onfire2inspire

    I have worked on a cruise ship for 5 years. T-Mobile several several times has had to adjust my account because of the ships signal picking up WHILE IN AMERICAN PORTS. But this last time I was charged $2,700 TELLING me I used internet on my phone!!! I SWEAR TO GOD I DID NOT!!! Once I called to dispute this, I was told that since I've had my account adjusted several times already they will not adjust this charge. I have NEVER used my service when I was not supposed to. So I can not help if TMobile has charged me when not due. NOW I had to cancel my phone number with Tmobile and I am ANGRY this NOT ACCURATE charge will go on my credit. PLEASE HELP ME!! I WOULD NEVER NOT PAY A BILL I DESERVED.

      All replies

      • tmo_marissa

        Hi onfire2inspire.  That sounds like such a cool job!  I'm so sorry to read you wound up in a situation that caused an outrageous bill because of your proximity to your place of work, though.  We'd want to take a look at the charge details and account notes to ensure there isn't any opportunity for assistance here, but since the Support Community is a user forum, we're not able to access individual accounts.  I know it sounds like you've reached out previously, but in this situation I feel like it's worth it to encourage you to Contact Us one more time and see if there is anything that can be done.  Thank you for taking the time to post about your experience here - we appreciate your feedback - and I'm sorry again that you're in such a stressful situation.

         

        - Marissa

          • onfire2inspire

            MARISSA,

              • all41_14all

                You've added an item (I think) that I was not aware of: "It is easy to get accused of things regarding cell service because the ship signal is strong". It sounds like the ship you work on has its own cellular system, perhaps connecting via satellite. This would allow it to work while at sea, but would also make it expensive to use.

                 

                However, I agree that if you are not ON the ship, even standing on the dock next to the ship, then you have no responsibility if your phone chooses to use the ship's cell signal instead of your carrier's signal. All cellphones these days have GPS, and the carrier can tell where you are if it wants to. This should allow them to prevent connections to "non-U.S." signals while in the U.S., but apparently the carriers are not careful about this. I'd even argue this was the case if you were on the ship while it was in U.S. territorial waters.

                 

                If T-Mobile won't help, I'd suggest you go to small claims court. You don't need a lawyer, and the fees to file are fairly small. The problem is that I don't know where you'd file, and it's a slow process that requires that you show up at court when they ask you to be there. Another option is to file a complaint with the FCC:

                FCC Complaints

                 

                Here's an example of a story where the FCC charged T-Mobile for "cramming", i.e. charging people for services they did not want. T-Mobile said they were issuing full refunds.

                http://venturebeat.com/2014/07/01/fcc-launches-its-own-investigation-into-t-mobile-bill-cramming/

                 

                Good luck.

                • tmo_marissa

                  onfire2inspire - I edited the personal information out of your response because this is a public forum and we want your information to be secure.  That's why we don't have the ability to verify and review accounts in our roles here, because there's not a secure authentication method for account verification in this forum, since this community is user driven.  As much as I wish I could investigate this for you personally, we'd need a team with account access to help here. 

                  I don't know how in depth your interactions have been previously, so please forgive me if I'm advising something that you're already aware of, but I want to at least offer this explanation in case any other user happens across this thread - generally speaking, it's a customer's responsibility to ensure that their device is connecting to our network as opposed to another provider in order to avoid additional charges.  This is because when a device accesses service from another provider's tower (be that an international roaming partner or a cruise ship tower or satellite) T-Mobile is assessed fees by that provider.  Those fees are passed to the line that utilized the service as roaming rates, and because they're owed to another provider, they're rarely able to be waived. 

                  That said, I'm glad to hear that we were able to work with you previously to adjust these charges, and it is regrettable that you're feeling accused in any way of "taking advantage" of this - I'm sure that's not your intent, and we should not be making you feel that way, whether or not there are additional opportunities to waive the charges.  I absolutely hear where you're coming from in seeking another opinion to protect your credit - and although as all41_14all mentioned there are external options that you can explore should you choose to, I would strongly encourage you to Contact Us one more time prior, if you can.  If you don't wish to work with Customer Care or T-Force, you can reach out to us by mail if you'd like.  I truly hope that you will, so that if there is any possible opportunity for assistance with these charges, we're able to help.

                   

                  - Marissa

              • all41_14all

                I've not had this happen on T-Mobile, but might have. I've been in Sault Ste. Marie, MI (U.S. side), and inadvertently gotten a charge for a Canadian signal which I had to get the cell carrier to reverse. I imagine that place like Charlotte Amalie in the US Virgin Islands could pick up a cell signal from the British Virgin Islands, and that there are other U.S. locations where this could happen. (Canada and Mexico are included in most T-Mobile plans, so my problem in Sault Ste. Marie would not happen with T-Mobile.)

                 

                Carriers should never hold the user responsible if their phone picks up an out-of-country signal while they are in U.S. territory. The carriers need to sort this out with adjacent carriers in the foreign jurisdiction. And T-Mobile should not hold this against someone whose work regularly puts them in such situations.

                 

                Good luck with it.

                • all41_14all

                  Another option is to ask someone at T-Mobile (or do a web search) for how to write to the T-Mobile president's office. Most companies have a section of customer service which is dedicated to responding to "letters to the president", and these folk often have a greater ability to solve problems than the regular line customer service representatives.

                   

                  If you do write, be clear and don't vent. Outline the facts and explain why you believe T-Mobile should give you relief from the charges.

                   

                  Good luck.

                   

                  Marissa -

                   

                  This statement is misleading:

                  "generally speaking, it's a customer's responsibility to ensure that their device is connecting to our network as opposed to another provider in order to avoid additional charges"

                  We go every summer to a town in Michigan where T-Mobile does not have coverage, and our phones default to AT&T (and 2g data, which does not work AT ALL). During the drive there we can sometimes see a variety of other carriers' names pop up, although normally any roaming is on AT&T. There is no additional charge for this roaming, even though we are on AT&T, not T-Mobile.

                   

                  Someone driving along who gets shifted from T-Mobile to another carrier is not normally responsible for any additional charges. And, as I've seen coverage shift from T-Mobile to AT&T and back within a couple of hills, it's also not practical to expect customers to check this. (Do you really want to tell people to read their phones all the time while they are driving? I didn't think so. Isn't corporate policy against encouraging reading things while driving?)

                   

                  If T-Mobile regularly allows roaming on some networks (AT&T) while in the U.S. at no additional charge, it's disingenuous to say that it's the customer's responsibility to make sure the customer never roams on a network that costs extra, while in the U.S.. If T-Mobile allows free roaming in the U.S., then no customer should ever be charged extra for roaming while in the U.S. When I got a Rogers signal in Sault Ste. Marie, I happened to be aware that Rogers was a Canadian carrier. But I'd bet many Americans would not recognize this. Why would you expect someone who regularly sees free roaming on other carriers to be aware that a given carrier is non-U.S., if they are located in the United States? There are still a bunch of small local cellphone companies in the U.S. which have roaming agreements with the likes of AT&T and T-Mobile. (Try driving across Wisconsin with an AT&T phone and see how many you run into.)

                   

                  I also note that the technology to notify someone that they are using an extra cost service exists, and I believe T-Mobile normally sends a message when you shift to a service which costs more. If this did not happen for onfire2inspire then T-Mobile is doubly at fault (I don't think this particular bit has been addressed). And as I mentioned previously, T-Mobile also has information on where a connecting phone is located. It could block access to these services when someone was located in the U.S., but apparently does not.

                   

                  So I still come out that this was T-Mobile's responsibility, not the original poster's.

                   

                  Now, if someone is actually visiting foreign territory, where roaming normally does cost extra, then I'd expect the customer to be responsible for choosing to use roaming or not. But that's not the situation here.

                    • tmo_marissa

                      Hey all41_14all!

                      I so appreciate the support you're showing for onfire2inspire here, and I understand where you're coming from.  You're absolutely correct that domestic data roaming carries no charge, although it may be limited - this is called out in the roaming section of our Terms & Conditions.  Cruise ship roaming, however, does carry charges that are set by the cruise line - we offer the ability to review cruise ship roaming rates on our Roaming Fees page.  Per onfire's original post, she was located in a US Port, so I can totally see the point you're making!  But ultimately, if there is a possibility of connecting to the cruise ship instead of T-Mobile, then to be safe roaming data should be disabled, or manual network selection should be used.  We wouldn't expect this of someone travelling within the United States - or for that matter, someone with a North America plan travelling in Canada or Mexico, because roaming in either country would actually be free on that plan type!  I think it's a reasonable expectation that we'd offer lenience based on a lack of awareness of these charges at least once - I'm inclined to guess that the issue here, if I'm reading the original post correctly, is that onfire's been advised that since credits have been provided before we're not able to waive them again.  You're also correct that our system sometimes sends roaming notices - if this did happen, there would be system footprints left in the account as well. 
                      Since the Support Community is a user forum, moderators here are not able to access accounts, so I can't see memos left during previous situations like this or system memos from text messages, which is why I'm advising onfire2inspire to contact us through a channel that can.  The address for our Customer Relations team, which is located on the Contact Us page that I linked to above, is the address for written correspondence.  I can't guarantee the outcome of reaching out, but I certainly hope some assistance and clarification can be provided by working with a team that has the ability to look into the account history further.  Thank you again for participating and providing your feedback.

                       

                      - Marissa