Customer Service Hell!! T-Mobile…Hot Spot? NOT!!!

June 18, 2007 at 10:14 pm 161 comments

 header03  “Stick Together” – The Irony is coming – read on!!

I can’t believe it!!!  Over the past few months I’ve launched a blog all about the power and value of the customer voice in the web 2.0 world.  I’ve blogged about and read dozens of stories from “Dell Hell” to the more recent Digg / HD DVD controversy which tell powerful stories of customer “web-swarming” on bad service experiences.  I’ve been reading Word of Mouth Marketing, Citizen Marketers, and The Influentials.  Suffice it to say, I’m alert to the issues.  Even still, I never dreamed I’d have my own experience that so infuriated me that I’d be compelled to write the story…so here goes.  This is a little long…but please read it!!

A quick search online tells me I’m hardly alone in my frustration with T-Mobile, but I simply have to tell this story.  A few weeks ago my phone (T-Mobile Dash pictured below) developed a problem.  I’ve had this phone for several months, and was quickly a big fan of the features, form factor, even the battery life I thought was good.  I’ve always been pretty neutral on the carrier – in the end, as long as I have quality coverage at a reasonable price, I don’t really care.  T-Mobile changed that for me today…

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So, here is the back story.  I fully use the functions of this phone (calling, texting, web, calendar/email/contact synchronization).  To be honest, calendar & contact sync are the most critical functions after just dialing the darn thing.  (Ok, yes…I have synchronized my phone from a bathroom – I admit it!!)  Well, a few weeks ago, my connection to the net failed.  Now, I still had full functions of calling/texting – but anything else through the network failed.  ACK!!  I’m lucky enough to have some mobile device experts around who tried to solve – no luck.  What follows is the basic course of events, emotions and details leading up to today’s call.  This history is not exact as I never dreamed I’d try to recall it all later for my blog – but it is darn close!

Call #1: 

Dial Customer service, machine asks me to enter my mobile #, ok.  Machine asks me what I’m calling about?  “Support.”  Ok.  Machine will transfer me to an agent.  Please verify who I am with last 4 digits of your social.  Ok.  Ring.  “Hello” – I’m at the agent.  I start to explain my problem.  Agent asks me for my mobile #.  (What? I just gave that).  Ok.  Agent asks me for the last 4 #’s of my social.  (What? I just gave that).  Ok, whatever, fine.  I explain my problem (after also verifying my name…yes, you can call me “Sean.”  A little light trouble shooting, some info gathering.  No good.  Then:  “Oh, you are trying to synchronize your email.  You should call your IT dept.”  NO.  I know that is not the issue, if I can’t get to the web, my IT dept is not the issue – don’t refer me somewhere else.  “Oh, ok.  Let me put you through to our support dept.”  My first reminder that I’m not there already – I should know better.  Hold.  Hold.  Hold.  Warm transfer to another person.  “Hi Sean, can I call you Sean?”  Yes.  “Sean, can you verify with me your mobile #?”  (WHAT!!).  Fine.  Troubleshooting starts.  Lots of this, then that.  No solution, but good effort.  Problem…over an hour has passed.  I say I must go (appointment) and will call back.  Ok, here’s the ticket #.  (Damn – what a waste of my time!)

Call #2 (a few days later – like you, I have other responsibilities other than chasing stuff like this)

Dial Customer service, machine asks me to enter my mobile #, ok.  Machine asks me what I’m calling about?  “Support.”  Ok.  Machine will transfer me to an agent.  Please verify who I am with last 4 digits of your social.  Ok, but frustration starting.  Ring.  “Hello” – I’m at the agent.  I say “hi, I have a trouble ticket I’m following up on.”  Agent: “Ok, let me get a little information first.”  Agent asks me for my mobile #.  (What? Here we go again!).  Ok.  Agent asks me for the last 4 #’s of my social.  (AHHHHHHHH!).  Ok, whatever, fine.  Agent verifies my name…yes, you can call me “Sean.”  15-20 minutes has passed and NO VALUE ADDED!  Ok, let me get you to the support dept.  Hold.  Hold.  Hold.  Warm transfer to another person.  “Hi Sean, can I call you Sean?”  (Guess what I’m thinking here!).  And then it happens…yup, you guessed it: “Sean, can you verify with me your mobile #?” (I’m now officially very mad – but calm).  Troubleshoot starts.  I explain we did that before, yes, that too, yes, that too.  On hold.  Hold.  Hold.  “Ok, Sean.  It looks like your SIM card has failed.  You’ll need to go into a T-Mobile store and have it replaced.  Damn. OK …bye. (Damn – what a waste of my time!)

T-Mobile store (a few days later – like you I have….)

This was easy (process wise, but took more that 2 hrs away from office time).  Last word at the store: “You’ll need to give the network a few hours to reset (or something) and then it should work fine.  I wait a few hours.  No good.  I wait a day.  No good.  I wait 2 days.  No good.  At this point, I almost prefer the problem to facing another support call…wait another few days. (Damn – what a waste of my time!)

Call #3 (this is at least 7-10 days after the problem starts – you know, like you I have other responsibilities too)

Dial Customer service.  Guess what…EVERYTHING I did in call #2 happens again.  EVERYTHING!  Finally, I’m put through to “Advanced Tech Support.”  Ok, now I’m getting somewhere: “Advanced!”.  Troubleshooting starts.  Try this…try that.  No good.  Sean, we are going to have to have someone else work on this, the issue is clearly somewhere in the network.  We will have someone call you back on this case.  WHAT??  Ok, fine.  I’m worn out…they’ve beat the life and fight out of me.  (Damn – what a waste of my time!)

Phone messages:  (like you, I have other responsibilities too….get my theme)

At least 3-4 days pass and I get a voicemail from T-Mobile advanced support.  A few instructions and please call us back.  I have no time and honestly no energy to deal.  I have a business trip I take.  I note a few more messages from them.  Ok, props for chasing me a bit – I’m glad they did that.

Call #4:  (I finally had a “free” hour in my schedule to call support.  Reminder T-Mobile:  Every hour I spend with you is an hour away from either my job or my family – I am not available at all times – oh, and by the way, I am the customer). 

Here we go again…Everything in call #2 happens…again…everything…everything…ahhhhhhhhhh….please kill me.  Fine, I was ready for this waste of time.  Finally: “Ok, Sean, let me put you on hold and transfer you to “advanced tech support.”  Ok.  Agent comes back.  I’m sorry Sean, they closed the case as resolved because you didn’t call back.  “RESOLVED?”  I said.  Yes, I understand Sean. Are you still having the problem?  (Uh, no, I just called to share my mobile # and social 4 more times!)  “Yes, I still need help.”  Ok, let me try them again.  Hold.  Agent comes back.  I’m sorry Sean, it seems they won’t take the call until I create a new Ticket #.  “Whatever, ok.”  # created.  Ok, please hold again and I will get them on the line.  Hold.  Agent comes back.  Sean, “I’m sorry, they won’t take the call unless I perform troubleshooting again, I know this is not a good situation.”  Me:  “I won’t do that.”  Agent: “I understand, let me try again and I will add my supervisor to the call if I get stuck with them (note this word).  Hold.  Agent comes back.  “I’m sorry Sean, they will not take the call without trouble shooting.  What is the # I can call you on in 15minutes?  She then makes it clear that we are just going to “fake” the troubleshooting, but I must be on the phone in another call to verify we did it.  Me: “NO, I will not do that.  Please let me talk to your supervisor.”  Supervisor: “Yes, Sean, this is just what we have to do.”  Same “fake-it” routine.  Me: “I cannot believe this?  Why are you so disempowered?”  Supervisor:  “I’m sorry sir, this is just the best way to deal with them.” Me: “I can’t believe you are so powerless in this to solve the problem.  Who is your supervisor? ” (She says Robert Dotson: the CEO).  Me: “That’s just not true, your boss is not the CEO.”  Awkward silence.  She shares her frustration.  I say: “If it’s that bad, you should quit!  How can you work in a place like that??”  She says: “sometimes I think about quitting.”  Then, back to the task, “sean, can I just have the agent call you back so we can handle this?  Me: “NO!  I won’t do that.  This is not my problem, this is your problem.  Now you want to take time from my family on another call.  NO.”  Supervisor: “I understand, what do you want me to do?  You don’t really have any other option here.”  Me: “Don’t have an option?  Hah.  I can drop you as a service provider.”  Supervisor: “Yes, you could do that.”  This was maybe the most depressing part of the call.  She really didn’t care.  And it was clearly not because she’s a bad person but because she has given up on her own employer.  I actually felt sorry for her.  I couldn’t yell at her.  I said goodbye. 

“Stick Together” – These poor employees aren’t even stuck to their company/service – and they are the face of the company.  Why should customer stick?  Goodbye T-Mobile.  Now I write to cleanse…I’ll leave it at that.  I was stunned.

Who would like to add to this?  Does this story feel familiar?  Please DIGG this story.  Please link this story.

One more comment on the inner workings of a “citizen marketer.”  I hated wasting all my personal time on the phone.  I have passionately enjoyed spending the last hour or more writing this to publish.  Look at all the energy going to the negative.

 ADDED 6/20:  For the record, I’ve been a CS agent in the past, I know what it’s like.  While at the end I spoke very directly to the supervisor, I never raised my voice.  Was never confrontational.  I certainly never uttered a single expletive (unlike some of the clever responses here from a few of you passionate readers).  Yes, I drew a line at the end on where I was done jumping through hoops and was clear about that.  I certainly regret if anyone here has the impression from my post that I was irate to the agent who was following policy.  I was certainly upset with TMobile – but I can distinguish the company from the people involved.  The problem with my phone “appears” to now be solved.  I have a followup call with TMobile scheduled to validate a few things.  Once complete, I will post back here what the problem was and what the resolution was.  I certainly credit TMobile for taking responsibility for solving the problem, sharing openly with me what the process issue (break) was on their end and their intent to address it.  In the end, all I want is for the device to work (no refund, no credit, don’t care…just make it work).

Sean

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A worthwhile example of corporate transparency: Dell… Ironic…the mail just came…In it, my T-mobile bill

161 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Glyn Simpson  |  June 19, 2007 at 1:32 am

    Sounds too familiar for many companies (even yours…), but you’ll have to verify the last four digits of your social to hear more …. 🙂

    Reply
  • 2. Matt  |  June 19, 2007 at 5:48 am

    I would find the information verification very annoying, but I (in the slightest) understand it. It is all to prevent fraud and such. Although, if you get it through once, nothing is holding you back from doing it time and time again.

    Sometimes, support doesn’t do anything.

    Reply
  • 3. Csa819  |  June 19, 2007 at 6:50 am

    Ok, In today’s age of information, I cannot understand why I need to repeat the same info more than once, but here it is… every time you get transferred to a different service rep, you often wind up talking to a different call center, sometimes a different company- sucks but it’s the way it is… ust be glad it ain’t going to the punjab region.
    you won’t find a more service oriented wireless company, so call back and bitch a major bitch, tell’em you’re going to switch to an iphone….$$$$off your bill

    Reply
  • 4. Ruari  |  June 19, 2007 at 7:23 am

    Unfortunately I’m coming across this more and more, we even have someone that drives a site to help curve this. http://www.hellopeter.com
    I have personally experienced such service when I last bought a new car (Also my first & last new car). The problem is that as much as we grow great technologies, we also make it easier to disconnect those responsible from a feeling of responsibility. “Out Source Hell” if you wanna call it that. People need to rediscover a sense of ownership… just another challenge we have created in our oversight to ultimate productivity.

    Reply
  • 5. Deirdré Straughan  |  June 19, 2007 at 7:43 am

    You might take some comfort in the fact that you don’t have to deal with Telecom Italia, who are almost a monopoly ISP in Italy (and the rest are just as bad…). This: http://www.beginningwithi.com/italy/living/telecom.html illustrates, perhaps, why even AT&T decided not to buy them.

    Reply
  • 6. Montreal Gazette  |  June 19, 2007 at 7:59 am

    […] friends down south seem to have the same frustrations with customer service as we do. Just read this account of a T-Mobile customer trying to get support for a simple problem. It almost seems like the help […]

    Reply
  • 7. Dave  |  June 19, 2007 at 8:10 am

    I am in Canada, however, crappy customer service is universal.

    I have worked in a call center and the issues in my opinion are as follows:

    provider outsources their customer service to cut costs

    outsourcer sets up contracts with provider that they are paid based on # of calls vs resolution of calls

    Hires agents at minimum wage, provides minimum training and wants agents to churn as many call as possible per hour

    create a team called supervisors, they are agents with generally same powers as front line agents

    Provider like T Mobile know the grass sucks on the other side, in your case AT&T and create a situation where customers do not call in anymore

    This is the same situation with almost all telco’s selling consumer service and will not change until the the telco’s have the same type of situation as Dell where they loose market share.

    This is all based on companies running their business on metrics and not looking at the details.

    The example of Dell is real, they spent $ 300 M to improve their customer service after loosing their number 1 position to HP and fired a CEO that looks at metrics and is too far removed from customers to know the reality.

    maybe some day, one of the telco’s will break the mold and take a proactive stance in customer service.

    They are all like sheep and follow each other instead of looking at customer service as a ” marketing advantage”.

    Dave

    Reply
  • 8. mj  |  June 19, 2007 at 8:12 am

    sounds like a very similar situation, not limited to wireless of course. my personal horror story is with citibank, whose call centers are all in india as far as i can tell. i have never in my life met an indian person named loraine, but apparantly citibank can find all of them!

    Reply
  • 9. John Baker  |  June 19, 2007 at 8:13 am

    I’m not in the least bit surprised by any of this. Ringing support at any of these companies is an act of desperation, at least an act of last resort.
    You will almost always be connecting yourself to the least paid and the most junior person in the organization. Or more often than not you will be connecting yourself to someone, similarly, badly paid, who has nothing to do with the organization who supply the product or service for which you need support.
    (lack of) Support stories are legion in modern technology. Whatever happened to you, someone else will be able to cap it.
    But keep them coming. This one, in particular, was great. I’m gonna link to it.

    Reply
  • 10. Marcus  |  June 19, 2007 at 8:34 am

    I have to say that I am somewhat surprised by these posts…just in case, no, I am not working for or getting paid by T-Mobile…LOL

    We have about 15 T-Mobile MDA’s in the company and I also have a personal pocket pc with a T-Mobile SIM in it, and in my 15 years as a T-Mobile customer (10 thereof overseas) I have yet to have a bad experience with customer support.

    I agree with the comments about the account verification and all that nonsense…it just gets old after a while…more of a problem with their help desk system than anything else.

    As for the service, I just spoke to them yesterday to get a SIM unlock for an employee going to Europe. Was no problem at all, got help in a very professional and courteous way and this morning the phone was unlocked. While I was on the phone I had some specific questions about GPRS roaming fees, and even that the rep did not have the answer, after a 20 second hold time she got the answer for me from a peer.

    Past calls included a phone exchange after the standard 30 days which was no problem and billing inquiries, which always were being taken care of instantly. One thing I really have to say about T-Mobile (Had Verizon for our work phones before, which was a completely different story) is that I can not remember ever being on hold waiting for a rep for more than a minute.

    Not that I discount any of the bad experiences above, just wanted to share some positive T-Mobile experiences as well.

    Reply
  • 11. Heather  |  June 19, 2007 at 8:37 am

    I recently switched from the major carriers to Consumer Cellular https://secure.consumercellular.com/pw/
    So far I’ve been very happy with thier service, both in terms of coverage ( haven’t had a single dropped call, great reception etc.) and customer service. They are headquartered in Portland, OR and are a reseller of cellular services.
    No contracts, low rates, great coverage, and a real focus on customer service.
    One drawback is the small selection of phones. I hope they add more in the near future. Although you can always buy an unlocked phone.

    Reply
  • 12. Chuck Boyce  |  June 19, 2007 at 9:26 am

    two words:

    sprint
    dell

    I have no idea how Sprint stays in biz. I was in a Sprint store in the West Village in NYC and the store employee had to wait on hold for 30 minutes to get internal support to complete my sale. Mind numbing.

    Chuck
    ASKaSQLGURU.com

    Reply
  • 13. Kevin  |  June 19, 2007 at 9:32 am

    It seems like I might have had a similar issue with my dash. I sync with our company’s exchange box and I realized the net and sync had stopped working when I had gotten home. The next day I checked at work and it was working just fine. I called T-mobile and (yeah it took a couple of calls) and we narrowed it down to an issue with the dash and the tower that serviced my house. (I did a bit of troubleshooting for them before i called, put my sim in a unlocked nokia and was able to surf the web just fine from my house, reflashed the dash to WM5 and back to WM6 and other fun stuff). After I got through to the advanced support they worked their magic on the tower and havent had a problem since.

    On the other carriers, I have used the old AT&T, Verizon and Nextel (who i guess is now sprint) and T-mobile has by far the best customer care. Don’t switch, you’ll be witting a new blog in a few months about how you are locked in to a new contract with a even worse provider.

    Reply
  • 14. Dave  |  June 19, 2007 at 10:26 am

    I think this is a prime example of what kind of consumer the American public has become. First, we complain that prices are too high, so companies find ways to cut costs, (usually in customer service). Then we complain that customer service sucks (even though we are unwilling to pay extra for it). It is really sad. I am sorry for your customer service nightmare. All I can say is lower your expectations…it is not going to get any better.

    Reply
  • 15. skoon  |  June 19, 2007 at 10:29 am

    So the real question here is: Are the other service providers any better or are they worse?

    Helio? Cingluar?

    Reply
  • 16. Tino  |  June 19, 2007 at 11:02 am

    I’ve had generally good experience with T-Mobile service over about ten years.

    Once, though, I got a new phone from them and found that the screen didn’t light properly. I called, and was told that this was entirely my problem. After a bit of arguing and explanation that they were not allowed to disclaim the implied warranty of merchantability in my state — initially they said that I would have to send the thing to Motorola to be repaired, even though it was defective when sold by T-Mobile — they agreed to exchange the phone. It was explained that they’d charge me for this replacement phone, and credit my account when they got the old phone back. This is dumb, but it’s fairly standard procedure.

    I got the new phone, and it worked, and I sent back the old one. DHL reported that it had been delivered, but either T-Mobile lost it or they failed to credit me. I called them, and they verified that the phone had been delivered (on their nickel), apologized, promised to make everything right, and told me not to pay the charge for the phone.

    Of course, they didn’t credit me, and about a week after I’d paid my bill minus the charge for the phone, their collections department started calling. I told them that the debt wasn’t valid, gave them the ticket number, etc., etc., but they didn’t care. They continued to call and abuse me several times a day.

    Eventually everything was sorted out as it should have been, but I calculated that it had taken about 12 hours of my time to get a defective phone replaced.

    Reply
  • 17. Cybrid  |  June 19, 2007 at 11:53 am

    Having once interviewed for Telus. I have to say, Sean isn’t being entirely fair. Imagine cubicle hell with no way of internally communicating with other reps other than by phone. So you put the customer on hold, ring “tech support” and wait for the guy to come on. You quickly brief him and transfer the call. You’re being metered. Avg length of call X Hours = target. If your # is low, you get the “performance enhancement” spiel.
    Tech support takes the call but due to easy, scripted, prompt by prompt software needs to verify you again. CS could provide the data but that could lead to customer on hold + lower metering for both (They’re on the phone to each other). Also potential privacy breaches. Tech begins to troubleshoot for Sean whereas CS just transferred Jane.

    Where he’s spot on is the real lack of technical know-how.
    My amusing story;
    A Telus tech support guy, when I asked for additional info on the phone, couldn’t get the phone emulator/flowchart to work. He ended up running to their real IT dept. where he borrowed their test bed device to troubleshoot with me.
    # of phone models past and present x # of CS reps=!possible.
    You’d have to rely on emulators, manuals,etc…which is no substitute for hands-on experience but can solve the 90% of calls like “how do I email the internet?” and “how do I look up my own cellphone #?”

    Sean, You should be smart enough to do some basic troubleshooting on his own. With some verifiable results…and patience, you’d get further.

    Reply
  • 18. Sean ODriscoll  |  June 19, 2007 at 11:59 am

    believe me…I did A LOT of troubleshooting on my own, including with some friends who are mobile experts. No luck. I don’t blame Tmobile for any of that time…that was my choice. my issue is with the process and empowerment.

    sean

    Reply
  • 19. Sean ODriscoll  |  June 19, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    You’re far more patient than I am.

    Reply
  • 20. leandroo  |  June 19, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    2 thoughts:

    1 It looks like they made a Master degree @ our “world class schools” in Argentina they are “better” … welcome!!

    2 “sometimes I think about quitting.” Did you carge her for the session?? 🙂

    At least, you can switch…. in our lands there is when the problem really starts.

    Reply
  • 21. Abby R  |  June 19, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    This EXACTLY why I never signed up with T-Mobile (or any other carrier except for Verizon though i’ve had my fair share of dispairs with them as well). It’s sad that the saying “the customer is always right” (which could also be translated to “taking care of the customer” is just a distant memory of yesteryears…..of times gone by….of paradise lost….(you get my drift here). Sigh……

    Reply
  • 22. Jim Gordon  |  June 19, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    T-Mobile Cust Svc is magically wonderful compared to Cingular / AT&T. I had to hire a lawyer to get Cingular to correct their billing mistakes of over $2,000 per month on my bill. It does seem that T-mobile routes CS calls differently each time you call. I’ve used that to my advantage by not waiting on hold but calling back and sometimes landing upon someone who actually knows how fix what ails my phone.

    Reply
  • 23. Top Posts « WordPress.com  |  June 19, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    […] Customer Service Hell!! T-Mobile…Hot Spot? NOT!!!  [image]  “Stick Together” – The Irony is coming – read on!! I can’t believe it!!!  Over the past […] […]

    Reply
  • 24. cenourinha  |  June 19, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    What you need is Cingular…

    Reply
  • 25. Rosewood  |  June 19, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    Dude, you are an idiot. They have to verify your information because you would write an equally stupid article if people could just call in and have access to the account. Also, each time you are transfered, do you think there is some magic fairy that passes your information on?

    A few quick google searches could have solved this problem real quick for you. Also, if you would have taken a second and asked for the direct number for PDA support, you could have just contacted them directly.

    Now I know that it is idiots like you who are clogging up the hold times when someone with a real issue needs support.

    PS – Call VZW / Sprint and see if it gets any better for you.

    Reply
  • […] with customers who are part of the global community and who will express their feelings.  If your product/service has let a customer down as badly as T-Mobile; it is time to make important […]

    Reply
  • 27. Susan  |  June 19, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    Oh dude. This is way too familiar. After signing up for T-Mobile, I could never get more than 1 bar of service. It was a nightmare, and I had flashbacks reading this.

    Awful service, nightmare customer service.

    The only thing that’s rivaled it for me so far is DirecTV. But that’s a whole other sack of potatoes.

    Reply
  • 28. Sean  |  June 19, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    Rosewood…you should work in customer service:)

    Reply
  • 29. Steven Chalker  |  June 19, 2007 at 5:10 pm

    I fell for the T-Mobile scam and too had the same problem happen with the V330 and with the fact that it couldn’t contract a damn signal! Since I have two more years on a contract agreement I am not able to cancel or I have to pay hundreds of dollars.

    Reply
  • 30. James  |  June 19, 2007 at 5:14 pm

    You sound like a whiny bitch. If it was that important you could have gone and bought a new phone.

    Reply
  • 31. Max Maloney  |  June 19, 2007 at 5:16 pm

    I too have found T-Mobile to be far better than most big companies and particularly mobile carriers. Big companies with massive support phone banks just suck to deal with. Your story isn’t really that bad. If you don’t have time to deal with it and miss a lot of calls back from support, you will always have this problem… whether it’s fair or not.

    Reply
  • 32. opsknight  |  June 19, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    I guess you have never worked for a service center. Veryfing your name , SSN, and your mobile number is usually required of the agent for quality assurance purposes. They do this for their protection and yours, you should be thankful they ask, i get concerend when they dont ask.

    TMO easily has the best customer care of any of the carriers. They may not be able to fix everything, but you will get that no matter who you are dealing with.

    Reply
  • 33. Andrew  |  June 19, 2007 at 5:18 pm

    I have had T-mobile for while after first having AT&T Wireless before they were bought by the unhelpful Cingular.

    So I have not had a problem with T-Mobile until now. Every time I called customer care they have been great.

    Now my recent problem is I moved. I moved to an area despite what T-Mobile service says does not have coverage. Well, I sort of have coverage…if I am outside and the ear I have my phone in is facing the South then I can sometimes get one bar.

    So I called T-Mobile and they asked me to do a couple of things, which I did and it still did not help. They said they would escalate this to their engineering folks. Well a few days after they “escalated” it I hear back from them basically saying “tough luck” our maps show we have coverage and our engineers say there is no problem.

    My response “have them come out here and show me that there is coverage” I asked them to investigate how many dropped calls I have had…and that is sort of where I am at.

    They say I cannot get out of the contract because their maps say I have coverage.

    I too felt that these folks were not empowered to do anything. Back a year or so ago, I think they were much better.

    Reply
  • 34. Tech Support Emp  |  June 19, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    Don’t you find it annoying to give your email address in order to offer a comment, too? Anyway.

    I work for a company in similar conditions, as far as trouble resolution goes and working conditions. I can either solve your problem, or I can’t, and there’s no way you can break through that simple fact. It helps that most of our customer issues are user error. However, you made a few mistakes that someone from the “inside” of a similar company can point out to you.

    They gave you the ticket number. Good, nice and professional, leaves you feeling all fuzzy that you can cut to the chase. Did you ask if there was a way to shortcut through the normal processes? Sometimes, if the rep finds you agreeable to work with and honestly wants to help you, they’ll slip you the all-important callback number IF YOU ASK, and it will skip a department or two. Honor their trust, though, and don’t give it out. Otherwise it will have to be changed, and nobody likes that.

    The second mistake I can see was not keeping on them. Most companies have lighter rules for customers, but they can’t just leave a ticket open forever. For example, we’ll leave your ticket open for three days. Tops. Then we’re considering it fixed. You HAVE to keep on it, or it’s assumed to be fixed, or you don’t care. If possible, resolve it on the first call, come hell or high water. Try to make sure that if it isn’t fixed on the first call, THEY initiate the end of the call, not you. I have to say from personal experience, I hate the “I don’t have time for this” crowd. But to put it in perspective, part of my responsibilities is escalating issues that are outside of our network to NOCs in other companies. Generally, those companies will close your ticket in 24 hours and makes you start from scratch if you miss by even a minute. Customer service is being nice to you, comparably.

    As far as verification, explain that you’re not comfortable giving your SSN and is there anything else you can use? Some places will be understanding of this and let you use a mother’s maiden name instead. All you have to do is ask. But on the IVR passing your phone number and such on to the rep? Generally, all they have to identify you by is some code coming up on two line, 40 character LCD screen of their cheap-o phone. Could be as simple as “Support” or “Sales”. The technology is there. The willingness to adopt is not. And CID simply can’t be trusted. All too easy to fake.

    The only other thing I can offer you is DO NOT be the cowboy. If you were to call into our company for support, and I hear the words “I already tried that” without any willingness to work with me? You are going to pay for that. I will make things difficult for you, and stay within guidelines to make it utterly unpunishable. You’re calling into a company and asking for help. Don’t say “I don’t want to” when they ask you to try something, unless it is horribly unreasonable. And I do mean completely and totally unreasonable, not simply “unpleasant”. If they say unplug it for two minutes then by God unplug it and cooperate, it’s two bloody minutes. If you’re not willing to listen, why call in the first place?

    Reply
  • 35. Martin  |  June 19, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    Sorry to say this but you sound like an as***ole. The reason she didnt care about you as a customer is because you can bring your problems to some other carrier.

    “Dude, you are an idiot. They have to verify your information because you would write an equally stupid article if people could just call in and have access to the account. Also, each time you are transfered, do you think there is some magic fairy that passes your information on?”

    i agree 100%, i work in costumer service and their is a very fine line that has to be walked between getting your ass fired and treating you costumer like hes worth something. Sometimes people are so pompous and full of themselves when they really have no argument whatsoever. You did seem to have some problem, but there is an order that has to be followed. Now imagine if the guy didn’t ask for your number or social, would you like for something worse to happen?

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  • 36. Thayne  |  June 19, 2007 at 5:33 pm

    I’ve never had a problem with tmobile support. Everytime i’ve called they have taken care of the problem right away and have always been friendly. From my experience they are waaayyyy better than nextel or ATT.

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  • 37. wtf  |  June 19, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    Jesus Christ, stop getting so pissed that you have to verify your information. It’s not like all the reps are sitting in a room together and know the information of the caller that everyone is talking to. Give them a fucking break, it’s a service through the phone. If you’re having a technical problem just take it to the store and request repair/replacement since it’s still under warranty. Quit bitching about verification and get on with it. You made the situation worse than it had to be by getting yourself pissed off.

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  • 38. joe krivak  |  June 19, 2007 at 5:40 pm

    if this phone is soooooo important to you then y did u piss around soo much with getting it fixed??? people at t-mobile are taking care of more people than you. u help them out they help you out. think about it

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  • 39. Harold  |  June 19, 2007 at 5:43 pm

    Man, you sound like a twat.
    I work in a customer service center and if you think that the reps know all of your information just by hearing your voice, I want some of whatever you’re smoking.

    T-Mobile reps have by far been the friendliest and most helpful ones I’ve dealt with. You seem like the kind of asshole that thinks reps aren’t people and their sole purpose in life is to make you happy. They’re not psychics, they’re people and they deserve respect. In one part of the call, you’re just blatantly refusing to go along with a process that will help the procedure go smoother.

    You’re a total douche.

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  • 40. Chuck Boyce  |  June 19, 2007 at 5:47 pm

    What is up with all of this venom coming out in *SUPPORT* of bad customer service? Woah. Dude, if you are the unfortunate person working for souless company XYZ getting paid peanuts and you’re getting defensive because you’re hearing how customers without any free time truly feel when your company’s waste time we can’t spare while we endure bad customer service in the process – you are completely missing the point.

    I and I think most customers who’ve experienced DELL Hell, Sprint abuse, etc do not resent *YOU*. I’d guess most of us ultimately have sympathy for you. It’s the clueless companies that obviously have contempt for their companies that people are addressing.

    Chuck
    ASKaSQLGURU.com

    Reply
  • 41. bryan erdmann  |  June 19, 2007 at 5:49 pm

    waaaah. cellular service can’t be perfect everytime. try not relying so much on a shitty network. goto att or verizon. tmobile is not known for their data network. deal with it.

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  • 42. Jeremy C. Joseph  |  June 19, 2007 at 5:50 pm

    Ooooh lordy…don’t go with Cingular..I mean, AT & fucking T…..
    …they rebutted my Righteous Customer Rage too (RCR)

    …..”Why should I stay with you if youre just gonna waste my money and my time?”
    the CSR coldly replied: “That’s your option, sir”..

    (they took $700 of my money and said they were unable to return it because they had no record of the transaction even though THEY fucked up the charge……it took about 3+ weeks for my own bank to drop the pending charge, they STILL hadn’t figured it out.)

    Ps>Funny note….the CSR was the rudest of them all….

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  • 43. Bob Kelsoe  |  June 19, 2007 at 5:50 pm

    I really think you’re an idiot. They are doing the best you can. They have to verify the information, don’t like T-mobile? Quit, Who are you going to go to? Verizon? They’re not any better. I’ve had to deal with more bullshit with Verizon, 4 hrs I spent on the phone with them to get something taken care of. They were doing the best they could, I was doing all I could. No need to bitch at them. I’ve worked Help Desk for Bio-Tech Research Facilities. These idiots with Phds are no better.
    Sigh, this isn’t even worth my time. Don’t waste our time again by posting crap like this on Digg.

    Reply
  • 44. darren  |  June 19, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    Sounds EXACTLY like what Microsoft is doing to me right now in my quest to find out where my Vista Business DVD is from their http://www.powertogether.com/ website.

    I

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  • 45. Tammy W  |  June 19, 2007 at 5:53 pm

    Chuck,
    I’m also a service rep. We don’t get paid “peanuts”.. it’s actually one of the higher paying positions because you have to deal with cunts like this all day.

    Reply
  • 46. uhh..  |  June 19, 2007 at 5:54 pm

    uhh…o.k. thanks for all the customer service reps puttin in there two cents on why they dont suck, and that makes it o.k. to not fix the problem..I am always very nice to anyone on the phone..its only when i have done the same troubleshooting ten times, that I get annoyed, and I feel necessary to explain..uhh hey…its been done before, can we skip to the next step. Why, as a customer, shouldn’t I expect to get the problem resolved a little bit quicker. Yes sir/maam, i have tried that numerous times. Yes I realize there are numbnuts out there that forget to press the power button, plug in electronic device/add batteries…that is not the case…for the 10th time. Please can we move onto another to resolve this problem. I see no problem in that..I just get really frustrated with the lack of training in the support center. Such as dell support…uhhh..sir you need to reformat your harddrive….uhhhh…no, after searching on your own forums, found that it was a driver that the machine needed…but had to look online, not in dell tech forums, cause it wasn’t there, and found out was a somewhat known problem for my model…so…in what way should we trust you customer service reps, when you fail us, time and time again. back off this guy, he had a legit problem, and he got shoved into a corner. no need for some d#*ks in customer service to get all offended…I know that their is great customer service out there, and if asked, i will always give them glowing reviews. On the same side, there is some rather shitty customer service out there also.
    thanks, my 2 cents.

    Reply
  • 47. NYOB  |  June 19, 2007 at 5:55 pm

    You’re in Seattle. Go to Factoria to the T-Mobile Field Service Center, don’t leave until your problem is solved. It’s the big white building with the T-Mobile logo right above Factoria Mall.

    Customer Care is on the 7th Floor, engineering is in the building next door. There’s a store in the shopping center right below the building and the manager there can get you sorted.

    Reply
  • 48. Kris  |  June 19, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    Dear uhh..,
    you sound like a prick and as diluted as sean.
    my two cents.

    Reply
  • 49. unoriginalname07  |  June 19, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    First off I have had bad experiences with T-mobile customer service, sometimes extremely bad, but I work in a field that makes me have to call T-mobile, Cingular/AT&T, and Sprint/Nextel customer service daily and I used to work for Verizon as a customer service representative so I can tell you with years of experience, T-mobile is as good as it gets right now! The reason for this I can understand in many ways.

    1. Customer Service Standards. When I started working for Verizon my previous work history was Krogers and Subway… Thats called Faking it till you make it! P.S. that was in fact a motto from our trainers at our call center back in 02′ LOL

    2. Safety scripts! The reason we ask you for your number and SSN is because A. We sometimes don’t have that information pop up on our screens, I guess the computers aren’t perfect like Dells. B. For your account safety! I can’t tell you how many times I was able to fuck with peoples accounts on Sprint and Cingular without so much more then a name and phone number lol. They are trained to verify everytime incase the last asshole you talked to didn’t and is letting someone not you mess with your money!

    3. Hold time? Try waiting almost 30 minutes everytime you call and end up getting an asshole that just mutes until you hang up or just straight up hangs up on you as soon as you are transferred!(Sprint Btw) In my experience almost 75% of the time T-mobile answers within 3 minutes max and then tries to hang up on you :p

    The only reason I would leave T-mobile was for 3G service today instead of whenever they update EDGE or for CDMA phones which in my opinion Sprint has some pretty cool looking phones like the upstage(I live in US and I know you have cooler phones but still). Other then if you have a big family in another carrier you might wanna stay with Team-Mobile(wiki it) because despite all the flaws they are the least flawed with their support team. Just threaten to leave with another company and watch them offer you something. When I try that with someone besides t-mobile they just laugh at you and ready the cancelation fees.

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  • 50. Phil  |  June 19, 2007 at 5:59 pm

    I had a similar type of problem with “Verified by VISA” it took 14 separate calls to resolve a simple problem. On one of the calls I was asked by a VISA customer rep to read some of the website FAQs to her as she was completely lost.

    Total time out of my life, a little over 2 hours that I’ll never see again.

    I think we’ve hit the point where our own technology is strangling us. You would have never had this problem 20 years ago 😉

    Reply
  • 51. uhh..  |  June 19, 2007 at 6:00 pm

    you guys are hilarious…sorry you hate your jobs so much.

    Reply
  • 52. Colin  |  June 19, 2007 at 6:04 pm

    I would have to hear an actual recording to make up my mind about this whole deal, but my preliminary opinion is that you sound like the stereotypical “I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS, DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?” kind of customer.

    Technical problems are just that. Problems. Every problem involves some level of inconvenience by definition alone.

    Your complaints and actions go beyond constructive criticism. You were just be obstinate, it seems.

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  • 53. BC  |  June 19, 2007 at 6:06 pm

    It looks to me like you are upset about the phone and not really the service. You have to understand there are many technical things that could cause even the same problem with the phone. Troubleshooting is necessary, that is if you actually want your problem resolved. It is frustrating calling into a place that has you re-verify things but isn’t it better to have more security than less? I know I wouldnt want someone accessing my T-Mobile account. Also you don’t speak with agents when you call tmobile, you talk to customer service dudes. (Agents work in stores). It sounded to me like the supervisor was trying to work with you, and instead of spending that time arguing you could have worked on your problem. I think what’s worse than terrible customer service, is ratty customers calling in with attitudes when they are there to help you and you refuse to be helped. Can you not blame them for closing the ticket after you failed to call in? If I had a problem and it was resolved, I probably wouldn’t call back in or even think to. As do most people. If i continue to have a problem , I let them know it didn’t work. Blame yourself for this one, and stop whining. As much as I hate customer service these days, it seems to me like you were just blatantly being a pr*ck.

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  • 54. Kyle Finneran  |  June 19, 2007 at 6:08 pm

    uhh..,
    I don’t think they hate their jobs, I think they hate the idiots that call in with the preconceived idea that they’re above them. You’re asking THEM for help. Wouldn’t it be reasonable to NOT treat them like shit?
    Just sayin’

    Reply
  • 55. Joseph  |  June 19, 2007 at 6:10 pm

    I’ve been a T-Mobile subscriber for approximately 5 years and when I’ve had to call support, I’ve never spent more than a few minutes on hold. When I had a particular difficult issue with my Blackberry, the “blackberry support group” folks wouldn’t leave me on hold, but would offer to call me back at a time I was available.

    Reply
  • 56. carlos roberto  |  June 19, 2007 at 6:12 pm

    I’ve been a t-mo customer for 5 years, and if ive ever had any problems, they just did what i asked. many times they have reimbursed me for problems they didnt even cause.

    Reply
  • 57. Ben  |  June 19, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    I too work in tech support, but for a company that services industrial motor controls. Our phone support is totally different. When a customer calls, I work for that customer. That one customer is my job until his problem is either solved or he gives up. I NEVER ask for any personal information. I always assume he needs help, no matter how dumb I think his question is. I solve most problems in one call, others may take a dozen calls and over a week of troubleshooting. I am not rated on how many calls I take or how long I spend on the phone with each customer. My boss just tells us to take care of OUR customer.

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  • 58. uhh..  |  June 19, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    =) true..you are correct..I am asking them for help. I guess I just feel disappointed sometimes (as I said before, not all the time) that the people arent very well trained, and are unable to help from lack of training. I think then, rather than reflect on the actual staff member themselves, it goes to the company hiring/training the staff. So please, remove that from before, I just was rather taken aback for people attacking the customer. So that is rather poor managerial/company structure, rather than a reflection of the employee. Remember, at the end of the day, it is the customer that counts.

    Reply
  • 59. Anna  |  June 19, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    Write a letter to the company (not an email, a paper letter to their headquarters) and include everything you’ve posted here. I don’t know about T-Mobile specifically, but I used to work for a big computer company, and doing this would get your case assigned to a corporate customer relations admin who could basically do anything without having to ask permission. And at the company I worked at, corporate CS would basically do anything to make the customer happy so long as your complaint was even remotely valid. Include the ticket number and the names of the people you spoke to if you have them.

    Some companies aren’t quite that helpful, but 75% of the time, if I write directly to corporate headquarters, I’ll at least get a gift certificate or something for my trouble. The other 25% send letters that make it obvious they never even read mine, but it’s worth a shot.

    Reply
  • 60. Simona  |  June 19, 2007 at 6:23 pm

    I had a similar problem with Direct TV. Worst Trouble Shooting and Wait time ever. I had a review break, call customer service went through 4 tiers of tech support before they could fix my problem. Which happened to be a simple program update. I spent 3 hours on the phone with over six representatives, and twice I was sent two the same person on accident. Oh and In the middle I got disconnected by one of the idiots, that was another call completely.

    Also I had issues with American Express. I received their regular credit card. No probs had it for approx two months, when they suspended my transactions to verify my application. I called customer service, basically they wanted to find out what I was making which they should have found out before they issued me a credit card. But decided NAH, we’ll give her the card but cut her off middle of the month. I Canceled it right away! Ridiculous.

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  • 61. Dan  |  June 19, 2007 at 6:24 pm

    I guess I’m “diluted” as well as I can’t believe the number of angry TSRs I find on this thread. I worked for PSINet for 6 months many years ago, so I understand the basic issues. TSRs take a lot of crap, but there’s no excuse for this lamebrained officiousness.

    If the supervisor of first-level support can’t escalate a ticket ON HER OWN, the system is completely and utterly screwed.

    “How can you be so disempowered?” is the perfect question. It’s not a lack of resources – it’s a lack of trust. T-Mobile (or whoever they’ve outsourced to) doesn’t trust the people they’ve hired. They don’t trust their HR processes, their own training programs, and they don’t trust that people can make good decisions on their own. It’s a huge deficit in leadership.

    That’s why they have these stupid internal firewalls and ridiculous things like support centers that refuse to take calls. Empower people to fix the problem and problems get solved.

    If your jpb gives you stress, responsibilities, and metrics to meet, and doesn’t give you the resources or discretion to do your job, IT’S TIME TO FIND ANOTHER JOB.

    Reply
  • 62. Simona  |  June 19, 2007 at 6:26 pm

    I had a similar problem with Direct TV. Worst Trouble Shooting and Wait time ever. I had a recierver break, call customer service went through 4 tiers of tech support before they could fix my problem. Which happened to be a simple program update. I spent 3 hours on the phone with over six representatives, and twice I was sent two the same person on accident. Oh and In the middle I got disconnected by one of the idiots, that was another call completely.

    Also I had issues with American Express. I received their regular credit card. No probs had it for approx two months, when they suspended my transactions to verify my application. I called customer service, basically they wanted to find out what I was making which they should have found out before they issued me a credit card. But decided NAH, we’ll give her the card but cut her off middle of the month. I Canceled it right away! Ridiculous.

    Reply
  • 63. james  |  June 19, 2007 at 6:26 pm

    You’re the one that comes across like the a**hole. Sometimes things break and people don’t know how to fix them. Let me guess you have never not Known how to solve a clients problem and passed them on to someone else. Grow up and stop crying

    Reply
  • 64. Meag  |  June 19, 2007 at 6:28 pm

    I work for an inbound call center that takes IT outsourcing jobs from companies like T-Mobile. What you described is exactly what we teach to our agents. The “supervisors” you talk to are usually people who were on the phones taking calls less than a month before they get to that position, and usually aren’t even actual supes – they’re only one level of escalation in our tech support chain and serve solely to take the escalations of maltreated customers (nicknamed “Subs” for subscriber) like you.

    When agents ask for your information over and over again, it indicates that their software isn’t working in synch with their automated system. This is often the case with outsourced tech support. They have no idea who you are, how many times you’ve called in the recent past, or what your issue is unless they can get that small beginning amount of information out of you and use it to pull up your account.

    Finally, when it comes down to it, no amount of gnashing of teeth, wailing, or promises does anything to sway a truly jaded Tech Support agent or supe. “I will be deaf to pleading and excuses;/Nor tears nor prayers shall purchase out abuses:/Therefore use none.” – Romeo & Juliet, Act III

    We *all* hate our jobs. Its like working the McDonald’s of the IT world most of the time. The pay is bad compared to others in our respective fields, the companies we work for are inane in their myriad of pointless rules designed to micromanage our lives while they cancel training classes that would help us provide better customer service. We take abuse from frustrated customers all day, and some of us even attempt to help you. (Usually the new ones who haven’t had their spirits broken yet.) Usually though, if you’re as frustrated as you were in this reminiscence, its a problem we can’t even begin to address in any helpful realtime manner. Those tickets are about as much help as we can give.

    So in short, welcome to the wonderful world of outsourced IT work. The truth is, we *don’t* care, we *will* continue to ask for your number and the last 4 digits of your SSN, and no, we *can’t* actually help.

    If it makes you feel any better, these places – for all their faults – make great stepping stones for those of us smart enough to use them and leave. I am proud to be one of them as of this week, when I move to a new job, under contract, for a “real” IT company. So don’t worry, you’ll never have to worry about getting me on the phone. 😉

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  • 65. Speel  |  June 19, 2007 at 6:33 pm

    Its called low wage.

    Reply
  • 66. Katt  |  June 19, 2007 at 6:34 pm

    ok I’ve worked in a call center for two years-the company makes the policies, we have to follow them or risk losing our job. At my center if we do not verify MTN and last 4 of the Social we fail our QA(quality assurance review)-2 fails and you get fired. That goes for every rep. I’ve been screamed at, threatened, insulted, you name it-and I take around 80 calls a day-imagine a job where you get threats on your life 80 times a day-not so pleasant is it? You want to know why we “don’t seem to care about losing a customer”? Aside from most customers demanding credits, free phones, threatening us etc. the company tells us not to-let you in on a secret here-you are worth approximately $30.00 to your cell phone company-not such a special and unique snowflake now are we? We follow policy or lose our jobs, which some of us need to survive, a cell phone is not a necessity, privilege, or a right, it’s a luxury. There are people dying in wars(I served in one myself), children starving on our streets, and the worst thing to happen to you is your precious cell phone doesn’t work, oh and a CS rep didn’t kiss your precious butt? Reality has a nasty b*tchslap-get over yoursef-the rep on the other end of the phone is human, probably trying to support their family-take note we tend to give more to people(credits, bonus minutes, discounts) that are nicer-the people that throw tantrums like a two year old-too bad, so sad-pay your bill.

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  • 67. Z  |  June 19, 2007 at 6:35 pm

    First of all, I used to work as a customer service rep at a company that was outsourced by Nextel (now Sprint).

    I am unsure about T-moblie, but when the customer put in his number at the automatic prompts, we got all that information when the call came through on our computers. We were still required to verify who it was. People mis-type things… People know some of that information, but it may not be enough to authorize the account for changes. For troubleshooting, it was plenty, though.

    I really got burned out quick, because we had to try to keep calls to under 10 minutes. Most of the calls were customers who hated the service and yelled in your ear or new customers who were ranting and raving about their first bill. Proration is a B1+(h… I did my best to help, but getting yelled at for 10 hours a day did not bode well. I also found a lack of support from the supervisors and fellow staff members. I was actually degraded for asking for their support on a couple of issues. I also was asked to get off the workstation I was at and move for someone else who had worked there longer than me.

    I decided to quit after two months service after we were required to start “pushing” customers into activating services they did not have on their accounts. I call that unwanted soliciting and even telemarketing. We were actually required to have sold x number of services per month.

    It sucks at both ends. Whenever I call in for support on my cell, I am polite, and I tell them how to do things, so I don’t have to worry about them donig them for me.

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  • 68. Jeff  |  June 19, 2007 at 6:42 pm

    To be honest I have had t-mobile since 2001 and not once have ever had a problem with customer service. I find everyone to be nice and courteous as well as helping me solve my problem in a quick efficient matter, in fact it’s one of the main reasons I stay with them as well as there great coverage.

    Reply
  • 69. Paul  |  June 19, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    This is why I switched to Cingular, I’m not going cdma and having them control me with which phones I can have and I’m running low on options, I haven’t had any big problems with them only the new update for the cingular 8525 and my razr but the razr was motorola’s fault.

    Reply
  • 70. Tony P  |  June 19, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    They were pretty good back when they were Omnipoint. Once it became VoiceStream you could see it starting to hit the wall and once Deutsch Telecom bought it, well, a German company buys a U.S. company. You tell me what happens.

    The “Them” in your story are probably the Germans.

    Reply
  • 71. ash  |  June 19, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    Wow what an annoying ass customer you are. tmobile sucks but dont take it out on the guy on the phone. i know its frustrating but the people you are taking to are just doing what they are told to do by the people who sign their paychecks. You may be Mr Important in your world and have important business trips and meetings to attend, but that is there job.

    Imagine if at work you had people call and yell at you all day because they were inconvienced by your companies buracracy. Obviously your problem was not very common as they cant just give every customer the runnaround. They have very strict protocol written by people who you will never get to by asking for a supervisor and your taking your frustrations out on the poor guy making 10 dollars an hour.

    maybe its you. If you are on such a strict schedule you cant take a little time out to argue with the phone company, maybe you spend to much time at work. Maybe you should chill out a bit. You talk like the phone is so important but you can afford to go without your oh so important functions for days. Were you playing hard to get? Were you sad when they stopped calling? After making such a big deal about it, you’d think youd be waiting on their call. They cant call forever. At some point they assume your not calling back and they have to worry about other customers. Were you jealous?

    chill out a bit. everyone has a problem with a company they buy service from now and again. Thats life. Dont be pissy with the phone reps. Write a letter or show up a the corporate office and picket or something. Im sure you could find some other people to join you.

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  • 72. Kyle Finneran  |  June 19, 2007 at 6:55 pm

    Dan,
    the whole “disempowered” argument isn’t even relevant. It’s not that they don’t trust their employees, it’s that they, too, have to go through procedure and make sure that the person they’re talking to is, indeed, an employee and not a customer pretending to be one. Get over yourself.

    Reply
  • 73. Pam  |  June 19, 2007 at 6:58 pm

    Sean, you definitely made your point that you are important and worth more as a human than the lowly service reps. You seem like the kind of asshole that doesn’t leave a tip because the food is “slow.”

    Reply
  • 74. Sean  |  June 19, 2007 at 7:13 pm

    to be clear I never raised my voice even once on the phone. The problem was clearly not the people, but the process, but ok, you can have your opinion too.

    Reply
  • 75. Josh  |  June 19, 2007 at 7:17 pm

    The same thing happened to me with T-mobile so I did the troubleshooting for them I told them what wasn’t wrong with my phone but they decided to send me over to the pda tech support, who are by the way, totally retarded. They tried troubleshooting and told me to reset my phone I told them I would lose my numbers, they told me to put them on the SIM card, I asked if there was any other way to do it instead of one by one, they said no. I got pissed off and told them ok I’ll do it bye. I did it, I resetted the phone, no luck, my phone still would not work the network would not accept my SIM card. I could not call, I could not txt, I couldnt get on AIM or MSN Messenger. So I called again I told them it didnt work but luckily, someone with a brain picked up the phone and told me, “Oh, your line was cancelled”. Than I realllllllly got pissed off at Tech Support, why the hell couldn’t they have told me that?? The guy I was talking to told me he’d enable my line and that it’d take a couple hours. All it took was a couple minutes.

    Wnat to know why my line was cancelled? My phone was stolen 3 months ago and they told me they’d cancel my line. I bought a new phone on Ebay, I went to the T-Mobile store, and they gave me a new SIM card and reconnected my line. A month later they disconnected it and told me that I told them my phone was stolen. If my phone had been stolen and the line reactivated it would’ve taken them a month to disconnect again?? It makes me wonder what kind of business they are running. Although customer service people are always happy and always ask me what the weather’s like. That is the only thing that I like about them.

    P.S. Dont go to Verizon, they are just as horrible. I had a worse experience with them than T-mobile.

    Josh

    Reply
  • 76. Jon  |  June 19, 2007 at 7:21 pm

    I can’t believe I wasted time away from either my job or my family to read this whinefest.

    Reply
  • 77. Alli  |  June 19, 2007 at 7:21 pm

    You said it all about T-mobile, it’s so true how you have to go through all that b.s. before you can even talk to a “knowlegable” customer service rep. I enjoyed reading your blog! =)

    Reply
  • 78. Adam  |  June 19, 2007 at 7:24 pm

    I worked at a call centre for 2 months at one point, doing internet tech support… I had to quit because I was SO miserable that I was becoming suicidal. I’d come home everything with either a migraine or wanting to cry. And they really do just throw you to the wolves. You try to do things right but then you see all the regulars cutting any corner possible. You pray for easy routine calls. You wish to god that the company wouldn’t FORCE you to sell FAULTY software that is down more than it’s up…

    I now work in retail (for the second time) in a store that’s constantly understaffed due to the store not selling enough (gee, maybe cause customers can never find someone to help them and when they do the person is lazy and takes 30 minutes to find anything or ask a manager). Customer service is HUGE. Without it, you WILL eventually lose all your customers. And with no customers, you go belly up.

    Reply
  • 79. Barry  |  June 19, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    I hear these types of stories and think back to a great book I read a few years ago- and if more people would take this kind of approach, we’d all be better off as customers and employees. The Fred Factor

    Reply
  • 80. Panda  |  June 19, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    Ok, I’ve had T-Mobile for a few years now

    I’ve never encountered this problem. First off, you’re using their DASH Mobile Phone. You ask for DASH support, not just general support or technical support.

    Hell, T-Mobile has even taught me how to do this crap on my blackberry when network connections fail

    Simple : Battery pull (With phoen on), leave it out 30 seconds, go into your internet settings and re-register it onto the network.
    It’s not difficult.

    The phone number and Social thing? Yeah that’s because in departmental transfers, they’re not all linked together.

    Seriously, this is a fucking whinefest. L2CALL TECH SUPPORT.

    I’m in ur Tech Support, calling teh wrong dpurtmentz.

    Reply
  • 81. Andrew  |  June 19, 2007 at 7:35 pm

    I have had sprint since 2002 and I have had a few problems but nothing major. Actually, everytime I had a billing dispute..the CS rep would screw up in my favor. I once called for like a 5 dollar miss bill but I wanted to add more minutes so I figured I’d get my 5 bucks back. By the end of the call, I had a $40 credit on my account. I will say CS had been flawless since my account was upgraded to a business account.

    Also if you ever have a problem with sprint just ask for the customer retention department and they can help you out pretty nicely if you nice to them (:

    Reply
  • 82. John M.  |  June 19, 2007 at 7:37 pm

    This is just a very sad story, and I’m sorry that you had to have gone through all of this, but it seems like the sad reality of it all. It seems ALL major companies are like this in every way.

    I have a prepaid Cingular/AT&T (I don’t even know who the fuck they are anymore, too many split-personality switches I don’t care anymore) GoPhone. I use my PDA & MacBook to organize myself, and my cell phone for just calling people when I really need to make a call out somewhere. I don’t rely on Cingular/AT&T because they are all the same.

    Sadly enough also, I know someone who works for Verizon Mobile’s Customer Service, and she tells me all the time that she will put people on hold all the time just to catch up on her Reader’s Digest. Or sometimes she will just ‘accidentally’ drop the call.

    All of the customer service people do not care about their customers, or their company, they are just working for them to make money for themselves, and not to help you.

    Reply
  • 83. Richard  |  June 19, 2007 at 7:49 pm

    Helio!!!!!

    Reply
  • 84. Kay  |  June 19, 2007 at 7:53 pm

    What a pathetic, crying, whiney customer you are. T-Mobile should drop you! You’re the same moron who’d be complaining if they didn’t do the security check at each step and your personal information got out. Here’s a clue, your $60 a month does not mean the world revolves around you, as hard as you may find it to believe. If you don’t lease the device, you own it. If the problem is with the device, that is hardly your carriers crisis, but yours.

    Grow up. There are serious issues out there and yours is not one!!!

    Reply
  • 85. advanced tech support  |  June 19, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    too bad, i am one of the many advanced tech support reps, but not for tmobile, but for VZW to bad, sucks for tmobile. oh and #82 thats not true, i give my customers service that i would like to receive.

    Reply
  • 86. Kyle  |  June 19, 2007 at 8:02 pm

    I actually have a REALLY GOOD story with tech support and that was with VIZIO you know the really cheap tv company. I was talking to a person within 2 minute of call they only wanted my info once and we (me and an American) had the problem figured out and solved in under ten. I barely missed any XBOX. It was amazing and if I EVER have the same problem again I will be IMMEDIATLY transfered to “Advanced Support”.

    And I got this from a start-up company selling really cheap TVs.

    If anyone from VIZIO sees this,
    -Thanks

    Reply
  • 87. Sean  |  June 19, 2007 at 8:04 pm

    keep deleting the negative comments………….you’ll be up all night you effin loser

    Reply
  • 88. Sean  |  June 19, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    use “effin” and it stays…use the other stuff I will yank…or just turn on moderation and be done with it.

    sean

    Reply
  • 89. Jason  |  June 19, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    “Does this story feel familiar?”

    YES! You brought back many memories of my own ‘horror story’ with T-Mobile a few years ago. The steps you have to go thru were more or less exactly what I was forced to do repeatedly over and over, to no end / no solution. My issue was also with the data side of their network that was (mostly) unresponsive.

    T-Mobile, while they are big in Europe, only have a US presence in order to take their (small) piece of the profit pie to be had in the States. They should be bought out by another US carrier that will provide at least minimal-quality customer service.

    My experience with T-Mobile customer support – as with yours – was measured in terms of hours wasted with Customer Service, not minutes. My only solution was to completely drop T-Mobile in favor of a regional carrier that has provided excellent service (never thought a US cell carrier could be ‘excellent’).

    In conclusion, the only solution I could offer is to spend even more time and go a T-Mobile corporate-owned store (NOT a dealer) and politely but firmily tell the kid (they are always kids) that you will not leave the store until he has fixed your problem. Maybe, just maybe, he will have a phone number that allows him to get to the right people to fix what is broken…

    Reply
  • 90. Brian  |  June 19, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    Actually you do have one more option available to you. Sue them in small claims court for fraud, breach of contract, mental distress and will full disregard of corporate responsibility. You can sue for a maximum of typically 3 – 7k depending upon your state of residence and sometimes your city. NY is 3k unless in NYC then its 5k. It costs $10 – $50 to file a claim in most states in NY its $15 in my county. It will cost them money just to send a lawyer to address the issue and they are likely to go out of their way to keep themselves out of court. Bring a lot of documentation consider calling back one more time and taping your call and specifically say why its ludicrous what they request and how long this has been going on and it is unfair and bad practice and the service rep will most likely confirm it. When the warning on the phone system says this call may be recorded its a two way street so you don’t have to mention it. Also a recent ruling in federal court made the requirement of using arbitration instead of suing them unfair and thus unenforceable in the contract so your good on that one. Personally I hate the sue happy attitude of some people but some times its the only legitimate avenue of discourse us citizens have against big corporations. Also keep in mind that if a lawyer does show up he won’t be allowed to use legalese in small claims court and if a representative doesn’t show up you automatically win and appealing a small claims ruling while possible is hard because it has to go into the appeals court whom don’t want to waste their time with a civil small claims matter.

    http://www.lawny.org/lawny/content/view/101/115/

    My disclaimer, this is just a possible route to take, but I am not a lawyer and take no responsibility for the accuracy of the above recommendations and information.

    Reply
  • 91. DOUGHBOY  |  June 19, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    Blah, this is the case with ANY carrier you go to in terms of wireless service, you will run into GREAT!! reps who care abt their job, other times you will run into reps that really don’t care at all abt their job…as for the verification methods I have to agree with some of the previous posters in the fact that if it WAS’NT done, you’d probably be bloggin abt how bad the security level for your account is..not happy with T-Mobile, go to at&t, not happy with them, go to Sprint, not happy with them go to VZW, I’m absolutely positive that if u spend enough time with any of the said carriers you will find that they ALL have the same flaws

    Reply
  • 92. Brian  |  June 19, 2007 at 8:53 pm

    One more thing, the idiots on here that I believe to be part of the corporate culture and disparaging a customer for a legitimate complaint just have no idea what a contract means and generally have little moral fiber. When a company sells a product or service to someone and it doesn’t work as advertised or claims or as is more typical outright dies after a few months of use the only person responsible is said corporation. It is the duty to abide by their on contract whether it be verbal or written. Ask any lawyer it need not be specified in writing to be considered part of the contract. You just need to be able to prove it and its typically easier to do that if its in the contract.

    The most prevalent but ignorant arguments I have seen on this page are as follows.

    1. Don’t take it out on the rep for the culture of the company or the corporate policies.

    Rebuttal: Said employee is part of said corporate culture and/or policies, don’t like getting griped at then quit and find a more reputable company/position. I’m in IT and I know all too well the frustrations of having customers gripe about things out of my control but that is just part of the job description.

    2. The customer is just whining. Really a superset of the responses.
    2a. Don’t expect the managers to be able to fix your problems you have to go through the process.
    2b. Expect to have to repeat the information for a number of reasons.
    2c. Expect to have to spend hours on the phone to solve problems with services/equipment now and then.

    Only requires one Rebuttal: Companies actively design support systems to make it as hard as possible to get a legitimate problem fixed. Because fixing that problem typically means paying to replace broken equipment. Which means costs to the bottom line. Cases to affirm my point – laptop displays aren’t covered under warranty unless they completely die, standalone LCD displays aren’t fixed/replaced unless there are more than 5 pixels bad and even then you have to fight to get it fixed. Mobile phones can only be bought from the corresponding network dealers with a service contract but they won’t sell you a new phone or take any responsibility for the broken hardware even though they are the ones selling the equipment. Don’t want to take responsibility for it don’t sell it. I’d be fine buying my equipment from independents or 3rd parties and having it activated but I’m not allowed to do so and therefore can’t buy the reliability that I want/need. If a manager has the power to replace the equipment without jumping through hoops more equipment will be replaced instead customers are actively discouraged from getting hardware they paid for that actually works because they have to waste more time than it is often worth. Stress and time costs money regardless of how hard it is to quantify. It costs money to keep my body running and repaired medical costs, food, transportation, energy, heat, mental stimulation, educational costs, stress shortening my life expectancy. Life is a finite commodity and therefore has a cost associated with it, just no company wants to admit that and no one has tested that in court yet.

    Reply
  • 93. Brian  |  June 19, 2007 at 8:57 pm

    Thats just it our anti trust and monopoly laws are no longer enforced. Case in point Ma Bell is back and there are only 3 legitimate cell companies left which leads to no competition because they all do the same things to screw over the customers.

    Reply
  • 94. hang like sleeve of wizard  |  June 19, 2007 at 9:05 pm

    Have you considered taking a couple of Midol for your raging PMS and realizing that not everyone who works for a given company can be so perfect as yourself?

    You go on and on and on about how you “have other responsibilities” . . . well then it really comes down to simple economics, doesn’t it? You CHOOSE what course of action gives you the greatest return on your investment of time. Clearly your “other responsibilities” give you the greater return, right? In other words, taking the necessary steps to resolve the issue is NOT AS IMPORTANT as your “other responsibilities”.

    Maybe if you spent less time whining like a little bitch with a skinned knee about how much T-mobile sucks and more time, I dunno, WORKING WITH THEM TO FIX WHATEVER PROBLEM YOU HAVE, you wouldn’t have had such a “traumatic” experience.

    You may be, or have been, T-mobile’s customer, but as the old saying goes . . . you can’t help someone that doesn’t want to help themselves.

    Reply
  • 95. Kirk  |  June 19, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    I’ve had problems with all the major wireless companies. Recently I returned faulty equipment to verizon wireless, i had to provide the fed-ex tracking number from their prepaid label to them three times before they would credit the return.

    I tried AMPD hybrid plan, but they couldnt provide a minute balance. Call details were coming sometime in the near to distant future. I switched to a prepaid plan, I was required to add money to an account with a positive balance, added money 2 weeks prior – calls to customer service were dropped from the cell or home. AMPD makes t-mo look like a winner.

    I am now with virgin mobile, while their customer service isnt great it is a step up form the other guys. I can do just about everything from their website. Most importantly i can have a new phone whenever i want at a reasonable price – not the best handsets but they are affordable. no contract with virgin!!!

    Reply
  • 96. Rubin  |  June 19, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    I am sorry to say you wouldn’t have had these customer service issues on Verizon. I had a near identical issue last week with my windows mobile phone,and Verizon replaced it no questions. They also don’t go through as many steps of verifying and reverifying. This story does tell me not to even consider Tmobile anytime soon. Just fyi, you seemed to get very angry over the procedural stuff, but you have to expect that (giving them the number, last 4, etc). If I were you I’d call everyone between the service manager and the CEO, although to a decent extent I think you’re complaining a bit much for the situation (i’ve been through similar). If you really care and want tomake a difference, stop shouting into theinternet abiss and figure out how to get up the chain at Tmobile to speak to someone who can actually make a change.

    Reply
  • 97. Alex  |  June 19, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    Brian, are you living in a perfect world somewhere where corporations and their employees are one and the same disembodied legal entity? Well guess what, that customer service person is a PERSON. You better be careful, you sound a lot like you are trying to dehumanize that T-Mobile customer service employee. I hope Sean had enough wisdom not to scream at a guy or a gal on the other end. No matter what your legal mumbo jumbo says, it’s people dealing with people, and it pays to play nice. T-Mobile has been OK to me, their support people are in the US, not Bangalore or Manila, so one has to give them that much at least. I also have a dash, the thingy is rather complex, so can we all just chill the —-out?

    Reply
  • 98. Thomas  |  June 19, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    JESUS —-, you whine like a little bitch. Get a life, man!

    Reply
  • 99. Chad  |  June 19, 2007 at 9:27 pm

    having worked in the tech industry for a number of years I can usually tell when someone knows what their talking about and how their gadgets work. there are those kinds of people that should buy a dash and then theres the other kind that should just stick with a candy bar phone. reading this I feel that you are the candy bar phone kinda guy. what makes you think that this wasn’t an IT issue? did you even try to let the INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY guys have a crack at it? I hope you find the problem and get it fixed and if you find out that the problem was caused by operator error are you going to retract the story or appologize on your blog? I DOUBT IT

    there are limits to what good customer service and tech support can teach some people. Now go buy your candybar phone.

    Reply
  • 100. Sean  |  June 19, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    Not IT…validated.

    If it turns out it was mean, you bet, I will happily mea culpa…but, again, my complaint never was that I had a technical support problem, it was how it was handled.

    Reply
  • 101. Thomas  |  June 19, 2007 at 9:35 pm

    Sean,
    You weren’t handled unlike any other customer. The problem was that you didn’t want to cooperate. Getting mad at how their system works makes no sense when you’re calling them asking for help. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

    Reply
  • 102. Rachel S  |  June 19, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    Damn dude. I been using tmobile for like 5 years and never had a problem with customer service. I do what they ask and the problem is always solved. Looks like u need some patience– learn some manners too, for real.

    Reply
  • 103. butcher99  |  June 19, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    I think we need 2 service levels. One for people who like friendly on time service that works and another level for all the dick heads who wrote here that the author is a shithead because he complained about crappy service.
    Customer service has gone down. It is universal. Not customer service in general retail, but c.s. for big companies who generally do not deal with the public. Dell, all the phone companies, cable companies (although mine is great) anyone with a general arms length distance from the customer. You start with phone tag hell to “get you to the right person” and then it continues on from there.

    I switched phone companies because if customer service was online when I needed them it took 5 min to navigate the punch # prompts (actually talk them). My new company offers a total of 3 numbers to punch to get to service. The old one actually took more than 5 minutes (timed) I now get my phone and cable modem through one company. If i want phone support I type 1, 1, 1 and internet 2, 2, 2. Pretty simple. And 24/7 there is real person support. And, it is not in India, it is in my home town. I had one support person tell me that I could just come down to the office and talk to them if I had more problems.

    Reply
  • 104. Chuck  |  June 19, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    I think a big part of the dynamic going on here is that outsourcing isn’t working out as planned.

    Here is a GREAT post by uber blogger Giga Om:

    http://gigaom.com/2007/02/18/troubling-signs-for-indian-tech-outsourcers/

    Not to Om’s points, but here’s a thought of mine that I just can’t get past: if a venture provides little or no value – is it really relevant how inexpensive it is to operate? I did a consulting gig at a BIG Global Financial company and the outsourcing elements were unbelievable. Employee turnaround overseas was worse than anything I saw in the US during the Dot Com days and IT actions were affected cluelessly regardless of myriad processes that were put in place.

    I see this happening in CS. If there is literally no point for a customer to call CS as you will only waste your time – why bother HAVING CS, regardless if it can be run inexpensively overseas???

    I am NOT anti globalization and I think it is a good thing to see capitalism provide opportunities. But some things will always be true:

    the customer is always right
    if I don’t please the customer, somebody else will

    I hope we as a society can figure this whole globalization thing out in a way that helps that maximum number of people. An honest assessment of things tells me we have a long, long way to go and it may be a very rocky road.

    Chuck

    Reply
  • 105. myname  |  June 19, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    Whah. You want some cheese with that wine? Seriously. If you call into a call center anywhere, you’re gonna f@ck!ng have to verify your information. Simple as that. Every call. They don’t give a f@ck if it’s you calling in or not. They’re people that make $8-13 an hour and are just trying to pay their bills. They make you verify it because they can be monitored at any time and have to follow a guideline of what they say in the freackin call.

    And OMG, if you get “annoyed” by their automated system, then you’re a fucking loser anyway. It takes less than a minute to get through their automated system, and it always connects you who you wanna be connected to. I’ve had tmobile for 5 years and have NEVER had a problem with the customer service. You call this “Hell?” Go back to your WoW and masterbate to a Night Elf.

    Reply
  • 106. kevin  |  June 19, 2007 at 11:39 pm

    First, if you are a customer service rep, life has not turned out the way you expected and you hate your life.

    On the other hand, you shouldn’t have missed the ticket window and that was your fault. Start over and you’ll get a ticket with advanced and they’ll either fix the phone or swap it with another or fix the tower.

    Reply
  • 107. Justin Mancini  |  June 19, 2007 at 11:43 pm

    How about this one..

    You feel your T-Mobile Dash vibrating and rapidly heating up in your pocket one day at work.. Pull it out.. Blank white screen.. Pull the battery out, and it’s fine.

    About 2 weeks later.. Same thing.. Vibrating and getting very hot rapidly.. You take it out of your pocket this time.. AND IT EXPLODES. Literally. Plastic breaks, phone smokes and all.

    So, after work, you bring it to the T-Mobile store, where they can’t give you a new one because it’s a smartphone, so they call customer service and connect you to the correct department. You talk to the lady they hook you up with and tell her what happened. She said they’ll replace the phone for me, and then begins to read the fine print. “If the screen is cracked, you will be charged a $110 fee”.. You say, wait.. I told you my phone blew up. It’s broken. The screen is cracked. They say it’s fine and they’ll take the phone back anyway.

    Then, your next bill is $220.

    *EXPLETIVE DELETED* T-Mobile.

    I gladly paid the $200 early termination fee after that one.

    I am now with Sprint using their SERO (employee referral program), where I got a Palm Treo 700wx for $200 and pay $30 a month for 500 minutes with unlimited data, email, texting, picture messagine, etc. The works. Nights (7pm-7am) and weekends. I’ll send you an email with my AIM screen name, I’ll set you up with an account just like mine if you’d like.

    Reply
  • 108. bittermormon  |  June 20, 2007 at 12:36 am

    Maybe teh CS rep hasnt given up on Tmo, maybe she gave up on you. I have never had a problem with tmoś support. They´ve always been helpful. HoFo would have been your friend here.

    Reply
  • 109. Ashley  |  June 20, 2007 at 1:04 am

    Interesting. I’ve had T-Mobile for five years now and was always extremely impressed with their customer support. However, I was never requiring technical support up to date. I just know they’re excellent at crediting off disputed fees, were always very courteous and professional, took ownership of the call, and empathized with my situations.

    I work for AT&T Wireless in Receiveables Management, and I try to make every call and one-call resolution. Again, I’m not discounting your experience either, only sharing my own.

    Reply
  • 110. Pete White  |  June 20, 2007 at 1:45 am

    Why didn’t you just take your phone into a t-mobile store and have them send it off. I’ve done that with both my MDA Vario phones that have broke and they have been fine with replacing them.

    Reply
  • 111. Breanne Milley  |  June 20, 2007 at 4:59 am

    I work customer service for AT&T, and there are always calls like that. Unfortunately, the CSR’s (and even supervisors) you speak with when you call in have no power whatsoever. Also, we don’t know what you put into the automated system, usually you can fake it with all nine’s. Very few CSR’s listen to the automated system, even when we transfer to another department. Or you should’ve gotten the number for tech support, always the best way to get directly to a department without all the transfers and fights and verifications. Just saying.

    Reply
  • 112. FGM  |  June 20, 2007 at 5:07 am

    I’d thought this woudl be entry 111 so I’d respond with some numbers. Apparently I type too slowly 😀 Here’s some general rhetoric – 1, I believe that things should just ‘work’ – that includes the systems/processes that enable people to fix them – that doesn’t seem to be the case here. 2, people should be empowered in their workplaces – where they are not it is a shameful thing, and no good for companies, their customers or the individuals working there. 3, I remember (hazily, from college days) a study which said that if you have a good experience, you’ll tell around 3 people, but if it’s a bad one, you’ll tell at least 20 with a passion and a colour that marketing people can only dream of. 4, or perhaps There4, I hope that companies with customers (oh, that’s everyone, right 🙂 ) will be humber enought to remind themselves of these things. It’s never going to be perfect, but it can get a lot closer with the right intent. I hope.

    Reply
  • 113. Oliver  |  June 20, 2007 at 6:03 am

    Could of been wors… imagine if you where wringing microsoft “If wou wish to continu, click Next” for 30 mins before it tells you all lines are occupied !

    Reply
  • 114. G  |  June 20, 2007 at 6:06 am

    somebody call a wahhhbulance.
    grow up pussy,

    Reply
  • 115. Jack France  |  June 20, 2007 at 6:15 am

    You stupid moron. You didn’t even bother to mention if you leased the phone, bought it or were under a contract. It sounds like the phone was just broken and you were too cheap to buy a new one. If that was not the case, whey don’t you explain the circumstances. I mean, if it was under warranty by them, why not just give it the 25K Volt stun gun treatment and just have them replace it with a new one. As bad as T-mobile is (and they really do suck, we all know that), they will give you a replacement phone immediately.

    Reply
  • 116. CyberMage  |  June 20, 2007 at 6:56 am

    I had problems with T-Mobile when I moved out of their coverage area. They said I had to fax them a notice of move on company letterhead with something that provided my new address. I did that. They kept billing me.

    Three months later they claimed “We never got the fax.” I pulled the confirmation out of my files and quoted who I sent it to, what number, and that I had the confirmation. His tone immediately changed to “I’m sorry we’ll refund the difference.”

    They never refunded what I paid after the fax, but they did at least stop sending bills. It was OBVIOUSLY a scam to get me to keep paying them money – they wait to see how many people don’t keep the fax confirmations.

    Reply
  • 117. Enzo  |  June 20, 2007 at 7:24 am

    At some point, during your first call (most likely) you should have been transfered to the windows mobile support group at t-mobile. Upon bringing you first call to an end because of an appointment, the support agent in the t-mobile windows mobile support group should have given you their direct dial number. This would have probably saved you a great deal of trouble instead of having to call into the t-mobile general support line. keep in mind what are the most common types of calls that come into their general line. Questions like, why is my child sending out 2000 text messages this month? or, why was i charged 4.99 for a ringtone? These types of calls are from clients that are infuriated at t-mobile for charging them, so the CS rep is for the most part trained in dealing with that client. The irony is, it’s not t-mobile’s fault they’ve incurred so many charges, it’s the customer’s fault for not reading the terms of their agreement and allowing others on their plans to rack up crazy charges.
    Back to my original topic, my past experience with the windows mobile support group at t-mobile has been exceptional. I’m sorry yours hasn’t been so grand. I’m very happy with my Dash, and I have noticed the internet connection go out over EDGE/GPRS and WIFI, I’ve found there isn’t much I can do to resolve the matter except for a simple reboot.

    Reply
  • 118. Mark  |  June 20, 2007 at 7:34 am

    Ive always had great success with TMOBILE compared to other carriers. Tech support on the CDMA and other devices has never been a problem and crediting money has always been instant. just my 2 cents.

    Reply
  • 119. Adam  |  June 20, 2007 at 8:24 am

    Sorry to hear about your problem. I have never had anything but great customer service from T-Mobile.

    Reply
  • 120. Jen  |  June 20, 2007 at 8:31 am

    Read this long winded blog post (Damn-what a waste of my time!), I must say, you are one uncooperative guy! Good luck with your new provider, they won’t be any different.

    Reply
  • 121. Rafael  |  June 20, 2007 at 8:40 am

    Hey, I’ve had T-Mobile service for a few years now, and to me anyway, their customer service and tech support has been great. i’m sorry you didn’t have that experience, but from you described, T-Mobile at least put up a fight. I mean, sure, you had to jump through a lot of hoops, but you were never treated badly. They also told you about the hoops you had to jump through: creating a ticket and going through their support flow. Is it the best designed? Probably not. Is it timely and expedited? Hardly. But they need it to handle all of their customer’s problems. At one point they even offered to FAKE the troubleshooting portion. They tried to help you out, you couldn’t just say “yes,no,still no,still no,yes”? I can understand you being really busy, working at microsoft and all, but you don’t think us regular people have to go through the same thing with computer support? “yes it’s plugged in, no i dont see a picture, yes the computer is on, no there are no disks inserted”

    finally, you should be ashamed that you think the customer support representative wasn’t sticking with their “company.” It sounds to be like she was empathizing with you that she couldn’t resolve your problem after you had been through so much. Her boss probably read a description from your cell phone profile: was given adequate help, needed to be called back, was not available, is still irate and wants “special attention.” What else did you want her to say? PLEASE SEÑOR MICROSOFT, WE BOW DOWN TO YOU, HOW CAN WE SERVE YOU BETTER? FORGIVE US FOR ANGERING YOU

    seriously man, get off of that superiority complex.

    “Had yesterday’s call solved my problem, I would have never said a word about this…” Well, way to crap on a few years of satisfactory service as a result of a bad day and a non-working phone.

    “I’m confident (I hope) that someone at a senior level at T-Mobile will take some action.” Yea, because you were treated so ‘unfairly’ and ‘shamefully’ someone, a senior-level someone no less, has to grovel and beg for your forgiveness. if it was up to me, i’d tell you to keep the phone and not charge you a termination fee.

    Reply
  • 122. Travis  |  June 20, 2007 at 8:40 am

    I am with Tmobile, with an MDA Pro. I had purchased the Nokia Smart phone (years ago) because of it’s advanced features. I went through the EXACT same process trying to get this phone to work with sending photos. I even went to the store for 2 SIM Swaps and nothing every was resolved. I ended up giving up on it, since I figured I really didn’t need to send photos.. although it was one reason I wanted the phone in the first place.

    The only reason I’m with Tmobile still is my wife and her family love to talk and they are all on Tmobile already, and the unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling features. I’ve considered buying out all of their contracts and purchasing new phones for them on a better network. =)

    Reply
  • 123. Rafael  |  June 20, 2007 at 8:42 am

    Those last two quotes are from the post after this one, ladies and gentleman. hey, if you want to read some REAL horror stories, check out Consumerist.com so you can stop your bellyaching.

    Reply
  • 124. Daniel  |  June 20, 2007 at 8:57 am

    I take care of the cell phones for out company, dealing with T-mobile, Cingular, Verizon. Sprint, etc. T-mobile has the best service by far. No doubt, you ran into some troubles, but they are there to help you and they want to do that. Getting upset and frustrated does not help the situation, in fact it just prolongs the situation.
    I used to take calls in a support center, and I had a few callers that lost their cool, even though I just wanted to help them with their problem. Sometimes tech support calls go like the one you had. Stop being such a baby, grow a pair of balls, and work through the problem with the people that are trying to help you. Your problem will eventually get resolved without you having to throw a fit.

    Reply
  • 125. sbigger  |  June 20, 2007 at 9:28 am

    I had a similar problem with them. I asked them if we got service in my college area and they guy said “Oh yeah! Great service!” And a bunch of other shit. Then when the phone didn’t work at all, I cancelled and returned it. They charged me for a day they said the phone was on when it didn’t even work. They were going to take it to a collection agency after 2 representatives lied to me (the one who canceled my plan said their would be no charge). I will NEVER buy from them again!

    Reply
  • 126. nik  |  June 20, 2007 at 10:06 am

    it sounds to me like you are being a big baby.

    your customer service incident was no different from thousands of others. You just happen to think you are special enough to bitch endlessly about it.

    these representatives are required to ask for your name, number and social. if they are required to go through troubleshooting, then they are required to go through troubleshooting. If they are required to say the CEO is their boss, then they are required to say so.

    What makes you think your problem is more important than their jobs?

    Reply
  • 127. Mike Hathaway  |  June 20, 2007 at 10:16 am

    You companies out there. There is a title called ombudsman. Usually it is a person or team that sits above everyone else but with no decision making ability. They are sometimes paid for by marketing. There only job is to make the customer happy, they deal with customers that have simply been bounced around and screwed for to long. They in theory should have the power to tell anyone at any level of support, tech or whatever to shove it and do the following.

    If T-mobile or any other listener wants to keep customers they need a few of these people. The number should not be public but be a secret transfer that all the customer no service supervisors know. That supervisor who was depressed at the end should have been able to go.
    “I see you are pissed, I see we have screwed you, I have no power to fix this let me send you to our ombudsman you will tell them your story and they will make it right.” And then transfer.

    The number of people like the columist above is not that huge. Usually this stuff gets fixed after a phone call or two. Having a dedicated staff member or few staff members to handle this would improve the companies image in a way no amount of marketing dollars would.

    Reply
  • 128. Goddimus  |  June 20, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    It was a good read, but, sentence structure is your friend. That was painful to get through.

    Reply
  • 129. Sean ODriscoll  |  June 20, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    good feedback, I should have gone back over this with editing and readability in mind…my bad for sure on that.

    sean

    Reply
  • 130. Emdeeaytoo  |  June 20, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    Sean, I think you are throwing bricks in a crystal palace. The only difference between your experience and a Microsoft support case is I get to pay hundreds of dollars for the same pleasure and most of the time my business is hinging on the resolution that takes forever to come, if it comes at all. Of course I could go to the free Microsoft public newsgroups like the Vista.General newsgroup where even the mighty MVPs are prone to fall into the slime with the trolls and maniacs.

    At least with cell phones, you can very cheaply switch to a new carrier – heck you even get to keep your phone number. Try switching out a network architecture or a development platform.

    I suggest you take your experience, look around in your own sandbox and see what needs to be done to “empower” Microsoft Support at ALL levels – consumer to enterprise. When that works well, you can complain about someone else.

    Reply
  • 131. Liberalmonkey  |  June 20, 2007 at 12:36 pm

    I’m not sure where you live, but one thing I LOVE about my carrier (U.S. Cellular) is that I don’t have to call that 1-800 number, I can go right into the store and they can do EVERYTHING that customer care can do, but I am talking to an actual person. It was what sold me on the company when I was shopping around. The person who sold me my phone handed me her card and said “If you sign up with me, I can be your personal customer care representative” and it made the world of difference. They can fix bills, give me credit for issues, and they have a technician right in the store. If you are still shopping, ask if carriers in your area have that. haha, I should work for them, I’m like a walking billboard 🙂

    Reply
  • 132. Adam  |  June 20, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    I used to be in customer service. And it did suck a lot sometimes. But I dealt. For everyone saying “I’m in customer service, and the guy who wrote this is a douche”: you’re all self-pitying assholes who try to elevate your shitty position in the world by belittling customers who you’re paid to help.

    It’s your job to help, and if you can’t even get that right, well, no wonder you’re still working as a CSA.

    Reply
  • 133. jem  |  June 20, 2007 at 1:41 pm

    Rosewood: yes there is a little fairy that is SUPPOSED to pass the information on to the next department. It’s called SOFTWARE. Most companies just can’t be bothered to ensure it actually works, or that all departments use the same application.

    Reply
  • 134. Sydney  |  June 20, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    I am a tech support representative that works for a small company that does tech support for a very large ISP and a few small ones. I’m not even an employee for the company that I have to fix problems for. Most other large companies do the same thing. I have to deal with customers everyday that usually shouldn’t even own a computer. Most of them are too stupid to realize that their kids have been looking at porn and letting their precious computer become infected with spyware and adware and that is why their connection isn’t working properly.

    When the automated voice says “These calls may be monitered for quality assurance.” they mean they are all recorded and calls are taken at random and listened to and graded. We have criteria and a point system to determine how the call was handled. We get points taken off if we don’t verify information, like name, SSN, and in our case, computer info. If we don’t do that, we will get fired.

    It sucks to be on the phone talking to someone who doesn’t really care about your problem and can only do so much. We are powerless. My “supervisor” can’t do anything more than I can as far as fixing an issue goes. Their power is to determine my pay and my schedule. There is a huge amount of red tape we have to go through and it’s frustrating for us. Especially when we get a customer who has been through your situation. And believe me, I get those customers multiple times a day. It’s really hard to care about fixing your problem when you have just become mine and will not cooperate. We understand being upset that your phone isn’t working properly. We understand how frustrated you are and we will really help you if you treat us right.

    When I have an irate customer who does nothing more than demand for the issue to be fixed, refusing to go through the troubleshooting steps I have to go through before I can escalate the issue, I really don’t care anymore. Someone in a comment mentioned that techs will
    “accidentally” hang up on people. This is true. And sometimes while I’m talking to someone, I am browsing Digg or viewing people’s blogs or commenting on something like this. In fact, I’m at work right now.

    But the point of it all is that you shouldn’t get so upset with them. Yes, it sucks. It really does. I would hate to be in your position. But I know that when I am calling tech support and happen to get an American, they probably aren’t anywhere near me. They’re probably just college students who are working themselves through school with a job that’s not at McDonald’s.

    We really can help you and usually will happily if you’re not being an asshole. It’s very hard to be nice after something like this, but asking how that tech is doing can go a long way. When most people have been yelling at you for something you have no control over, hearing someone actually ask about your day is very refreshing.

    Being that customer who has an awful problem but doesn’t take it out on the tech can get you very far. A hell of a lot farther than the jerk who gets a nasty note let in his file saying to watch out for this call.

    It is awful that customer service is this way, but it’s not going to change anytime soon. Not by a few angry customers. It takes everyone and since lots of people with TMobile have great reviews of CS, I’m guessing it’s going to be that way for a long time. The best thing to do in this situation is to figure out how to get the right person to fix your problem.

    Reply
  • 135. Sean  |  June 20, 2007 at 5:16 pm

    comment moderation now turned on:) Thank you recent commenter. Relevant posts/comments…including those that disagree with me will be approved. Those with profanity likely won’t be.

    sean

    Reply
  • 136. Tony  |  June 21, 2007 at 11:23 am

    Hey Sean,

    Drop me a quick e-mail, i’m very interested in this story and i’d like to discuss this further.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  • 137. Michael Pickel  |  June 21, 2007 at 12:39 pm

    What more can I say? It seems like there are those who have experienced similar situations as Sean and those who somehow defend these mindless sweat-shop like CS Centers and even the people behind them. I could add my own (similar) experience with Nokia, but why bother. We all know that the days where “the customer is always right” are a thing of the past. Now, it Wal-Mart nation: cheap Chinese made crap, with only a simblance of “support” from the manufacturer/supplier, who in turn pays the employees as little as possible.

    One comment about this India-bashing. I have to say that as far as customer service is concerned, the Indian cs reps I’ve encountered are heads above the domestice American reps as far as coutesy, listening skills and interest in helping (as much as they are allowed to). So don’t just mindlessly bash the Indian.

    Bottom line, it’s the American capitalist/corporate model of squeezing as much blood from a turnip to satisfy the greed of the stock holder that’s gotten us where we are. It didn’t use to be this way. How did we stray so far from the days when Neiman Marcus, Nordstom, LLBean were not exceptions, but the rule in the American customer service model.

    We’ve gotten what we asked for: “cheap” is what we want and that’s what we now have!

    Reply
  • 138. zer0her0  |  June 21, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    For someone who is so busy I find it hard to believe that you’d rather right close to 2k worth of words and promote the problem, then you know spend the time troubleshooting and fixing the problem.

    I have to admit I suffered through your redundant posting of info, what I have to re-read the whole sentence of how they asked for his phone number, social, etc again for the 4th time(I’m pretty sure every adult in the US has dealt with this) just to see what the point was.

    What I took away from the article:

    1. I just wasted 30-40 minutes of my day(which should have been spent working or with family).

    2. I’m not nearly as busy as you.

    3. For someone who was a CS agent you don’t understand how the process works.

    4. I have no idea how the problem was resolved, just that it “appears” to be, here’s to hoping the update describes it and that it’s less then 2k words.

    Reply
  • 139. zer0her0  |  June 21, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    doh, didn’t re-read my post, write, not right.

    Reply
  • 140. Sean  |  June 21, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    I’ll update on the resolution in the next 24 hrs….for those who thought my post was too long and you wasted your time reading it…uhhh…reading it end to end was a choice….you have a back button on your browser:) But ok, fair enough, I’ll get with better editing next time. you’re right – I should have editted down.

    sean

    Reply
  • 141. T-mobile takes service hit : Register Square  |  June 25, 2007 at 5:01 am

    […] is joining the list – Sean posts a pretty horrific series of telephone support conversations about a problem with a T Mobile hotspot. Or not, as the case turned out to […]

    Reply
  • 142. Tankar kring… » Olika inställningar  |  June 27, 2007 at 8:24 am

    […] är lite långt, men läs gärna: Customer Service Hell!! T-Mobile…Hot Spot? NOT!!!. Via The Social Customer […]

    Reply
  • 143. Lorraine(and no i'm not from india..lol)  |  June 27, 2007 at 9:14 am

    Wow. I dont even know where to start. I am a T-Mobile Customer Care Coach (Supvervisor). No, I am not someone who was just thrown into this position. I’ve been with the company for 5 years. 2 of those years as a supervisor.

    Being in the customer service industry, I am probably twice as likely to criticize the service I get from other CSR’s.

    T-Mobile is not perfect. Not all employees are perfect. BUT you’ll find the same is true with each and every company worldwide.

    I have a T-Mobile Dash. I’ve had the phone since it was first released. I use it for everything. Phone calls, Instant mesengers, text messaging, internet browsing, calandar,syncing w/ my PC. I’ve had one problem in the entire time that I’ve had it and was able to get it resolved immediately without any hassles.

    Other times I’ve called in for simple things and have had to walk the rep through the steps to complete the simple tasks.

    I have customers day in and day out who call in to complain about the simplest of things “Why are you charging me $.15 for a text message?” Come on….the phone call alone costs more than 15 cents. lol. Or “I know I have a 1000 minute plan but why am I being billed 300 minutes of overage? Can you please give me a credit for my VALID overages?”

    I had a woman once call in complaining about $50 worth of phone calls made in Mexico. I told her I would review the account and in doing so found the calls were made in Mexico. While I was reviewing the account she was speaking to her husband in the background saying in spanish “shh I don’t want to say that because then she’ll know that the calls WERE made in Mexico.” Of course she didn’t realize that each and every phone call has what we call a “footprint”, meaning we can tell what kind of phone was used, what tower was used (street names), what type of features were used during the call (call fowarding or call waiting).And she also didn’t realize that I am hispanic and understood every word she was saying to her husband. Needless to say, she did not receive any sort of credit and her account was noted for future reference.

    I had one other customer who was complaining about a blank screen. The rep went through the typical troubleshooting with her. She went through things with her on a step by step basis. “Remove the back of your phone. Remove the battery. Remove the sim card. Replace the sim card and the battery. Replace the back of the phone. Press and hold down the power button for 5 seconds” Nothing. She called her an idiot and said I should be fired for not being able to fix her problem and ask for a supervisor. I get on the phone and the lady is irate and crying and threatening to cancel her service. I apolotized for the situation and asked her if we could review the steps taken and she agreed. “So, Mrs.Customer, you removed the back of the phone and the battery and sim card for a few seconds and then put them back in the phone and the screen is still blank?” Her response, “oh I was supposed to put the battery back in??” Uh huh…yet the previous rep was yelled at and called an idiot because Mrs. Customer somehow thought her phone would work sans battery.

    Our reps are pretty well paid. More so then most companies in my town. However, I dont think any amount of money merits being called expletives on a daily basis over these types of situations.

    When I was just a rep on the phones everyday we took up to 60-80 calls a day. You’re expected to resolve each call in a timely manner.You are on the phones 8 hours a day with 2 15 minute breaks and a 1/2 hour lunch break. So yes, It can be pretty difficult. Especially when you answer a call wanting nothing more than to help your customers and you get people like the ones I mentioned. I’ve answered calls before and have been called a bitch and whore just for verifying an account. And on the flip side I’ve taken calls from people who were upset because their accounts weren’t verified correctly and they had unuthorized charges. What’s the saying…”damned if you do, damned if you dont”?

    T-Mobile records every call. Each representative is monitored daily. Calls are pulled and graded for customer service. It’s my job to coach the people on my team to make sure they are providing quality service on all of their calls.

    As for Sean, I agree with most of the people on here. T-Moble attempted to resolve your issue. They attempted the necessary troubleshooting. They opened up the trouble ticket. They offered you assistance w/ different departments when they were not able to resolve your issue. You did not followup. You did not call back even though T-Mobile called you back numerous times.

    CSR’s are only human. We cannot read minds to know what you have or have not done. We cannot predict the future to know what your schedule is. We do not have healing powers in our hands to magically touch your device and make it work.

    I could go on and on but I’ll stop here before I bore you all to death. lol

    Reply
  • 144. Sean  |  June 27, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    Glad you posted here but not sure you read my entire post given how you closed this out. I’ve sense posted the resolution so you might check that out too.

    sean

    Reply
  • 145. Jdawg  |  June 27, 2007 at 5:38 pm

    Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience, Sean. I actually work for T-Mobile, and sounds like you just had some pretty bad luck with that. I know there are always some hoops to go through, and I’m only in the first level of support, but our system tells us if the customer has verified his or her information automatically, so we DONT have to ask it again (like you, I find that frustrating). However, T-Mobile is a stickler for procedures and there’s really no way around that sometimes. We simply cannot transfer calls to advanced technical care if you’re currently on the phone you’re calling about. Its really there so we don’t waste time with trying to troubleshoot the phone you have an active phonecall on. While you may have personally found it frustrating, I’m sure the company as a whole, with the millions of phonecalls they receive each year, have found it the best policy with handling these issues. We do our best to make everyone happy, but if having to verify information to protect the security of your account when being transferred to another department upsets you, well, you might just be pretty hard to please regardless.

    Reply
  • 146. Sonia  |  July 24, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    I AGREE WITH THIS INDIVIDUALS SITUATION. I HAVE GONE TRHOUGH HELL WITH VERIZON, TMOBILE AND CINGULAR. IMAGINE IF I TRY SPRINT THE EVEN WORST.
    ALL THESE CELL PHONE COMPANIES ARE GETTING US THE CUSTOMER MORE STRESS THAN SERVICES.

    Reply
  • 147. Joshua Dudley  |  July 25, 2007 at 10:20 am

    Hey Sean, I have a worse story than you and i can’t stand them so much that I don’t have the energy to elaborate as thoroughly as you did about it. I’ll just explain it very quickly with bulletin points

    If anyone can help, please contact me at joshuadudley@gmail.com

    1)My dad signed our family up for a family plan on t-mobile.

    2)some family members didn’t like their phones and called t-mobile to trade them in.

    3)phones didn’t arrive within a week. so we call to complain and are assured the phones are coming. when we say we will cancel the service if phones don’t arrive we are assured that we have 30 days to do so and get all our money back.

    4) all in all 3 different phones are ordered never arrived. more calls are made. nothing is resolved. frustration sets in.

    5) we cancel t-mobile ostensibly within our 30 day startup period from frustration with the customer support.

    6) We get a bill 2 weeks later for everything. several calls are made to complain over the next few weeks. issue is never resolved. Eventually what it boils down to is this: we only had 14 days to cancel our service, not 30. Unfortunately, there is no record of any customer service person telling us this. Also there is no record of us ordering new phones from them. Therefore we have no way of proving that they have violated the contract not us.

    7) we refuse to pay the 356 dollar bill for the first month plus switching fees and all the 200 dollar per line cancelling charges that are coming.

    8) I even got a number for the back sales office who told us something different than the other customer service people. she said she could help. than transferred us to someone who couldn’t, who put us one the phone with her supervisor who helped even less.

    9) I officially think they have worse service than AOL did a few years ago.

    Reply
  • 148. Hate TMOBILE  |  July 27, 2007 at 9:28 am

    Every single time I need to contact customer service, their site is down, the phone system does not work. I have been trying for a couple of hours to access my account phone/web to no avail….

    Reply
  • 149. *Red  |  July 31, 2007 at 11:27 am

    How is this one?

    On July 2, 2007 I became a T-Mobile customer. As I sat and waited for my Sidekick to arrive via UPS the excitement grew and on July 5th my Sidekick finally arrived. Since then however, there have been nothing but problems. For the first two weeks that I was a T-Mobile customer I was not able to receive text messages, which was one of the primary reasons I got a Sidekick. Finally, the problem was fixed, after I called every day to get status updates. Two days before the problem was fixed I was told “we don’t have a time frame for that”. I was supposed to also received 4 callbacks regarding this issue and none came. Also, I didn’t even know the problem was fixed until I figured it out on my own using my family’s cell phones to send myself text messages.

    But the problems do not end there. On July 23, 2007 my Sidekick battery alerted me that it needed to be charged. That is when a real problem developed. I went to plug my less than one month old Sidekick into the wall and it would not charge. I took the battery out, put the battery in, and plugged it into almost every wall socket in the house, all with no results. So I called Customer Care and I was informed that I should take it into the store and they can test it and figure out what it wrong with it. I took my phone to a T-Mobile store where a man named John helped me. He took my phone, plugged it into the wall and said “Yup, it’s the phone”. He then proceeded to answer the store phone, work on another customer’s phone and try to order me a new phone on the computer. While he was busy multi-tasking he didn’t even ask to verify the correct shipping address and sent it to the wrong address in my account, an address that is 6 hours away. He then spent 20 minutes on the phone trying to fix his mistake only to be told he cannot undo what he did for 24 hours; he then told me that he would fix the problem for me the very next day. The next day I called the store to ask for John to see if he had fixed my problem, there was only one problem with that, John was not working that day, even though he promised me he would fix my problem that day. I asked to speak with the manager and was told he was “out at another store” 3 different times during the day. I proceeded to fix the problem, which John created, myself after spending 30 minutes on the phone and driving 15 minutes to the UPS store to send out my Sidekick.

    On July 30, 2007 at approximately 10:30pm (EST) I called your customer service to get some information about my rate plan. When I got upset over the rate plan that I have and was told I could not change it your customer service agent me to “not to get snippy with her” and when I asked for her name and ID# she hung up on me. Now, I don’t know about you, but to me that says or rather screams poor customer service. I have never in my life been hung up on for a customer service call. Upon calling back I did however speak to an excellent customer service agent, Tamillia Ref ID: 7481177, who took all my information and assured me she would take care of the problem, one of the rare occasions that I have been treated fairly by one of your customer service agents.

    Reply
  • 150. Kill 'em w kindness  |  August 2, 2007 at 3:52 am

    Just a few tips on calling customer service

    I’m pretty sure us CS reps are doing something right. If you think T-Mo CS is bad remember so far we’ve had 6 JD Power awards in a row. The customers have spoken. When speaking with a customer care rep keep in mind, treat that person as you would like to be treated. Don’t worry, the rep won’t treat you any differently if you’re pissed off but you may get that rep to go the extra mile if you’re calm. Getting all worked up isn’t going to solve a damn thing. If you get all fussy with the person who is trying to help you and don’t want to follow instructions that WILL help you then you’re going to end up pissed off and without a solution. Listen to the reasons behind the questions and troubleshooting steps you are given and maybe you’ll get somewhere. Requesting a supervisor isn’t going to change a thing. The answers you are given are company policies that both a representative and supervisor have access to. Why does almost everyone nowadays think a sup request will help them get their VALID charges adjusted? HAHA! Just keep your cool and everything will work out.

    As for all the geniuses talking about outsourcers, T-mobile owns and operates all their call centers all which are located within the US. You’re pretty damn lucky not to get a so-called “Steve” from India who can’t speak English. Whoever said US cust service reps are not as kind as the ones from India must have not had the T-mo experience haha. T-Mobile reps are the kindest people you will ever deal with. Of course there are always the select few who give the rest a bad image. If you don’t feel our English speaking reps are kind enough for your taste give our Spanish line a shot. Don’t get upset if someone answers in Spanish, that person can also speak English and will be super courteous. There’s just something about the Spanish reps.

    Reply
  • 151. Alisha  |  August 4, 2007 at 2:58 pm

    Okay, I have worked as a T-Mobile Tier 2 PDA tech support agent for a year now. Yes, even when you go through the automated process of entering your 10 digit mobile number and the last 4 digits of your SS#, we don’t get that.

    This is how it goes, 30-ish call of the day. I am tired. I just got chewed out by a previous customer… and my supervisors are constantly on my ass about “AUX” (aka, break time). I am waiting for 30 seconds before I hear “beep beep” and now I am on the line with you. I have no pop ups that appear on my screen when you call, so I have to ask who I am speaking with and your number. I open your account and have to check to see if you have been verified, because if you have not, I could loss my job for not verifying your SS#… Then, I check over the notes made by previous reps… and feel angry that some reps do not leave detailed notes about your problem or troubleshooting they did (other than “Cust’s email not working… transfer to tier 2” BAH! So, I have to find out what is wrong.

    Then, you tell me and most of the time, I know what to do. But some problems are comlicated… because we have to determine if it is a.) software issue b.) network issue c.) device issue… which is hard enough.

    Then, when I are stumped as to what is wrong… I put you on hold so that I can raise my hand amongst the 5 other raised hands… waiting for a “floor walker” (aka – assigned supervisors who walk the floor in a call center to help answer questions of agents) and wait and wait for one to come to me… but somedays I have raised my hand for 10 minutes waiting on someone to help me.

    Call centers are STRESSFUL. I have gone home literally crying because the pressure is intense.

    Don’t think I am sticking up for t-mobile. I happily have AT&T. And I don’t like working here, no.

    We are trained to empathize and be sensitive. And I am all the time.

    We go through a lot on a daily basis.

    We only have 30 minutes of a day to take breaks (in an 8 hour shift). We constantly are being bitched out by people who monitor our calls. It is rough.

    I understand your frustration. I don’t like t-0mobile either. And I work for the bastards.

    But, I just wanted you all to know that even when you call in to us at tech support… it’s no picnic for us either. We get yelled out, bitched out, treated like scum for t-mobile’s shitty ass software problems. It’s not our faults. We didn’t break your phone.

    And I understand you will run across a bitchy rep. File a voice ticket on their ass. Tip: an abusive agent loses their job once a voice ticket is filed with a supervisor.

    Reply
  • 152. Alisha  |  August 4, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    Okay, now another point (with less typos:)

    When you call, we are not sitting a a buiding labeled” T-Mobile”…

    I don’t really work for “T-Mobile” itself… but Sitel… it’s business partner call center.

    Yes, the above supervisor is right. We are given procedures to troubleshoot.

    I have had customers call in who didn’t even want to troubleshoot. They just wanted to outright do an exchange.

    WE CAN’T DO THAT.

    We have to do at least some form of troubleshooting before we can do that. Otherwise, if the problem could have been fixed with a master reset or application loader or even simple as a cancel location and powercycle… we could get in trouble with the technicians who look at the phone when they receive it at the factory.

    I had a customer yesterday who called about email on AT&T’s BlackBerry Curve. I could not do that. He had unlocked the phone and everything, but it still had AT&T’s settings on it. Of course, I got called a “dumb bitch” and the call escalated to a supervisor. We ended up having to transfer to RIM (manufacturers of the BlackBerry devices) so they could confirm that t-mobile data features would not work with a BB Curve. It is not possible because the service books (settings) will not go to the phone.

    This point being that we are not God.

    I have been blamed for ruining a business trip… I have been blamed for being “stupid”… I have been blamed for having the worst phone ever. I didn’t invent the damn thing. I didn’t create t-mobile. I didn’t tear up your phone. And no, I don’t like it either that you are upset.

    You never know who it is you are talking to when you call us or what that particular agent is going through. I remember the day I was told by a customer that her life was so shitty all because her BlackBerry pearl could not access myspace while she was sitting in a resort on a California beach!

    There I was, just got out of an abusive relationship… my family is going broke. I don’t make enough to support shit. I haven’t even gone on vacation… and of course, we can’t oblige those kind of details…

    But, anyhow, the point being, call centers are rough environments to work in. And no matter how shitty we tech agents feel.. no matter what hell is going on in our lives… we still have to put on our happy face to make you feel more at ease. Just think about the agent you talk to and assume that they are a person like you with their own sets of problems.

    I’m not saying don’t speak your mind when you call. But just understand that we are humans and not little machines that don’t understand you. We try. Trust me. Take it from someone who takes 50-60 calls a day on a slow day. It’s mentally exhausting.

    Reply
  • 153. Gregory  |  September 12, 2007 at 7:14 am

    I am a customer support manager for an ISP. I train our techs to be accountable and responsible to all of our customers however its a shame that other companies don’t share the same philosophy. My support team has to do a lot of trouble shooting with cable and phone companies and we also get caught in the bad service loop. Automated answering services are the worst followed by the transfer to India to a rep that just agrees with what you say and never commits to anything followed by the response they will get back to us in 24 hours. Then 24 hours later we hear nothing so we call back and they tell us nothing has been done and they happily escalate to level 2 which comes with another 24 hours with a phone call back to India and the cycle continues like this for 1 to 2 weeks. In dealing with particular company I set up meeting with there executive staff and they talked a great game but still had the same sad results. After witnessing my staff and customer suffering at the hands of this company I dropped all service contracts with them and then they call to see why and I explain it to them they just don’t get it, they give excuses why they fail.

    Reply
  • 154. Marcie  |  September 18, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    I am so glad there is someone else out there who shares my frustration with T-Mobile. I think they are one of the worse wireless providers I have ever had. I bought my son a 300 dollar Sidekick 3 for his 8th Grade Graduation and what a piece of junk. He is now on Sidekick Number 3. This last time I fought with T-Mobile Customer Service for an hour and a half trying to convince them that I do not want another Sidekick to replace the second piece of junk Sidekick, I want a phone of equal value, but the Sidekick has proven to be a piece of junk. They were rude to me and of course I had to concede to the idea that I was getting another Sidekick. Which by the way, is still sitting in the box it came in and I plan on selling it on E-Bay.

    Reply
  • 155. John P.  |  September 29, 2007 at 2:44 pm

    Some of the comments here prove exactly what is wrong with today’s customer service and just goes to validate the original poster’s concerns. It seems that these comments are, for the most part, being made by disgruntled CS workers.

    I just had a two hour conversation with two tmobile representatives trying to refute ludicrous $90 charges on my bill. At some point during the call the rep actually had the audacity to say “maybe you’re having personal problems since your payments have always been on time until now”. She then went on to ask if I had any further questions and hung up.

    There is a fine line between poor customer service and then just flat out hating your job and being a bitch about it.

    PS. we, as customers, don’t owe you anything so get off your high horse and stop feeding in to this bureaucracy you call a phone company.

    Reply
  • 156. George  |  October 4, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    Don’t feel special, I was a loyal Verizon customer for 11-years and $30,000+ of service. Three years ago I moved to a new residence in Wicker Park, Chicago and had reception problems. After 5-months of calls to Verizon and no results, I had to change my service. Nobody seemed to care – oh well.

    Reply
  • […] read more | digg story […]

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  • 158. James Clark  |  October 13, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    Dear Sir or Madam:
    James Clark has been a customer with T-Mobil since 2003.
    Over sixty days he had connection problems for his phone number 713-922-4024. He brought a new phone, changed his phone number and went through many, many trouble shooting procedures with T-Moble various representatives and engineers. I start having connection problems September 2007. He canceled his contract with T-Mobile due to this improper connection problem. Your Term & Conditions – Limitation of Liability #14 states, The exclusions of limitation of incidental or consequential damage or other limitation to remedies. The exclusion or limitation will not apply to you. James should be excluded from paying the cancellation fees for this account due to consequential damage for his account. Service Availability and Limits states, you are not liable for any service limits failure of alerts. We gave T-Mobile alerts to inproper cell phone reception for over two months. No remedy for the problem was done. T-Mobil agreed to perform the cell phone service in return for payment. James gave T-Mobil reasonable time to correct his connection problem. The appropriate remedies for breaking or breaching this contract was needed because nothing was accomplish to solve his connection problem.
    Sincerely,
    Mrs. James Clark

    Reply
  • 159. sean johnson  |  October 23, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    I actually just got off the phone with one of their award-winning CS reps. In short the scrolling ball on my sidekick (the scrolling ball, for those that aren’t familiar with sidekicks, navigates through most features of the phone.) Stopped working. After going through that dreary automated woman, being asked for my number/social numerous times I eventually spoke to someone that could help. They trouble shot my phone and to no avail, nothing worked. They then said it is under warranty but in order to get a new phone I have to mail mine in, then they have to check it for physical and liquid damage (god only knows how long that would take.) And then they can send me a new phone.

    This was not acceptable, the primary use for this phone, to me, is the use of the internet (ebay.) They offered a loaner phone from a tmobile store but it wouldn’t have the internet, not acceptable. THEY expect ME to be inconvenienced because they sold me a defective phone. I even offered to go into a store, have the manager verify that there is no damage, and can call them and let them know. “Sorry you have to send it in to get a new phone.”

    I threatened to cancel service and go with a provider that doesn’t suck, and she rebuttaled that I will be charged a $200 cancellation fee, which was followed by laughter from me.

    To simplify, I bought a product, have had it for less than 6 months, a practical and relatively necessary feature breaks, they try to inconvenience me by de-phoning me, I say no and don’t want to be with a crappy phone company, they say I will owe them $200.

    That’s right, if you buy a defective item you have to pay them $200 to go to someone else.

    I believe I speak for everyone when I say, get bent t mobile.

    -sean

    Reply
  • 160. T-Mobile Dealer  |  November 8, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    I understand the last verifying the information was frustrating, but how upset would you have been if your call and been tranferd to another rep that did not have your account Information becase the company didnt verify now we are working on a diffrent phone, we give out Informtion on an account thats not your and well you know how it goes. I have workind in a call center I think that that allowing that to upset you just made the problem worse. But I am happy that the problem was fixed. Again verifying is fruistruatign but its for your protection

    Reply
  • 161. T-mobile PDA and sidekick CSR  |  November 12, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    I agree with all the comments, but I can sympathize with Alisha about the Sitel thing. because we are a 3rd party company, we don’t get those nifty little pop ups with the information you punched into the automated system, like the reps in the t-mobile owned centres do. we are outsourced centres, so all our tools do NOT work as they should. I can understand why it’s frustrating, but how more often than not, policy is policy. We don’t make the rules, nor can we over-ride them, so yelling at us will not change it, nor will speaking to a supervisor. All they do is read you the policy right from our database, verbatim.

    While I can share the frustration as a mobile customer myself (not t-mobile, rogers in canada, and they have the world’s shittiest customer service / most expensive rate plans, ask your canadian friends/relatives; don’t even ASK about the price of mobile internet, the only word that comes to mind for those prices are rape)

    Sometimes customers are just flat out unreasonable. How can one not expect to ATTEMPT to fix something and we just send you a new one? Or that we will replace it and YOU cracked the screen? or YOU dropped it in water? Why must this be an escalated call? I don’t see how it’s difficult to understand that physical and liquid damage are only covered by insurance. Try buying a TV at Best Buy, slip outside crack the lefty side of the screen and see if they’ll replace it. I WILL make exceptions to customers in some circumstances; a woman whos child had drooled into the phone, I felt bad and replaced it. Not to say I’ll crumble and forget policy at every sad story, but i am human, I call them on another line so I cannot be monitored.

    Also, dealing with business customers can be very harrowing at times, as they sometimes enjoy reminding you of how much money they make to show you why they have no time for troubleshooting or as an excuse to be ABUSIVE. No customer gets special treatment and also, at 12.50 an hour, I’m hardly paid enough to be verbally abused

    Reply

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