Google Voice Fails, Results In $700 T-Mobile Bill

Sophie makes a lot of phone calls to France, so she does the responsible, frugal thing. She uses the Google Voice app on her smartphone to make those calls over the Internets instead of using the T-Mobile network. Except somehow, the Google Voice app failed, and the phone itself placed those calls while making it sound like they went through the Voice app. “Complain to Google about it and give us $700,” says T-Mobile. “If the call doesn’t show up in your Voice history, it went through the cell network,” says Google.

I just received my t-mobile bill, which is about $700 higher than usual. I have been using google voice on my cell phone (Tmobile G2) to call the same French numbers I have been calling for months. However, this time, it seems that most of my call were handled by t-mobile instead of google voice.

I haven’t changed any setting on my phone, and every time I call, I hear the little message saying that it’s using google voice and I’m being charged 0.02 cents/minute. When I look at my calling history on google voice, most of my calls never occurred but they sure did occur on my t-mobile bill. Google Voice does not having any customer service except for the online forum, I started a thread.

I then contacted Tmobile to let them know that there was a problem with my bill and ask them to look into it and put a note in my file that I am in the process of asking GoogleVoice to solvie it but that in the meantime, I will only pay the portion of my bill I usually pay every month.

Well for anybody who has the same problem, here’s Tmobile’s first answer:
“Upon reviewing the records the calls look like they are coming directly from the device itself. If the third party Google Application is not working correctly the issue will need to be reviewed by them.”

Here’s Google Voice’s answer (off-thread of course):
“If these calls don’t show up in your Google Voice call records (available online), they were not made through Google Voice. Looking into the bill you’ve attached and comparing against these records, it would appear correct that T-Mobile is billing you for these international calls appropriately.

In the future, please make absolutely sure that the Google Voice prompt plays before your international calls to ensure you’re not billed on the carrier end. Please consult this help article:

Specifically, take these steps to correctly make an international call
 through Google Voice:
 1. Call your access number from a mobile phone registered on your account.
 2. Once you’re in the Google Voice system, press 2 to make a call
 3. When dialing an international number, enter 011, the country code, and
 then the number (for example: 011442012345612345).

Here’s where I am right now:
Being a faithful customer, I contacted Tmobile twice already to let them know of the situation and I also paid the portion of my bill I usually pay every month. I asked them to put a note in my file that I am working on solving the problem but that I won’t pay the rest of the bill that I am not responsible for since either Google Voice’s application didn’t work or there was an error on Tmobile’s end.

Knowing that several people have had the same problem (from Google Voice Forums), I asked Tmobile to look into it so we could solve the situation ASAP. However, their customer service which used to be the best really disappointed me when the answer of their first online chatter was to ask me when I was going to be able to pay the bill and the answer of the second chatter was pretty much a threat to suspend my services if I didn’t pay my bill. In other words, they do not care about the situation, they don’t have time to look into it, they just want me to pay! Even evil Verizon cut someone’s bill in half for HIS mistake, so I’m extremely disappointed with how T-Mobile’ has been treating me so far.

Other customers have found e-mailing the CEO or other executives helpful when no one at T-Mobile will listen.

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