T-Mobile Informative - Worst Cellphone Service Provider On The Planet!
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA -- I have been a T-Mobile customer for over 6 years, since the company still conducted business under the name VoiceStream. I had originally switched providers from Sprint, because my messages on that carrier habitually arrived hours, days and even weeks after they were sent. In their defense, Sprint ultimately waived all the early termination charges as well as the last month's bill, in return for a promise that I would not sue them--a reasonable settlement, in my humble opinion!
In the beginning, both the service and equipment provided by VoiceStream were excellent. However, from the time that the company began trading under the T-Mobile name, both the equipment and service standards have been on a constant decline.
When my problems with reception and late arrival of messages first began, phone number portability was not available. All my business advertising included my cellphone number and, since I could not, at that time, transfer it to another carrier, I did my best to deal with the issues. During one of my many delightful conversations, a T-Mobile technical expert told me that the company had oversold its capacity, and did not have enough bandwidth or towers to accommodate the increasing number of customers. With an assurance that more bandwidth and towers would be available "soon", I stuck it out.
At one point, my messages started arriving really late again. My real estate customers asked why I had not returned their calls or responded to their messages. I explained that I had not received them. On April 30th, 2007, between 5-6 pm, 5 messages were delivered to my phone which had originally been sent on April 21st--9 days earlier! Furious, I called T-Mobile and told them I had actually lost a real-estate deal as a result of this delay, and could not believe their response. A customer service MANAGER actually told me that T-Mobile advises its customers NOT TO USE THEIR PHONES FOR BUSINESS!
That should have been the last straw, but I guess I'm a glutton for punishment. I went through countless troubleshooting exercises with countless technical service representatives, including numerous master resets, and was eventually told that the problem lay in the phone itself--a Motorola RAZR. They suggested I contact the manufacturer directly. At that point, I called customer service to cancel my service, and was referred to a supervisor. Naturally, she threatened that I would have to pay a $200 cancellation fee and, if I did not, they would turn the matter over to their collections agency. When I asked how T-Mobile could hold me to a contract (which, by the way, I never signed), when T-Mobile had not lived up to its promise of service, guess what they said? Even though the messages were being delivered late, I was still receiving them, and was still able to use my phone to place and receive calls, therefore T-Mobile was complying with its obligation under the contract.
Being the masochist that I evidently am, I dug into my pocket, yet again, and spent $437 on a shiny new T-Mobile Wing and memory card, hoping that this additional investment in state-of-the-art hardware would resolve my problems. No such luck. Within the first week, I took my phone back to the store where I purchased it, and asked a salesperson for some assistance. His retort was a very firm "Don't waste your time with that piece of cr@@! You can still return your phone for a full refund; buy a Blackberry instead--they work!"
I should have heeded his advice, but I wanted certain features which were not available on the Blackberry. So, again, I tried to work through the issues. But, despite countless calls to customer service and technical support (for some reason, their records show no trace of most of my calls!), numerous master resets, repeated and tedious re-installations of updated versions of Windows Mobile 6.1 (which, by the way, was not included on the disc which came with the phone, even though it was supposedly compatible with Windows Vista), I am still receiving messages up to several days late, my battery dies by 4 pm, and my phone takes ages to load websites, and when it does, is unable to display many of the images on the website.
Today, I finally decided that it is time to make a change. I called T-Mobile, and was again threatened with the $200 early termination fee. I had asked for a copy of my contract several times, at the T-Mobile store where I purchased the phone, and was told I could only get this from Customer Service. I had called Customer Service on many occasions, asking for a copy of the contract I allegedly agreed to, and was told repeatedly, by various levels of representatives, supervisors and managers, that I could only get this at the store where I purchased the phone. When I explained that I was no longer prepared to chase around after this mythical contract, and that if they could not produce a contract, I would challenge the $200 early termination fee, they informed me that they would collect the fee one way or another. They apparently have my contract "on file", but nobody seems to know where this file is, or how to find it, or even where to look! Again, I challenged the notion that T-Mobile had not provided the service which it advertised, and which had been an inducement for me to keep my business with the carrier, I was told that, under the terms of its mythical agreement: "T-MOBILE IS NOT OBLIGATED TO PROVIDE SERVICE".
In a nutshell, NOBODY at T-Mobile gives a damn about what a customer has to say. They wouldn't even let me finish explaining my problem before responding with a scripted answer, while I was still talking. I have been told repeatedly that I could not be transferred to a supervisor, or a manager, since the representatives do not have staff directories, or the ability to transfer calls to anyone in particular. Attempts to resolve these issues have been to no avail.
Today, I have spoken to 7 different individuals at Customer Service, in both their Georgia and Oregon offices (they are very cagey about revealing which location they are in--I wonder why?!). The manager of a very rude supervisor I spoke to was even more obnoxious, and ultimately hung up on me (not before I got his name and location, though). By some magical pathway, through the gates of the Customer Loyalty department (who didn't want to lose me as a valued customer, but would basically sue me for their early termination fee if they did), I did ultimately manage to reach a member of the management team in their Oregon office. She reluctantly apologized for the manner in which I had been treated, qualifying her statement with the disclaimer that she found it hard to believe that a manager would act that way, and had not herself been a party to the conversation, and therefore had no way of knowing whether indeed that had happened or not. I suggested she pull the tape recordings of all my conversations that day, so she could personally verify my allegations.
I explained to her that I was no longer willing to tolerate poor service quality, chronic equipment problems and, above all, arrogant, disinterested and rude employees, and had therefore decided to move my business to another carrier. She countered by offering me a new phone at the sharply discounted price (NOT!!) of yet another $300, and then only with a new 2-year commitment, or the option to resolve the matter with technical support. When I explained that I had tried several times to resolve the issues, and that these had all been unsuccesful and an enormous waste of my time, and that I was also not prepared to spend any more money on new equipment, nor to renew my commitment, she told me that she could assist me in closing my account, and that I would have to pay the $200 fee. I told her that I needed a phone which would enable my real-estate business, not thwart it.
Tomorrow, I will be digging into my threadbare pockets and buying a shiny new Apple iPhone from AT&T. I'd rather take my chances with the devil I don't know than the devil which has revealed itself, in so many ways, on so many different occasions, and through countless different customer service personalities, during the past 6 years!
BUYER BEWARE--DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME, NOR MONEY, AT T-MOBILE! You might as well just toss your wallet into a dumpster and save yourself the aggravation! And you'll get just about the same quality of service!!
(NOTE to T-Mobile executives: I have the names and locations of most of the people I spoke with today, including the employee ID of the member of the management team. I suggest you listen to the tape recordings of all my calls, today and on prior occasions, and check my file for letters I have previously sent to T-Mobile!)