When Jeffrey received his replacement smartphone from T-Mobile, he packed up his old one, used the enclosed prepaid UPS label, and dispatched it using a UPS drop box. From there, the phone disappeared. One customer service rep after another assured him that the lost phone situation would be resolved…and then a $300 charge for the phone appeared on his bill. It was time to escalate. It was time to use a powerful tool he learned about from this very site: the executive e-mail carpet bomb.
He posted his story and his successful letter on his blog.
I had a four-month battle with T-Mobile that recently ended that I’d like to share with the hopes that you don’t make the same mistakes we did and know how to exhaust every form of communication – not just with T-Mobile, but with any service provider you give your hard-earned money to.
After exhausting my patience with customer service representatives that I had to constantly repeat my story to (followed by constantly hearing the same responses) I decided to launch what I read was referred to as an executive e-mail carpet bomb. I strongly suggest you click that link and take the necessary steps to dispute your case. My mom would be proud. I remember her handwriting letters to executives when challenging credit charges when I was younger. About 27 hours after I sent out my e-mail I received a phone call “from the office of the president” of T-Mobile by a man who wasn’t even on the e-mail blast I sent. He said my charges were dropped and that he was sorry, on behalf of T-Mobile, for any inconvenience I experienced. Here’s the e-mail I sent out:
“Dear Executive Response Office,
My name is Jeffrey [redacted]. I have been a faithful T-Mobile customer since 2004. I have been teaching in the New York City public school system for 12 years, and am close to completing 1,000 days of teaching without taking a day off. I am writing because I believe I am being unfairly charged $399.81 for a MyTouch 3G Slide that I did not lose and I would like this charge removed from my account.
In August of 2011, I received a refurbished replacement MyTouch 3G phone for a malfunctioning phone MyTouch 3G that I was using. Taking the printed advice that came with the packaging of the refurbished phone, I placed my phone (using a pre-printed T-Mobile packaging label) in a UPS drop box. Over the next few days I checked the UPS website to see if my original phone had been delivered back to T-Mobile. I began to worry when I saw that the package’s tracking number wasn’t even turning up on the UPS system so I called T-Mobile Customer Care to raise awareness, report the problem and find appropriate next steps.
Every T-Mobile representative I spoke with within the first thirty days of my phone being placed in the drop box told me to sit and wait, not to worry, and that the situation will likely be resolved without any unnecessary charge to my account. I continued calling T-Mobile and every time I spoke with a representative they filed a research form of some kind – at one point even filing one for the wrong phone – and I was told to call back in a few days. Please check the notes on my account to confirm this. This process of being told to call back, to wait while another claim form was being processed went on until the phone was due back and the charge of $300 was placed on my account.
When I called to complain about the bill I was then transferred to a supervisor who said he would follow up with UPS and then call me back within 48 hours. He never called me back. I called again and was assured by another representative that they would file a claim directly with UPS and get back to me with my next action steps. They never called me back either. Instead I’ve received multiple text messages and phone calls from the finance department stating that my service will be suspended if I do not pay this bill. It is unfortunate that this phone was stolen from a UPS drop box, but that is not my fault and should not be held financially responsible for said loss.
I propose that this problem be resolved by removing the fee from my account.
I look forward to your reply and a resolution to my problem, and will wait until January 27th2012 before seeking help from a consumer protection agency, the Better Business Bureau or the Federal Communications Commission. I am, however, looking forward to hearing back from you sooner than that. If this matter is not resolved efficiently, I will feel forced to take my business to another cell phone provider. I have been a T-Mobile customer in good standing since 2004, and I would like to receive the fair treatment that I deserve as a responsible customer. I have enjoyed using T-Mobile for cell phone service, and I have appreciated the value of the rate plan that my wife and I currently have. I would prefer to stay with T-Mobile. However, I don’t want to feel that I am being robbed by the company, and I hope for a reasonable solution to this issue. Please contact me at the address below or by phone.”
Sending a link to his post to Consumerist, Jeff added:
I re-told the story and posted it on my blog, but thought it best to write you back and say THANK YOU for helping me beat the faulty charge.
Well, done, Jeff! We’re glad that our tips were able to help.
How I Beat a Faulty T-Mobile Charge [The Craft of Fatherhood]