Activation Fee


    I recently learned of the 55+ plan T-Moble One and thought it was a great deal.  I ordered a T-Moble Sim Card Starter Kit on Amazon for my unlocked iPhone SE.  After receiving it I called T-Moble to activate the plan and was told that for the 55+ plan I had to go to a retail store and show proof of age.  That made sense and last Saturday morning I went the T-Moble retail store at the Miller Hill Mall here in Duluth.


    I told the young man behind the counter that I wanted to join the 55+ plan and presented him with my Sim Starter Kit.  He asked me some questions and looked at my ID and then asked me to sign an electronic device that read out the details etc.  I read it over very carefully especcially taking care to note any fees and such that I may have been unaware of... in fact the young man seemed to grow impatient with me as I was taking a long time to read it over.  It clearly indicated an activation fee of $0.00 to my satisfaction.  I'd also like to point out that your website has a paragraph that reads:


    Activation fees are a thing of the past. Any new Simple Choice™ Plan or T-Mobile ONE™ activation will be free of an activation fee. You'll be charged an activation fee if you activate a classic plan or if you activate a line in Puerto Rico.... as posted here:

         Fees & taxes


    However the young man charged me $25 plus tax.  I asked what the charge was for and he said it was for an activation fee.  I protested saying that I just signed an electronic form that indicated that no activation fee was charged.  We went back and forth on this for a bit and I insisted on a copy of the electronic form I just signed to which he replied he could not provide.  Eventually he called his manager Scott.  Whom also said the activation fee was required.  Weary of arguing I just paid it and went home.


    They both acted as if I was from another planet for insisting that there was not an activation fee


    Once home I read the receipt in detail and it said the $25 charge was for the SIM Starter Kit... it said nothing about an activation fee.  And above it a line showed the 55+ plan activation for $0.00.


    I went back to the store and they said the Sim Starter Kit is really an activation fee and that the SIM card itself is free.  I wanted to be reimbursed the $25

    fee because I already bought the Sim Starter Kit.  After much arguing the manager said he would refund me later in the day.


    However a week went buy and my credit card was not refunded.  Today I went back to the store, feeling angry about it because he didn't follow through with what he said.  I also showed them a printed copy of your website that states that "Activation Fee's are a thing of the past".  Another sales person there said that it only applies to online orders and that retail stores still charge the activation fee and of course all retail stores charge an activation fee as if I was some sort of demented senior citizen for not knowing that.  And things got heated again to the point where I was told to get out of the store.  I left much angrier than I arrived.


    So I feel cheated for having to pay for two Sim Card Starter Kits.  Which is it T-Moble?  Are Activations Fees really a thing of the Past?  Is it just for online orders?  If so then why isn't it noted on the webpage?  Are the $25 SIM Starter kits just a hidden activation fee?


    Also, why cant I get a copy of the electronic document I signed when purchasing the plan?


    A final note, while things got very heated in the retail store over this which left me frustrated and angry (I didn't imagine seeing $0.00 activation fee on the electronic document I signed.)  I was very satisfied with the help I got with your phone support people in getting my number ported which my previous provider (H2O Wireless) made very difficult, as well as getting my visual voice mail set up ( it required resetting my network settings).


    Thanks for your response

      All replies

      • snn555

        Re: Activation Fee

        TMobile changed their terminology really and took the activation fee away and in place charges $25 for the SIM card. Used to it was the other way around. Now unless you are on certain jump programs there is a $25 fee for any assistance you receive over the phone or in the store. Purchasing a phone online is free of charge. Some third-party retailers May charge their own fee but that is not a T-Mobile corporate store fee. Each franchise has its own rules. At this point you should have only been charged $25 for the SIM card. It seems that the store charged you another $25 to insert the card for you. In reality what should have happened was that you went to the store for proof of identity and age only so that the plan could be approved. In the end $25 is all you should have been charged and you should have been for the SIM card only. So it seems that in this instance the store was incorrect. If nothing else they should have informed you that anytime a store assist you in equipment change that being a phone device or SIM card that there is a charge otherwise known as a commission.

        1 of 1 people found this helpful
        • tmo_marissa

          Re: Activation Fee

          Hey, pags. I'm so sorry that this is the way your activation experience went. Not only could we have done a much better job of clearly explaining the situation, but to make you feel the way you describe is not OK. 

          Unless you only had one SIM starter kit to begin with and actually needed a second SIM activated for a second line in the store, you should only have paid the fee one time. When customers come into the store with their own device and an unused SIM, we shouldn't be charging a fee.

          I'm going to shoot a private message your way to collect some more information, if that's OK -- I think we still have one running from your username change. Thanks for taking the time to post this here and let us know how this played out --I'm sorry that it wasn't a better exerience.


          - Marissa

            • pags

              Re: Activation Fee

              Thanks for confirming the situation tmo-marissa!


              Just to verify, I brought into the store a SIM card starter kit that I already had bought from Amazon and had no need for a second one.  They did no work other than open my 55 plus account (I swapped out the Sim card with my previous providers SIM card).  So there should have been any additional charges.  My t-mobile account was refunded Saturday (after my third trip to the store regarding this situation... I was expecting my credit card to be refunded) for the second SIM card starter kit charge that they claimed was an activation fee.


              I’ve had a few days to calm down and rethink what happened.  It appears that the staff at the store are unaware of the terminology change.  If at the very beginning the store clerk had said the charge was for the SIM card kit (instead of saying it was an activation fee)  then it would have gone smother to work through the issue of the SIM Card Starter kit fee... this should have been a no-brainer had the store staff been educated to the changes of activation fee terminology and such.


              They insisted that there was an activation fee and treated me like an idiot for arguing it… that was what was so aggravating.  At one point the manager was not paying me attention while I was speaking… he was leaning back up against the counter on his elbow, feet crossed, and looking at his phone… his body language saying “just be quiet and leave, you don’t know what your talking about”.  I had to ask him to look at me... it was infuriating... even after showing him T_Mobile's own documentation that "Activation Fee's are a thing of the past".

            • xyz888

              Re: Activation Fee


              I had a similar, but different experience with TM.  am a new TM customer and just switched to TM yesterday with the 55+ plan. My husband and I had to go to the store twice (due to a credit file freeze issue unrelated to TM) in order to make the switch from Verizon to T-Mobile.  It was very incovenient, but the 55+ plan offer on TM website said clearly that customers needed to go to store for the 55+ plan. I actually called TM on Friday (11/25) and the agent confirmed that I needed to go to store with ID in order to verify my qualification. We had to pay $50+ taxes for the switch (2 lines) and was told that this activation charge cannot be waived at the store. I was quite puzzled by this activation charge since it never happened in the past when we switched from AT&T to Verizon. So I called TM. The sales agent on the call told me that TM is new running a special price of $3.99 per line, but only eligible to new customers who call or purchase a new plan on-line. She also told me that the 55+ plan is now available by phone or online ordering. She transferred me to a customer care agent and thought that a customer care agent should be able to give me a refund because 1) I had the misinformation that the 55+ was only available at store; 2) it was actually an inconvenience for me and my husband to go to a store (twice) to make the switch. Unfortunately, the customer care agent was quite unhelpful and plainly refused to consider any possibility of honoring the $3.99 per line deal and told me that it was not an activation fee, but a SIM card charge; that I had to pay the charge because the switch was made at a store. Additionally, I was told at the store that I have 14 days to cancel my new service without penalty, but the customer agent said that the $50 fee is not refundable even if I canceled the service immediately.  In any case, I am sorry to tell you that this experience did start my new relationship with T Mobile on a very unpleasant note. I felt that I was given inconsistent or even misleading information.  I wholeheartedly agree that service at a store should cost more. However, TM should have clear and consistent information regarding how each plan can be purchased and at what price. Regretfully, my initial experience reflects the lack of professionalism and confusing and incoherent business practices that do not encourage customer loyalty and satisfaction.