Josh reached the data cap for his T-Mobile account, and his mobile Internet shut down entirely. Some customers might appreciate being unable to run up data overages, but Josh was annoyed. So he took on T-Mobile’s customer service bureaucracy and ultimately emerged victorious, with a 5GB data cap at a discounted price. Here’s how he did it.
I had a breakthrough with T-Mobile yesterday that I thought your readers might like to hear about. It’s a months-long saga, so I’ll try to distill it down to the fundamentals, though this leaves out much of the suffering.
After I reached my 2GB data cap, my data speed didn’t just slow down- the internet, and any online apps, stopped working completely. I spent hours talking to tech agents and customer service reps to no avail. A Tech supervisor did tell me that the problem was on T-Mobile’s end, not mine. She lifted the cap to 5GB for the remainder of the month, telling me I would not be charged for it. Of course, I was billed for it. The customer service (apparently a call center in South Asia) was deplorable, reading scripted faux-polite answers that rarely responded in any way to what I was saying. I was put on hold and transferred over and over again. I got disconnect twice, and on three separate occasions I was promised a call back that I never received.
After wading through a customer service rep and a supervisor yesterday, I was transferred to the Customer Loyalty Department and spoke to an account specialist, [A]. I Iisted my complaints- retail store failed to tell me there was a cheaper plan (I saw on their website that they were offering prepaid plans with 5GB of data for $10 less than my plan), my internet connection would not work, the customer service was wanting, and I was billed for that which I did not owe.
After some discussion, she offered to raise the data cap to 5GB for no extra cost. I said that I’d accept that, but that it did not assuage my concerns about T-Mobile’s abusive treatment of longtime customers. She then also offered to give me a $10 discount off my bill every month for the next two years.
So, essentially I was able to switch to the terms of the cheaper plan without having to pay an early termination fee, which I think was reasonable. It still doesn’t make up for their bureaucratic cruelty, and I intend to put up whatever recordings I have on youtube and link to them on facebook.
Here are the main takeaways for tortured T-Mobile clients-
1. Ask to talk to a supervisor immediately. Don’t even bother telling regular reps the problem. They didn’t do anything for me in any of my calls, but the supervisors were more competent and accommodating.
2. Get them to transfer you to an account specialist at the Loyalty department. The rep here did infinitely more for me in 15 minutes than all the other people to whom i spoke did combined,
3. Have a clear explanation of your issue ready, and express it calmly and firmly without any personal malice towards the person you’re speaking to.
4. Have some fun with the phone call. Most of the reps will be totally unresponsive. But getting angry only makes you stressed out and does nothing to advance your cause. Instead, I prefer to make a game out of it to educe the absurdity of their position. “You say it’s not possible for you to terminate my contract. Do mean this literally or are you just speaking euphemistically. I mean, if I died from a horrible disease and my weeping mother called and asked you to stopped sending bills because my rotting corpse could no longer use the phone… you COULD go into your computer at that point and push a button that would terminate my contract, right? You wouldn’t keep billing me even after the leprosy had won the battle would you?”
This is good advice, especially points 2 and 3. they’re useful in any negotiation of call center labyrinths. I have to disagree with point 4, though: as a former call center worker, I loathed being asked tortured hypotheticals that would only keep me on the phone longer with a difficult customer and could get me fired if I answered honestly. On the other hand, it is kind of fun to mention leprosy when talking about mobile phone contracts.