T-Mobile Customer Service Stinks

For starters, let me be very clear.  It is my firm opinion that T-Mobile Customer Service Stinks.

I’ve written before about my penchant for writing company CEOs when confronted with a confounding situation inspired by their organization’s misdeeds.  The good leaders appreciate the feedback (TransUnion was a great example in which the COO and I shared a 45 minute conversation) and others not so much.  See Six Flags and U-Haul .

Recently – and really the issue continues to drag on – I exceeded my tolerance level with my cell provider, T-Mobile.  My aggrevation was at such a level that I wanted to do more than simily inform the CEO, I wanted to force some sort of accountabilty for correcting the situation.  Granted, I’m significantly limited in what I can legally or morally do but I tried to bake this approach into my solution.

My solution?  I cc’d the entire C Suite on my letter as well as the public mail drop for the service center.  Everyone across leadership would 1) know there was an issue and 2) know whether or not action was taken to address the issue. 

How they treat aggrieved customers would be a matter of record within their leadership team and via this article, so too will the public.

Below is the letter I sent and I’ll link to their site (which I used) to demonstrate the leadership team.  Give it a look and respond in the comments how you are getting along with your cell provider.  I’ll be looking for a new provider when my contract expires and your feedback my help me make a better choice next time.

Letter to T-Moble CEO John Legere, December 2012:

*note, non leadership names have been changed

 

John Legere –

To the point – I have strong negative feelings towards T-Mobile and the way in which you treat your customers.  However, despite my frustrations with your organization, I want to start with a positive review.
 
Mary in Colorado with your IT Team is a gem.  She was the 4th person I spoke with on December 27, 2012 and the only one with a sense for customer care.  By a far stretch she is the best service representative for ANY company I’ve engaged over the last 6 months and the best representative of T-Mobile I’ve ever encountered and it is not even close.  Her first words upon hearing that I had been bounced around and disconnected multiple times by both your automated system and live agents was to take full responsibility and accountability for the issue.  She committed herself to resolving the issue and to being the last person I would need to engage AND she followed through.
 
Mary in Colorado should be giving lectures to your senior leadership team on the value and ‘how to’ of customer care.
 
However, Mary is but one person and a clear exception and outlier in the world of T-Mobile.  My 90+ minute ordeal on the 27th included:

  • Multiple hang ups and call drops at the hands of your automated system
  • Vinny (his direct dial 800-xxx-xxxx), who speaks with such a thick accent that whomever thought it was a good idea for him to be a front line voice of the organization should be reprimanded
  • An escalated call from Vinnyt to alleged supervisor Archie.  Vinny diligently collected my contact information in case the call was disconnected.
  • Archie was disconnected – I personally think he hung up when unable to answer a question – and there was no call back from your side as promised.
  • Upon my re-call – with additional disconnects from your auto system – I spoke with Jay who claimed there are no supervisors named Archie.
  • Jay, unable to assist, finally connected me with Mary, who was an oasis.
  • Due to her effectiveness, I pressed my luck and started asking her about my more significant issues with T-Mobile – your value vs. classic pricing scheme.  He understood the concern and connected me with Retention Specialist Rick.
  • Rick is sleazy.  He introduced himself as being with some service department.  That he worked with the Retention Department had to be pried out of him.  He so much as confirmed that the Classic pricing scheme is not a good deal for the customer.  He agreed that you pay lots more into the program than you could ever hope to get out of it.  However, when I parroted his words back to him, he refuted them.  Very slippery.  He provided no value but rather offered me a holiday deal available to anyone and proudly told me when my early contract term fee would drop to $100.
     

It irks me that I have over paid T-Mobile for most of my tenure as a customer by being forced into the “classic” program and not informed of any alternatives.  It is bothersome that even as an overpaying victim of the classic pricing scheme I still received a raw deal on my last upgrade (over 3 years ago).  But it is infuriating that I would be treated with zero appreciation if I were to pursue an upgrade at this time.

I’ll be treated with less respect than a kid off the street, 8 years of revenue and flawless payment history be damned.

It simply boggles the mind that you would so proudly proclaim the benefits of the value program – pay less for the right to NOT be treated as a loyal and valued customer.  What?!  I have to pay extra to be treated as a valued customer?  That’s like buying friends.  It’s a scam, not a loyalty program.

But I want to do more than complain, I want to propose a solution.  I want to test you – a senior leader rather than a script reading puppet – and your resolve for providing outstanding service.  I want to see if you are capable of even meeting (much less exceeding) the expectations of your customer base.

  • Kill the Value vs. Classic program.  I do not care that it is popular in Europe – as I’ve heard spouted.  Treat long time customers as valued business partners and behave as if you’d like for them to continue sending you their hard earned money.
  • Cancel my contract.  If you think your stock offering is the best on the market then let me put it to the test by shopping my service without penalty.
  • Make me an offer I can’t refuse.  Show me why I joined T-Mobile in the first place.  Make me want to stay.

That is my challenge to you.  Do something to demonstrate that you care about more than making flashy commercials.  Show me that you care about your customers.  I look forward to your timely response.

Oh, and by the way, the replacement phone that arrived 2 days ago is already presenting new problems so it looks like even the best efforts of Mary have been undermined in typical T-Mobile fashion.

Thanks,

 

Cc:  John Legere, Jim Alling, Peter Ewens, Larry Myers, Neville Ray, Mike Sievert, T-Mobile Customer Relations – NM

 

 Here’s the T-Mobile Senior Leadership team.  I simply googled that term to locate this site.  I’d recommend a similar approach if you plan a similar effort.  You always want to secure the names and contact information from the company’s own site as often there is turnover and the names will change.  I found at least 3 different and recent names for T-Mobile’s CEO.  I imagine used dated names would defuse your letter.

As of this writting, I have not yet received a response from T-Mobile but I commit to publishing any response I do receive from T-Mobile.  Additionally, I have already drafted a follow-up as continued issues with my phone and service have conspired to sustain my ire.  So this promises a part 2 and perhaps evolves into a 3 part series.

Stay tuned and don’t forget to share your experience in the comments.

Sometimes, You Meet An Ass_ _ _ _

You may have noticed that I’ve taken down many of the images accompanying my articles.  Well, as you might imagine, there’s a story behind that.

…One day a guy calls me up and asks if I’ve read his email.  He has a harried tone.  Somewhat breathless, much like a 12 year old tasked with a critical assignment from dad.

No, I had not read his email.  Nothing personal, I had not even received it but here he is hours later in a panick, clearly following up on the most important email in the history of mankind.

“What’s up, let’s talk”, I offer.  I’m a decent guy and he’s chased me down through several disconnected hoops to actually call me at work.  I don’t even know my office number, but this guy does.  But no, he doesn’t want to talk.  A curious reason to call, I think.  He issues a vague threat and says that I need to read his email and respond ASAP.

 

The email arrives and it doesn’t take long to see that it’s a threat, and a joke.  Clearly this guy – my opinion – is an ass and he’s threatening me with language I’m not sure he even understands.  He’s cobbled together copyright legalese and wrapped it with threats and just plain dumb analogies.

The crux is this.  He claimed that I used his photo without his permission – which is true.  He claimed I did not credit his work – which is not true.  And he claims that I owed him large sums of compensation for the income loss my use cost him – which is as ridiculous as it is kinda and frighteningly true.

Let me be clear.  From a litigous point of view, I should not have used his image.  I apologized and took it down immediately.

For most, that would be plenty.  I’ve had people ask that I remove photos before and I’ve had people ask for a modified reference, and I’ve had people appreciate my use of their photos.  Never have I had anyone try to email me legal text books and liken my use of a photo to that of someone squatting in my house or taking my car.  Apparently the difference between digital and physical products escape some.

 

You bump into someone at the mall and you apologize because you were wrong but never do you expect them to pull out their willy and hose you down.  Never do you expect the response to be more confrontational than the original and innocent offense.

…unless of course you’re dealing with an ass_ _ _ _.

 

You’ve heard of patten trolls.  People that patten vague concepts like “electronic written communication” and then use it to sue Google and Yahoo for offering email accounts.  This type of societal leach is out there and somehow my small sliver of the internet tripped over one.  And figuring that the stinch of one such ass might attract others, I elected to remove most of my photos.

And that was something I hated to do.  Aside from the time it took to confirm the copyright on every image and then remove so many of them, I was honestly invested in every one of them.  On too many occasions I spent more time trying to find the perfect image than I did preparing the entire article.

So as much as I’d like to replace them all… I don’t know if it’s worth the investment.  It might be easier to change the site theme or forgo images altogether.  We’ll see.

 

The copyright troll and I finally settled, for less than his original demand and well more than 1 digital copy of his snapshot was worth.  Through our discussions he repeatedly offered threats and took great joy in telling me more than once that I was screwed and that he had me over a barrel.  Only once did I break with my reasoned and logic based responses and share that I thought he was “being an ass”.  His response bore out my observation when he shared that he was fine being an ass so long as I sent him money.  And so character is revealed.

Towards the end of the process, as the settlement was in sight he emailed something to the effect that he appreciated dealing with me, that I was smart and engaging and that had we met under other circumstances we might have shared a great conversation or even a friendship.  I hope he feels better for thinking that, though I doubt he even believes it.

I know I don’t.

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