1 2 Previous Next 22 Replies Latest reply: Jul 3, 2013 9:06 PM by chantalk RSS

T-Mobile refusing to grant ETF waiver with no explanation

On Nov 4th, 2012 I contacted T-Mobile via fax requesting a waiver of all early termination fees for both my lines.  I had moved to Bennett, CO and started working from home a couple days a week, which requires me to have a reliable cell phone signal.  The signal at my new house is spotty at best and when there is a signal it usually is being carried by a third party carrier/partner with one or two bars and not even 3g data signal.  I had contacted T-Mobile and got a signal booster to try and address the signal problems but it can only boost a signal when there is one to boost, which sadly was usually not the case.  I returned the signal booster to T-Mobile and contacted customer support about getting an early termination fee waiver under the clause on T-Mobile’s site regarding ETF that “If you move outside of our coverage area, you may qualify for an ETF waiver”.  The coverage map shows the coverage at my house is 2g and below satisfactory.  The customer service rep that I talked with said that I would qualify for the ETF waiver and that I just needed to fax in proof of address. 


As stated, that fax was sent on Nov 4th, 2012 with attached proof of address.  I received a response that my request was rejected and that I could work with T-Mobile to try and improve the signal strength.  In the initial fax I did not specify that I had already attempted a signal booster since I figured that would be in your records but I sent another request to customer relations on Jan 3rd clarifying that and asking them to call me if they were unable to grant my request.  I had already tried to boost the signal and gave it two or three months at the new house before I finally had to switch carriers in order to have a reliable signal.  The customer service rep I talked with also had told me that I would be able to get the ETF waiver.  Switching back to T-Mobile to try and work it out would then subject me to termination fees with my new carrier and I definitely have no need of service from two providers. 


Yesterday I received an email response to my second request (not a phone call) saying that "our position hasn't changed" with no further explanation or clarification of the reasons.  In the email response it was suggested that the Customer Care department could assist me further but no one there apparently has any authority to give me clarification.  I have since emailed Customer Relations again but I am sick of sending emails and waiting 3 weeks for a reply. 


I was given false information by an agent of T-Mobile who said I would be able to get the ETF waiver.  I then made decisions based upon that information and now T-Mobile is not upholding what their agent said or what their clause on ETF waiver says.  After misleading me they are now basically trying to steal my money.   I would like some explanation from an actual customer relations person on the phone as I have seen other users in these discussions be able to get.  Otherwise I will report this to the BBB and dispute it all the way to court if I have to.

  • 1. Re: T-Mobile refusing to grant ETF waiver with no explanation

    t mobile customer support is good at giving you the wrong information and having you run around in circles. they once told me i had 3g signal in my area and i was like you barely getting a good 2g signal. good luck with the waiver.

  • 2. Re: T-Mobile refusing to grant ETF waiver with no explanation

    Hi mtntiger,


    We're very sorry to hear that we've parted ways, we know reliable coverage is important especially when working from home! We'd love to look into other options to boost phone performance indoors, and see if we have any network enhancements planned for this area. We've sent you a private message to work with you personally on this concern. We want to do all we can to improve the service!



    - Vanessa

  • 3. Re: T-Mobile refusing to grant ETF waiver with no explanation


    While I appreciate that T-Mobile would be interested in improving the signal in that area it is a too late for that to be of any use to me.  I already cancelled my account a few months ago based upon the false information I had been given by T-Mobile that I would have the ETFs waived.  I have since moved my service to Verizon who does have a good reliable signal at my house and reactivating my T-Mobile account would subject me to early termination fees with Verizon so that clearly is not a reasonable option.  I worked with T-Mobile to try and boost my signal months ago and it didn't work so unfortunately the only option I had left was to switch carriers.  At this point I'm not interested in the T-Mobile coverage being any better at my house, but rather for T-Mobile to honor the promises I was given and waive my ETFs.  I am still waiting for contact information for someone from Customer Relations that can give me answers.

  • 4. Re: T-Mobile refusing to grant ETF waiver with no explanation

    Hi mtntiger,


    I understand how you feel about not having your ETF waived. It's always nice to know why a decision's been made one way or another. When we research an account and determine if an ETF waiver is necessary, we check coverage for your address and the usage on the account. If you live in an area with absolutely no coverage, we will grant an ETF waiver.  In your case, it sounds like you had edge, but not 3g coverage and this would not qualify for an ETF waiver.

  • 5. Re: T-Mobile refusing to grant ETF waiver with no explanation


    I appreciate your input, but my first question would be whether you are a part of the Customer Relations department?  I have gotten lots of completely varying and contradictory "insights" from a lot of people at T-Mobile and I hope you can understand my skepticism.  As far as coverage goes T-Mobile's own charts list Good/Satisfactory/2g so you can't reasonable say that 2g is satisfactory coverage.  At our house when we did have a signal it would at best be edge but most of the time when we had a signal it was being picked up by some 3rd party carrier.  I didn't get a 4g phone and switch to T-Mobile originally for at best edge service.  I'm sure you can say that's tough luck but the key point to all of this is that I talked to an agent of T-Mobile before making any decisions to cancel my account and was told that I would qualify for the ETF waiver.  I cancelled my account based upon that information and I expect that T-Mobile will uphold what I was told by an agent of their company.  If I was asking for a waiver in a 4g area then I could understand the position you're presenting but in an area that is at best 2g and in light of misinformation given by an agent of your company I don't think your position is reasonable.


    I am still waiting for a phone number to contact Customer Relations or to be contacted by them.

  • 6. Re: T-Mobile refusing to grant ETF waiver with no explanation

    Hi mtntiger,


    I am not a part of the customer relations team. I suppose I should have mentioned that - they are an offline team, they don't have a contact number and typically work over email and mail. You can continue to write to customer relations, it's possible that if you request a call back, you may receive one.


    I apologize that anyone advised you that you'd qualify for an ETF waiver. The reason that we ask you to submit the request to our customer relations team is because customer care is not able to determine if a waiver is necessary and can be granted.


    2G can be as strong as 3g and 4g - it's just not as fast. When our coverage map breaks it down, the Good/Satisfactory/2G you're seeing is the coverage availability. When it says "good" and "satisfactory", that means your 4g and 3g will be Good or Satisfactory. The 2G at the end there doesn't mean it's not strong, it means that your device will use the 2G service that's available. The coverage map at www.t-mobile.com/coverage does have 2 different versions of the map - 2G and 3G/4G coverage.


    There is still one thing we could do to help with the ETFs on your account. Based on your posts, it's been less than 90 days since you cancelled service. We could reactivate your service with new SIM cards and phone numbers, so that you can either carry the service through the end of the contract or do a Change of Responsibility to transfer the service and remaining contract to someone else within T-Mobile, new or old customer.

  • 7. Re: T-Mobile refusing to grant ETF waiver with no explanation

    I've seen on this discussion forum where users have been contacted by Customer Relations.  I have emailed the department in addition to this discussion because I am trying whatever methods are available to try to get in actual contact with them to get this resolved.


    I understand that apparently the T-Mobile agent that I talked with shouldn't have told me that I would qualify for the ETF waiver but the fact is that they did and I made decisions based upon that information.  I was not told to submit a request... I was told to submit proof of address in order to qualify.  The agent looked at the coverage map for my address before telling me that I qualified for the ETF waiver so unless there are multiple ways to interpret your coverage map then I'm left with my original statement about the coverage not being satisfactory.  You're playing word games to try and defend an unreasonable position, but even then as far as the strength of the signal I can tell you that we did not have a strong or good or reliable 2g signal.  If we had a signal at all it was at best a bar or two, dropped calls, and was usually picked up by a 3rd party carrier which tells me that T-Mobile wasn't actually providing the service.


    In regards to reactivating my account, unless it can be reactivated and I not be charged anything through the end fo the contract, then that wouldn't make any sense.  I don't need another phone line which through the end of the contract would cost more than the ETFs and switching my current line back to T-Mobile would subject me to ETF with my new carrier and then I'd have little to no signal as I've already outlined.


    No offense to you or anyone that isn't in the Customer Relations team but I have talked to dozens of Customer Care representative and managers and it has been made very clear to me that they don't have the authority to give me any details or clarification on this matter, so until I get a contact from the Customer Relations team then this will remain unresolved.

  • 8. Re: T-Mobile refusing to grant ETF waiver with no explanation



    I understand your pain, I am going through the same issue with no or poor signal on my 2G/3G blackberry phones I brought into the plan, T-Mobile refused to release my 5th phone from the contract and charged me $200 ETF for that line. Currently my wife must step out of the house in order to talk on the phone.


    I urge you to contact the FCC and file a complaint:




    T-Mobile will probably stick to their guns and laugh at the FCC, but you should continue complaining all the way to the commissioners, their contact information is:


    Chairman Julius Genachowski: Julius.Genachowski@fcc.gov

    Commissioner Robert McDowell: Robert.McDowell@fcc.gov

    Commissioner Mignon Clyburn: Mignon.Clyburn@fcc.gov

    Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel: Jessica.Rosenworcel@fcc.gov

    Commissioner Ajit Pai: Ajit.Pai@fcc.gov


    Federal Communications Commission

    445 12th Street, SW

    Washington, DC 20554


    If the commissioners do not respond, they are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, you will have to escalate your complaint to your senator and the president.


    I am escalating my complaint not only through the legal and political channels but also though social media. Hopefully T-Mobile will treat me fair before I post a video like "United broke my Guitar" and goes viral, I will call mine "T-Mobile baits and switches keeping my money".


    Keep on fighting, you have every right to demand fair treatment.


  • 9. Re: T-Mobile refusing to grant ETF waiver with no explanation

    Wow, I am amazed at how many people have problems with their service, and how unwilling T-Mobile refuses to give a little to help us get out of their worthless contracts! I am fed up with there service and they are going to get tired of hearing from me....I can get no bars in my home, they send out a signal booster and expect me to get service. How can the booster work with no service??? Seems like they have many incompetent people working for them.

  • 10. Re: T-Mobile refusing to grant ETF waiver with no explanation

    You had your buyers remorse period

  • 11. Re: T-Mobile refusing to grant ETF waiver with no explanation

    I have never heard of them sending a booster before to anyone without one bar of service

  • 13. Re: T-Mobile refusing to grant ETF waiver with no explanation

    Thank you for thagt useful information.  Even if I ultimately have to pay them WITH NO RESOLUTION, I will not do so  quietly --you can be sure, and I will contact every last person and agency on your list and post everywhere.

  • 14. Re: T-Mobile refusing to grant ETF waiver with no explanation

    I didnt give you any list

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