In September 2016, when new iPhone 7 came out, I was looking for switching a provider and buying a new phone. I stopped by T-Mobile store located in Galleria mall (Houston, TX) to talk to the representative about prepaid plans.

    Instead, one of the representative at the store, Jerome, convinced me to sign up for “last day” promotion “trade-in your old phone and get a new one” with a 2 years service contract.  He assured that I can cancel this contract any time before the IPhone 7 is shipped. There was a backlog on IPhone 7s and my estimated shipment was between 11/01/2016 - 11/30/2016.

    A couple weeks later  my current provider offered a better deal, and I decided to cancel T-Mobile plan. I called back to the store and they told me that they don’t handle cancellations, it needs to be submitted to customer service by calling  a general line.

    Customer service didn’t help me either explaining that shipment has been already processed and I needed to wait until I receive box with the phone. Once I receive the box I can return it back to the store where the order was placed..

    When I came back to the store, they refused to take the box back and suggested to call customer service again, as they don’t handle returns. It made me feel that none wants to deal with the returns, and T-Mobile only cares about increasing their sales and not the customer satisfaction.



    I called the same day and  the representative was able to cancel my account, he instructed me to place a return labor on the box and drop it off at any UPS office.

    I did exactly what he told me and went to UPS store next day, however they said they wouldn’t give me a tracking number since it has a return labor, also they suggested to take it to USPS office. At USPS office they also refused to give me a tracking number.

    All I could do is to take a picture of the box before sending it.



    Afterwards, I received T-Mobile bill showing that I have a balance of $785 . I called to the customer service and notified that I mailed my box on November 9. They opened investigation case with the Handset order research department and told me that they will reach out to me. I haven’t received any follow ups from them.



    In March 2017 I received a call from collection agency saying that T-Mobile placed my account under their control. I called T-Mobile customer service right away and explained that I have sent the phone back on November 9 and that my account was placed with collection agency. The representative said that she can help to resolve it and she opened a new investigation and told me that it will take in between 5-7 business days.



    I called 7 days after, they told me that they haven’t found anything and assured that I shouldn’t be worried, as they will continue investigation and will reach out to me once the phone is located. It was obvious that none is looking in my case and not trying to locate the box with the cellphone. Thus, I decided to call Assurant Solutions warehouse myself. It is a T-Mobile insurance carrier and their address was on the return label. Fortunately, they were able to locate my phone based on the tracking number I had on the return label, they told me that T-Mobile doesn’t know what to do with this box. They advised to call T-Mobile customer service again and do a conference call with Assurant Solutions.



    Next day I called T-Mobile and representative Kiara told me that they couldn’t find my phone, and since I don’t have USPS or UPS tracking number there is no way to locate it. Tracking number from the return labor didn’t work for her.  I asked if she could do a conference call with Assurant Solutions warehouse. She put me on hold and couple minutes later she notified that there is Dorrian, representative from Assurant Solutions office, on the line. He asked for a tracking number and I gave him the one that was on the return label, the same that the representative from Assurant Solutions was using earlier  in order to locate my phone when I called them directly.


    Instead, Dorrian said that their tracking numbers don’t start with TMU and I have to give him USPS or UPS number. I explained 3 times to him that I didn’t receive any tracking number from USPS or UPS because they refused to give it to me as it had a prepaid return label when I was dropping off the box. I was very frustrated because he was not listening to me and kept asking for those numbers. On my question why is he checking USPS website, if I could have checked it myself if I had a number,  he responded that they don’t use any other tracking numbers in their system, even though I made a point that I have called Assurant Solutions directly, and they were able to track it down earlier. I’ve got very upset with the way he handled my situation, and at the end he agreed to use my tracking number that starts with “TMU”. Obviously, he didn’t find anything in “his system”, and told me that they don’t have my box. Kiara got very excited once he told me that, and she  was rushing to end the call. She said that she was right that they didn’t have my box.

    Also I found interesting that when I asked Dorrian for a last name, he could only provide me one letter “P”, he said that he doesn’t need to provide me his full last name and everyone in the office knows him as Dorrian P.


    The same day I called to Assurant Solutions warehouse again, and a different lady responded. She was able to use my tracking number and verified that they have my box in the warehouse. She said that if I can connect her with the T-Mobile representative, she can verify that they have a box and they can discuss logistics on sending this box to T-Mobile.



    I called customer service again, and they told me that they can not do a conference call with Assurant Solutions, and it is not in their power to make decisions on this investigation.

    I asked to talk to team lead and team lead said that she would leave a note in my profile, and someone from investigation team will reach out to Assurant. I insisted to try make the call and she put me on hold and hang up on me.



    I called again right after and explained my situation to a new representative, she said that she needs to talk to someone, put me on hold, and few minutes later hang up as well.



    After 40 minutes of waiting on the line I finally reached new representative who looked at my account and told me that my balance was sent to the collection agency, and they can not help me. It is interesting how differently everyone handles the same issue.

    I believe I’m a very patient person, but at this point I got so angry and frustrated, and I asked him to connect me with the Lead team. Another Lead team opened a new investigation request for me and said that I need to wait for another 5-7 business days to get resolution, according to her, she also wasn’t capable to  have a conference call with the Assurant Solutions as the investigation is handled by Handset research team which doesn’t have a direct contact. So there is no way to communicate with them. How smart!  I asked her to escalate my case several times, but unsuccessful.

    She assured that she will contact me in a week to provide a status update.

    Clearly none called me on this day or the day after, I didn’t receive any email or mail notifications from T-Mobile.



    It’s a circle! Is there anyone who is not ignorant to my situation and can help with any solutions?

    I’m so exhausted dealing with T-Mobile customer service, waiting on the line for 30 minutes every time, and another 15 minutes while they pulling up my profile, and at the end getting the same answer - new investigation ticket!!! Plus it is so unprofessional to hang up!!!



    Considering that it took me a few minutes to locate my box and all they need to do is arrange a conference call, how difficult could it be?

    I think the customer service is a complete mess, and it is not structured the way it should be. I asked to escalate my case several times and none considered it necessary. I’m helping to connect the dots for customer service and their handset research team, so how hard is it to find a phone when they have a number and all the direction?



    Hoping that someone here can help me with my case.

      All replies

      • htghtg

        Hello, and welcome magenta1438572!


        That sounds like a nightmare to deal with. I'd like to outline a way to handle the situation where a customer decides to leave T-Mobile after their plan was activated and their devices processed (but not yet delivered.)


        You must Contact Them and cancel your service. There needs to be documentation that you have done this, and at the conclusion of each call/chat, the representative will usually notate anything that was discussed. The next thing you do is refuse the device when it is being delivered. The device will be returned to where it came from and will help avoid a headache later.


        magenta1438572 ,


        At this point, it seems that your options are severely limited. The two-year contract you speak of is the EIP (Equipment Installment Plan) which spreads the cost of the device over the course of 24 months. I would take a look at the receipt that should have been given to your when you processed the shipment back to T-Mobile through USPS. A lot of times if you call them they can pull up the receipt number and get you a confirmation that it was signed for by an employee of the DC. Please take a moment to look at everything you have document-wise.


        Even though you received the device, you still should have been able to process a return for it within 20 days (including weekends.) Which it seems like you attempted to do repeatedly. I do believe that Retail T-Mobile stores can process returns and insurance claims. I also think that T-Mobile is actually one of the few companies that exist in today's climate who employs representatives that are worth their salt. It is disappointing to see you haven't gotten to experience it.


        UPS does have the capability to track RMA's. They should have been able to give you one. I am curious as to why they both refused to provide you with the Tracking Number? I've processed RMA's before and this is the first time I've heard of this. It was smart to take a photograph. I do think you should give Assurant Solutions a call and specifically ask, "Can I have something that T-Mobile can use to locate the device in your DC?" or something similar. Ask for confirmation of receipt if you were not able to already get it from USPS.


        I don't think it is out of the ordinary to not receive a representative's full name. There are already ways to identify agents, such as when they notate key information about the conversation.


        If you haven't already contacted T-Force, you may want to try on Facebook or Twitter. Your predicament is somewhat a special case, but it is wonderful you're continuing to seek a resolution and have posted on the forums here. It underlines the breakdown in communication between T-Mobile and Assurant Solutions- there really should be an identification number that T-Mobile can use to search Assurant's DC Inventory. Or it needs to be easily located if there is one.


        This just seems like a very unfortunate situation. Please keep us updated on how it was resolved!





        • tmo_marissa

          Ouch, magenta1438572. I agree with htghtg, this sounds like a nightmare. I know that our incredibly helpful pillar has done a fantastic job of outlining what went wrong in this process -- rather than accept the package, refusing it is the best way to ensure that it is delivered back to our warehouse. Using the RMA label included in the box (which was intended for the shipment of your trade-in device to Assurant, who accepts trade-in equipment and JUMP! returns, and not the return of the new T-Mobile iPhone which should have come back to T-Mobile instead) has caused a huge headache here. From the description you've provided, it sounds like we didn't provide enough information initially to prepare you to simply refuse the package.


          I agree with htghtg that RMA labels do typically have a USPS tracking number; but it sounds like you're not seeing that in the photo of your label? I'm not sure if the data will still be available on a canceled account, but at least on active accounts our internal teams have access to a portal that should allow a .pdf download of historical RMA labels, so that we can review any tracking that was included. Since this is a user forum, we lack the account access needed to check for that ourselves, but it's worth pointing out that there may be a record available to a team that can log in to your account. The good news is that even without tracking, we should be able to review your original sales receipt or shipment records for the IMEI of the new iPhone you were sent, and then coordinate with Assurant to confirm that the IMEI in question was checked in at their warehouse in good condition. That won't happen with a standard Handset Research Form, but with a well-worded escalation email to our Handset Research Team, that coordination can be requested.


          Although we're limited in our ability to assist from this forum, I can definitely see ways our teams with account access can investigate this matter beyond the standard form, although I can't guarantee what legwork is available on an account that is canceled and sold... But it seems worth a try to find out, since if we're able to have our offline warehouse team verify the receipt of the device with Assurant's corresponding team, that charge may be able to be reversed.


          I definitely feel like this situation merits an additional review from our T-Force team (our social media support team through Twitter DM and Facebook PM), if you'd be so kind as to reach out to them. If you can link them to this thread and my reply here, they can review the process I've outlined regarding:

          - checking the RMA .pdf for a tracking number, and

          - sending the Handset Research escalation email with that information if available, or at the very least

          - the IMEI of the phone that you were sent and sent back.


          Since I can't see your account I can't speak to whether these steps were already taken, but if we haven't done these things yet we definitely don't want you saddled with a debt because of a missed opportunity to investigate the matter. Thank you for posting here, and for reading this far. Please let us know how this goes.


          - Marissa