You Must Pay Your T-Mobile Bill In Person, In Cash, Forever

Image courtesy of (cool_colonia4711)

If I’ve learned anything from reading readers’ letters, it’s that I should never get divorced. Or married. Or die. All of these seemingly routine life changes confuse companies so badly that you’d think they had never happened before. But Jake, a longtime T-Mobile customer, has been cast into a special consumer hell after his divorce. His ex canceled the credit card he had used to set up automatic payments, and reversed his payments to the phone company. So they charge him the balance on his next bill, he pays it, and all is well, right? I mean, he’s a 7-year customer with no late payments. It’s not like he’s a credit risk or anything. Except….he is now. And he has to pay his T-Mobile bills in cash, in person, for the remainder of his contract.

No, he can’t get out of his contract. No, a few months of good payment history won’t fix this. No, no, no.

I’ve been a customer for over 7 years and had easy-pay set up the entire time. Thus, I have never missed a payment, nor have I been late on a payment.

Sadly, this past year I have gone through a divorce. This can obviously be chaotic when it comes to finances. My ex cancelled the credit card that was set up on easy-pay and several months worth of phone bills were reversed.

I had no idea until my March bill was hundreds of dollars and many times higher than any phone bill I’ve ever paid. I immediately called T-Mobile and got the bad news.

Ok, well, not their fault right? So I paid for most of the bill over the phone. The rep told me the date the remaining balance was due. On that date, I tried to pay online and the payment was rejected. I called in again and was told I was set to “cash only” status due to my billing issues.

According to the rep, this is a permanent status. As in, you can never, ever earn back their trust, no matter how long you are a customer. That sounded wrong, but I accepted it.

I made two payments in person at the T-mobile store (annoying and inconvenient) and figured, what’s the harm in asking again?

So I called back on May 17th. The rep put me on hold several times and told me that after the end of the current month, I would be able to set up easy-pay again. Hooray!

Today is June 1st. I called in and spoke to a helpful and apologetic rep who confirmed what the first rep had told me: Cash only. Forever.

There was no person or department I could talk to to change this issue. Once you are marked a credit risk, that’s it.

This is insane! I just want to register a DEBIT card that allows them to reach into my bank account and take the money at whatever time is convenient to them. Beyond that, I am leaving the country for nearly a month and will therefore have no way to pay my bill.

I just want them to let me register for easy pay. If they won’t, I want to cancel and take my business elsewhere. But I’m under contract for 13 more months!

In summary:

  • Charge reversals: no fault of T-Mobile
  • Initial rep who took my back payments made no mention of “cash only” status
  • 2nd rep I spoke to apparently lied to get me off the phone
  • T-Mobile has no review process in place for situations like this. You just get a black mark on your record forever

Clearly whoever set this policy has never been through a divorce. We hear that T-Mobile’s executive team is receptive to executive e-mail carpet bombs: give that a try and hope that someone rational answers.