T-Mobile Trying to Kill Customer, For A Mistake Company Made

Through the frosted glass, in walks this dame into our office, she says:

    “I’m writing you because I’ve been reading your site and I’ve seen you (and other visitors) help people with problems like mine.”

Thanks to the inept tomfoolery of a T-Mobile rep, Nick is in a vicious spiral of lawyers and collection agents. None of them seem to realize their client is breaking the law. Now the piranhas are chomping at Nick’s doorstep, what’s a guy who just wanted a simple upgrade to do?

Could be a job for a little thing called US Code Title 39, Part IV, Chapter 30,


Looks like we’ve got another customer service SOS on our hands, folks.

Nick writes:

    “You see, almost two years ago, I wanted a new phone from T-Mobile, one with bluetooth that worked with iSync. So I called them up figuring “hey, they’ll want to keep me as a customer, maybe they’ll give me a good deal!” Anyway, I talked to a few reps before I got someone who could give me a better deal than $30 off a new phone. Basically the two choices were a cheap sony-ericsson t610 ($50 with contract extension) and an expensive moto v600 ($300 with contract extension.) I said that although I liked the v600, the Sony-ericsson phone was more in my price range and i’ll take it. I got a strange call about an hour later from the same account rep (Stupidly I didn’t get his name) saying “oh, I made a mistake and ordered you the v600. I’ve cancelled it, and you don’t need to worry about it.” A week later, the t610 showed up and I started using it right away. A few days after that, the v600 came too. I did a little research and it turns out that according to US Code Title 39, Part IV, Chapter 30,


    “…the mailing of un

    ordered merchandise … constitutes an unfair method of competition and an unfair trade practice … Any merchandise mailed in violation of [the above subsection] … may be treated as a gift by the recipient… No mailer of any merchandise mailed in violation of [the above subsection] … shall mail to any recipient of such merchandise a bill for such merchandise or any dunning communications. “

    That’s the gist of it, anyways. (you can read it for yourself at http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/39/3009.shtml) Naively I assumed that the CSR was helping me out, since I’d heard that T-Mobile was the best cell company in customer service. Two months go by (I ordered right at a weird time and the phone didn’t appear on my next statement) when I notice that all of a sudden, I had a $400 phone bill. Basically, they charged me for both phones. Long story short, I got up to T-Mobile executive customer relations who still wouldn’t help me out. I offered to send it back if they would send a fedex label for me to ship it back with, but they wouldn’t. So, they shut my phone off and I switched to Cingular. Now they wanted the $300 early-termination fee too! Collection agency after collection agency came after me, usually taking 2 or 3 explanations that what they were doing was against the law before they would give up. Unfortunately, in the mean time my credit is taking a dive, and now they’ve got lawyers collecting for them. Today I got in the mail a collection notice from a lawyer. I’m sick of wasting my time explaining why the bill collectors are wrong. What can I do?



    PS: Is there no mobile company that will try not to screw you completely?”

We think, Nick, you need to get a lawyer to draft a nice official letter telling them to go die, they have no case. You might be able to counter sue them for the cost of the lawyer as well.

The lawyers after you now might just be debt collection agencies who have “bought” your debt. That could explain why your case is making the rounds, if one agency can’t collect, they sell it to someone else.

Anyone in the audience got some suggestions for Nick?

As far as getting a good mobile company, Verizon seems to be the best.

(Thanks to Bill for the Mr. T image!)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.