Any other military get screwed on warranty returns?


    Let me summarize.


    I Was stationed at Hill AFB, UT and moving to Sigonella, Sicily.  Went to my local T-Mobile office in Layton to inquire about 2 x iPhone Xs, after my house sold.  Wanted to buy a couple unlocked phones to use in Sicily for my wife and I.  Instead, got sold on a pitch from the T-Mobile office that I should be buying a package deal of 2 x Samsung Note 8s with military calling plan and international business.  Walked out after paying $1,021.57  This amount included the "recommended" ZAGG tempered glass protectors and Naked Tough cases, plus 2 x SIM cards with USA numbers, etc...


    Since I already had service throughout the month from Family Mobile, my plan was to save the new phones until I got to Sicily.  I did check the phones out on the drive to Seattle to drop-off my vehicle for shipping to Sicily, briefly, and it seemed the phones were great.  However, started using the phones, after I arrived in Sicily and quickly realized there were problems, starting with connectivity which is .21 Mbps download and .03 Mbps upload.  Then, my phone started getting random pixelated rectangles all over the screen, eventually turning the who display to snow and freezing up, over and over.  What's a guy to do then?


    I called T-Mobile, several times and did the chat thing, innumerable times.  It sickens me that T-Mobile doesn't have a better support system in-place for people needing help that are overseas, but I had to work with what I had.  Anyway, T-Mobile troubleshooting technicians said my phone needs replacement.  It was just 33 days old then.  What they didn't do at any time, including the online chat / help, is tell me how to get a replacement, being as I was in Sicily and didn't have anyone in the lower 48 (I am from Alaska) to bring the phone in a store.  Well, I just found out today.  Even though USPS considers APO / FPO addresses domestic mail, T-Mobile does not.  They said they would normally give me a return label.  I couldn't get one because I am in Sicily though, which is odd because USPS takes care of all mail from NY to wherever the packages go.  The military does the rest.


    So, here I am with a phone that needs a replacement, due to no fault of my own.  I have a service that doesn't work as well as the old dial-up from over 20 years ago and it clearly wasn't designed for this.  T-Mobile won't accept my return via mail and now I am getting messages from T-Mobile about data roaming.  The whole ordeal is aggravating and I just want it finished.  Since I already paid for the first phone, I wanted to just return the second one, forget about the package and then cancel all phone services, as they don't work anyway.  I am told that isn't going to happen.  I can only request a replacement phone.


    Oh, and T-Mobile is sending me messages stating that I am violation of the terms of usage because of my data roaming.  The service is already so slow, I don't have access to Wi-Fi, but have the T-Mobile ONE Military Business and ONE Plus International @ Work.  Those should be good right???  That's what T-Mobile pitched to me and the service is garbage and now I am in violation of some user agreement and I live in Sicily and will for the next 3 years.


    As a military man, I am very upset.  T-Mobile has dropped the ball on the people who have their phones and services, overseas.  They make communication impossible and don't do anything to really help solve the issues that need solving.  In fact, even though it isn't all done yet, I am sure that I am going to get screwed over more, later.  My plan is to send the phone to a former colleague, have him get the replacement for me and send it back, payoff the remaining full-price of the second phone and forget the 2 for 1 deal, then cancel my T-Mobile services, altogether.  I can get 50 gigs a month with 1,000 minutes of calls through Vodafone for 15 Euro.  That's about $35 for my wife and I and we will have fast connections.  Keep in mind that my first payment to T-Mobile was $160 for the month for the package that I cited, which they say I violated, somehow.


    T-Mobile, I hope you are reading this and you contact me.  I don't appreciate the lack-of effort to make things right, military or not.  You should always be doing the right thing by your customers.


    For the record, I could have and should have just outright purchased 2 unlocked iPhone Xs, which is what I wanted, then got service over here.  Not sure how I got coerced into getting a plan that doesn't work or make any sense at all.

      All replies

      • aleut1969


        • aleut1969

          This is what my brand new meticulously cared for phone looked like, 33 days in, after the technical people from T-Mobile had me do a factory restoration.  What you can't see is that the phone was so hot that it nearly burnt my hand.


          My issue is that I am not satisfied with the assistance that I receive (most of it) or the lack of ways that an international traveler or resident has available to contact T-Mobile.


          This phone issue has nothing to do with me.  You should make it as easy as possible to remedy it, regardless, but you didn't.


          The services plan is just ridiculous.  There is no way that I shouldn't be able to get a replacement phone, pay the full price on that phone, get both unlocked, then cancel my services with T-Mobile without any additional fees, whatsoever.


          I would absolutely use T-Mobile in the USA.  Being separated by the Atlantic Ocean though, it makes this relationship impossible.

          • tmo_chris

            Hey aleut1969 


            I am so sorry for the troubles and headaches you have had to endure in this past month Our service is great for those who travel internationally but it should not be recommended to anyone who is going to be living overseas. We are going to need to access your account to see what options are available to make this right. If you have a Facebook or Twitter account, I would highly recommend that you use the links in my signature to message our T-Force team. They will be able to securely access your account and determine the next best steps. 

              • aleut1969

                The unfortunate reality is that there probably isn't going to be anything that T-Mobile can do to make this right.  I didn't get the telephones that I had intended, now whereas I got 2 x Samsung Note 8s for the price of 1, contingent on my using this service for like 20 months, I have no choice.  I'm going to have to wait for the return on the malfunctioning phone, pay full price for both of the phones, then request a permanent unlock on both.  After, I will request cancellation of my phone package, as none of the items in it are any good for my permanent location.  I'm not even using it anymore.  I already went to Vodafone and got prepaid 4G service for the next 2 months and Italian telephone numbers.  This all just add to the costs that I have to endure until such time that this ordeal is over.


                I will use T-Mobile in the USA for sure.  I can't afford to use it here.  It doesn't meet the minimum qualifications for the intended purpose and having a U.S. telephone number just seems silly.  I already had one before I walked-in to T-Mobile.  It was purchased at T-Mobile, 3 years earlier.  Since I had then transferred it to Family Mobile, I could have easily have just transferred it back, if I though having that kind of number would be of any benefit, overseas.

                  • aleut1969

                    Oh, and I forgot, I don't use social media.  I won't be getting any help from T-Mobile at any of their social networking profiles.


                    T-Mobile does need to improve the methods available for contacting them.  Some people prefer to send an e-mail or call.

                      • tmo_chris

                        Oh okay, that is a bummer. I only suggested our T-Force team as you had already made several calls to us. We don't have an email option but we do have live chat available through the T-Mobile app on the phone.

                          • aleut1969

                            This is getting even more frustrating.  My wife and I have been receiving texts from T-Mobile that states that are continuous roaming exceeds what is allowed in our plan and that it will be cancelled if we don't comply.  This is the same plan that was sold to us by a T-Mobile representative, knowing that I was going to be stationed abroad for 3 years.  Now, I can't recover that money spent on plans that don't work and were not intended for use in this fashion.


                            To make matters worse, my former colleague in Utah has finally received my replacement phone from T-Mobile, but they told him that I am being charged more than $26 because I didn't have a special warranty.  Keep in mind that not only did I buy this as a 2 for 1 package deal, meant to be under contract with T-Mobile for 2 full years, but I was given a malfunctioning / defective phone, regardless.  You think after all the headache caused by T-Mobile that they would have just taken care of me.  No, they want me to pay more money, as if my monthly payment for services that I can't use hasn't been enough.


                            I'm going to payoff both phones in full, despite them not being the iPhone X that we really wanted, then requesting a permanent unlock code.  Because this hasn't played out in the way that I was hoping, which is some understanding and assistance from T-Mobile, I may refrain from using their services in the future as a matter of principle.  Suffice to say that what happened to me was not fair and continues to cause me a significant amount of mental anguish.

                              • aleut1969

                                I paid off both phones and attempted to get the permanent unlock codes.  I am sitting online in the message dialogue now for 30 minutes.  It seems like nobody is working.


                                Tried to cancel my plans too.  Says I can only do it by calling to the USA.  Hey, you have my phone and my other phone already has a SIM from Vodafone that has an Italian number.  I tried and it will not call the USA.  How the heck am I going to get my permanent unlock codes and cancel my telephone plan???  This is horrible.

                                  • aleut1969

                                    I did some research and in order to get an unlock code to use it here in Sicily, it says "The account associated with the device must not be canceled and be in good standing."  That's no good for me because I have an account that I can't use over here and T-Mobile is going to cancel it anyway because it violates the terms of the contract, in regards to data roaming. 


                                    It also says that if my device in on an account that is under a service contract term, at least 18 consecutive monthly payments must have been made or the account must have migrated to Simple Choice no contract rate plan.  I don't know what that means.  I have T-Mobile ONE Military Business with ONE Plus International @ Work.


                                    It seems because I can't get an unlock code for my phone without at least maintaining account, I am going to be screwed for the next 2 years, making payments for another service that I cannot utilize here in Sicily.  I hope they have a cheap one or better yet, I deserve to get the unlock codes without having to meet all this criteria.