Unprecedented Miracle: T-Mobile Doesn’t Bill For Broken Phone

Our readers are so prepared for a bad outcome in their dealings with a company that they start venting their rage to us even as they simultaneously multitask listening to the meaningless verbal placations of their exotically-accented CSR. When suddenly, right before they hit send, they suddenly get a fair and considerate resolution, we — the collective Consumerist royal ‘we’ — can almost hear the dual wet pop of their eyeballs bugging from their sockets.

We heard just that phantasmic boggling sound when we read Sudihindra’s letter about some recent crappy billing she received at the hands of T-Mobile. Sudhindra’s phone broke. When she called to get it replaced, T-Mobile said no problem, and specifically told her she would not be charged the usual $100 replacement fee.

Of course, against all odds, when the next bill came around, Sudhindra was billed $100. Not only that, but when she followed up with CSRs, she found herself in a typical “our word against yours” situation. She resigned herself to paying the $100 and writing us an obscenity-laced, hip-hop style roll call of how T-Mobile had shown her disrespect.

But then T-Mobile did the right thing. Listen for the pop, after the jump.

I called up T-mobile on 13 of August to replace my handset. My handset’s problem was people on the other side could not hear what I was talking but I could hear them clearly.

After trying to troubleshoot the problem, the representative agreed to replace my phone. The person asked me to tell the color of a circluar strip at the back of the phone where the battery is. I told the person the color was pink. The represenative then told me a replacement phone would be sent. Since I was not sure if I had damaged the phone and whether I would be charge the replacement fee, I explicitly asked if I would be charged the 100$ replacement fee. I did not want to pay 100$ for a replacement because I would have got a phone for free from my friend. The representative told me I would not be charged.

Late,when I checked my bill for that billing cycle I see that I have been charged a 100$ fee. I called up T-Mobile to find out the reason. The representative told me since my phone was damaged I would have to pay the 100$ fee. When I told her that the representative I talked to before(when I got my phone replaced) told me I did not have to pay the fee, she told me she did not see any such information on their internal memo(the first representative should have put the fact about me not being charge in writing). I was not aware of this and assumed since the representative has assured me I would not be charged.

Now, I have no proof(expect maybe for the recording done by T-Mobile). T-Mobile’s representative clearly misinformed me and there is no way I can prove it. I know this is a lost cause but I do not want to give up without a fight. I am a grad student with limited resources and 100$ means a lot to me. I lost my cool, shouted at the person for screwing me and cut the call.

Later I lodged a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and forgot all about it.

The Miracle

Today I logged into my T-Mobile account to pay the bill and see that its 100$ less than what it should have been. I couldnt believe my eyes so I logged off and logged in again. The amount was the same(the reduced amount). Now this was too good to be true so I called up T-Mobile and asked my bill balance. Thats when the miracle happend and the person told me they had credited 100$ back to my account.

I wanted to ask what made them change their mind, but did not want to push my luck too far. So I thanked her proufsely and finished the call. I dont know what happend to change T-Mobile’s mind. This is contrary to all that I have heard about getting your money back from any organization.

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. medalian1 says:

    I don’t think they were being kind, just trying to satisfy the BBB complaint (which is hit and miss).

  2. sudhindra says:

    This is Sudhindra and I am a “He” :)…For some reason people think this a girls name…I have no idea why:)….And my phone was physically looking great….It just didnt work….

  3. nerdsavant says:

    My experience with T-Mobile (which has been quite pleasant, I must say) is that they charge you and then refund the charge, instead of the charge never showing up at all. It may be a bit backwards, especially when the charge and refund don’t occur during the same billing cycle, but I would assume it let’s them keep track of it a little better.

  4. unit3890 says:

    i always thought t-mobile customer service was pretty good about giving out replacements. They charge for replacements when there is water damage in the phone though, indicated by the pink strip on the back of your phone.

  5. ivanjrn says:

    If the indicator on the back is pink or darker, it means the phone has come in contact with liquid. This is probably why you were charged since liquid damage is not covered by warranty. This is also consistent with the problem you were experiencing since your mic didn’t work and your phone wasn’t physically damaged.

    In any case I’m glad it worked out for you. Maybe the reviewed the account more and realized that the person you dealt with didn’t follow the script correctly.