T-Mobile Tells Me I Can Cancel Son’s Line With No ETF After His Move – Now I Can’t

Mobile phone carriers are supposed to let you out of your contract without an early termination fee if you move outside of a coverage area. That’s a theoretical exercise as far as Tom is concerned. His son uses one of the lines on his family plan, and moved outside of a coverage area. Should be easy enough to end that line without an Early Termination fee, right? Nope.

My family has been using T-Mobile for 7-8 years. My son, who had one of our three lines, moved in July to a new location where he couldn’t get T-mobile service. He got a line from another carrier and cancelled his line. I was surprised to see a $200 cancellation fee (plus tax of $52.70) appear on the next bill. When I called T-Mobile and pointed out that we had dropped the line because of the lack of coverage, I was told that I needed to send an email stating this to an address for appeals, which I did. I didn’t hear back. I didn’t pay the fee on the August or September bills. However, about a month ago we were called to say that the service would be cancelled in three days if we didn’t pay the full back charges.

I immediately called T-Mobile and was told that the charge would be reversed if I sent in proof of my son’s new address. I did that, and didn’t hear back until I received a letter on Nov. 13 saying that “T-Mobile will only credit an Early Termination Fee if the account holder has moved out of the coverage area.” In other words, what they had told me earlier was bogus – they had no intention of crediting the fee no matter how much proof we submitted that my son lived where he does. They would only credit it if I myself had moved out of coverage!

I called immediately after receiving this letter and was told there was nothing more they could do – I had to pay the fee. I think this is outrageous. They clearly lied to me when they said they just needed proof of my son’s new residence, and they have just added a new reason why they don’t want to credit the fee. I will cancel the service entirely – even though I will then owe more fees – rather than pay this.

We’ve found over the years that the Executive E-mail Carpet Bomb is an effective weapon against T-Mobile. If not, too bad for T-Mobile that they’re losing a longtime and otherwise happy customer.