HELP!! Unfair and deceptive service by T-Mobile

lawsyes

    Here's the predicament we are in because of a blocked imei.  We got a phone for one of our kids 9 months ago from a private seller.  At the time of purchase we verified that the imei was clean at the T-Mobile store and it was.  About 4 weeks ago the phone stopped accepting calls and after a phone call into T-Mobile we found out that the imei was blocked due to non-payment on the original owner's account.  T-Mobile is refusing to unblock it or tell us how much is still owed on the device, so it's effectively a brick now.  Here's the frustrating thing... turns out that the non-payment was due to a bankruptcy of that private seller that was discharged about 5 months ago.  So by blocking the imei T-Mobile is effectively ignoring  the court order to discharge the bankruptcy and continuing to pursue the collection!!!!  I realize it must be frustrating for T-Mobile to deal with people who default on their payments, but right now they are harming us, an innocent party, and violating the discharge court order.  To add insult to injury, when they chose to block the imei, they did this without any notification to us... so for the past month we've been paying for the service we haven't been receiving!  My 11 year-old, who uses the phone to be able to call us from school, didn't even know he is carrying a brick... completely deceptive move!!  The agent told me that even though T-Mobile previously verified that the imei is good, that verification was only good at that point in time... that's an interesting caveat that's not disclosed on their site... that invites the user to "Verify your imei to ensure your device will work"....   IMEI Status Check | See if Your Phone Works on T-Mobile 4G Network

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      • tidbits

        Re: HELP!! Unfair and deceptive service by T-Mobile

        effectively the person who went bankrupt owes you money.  The device under the law belongs to T-Mobile. Due to privacy laws T-Mobile (companies) can't say anything to a person who is not the person.  The person who told you it was bankruptcy can legally get into trouble unless it's the person who is filed.

        2 of 2 people found this helpful
        • drnewcomb2

          This is a common type of fraud. People will buy a phone on an installment plan or insure it, sell it and later either stop making payments or claim the phone was lost or stolen for insurance. At the time of sale, the IMEI is still "clean", but after the original owner stops making payments or claims it for insurance, T-Mobile blacklists it. It's like you bought a car that had a lien against it and then it was repossessed. The question you neglected to ask at the store was, "And is any money owed on this phone?" Your cause of action is against the seller, who defrauded you, not T-Mobile.

          4 of 4 people found this helpful
          • barcodeable

            i agree with drnewcomb2 ... file a lawsuit against the person that sold you the phone. The information you provided has nothing to do with T-Mobile.

            If you purchased that phone via a verified electronic store.... i would tell you to contact the Better Business Bureau on that store, it doesn’t magically become T-Mobile‘s fault you made a bad purchase from a shady seller.  Gather up all the information you have regarding this sale and seek your money back, try and file a lawsuit.... if you used a credit card, contact your credit card company and/or bank and report this company... credit card companies protect the card holder from fraud purchases such as these.... you are entitled to a full refund if this purchase is some sort of scam.

             

            Scenario.

             

            I buy a car from a car dealership.

            Then I sell you the car i bought from the dealership.

            You go to register the vehicle and find out that I do not legally own the car because I was making payments but recently stopped making payments on the car.

             

            You can’t go to the dealership demanding for the Car dealership to do something...  the dealership $100% has a right to confiscate the car because it is legally theirs.... in your situation, that phone belongs to T-Mobile (whether you believe it or not)  but instead of T-Mobile confiscating it from your son while he’s in school.... it’s easier for them to just blacklist it to prevent it from working until the phone is fully paid. If there is only $50 owed on the phone.... it may be economically feasible just to pay it off and move on with life. Otherwise spend hundreds of dollars or even thousands of dollars taking this crooked salesman to court (your lawyer will thank you).

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • magentatechie

                I agree with everything you've said, the only problem is the OP's ability to pay off the phone.  The remaining balance is considered private account specific information and can't be released to anyone but the original owner.  Only they can access the access the account and pay off the phone.

                 

                The OP's best option is to buy a phone directly from the carrier from now on, the only way to avoid this kind of scam.

                  • barcodeable

                    oh, i understand.

                    I was just confused about all the bankruptcy talk.

                     

                    Well anyway, I agree as you stated to stick with purchasing hardware directly from T-Mobile.

                    This will just have to be considered a learning experience for everyone who reads this post.

                      • lawsyes

                        So the bankruptcy talk is actually really relevant here.  Because the bankruptcy was discharged, there is nothing that's actually owed to T-Mobile on this phone... there is NO UNPAID BALANCE, and T-Mobile's attempt to block the phone, in violation of the bankruptcy discharge order is unlawful....

                        Any guidance on how to get T-Mobile to do the right thing here??

                          • gramps28

                            Re: HELP!! Unfair and deceptive service by T-Mobile

                            It all depends on the type of bankruptcy that was filed. The previous owner should never have sold the phone.

                             

                            Do you know what type it was? If it was 12 or 13 they agree to a plan to repay all or most of their debt.

                              • lawsyes

                                Re: HELP!! Unfair and deceptive service by T-Mobile

                                Great point!  The former owner filed Chapter 13 followed by Chapter 7, that was fully discharged.  A discharged Chapter 7 means there is no outstanding debt that the creditors can collect, which means that T-Mobile attempting to collect on this debt is actually a violation of the court order.  By placing the block on the device T-Mobile is effectively attempting to collect on a debt that was formally discharged, in violation of the judge's ruling.  And while I appreciate all the advice to "go after the guy you sold you the phone", the entity breaking the law in this case is actually T-Mobile....

                                  • tidbits

                                    Re: HELP!! Unfair and deceptive service by T-Mobile

                                    lawsyes wrote:

                                     

                                    Great point! The former owner filed Chapter 13 followed by Chapter 7, that was fully discharged. A discharged Chapter 7 means there is no outstanding debt that the creditors can collect, which means that T-Mobile attempting to collect on this debt is actually a violation of the court order. By placing the block on the device T-Mobile is effectively attempting to collect on a debt that was formally discharged, in violation of the judge's ruling. And while I appreciate all the advice to "go after the guy you sold you the phone", the entity breaking the law in this case is actually T-Mobile....

                                    I am not a T-Mobile employee from you earlier assumption.  Even if they filed for bankruptcy any thing owed will go BACK TO THE LENDER/LIEN HOLDER.  I can't file a chapter 13 then a Chapter 7 and expect to keep my house and my car for example(I have high equity, and I am current).  T-Mobile locked the phone because it is legally theirs even if the person sold it to you.  You can try and take this up in court and the results will be T-Mobile is doing nothing wrong.

                                    • gramps28

                                      Re: HELP!! Unfair and deceptive service by T-Mobile

                                      Chapter 7 is when all the assets are collected and sold to pay the debt but since the phone wasn't collected,

                                      well......

                                       

                                      Debt wasn't paid to Tmobile.

                                  • tmo_chris

                                    I just wanted to jump in here. I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear but the folks who have posted here already are correct. We will not be able to unblock the phone if it was purchased from a private seller.