Chelsea moved to London while she was still under a T-Mobile USA contract. This would be a perfectly legitimate reason to let her out of her contract without an early termination fee. Unfortunately, she wrote to Consumerist, she can’t prove to T-Mobile’s satisfaction that she no longer lives in the United States.
I moved to start work in London, UK in October. I called T-Mobile to cancel my service, so that I would not have to pay $60 a month (which is ridiculous as it is) for a phone I’m not using. When I canceled I mentioned I’d be moving to another country (clearly out of the coverage area – as T-Mobile UK has little to do with the US one) and asked if I could have the cancellation fee waived. In the syrupy-sweet way of T-Mobile customer service, she assured me that the fee would be applied but that it could be refunded if I sent the necessary documentation.
After arriving in the UK, setting up a bank account, and getting letters from that bank to my new address, I sent an original of one of my letters to T-Mobile hoping that would take care of it. T-Mobile then sent me a letter to my UK address informing me that it was insufficient evidence of a move outside of the coverage area, but apparently it was sufficient enough to work as a change of address. Infuriating! So I put money on Skype and called customer service, only to be reminded again and again that what I need is: “voter registration card, state ID, or utility bills”. I am not going to be eligible to vote anytime soon in the UK, as I’m on a temporary work visa, nor will I be getting any kind of government ID. I live in subsidized housing (essentially dorms for teachers) and rent is taken directly out of my paycheck, and I do not pay for utilities. There are no bills related to my housing that I will receive. All I have with my address on it are pay-stubs and bank statements. I explained this over and over again to T-Mobile, and they explained their requirements over and over again – and we got nowhere. I eventually ended the call because I was getting irritated and realized the CS rep couldn’t do anything.
I find this so frustrating. I am clearly out of the service area, to the point that they are willing to send me mail to my out-of-coverage address. However, they won’t accept it to cancel the fee! I know they are just being shady and trying to keep their money, but I was under the impression that it was illegal for them to do this. They have charged me $200 and I want it back.
Help? Advice? What can I do? It is hard for me to contact US sources being out of the country, but I will be going home for Christmas so I’ll have a week to make whatever calls are necessary.