Jason bought a couple of new Sidekick phones, but quickly discovered that he and his wife couldn’t live with the abysmal battery life. He called T-Mobile and found out that he had a 14-day window during which he could return the phones for a full refund. Before he sent them back in, however, T-Mobile offered to send him two more batteries via expedited shipping to see if the experience would improve. Jason agreed and tested the new batteries, but still wanted to return the phone. But now he had a problem: he was one day outside his “Buyer’s Remorse” period and T-Mobile wouldn’t let him.
Fortunately, Jason was able to resolve the issue. He wrote a detailed, very civil email to T-Mobile’s executive support department—
—and CC’ed The Consumerist. Someone from T-Mobile called him early the next day and waived the deadline:
I received a call this morning from Timothy in the Executive Response dept – they are going to issue a full refund as a “one time courtesy”. :)
He admitted that the 2-3 day number that they give for batteries is a very over-the-top estimate. “The manufacturers charge the phones, and leave them on a desk until they die. There is zero usage during that time. Phones like the Sidekick are very well known for having only about 24 hours of battery life, because they are constantly sending/receiving data – whether you are actively using them or not.”
We think it’s great T-Mobile did the right thing here, since by encouraging Jason to wait to test new batteries, they helped push him past the 14-day return deadline. Not everyone may be so lucky in getting fast and rational customer service, however, so you should read up on the return policy no matter where you buy your phone.
Howard Forums is a great place to look for this information if you can’t find it on an official carrier’s website—here’s T-Mobile’s policy, for example. You should still verify the policy with the carrier at the time of purchase (from a printed document or a CSR, not a salesperson), so you’re certain to have the most up to date information.