T-Mobile CSR Lies About Making Changes To Account, Causes $75 In Overage Fees

Ric L. is having problems with T-Mobile’s CSRs—specifically, they don’t seem capable of actually making any changes to his account or recording anything about his calls, and when that leads to $75 in extra fees, they say they can’t fix it and offer him “free” text messages. Ric says he suspects the CSR he talked to “takes the responsibilities of his job about as seriously as a cat with a ball of yarn,” but we all know that’s incredibly disrespectful to cats everywhere, who take their various activities quite seriously. Read Ric’s email to T-Mobile after the jump.

Mr. Dotson,

Although I’m sure you get many e-mails on a daily basis from customers that are less than pleased with the service that your company provides I’d like to give you some idea of my recent dealings with t-mobile customer care.

I am a SmartAccess customer with a 1000 minutes family plan for two lines. On January 22nd I paid my balance in full of $220.00 online. This balance included several dollars in overages related to txt messages in excess of my plan. After paying my balance I attempted to change my text messaging bundle on the t-mobile website. It stated that “due to the status of my account” I couldn’t make any changes. Not wanting to incur more charges in the future I contacted customer support by dialing 611 on my blackberry and asking customer care to make the changes to my account.

Two days ago I received a text from t-mobile stating that I was nearing my spending limit. A bit taken aback that I’d be anywhere near the limit I logged in and checked my balance. There were in excess of $75 in text messaging fees on my account. I e-mailed customer support online to get the issue cleared up.

Tonight at 11pm EST a telephone call that I was on got disconnected and my service suspended. Not having received any reply from t-mobile support by e-mail I attempted to call customer care to get the issue resolved.

Apparently (and this isn’t the first time I’ve encountered this) the call center agent that I spoke with on the 22nd not only didn’t make the changes to my account, didn’t place any notes on my account but also failed to even pull my account up to look at it. I can only assume that he takes the responsibilities of his job about as seriously as a cat with a ball of yarn.

Due to your customer call agent’s pure incompetence my account is suspended. Had your employee done his job I wouldn’t have incurred the over $75 in text messaging charges that put my account over it’s limit. I find that unacceptable.

I’ll be the first to admit that I got a bit short with your call agents tonight. That might have something to do with their absolutely infuriating habit of cutting a customer off in midsentence and interrupting at every possible opportunity. You customer call agents are not only incompetent, they’re immensely rude. I don’t like being told that nothing can be done to remedy an error on the part of your company. According to your agents my only option is paying off these charges. The sheer idea of offering me “bonus text messages” as a remedy for my “inconvenience” is nothing more than an insult.

Although I may be a SmartAccess customer I’m also a governmental customer and a customer with a long standing clean record with your company. As such I expect, no I demand, that something be done about your company’s complete lack of customer service. The whole point in having customer care and billing agents is to provide your customers with resolution to service problems. The fact that your call agents have no way to bring remedy to a situation is absolutely assinine, what is it exactly you pay them for?

Cordially,

Ric

The thing that troubles us the most about this is it demonstrates how you can be screwed over by a rogue CSR, who can just pretend like your call never happened and leave your account unaltered. This is why we’d suggest never trusting a CSR’s word for anything—always check your account the next day online and call back when you inevitably see that the change hasn’t been made.

(Photo: gumuz)

Comments

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  1. ConnertheCat says:

    It’s not always an unruly CS – god forbid that the dude’s budget PC right when he went to make the change.

  2. ConnertheCat says:

    er, his budget PC crashed. Frack my own budget work PC!

  3. jtheletter says:

    I agree that you should never take a CSR’s word for anything. Often times when I have completed some onerous transaction or other major account update I will ask to be transferred to a second CSR who I ask to check my account record and read back all of the changes/notes that CSR #1 claimed to have made. On more than one occasion CSR #2 has discovered that changes or notes I asked to be added to my record were not.
    The other problem with CSRs is their completely unassailable anonymity, which they are well aware of. I have had CSRs claim they are barred from giving me any identifying information, even a first name, or have claimed that they do not have an employee or CSR reference number, which is also total bunk. They know that if they give you bad service it won’t matter because there is no way for you to trace it back to them. Until that changes, expect some non-trivial percentage of all CSRs to be useless or worse.

  4. SchecterShredder says:

    Par for the course when it comes to cellular provider customer service. Nothing shocking here, barely even newsworthy. Sorry about your luck. My solution is to always ask for a supervisor. If that doesn’t resolve the issue, do a search for executive services dept. Likely, they will help you. Last recourse – BBB. Good luck.

  5. theblackdog says:

    $75 in text messaging charges?!

    WTF, does this guy text a grocery list to his wife one line at a time?

  6. darkened says:

    @theblackdog: I use upwards of 5000 a month due to aim and yahoo im forwarding, of course this is why I have unlimited. But if you assume standard rates of 0.05 per recieved message and 0.10 per sent message. Figure out how much 5000 text msgs would be.

  7. DrGirlfriend says:

    The thing that troubles us the most about this is it demonstrates how you can be screwed over by a rogue CSR, who can just pretend like your call never happened and leave your account unaltered.

    Indeed. For a long time I have thought to myself that the CSR model definitely leaves a lot of power in the hands of the company. A couple of years ago I was having issues with a company because they shipped me a piece of exercise equipment, and one of the parts was broken. I called several times and each time, notes from my previous conversations were simply not there. Which is why I rely on making changes to my accounts on a company’s website whenever I possibly can. I feel like I have more control over my accounts.

  8. whatdoyoucare says:

    We’ve always had great costumer service with t-mobile. Their call service employees are actually located in the USA (or they were the last time I had a problem over a year ago).

  9. midwestkel says:

    @theblackdog: I saw one persons account one of the phones had over 11,000 text messages in one month!

  10. HootieMac says:

    I posted this on the Sprint item from earlier, but since this appears to be the more current cell phone complaint discussion, I’ll try again.

    OK, have we determined yet which is the “best” cell phone company? Any time there’s a post here about a cell phone company, whether it be CS problems, getting out of contracts, whatever, people bash whatever company is being discussed. I’ve had Sprint for nearly 6 years, and have had 1 minor billing problem- which was quickly fixed- and no other issues. Despite that, I’ve strongly considered ditching them when my plan is up b/c of of all the horror stories I’ve read here. I have no idea who I’d switch to, though, since every provider seems to have their detractors.

  11. BillyShears says:

    It’s a little more heated than what it should’ve been, but I guess I’d be pretty torqued too if my service was cut off due to a billing snafu.

    :: knocks on wood ::

    Also, when sending letters like this, running a spell checker is crucial. It’s “asinine”. Mistakes like that, when judging the intelligence and professionalism of another person or entity kind of hurt your stance.

    Otherwise, nice letter.

  12. ConnertheCat says:

    @jtheletter:

    Having been threatened with death by a customer before, I can’t imagine why I would not like to give out personal info over the phone.

  13. dregina says:

    @jtheletter – back in the bad old days, I was a CSR, and I didn’t have an employee ID number or a CSR reference number. I was allowed to give out my first name, and anyone who asked to speak to a supervisor got one on their first request, so I was still held accountable. Not all CSRs have numbers.

  14. gorckat says:

    Not wanting to incur more charges in the future I contacted customer support by dialing 611 on my blackberry and asking customer care to make the changes to my account.

    Damn shame there’s no way to maybe verify when he called and how long he talked…to them…for?

    OMFGWTFBBQ!!

  15. Quellman says:

    @HootieMac, The Very, Very, Very, Very, Very Angry Twins Fan: I think we decided that the local companies were typically the best, that is until you have to travel somewhere, or move where they don’t provide. Followed by Verizon for call reception and prorated ETF which is easy to avoid if they up text messages and you aren’t in a text plan.

  16. shadow735 says:

    I would ask for a date with Catherine Zetajones as compensation for your trouble

  17. flashing12 says:

    though I’m sure this all took place, I have to say that all of my t-mobile CS experiences have been “above and beyond” positive. My last encounter was very similar to this person’s except that I have 3 lines, one of which is attached to a 13 yo boy who suddenly discovered the joys of texting. The CSR not only changed my plan immediately, but without my even asking, made the change retroactive so we did not get nailed for the text charges made to that point. I never got this kind of service from Sprint!

  18. bobosgirl says:

    This is the reason I tell every customer “no-service” agent at Capital One “I am recording this call,”(even if I’m not.) I also ask right off “Can I have your name please?”I then verify the date and time with them right away, and explain that I’m doing that because I have had problems with my calls being logged onto my account. I got tired of being screwed over on new pricing,etc. Then before I hang up I usually ask “So when I call in again, this will be noted on my account,right?” Sometimes I talk to one that makes me think my dog is more intelligent– yeah, she is.

  19. GearheadGeek says:

    @HootieMac, The Very, Very, Very, Very, Very Angry Twins Fan: I think the answer is generally “it depends.” Who has a better network in your area? Do you travel much/any? If so, do you need your phone when you travel? Are you the sort who wants to change your plan every other week and have a new phone 3x/year?

    I’ve had decent luck with Sprint. They have good coverage in the Texas cities I’ve lived and worked in since I started using Sprint in 2001, I’ve had few problems with my account and gotten those fixed. I am also somewhat stubborn and skeptical, and subscribe to the “verify everything” advice given earlier in this thread.

    Basically, assume they’re all in the business to provide you with minimally acceptable service for as much as the market will bear, and get the service that’s the least expensive for you. If you know people in your area with different mobile providers, have them check their service at your house, tell you how it works for them, etc. On the Internet you’re going to get 100 people posting from places you don’t live and never go that Carrier X has the worst network in the universe, when they may have great service in MSP (assuming the Twins are your hometown team.)

  20. BrianH says:

    Or record the damn call. That’s what I resorted to after having Sprint renew my contract 3x without my consent.

    I’d start the call with “just to make sure we have a record of what was discussed, do you mind if I record this call?” I’ve never heard “no”. And if I did I would hang up & call back and get someone else.

  21. theblackdog says:

    @darkened: Well, if it was truly 50/50 on sent/received (I tend to get recieve more message than send them), it would be $375.

    Now I know that using AIM and Yahoo costs you in text messaging, I didn’t know that before since I don’t use those services on my phone.

    Still, if I were to assume 50/50 on texting, $75 is 1000 text messages…that’s an awful lot to be going over on your plan.

  22. BrianH says:

    @bobosgirl: Funny, posted 2 minutes apart, basically same concept. These CSRs are miserable pr***s who stand to lose nothing by f***ing you over. Protect yourself, record the damn call. Companies need to learn.

  23. arch05 says:

    @HootieMac, The Very, Very, Very, Very, Very Angry Twins Fan: None. They all suck a big bag of dick.

  24. warf0x0r says:

    @theblackdog:

    As Master Shake says: “…its still got the text messaging, right? Actual words on a phone.”

    Texting is stupid.

  25. lotusflwr says:

    I have never been able to change my text messaging plan on my T-mobile account online, so I know how much it sucks to have to call their CSRs. I’ve never had a problem turning them on or off however.

    One thing to know about T-mobile is that, at least in my experience, with 24 hours of updating my plan services whether online or via a CSR, I *ALWAYS* get a (free) text message from them alerting me that the changes I made to my account are active. If that confirmation text doesn’t show up after a day, I’d definitely check MyTmobile page or call 611 and check the automated “what’s my plan consist of” thinger — then talk to CSR to ask what gives if it’s not showing up.

    I’m really surprised they didn’t work with him over a mere $75 texting overage… my husband racked up well $200 in text messaging the month he started getting server errors SMS’d to his phone when he started a new job as web developer. When I told him to call and sign us up for unlimited text messaging, they made it retroactive when he nicely asked if they could. They’ve also waived minute overages for us before as well when we agreed to upgrade to a higher plan.

    I’m all for throwing a BS flag at a company for letting down their customers, but I can say that T-mobile has so far (knock on wood) been good to me.

  26. Rexer says:

    “not only didn’t make the changes to my account, didn’t place any notes on my account “

    This was exactly my experience, many times, with T-Mobile. I was with them since 2000, when they were voicestream.

    They didn’t update my billing address after a call to them and then updating online. After a few attempts to update the address, they sent it to a mish mash of the old and new address. The person at that address opened my bill and called to yell at me.

    No supervisor or CSR ever acknowledged there might be a problem at their end, only that i may have not actually made those changes. I took it to the BBB and was released from my contract. Even then, the retentions agent would not admit that my calls and emails and changes to t-mobile.com ever happened.

  27. Knowing T-Mob, I suspect they will fix this, and probably give him a bene for screwing up. I have had no quarrel with them in over 5 years of service, and have read many great stories of the CSR.

    Work with them. One governmental customer to another.

  28. DrGirlfriend says:

    I am with T-Mobile (since 2002) and have had nothing but excellent service from them. But even then, if I need to talk to them about something, I do whatever I can to double check on everything (whether it’s calling back to verify or going online and checking out my account).

  29. PermanentStar says:

    @jtheletter:

    Not all reps will be able to give an employee number or extension – though any company I have ever worked with has had the person identify themselves when they answer. Where I work, now, we are not able to give out our employee ID numbers due to customers who call in saying that they work for the company when they want to get into an account that they don’t have access to. We also don’t give out last names of anybody in the company other than certain officers who are listed on our website.

  30. Laffy Daffy says:

    Frightening, mostly because I dig TMo and haven’t doublechecked after talking to CSRs … I guess that will be changing now.

  31. stopNgoBeau says:

    I’ve talked to T-Mobile a few times over issues, and I haven’t really had a problem. My biggest complain is their lack of control over text messages. I don’t want to get them, and don’t want to have to pay for a package just to protect me from huge fees when I receive them. That alone will probably lead me to leaving them when my contract runs out.

  32. gingerCE says:

    Overall I have been satisfied with TM customer service. But I had a similar problem. I went from single line to family talk by adding a family member. On my line I had the 1000 text message plan for 9.99. I asked to be moved to the unlimited text/IM message plan for family for 19.95. No problem. A couple days later, I logged on and you can see (and make changes online to your account) and saw my phone was still listed at the 9.99 rate and the other new line had no text message plan. I called a CSR and they immediately made the change to the family text plan. What I do like at TM is that I can see my plan online and make changes–so I know if they did something I asked–or didn’t.

  33. HootieMac says:

    @GearheadGeek: Hmmm… your response was helpful, thoughtful, and well written. This might be a first for the internet.

    You make good points. I have friends that swear by Verizon, though I fear gimped phones. I think I’ll stick w/ Sprint until I actually experience something that makes it logical to switch. Perhaps after I get married in August and my fiancee and I attempt to combine our plans into one to save money… I’m sure that will go off without a hitch, right?

  34. GearheadGeek says:

    @HootieMac, The Very, Very, Very, Very, Very Angry Twins Fan: Actually, it went off without a hitch for us. You have to know what to ask for. There may be more incentive to selling a new account than to doing a “Transfer of Liability” which is what Sprint calls it when you roll a number under contract into a family plan on another number. We did this with my partner’s plan last summer since we ended up with more for less on a family plan under my corporate discount. We went into a store (Sprint’s worst feature, IMHO, their stores are zoo-like) and signed the document, his contract term wasn’t extended but remained applied to his number under my account.

    I also choose Sprint over Verizon largely because I like the J2ME applications I can run on my phone, and they haven’t managed to screw me yet. Maybe with all the bad press and losing customers they’ll start offering crazy deals to stay (I should be so lucky!)

  35. DigitalNY says:

    To update everyone-

    The previous billing agents and supervisors that I had spoken with asked me to make a small (less than $2) payment to my account in order to un-suspend the line so that the messaging bundle could be added and backdated. This would resolve my issue.

    At 07:15 this morning I did just that. I logged in online and made a $20 payment.

    When I finally did speak to an agent this morning I was told that the $20 payment wouldn’t have been enough to restore my service and that there was still nothing they could do.

    I, of course, asked to speak to a supervisor. I was then belittled, treated rudely and talked down to by a supervisor who told me that that I was trying to “work the system” and that t-mobile “wouldn’t tolerate” my repeated calls just because “I wasn’t getting the answer that I wanted”. I tried explaining that I was doing exactly what the previous staff asked me to do. I had made the payment they requested to bring my balance below the spending limit so the changes could be made. I was outright hung up upon. No time during this call did I get irate or swear at the agent or supervisor. I certainly did not warrant being hung up on.

    Apparently, By the time that I got ahold of a billing rep additional “pending charges” for more text message overages had hit my account. My balance is now $289.47 for a month’s worth of service. In the matter of an hour over a hundred dollars more in text charges were applied to my account.

    I’d also like to add that the my.t-mobile.com website doesn’t show my most recent bill. It never has. The latest bill that I can view on the t-mobile website is dated Dec 21 – Jan 20. So on top of the huge amount of text messaging charges, they’re asking me to pay for a bill that I can’t even view.

    I’ve filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau as well as with t-mobile’s executive response team. Unfortunately I didn’t get the e-mail until just now and the person handling my “investigation” is only in the office 9-5 MST so it looks like I’ll have to wait til monday for a response.

    R Letson

  36. mworthen says:

    We had a service issue with TM recently, and an email to Mr. Dotson (CEO) prompted an immediate phone call from his secretary, who personally resolved the issue. Doesn’t change the fact that their CSR’s need some serious training, but I was impressed with the response to my issue. On another note, we were totally impressed with their rebate program. Three separate rebates, processed timely and without incident.

  37. P41 says:

    Here’s a few little business tips to phone co execs who might read: When someone has to call a second time to confirm the first CSR did anything, it doubles the load on CSR staff. Double the load usually means double the cost. When someone has to keep calling to dispute something, costs go higher. When a bunch of execs get an email carpet bomb, each of their time was worth something. If the customer takes you to court, files a complaint with regulators, or some other way involves the government, costs keep going higher. Oh and when you disconnect a customer because of the error, chances are they’re not YOUR customer any more, they become your COMPETITOR’s customer. Good goin’ Sherlock.

    So when someone’s sitting around the boardroom wondering how to cut costs in order to meet quarterly numbers, and someone jumps up to pitch a plan to cut CSR wages & staffing, or get CSRs to work faster by paying them according to how quickly they get rid of the caller and how many times they can extend a contract, be sure to point to today’s Sprint story and say, already been tried, didn’t work. And feel free to pitch alternate ideas that you might have had while reading consumerist.com.

  38. mprice says:

    I’m not surprised at all. It must have been the same lying CSR I spoke to when I tried to cancel my T-Mobile service before the contract ran out. I explained to a CSR why extenuating circumstances (bad service areas) meant I shouldn’t have to pay the ETF and he was totally understanding, agreed with me and promised to waive it. Then I got my bill with the $200.00 fee on it. When I called T-Mobile about it there was no record of any kind of that call and no one I spoke to ever made it right. There was, of course, a record of every other call I ever made to them.

  39. pfeng says:

    @theblackdog: “family plan” means teenagers writing text messages incessantly. I have a cousin (now 15) who does that, and even sends the same message to about 20 friends at the same time. Pithy things like “omg my cousin has car n drov me to mall! u meet us?”

    My kids are getting one of those phones that calls nothing but my cell phone, home, or 911. And/or getting text messages COMPLETELY BLOCKED. (Of course, in ten years when they “need” their own phone, I’ll be worrying about cybernetic implants or something instead of old-fashioned text messages…)

    That stingy rant over, back on topic: BAD T-Mobile rep! I had an AT&T CSR lie to me once (promised the bundling plan wouldn’t require call waiting to be on my account, boy was I peeved when it started going off in my ear a week later) — it was a significant factor in my decision to switch telecommunication providers.

  40. DigitalNY says:

    New Update – 17:40EST 22 Feb

    An e-mail has been forwarded to me by Chris at consumerist.com from “Cara” at Waggener Edstrom. Waggener Edstrom is apparently a PR Firm that handles T-Mobiles public image.

    I’ve e-mailed her back and will keep everyone updated as things unfold.

    Ric

  41. pigeonpenelope says:

    i find it hard to believe that a tmobile csr rep didn’t pull up the account and lied about making changes.

  42. rjhiggins says:

    @HootieMac, The Very, Very, Very, Very, Very Angry Twins Fan: You’re right, they all have detractors, for good reasons. If you have a provider you’re happy with, consider yourself lucky and don’t mess with a good thing, in my opinion.

    In this case the grass isn’t greener anywhere else.

  43. CumaeanSibyl says:

  44. mstcn says:

    T-Mobile has hit or miss customer service. I spent half an hour getting them to refund “notifications” from an application (they counted as text messages, supposedly). The first rep was terrible, but after having it resolved with the second CSR, I’m still satisfied with T-Mobile.

    If the first rep is uncooperative, simply hang up and call again.

  45. sventurata says:

    @bobosgirl: Maybe your dog should work at the call centre (until someone alerts the Humane Society about the work conditions being unfit for a dog, as it were).

    @jtheletter: It sucks that you couldn’t get any identifier beyond a first name, but as dregina so eloquently stated, not all CSRs have numbers.

    Also, if you only wait three seconds after making the request to ask someone else if it’s completed, chances are, it’s not. Not everything is robo-mated! Hence the concept of “after-call work” which can be completed much faster without someone talking in your ear constantly.

    That’s all I have to say. It is truly unfortunate that CSRs have mishandled your trust in them to complete their jobs – some of them, miraculously, can! (But maybe not in three seconds… see what I mean?)

  46. Buran says:

    @warf0x0r: Thank you so much for informing the hard of hearing that a method of communication that is very beneficial to us is stupid.

    Hey, because it causes me lots of grief sometimes, voice chat is stupid too, right?

  47. NYBanker says:

    I have had very mixed results with T-Mobile service. My local store has a manager who routinely fails to show up when scheduled, yet he is the only one who is “authorized” to make decisions. The staff disclaims any ability to resolve certain customer complaints without his permission. I’ve seen more than one customer leave the store in a huff (including my wife). I have stopped visiting that store. Additionally, it took 3 tries to change my address, once on their website and twice with CSRs. But when I lost my phone, both of the phone reps I got were excellent. Maybe because that meant I would be buying a new phone?

  48. Dice24 says:

    When my son moved we called T-Mobile to find out when his contract was up. We were given a date, waited until then (several months), and cancelled his contract. It turned out we were given a date 4 weeks too early. When we got a $200 charge for early cancellation, we complained and were told, “We have no record of that call”. The CSR lied to us then failed to record the call just to extract another $200. Our complaints fell on deaf ears. I will, of course, never deal with them again.

  49. SuffolkHouse says:

    Good luck. T-Mobile screwed my account up, failing to close the account after I asked them to. They closed it at a later date. This, after I caught them changing my plan and signing me up for an additional year without my requesting it. They dragged their feet for 6 months on the overage for the time I didn’t want. Then, they sent it to a debt collector. When I mentioned suing, they told me I signed an arbitration agreement. So, I continued to drag it on, calling and calling. Finally, after contacting a number at this site, it was taken care of.

    T-Mobile gets much better props than i found it deserves. It’s CSRs are nicer, but they screw you just the same. They are nearly as greedy and sloppy as any AT&T CSR.

  50. jtheletter says:

    @ConnertheCat: I’m not asking for their name and address, I’m asking for something that lets me reference them within the scope of service calls. Many posts here talk about writing down everything, including the CSR who takes a call. What good is knowing “Bob was the last CSR to change the account” if it can’t be traced to ‘Bob’ when there’s a problem?

    @dregina: Not all CSRs have numbers, yes. But I have had some flat out state there was no way to get any sort of info that tied that CSR to that service ticket or call. Total bunk for a major corporate call center.

    @Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler: I am also intelligent enough to understand that not all information hits the system instantaneously, however some things, like removing charges, or taking payment, are in the system immediately. If CSR #2 tells me the changes should have been there, and aren’t, then guess what CSR #1 didn’t do.

  51. theMatrix says:

    T-Mobile is like all the other carriers. You need to let them talk and then VERIFY. Never believe a word. I had so many problems just signing up with them, I finally told them to forget it. If their customer service reps are that bad trying to get a new customer, I can just imagine what they are like to an existing customer.

    Something else I always do is after I am done with the rep, I always get her manager on the line. I confirm the changes with her manager. The managers will give you their name, phone number etc. So then you do have a contact number.

    Whatever you do, hang in there until it is resolved to your satisfaction. Even if you have to go to local TV station. We cannot allow companies to continue to take their customers for granted. There are too many choices out there.

  52. domino_angel says:

    @whatdoyoucare: And they still are. I have friends who work in the Wichita, KS T-mobile call center.

  53. sibertater says:

    @jtheletter: I’ve asked them how they sign in to their computer or their phone. I’ve worked at a crappy call center before and we had to sign in to a phone and the computer we used. No, really.

  54. TheKingBoar says:

    I’m not surprised that people are having problems, but I’ve never a problem with T-Mobile. I was one of those teenagers who texted constantly, and when I met my girlfriend, I ran up 40,000 text (in and out) in one month, which ran up quite the overage. In exchange for adding unlimited text messaging, they completely wiped out the charge, which was a wise investment. As for those who are insulting texting, some people just don’t want to be that idiot who’s constantly yapping on a cellphone in public places annoying other people.

    It’s possible though that an earlier rep flagged the account as belonging to a rude person and then they won’t be as nice. I’ve found that being nice to a CSR always gets me better service than just starting out and tearing into them.

  55. firefoxx66 says:

    T-Mobile CS is hit-and-miss. If you get a rep you don’t like, try just calling back. Inefficient, I know, but at least there’s a 50-50 chance there – there are so many companies out there that getting a good rep is like 1 in a million.

    If that doesn’t work, try going down to your local T-Mobile store. Try going when it’s least busy – early morning if you can. If possible, identify a store rep you like and find out when they work, and go in and see them specifically. A lot of time, I’ve found, talking to someone in person helps get issues resolved. Reps over the phone can just be too far removed.

  56. DigitalNY says:

    To give everyone an update, it seems that every billing rep that I had spoken with at t-mobile was incorrect as to why my bill had reached such a high amount and why my service was suspended. The culprit wasn’t just text message fees as we had originally thought. There was also a $107 charge that was applied to my account from a under warranty phone swap that I did in January. Apparently, when the warehouse received my old phone it showed signs of water damage. I know there was no water damage when the phone was sent in, the rep that arranged the warranty swap had me take pictures of the water damage indicator in the battery compartment and MMS them to her.

    Why the billing representatives were unable to figure out the charges and provide me with a truthful explanation of the amount of my bill I’ll never understand. It seems to me that if a provider is going to suspend your service and forward every call you attempt to a billing representative then that representative should at least have access to a detailed accounting of the charges on your account.

    Regardless, the charges have been removed from my account. The text message charges have also been removed. I didn’t receive any sort of an apology from t-mobile for suspending my service for four days. They still insist that I never called in on January 22nd to change my text plan, but they’ve made the changes anyway. I’m now on the $19.99 / month “Unlimited Messages for Families” add-on which covers both lines on my family plan.

    I’m not overly happy with the outcome, but at least my service has been restored. My total bill went from $324.79 to $125.77. I think that now that my year is up I’ll either switch from SmartAccess to a regular post-paid account or switch providers entirely. I’m shopping around right now for a provider that has comparable plans which support blackberry use.

    As far as this issue in particular is concerned. Score another for consumerist.com, it probably wouldn’t have been resolved without my posting here.

    Ric L.

  57. colorofwater says:

    You know, I really to apologize that you were given poor information. But as a T-Mobile CSR, I just felt the need to tell you that we are not really free to roam on our own. All of our calls are recorded, and on top of that, there are screen shots to follow the recorndings of our call. I love my job, I love my company, and I love the people I work with. Don’t let one bad experience reflect back poorly on the rest of us. We are a performance based company, our raises, our bonuses, and anything else special is based on our performance, and the service we give to you the consumer.

  58. howie_in_az says:

    This is one of the reasons I’ve started calling out through my GrandCentral account, which can record the conversation. It’s a bit more of a hassle, but outweighing that hassle is the ability to say “well I just so happen to have a recording of the conversation in question, should we listen to it right this very moment?”

    Granted I’ve only had to say that once, during a dispute with LA Fitness, but the look on the manager’s face was so deliciously satisfying that I was giggling for the rest of the day.