it has been, and the 2nd number, I would like the bill to come in the name of Jessica Meredith, but the address can stay the same as the original bill. I would like this bill separated because my daughter would like to pay her own phone bill. Right now I have payment arrangments made for this bill that is due now, but if you could make this separation as soon as possible, it’s possible that the bill could get paid sooner. Thank-you for your time. Could you let me know if this can be done. Thanks again — Corrine

  4. HI my name is elda m. lara and I have a question about my bill I haven’t got any bill this month and I wanted to ask you if you can send me my bill to my e-mail so I can print it because I have being paying my bill every 21 of each month thank you very much

  5. I was sent a confirmation yesterday 8 July for an ordered rental phone. I mistakenly deleted it for Spam but would like to have it back to print. Am unable to contact Customer Service via net so far. Any suggestions??? Thanks.

  6. Hi,I just wanted to know if there is anyway that I could switch my phone to a flip phone? I have the card inside and I just wanted to know If there was anyway that that is possible.

    Thank you

  7. I have two cell phones and the earpiece volume

    control on both of these phones has fallen apart.

    My preference would be a headset and not an earpiece, and now that the second one has fallen

    apart, this may be a good time.

    Terry Kelly

    909-907-1523,1519

  8. i lost my sim card and i was jus wondering if i could jus get a new one without having to pay for a new phone

  9. I HAVE A VERY BIG ISSUE WITH T-MOBILE, INFACT I THINK THAT THEIR EMPLOYEES MISINFORM THEIR CUSTOMERS TOO MUCH. MAYBE THEY SHOULD RETRAIN ALL THIER EMPLOYEES. I HAD OPENED A KNEW ACCOOUNT ONLY IN MAY. AND WAS SOLD A PHONE THAT WAS NOT WORKING PROPERLY. T-MOBILE HAD SENT ME A NEW PHONE IN THE MAIL WHICH I NEVER RECIEVED. HAVING LIVING IN A PROJECT ENVIROMENT MY MAILMAN LEFT THE PHONE IN THE HALLWAY,AS IT DID NOT FIT IN THE BOX. SOMEONE ELSE TOOK THE PHONE. I EXPLAINED MY PROB TO T-MOBILE AND THEY TOLD ME THEY WOULD INVESTIGATE AND SEND ME A TEXT MESSAGE. NEVER HAPPENED. A FEW WEEKS LATER MY PHONE WAS DISCONNECT,WITH NO WARNING. AND NO TEXT MESSAGE AS PROMISED I THEN AGAIN CALLED. NOW THEY DECIDED TO TELL ME THAT NO MATTER WHAT THEY WERE TO CHARGE ME A RESTALKING FEE. WHY HADN’T THEY TOLD ME THIS IN THE BEGINNING. THE WOMEN I TALKED TO WAS VERY POLITE AND TOLD ME THAT IF I COULD LOCATE THE PHONE THEY COULD TAKE THE FEE OFF. AFTER A WEEK A LADY IN THE BLDG CAME TOO ME WITH MY PHONE, I THEN CALLED T-MOBILE AGAIN. NOW SPEAKING TO A MAN WHO TOLD ME THE WOMEN HAD LIED THERE WAS NOTHING THEY COULD DO. WHY DO THESE PEOPLE MAKE THESE MISTAKES. WHO IS TRAINING THEM. THIS WAS A POSTAL ERROR NOT MINE, I ASKED THEM IF I COULD SEND AN EXTRA 20.00 A MONTH THEY DENIED MY REQUEST. EVEN THOUGH I WAS PROMISED A TEXT MESSAGE BEFORE MY PHONE GOT SHUT OFF, I NEVER GOT THE WARNING. ALSO I WAS MISINFORMED ABOUT THE WAY THE TEXT MESSAGING WORKED. BE CAREFUL THEY TRICK YOU. THEY TELL U THAT U HAVE FREE AOL FOR $2.99 A MONTH UNLIMITED. WRONG THAT ALL COUNTS AS A TEXT MESSAGE. WHEN THEY GIVE U UNLIMITED TEXT ONLY SO MANY ARE FOR INCOMING THE OTHERS FOR OUTGOING. I WAS VERY UNHAPPY WITH T-MOBILE AND THEIR REPS. I WAS MISLEAD AND MISINFORMED. I ASKED TO SPEAK TO A SUPERVISOR AND I WAS TOLD IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE,MAYBE ID HAVE BETTER LUCK WITH ANOTHER COMPANY. WHAT CAN I DO. ANY SUGGESTIONS. I WOULD LIKE SOMEONE TO GET BACK TO ME ON THIS. I’M STUCK PAYING A 200.00 PHONE BILL THAT SHOULDN’T BE.

  10. Hello there?Iam only querrying the fact that astro sends me my horoscope every morning and afternoon thereby charging me 1 pound everytime they text me,considering that i didnt even apply for it.I only found out that i was paying for it yesterday and i would request that it stops immediately.My phone number is 07904421653.Thanks for your time.

    yours ANGRY CUSTOMER.

  11. After seeing an AD in the paper , I decided to order my phone from t-mobile. Knowing I was to get $100.00 rebate, I filled in a form which was returned to me saying that I did not send them the service agreement form. I did not sign any service agrrement since the transaction was by way of phone and was never sent to me in the first place.The phone did not come with the service agreement form. Neither did my first bill. After making inquiries about the same, nobody wants to send me the sevice agreement form so I can claim my rebate because they keep referring me from one department to another. Nobody seems to know what they are saying . I would not have bought a t-mobile phone if it wasn’t for the rebate which I thought was a good deal. Now can somebody find the solution to this. My number is 763 2274277

  12. my husband and I have been fighting w/ T mobile for a year now. they sent us to 2 collection agencies. they promised a level of service that was never met. Most times when we needed the phone we had no service. When we called to complain they said hang in there we are getting new towers all the time. after 3 mo. we canceled the service for poor quality. we were told after cont’d conversations into december that we would not be responsible for the termination fee and that our account was closed. Then received a bill

    a bill 4 months later. 2 weeks after recieving the bill I called to inquire and they said they couldn’t help me, that very day it had been sent to collections. I said, “I just got a bill” . The bottom line, they lied, and have created tremendous problems for us. Any thougths??

  13. It has been a nightmare having t-mobile as my cellphone provider.T-mobile has reps that misinform you to rack up charges and then when you inquire about the charges T-mobile give you all these crazy excuses. T-mobile reps have given me wrong information on more than five occasions. I have had one T-mobile rep just act totally unconcern and didn’t give a damn about my situation.I was over charged 140.00 on my bill and he didn’t care why, just pay it is all he was concerned with. It has been a nightmare with T-mobile and T-mobile reps. I have a few months left on my contract guess what i’m going to do.

  14. A couple of days I called T-Moblie to get information about their International rates. I was told .20 cents to make called from the U.S. to other countries and .29 cents from other countries to the U.S. (which seems almost to good to be true). I just upgraded my phone which means i just signed on for another year of service, I was to get my phone next day (which I am going to pay next day service fee of $15.00) and it is now 3 days later and no phone yet!!!!! I don’t think I’m off to a very good start.!!!!

  15. Trying to port my number from T-Mob to Sprint. T-Mob had delivered marginal service over the last 3 years. Finally, I asked for two new phones for free, considering I had been a loyal customer for almost four years. They werent interested in helping in any way. On Nov,24th I tried to move my numbers and T-Mob has been screwing up the move for six days. Anyway if anyone is having trouble getting through on T-Mob’s customer help line (The one that keeps you on hold for 30 min.)

    Here are the employee lines that are answered immediatly. Good Luck and pass them to all your friends. (877) 606-4801 and (888) 487-3783.

  16. I’m glad that I’m in good company with T-Mobile billing problems. Although I now hold up little help for my own resolution.

    My wife had email setup on her phone through T-Mobile. Almost instantly her phone was filled with Spam. After about 1 week she changed her plan from unlimited messaging to basic. I un-did all of her email settings on her phone but the email headers (not the complete email) kept coming through.

    She called T-Mobile all month and they told her everything from “That’s impossible” to “All phones do that”. Finally I got a hold of an “Advanced Wireless” tech and convinced him to check their system for her email info. He found it and removed it which fixed our problem immediately.

    Unfortunately by that time we had been charged for nearly 4000 text messages at .05 a piece (~$200). They offered me 50% off after much bickering. I complained more via email and they offered me 100% but only if I signed up for another year.

    I answered them by accusing them of attempted extortion and said that I would renew based on their quality of service instead of under threat of overbilling.

    Sounds like I should just take my 50% and be happy with it…

  17. seeing as how my phone has just gotten stolen and I CAN’T FIND A DAMN CUSTOMER SERVICE NUMBER ITS STARTING TO PISS ME OFF!!!!!!

  18. How should I deal with t-mobile when they charge me ($268.75) for a cellphone which I never received???, Based on the USPS tract number they provided, no any record said the the cellphone had arrived my city. the only available record was that the item was accepted by the beginning postoffice. The stuff at my local post office was sure it did not come to my city. But t-mobile is threating to suspend my servive.

    On 29th September, My cellphone was not working. I called T-mobile and was told that they are going to order a similar type cellphone to send to me in 3-5 business days, and was told I just return my cellphone to them after i got it.

    After somedays, I found my celphone was working (only a problem with the batter charger). On October 7. I called t-mobile again to tell them that I would like to keep my cellphone, and let them cancall the order if it was not yet shipped. I will return it back if it was already shipped out. After many days later, t-mobile asked me whether i got the cell phone and told me the USPS track number. I checked on internet and the only information was that the item was accepted on October 09, 2003, 6:00pm by the shipping post office, no any record on the way, and no any record at my local post office. I went to my local post office two times to ask the further information. They told the item had never arrived.

    I called t-mobile many times to ask them to check the post office on their side. But no one do anything else. They just called me what way I prefer to pay the payment. Several times I called them, they just let me hang on, then the line diconnected. They even send letter to threat to suspend my service. This is a terrible experience with t-mobile since I signed t-mobile service from on Augest 2003.

    Would you please give me some suggestions? Sould I hire an attorney to sue t-mobile if they suspend my service? it will make loss for my current business if my cellphone is cut.

    Thank you!!

  19. HELP HELP I need an attorney in the Tampa Florida area. T-mobile is trying to put derogatory information on my credit but NOT without a fight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Their Customer Service Stinks.

  20. T- Moible ugh.. I was told that if pay the 120.00 my service will be turned back on.. so i call them today to get my phone turned back on.. and they told me it was out of their hands now its in collections.. this guy that told me it doesnt matter if it goes to collections i still can have it turned on and the 200 will be wavied what a joke that was now i have to pay 316.00 then sign a new contract.. plus pay to get it turned on what a crock.. Some of the people that work there need to know what they are talking about instead of giving the wrong info to the people..

  21. Poor coverage, lied about services, overcharged, took 1 1/2 weeks to get a replacement phone(and wanted me to pay for Next Day Air!!), they changed my phone # without telling me !!!!, …. I give up. Verizon, I’m coming back to you.

  22. I have had nothing but great Customer Service from T-Mobile. There have been 3 instances where I have had to call them and talk to a CSR.

    The first time was because my wife was not picking up a signal on her phone. She was at home and in their calling area. I called T-Mobile and reported the problem. They told me that they were working on the tower in our area, and that service would be restored in less than an hour. They credited $25 to our account because of the trouble.

    The second time I called T-Mobile was because 1 of the phones we had through them, was a pile of garbage. The immediatly sent us out a new phone at no cost, with nohesitation on their side.

    The third time that I called them was because the phone that they had sent us (same model as the previous phone) started to have the same problems the original one had. I called their customer service department and told them what was going on. The CSR kindly told me that he would send out a new phone, different model (considerably better phone) at no charge.

    T-Mobile has been nothing but refreshing. Their Customer Serivce has been great and their Service is wonderful. It’s hard to believe that a company could still believe in Customer Service, especially after my previous dealings with Sprint.

    Sprint has to be the worst company out there. Their Customer Service is horrible, they have too many glitches in their system. Their bills are always messed up and their coverage area sucks too.

  23. Hello, I lost my cell phone, yes it was from T-Mobile, and I called to get a replacement. About how long will it take for me to recieve it?

  24. NEW CUSTOMER—I SENT FOR A NEW MOTOROLA V600 ON THE 8TH MARCH BECAUSE THE PHONE CAME WITH A BLUE TOOTH HEADSET. ARRIVED9/03/04 NO BLUETOOTH HEADSET!EVEN THOUGH IT COMES AS STANDARD IN THE BOX WITH EVERY OTHER COMPANY, RANG CUSTOMER SERVICES NO ANSWERS TO ANY OF MY QUESTIONS, THEY DIDNT WANT TO KNOW JUST SAID OK RETURN THE PHONE IF YOUR NOT HAPPY, WELL SEND YOU OUT AN ENVELOPE. THEY WERENT INTERESTED IN KEEPING MY CUSTOM AT

  25. I received a letter today stating that I had requested a T Mobile phone and was denied. I have not requested a T Mobile phone and have never requested your services. You have run a credit report on me and charged me with an inquirey on my credit. I have a cel phone and have had one for 3 years with the same company and it is not prepaid. I will advise the credit reporting agencies that you are making false reports on people that have not requested your services. Please stop checking up on me without my permission. Thank you, Patsy Charleville.

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