T-Mobile

—== Edit: 2017, Mar 17th ==—

This was resolved early this month.  I had spoken with the same person the last few times on the phone. I was promised one of two things would happen. Back at the end of December, she said repeatedly this would be finalized by the end of January, early February at the absolute latest. Either the money would be sent in a check, or less likely it would be direct deposited back to the source.  In my case, debit card.

I waited all through January and got nothing but a bill for $1600 or so. I called and they said, no, the phones were checked in, and the credit would put me at being owed back over a hundred.  So, I waited longer.

Then I got a bill for -105. It’s not quite what I think they still owed me, but it’s still something. So I waited. And I waited.

Then about March 10th a cash card came in the mail. Not a check. Not a deposit. A cash card. I tried a few ways to get the balance off and it wasn’t working. I tried making an online account to do a direct deposit to the bank, wasn’t working.

Called the citibank line, they said something was wrong. They said they had to disable the card for at least 24 hours while they waited for their techs to look at it. He wasn’t sure what the problem was. He offered sending me a card that would take 7-10 business days to get to me.

I just wanted to be done with this nightmare so I tried to figure out alternatives. He said he could mail me a form I could fill out and mail back. I said no, I am trying to find faster ways. He said he could email the form to me and fax it. I informed him I don’t have a fax machine and don’t want to mess around with trying to find a service to fax it online.

He said just fill it out and email it back. So I did. It was immediately rejected for various reasons.

Finally about 40 hours later I tried logging in again and it let me create an account and transfer the money to my bank account.

It’s finally over.  Never going near T-Mobile again.

 

—== Edit: 2016, Dec 13th ==—

I saw that the tablets that had been returned. I did call as soon as I saw they shipped and had a tracking number. Called UPS. They originally said they didn’t have the shipment in their possession. So I called a few more times until they saw them on their radar, and put in for a rejection because I know the system, and know you can. So it got turned around and never even got to the UPS in my area.

I also packed up the phones and sent them in the box they came in. I watched both tracking numbers until they were both received, which was yesterday. I gave it a full day to be scanned in, and called today.

I expected them to keep everything I paid and still bill me. Here’s the breakdown (for sure) what I paid. Verified from my records.

Nov 03 . 170.95 . Initial payment for the lines and the phones
Nov 20 . 167.97 . The payment for the first full month of service.
Dec 06 . 186.23 . The down payment for the tablets.

I expected none of that back. The bill they wanted me to pay on Dec 22nd was $270something. I forget what, it didn’t matter to me because I would never have paid that.

So I called today and asked questions of the original person I talked to. They were overall useless, which I expected. They put me on hold to get whatever, resolution center? whatever term they used, on the phone. I can’t remember because I hear the term retention, resolution, advanced care, all sorts of stuff. The lady I was transferred to even used a different term than any of these, but whatever.

Looks like I’m typing so all the time, again. I’m going to skip the conversation entirely because it was actually quite pleasant. I forget her name, but she was nice, and her paw sounds nice, and it’s a neat idea to use a tractor trailerr (just the trailer) for storage. not a bad idea, honestly. pretty easy to keep weatherproof and they should stand the test of time quite well.  could build walls on either side to keep them ultimately steady during storms, too.

For now, she nuked the 270.something bill. That’s gone. Which, I agree with. I paid for the month I used, I was gone after that, no point in charging me anything.  Especially not mixed in with the rest of the arguments I had with that bill.

On top of that, and to my astonishment, assuming everything checks out with what I returned, I’ll be getting the 170.95 and 186.23 refunded. Shouldn’t be a problem. I even packaged the S7s the same as they were sent to me, only missing the small plastic sleeves around the earphones.  100% of the rest of the pieces and wraps and everything were replaced as they were sent to me. And naturally, the tablets never even made it to me. So they’ll return in the same box untouched as they were sent out in – short whatever difference happened through UPS’s networks, which may very well be some box damage. That’s how they roll.

Mystery name I forget will call me back in 13ish days to let me know of updates. We’ll see.

 

—== Original Post, 2016, Dec 6th ==—

I kept hearing that people loved TMobile’s service. The couple times I bumped into TMobile vendors they would tell me how much cheaper they were from verizon.

So, once our terms were over with Verizon, I went shopping.  First few places I called just sounded awful. So I called TMobile. The prices were decent enough, I guess, though just a touch under Verizon. For 6gb, and that’s each line not shared, it was quoted at about $15 lower than what we were paying with Verizon.

My first question, the make or break one, was could we both port our numbers over. I specified mine was a 402 number, an omaha number. She said yeah, no problem. So we moved on.

Their phone selection was terrible.  I had two or three phones I was eyeballing that I liked more for various reasons than the galaxy S7.  Notably the google pixel, and definitely the moto z force. The moto z force was to be the 3rd version of the Droid Turbo I had been carrying forever.

So, since the best they had that wasn’t crApple, was the galaxy s7, we went with those.  The two colors they had were gold and black.  So yeah, we went with black, because we’re not pharaohs.

So, then came the initial payment. It included downpayments on the phones and on the lines.  Whatever. It was about $156. Fine. I made it happen. We had just paid the verizon bill and had some extra money from my driving for lyft/uber. So whatever, lets get this over with.  I figure the savings of 20-40 bucks or whatever over 2 years will be worth it if what I heard was true about how much cheaper they are.

Regarding questions about pricing. They have an 8gb plan where both lines get 8, as opposed to Verizon who would share the amount they say across all lines. So that’s cool. Problem, it was quoted 5-10 bucks cheaper than I was down to paying to Verizon. Whatever. Not a big savings, so it’ll be a little better than just breaking even after the down payment shit. Still bitter about the two years we spent at San Palmilla where they have great service across the whole property – but the pocket we were in by the dog park. And the only option was to have no phone service at home since at the time Verizon had no wifi calling yet – or buy a repeater for $250 (if i recall, maybe 280) – and provide the electricity and broadband bandwidth for it. Plus, anyone around me would get to use it too. Was bitter about that still yes.

So, went ahead with it.

Phones come. I call to port mine over. First try, failed. Second try, failed. I did the website to try myself later, verifying all the information 900 times before submitting, failed. I called back and talked to somebody and tried to figure out why. They couldn’t figure it out so went up the chain. Somebody up the chain knew what to look at and explained the number can not port because they do not have brick and mortar stores in omaha, and have no infrastructure in omaha. So they can’t port omaha numbers.

I was furious. One of the things that’s helped make life easier over the years has been maintaining the same phone number.  It’s also a point of pride. I’m sure I’m not the only one who knows multiple people who I have to constantly update their phone number for one reason or another. I thought for a few days about saying no thanks and going right back to verizon. But I wanted to give them a chance, because after all, I did want to save money even if it was ten or twenty bucks. The total was to be $154 and some change. Fine. I asked multiple times to make sure I had it all written down wrong. Taxes included? Yes taxes included. Ok.

Then I realized, part of the conditions of TMobile’s promised paying off our old deal with Verizon was porting numbers. So I called and asked about it and they said since we paid the phones off we didn’t need to turn those in but we had to port the numbers. I asked what the process is, then, if TMobile doesn’t have the ability to port the number. I was told there was no process. It can’t work.  So I mentioned the only reason I even continued talking to TMobile to begin with was I was assured the port was possible. Tough shit rule.

So that made me mad again. I talked myself down, penny pinching and all. Need to cut the budget down anywhere I can find. So, onward we go.

Not more than a week or two later, first bill shows up. It was $167. I call, what the fuck? (though naturally diplomatically.) .. “Oh, that’s the cost after so and so fee and taxes.”

So I was pretty pissed. Now I was paying a couple dollars more than verizon, with a phone I was never excited about. Now all I had was the bitterness about the reception and them being like yo you can buy shit and power it and benefit everybody out of your pocket entirely. So fuck it, moving on. Lets go then, fuck it.

So, during that conversation she said by the way, there’s a promotion where we give two data lines free of charge. totally free of charge. you pay nothing today, you pay nothing on bills. and we’re giving away two tablets the rest of november, so if you have these lines you can get them and just apply them to the lines.

I asked several times how it works and they said the bill comes and it shows the line charge, then the credit. Ok. I had a phone before that was $20 a month and the promotion credited me $20 a month and it broke even, and I never had to pay for the phone as a perk for the 2 year contract. Lets go. Set that shit up and I’ll look into the tablets and see if I would even pay tax on that shit. She said she’d call me back the next day and see what I decided and set it up if I wanted. She was cool to talk to, so I said fuck yeah call me back tomorrow.

One of the probelms with all of this is it required TMobile One, which is fully unlimited data. Which was always attractive to me and I had heard about it, thought about it even. It would have definitely been 20 or 30 bucks higher than I was paying with verizon.  But instead of tiptoeing around with whatever the GB limit I had with Verizon, I could just do whatever the hell i wanted and not worry about data. That would be nice. Especially while out and about with Uber/Lyft. Especially with fucking google maps. So many reasons that would be super. So pulled the trigger on it.  I asked multiple times what that would bring my bill to. And, INCLUDING TAXES, $200.  Some cents after, but $200 with change. Not change as in dollars between 200 and 300.  But 200.01-200.99.  Fine.  And I also made god damn sure this was all reverseable. She assured me it was. If I didn’t like the tablets, I could return them. I could always cancel the lines at any time and return the tablets. All of that. Fine.  $200 a month. No hidden charges, no bullshit.

And the bullshit was what I was definitely going on and on about making god damn sure we were on the same page with fees and charges. I knew what the taxes would be, I knew all of that. Especially after the bill had taxes that I was told was included in the total I was told multiple times when I set up the service. One of the bullshit thigns when I set up the phone was also tablet related.  That offer was, you buy the tablet full price and they break up the cost of it paying you back as credits on your bill over several months.  Yeah. No. Fuck that, that’s not free. Free is free.  I’m not doing “Free after go fuck yourself pay me.”  Nope. And this sounded to be free, for sure, and I was assured it was.  That they had enough grief about the “free” shit you had to pay for up front, that they did this instead.

So, tomorrow comes and I had looked into it. There was the Galaxy Tab E. Meh. It’s ok for a free one. The other was LG G Tab X 8.0.  Much better than the Tab E. Also a year newer, so no surprise it was as much better as it was. And it was cheaper, so less taxes. Fuck yeah, I can make that happen. Plus Beth can take it on the plane with her and rock and roll. Lets go, then.

So we get that started. Kind of. I wanted to go pick them up at a store. And, seeing this coming, she sent me two free SIM cards with the lines she set up, so since I wanted to go pick them up at the store I could just slap he sim cards she sent me into them. Or, maybe she just had to send sim cards with the lines being set up. Either way, she was cool enough to actually get that done for free. That was a plus.

During all of this, the sim cards she was sending me she told me I could just put in any device that had 4g and use it as the internet only line, no phone capability, until I got the tablets.  That’s pretty cool. Lets do that. That sounds like a good patch over just in case I don’t find tablets to pick up. makes sense to me.

So I call all the stores in 10 minutes of me. None have anything. I guess it makes sense, the deal had been going on for a week and they were all cleaned out. This was Sunday I had called around.  I had talked to her first Friday when I called to ask what the fuck is up with my bill. Then Saturday is when she called me back and overnighted the sim cards.  Sorry, this is confusing.  So much happened in 30 days the exact details are sketchy.

So, might as well keep starting paragraphs with so. Friday I call and ask what the fuck is up with the bill, she sets up the lines. Saturday she calls back to see what I decided about the tabs and I said I was going to go around Sunday and find some shit. That’s when she overnighted the cards. Sunday is when I called around and found fuck all. So I waited for her to call Monday.

Now, I want to point out, she mentioned mutliple times it was no hurry about the tabs because they were going to be doing it through November and it was only mid november.  I blew it off Sunday and figured I’d just have her hook it up and get the shit shipped and I’d just wait for it when she called Monday.  She said she’d call between 8pm or so and 10, maybe 10:30, my time.  So at 11pm, I called and talked to whoever I got ahold of.

Back up to earlier Monday morning.  I actually got the sim cards monday morning. I was in no hurry to use them in anything.  In the afternoon, the baby was down for a nap and I figured I’d slap one in my beloved Droid Turbo I had for two years with Verizon.  It’s a great phone, and I figured I’d use it while I was driving for Uber/Lyft next.

Slap the shit in there, it works, to my amazement. So I got curious and slapped the second one (two free internet lines, after all, two free tabs were planned) into the wife’s old phone. Worked, too. Neat. And then I double checked the lines on my account to see what it reflected.

Well, the price on each of the free lines jumped $25 or so.  So I called in immediately and asked what that was about. He said, oh you converted the two data lines to voice lines, why?  And I told him what I did. He said, oh no, no no, you can only put those sim cards in a few tablet devices.  You can’t put them in phones. Phones with sim cards get voice lines, so the system follows suit.

I explained to him that I was explicitly told any hardware with 4g capability from phones to tablets and even laptops (do they really make laptops that take SIM cards and have 4g? i guess it’s totally possible. anyway..) – he said nope.  Can’t do it.

So, we cancelled the lines and he returned it to the free lines (so I understood.) Whatever. I popped those sim cards out and put them back in the box and waited for her to call so we could get the tablets set up.

Now, I believe I mentioned she didn’t call in the window or the 30 minutes (45 now that i think about it) i gave her after. So I called to pull the trigger and get the wait for processing and shipping started.

No, sir, they’re on back order.  What?  I was told multiple times it would be available to do for weeks.  Nope, back order. Probably not shipping until dec 1st. I thought I was getting ahead of the game and getting it done early.  Weeks ahead of me to do it, nope, doing it monday.

So, fuck it, pull the trigger.  Oh, it looks like this is actually not available now. Would you like an Alcatel Pop 7? … a what? Could you spell that for me?  so they did, and i looked it up, and I laughed. I said, no.  No way. “really? it’s a popular one.”  No. I wouldn’t even pay $15 in tax each for those for free. Nope. Thanks anyway, hang up feeling disappointed. They even said the shitty but decent enough for free Samsung E Tab or whatever the fuck the letter was, wasn’t available either. (but more expensive than the year newer LG tablet which has better stats???? the fuck?)

And my stupid ass had already figured out what I was going to do with one.  Was going to let lily play with it, and beth was looking forward to the idea of taking a non iPad to Omaha with her.  Bigger screen for netflix while she was up in Omaha. Unlimited data so she didn’t have to give a shit and able to just fuck around while she was up there. All win win.

I was pretty disappointed. But, at the end of the call I was told there would definitely be black friday and other promotions over the weekend and cyber monday. So make sure to check.  So, whatever, I checked.

I checked at the moment it launched on Thanksgiving, actually. Beth worked and baby was sleeping, so not like I was dicking around instead of spending time with family, as if I have any family besides my wife and daughter, in laws who all pretty much live in omaha but for the brother inlaw who lives down here. My sister is up in omaha but that’s all who’s alive I would ever say hi to.  Anyway, I checked at thanksgiving.  Sure enough, both the samsung tab and the lg tab showed as available again. Makes sense, save them for the holiday event. Cool.

So I try to set it up. Funny!  Can’t get them backordered without setting up new lines too.  Even though I have two lines that are empty, could not upgrade those lines to them, could not order them, could not do anything.  Called, nope. They’re closed for Thanksgiving until Friday morning. And again, this was actually 1am PST on Thursday morning or so.  So they were closed all day and I just got to suck the dick until I could call in.

Called in, they set it up. $20 per SIM card.  What? I have two sim cards. No sir, they come bundled, you have to pay for them.  …..?? so I have two sim cards that I can’t use in anything because all I have are a bunch of paid off cell phones, and a wifi iPad? So what do I do with these sim cards, put them inside my skin and pretend like I’m chipped for the future? What the fuck?

So, whatever, fuck it, lets continue and order these. We already want them, fuck it.  So, that’ll be a $46 dollar down payment on each tablet.  …… A down payment on a free tablet? Are you stoned?  Whatever. I’ll fucking pull the money out of my ass, I can cut savings and do some juggling and make THAT fucking fit, too, even after the bill came through earlier than expected.

Oh, that’s another thing. I was told the next bill wouldn’t be due until the end of november or the beginning of december since I started service with them on like November 1st. Not sure where she got that information because that big ass bill was due on Nov 22nd. And unlike everything else I work with that has a 12-25 day grace period after the due date before you get any grief for not paying it yet, they shut off your service 2 days after until you schedule a payment, and give you a late fee the day after. You know, like a fucking cheapy credit card would.

So, I paid the Verizon bill, paid a bigass deposit the size of the payment (about, pretty much what i was told my payments would be) – then 3 weeks later had to shell out another payment.  Now they want me to pay $181, of which $92 would be credited to my account in 1-2 billing cycles. …… I mean I’ve been doing really well driving a lot for lyft/uber and have some money I can absorb this bullshit with. And drove even more to offset it. Beth had been getting overtime and extra hours at her second job, so we could abosrb it.

And again, we were already attached to the ideas of getting the tablets. So fuck it. Fuck it, fuck it in the ass, lets go then. This was November 28th/29th or so. I would look at the calendar, but fuck it.

So, I throw that money in savings so it’s there when it’s time to pay it. Jesus christ, all this fucking money for a place that we went to for cheaper service.  And not as good coverage outside of town by all accounts. But with the baby we’re not going to be being risky out on back roads fucking around, either. So not so big of a worry.

The next week or two was looking at the website for backorders, and the tmobile website, waiting for the backorder date to keep shifting around and line up with what date I’m living in. Wanted to see that shit ship out before beth left for omaha.

December 6th. about 2am. Typical me, looking at the website more than I should looking forward to when the backorders get filled.

$276. My bill due December 22nd was $276. Not $200. Not $200.99. $276. Immediate fury.

I get dressed and head out to the car and drive to a parking lot because even soft talking will wake up Beth and Lily sometimes. So I called and asked what the fuck.

They were listing all these numbers, I even heard a 300 something mentioned for lines, then mentioned so and so discount, and all these numbers. Some of which, including the 300something, don’t recall hearing a single time. I understand leaving numbers out if it’s credited and offset, leaving just to mention for what I’m actually going to see. I get that.

So apparently what actually was going to happen that I was not told no matter how many times I clarified what changes were going to be on the bill – was the two lines were free. But I had to pay for them the first month or two, and then credits would start kicking in and then it would even out.

So I asked, whenever service was done, would there be the same amount of time I paid in, being credited back? Including surplus that would be paid back to me if I wasn’t with TMobile anymore?  No, that’s not how it works. Of course that’s not how it works.

I ended up talking to several people at TMobile.  The first dude was from Brittain and a fucking retard. I ended up hanging up and sitting there yelling to myself in the car.  I called back with more questions that came to mind, got a brittish chick.  She was a lot more useful than the guy was. Answered things more clearly than he did and explained what the charges were that apparently essentially are ledger things every company has that they don’t tell their clients about and don’t know why he told me as it’s nothing they’re supposed to or need to tell the customers.

She said she was going to call me and connect me with retention in an hour and a half, which would have been 4am my time.  So I went and ran some errands, filled water, put air in a tire, shit like that.  Well, not all of it, as every place with free air had broken machines. So there’s that.

4:00 came.4:30 came. 4:45came and I called anyway and said fuck waiting for this shit. Got the dumbest person I have ever talked to in any instance, ever. I would ask her a question and the answer would be fully unrelated. I mean fully. I asked her once about the tablet fee and she actually started explaining the voice line fee which is the most basic shit in the world and not at all related with what I was disputing and we had gone over that a few times.

I ended up telling this fucking moron that she was utterly useless – and I never do this shit.  I don’t. Usually I just suck it up and stew about it. But I told her she was the worst person I had ever talked to on the phone in my life. She interrupted me all the time with shit that wasn’t even relevant, she didn’t seem to be listening at all, and she’s in the retention derpartment?  I told her to transfer me to anybody. Someone near her, a manager, anybody.

“do you want the supervisor, sir?”  I don’t care, anybody, sure super visor yeah I would love to talk to your supervisor.  I then sat on hold 12 minutes and 11 seconds.  I was keeping track.

Phone call comes in, I answer it quickly. It’s the helpful, useful, intelligent british chick from earlier. I tell her the situation and say if you can get me out of this I would be beyond grateful. So she did. The other line disconnected and called back and I ignored it. They left a voicemail I never heard, will now never hear, am not remotely interested in hearing.

The person she connected me to said “this is about a disputed bill?”

well, I said no. not at all actually, no. was surprised after the history i explained to the chick and the fact i was going to shut off the “free” internet lines and cancel the backordered tablets that i had to reserve money for that had a downpayment for the free tablets….. but whatever. fuck knows what happened.

Anyway, I end up explaining the whole thing to her after a short version was asked about and it was just easier to explain everything so far.  I explained there’s no way I can afford $276 after all the shit i’ve thrown at TMobile that I had no business spending at all and my objective to switch to save money was long since shattered.  I explained that the only real reason I went to $200 a month as I was told multiple times and clarified specifically, was because it was the way to get the free lines and free tablets, neither of which I’m learning were ever really free.

In the end, I went home at 6:10am after a few other calls that were at least as confusing and conflicted with any number of previous points through the very short history with tmobile. i slept until 9:30 then started the process to go back to verizon. by 3pm both lines were back to verizon and now i get to see what the fuck happens next with whatever the fuck is going on with returning the tablets since apparently they shipped friday, though my page says backordered on tmobile. and not until midday today did it say shipped with a tracking number that last i checked at 2pm or so, was not actually even picked up by UPS yet.

I actually called and asked, since it was not picked up by UPS, could it just be stopped at the warehouse and nix it right there without needing to worry about them being lost in transit to me, or back to them, and fuck knows what nightmare will come if that happens. They said no, once the process is started the only possible way in their system to stop it is if the customer refuses it. So I’m watching it closely because I’ve worked with UPS for enough years to know I can call and reject it immediately and they’ll just turn it around mid-route.

I asked what the final bill would look like, after both ports were completed. They said the final bill is mailed, and they have no way to know what’s on it. I asked, if the phones are returned, is there any way to even generally estimate what the final bill would be. The answer was absolutely not. According to that person, I have to just sit on my hands and wait for the PAPER bill to come in mid january.

I asked what the process is if I dispute any charges, because so far the experience has shown I’m certainly going to find at least one charge I’m going to want to absolutely dispute.  I was also told to just wait until the last bill comes and pay that because as it stands nobody would say there was any way to change the $276 bill, which includes lines I’ve never actually used, because I’ve never had tablets and the phones I tried fucked shit up.

So, I’ve been drinking writing this and as it has gone on I know I have been using the backspace key a fuckload more. I apologize if none of this made sense. I hope this shit gets resolved in a way that doesn’t cost me several more hundred dollars just because what I was told by at least six different people turned out to not be what I was actually going to be charged.

At this point, FUCK YOU, T-MOBILE.

 

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