This is T-Mobile’s latest ad campaign. I laughed when I read it: “DUMP YOUR OLD CARRIER WITH A BREAK-UP LETTER!” Upon further inspection, it seems that T-Mobile thinks getting your business is worth shelling out almost $650 dollars. Unless you’re actually a long-time customer of theirs already. Then they really could care less. So Dear T-Mobile? I’m breaking up with YOU, and here’s why:
In November 2012, I switched from Verizon to T-Mobile. I was told my phone was compatible – and then calamity ensued. I was shuffled around from store to store for two weeks without any service – losing me business and possible gigs. I was FURIOUS. I contacted their customer support numerous times, and it wasn’t until I took my complaints to Twitter that they paid attention to me (and they had my money already). Realizing their error and how much it inconvenienced my business, they offered to send me a Galaxy Note 2 and gave me three months of service for free. I was incredibly impressed, but was also asked to not say anything about it publicly, because they didn’t want people thinking they could complain and get things for free. (I kid you not).
Fast forward to last year. I have a substantially larger Twitter following now, I contacted them and asked them if they’d be interested in sending me another phone to review. In exchange, I’d sign on to their contract (I’m on a pay by month plan now), get the insurance, and would also bring along my husband’s business as well. This was met with complete silence. That’s fine, whatever. I’m not a celebrity and thought it was a long-shot, but I was happy with their service and was also happy to tell others about it.
And guess what? I’m still happy to tell others about it, but not nicely anymore. A few months after my very nice letter, things started happening to my phone. I had to replace the battery three times (this is a very well-known complaint about the Galaxy – find it anywhere online). Even after charging for well over 12 hours, and turning off every single app that wasn’t absolutely necessary, the battery would still drain within 4-5 hours.
Then I had to system restore my phone twice as well. I lost contacts (even after backing them up), and everything started getting even more wonky after that.The phone has never been dropped or handled inappropriately.
Within the past month, calls that went to voice mail went directly to “saved,” so I missed out on returning some very important messages. Now, I’ve been unable to receive calls or access my voice mail or receive texts. I can post to Twitter, read my email, occasionally make a call, but that’s really it. The phone is totally on the fritz. And the last – and most notably upsetting – thing that happened is that the glass on the phone shattered – while in my pocketbook, and the phone was hot. My tech friend said that the phone likely overheated and cracked. (Um, FIRE HAZARD ANYONE?)
As a reminder, this was a phone that was given to me as a courtesy and apology for lousy service, so I felt compelled to ask for a new one. And I was quite pleasant about it at first. I noticed the Sprint was offering a plan where they’d give me the phone for $50 if I switched to them. I asked T-Mobile’s customer service if they would match that offer to keep me as a customer, and they said no. (This was before all the ridiculously bad things started happening to the phone). Then I sent a follow-up email. Still no response, so of course, I took it to Twitter. It started with this:
(read this next one in reverse order)
In between, I get hooked up with a live chat operator who has absolutely NO RECORD of my email sent to them, and so I have to go through the entire process again. She says that she has to speak to her supervisor, and will get back to me as soon as possible. So again, I wait (all the while not being able to use my phone).
So now I take to Twitter to find out about other service providers and ask folks for recommendations and information, and of course I let them know it’s because I’m really upset with T-Mobile. I keep getting the same exact message with every tweet:
Now it’s important to note that this all started on March 28th and it’s now April 13th. It’s also important to note that they kept me hanging on waiting to hear what they would offer me to keep my business, and this is the response I got via email on April 9th – almost 10 days later (with limited phone capabilities):
Thank you for your patience. I did reach out to my manager on this issue. We are not able to replace the phone in this instance. For the inconvenience that was caused I can provide a credit for 1 month of service. If you would like to look at getting the phone repaired Samsung does offer out of warranty repairs:
Equipment: 1-888-987-4357 (HELP)
Monday - Friday: 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m. CT
Saturday - Sunday: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. CT
We would be happy to assist with troubleshooting as well if you would like too.
Lucinda @ T-Force
One month of free service on a phone that I cannot use?? My response back:
Unfortunately this is mot acceptable. For only the cost of (any) upgraded phone that WORKS, you would have retained my business and also had a new customer with my husband with both of us singing on as a contract.
At&T, Verizon and Sprint are offering free phones and far superior service. One of them will now be getting our service since we T-Mobile clearly does not value our loyalty as customers.
I appreciate the time you took with this, but I will unfortunately be updating my twitter followers as well.
At this point, I thought I had actually made some headway, because I got this in response:
We definitely don’t ever want to lose a customer, your loyalty has been very important to us over the years. Are there any devices you’re interested in upgrading to? Is there a specific one you’re interested in? Please know we are very interested in keeping your business and would love to explore what options we have available.
Brianna S @ T-Force
Ok, good! Let’s see where we can go with this. My response:Hi Brianna,Thanks for your response and I’m happy to hear you’re willing to work with me. Of course I’d be interested in the new Samsung Galaxy S5, but I understand that there’s a large demand for that and the cost is great than the other Galaxy Notes. Of course, I’d be happy do a written review of that phone and post it to my social network if that is something T-Mobile would be willing to collaborate on.Otherwise, any upgraded non-refurbished (brand new) Galaxy Note in White would be fine. I’d also be interested to know what the cost of insurance would be?Lastly, if my husband were to switch to T-Mobile, would he be able to use his iPhone 4S? Do you offer any type of family discounting plan?Thanks for your help.Cheers,TauniaI’m feeling good and happy to know that they’re willing to work with me. Until…Yeah, you guessed it – no response. Two days go by with nothing but the same stock response on Twitter. I sent TWO follow-up emails explaining that I needed an answer because I’m missing important calls (I have resumes out right now and waiting on job calls – which I explained MANY times to them). I got ignore for about two days, and then finally got this message:
We do regret to hear that you are considering leaving us over this matter. We would love to be able to complete all requests made by our customers, but in this situation we are only able to offer a credit for one month of service as previously offered.If you would like to look at getting the phone repaired Samsung
does offer out of warranty repairs:Equipment: 1-888-987-4357 (HELP)
Monday - Friday: 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m. CT
Saturday - Sunday: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. CT
We are more then happy help with any other issues you may have, please do not hesitate to reach out to us in the future!
Mistty @ T-Force
Well, that interesting, Misty because I got a completely different response from Brianna and her supervisor. I will copy and paste below (which I did).
And now their final response:
Thank you for your reply. I do apologize for any confusion that may have been created, however all options have been explored at this time and our offer of one free month stands and no other offers will be made.
Please let us know if you have any further questions for us.
Mistty A @ T-Force
So much of my time has been wasted, and I’m just blown away by how incredibly inept their customer service department and records are. I tell them I’ll take the month and use it to find my new service provider.
For the cost of ONE PHONE that works, they could have had both me AND my husband on a two year contract with insurance. So, they’re willing to shell out $650 to steal customers from other service providers, but once you’re a customer, you’re not worth the cost of a new phone to keep business?
Look, I’m not saying that they absolutely should have given me a new phone, but knowing that I was not able to use mine, and keeping me waiting for SO long with resumes out and completely inaccurate ticket records on their part – it’s just infuriating. And the only way I could get them to respond to me at all was through Twitter with 36K followers watching. The only way you get a response is by being an angry customer on Twitter. And I don’t like being that person.
I would have much rather have handled this quickly and quietly and certainly would have liked to feel more valued as a customer. In fact, I probably would have ended up buying a new phone for my husband too. But current customers are clearly not worth it to them. Apparently they’re just too busy writing “break-up letters” and stealing other service providers customers to help treat their own customers well.
Bad, bad business.