I'd been a happy tmobile customer for the last couple years until this supposed free phone deal came along back in February. I wanted to add a line to my account so I went into the Tmobile store on 14th street in Des Moines, IA to see if I qualified for the 'free' phone with the new line. The sales associate, who I believe was actually the store manager, told me that my current line wasn't eligible for the an upgrade with the free phone option but that the new line was eligible. I made a point to ask several more times if it was actually free, as in would cost me nothing. The sales associate said it would cost me 200 dollars plus tax but I would get that back in a rebate. Sounds great right? The computers were down that day so they waived the activation fee and even mailed the rebate in for me. I left the store feeling very happy with tmobile. That only lasted for a month and a half when I got my first statement that included the new line. The price seemed to be higher than it should be so I took and look and noticed that there was a charge for 20 dollars for the new 'free' phone. Thinking it was just a mistake, I called tmobile and that is when the headaches began. They told me I wasn't eligible for the free phone and all I got was 200 dollars off the full price of the phone. I understand how the different plans work but why would the sales associate tell me I'm eligible for the free phone, and I can't state enough how many times I asked during the process if it was actually free, and have these show up on my statement. So I went back and looked at my contract and everything else I left the store with. Giving tmobile the benefit of the doubt I figured maybe I'd missed something somewhere. There is NOTHING in my contract about this phone. I took a copy of the contract to the tmobile store in Kansas City and they told me I needed to call tmobile customer support. Customer support directed me back to the store in Des Moines who directed me back to customer support....who then directed me back to the store. After going in a circle 3 times I finally got somebody at the store who told me I'd agreed to an equipment purchase plan to pay for the phone. After I told them I agreed to no such thing and brought up my contract they said there was a separate contract. Once again, giving them the benefit of the doubt, I asked for a copy of it. The store manager faxed it to me and I can tell you it is the first time I'd seen any type of document. There was no signature on it of course because I never signed it. They told me it might have been filled out after I left that day. How can they do that? How is that legal? I have what I signed and agreed to and this phone is not on it. So I tried to dispute it, thinking they might own up to the mistake they made and make it right. I couldn't have been more wrong and what I've had to go through the last 2 months has been awful. The store would say they'd look into it and call me back....I never received any callbacks. I would call them again and get the same response, "we'll look into it and call you back". Finally after 4 tries the store manager said he'd gotten ahold of his district manager and this is a direct quote of what he said to me "There is nothing I can do for you". What kind of customer service is this? I called customer service again and they tried to direct me back to the store again, said they couldn't resolve this issue. When I told the agent I'd been getting sent in a circle over and over and over again he finally said he would call the store for me. He then came back and tried to explain how the equipment purchase plan works and how I wasn't eligible. The same things they'd been telling me this whole time. I understand how all of that works, pretty sure I have it memorized by now but I told him I never agreed to it and it wasn't in my contract. He said there was documentation and I didn't have to agree to it that day, that it was just assumed. Makes no sense. I asked if the only way I was going to get anything resolved with this was to take tmobile to court. He said I wouldn't win. Once again, great customer service. I'm so fed up right now with tmobile. If they don't make this right I am going to cancel both of my lines, I'll pay the 200 dollar fees and for the phone just so I don't have to be associated with this kind of unethical company. Maybe switch to Verizon. Please take this into account if you're considering joining tmobile. I'm not sure what happened to them over the last year but it wasn't good. If there is anyone out there who can help, I would be very very appreciative. Thank you.
Your dilemma sounds like a new recruit coming into the military expecting promised benefits or payments. Here's the good news in that analogy you're the recruiter. If you didn't sign that equipment purchase program contract I say get a lawyer. You cannot be held liable for verbal contracts. Here's the best part. They have written documentation which they failed to suppy you with. What would be the purpose of having a written contract and not getting you to sign it? I'd first go back to that original store and talk to the original employee that you got the phone from. We'd have a grand dicussion.
Nevertheless I can't put all the blame completely on T-Mobile here you made one fatal mistake. Asking a salesperson is this a real diamond in a jewelry store as you're signing up for a instore credit card to make the purchase you're inquiring about is not in your best interest. My point is you have to read the fne print before you sign any contract. And know what you're responsible for and what they are responsible for. I hope some of this helps.
Thanks for the response. I agree that reading the fine print is always important. I did read all of the fine print of my contract and everything I signed/was given that day and there was nothing about the equipment purchase plan. I've looked around on here and it looks like lots of other people had similar if not the same issue. Hopefully tmobile will come back with some kind of resolution.
This will be harsh but oh so true so please don't be offended.
How is it possible that in today's "You can buy an (supersmart)Phone for $23.17, take this to enhance yourself, you just won $1000 (mega store chain) giftcard, we'll settle your $100,000 debit for $5,000 " society can we expect something for absolutely nothing. I come from a very synical background where "If something sounds too good to be true". I must be missing something because 90% of the times I stand back, do my own independant research then go in to make an informed decision about any purchase over $100. I just don't believe I should give up my hard earned cash for something I don't know enough about and from my honest experience with T-Mobile sales persons they suck. The local employees at the 3 different stores know me (not always by name mostly by face) but they don't dare try to upsell or upgrade me with phones, or services or insurance because I know more about the products and contracts than they do.I don't see how people are getting roped into these contracts without knowing all the details. My true weakpoint is cars. I hate getting repairs on my car because I don't like the mechanical side of working with cars but I still know how to do comparative shopping and make them work to get my business. I mostly end up going between 3 different places and I keep detail documentation of what is done, who is responsible for what and let me get that in writing.
I definitely agree and you didn't offend me in any way. This did sound too good to be true and that's why I was asking repeatedly if it was 'free'. And we have to keep in mind that even if they say the phone is free, it's only 'free' with a 2 year contract....so we're all essentially paying for the phones somewhere in our service plans. As for the sales person being able to tell me or anyone it's 'free' (with a 2 year contract) but then have a completely separate equipment agreement start showing up on the bill is wrong. Surprises me they would even do things like this because I would think they would want customers to stick around after their contracts are up. I know I will be dropping them if they don't come back with some sort of legitimate resolution. I realize 2 customers to a company as big as tmobile might not seem like a lot but if they keep up these kinds of sales tactics there will be many more to follow. Word of mouth is a very powerful thing.
Word, word, word to each of you.
No More Carrier Manipulation Games.
That's it. Buy your phone at full price, unlocked. You know what you're getting and what you're paying for. Buy the service with minimal to no obligations. If they want you as a customer, they will discount the rates. They have no shiny phone to dangle in front of your nose to hypnotize you. When you buy the phone yourself, they lose all power over you.
I agree. I never take the "free" baits. I recently started Dish TV. I paid for the equipment and opted not to take the free start up which came with many riders, minimum 2 years committment, agreeing for a credit check, agreeing for automatic debit of monthly bill etc. I am on a value plan with T-mobile and do see that they have become unethical over the last decade. I used to have Satellite radio but discontinued it after they became unethical. I hate having to watch my back all the time. Kinda like doing business with GS. They bet against you even before you leave their premises. They call it doing God's work.
Hey Critter200, sounds like you have been through a lot and T-Force would like to further investigate your situation. I don't want to make any promises we can't keep however I have private messaged you the means to get in touch with us directly so please do so and we will do everything we can.
What I learned from T-Mobile duplicitous behavior and misleading advertising is :
1. Put your understanding in writing even if you write an asterix on the docs you sign and clear up your understanding in a follow up letter immediately.
2. They are well rehearsed in frustrating customers. They depend on a large per-centage giving up. The few who have stronger principles are run ragged by unethical "Executive" who master in circumlocution.
3. A small Claims Court action got their attention. If the issue can't be resolved with T-Mobiles cooperation before you appear in court, at least you have a chance at a fair resolution. It is far less frustrating and you waste less time going to court -
4. I use a multi-pronged effort to file complaints with my state utilities commission, state Atorney General, FederalTrade Commission, and Better Business Bureau.
T-Mobile is definitely "big business" and what you have stated is pretty much on the nose and this is the calculated way they attempt to make the most of any such promotion. It's like "all you can eat" where they don't expect you to camp out there all day.
This race to the bottom just gets on my nerves but just as you indicated, very few principled people will survive their processes to achieve proper resolution. Most people are "consumers" and will simply accept the abuse and move on as if nothing happened. Some people say it's "...just business." But it's not. It's people lacking respect for other people, deceiving and taking advantage of certain aspects of majority of sheeple behavior. (The numbers say they will get away with it and the numbers are usually right.) The problem with this behavior is that it is morally vacant and offers no sense of personal integrity on the part of the organization or the people who operate it.
Your approach is one way. The approach I take is simply to observe the behavior and avoid it. No more will I buy into their deals. I will only buy service. That's it. Once my contract is done, I will not renew. I will go prepaid if I have to. But they will no longer be able to do with my phone what they please. They will no longer offer deals which redefine all of the English language. I will deal with them in simple terms and never again make myself vulnerable to the bull manure.