Consumerist reader Rebecca had an issue with T-Mobile. A sales rep for the company had told her she could save around $14/month on her wireless bill by switching to a different rate plan. But when she received her next statement, Rebecca found that her bill had actually increased by more than $16. A quick call to T-Mobile customer service should be able to correct this — oh wait, no it won’t.
“I had the worst time talking to customer service, and of course met with much resistance,” Rebecca writes to Consumerist. “Eventually, after a debilitatingly frustrating 2.5 hours on the phone I was directed to write a letter to their Customer Relations department, which as you can imagine was pretty disheartening.”
Instead, Rebecca did some research on Consumerist and used what she’d found from other successful T-Mobile customers to compose an Executive E-mail Carpet Bomb that provides all the relevant details and demonstrates that she’s done her due diligence by going through the normal customer service channels.
“Within one day of emailing these offices, I heard back from a representative and everything was fixed,” says Rebecca. “I got my old plan back, and was credited the excess money (it took a bit of prodding, but it happened). The outcome is that it’s as if nothing had ever happened!
“So I wanted to thank everyone who contributes to this website for helping me to arm myself to successfully convince the company to repair the situation.”
Rebecca also included a copy of her EECB to add to the collection of successfully resolved complaints:
Dear Executive Response Office,
I have been referred by T-Mobile’s customer service representatives to write a letter to the Customer Relations Department in order to resolve a problem with my rate plan that I recently discovered; however, I am concerned that this will result in slow responses, and in an effort to avoid incurring further fees, I am emailing you to hopefully expedite the process. On August 10, 2011 I received a call from an agent (code number XXXX, name was not available upon later inquiry) who asked if I would like to change rate plans from my then “Fave 5” plan to a deal on an unlimited talk/text plan which he stated would cost $40 for a term of 24 months. I asked him to repeat the cost of this plan several (at least four or five) times throughout the call so that I could be certain that there were no errors made in communication. This agent also mentioned quite a few times that this would cost less than my then-current bill, which was $54.19, and as such, I agreed to change my rate plan to this unlimited plan, verbally agreeing to a two-year contract. When I received my bill for the first month, I was quite shocked to find that it totaled $70.36. Upon investigation of the online bill and discussion with several customer service agents, I have been informed that no discounts of $40 exist for this plan, and that it always costs $59.99 plus taxes and fees. Had I been quoted the correct price, I would not have changed my rate plan because that price is well out of my personal budget. I would not have switched to ANY rate plan that would cost more than my old plan, with which I was very satisfied. I cannot, and will not, continue with this plan at full price.
I have spoken with several levels of customer service representatives in about five calls to T-Mobile, and the only responses I have received have stated that the unlimited rate plan costs $59.99, that there are no discounts, and offered to have me switch rate plans, incurring migratory fees as well as the current larger-than-expected bill. During the original phone call, I was led to believe that the dealer was setting up a deal in which I would pay only $40 for the same plan. I feel that I should not be made responsible for any amount over $40 per billing cycle affected by this blunder, as that is the amount to which I agreed. I don’t know or care whether this was an unintentional error on the part of the dealer or whether I was actively swindled, but either way, I believe that T-Mobile is responsible for rectifying the situation.
I probably should be offered this plan for the originally, if erroneously, quoted price of $40. Otherwise, I would ideally like to return to my original “Fave 5” rate plan which included 400 text messages per month. I do realize that this plan is no longer commonly available, however, and I would be willing to change to a plan that is comparable in terms of minutes, text messages and overall price. I believe that I should not be made responsible for any billed costs above the $40 that I expected to pay; this includes the extra $30.36 over the already billed period of August 10-September 10.
This circumstance has been extraordinarily frustrating and I feel that it should be resolved quickly to avoid further excessive charges. I have sent a similar letter to the Customer Relations Department, and have advised them that if I do not hear from T-Mobile regarding this issue by October 2 (the date that payment is due for this first bill, and 13 days from the postmark date of the letter), then I will feel obligated to file complaints with the Federal Communications Commission and the Better Business Bureau. I am, however, looking forward to hearing back from you sooner than that. If this matter is not resolved efficiently, I will feel forced to take my business to another cell phone provider. I have been a T-Mobile customer in good standing since 2006, and I would like to receive the fair treatment that I deserve as a responsible customer. I have enjoyed using T-Mobile for cell phone service, and I have appreciated the value of the rate plan that I originally had. I would prefer to stay with T-Mobile. However, I don’t want to feel that I am being robbed by the company, and I hope for a reasonable solution to this issue. Thank you for your kind attention; my contact information is included below.