T-Mobile: We Can't Help You, Sell Your Brand New Defective Phone On eBay

A link to the following letter to T-Mobile’s president just popped into our inbox. It seems that if you receive a T-Mobile Sidekick for Christmas and it’s defective… your options are fairly limited. T-Mobile’s best solution to your broken phone? Sell it on eBay.

From LiveJournal:

Robert Dotson, President
12920 SE 38th Street
Bellevue, WA 98006-1350

Dear Mr. Dotson:

I am writing to inform you of the appalling service I have received from your company as well as your employees.

I received a Sidekick Slide for a Christmas present on December 25, 2007 from [X person]. Upon some thought, however, I decided I didn’t want the phone and asked X to return it. [X person] having bought the phone as present, assumed with the Christmas season that there would be no problem returning the phone, only to find out that since he had bought the phone in advance, the 14 day period had expired and he was now stuck with a $350 dollar phone.

I, for one, thought he must be mistaken, and asked him to send the phone to me in [redacted] from where he lived in [redacted]. Upon receiving the phone along with the receipt of purchase, I called T-Mobile customer service and explained my problem to two people. Both representatives basically said, we’re sorry, but since you’re not a T-Mobile customer, we can’t help you, but you’re welcome to write to our customer service department and we suggest you sell the phone on eBay.

I have to say that this is the first time that a company has ever conveyed the message that since I’m not a subscriber I am not valued as a consumer. It was also the first time I’d ever been told, “too bad, sell it on eBay.”

I’m sure you can appreciate I was a bit dumbstruck by this suggestion and thought by writing a letter to your Customer Service Department I might receive a bit more satisfaction, but of course this was not to be. I received a letter back with my name misspelled (is it really that hard to check the letter I sent for the correct spelling?) and was told the same story, “you’re not a customer; you are not valued even as a potential customer. You deal with it.”

Since I clearly wasn’t going to be helped by T-Mobile in any way, I put the phone up for sale on eBay. It was bought by a nice man in [redacted], who three days after he received the phone, e-mailed me to say he’d taken the phone to the T-Mobile near his home to have it activated only to be told that a brand new phone, which was still in the box and had all the accessories in plastic, was broken and couldn’t be repaired. You can imagine our collective shock.

I apologized and asked him to send me the phone so I could refund him his money. When the phone arrived I took it my local T-Mobile store, where one of your representatives X actually attempted to help me with my problem for a change.

It seemed that there was something blocking the Sim card outlet and thusly the phone couldn’t be used, but X recommended an outside vendor to repair the phone and gave me his business card.

As helpful as X was I still waited to speak to the manager, because surely there had to be something that could be done. At the very least the phone could have been exchanged for a model that worked; it didn’t have to be new it just needed to work.

After waiting 30 minutes for the manager to come back from lunch, however, the manager then told me the same thing your customer service reps told me over the phone — that since I didn’t have your phone service, I wasn’t under warrantee and thusly he wasn’t obligated to help me, or even attempt to do so and I was out of luck.

At this point I decided that my best course of action was to run the offending phone over with my car, take photos of it with my camera phone and post the entire business to YouTube as a reason to stay away from T-Mobile. First, however, I decided to visit this outside vendor to see what he thought about the entire matter. He confirmed what I already knew that the phone was brand new and nothing was wrong with it, the catch however, was that since all the prongs in the Sim slot didn’t retract when you slid the Sim card in, the phone was worthless. In short, the Sim slot was simply too small to be fixed, and I was the proud owner of a $350 worthless phone.

And to date, this is what your company has provided me with – nothing. I would say thank you, but I don’t tend to thank people for trash.

The continued antipathy of your company towards potential customers is astounding. If I was a customer, I assure you I would have switched to another carrier by this point, and any and all consideration I’ve had for ever switching to T-Mobile in the future is dead. In fact, I now plan to go out of my way to urge people not to use your company, because I know how your company has treated me and I’d hate for that to happen to someone else.

No love,
[insert me giving the the finger here]

ETA: I’m sure you are all wondering where the video for the phone is now, well, I did what any good capitalist would do with a worthless piece of junk — I sold it for parts.

What a clusterf*ck. If there’s one thing this job has taught me, it’s this: Give people cash gifts.

(Thanks, CH!)
(Photo: Flyguy92586 )

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