T-Mobile Refuses To Process Your Credit Card Order, Then Processes It Anyway… After You've Gone To Another Company

T-Mobile refused to process reader Lucas’ girlfriend’s credit card because she couldn’t verify some of her personal information (she’s moved a lot and doesn’t remember the addresses of old dorm rooms, ect.). After she was rejected she went to another company for her phone… only to find that T-Mobile decided to process her order.

Lucas writes:

Something very irritating happened to us. Today we tried to order a prepaid phone for my girlfriend from T-mobile. After submitting the necessary credit card and address information, we were informed that we had to call them so that her identity can be verified. My girlfriend moved several times last year and is not from the US and was therefore not able to answer the questions about counties and street addresses (sounds weird but I think they asked for the street address of her old dorm which she just didn’t know). Therefore, they told her that they were not able to verify her identity and couldn’t complete the order. Which is fine, right? Companies have to make sure that no fraud is committed, right ?!

Anyway! We accepted, went ahead and just ordered a prepaid phone from a different company. Worked out nicely, the phone is supposed to come in a few days.

So here it comes: A couple of hours later we receive an email (which is attached) which states that the order is accepted. WTF? We call them and tell them that there is a problem. They say they will try to cancel it but cannot guarantee for it. We should just send the package back if/when it arrives. That’s fine, too. However, I ask them not to charge the credit card. After all this is a mistake they made and I know that this should be possible. Although I talk with him for 30 minutes the supervisor in the end claims that this is not possible! Unbelievable!!!

The 70 dollars might not seem much to you but to a student on a tight budget 70 dollars is a week of food! Well, we will survive it but it’s ridiculous that such a big company does not make more effort to satisfy the customer when it makes a mistake.

Another interesting thing about it is also that obviously their identity verification system is screwed up. My girlfriend was only able to answer one out of four questions correctly but now the order is out — very weird!

Damn cell phone companies!!!


Our first instinct is to call the credit card company and do a chargeback, but that might be overkill. You would think T-Mobile could cancel the order, seeing as how you just placed it. They’re probably hoping you’ll just keep the phone. Or maybe we’re just being cynical. Either way, T-Mobile “fraud” detection could use some work.



Edit Your Comment

  1. zundian says:

    For a student on a tight budget, $70 should be at least two, if not three, weeks worth of food.

  2. gatopeligroso says:

    Charge-back would be the way to to. It might sound drastic but in the end its your money.

  3. chili_dog says:

    This is the biggest load of crap. I sell T-mobile prepaid in my store and there is -0- None, NADA in the way of pre-approval, address verification, SSN check, credit check or other. You were likely scammed by the rep to get a flexpay account which is like a regular post-paid account but on pre-pay terms. You should charge-back the charge they made and find out for sure what type of account the rep signed you up for, and if it was not what you requested notify the store manager and the district manager. Intentionally signing you up for the wrong account in order to increase commissions is a major no-no.

  4. warf0x0r says:

    Yeah, call your credit card company and tell them you didn’t authorize the charge, explain the situation and you should be able to get the money back and T-mobile can deal with your CC company.

  5. hc5duke says:

    @zundian: no way! $70 = 700 ramens = 100 days worth of food!

  6. plchan says:

    I would do the same thing as the other readers suggested — call your credit company to do a charge back. At least, if the charge would go through, you would request your CC to put a dispute on the charge so you would not need to pay it until it is resolved.

  7. plchan says:


    I think the OP ordered a “prepaid” kit. Since it was done though the Tmobile.com (or on the phone), the salerep would need to take the credit card number and address in order to “sell” the prepaid kit.

    However, it is my 2cents only.

  8. BenMitchell says:

    LOL – Milk 5$ per gallon, Capt Crunch 4.25 for a 12oz box ect ect ect. Not like when we were in school huh

  9. “The 70 dollars might not seem much to you but to a student on a tight budget 70 dollars is a week of food! Well, we will survive it but it’s ridiculous that such a big company does not make more effort to satisfy the customer when it makes a mistake.”


  10. zundian says:


    My wife and I routinely go to the store twice a month and spend less than $65 a trip. But then, four or five years ago I was supporting us on less than 18,000/year. It’s actually not that hard if you don’t drink alcohol.

  11. OMGBestFriendForever says:

    ..and the “off topic, self-righteous non sequitur award” for the day goes to …. ZUNDIAN!!!

  12. Cowboys_fan says:

    Thats just flat out dealer fraud. Like chili_dog says, there is no verification needed for pre-paid. I do know however, as a former csr, that once a phone order is placed, it most likely cannot be cancelled. I’d say chargeback has to be the way to go.

  13. Our first instinct is to call the credit card company and do a chargeback, but that might be overkill.

    Why would it be overkill? It seems to me like this would be the exact type of situation where you would use it: company charges you after saying that they won’t.

  14. geek22 says:

    Oh my god ! t-mobile did something very similar to me last month. I already have a prepaid account with them. I recharge every three months just to keep it active. I went to the website, entered credit card info to buy $25 worth of time and the website said my CC number is not valid. So I go to walgreens and buy a $25 t-mobile card and add it to my account. Few days later $25 charge from t-mobile shows up on my credit card statement. But this extra $25 does not show up in my t-mobile account.

    So not only I spent $50 when I only wanted to spend $25, I only got $25 worth of minutes. After spending 3 and half hours on hold with t-mobile customer service and their CC processing department, then agreed to give me $25 worth of minutes but they said there is no way they can give me refund for the erroneous $25 charge.

  15. akalish says:

    I’ve been a Tmobile customer since 2003 and have had my fair share of both good and bad experiences. My latest is switching to one of their MyFaves plans…their rep outright lied to me and told me I can change my favorites as often as I want (effectively making it possible to not exceed my minutes and make all my calls), but apparently you can only change it once/month. Now they won’t give me back my old plan (which was a lot better than any of the ones they offer right now–$50/mo for 1500 anytime minutes, free nights and weekends). A week before that, when I had ordered a new phone, they sent me the wrong one and then insisted that I pay for the shipping one way even though it was clearly their mistake. I’m definitely looking into switching to another carrier. So much for advanced customer care…

  16. BenMitchell says:

    @zundian: Wait! Don’t drink alcohol – Now you’ve just crossed the line into craziness!