T-Mobile Doesn't Want My Money, Casts Me Into Billing Purgatory

Jill is a T-Mobile customer. She and her boyfriend ended their old family plan contract and started new contracts so they could get new phones on separate accounts. They would very much like to send T-Mobile money for the final bill, but their money is no good to T-Mobile. They just don’t want it.

She blogged about the situation:

With the exception of a brief, very unsuccessful, experiment with Straight Talk, I’ve been a loyal T Mobile customer for years now. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that it’s been all smooth sailing.

It all started when my boyfriend and I decided to separate our family plan and get new, separate plans that would also give us new, fancy phones. This meant we had to cancel our old plan completely and get new individual plans. The company was able to transfer our old numbers onto our new phones, so everything was going smoothly, until our last family plan bill was due.

Unfortunately, T Mobile’s online site uses your phone number as your user log in id, so as soon as the company canceled our old plan, we could no longer access our old bill online. To make matters worse, I was on their paperless billing system, so they didn’t send me a paper version of the bill either.

I call them on the phone and ask if they can send me a copy of the bill, but they have their system set up in a way that prevents them from changing an account’s settings after the account is closed. Essentially, if you have paperless billing, you continue to have it, even after you can’t access your account. The customer service rep tells me she absolutely can’t send me a paper bill.

Instead, she tells me to visit a T Mobile store in person and have an associate print it out for me. This is already getting to be a pain in the ass, but I just want to pay my last bill and get this over with, so I head to the store and the associate quickly prints out my bill. Only then do I realize that I canceled four days after the billing cycle ended and they haven’t added those four days of charges to the bill she just handed me. Instead, I have to drive to their store in order to get another printout, this time for my bill of four days worth of service. I ask the associate if she can arrange the final bill to be mailed to me or if she can just tell me what it will cost, but she says no on both accounts. Like the woman on the phone said, they can’t change account settings and mail bills after accounts are closed so if your a paperless customer, your bill ends up in paperless limbo.

I just want to be able to pay off my bill, but don’t want to spend more money gas driving to their store to get the bill than the partial bill total. But that seems like it’s way too much to ask for here.

It’s very impressive: this is almost an anti-capitalist prank of Sears or Lenovo caliber.

T-Mobile: Why Don’t You Want My Money? [Cheapskate Handbook]