Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Hello T-Mobile Customer Support!

Welcome T-Mobile customer support representatives!

Since I haven't been able to resolve my customer service issue over the phone, and since the email form on the T-Mobile Web site doesn't accept long messages, it looks like the best thing for me to do is to publish my complaint on this blog. Hey, it worked for Jeff Jarvis!

I was misled by one of your customer service representatives, and as a result, am being billed for overage charges that I could have avoided. Both tier 1 and tier 2 customer support have failed to resolve the issue. As a longstanding customer, I am very disappointed that this issue could not be resolved after 40 minutes of discussion with customer support, and would like to see this resolved as quickly as possible.

Here is the sequence of events:

Beginning of the cycle: I called in to customer support to discuss the possibility that I would exceed the usage included in my plan (Nationwide 1500 w/ free nights and weekends). I told the representative that I projected that I would be right on the border of 2500 peak minutes of usage, and that I needed to know if I could change my plan twice during the month (the second time in case I needed to go to the 5000 minute plan). That representative told me that I should simply call in on the last day of the billing cycle, and that I could decide on which plan to use then.

April 23, 2007:
On the last day of my billing cycle, I saw that I was going to exceed the 2500 peak minute limit. Therefore, I called customer support and asked whether I needed to switch to the 5000 minute plan, or if I could be given additional bonus minutes to eliminate the overage charges. The representative told me that he would be happy to give me the bonus minutes. I asked him explicitly, "Please confirm that once these bonus minutes are applied to my account, I will not have to pay any overage charges for this billing cycle." The representative confirmed this.

May 1, 2007:
I receive my bill, which includes total charges of $569.58. It appears that I have mistakenly been assigned to the 2500 minute plan *without* free weekends. I call customer support and explain the situation. After some discussion, I'm told that I will be credited for the missing minutes, but that I will still be charged for 115 overage minutes. The representative explains that the bonus minutes I have been given can not be applied to overage minutes that have already been recorded, only for future overages. The representative then tells me that they will be crediting my account with $442.

At this point, I point out that it appears that she has made an error in my favor, since the amount she proposes to credit to my account would represent essentially no overage costs. After she checks her math, she reduces the credit to $399.

I point out that on April 23, I was assured by the representative I spoke with that I would not be paying any overage charges for that billing cycle. The representative tells me that the note associated with that call indicates that I had 115 overage minutes, and that they cannot provide any additional credits. I point out that it was economically irrational for me to stick with a 2500 minute plan and pay overage charges, when I could just as easily have switched to the slightly more expensive 5000 minute plan and actually paid less money. The representative tells me that she can't help further. I then ask her to escalate my call to a supervisor.

After I explain the situation to the supervisor, she essentially repeats the same arguments as the previous representative, and tells me that she can't help me. I point out that all of my actions are inconsistent with her scenario--why would a customer who was careful enough to call several times about his billing plan and in fact spoke with a customer service representative on the last day of the billing cycle then be foolish enough to select the wrong calling plan? And why would a customer who pointed out an error in his favor be dishonest enough to lie about what he had been told by representatives? That being the case, did it make any sense for T-Mobile to penalize a loyal and valuable customer because one of the company's representatives had misled him (however accidentally)?

Despite my arguments, she simply reiterates her previous arguments and tells me that she will not give me any additional credits, adding that my bonus minutes would apply to future overages. When I ask for further escalation, she tells me that I can either fax in a complaint, or send an email from the Web site.

When I go to the Web site to email my tale of woe, I discover that the email form has a length limit, which cut me off after only two or three paragraphs. This forces me to call customer service again to get the address for Customer Relations so that I can mail in my complaint.

It's at this point that I realize that I have the perfect solution. Yes, I'll mail in my complaint, but
I'll also post it to my blog, and email a link to the post. I will be very interested to see how this situation resolves itself!