Proration Battle With T-Mobile: For Once, It Pays To Be A Pack Rat

Lured by the iPhone and the potential of less crappy reception, Chris and his wife walked away from T-Mobile and ported their numbers to Verizon. T-Mobile tried to bill them for an entire month’s service when they had only used a few days’ worth. Chris couldn’t accept this, and called up customer service. They told him that the no prorated bills rule was part of the terms of service he signed when he joined T-Mo. Boo. Funny thing, though. He had saved that original decade-old sheet with the terms of service when he signed up, and they said no such thing.

After being frustrated with T-Mobile’s poor reception in my area, and desiring an iPhone (which, for some reason, they still don’t have), my wife and I switched to Verizon when we bought new phones at the Apple Store last month. They ported our numbers over as we made the purchase, and we had our confirmation from Verizon before we even left the store.

A few days later, I went online and called T-Mobile to verify the account had truly been closed and see what the final balance would be. The recording told me the balance, automatic payment date, and confirmed the account was closed.

Four weeks later, we get a new bill for an entire month. Evidently, we ported our phone #s 3 days after the closing date on our bill; their policy is to evidently then charge for an ENTIRE month of service. A call to customer service and even asking for a supervisor brought no satisfaction. The supervisor kept telling me it was in my terms of service that I agreed to.

After hanging up, I dug up my T-Mobile paperwork. I’ve been a customer since 2002, through multiple phone upgrades. I found the only copy of Terms of Service that I was ever given; there was no mention of being charged for an entire month for a few days of service (actually, I’m not even sure if you COULD port numbers in 2002).

I ranted about this on the T-Mobile support boards (along with multiple other customers who had been caught in the same situation). I thought that was the only satisfaction I would get…Lo and behold [J] from T-Mobile contacted me within a day of my post and promised to look into the situation. She apologized for the customer service people, and within a day had adjusted the final bill to only reflect the days we actually had service.

Now I’m almost sorry I left T-Mobile. That’s the kind of customer service that kept me with them for all those years of lousy cell phone reception!

Well done, T-Mobile AND Chris. Taking care of former customers is a kind thing to do. And doing one’s research, then taking to forums to get a company’s attention is a great way to solve consumer issues.