Reader Rob got some bad information from a T-Mobile sales rep and it resulted in a huge text messaging bill. He launched an EECB (Executive Email Carpet Bomb) and got a very pleasant response:
I just wanted to thank “The Consumerist” for the EXCEPTIONAL information! EECB was instrumental in helping me resolve my billing dispute with T-Mobile. Here is a copy of e-mail I sent off to the e-mail of Robert Dotson, CEO of T-Mobile and the correspondence that followed. I have to say that T-Mobile’s Executive Customer Relations department was phenomenal to deal with. In the letter they write back to me, they essentially say I was wrong, but they are reimbursing me anyways.
Rob writes to T-Mobile’s CEO:
When I received my February bill, I was surprised to see my bill that is usually under $100.00 had skyrocketed over $275.00.
I briefly had the opportunity to discuss this with a customer representative when I received my bill. She was exceedingly helpful and professional. She kindly informed me that the billing charges were the result of a huge text messaging overage caused by instant messaging. I stated that I had the Unlimited T-Zones on my plan, and that I was told by a store representative that Instant messaging was free with t-zones. She informed me that this is true, but only when used from T-Mobile’s WAP site, and not through the client installed on the phone. I did not have time to go further into the matter that night due to family obligations, but asked the representative to change my plan at that time to include unlimited text messages to put a stop to the overages for the time being.
Yesterday evening I spoke with a T-Mobile customer service representative, and eventually his supervisor, to continue my dialogue and try to resolve the matter of the service charges on my bill. I have always praised T-Mobile’s customer service, but for the first time in my 5 years as a customer in good standing, I am exceedingly disappointed with T-Mobile’s customer service.
I purchased my new Shadow phone on December the 6th. While browsing through the features on this new phone at checkout, I noticed that AOL instant messenger was included on the phone and asked the sales representative about this particular feature. He stated that since I was a T-Zones customer at the time, instant messaging would be free. When I called to discuss this with customer service representatives yesterday evening, I was told to:
“Go find the store rep that made the error”
and that I could not be credited or helped further without
When I asked what proper documentation was, neither the customer representative nor his supervisor could give me any answer at all other than to repeat that they need proper documentation. I was repeatedly instructed to try and find that specific store representative and resolve the matter with him. When I informed the phone representative that most stores will not give out employee scheduling information as this is a personal security risk, I was also not given a reply, and was only met by dead silence on the phone.
This incredible lapse in customer care leads me to rethink T-Mobile’s service when my contract comes to completion. Working for a customer-centric electric utility company, I understand dedication to customer service and satisfaction, as we are reminded everyday that no company can work and grow without it’s customers.
Thank you for your reply. As stated in your email to Mr. Dotson, you are aware that when using the instant messaging feature embedded in the menu of your device, you are billed at a per message rate of $.15 a message, unless you have a messaging bundle added to your monthly services.
T-Mobile records indicate that you used a total of 1312 text messages during your December 28, 2007, to January 27, 2008, billing cycle. As such, it is T-Mobile’s position that the text messaging charges are valid and owed.
Nevertheless, as a gesture of good faith to you, and in an effort to amicably resolve the issue, T-Mobile has rerated your January 2008 billing statement as if you were on the $14.99 Unlimited Messaging Value Bundle. As such, we have placed a one time credit on your account in the amount of $197.39, for the text messaging charges less the cost of the Unlimited Messaging Bundle.
You currently have a credit balance on your account in the amount of $197.39; you can verify this by dialing #646# on your T-Mobile phone, or by calling Customer Care at 800-937-8997. If you wish to have this amount refunded to you, please reply to this email and we will do so in three to five business days. T-Mobile regrets any inconvenience to you.
Executive Customer Relations
Office of the President
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