Old Mother Brownlee Likes T-Mobile

Sometimes Ben uses the royal ‘we’ in confusing ways, like when he talks about ‘our’ appearance on 20/20 (his!), ‘our’ meeting with Edelmann (his!) and ‘our’ girlfriend (which, god willing, Ben doesn’t know about).

So let me be totally clear: my Mommy, not Ben’s, wrote us, praising T-Mobile, for god’s sakes. You might know my mother as the unofficial Consumerist mascot, so when she says T-Mobile treated her right, you should listen. On the other hand, T-Mobile ever treating any customer right is so improbable that we should all probably remember my mother once had a stroke. But we should also remember my mother is charming, even to faceless corporations.

But it sounds on the up and up. After my mother ended up getting locked out of her phone and somehow ended up calling the State Police by accident, she called T-Mobile and got “a very nice young man” named Jeff. Jeff helped her out and even told her that “T-Mobile doesn’t have any stupid customers.”

That’s a bit of a stretch, Jeff, but kudos! Old Ma Brownlee’s email, after the jump.

Amazingly I have had very little trouble with my T-Mobile cellphone since buying it last March. I don’t use it much, but I didn’t intend it for anything but a backup, and emergency phone. Tonight I broke it, not break – broke, but I managed to mess up a PIN and then a PUK, forgot what SOS stands for, and ended up talking to the State Police 911. I really should have read the manual, and written things down last March.

I was mortified about accidently calling the State E911, but the operator wasn’t annoyed (I apologized profusely, and the SOS that T uses causes many such calls), even told me something that might have fixed the problem had I not already punched too many buttons. I was going to have to call the dreaded Customer Care line.

Visions of a 2 hour hold, surly CSRs, “ring around the rosy” computer dialing choices, digital voices, and that awful, awful music only interupted by “All our representative are busy right now, please hold for the first available representative”; I almost caved in to procrastinating. I am very good at procrastinating. But I called the 800 number.

Guess what? I was talking to a CSR within 3 minutes, and that’s counting getting through the “push 1 for english,….” list. Jeff was very nice, I pulled the battery, gave him some numbers, and in 30 seconds he was giving me the PUK number to input, and after choosing a PIN the phone was working (yes John, I wrote it all down). I was delighted, thanked him profusely, told him that I wouldn’t be so stupid again (his response was that “T-Mobile didn’t have stupid customers”), and also that I was happy with the service, phone, and his help. When he asked if I would mind telling same to supervisor, I said “Sure”. Sad to say it took longer to be transfered to his supervisor than it had for the whole repair call (although even that wasn’t too long).

I still hate Express-Scripts Customer Care line (unhelpful rude jerks), but I’m giving T-Mobile a thumbs up, and a good job.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Sam Glover says:

    Speaking of cofusion, I’ve been wondering why you guys don’t tag your posts with a name so we can see who posted what.

  2. Nancy Sin says:

    T-Mobile is the best. I’ve been with them for about 4 years give-or-take… I had a brief stint with Cingular, and their incredibly poor signal and disposable phone had me running back to T-Mo screaming.

    The only time I felt wronged was when me and my perfect credit were told I needed a $200 deposit before adding a new line. But I wouldn’t blame the CSR for that, obviously he lost a sale because of some policy or system f-up.

    9 times out of 10 they are extremely upbeat, tactful and friendly… plus their network is rock solid. (At least where I am.)

  3. AcilletaM says:

    I have T-Mobile and I’ve been satisfied with them. When I upgraded to my Blackberry, I actually got a better deal on the phone as an existing customer than I would have if I was signing up as a new customer.

  4. tokyomonster says:

    I have never had a single problem with T-mobiles customer service. They’ve always been very polite, and seem genuinely concerned with resolving any issue I may have had with them.

  5. kerry says:

    If there’s one thing T-Mobile does well in the customer care department, it’s get you to a human *fast*. Granted, you’re not always as lucky as Mrs. Brownlee, and sometimes that human needs to transfer you to a technical support person. But with basic questions about plans, phone capabilities, billing, etc. they’re very competent and get you on your way in a timely (but not too fast) manner.

  6. RumorsDaily says:

    With the exception of an exceedingly complicated technical glitch involving calls ONLY between DC and one town in NY that took a long time for them to track down, they’ve been extremely helpful on the phone every time I’ve called them. They answer fast, they’re friendly, and they do what they can to help.

  7. solmssen says:

    T-Mobile r0x0rs! I love T-Mobile. Here’s how much I love TMO – I am a serious crazy nerd, I need bandwidth like some people need water and food. And I use the TMO EDGE network for cell data instead of EV-DO from Verizon or Sprint despite it’s being 1/5 the speed, because I can’t face the prospect of having to deal with VZW or Sprint’s bullshit.

  8. crazycanuck says:

    Let me tell you something about T-Mobile folks – when you call for a rebate on your phone – if you unlucky enough to have been suckered into believing you will actually get one that is by some unscrupulous dealer whowho really only wants the commission – you are calling a call centre in Canada – not in Minnesota as you are led to believe. You are not calling T-Mobile either – as you are led to believe, but a third party company called Young America who has call centres in Canada called YA Canada -look it up online if you dont believe me. AND you can say what you like about their customer service – but at the rebate centre – you are very unlikely to get your rebate. T-Mobile is keeping your money honey! Not the kind of customer service I want in a cell phone company – first they lie, then steal and cheat. Nice company.

  9. paligal says:

    In the San Francisco Bay area, where I live, unfortunately, T-Mobile’s coverage is horrible, and I don’t get reception in a lot of areas. I lament having to change to another provider, though, because it’s true, T-Mobile’s customer service is the best I’ve come across. Every time I call with even a little issue, they give me 50 bonus minutes and are one the line quickly and kindly and offering profuse apologies. Argh. It really kills me that I’ll have to switch (note: Consumer Reports did a comparison of coverage areas, and T-Mobile has good reception in most metro areas, with the exception of San Francisco).

  10. kaycee says:

    I’ve had a series of experiences with T-Mobile since July that defy the imagination. It starts with them assigning a phone number that was not a local prefix, so people calling us would have to dial long distance. The first two reps I talked to (I was disconnected once, after being on hold and talking to the first rep for a total of an hour!) had no idea what to do, and kept claiming that my city had only two prefixes. I told him this wasn’t possible, as I live in a local calling area of over a million people. Finally the rep gave us a different phone number – which was also a long distance prefix.

    This time I was on the phone for two hours with a third T-Mobile rep, who insisted that I had to call my local landline company to get a listing of local prefixes!!! I was dumbfounded, but she was already a supervisor and wouldn’t transfer me to someone else, and I didn’t want to hang up and go through the whole thing again. So I called AT&T (that rep was also in disbelief that T-Mobile insisted I call them) on my landline, put both phones on speaker phone, and let the two reps talk to each other. Finally we got a local number – which turned out to be one digit away from a local cable company that has around 100,000 subscribers, which meant my son was getting multiple wrong number calls every day.

    I had to call back again to get him a new number, which worked until they shut off our phones for nonpayment – because the initial person to take our order had left off part of our address. I paid the bill while on the phone with a rep, who said she would correct our address and credit us for the reactivation fees since we had never received a bill. Fast forward to another month – when we still hadn’t received a bill because that woman never corrected our address, nor did she give us credits. So I had to spend another hour on the phone sorting the whole mess out. And I had to spend another hour on the phone with the rebate center since we had never received our rebate checks – because whoever entered them into the system mistakenly thought the rebate had expired. I’ve received one check now and am waiting for the other. We haven’t received our third bill, either, because it had been sent out the day before I called. That rep told me she can’t request a duplicate bill be sent until 14 days after the last bill was sent….

  11. jcmerkley says:

    I was a total T-mobile fan until 2 weeks ago. I had referred 20 of my friends and family, but no more. In March of this year, I had gotten a new phone. I didn’t like the phone and put it away in a drawer and used my old phone. Well the battery on my old phone went out, and they no longer carried the phone, so I went to a t-mobile store to buy another one. While I was there she told me that I was better off exchanging the phone I didn’t like and getting another one, instead of buying a new one. The phone had hardly been used, but the keys on the phone stuck almost from the beginning. The saleslday at the store inspected the phone thoroughly and said there would be no problem with the return. Just to make sure I called and told t-mobile that I would be returning the phone. 2 weeks later I get my bill and I am being charged $117.00 for the returned phone. They said that the phone had water damage and that was the cost of looking at it. I didn’t even pay that much for the phone and was never told there would be a charge to exchange it otherwise I would have just bought a new one. Called Customer service talked to a few people and got some arrogant jerk. He said he would take fifty dollars off the bill. I told him that I was never told that I would be charged for the stupid exchange and that I had been a long time paying customer and had been very happy with t-mobile up until now. I asked him if there was anything else he could do and he stated that he could credit my account 5 thousand dollars if he wanted to, but he wasn’t going to do anything more than the fifty dollars. I asked to speak to his supervisor and he told me that she said she wouldn’t do any more for me than he had done, I told him I wanted to speak with her and he hung up on me. They have no idea what a huge mistake they have made. I will be telling my 20 friends and family not to continue their service when their contracts are up. I am a operations manager for a major corporation and I was talking to the president of the company about changing from our current cell phone company to Tmobile. That would be 250 individuals that they would be contracting with. Too bad tmobile I hope that $117.00 was worth what could have been possibly millions.

  12. lilyofthevalley says:

    @crazycanuck: don’t call the rebate center.. call tmobile customer care. if you qualified for the rebate, they will give it to you in the form of a credit on your account.