I ordered my sim kit last week from T-Mobile and got it in the mail last Wednesday. On Thursday, I Put the sim in my S3, wrote down all the numbers that I'd need, and go online to activate following the simple instructions. Well... I went through steps 1 to 4 of the activation process online, and on the 5th step, I enter my credit card information, select the $30, and get an error "No auto pay calendar date selected. The following field is required: Auto Pay amount". There isn't a calendar or anything asking for auto payments on the 5th step.
I searched google and found that a lot of other people have had the same issue, and some recommended to try a different browser. Fine, so I tried in IE instead of Firefox and this time, it will not let me get passed the 1st step telling me that the same activation code that I used a few minutes earlier is now invalid. So, even though the activation site didn't let me finish activating, it took my activation code. Wonderful.
I called Customer Service, the rep didn't seem to understand what I'm trying to communicate to him, he kinda just cut me off and said "OH, so you are trying to activate your phone? I will be more than happy to help you with that!". Fine, I let him do his thing, he asks for my info and tries to activate it from his end and tell me "Sir, it says this code is invalid". After explaining again what my issue is he says that I should try to add balance to the phone number that I was trying to port over. Fine, so I try that and it lets me add $30 prepaid to the number that I tried to port over. I was advised to wait 24 hours and that if I still had problems that I would need to go to a T-Mobile store and they'd be able to help me since it used my activation code.
Friday comes and my phone still doesn't work, so I head to the T-Mobile store and explain the issue to the nice lady that greeted me. She calls customer service, tell them she is a dealer and explains that she has a customer in the store with the aforementioned problems. I watch her get hung up on. Twice. She was finally able to reach someone that told her that I provided an incorrect PIN to port my number over from my old carrier. They retry with the information that I gave them and she tells me to wait another 24 hours. Fine, I wait the weekend, and on Monday I reboot my phone, it's still not active.
I head back to the T-Mobile store, and explain everything to a different guy. He calls CS, they say that maybe the PIN# that I provided may have been incorrect... Well, I called MetroPCS and they verify the correct 8 digit PIN. I tell him that at this point, if my old number can't be ported over, then I'd be happy with just getting service with a new number. He tries with a different sim card in the store, but it won't let him choose the $30 "online plan". He calls CS, and they say they are not able to "switch it over" which he says they have been able to do before. Also, I have a $32.10 charge on my credit card from when the site let me add money to the phone number that I was trying to port over, which I was advised to do by the first CS rep that I spoke with. The guy in the store says that if I get a "welcome to T-Mobile text" then I can come back and they will try again.
Today is Tuesday. I just got home from the T-Mobile store, and I still have an unactivated phone. The manager helped me out today, and he says that they have been having problems with the "online system" for activating the "online plans", and that unfortunately nobody will be able to help me since it's a problem with "the system". He did advise me to call CS to do a charge back for what was charged, but unfortunately there is nothing that he can do. Researching online, it seems that the $30 plan can only be activated online if you use a sim card that was purchased online, which would explain why my local store is getting a different error than I was getting with their in-store sim cards.
I'm posting this here instead of trying to explain it to another CS rep (having talked to three of them and three trips to a T-Mobile store), why is this process so difficult? It's almost as if T-Mobile does not want my money. Why is the activation site scripted to null and void activation codes before the activation process completes successfully? It would be a much better idea for it to void the code AFTER a successful activation. And then, why accept payment for a number which "isn't in the system"?
This discussion outlines my exact problem, Prepaid sign up validation field requiring auto-pay amount even when auto pay not set up
And the answer is to contact Customer Service. Well... I and my store have tried that, so what now?