T-Mobile Juggles Lies For Sales

Mat has a sad story. He’s a gentleman variety show performer (pictured) who travels throughout Europe during the summer and wanted a good way to stay in contact with his wife.

A T-mobile store told him he could get a Blackberry with an unlimited email plan. It was the perfect solution and Mat bought it.

The only problem being that such a plan doesn’t exist. When he complained to T-mobile HQ, he was told there was nothing they could do as he had no proof in writing.

Ouch. T-mobile really drops the ball on this juggler, after the jump…

Matt writes:

    So…I’m a British variety performer who travels extensively in Europe during Summer, and I have a delightful wife who has a slightly less delightful recurring back injury. I wanted a way of being able to email her from wherever I was in Europe, as much as I needed to, so I could check she was ok while I was working away.

    I talked to a very helpful T-Mobile staff member who told me that there was a price plan for my Blackberry that would give me unlimited email for a flat monthly fee. Brilliant. I checked that I would be able to use the free unlimited email from other countries in Europe and the helpful staff member didn’t just say yes, but even started to list all the countries I that my free email would work in. Excellent. I bought the contract.

    A couple of weeks ago, T-Mobile started charging me for emails. I got in touch with them and they said it was their mistake and corrected it. Fine. While I was talking to them on the phone, I double-checked that my email would work in Europe and was told that it would work, but I’d have to pay for each email sent. Not good. I explained that I had been told that I had free unlimited email in Europe, and was told that no, I didn’t.

    Time to contact customer service.

    I regailed them with my tale and was told that they never offer free unlimited email outside of the UK. I told them that I had been told by their customer adviser that I would get the free email outside of the UK, and that was the sole reason I had purchased the price plan.

    They apologised and offered to credit my account with

    60. I said thanks, but that didn’t really solve my problem and what I really wanted was the free email outside the UK.

    They said no and seemed to imply that I was making up the bit where the staff member tells me inaccurate information.

    I mentioned how I understood that customer service calls are recorded and how this would confirm my story – I actually mentioned this several time, they always seemed to ignore it. I wonder why?

    After a little more to and fro, they offered another

    25 credited to my account. I explained that this still didn’t solve the problem.

    All I want – I told them – was the price plan that I had been led to believe I already had.

    This morning I got a terse email from them. They said that as there was no written evidence that I had been misled (not sure how there could be..) there was nothing else they could do.

    Looks like the customer doesn’t come first.

    It’s a great shame that their choice of customer service strategies brings results that leave all parties annoyed, where they could have taken alternative action and created a very happy and satisfied customer.

    I wouldn’t have bought the price plan I am now saddled with had it not been recommended by the customer service staff member I talked to on the phone. I have been best misinformed and at best lied to in order to make a sale.

    Crappy crappy crappy.

    Mat Ricardo, Gentleman Juggler
    Impossible feats with impeccable style


Edit Your Comment

  1. Kornkob says:

    I guess I’m having a hard time figuring out what else they could do short of offering to let him out of his contract, which this person doesn’t indicate whether he requested or not.

    As for recorded calls— I doubt those call recordings are kept forever. Think of the amount of data that would be.

  2. spesh says:

    Hi, I’m the guy the story was about!
    Just to answer your comment – the one thing that they could have done that they refused to do was give me the price plan that I thought I had been sold – simple as that :)

    As for being released from my contract – not really a solution to my problem, and something I wasn’t keen to do after springing £££ for a blackberry handset locked to T-Mobile.

    All I wanted was the deal that their staff had led me believe I already had..

  3. clever epithet says:

    There’s something missing here. Did you order from T-Mobile over the phone or in person? Did you ever have to sign anything regarding your contract? I know that when I sign up for cell service, I always have to sign my service contract that precisely lays out all the ins and outs of my plan and such, and of course I always read the whole contract (yup, right there, with the salesperson twiddling their thumbs) before putting pen to paper. If there were no contract, well, I’m not sure what T-Mobile can do for you aside from let you out of your obligation. Otherwise, anyone could just say “Um, yeah, your salesperson told me that plasma TV came with a Wii. It wasn’t in the box you shipped. What gives?” I’m not doubting the veracity of your story, just that a liberal policy like you’re asking T-Mobile to implement is ripe for abuse.

    I hope you got the name of the Sales Rep, right? Right?

  4. Johnny says:

    Kornkob hits the nail on the head. The critical piece of information is whether they offered to let him out of the contract. Despite what Mat says, giving him the price plan he wanted isn’t “the one thing that they could have done.” The sales rep screwed up and sold him something that T-Mobile can’t give him.

    They made a couple efforts to remedy the situation, and he wasn’t satisfied (which is his right). At that point, if T-Mobile didn’t offer to let him out of the contract, then they were definitely pretty scummy. If they did offer to let him out, then in my mind they’ve fulfilled their obligation — he’d have an opportunity to wash his hands of the whole affair.

    It still wouldn’t be a good experience either way, but there’s a difference between a fuckup on the sales-agent level and a fuckup on the corporate-policy level. I’m interested to know which one this is.

    FWIW (correct me if I’m wrong), it sounds to me like Mat wanted free international e-mail but needed T-Mobile service regardless of whether he had to pay for it or not. (I.e., cancelling the service was a reasonable remedy for T-Mobile but not an option for him.) So he was basically negotiating from a position of zero leverage. I can sympathize — that is a very frustrating situation.

  5. spesh says:

    They did offer – once – to let me out of my contract but as I mentioned, that would have left me out of pocket on the expensive blackberry handset I had bought on their recommendation and still not given me the ability to check on my wife’s health while in Europe.

    Here’s the thing – I don’t care what level the fuckup happened on – as far as I can see T-Mobile lied to me to get a sale. That’s about as low as a company can get.

    As for not being able to give me what I thought I was paying for – of course they could have – and if they have they would have made a customer happy – but they chose not to.

  6. TitanBane says:

    On a first note, T-Mobile does not require the “signing” of a contract. They simply ask if you agree to the provisions and that’s it.
    I’ve had similar issues with T-Mobile sales/customer service reps blatantly making things up. The most egregious was, however, when I canceled my service, but they kept billing me for it. I couldn’t log in to my account online because, I assume, that part was actually cancelled, but my automatic payment would be made every month. I literally had to call six times before the service was actually cancelled and they stopped charging me. Each time I was told something along the lines of, “we have no record of your call, and I’m sorry if you ‘thought’ you canceled your plan.” The dialogue would usually progress to me asking why , if I didn’t actually cancel my plan, I would have not used any minutes on my plan for the past x months (an increasing number that finally ended at 6) and they would offer to only charge me the lowest billing plan. After this, I would request to speak to a supervisor, on up until I was assured that this time my plan was cancelled. I would request that a note be placed in my account and then call back to make sure that another CS rep could confirm my plan was cancelled. Then sure enough the next month it was back. Entirely infuriating, but not at all different from my entire relationship with T-Mobile; love their prices, but their Customer Service is absolutely useless.