Thursday, April 19, 2012

How T-Mobile lost a customer over less than a dollar

I've been a customer of T-Mobile for about seven or eight years, but today I'm going shopping for a new cell phone service because the "office of Jay Vanderlay" felt it was more important to collect less than a dollar each month from me rather than put any effort into keeping me as a customer. Here's the details.

I'm not one of those people who texts all the time. I prefer to talk in person or send emails. My phone is for phone calls. I'm old-fashioned that way, or maybe there's just too many mechanical things demanding my attention that I limit their access to my already overloaded brain. So I didn't sign up for nor did I want to pay for unlimited text messaging for ten dollars a month. I already pay almost a hundred dollars a month for two lines and that's already too much for what I get.

This worked fine for many years. I paid twenty cents for text message sent and received and it rarely cost me more than a couple extra dollars a month. Then a couple months ago I started receiving spam texts, several of them a week. All of a sudden I went from paying for a couple text messages here and there to over ten dollars worth a month.

First of all, there really isn't an easy way to contact anyone at T-Mobile to ask a simple question online. They appear to not want to deal with their customer complaints this way so you have to sign up for a service that is basically a forum filled with other people complaining about T-Mobile's crappy customer service.

So I dialed the 611 number and was connected with someone who didn't even know the basics of what I was complaining about. I told him I wanted to not pay for spam sent to my cell phone, which is also and has been for years, on the Do Not Call List. He told me the only way to deal with it was to sign up for the ten dollars a month unlimited text messaging service. He found it impossible to understand or accept there are people in the world who do not text everything. He ended up basically pissing me off by implying I was some kind of idiot for not wanting unlimited text.

So I filed a complaint with the Attorney General's office. This is where "the office of Jay Vanderlay" comes into the picture to totally destroy the reputation of T-Mobile. I keep my phone off when I'm sleeping or working on a customer order as do most sane people who don't want to be bothered. I received a phone call asking me to call a number and an extension. I did and kept getting through to nothing but his voice mail account. The next day I found another message on my phone saying he had tried to get hold of me and failed and if I didn't contact him soon he would tell the Attorney General's office I didn't call him back.

I logged into my account, took a screen shot of all the calls to his office that went straight to voice mail and then I called several more times, the last one telling him I'd taken screen shots of my attempts to call him. I finally got him on the phone.

Not only was he the rudest person I've ever had the displeasure of talking to, he basically said that T-Mobile is unable to distinguish between a spammer sending thousands of text spams through their service (which they get 20 cents per call both from the spammer and from me) but that  it was in their terms of service that they could do this to their customers.

First of all, a company that can't get control of its out of control text spam problem doesn't really speak well of its professional status. But the truth is T-Mobile makes lots of money from spammers. It makes lots of money customers who are forced to receive that spam. And since they racked up some huge expenses and lost tons of customers over the whole mess with At&T, then they have to recoup those costs somewhere.

So I'm going cell phone service shopping today. T-Mobile has lost a customer who pays her bill every month. They've thrown away nearly one hundred dollars a month to keep collecting those spam pennies. It would have been an easy to find a way to keep me as a customer. Give me free text messaging for a couple months to make up for the spam costs. Send me a coupon for a free cup of coffee. Apologize and admit that as a cell phone provider you just don't have the ability to keep up with the big guys. But instead they chose to be rude. They chose to be greedy. And they chose to let themselves be represented by rude, incompetent and prissy little boys. Nice job, guys. And goodbye.

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