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.
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.