Wednesday, September 12, 2012

T-Mobile: Terms and Conditions

I wanted to share an issue that I am currently involved in with T-Mobile to hopefully keep come of you from experiencing the same issue.  The problem revolves around cancellation of your mobile server, how you cancel it, and what charges you incur.

I had been a 10yr customer of T-Mobile with lines for both my wife and I.  When I opted to move to an iPhone, I opted to leave T-Mobile.  I first move my line, which was out of contract off the T-Mobile service. When I did this, I moved the line, after a billing period, ported my number, closed my account and received a bill for partial usage for the day or two of service.  This seems reasonable and at best, a non-repeatable process.

My wife's phone came off of contract on Aug 9th, the billing cycle began on Aug 3rd.  When the phone came off of contract, I purchased her an iPhone and ported the number.  When I arrived home, I tried logging into my T-Mobile account and sure enough, it would not let me stating the account is inactive.  This is where the fun begins.  I anticipated a bill from T-Mobile for the partial usage incurred from August 3rd - August 9th however, what I got was a bill for the entire month from August 3rd - September 2nd.

When I called customer service, the CSR explained that the Terms & Conditions listed on the website (this is key) indicate that if you port your number, you will automatically be billed for the entire month of service, not the prorated amount.  It was further explained that if I had cancelled the account without porting the number, the charges would have been prorated.  This is when I asked to speak to a supervisor.  The CSR was not sure why I needed a supervisor as they would tell me the same thing.  I again, asked for a supervisor.  After being placed on hold for about 15 minutes, the CSR said she was transferring me when I suddenly became disconnected.

I called right back, got a new CSR.  She looked at my notes and asked if I would like to speak to a supervisor... why yes please!  The supervisor, Briana F. (last names are not given apparently) was kind enough to point me to the Terms & Conditions on the website.  I explained that I understood that they were online but what I wanted to see is the contract that I signed where these terms were outlined showing that I acknowledged them.  I explained that when I signed up for service, I signed an electronic screen tied to their computer system and I would like her to email me a copy of that paperwork from 2002.  Ironically, she stated that did not have that document and could not email it to me and again, directed me to the website for the Terms & Conditions.  I explained that just because the terms were online, did not mean that I agreed to them.  She again directed me to the Terms & Conditions online.

After explaining to her what her companies dispute policy was and what the process was (I literally directed her to the literature) she again referred to the online terms and stated that it was their policy and the bill would not  be adjusted.  When pressed a bit more, she explained that when you renew your contract / upgrade equipment, you are only signing the equipment terms, not the service terms so the terms that I would have signed were from 2002.  If you look online, they explain in their terms that this covers new and renewal customers.

All things considered, this is a not a large sum of money however, the principal of a company simply posting Terms & Conditions without notifying customers and allowing them to accept the terms and conditions is backhanded.  In an online environment, these terms could be edited every day without your knowledge yet, you are bound to them from a T-Mobile point of view.  This is the part that consumers need to be aware of and it is for this reason alone that I will dispute the charges, notify T-Mobile consumer affairs as well as the FCC who regulates the industry.  I would ask you all to be aware, share your experiences and raise your voice against this practice.

1 comment:

Chuck Ray said...

Terms & Conditions: T-Mobile will not require me to pay a full month of service if I move my number to a new service. (This is to counteract the process at T-Mobile so I can direct them to my Terms & Conditions as well).