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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Absolutely pissed with T-Mobile

On the first couple of days of our year long trip, we walked into a T-Mobile shop along Sunset Boulevard to get me a local number.

The customer service was great, and I signed up for a FlexPay plan, where I prepay T-Mobile a certain amount, and I get to use the phone until that amount is reached, and the line gets cut off. Simple enough. And I was told that if I wanted to cancel the plan, I should inform T-Mobile one month in advance, which I did, when we were in New York.

Imagine my surprise when I saw that T-Mobile had billed me for phone services from 3 July to 2 August, when the service was already terminated. I went online and found that T-Mobile has a Customer Service chat option, which was pretty cool, unless you are horribly slow in typing.

Here's a copy of the transcript. I have replaced the Agent name with just the initials TM to stand for T-Mobile. The company's policy is probably not her fault.

TM: Welcome to T-Mobile Chat service Dannie. My name is xxx and for your reference my rep ID is xxx. First, please allow me one moment to review your question.

Dannie Cho: sure. thanks.

TM: I can definitely assist you to look at why another deduction was completed Dannie, the account is showing that it was canceled on 07/03/2009. I will just be a moment to review your account.

Dannie Cho: thank you

TM: I am still researching this for you I will just be a moment.

TM: Looking at the account, because it was still showing as a charge on the account the payment would have been deducted. There are the adjustments on your account for next month for pending credits for the amount, that has been deducted. Once these have been credited to you then a check will be sent to you for the amount of the credit and the payment.

Dannie Cho: i have already left the USA, so I don't think I will be able to receive the check

TM: It can take up to 6-8 weeks for this amount to be returned to you. The amount will be sent out as a check to your address in the US. Do you have an address of someone here that we can change your address to that can send you the check once it has been mailed?

Dannie Cho: how can this be resolved, and how long would it take?

TM: It can take 6-8 weeks as we need to wait for this bill cycle to close for the proper amount to be determined for the amount of the refund. The only way this can be returned is through a paper check. I so apologize for the inconvenience and the misinformation. However this is the process for canceled Flex Pay accounts.

Dannie Cho: this information was indeed not given correctly then

Dannie Cho: because 1) i was told no further deduction will be made

Dannie Cho: 2) you are giving me a check i cannot bank it

Dannie Cho: can't you immediately see that the number is no longer used and arrange for a reversal for the billing?

TM: I regret to hear that misinformation was given. However this is the procedure for canceled accounts, and the only way that the money can be returned. We are not able to return to a credit card on a canceled account. Do you know anyone in the states that would be able to forward the check to you once it is sent out?

TM: Regrettably I am not able to do that, as we have to wait till this bill cycle is complete and the pending credits are applied to your account.

Dannie Cho: the address given was that of the hotel I was staying at. I have no one who can send the check to me

Dannie Cho: besides, I would then have to incur additional bank charges for banking in a USD check in my account, which is not fair to me as a consumer

TM: Please give me one moment.

Dannie Cho: thank you for trying

TM: I will just be one more moment Dannie.

TM: Regrettably Dannie, the information I have provided you is what we are able to do at this time.

Dannie Cho: what exactly is preventing you from doing so?

Dannie Cho: if there is anything i can help with to make this possible...?

TM: When an account is canceled, we have to wait 6-8 weeks, to make sure no additional charges are on the account. It is the same with regular accounts as well. There is nothing that we are able to do to make it possible to refund that amount. The amount does need to be sent out as a check as your account is now canceled.

TM: The only other option and I can not guarantee this will work, is for you to contact our international customer care department on august 3rd, and see if the credit has been applied to the account. If it has they may be able to process a refund for you, using your credit card information as the refund method.

Dannie Cho: you are sending me a check that I cannot receive. that means that T-mobile will eventually be holding money - MY MONEY - that doesn't belong to it

Dannie Cho: you have an international customer care department? should I have been talking to them since I have already left the USA?

TM: Generally you would still need to speak with us, they only handle certain things. However, due to the situation as we are not able to take credit card information over chat, to possible complete what I suggested you would need to contact them. I can not guarantee that they will be able to do this, you would need to speak with them on the 3rd, of August to see if the credits have been applied to your account.

Dannie Cho: okay, can I ask that you get someone who can help to contact me?

Dannie Cho: contacting me on 3rd Aug is fine. I don't mind waiting a little. But I should get my money back

TM: We are not able to call overseas. You would need to contact them, the number is (IDD Code) 1-505-998-3793. However there is nothing that any department will be able to do until the adjustments have been made to the account on August 3rd.

TM: You will get your money back, I have given you the options for the process of this.

Dannie Cho: wait... I have to CALL them on IDD charges to get my money back??

Dannie Cho: i beg to differ. you have not given me any options at all

Dannie Cho: you have given me only one choice, and that is to wait for a check that i cannot receive

TM: I have provided you with the process for when an account is canceled, the only other option is to contact our international customer care department.

Dannie Cho: is there a way I can email them instead?

Dannie Cho: otherwise, i can foresee calling on IDD and just waiting for someone to handle my case

TM: We no longer offer e-mail services, for your protection the only way for us to obtain credit card information is by phone, we do not accept credit card information over chat.

Dannie Cho: i don't want to be unreasonable, TM. I just want my money back

Dannie Cho: I am not talking about giving my credit card info by email

Dannie Cho: I am talking about asking someone to look into my case

Dannie Cho: because when I signed up for this plan, the sales rep said it was perfect for tourists

Dannie Cho: it's nowhere near perfect now

TM: I have looked into your case as well as your account, I have given you the procedure that we need to follow for canceled accounts. The only option we have to return the amount on your account is by check 6-8 weeks after the account has been canceled. If you contact our international customer care they may be able to assist you with providing a refund request after the credits have been completed. In order to this they require your credit card information to request the refund form. However are not able to do that till a credit is showing on the account.

Dannie Cho: according to my understanding, the way this plan works is that I pay a certain amount each month. When the usage hits the amount I paid, the line is cut off

Dannie Cho: As it is, I don't see any reason why T-Mobile should take my money away from me for 6-8 weeks, but I am willing to wait and be reasonable

Dannie Cho: I think T-Mobile should also be fair to its customers

TM: Yes you are correct is the way the plan works, however as easy pay was not canceled off you account and there was an outstanding balance the payment was deducted. Until this bill cycle closes we are not able to make any adjustments for the payment until the credits that are pending are applied. Once these credits are applied a check will be submitted for you for the amount. That is the procedure in this case. We do not have the ability to return it any other way.

Dannie Cho: And now you are telling me that I can get my money back, but I have to incur IDD charges to speak to someone who may or may not be able to help me

Dannie Cho: and why was easy pay not canceled off as I requested?

TM: Those are the two options that we have in this case, we are only able to return the amount on a canceled account by check, this is the procedure with all canceled accounts.

Dannie Cho: okay. I think we are going round and round the same discussion. How can I escalate this issue to someone higher in the hierarchy please?

Dannie Cho: I know you are trying to help, but the solutions you have for me are not feasible at all

TM: I am not sure as to why easy pay was not canceled, it is not showing that it was requested. Regrettably that is all I am able to do for you Dannie, you are able to contact customer relations with your concerns they can be reached by mail only at T-Mobile Wireless, P.O. Box 37380, Albuquerque, NM 87176-7380. Other wise we need to follow regular procedure in this case.

Dannie Cho: A telephone company can only be reached by mail??

TM: Our customer relations department does not have number they can be reached at and are only able to be reached by mail yes.

Dannie Cho: is this conversation logged? can i refer to this in my mail to them?

TM: Yes all of our chat conversations are kept for quality and training purposes. As long as you record your Incident number the can refer to this chat session.

Dannie Cho: and the incident number here is...?

TM: In your chat window do you see a 14 number?

Dannie Cho: no, i'm afraid not

TM: Okay, the incident number is 141491996.

Dannie Cho: okay. Thank you for your time.

TM: You are very welcome Dannie, was there anything else I can assist you with today?

Dannie Cho: Well... I only had one problem, and it wasn't resolved to my satisfaction. I'm glad there is nothing else

Dannie Cho: wait... sorry

Dannie Cho: one more question

Dannie Cho: can u send a check to anywhere in the USA or does it have to be the address that i signed up with?

Dannie Cho: for that matter, can you send a check out of USA?

TM: It can be to anywhere in the US, I can change your current address to the address you would like it to go to.

TM: We are not able to send checks outside the US, as they need to be able to be traced by UPS.

Dannie Cho: i don't have an address you can send to yet.

Dannie Cho: and again, it's quite disappointing that as a (ex-)customer, I am expected to bear IDD charges but T-Mobile is unwilling to post a check overseas

Dannie Cho: I hope those who monitor such logs take note of this lack

Dannie Cho: thank you once again for your time.


Yeepster said...

Wow! Kudos to whoever thought up such cunning convoluted system so that overseas customers can't cash the check when they are out of US!More profits for the company.

Dannie said...

Yeah. They really pissed me off, though I was trying not to be rude. Ah well, I'm trying to see if Citibank can allow me not to pay. Alternatively, I'm going to get them to post the cheque to my cousin and let HIM have the money.


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