Updated: December 30th, 2010:
The power behind consumers is INCREDIBLE when we band together. Have received tons of emails with ideas, (keep them coming!) and some of the greatest tweets of all time. Someone’s tipped the Consumerist, Watchdog and others. We’ll see what happens. Ironically, I was going to meet with some of the booth staff at CES for #Tmobile and do press, which you can imagine: I’m no longer doing.
I leave for CES Tuesday. Today, is Thursday. I’m cutting it down to the wire. A huge thank you to EVERYONE of you who reached out, offered their phones, a virtual hug and some slams at Tmobile’s expense. (I appreciate you.) Last night, after speaking to one of the head supervisors, (who I still claim is one of the kindest, most patient people in the world,) I realized she had misinformation: The HD7 can not act like a WIFI hotspot. It doesn’t have the internal software. So, anyway this could be ‘my’ fault for allowing someone else to ‘have’ my signal is now, out the window. After being on the phone with Robert Headley, (a tech god/genuis,) for an hour, we decided the issue must be connected to the phone itself. I immediately called to complain about the HD7 when it was received. Wouldn’t sync, and the battery died every 2 hours. When it did sync, it would alert me to emails that came in, that were never there. They stated it was a software issue and offered me the G2. Ironically- this syncing, or data, could be exactly what threw me up to 10gb since the 23rd. It’s gotten continuously worse. Did the broken phone Tmobile shipped cause the entire issue? I wasn’t throttled until I received this phone (and nowhere near it- I’ve used an average of 50-67mb for 2 years- no where near 5gb,) Ironically, as of this morning, I still cannot sync my google calendar, emails, or even get my address book. The phone is running too slow to work, and Tmobile refuses to help.
I’m supposed to be getting a call back, (won’t hold my breath!) from another supervisor this afternoon. After sinking almost 2 weeks, and well-over a day into getting this fixed before CES, I’ll be giving up. TMobile’s twitter team has yet to reach out- their PR team has yet to reach out. The $100 credit in my account from the G2? Is a ‘goodwill’ credit and doesn’t state anything about the issue. Seems to me there is a HUGE problem with customer service note-taking and the ability to solve the problem the first time. Which, …. On December 10th, when I called and notified them SOMETHING was wrong with the phone? They should have fixed the issue then. Almost a month later: and I’m still cleaning up after Tmobile’s gigantic mess. Thanks, guys.
Update: December 29th, 2010: Received a call from a Tmobile top retention person, (Andy.) Told he was ‘so sorry’ for no one getting back to me or fixing the issue. Made sure my phone came today, also gave me a few more days to return old phone, “just in case.” Gave $100 off G2, (so now only paying $100.) That’s the only good news.
Plugged in new G2 this evening only to find I now had NO data connection. Unable to sync contacts, unable to view anything saved, etc. Called and told the issue is that my account was, “Completely Throttled.” This means: I have NO ability to do anything. I probably sounded ridiculous as I started bawling to the Supervisor on the phone, “Jennifer,” who was probably one of the most patient and kindest people I have ever spoken to. I lost it when she said, “I won’t get off the phone until I try whatever I can.” I told her that the supervisor before her, “Angie,” had told me that my crying and tone were ‘unprofessional.’ I told her that I had NO internet on my phone so that using the amount they claimed I use was physically impossible. Tmobile has claimed I have used 10gb of usage since December 8th. Funny story is: I haven’t HAD internet since December 8th. No streaming video, (I dont even have the youtube app or the netflix app downloaded, I don’t EVEN HAVE an account for either.) No tweets. Nothing. Yet somehow, I’ve used 10gb of usage.
I asked them to validate my phone usage times with my ‘data’ times and they claimed they were unable to do that. You can’t stream video and talk on the phone at the same time. Since I am on my phone 50% out of my day- it wouldn’t make sense that I would be constantly streaming video… especially given the amount of meetings and work I’ve had the past 2 weeks thanks to a very hectic schedule. It’s no use, they won’t budge. As of right now, I cannot even sync my google contacts, view my google calendar on my phone- it’s useless and I’m completely and utterly technology-blind.
Jennifer is supposed to be calling me back with another fix. She’s the 4th person today who has claimed they’d call me back. She’s the first person today that actually sounded like they cared. I leave for CES press events in 7 days. If I have no working phone- I’ll be unable to attend.
December 24th, 2010:
If you’ve been following my Twitter feed, you’ll see I’ve been going through hell with my HD7 and Tmobile. In the past 4 days, I have gotten 16 text messages from Tmobile’s 456 number letting me know, “my requested changes are now reflected on my account.” …The only problem is, I never requested the changes to begin with. Enter the first problem:
On 12:20, I received the following text message, “Due to the amount of data you have used in this billing cycle your data speed will be slowed for the remainder of the cycle.” Tmobile’s word for this is, “Throttling,” and it’s actually in their contract if you use more than 5gb of data in a month, they will slow your connection. I pay for unlimited internet so I was shocked to find that they could slow my internet for using what I paid for. Having recently just gotten the HD7, I started asking, “How have I used that much internet since my phone is not functioning?” I called and was told I actually used 67mb of the 5gb internet allowance and Tmobile was ‘stunned’ to why I was getting throttled. I asked how much my speed would go down and they replied, “3g.” Which, considering we’re 4g in Minneapolis and even that is faulty, it would drop me down to 2g service. (5g – 3g = 2g)
I bemused the fact that I was getting screwed and as the customer service rep explained, “I can’t unthrottle you. It’s a system issue.” So, I decided to hang up for the night, sulk quietly in my room about Tmobile winning this round and gear up for the next day. Except the next day? I couldn’t even get onto the internet. Various texts came through they had changed my internet package, (including changing it to limited, then changing it to Android internet, which wouldn’t work with my phone.) So I called. And I spoke with retention. After about 3 hours with their twitter team, phone gurus and their subpar staff, they offered me a $17.50 credit on my account, apologized profusely and told me it was fixed, (after a 2 hour wait period for the new internet to take effect.) 2 hours later? No internet.
On the 23rd, I gave up. I called in after being out for the entire day and not being able to connect to anything and decided I’d just drop my contract. This is where the fun begins. I spent 15 minutes on hold as the retention and loyalty rep prior argued with me that I couldn’t return my phone. (I had a 20-day window to return my HD7 and it was only day 14.) He told me, “No. I believe it’s 14 days.” I stood my ground, and he came back on the line to apologize and tell me I was right. Then he quoted me $200 for a G2, to get myself back on android and away from the HD7. Since I had an upgrade available and paid only $100 for the HD7, angry was an understatement. I told him I needed a few minutes to calm down, check the specs and get back on the line. When I called back, I was quoted, $270 for the HD7 and told that the first rep would NEVER quote me that price. It’s then I started to cry, bawl really. My patience had worn out earlier in the day and I was sick and tired of being lied to. The rep placed me on hold and 10 minutes later I was told, “there are no notes about that price, but we can do it.” Since we had the phone call on speaker, we were stunned. How a company would treat someone who had been with them since 2003 this way, was unreal to me.
Then the fun part began. I only had 20 days to return my HD7 and unfortunately, I didn’t ‘qualify’ for upgraded shipping. (Yes, I’m serious.) So this meant, not only did I have a non-working phone in the meantime, that could make calls, but not do much more, I had to RETURN this phone before my new phone shipped. The new phone isn’t able to arrive until after the 29th. (6 days away.) The HD7 needed to be returned by the 27th. I was told I could have the opportunity to go to the nearest TMobile store, (Eden Prairie, MN – 20 minutes away,) and get a loaner phone. Unfortunately, that store has no loaner phones. Burnsville Center, 45 minutes away, offers loaner phones- but they are unsure of what they have. So, between now, and the 29th, I could very well be without a phone. Because, I’m the customer who doesn’t ‘qualify’ for a shipping upgrade, or a working phone, or decent customer service. Even if I did get a loaner? It’s only available for up to a week at a time. Meaning, if I checked it out today, it would be due the 30th. So, if the phone does indeed arrive when it’s supposed to, I’m still out a phone. This also means for my phone to arrive back in time? I get to ship it TODAY, in the midst of Christmas Eve, WHERE NOTHING IS OPEN,) and go stand in the insane line at the Tmobile Store. (Because they cannot just set one aside for me.) PS: Did you know that loaner phones are not usually smart phones? Apparently the only Tmobile store that carries Smartphone loaner phones is the Penn Avenue Tmobile Store: Which is… 45 minutes away. #Awesome After calling the store 3 times, they are not picking up their line. So, it doesn’t really matter.
This morning, I woke up from four, separate, text messages letting me know that Tmobile, “made the requested change to my account.” Except, again, I never requested a change. So, just for the joy of it, I called this morning. ”Your internet isn’t working because someone keeps changing it to our android package and you have an HD7.” …it was then I hung up, exasperated and decided to write this blog. Because their Twitter PR, doesn’t respond to me. I haven’t gotten the 3 call backs I’ve been promised from leadership, and I’m disheartened and angry.
Merry Christmas, Tmobile. Thanks for costing me business and a quiet Christmas Eve.
Feel free to pass this on: Maybe someday, this company will learn it cannot lie and cheat customers. I’ve been paying for a phone for weeks that hasn’t worked.