T-Mobile’s Latest Customer Service Failure

My experiences with being a customer of a mobile operator have not been as good as most of my other service provider experiences.  There is a significant gap between what we say and do as an industry.  I covered T-Mobile’s extortionate billing and their poor customer service experience compared to Amazon.  The last straw came when I asked about how much the new Samsung Galaxy S would cost as I hadn’t had a new phone from T-Mobile for over 5 years, the price was $500 with a two year contract.  That’s $100 more than 2 iPhones under contract from AT&T.

So I decided to vote with my feet and leave T-Mobile once the current one year contract was up.  T-Mobile does not make it easy to find the date at which the contract ends, so a miscalculation by me in thinking a one year contract means 12 months not 13 months, meant I got stung with an additional $120 + tax of early termination fees and equipment charges (we’d not had new phones from T-Mobile in 5 years!)  The actions by T-Mobile are not unique, on the internet there are thousands of similar stories, creating a significant negative sentiment toward the mobile industry.

As a result, customers are voting with their feet and choosing over the top providers as their service provider for many VAS (Value Added Services).  Its not just down to Apple or Android being cool, its also a loss of trust by a significant percentage of the general public given how they’ve been mistreated by their mobile operator.

As a postscript to this story, AT&T charged us for mobile service for the 2 weeks we waited for the iPhones to arrive, we didn’t have service with AT&T the numbers were not transferred.  Customer service means doing right by the customer, an example of which is not charging when service is not provided, we’ve got to change and change fast to remain relevant as these actions are prehistoric.