Michael’s daughter has a phone on the family plan, and he’d like to do something to it that seems simple enough. He wants to block her phone from all use during school hours, except for the numbers she would need in an emergency. Except the system doesn’t work that way. For some reason that no one understands, phones can only be disabled in certain blocks, and during certain times the main account holder can’t limit the phone’s use at all. Some of these times happen to conveniently fall during the hours when Michael’s daughter is at school. He’s not the only one with this problem.
I have complained to T-Mobile numerous times over a year about this problem and they seem to constantly just ignore it. Even the phone reps I talk to say they don’t go a day without getting complaints.
Here’s the problem:
T-Mobile offers a feature called Family Allowances that lets you manage phones on your account. One of the sub-features is the ability to block a phone (except 10 numbers you define) for a certain period of time. However, the times they offer to block just don’t work very well for parents.
For example, you can block:
9am – 2pm
4pm – 9pm
9pm – 11pm
11pm – 6am
This leaves 6am – 9am & 2pm – 4pm unblockable. The problem with this is that I would like to block my daughter from using her phone during school hours (8am – 3pm). However, because of T-Mobile’s bizarre set of times, that leaves 2 hours when my daughter can text and surf the web in class. Or, if she’s grounded I would like to block her phone all hours of the day so she can only call me or any of the other 9 numbers in case of an emergency (the reason I don’t take the phone away entirely).
I have been a HUGE fan of consumerist.com for many years and I know when you get your weight behind something, changes tend to happen. I know that I am not the only parent who wishes that T-Mobile would restructure their schedule to allow for blocking of ALL hours of the day, preferably in 1 hour segments.
I have attached a picture of what that screen looks like on their site, along with their reasoning titled “Why these time periods”. However, their suggestion to disable the phone for blocking of 24 hour periods is not realistic. My daughter needs her phone in case of an emergency.