With Sidekick G4, T-Mobile Casts Me Into Smartphone Replacement Purgatory

Sara really loved her HTC G1 from T-Mobile, and bought the similar-ish Samsung Sidekick 4G as a replacement when its years of loyal service ended. The new phone has not been so loyal. It locks up, won’t respond to the touchscreen, and periodically wipes its memory card for no clear reason. Sure, she could back up the memory card content elsewhere, but the non-operational phone is a real problem. Now she’s on her third replacement. T-Mobile is happy to send her a replacement, but she doesn’t want a fifth phone that will inevitably have the same problems. Sara, welcome to smartphone replacement purgatory!

I’ve been a T-Mobile customer for several years now. I think five on my own, and another five when I shared an account with someone else.

Last year, I got the Samsung Sidekick 4G. It seemed close to my beloved G1, that came to a tragic end after a few years of typical use.

This is now my 4th Sidekick. Among the problems I can list, it locks up at least 4 times a day when I’m using a single application. If the phone deigns to restart on its own, the touchscreen stops working. On three separate occasions, the phone has wiped the memory card. Since I do dog rescue, I’ve lost photos of dogs who are no longer alive. The music is replaceable, the photos are not. Another neat trick is when I log on to the internet, the phone will give me constant pop-ups saying I have no internet connection, then load the webpage. Over and over.

Every time, I’ve replaced the phone with the same model, only to have the same problems repeat themselves.

Tonight, I was fed up and called T-Mobile. The customer service rep suggested I replace it with another Sidekick. I told him I didn’t want another phone that wasn’t going to work. I asked to get a phone that was on sale web only, and renew my contract. He told me that my contract wasn’t up until June of 2013, which went directly against what the last CSR told me.

I followed the cutesy and helpful “Care and Feeding of your Android” pdf they sent me (cleared my call logs, texts, and internet history frequently) to no avail.

I asked to speak to a supervisor, and the CSR said that the supervisor was on another call, but would call me back within the hour. I told him that the last time someone from T-Mobile had promised me a call back, it never happened, so it was super important that they call me back.

It’s been nearly two hours now, and still no call. It seems that T-Mobile would rather gain my $200 cancellation fee than renew my contract that would gain them $3,000 over two years.

I’m beyond frustrated with this company, and will be switching as soon as possible.

We’ve heard that T-Mobile is especially receptive to executive e-mail carpet bombs, and recommend that method for getting in touch with them. Maybe someone higher up the food chain will see that the cost of a working phone is high, but not as high as losing the $3,000 Sara will pay them over the next few years of her contract.