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Bait and Switch Fees

  • 14 September 2017
  • 11 replies
  • 1518 views

I thought i-mobile would be a better company to deal with than Verizon but now I see you are just sneakier. They have high fees but at least I knew what they were.

 

I called t-mobile to setup a new account with two phone lines and one tablet. I was told that i would be sent new SIM cards and after receiving them I was to call in and port my numbers. I did this and now I have an extra $77.50 fee on my account for a partial month of service for my tablet. The monthly tablet fee was supposed to be $20 but because I changed my account in the middle of the billing cycle I am getting this charge.

 

What a complete load of @#$%!

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Best answer by skattch 19 September 2017, 01:20

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Userlevel 4

Hey there! Have you had a chance to contact us directly to see what may have been going on? Some offers are plan reliant, but a representative should be able to help you figure out exactly what happened and what options you have!

Yes, that is how I found out that this was an official program to give people misleading information so that t-mobile could charge them extra fees.

Here is the situation that i explained to no less than three of your account support representatives and managers:

On Sept 2 I called to open a new account with two phone lines and one tablet. I did not need any new equipment and I was told I could easily port my service over from Verizon. I was also told that I would be sent three new sim cards and that once I received them I was to call and have my numbers switched over.

My account was opened on 9/4 when the sim cards were shipped. On 9/8 I called to switch over my numbers as I was instructed to do.

I was then charged a $77.50 fee for changing my service in the middle of a billing period!  I tried to explain \several times, to each person I spoke with, that this is what I was told to do and was never informed I would be charged a fee for following these instructions. I was told each time that this is a valid fee. By following all of the instructions I was given I was led into a trap where my normally $20/month service fee for my tablet was replaced with a $77.50 fee. If this is not intentionally misleading practices to charge exorbitant fees then I do not know what is.

So congratulations, you have that money from me now. However, I had also ordered a new iPhone the day before and I am now returning it. I will still get a new phone but I will not buy equipment or anything extra ever again from T-Mobile.

I have also filed a complaint with the FCC, posted about this behavior on FB, tweeted about it and also told my friends, who I had previously told about the great deal you have, to stay away from T-Mobile.

Userlevel 3
Badge +7

First you can't honestly believe any company would have an "official" policy to mis-lead customers to charge extra fees, that is ridiculous.  Second have you reached out to TMO via the options given to you by @tmo_lauren, I will note that T-Force on FB is very good at resolving issues.

Are you sure the $77.50 in not the total for 2 lines and tablet for a partial month?  I know my first bill was a bit higher than normal but it was because my billing cycle (and a lot of friends also on TMO) starts on the 25th of the month so my first bill had a partial month for service thru the 24th then the full month of service 25 thru the next 24th.  You also keep saying "fees", fees are like charges for activating a line, roaming, changing phone numbers etc, versus service charges so when talking to CS that might confuse the call since you seem to be applying "fees" to all charges.

FYI you actually probably did them a favor by returning the iPhone, as all carriers make very little if anything on phones and once you add in marketing, inventory costs and free financing they usually are losing money on them.

I have been with TMO for 13+ years and have never had an issue getting charged a "fee" for anything that wasn't a legitimate published fee and frankly since the "New" T-Mobile under John Legere even most of those have been eliminated.  I would suggest going online and contact T-Force via FB and have them go over your service charges and fees and make sure everyone is on the same page and understanding.  I would definitely agree you shouldn't have any charges from the 4th until you activated your SIM cards but then what ever your monthly rated dependent on your billing cycle closing date should be prorated between the 8th when you activated to your billing closing date which is usually different and not based on your activation date.

Thank you for your thoughtful reply but yes, I can easily believe that these sort of fee structures are intentional. I have spent way too many years working with major corporations and I have personally seen this sort of behavior way too often to naively believe it is not intentional.  I heard engineers at GM talking about designing traps where water would collect to incite rust, I have heard DTV managers discuss the percentage of customers who will not notice the initial free services have expired and are now being billed and a lot more. After all, if TM had, as I expected them too, reversed the fee then I could and would believe it was a simple mistake. But when a new customer opens an account and then activates their devices, to charge them a change fee for that activation just a couple of days later, this cannot be a unique occurrence.

Yes, I am positive that the $77 fee was not for all the lines or any more than the single tablet line. There are two lines on my second invoice from TM. The first line deactivates my prior tablet number and gives me a partial month credit for the $20 fee and the second one adds a new line with a pro-rated 77.50 fee.   No such fees were charged for porting my cell number, which actually matters, but only for the tablet number.

I called customer service, then when was told this was the way they charge for changes I spoke to his supervisor then after getting the same story spoke to that person's manager. All three told me the same thing and that is that this is the way they charge for service changes; even brand new ones.

I will post the same issue to the t-force folks and see if that group is more sincere/honest than the customer service team I spoke with. BTW, I know they have no choice about what they tell customers.

Userlevel 3
Badge +7

Then yeah something doesn't sound right and would definitely reach out to T-Force on FB. 

Yes I would also agree that there are "traps" like when you get some promotional offer and they hope you forget the date it expires and you get a new rate.  I can tell you that every time I have gone into a store to buy something or make changes they are always very good at explaining what charges and fees if any are associated with them.  If you do a bit of reading on the CEO of T-Mobile you will see though that is not his style and most all of the changes you have seen in the cell industry over the last 4 years (including the other 3 carriers) are all do to him.  When he first took over he made the comment that yes he owes it to his shareholders to make a profit but pointed out that Verizon was making a 55% profit margin on it's customers which he said was robbery and a few other things the forum filter won't let me type LOL.  He got rid of roaming fees, contracts and most the other stuff you would typically expect from a cell carrier.  You will find he is exceedingly honest almost to a fault and has no filter and like on the latest NetFlix promotion when asked why it wasn't available to the old SC plans or the new +55 TMO One plan he was frank and said because it's just not financially possible with plans that have a base price that low.

Hope they can get it fixed for you.

Thanks I have reached out to them and am waiting on their response.

My thanks to you both for pushing me to get this resolved through FB. I still don't know why your call in support could not resolve the issue but it is now resolved to my satisfaction.

Userlevel 3
Badge +7

Glad they got it figured out!!

I had similar situation, actually multiple times on similar cases. I have to be very carefully when I need change account, cause there are so many traps. 

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I made a mid cycle change. prior to making the change, T-Mobile agent told me change would cost $20 per month extra.. Few weeks later new bill arrived  Next bill was $101 more!!! Called T-Mobile twice. Both agents said (in poor English) that the bill was correct, but neither of them could explain the $81 difference. They would just endlessly repeat that it was a "mid cycle change" like that was an explanation. Finally I called the cancellation department and the agent there gave me a credit of $80. He too could not explain the $81 difference, but was honest saying he did not know.. What is clear to me is that there is massive mid cycle change penalty if you shift to a more expensive plan. T mobile should really fix this. Finally, it took 2 hours on the phone with T-mobile  to get this corrected, plus an unhealthy amount of stress. 

Then yeah something doesn't sound right and would definitely reach out to T-Force on FB. 

 

Yes I would also agree that there are "traps" like when you get some promotional offer and they hope you forget the date it expires and you get a new rate.  I can tell you that every time I have gone into a store to buy something or make changes they are always very good at explaining what charges and fees if any are associated with them.  If you do a bit of reading on the CEO of T-Mobile you will see though that is not his style and most all of the changes you have seen in the cell industry over the last 4 years (including the other 3 carriers) are all do to him.  When he first took over he made the comment that yes he owes it to his shareholders to make a profit but pointed out that Verizon was making a 55% profit margin on it's customers which he said was robbery and a few other things the forum filter won't let me type LOL.  He got rid of roaming fees, contracts and most the other stuff you would typically expect from a cell carrier.  You will find he is exceedingly honest almost to a fault and has no filter and like on the latest NetFlix promotion when asked why it wasn't available to the old SC plans or the new +55 TMO One plan he was frank and said because it's just not financially possible with plans that have a base price that low.

 

Hope they can get it fixed for you.

And yet they merged with the devil carrier itself — SPRINT! Who my husband and I escaped from to T-Mobile. Only to turn around and find that the year of decent service we finally got was the last T-Mobile could promise once they sold their souls. T-Mobile is simply Sprint in drag and bad drag at that.

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