Saturday, November 29, 2008

Why you should avoid T-Mobile

Here's a holiday horror story for you courtesy of T-Mobile. Once every couple months I call friends in Guam. I don't have a landline and my cell phone has been billed 69 cents a minute for these calls for at least two, if not three years now without a change. When I opened my bill this month I found I was suddenly with no notice, charged 3.99 a minute for the same call! That sent my monthly bill from about 80 dollars to over 400 with no notice from T-Mobile of any change to my account other than receiving this shocking bill in the mail.

I immediately called yesterday but had to call back today because the person who answered the phone said their network was down and she couldn't look up my account. Hello? Your network is down? How are people calling, with tin cans and a string? Okay. So I call back today and talked to a very nice person who told me I was out of luck because T-Mobile has a preferred customer deal going with Guam and it was Guam who suddenly and without notice raised their rates and I was stuck paying this and there was nothing T-Mobile would or could do about it and he claimed they have a right to do this and it says so in the contract, blah blah blah. I sure would like to see this contract as I ordered my phones and service by calling them when I opened my account. I signed nothing and received nothing.

Since we live on a very limited income they leave me no choice but to let my bill get past due and then call their finance department, at least that was the not so helpful suggestion. I have no idea what kind of resolution they will offer but I suspect it will be something like payments. That is not acceptable to me. I feel this is something that T-Mobile is responsible for. If one of my clients suddenly raises their prices on me, I let my customers know so they have a choice to buy or not buy. I don't raise their rates after they've already purchased from me.

So I will be exploring options other than T-Mobile and letting people know about this so you can choose your cell phone service more wisely than I did. I've been a good customer, have never been late with a payment for several years. But this is not right. It is corporate greed at its most disgusting and I no longer want to support it. I'll let you know how it turns out but I don't have high hopes as this is me, one person, dealing with a heartless corporate entity that doesn't give a shit about its customers. I realize they're pretty much all the same but my policy is buy from them until they do something like this, then give some other heartless corporate entity a chance to screw me over. It's the American way.

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Dylan said...

Hey, sorry to hear about the wild T-Mobile bill. I know my story isn't as bad as yours but for the sake of commiseration, I have been surprised more than a few times by big Verizon Wireless bills. As just the latest example, last month's was around $300 when I thought it would be closer to $200.

While in the throes of dealing with my Verizon bills, I discovered probably the most effective strategy I've found to reduce my wireless expenses. It's saving me around $230 per year off my original cell bill (which equates to roughly a free month of cell service for me). Given your inflated bill, I thought you might be interested. To check it out and see what your savings could be for free, go to a website called (by a company called Validas) where you upload your online wireless bill which is analyzed to determine how much money you could be saving on your plan. Up to this point everything is free. If you choose Validas provides a highly detailed and personalized cell bill adjustment report that, for $5, is emailed to your wireless provider in industry specific format so you can actually implement these cash saving changes to your plan. If Validas can save you more than $5 on your bill (currently the average customer saves $491 annually through Validas), this obviously provides a cost effective remedy for reducing cellular expenses.

On a personal level, I was actually so impressed by Validas that I got a job there when the opportunity arose. It's a great company that is rapidly becoming considered a top advocate for the wireless customer. Check out a profile of Validas on The Big Idea with CNBC's Donny Deutsch at Any cell subscriber who wants to save some serious cash should check out this service.

Good luck getting the best rate you can and I'm looking forward to reading a post about the upshot of reducing your T-Mobile bill.


Stan said...

I used to have T-moble, but the coverage in my area ( Phila PA ) was so bad that whenever I traveled out of the city, no bars!