T-Mobile Experts aren't experts. What can be done?

  • 28 February 2019
  • 17 replies

T-Mobile's approach to transparent customer service falls short on many of the basic tenets commonly used in the tech industry today. Rather than continue to gripe about the shortcomings, I thought it might serve me (and other T-Mobile customers) if we could address how a few changes could vastly improve the relationship between provider and customer and bridge the chasms the existing policy causes.

Create a Trouble Ticket

When a call is made to T-Mobile continuity on follow-ups is severely lacking. The notes made by the "expert" cannot be seen by the customer to offer any assurance that when they are told something there is a record supporting that statement.

Currently, when a customer calls back regarding a continuing issue they effectively must start from scratch explaining the issue and working their way through layers of repetitive question/answer sessions before getting to where they left off on the last call.

This is a tremendous waste of everyone's time and is the most frustrating aspect of T-Mobile's customer support. To the point that it feels as though this is an intentional tactic to discourage the customer from using the support channel to resolve the issue because it can be so time consuming.

Being assigned a Case Number, and that number being referenced in My T-Mobile so that the customer can verify that the "expert" has understood the nature of the issue and can show the next "expert" where to pick up where it was left off last time would be easy to implement and would increase efficiency significantly.

"Experts" should be willing to verify with a supervisor when something is ambiguous

I was involved in a two hour chat where an "Expert" (Marygrace) consistently claimed the ONE Plus discounted rate of "$10/line/mo for +2 lines" that is advertised only applied to what they called the "Family Plan." Honestly?

Is there even a T-Mobile One Unlimited plan called the Family Plan? No, there is not. In the description of the ONE Plus add-on it clearly states,

"To get ONE Plus, you need to be on a T-Mobile ONE™, T-Mobile ONE™ Military, T-Mobile ONE™ Unlimited 55+, or T-Mobile ONE™ w/ ONE Plus plan"

(why you would want to add ONE Plus to the "T-Mobile ONE w/ONE Plus" is a question I can't answer) Nonetheless, it seems any reference to a "family plan" is in regard to any T-Mobile ONE unlimited plan that includes more than one line.

Despite being unable to provide a link explaining this unique perspective she held, essentially claiming that no T-Moble ONE Unlimited account holder (whether regular, 55+, Military, or other variant) could have this rate applied when adding ONE Plus to a postpaid account of any sort. Every link she provided fell short of supporting her argument and repeatedly supported the ad, my interpretation of it, and at no time was she willing, when I asked her to approach a supervisor to resolve the misunderstanding. When I finally gave up and ended the chat she had the gall to phone me in order to keep her private war to deny a discount to a customer going. Unbelievable.

This is not an isolated incident in my experience. Logic and reason do not seem to be something the "Experts" are trained in applying. In fact, it is seldom that an "Expert" will take a stance that will provide benefit to the customer. Instead they tend to err on the side of increasing the T-Mobile profit stream, even when it obviously contradicts the published offers on the website.

This needs to be turned around. Providing paragraphs of kindly sounding platitudes while obfuscating the facts is not an effective method of building customer trust.

At least make an attempt to take the customer's side

Nearly every contact I've had with T-Mobile Experts has left me feeling as though their directive from above is to thwart providing the customer the thing they asked for, were promised, and fully expect to receive based upon the advertising pitches and published terms and conditions.

At no time has any of the fluff statements and typed niceties ever seemed to me as being sincere. Instead, they come across as a corporate spiel meant to quell any ire the "expert's" actual stance of denying the customer any modicum of actual service will invoke.

Go through this a few times while attempting to understand the responses multiple "experts" provide to any given issue and it becomes clear how this is a script or mandate that is part of their training rather than holding any level of sincerity on the part of the "expert" spouting it. Please stop doing this. It is embarrassing and infuriating when it is so clearly a ploy to avoid addressing the question at hand that further wastes time.

If instead, the expert had the resources to investigate the customer's claims regarding how T-Mobile has not delivered what was promised and expected, then, lead the customer to the best way to achieve their expectation, or, at least provide documentation to support what is preventing resolution. This seems to be a rarity and many who post here regarding their experiences are left feeling as though the support offered was only a sugar-coated attempt to do anything to keep from addressing the issue in any satisfactory manner.

And again, there needs to be a way to document what happens in each instance that both the customer and the next "expert" can mutually access, and which can be referenced by number. How many times I've heard "this will be done in the next 24 hours" only to have to call back in when it hasn't, only to be told that "it will be done in the next 24 hours" as if I wasn't told that already three times over the past week. It is bordering on the insane, which is so often defined as "doing the same thing over and over while expecting to get a different result."

If a customer has already been through the designated period of time, take their word for it and troubleshoot why it didn't happen. Don't put them through the same endless loop over and over again.

The customer should be the one to decide when an issue has been resolved

Each case should remain open and available to all parties to review until the customer closes it. This would prevent the inconsistencies I have experienced where one "expert" tells me this, and the next one contradicts them. Without a record of what has transpired before the customer does not know who to believe.

17 replies

Regarding the issue mentioned above where I asked about adding the ONE Plus to the T-Mobile ONE Unlimited 55+ plan, after not finding the discounted rate for +2 lines in MY T-Mobile app.

T-Mobile Expert Marygrace told me, repeatedly, over two hours of a chat session, how the discounted rate only applies to "Family Plan" accounts, I have finally found in a search where the term "Family Plan" is a valid reference only in regard to the Simple Choice accounts, and, as I suspected, has no correlation with any of the T-Mobile ONE accounts, nor, with the ONE Plus adder I was interested in.

This "Expert" was confused about which options apply to which plans and was unable to grasp the concept that THEY MIGHT BE WRONG in order to actually help the customer. Despite my leading her to published websites describing the discount and to which accounts it applies and her being unable to provide any link to support her stance on the matter.

This complete waste of time for both of us is exactly the sort of thing that exemplifies how their expertise is often based upon one misunderstanding after another. It is rare that any "expert" has not left me feeling as though they think I'm the bad guy and their defensiveness toward their misunderstanding of current plans is somehow justified enough that they won't question their own competence. (look up the Dunning-Kruger effect to better understand such a mindset)

A restructuring of the support channel that would include accountability regarding issues, and, that can be mutually accessed by both "experts" and customers would solve this.


Comments regarding other's experiences when multiple calls for a single issue are essentially echos of the previous call that netted no resolution?

Can these suggestions reach someone at T-Mobile who is in a position to consider and implement them?

Sorry that you've had this experience. When a T-Mobile Agent says "Family Plan" it doesn't necessarily mean that you have a Simple Choice Plan. It can be an account with T-Mobile One Plan but with multiple lines. The One Plus feature is now at $15/line.

Mine is a T-Mobile ONE Unlimited 55+ plan with multiple lines. This was clear to the "expert" as they had my PIN and were looking at the account.

The ad I'm referring to is on the main T-Mobile site (not Support.T-Mobile) and found after clicking the PLANS link, then scrolling down nearly to the bottom.

There is a Terms link as well, and there are no caveats beyond the requirement of being a postpaid account and having a minimum of "+2" lines, which my plan meets.

There is no mention of "family plan" on the related Support page links she provided referencing the ONE Plus adder, other than indicating that when applying for ONE Plus that all lines must be upgraded. Which was my intent.

What about this kept her attempting to prove to me that this would not apply to my plan for over two hours of chat is beyond me. I later called back in and the rep at that time confirmed that the plan I have is eligible for the discounted rate.

One of these reps is mistaken. You can decide which one. Either way, at least one of them is not an Expert.

Here is the text copied from the ad with the discount bolded and underlined:

Amp up T-Mobile ONE

Boost your data speed abroad, stream Netflix in HD, and more when you get ONE Plus.

+ $15/line/mo
with ONE Plus

Only +$10/line/mo when you add ONE Plus to each line on your 2+ line account.
HD streaming.
Enjoy high definition content in the US.
20GB of 4G LTE mobile hotspot data.
With unlimited 3G data.
2x the data speed abroad.
In 210+ countries and destinations compared to T-Mobile ONE.

Unlimited in-flight Wi-Fi.
On Gogo®-enabled flights to, from and within the US.
Voicemail to Text.
Read voicemails on the go.
Name ID.
Identify calls from unknown numbers.
Postpaid only. Qualifying service required. Capable device & activation required to experience HD. Video streams in native resolution; some content providers may not stream their services in HD. Int’l Service: Coverage not available in some areas; we are not responsible for our partners’ networks. Standard speeds approx. 256 Kbps. Not for extended international use; you must reside in the U.S. and primary usage must occur on our U.S. network. Device must register on our U.S. network before international use. Service may be terminated or restricted for excessive roaming. Tethering: 20GB high-speed data then unlimited at max 3G speeds. Name ID: Capable device req’d; information for some unknown numbers not available. Gogo: Wi-Fi & texting on Gogo-equipped flights of U.S.-based airlines requires a capable smartphone. Wi-Fi Calling functionality, valid e911 address, & 1 prior Wi-Fi call w/ current SIM card req’d for SMS/MMS/VVM. Family Pricing: Price requires ONE Plus for all lines on 2+ line account.

Userlevel 7
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I would suggest contacting them through social media. 😉

Do you not remember suggesting this to me in another thread?

The one where I explained how not everyone WANTS to participate (as the product being sold) in a data-mining scheme. I do not subscribe to the Social Media channels that T-Mobile have a presence on.  I'm not a good little sheep that flocks to Facebook to have my data sheared and sold.

Still, thanks just the same, as your suggestion may be helpful to others reading this to find a solution for their issues.

Userlevel 7
Badge +14

Do you not recognize the sarcasm with the winky face.

LOL, thought it was a smiley. Good one.Got me.

The rant was therapeutic. 😀

Userlevel 4

I just wanted to swing by to toss in my two cents, @whatsthedeal​! Your feedback isn't falling on deaf ears -- I completely understand what you mean and most definitely agree with the suggestions you made in your original post. I'm SOOOOO sorry you had to not only go back and forth via chat for a while but then it moved to a phone conversation that was just as unproductive. 😥

I took a look at the plan you currently have and the feature you're wanting. For two lines on the 55+ plan with ONE Plus and AutoPay, you should be looking at $90/month which is what it sounds like you were wanting. The exact plan name is T-Mobile ONE w/ONE Plus Family Unlimited 55+ (TI) and if you need to reference it to T-Mobile employees, it can be found on DOC# 443182. I wish I were personally able to assist you with your account to get this added for you without as much of a headache that has already been caused but we do not have access to customer accounts via the Support Community.

Again, I'm truly sorry you've been going around in circles to have a simple question answered but please know that I will most definitely forward your feedback of how we can improve our TEX teams.

Badge +1

How come there isn't any good communication between TMo staffers here and the people at 611??

Customers frequently raise very valid points here, and the ideal path would include immediate

retraining so callcenter reps aren't giving out bogus/inconsistent answers.  They could also use

to be more willing to admit when they don't know and escalate appropriately.

More likely than not the breakdown in communication is because much of the 611 traffic is sent to offshore call centers where the "experts" are working from only the "snappy answers to common questions" that are available to them on the monitor before them. Beyond that, they aren't really T-Mobile folks.

Who knows, maybe they were answering support calls for Dell last week and will be taking calls for some other corporation in the future. Suffice it to say that this level of support is adequate for most of the calls. It is only when the questions fall outside the walls of the box they are in that the breakdown occurs. Mostly because at that point they make promises that simply aren't given any priority and calls are never returned by someone who might actually know enough to address the issue.

It is budget support staff backing up the more people-friendly and/or knowledgeable staff that are too few to go around.

The offshore call center personnel likely are graded by how many calls they take, rather than expertise. They are trained to ask and answer questions in such a way that the company providing the "support" can substantiate getting their contract renewed. The goal for them is to stay in business, not necessarily to learn, and to actually solve problems. Anything they promise to be passed up to the next level, or, promise to have someone call back won't be passed on because that would demonstrate that they were unable to provide support and add to the number of calls that were unsuccessful.

If T-Mobile doesn't spend enough time monitoring, nor, following up on the complaints here (which is why each new issue should be given a unique case number) then the hired guns at the call center can keep kicking the can down the road and it will never get better, except on the data presented to support how many calls they successfully dealt with BECAUSE THEY NEVER LET T-MOBILE KNOW THE CUSTOMER NEEDED MORE HELP.

In my case I eventually got a US based staffer, Paul, who was able to get the ONE Plus added to my plan IN LESS THAN TEN MINUTES. Mostly because he actually works for T-Mobile, gets regular training, is evaluated on actual performance, and isn't half way around the world having to work around speaking English only as a second language. So, he can relate to the people he speaks with a lot better than can someone from a completely different culture.

Userlevel 7
Badge +14

Post paid plans have US call centers and when you call you will be directed to your closest team.

Last time I called for help I was directed to the Chicago team of experts.

How do you determine where they are?

I usually open the T-Mobile App and click on the "Call Me" and their auto-attendant rings me immediately and I am connected to an agent. Perhaps, because I had been given a pre-paid account instead of the post-paid I asked for, I was getting a foreign call center rather than domestic. Though, since changing the plan to post-paid and attempting to upgrade to ONE Plus three of the four agents I spoke with had a strong accent and tended to be unfamiliar with how to apply this plan option. Only the last one contacted, Paul, spoke with what sounded like a US accent and he quickly established the Add On for the T-Mobile ONE Unlimited 55 plan.

I noticed last night in the T-Mobile App it now shows a

     "T-Mobile ONE w/ONE Plus Family Unlimited 55"

where the day before it was

     "T-Mobile ONE w/ONE Plus Unlimited 55"

and the day before adding the ONE Plus it was

     "T-Mobile ONE Unlimited 55"

I guess that the "family" aspect is something that was just implemented, and it now matches what the rather argumentative agent in chat was telling me was the reason I couldn't get the ONE Plus for the Unlimited 55 plan.

The bottom line is that there appears to be a consistent issue with training, supervision, and attitude toward helping that is evidenced in customers being unable to get relatively straight-forward issues resolved in a timely manner.


Userlevel 7
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I don't know how they determine where you're at but I just moved to Arizona and when I get back there I'll have to try calling support and see if I get the Phoenix team of experts. I still have my Illinois phone number.

I was more curious about how you would know that they were part of a local Chicago group when you have reached support by calling the 800 number, 611, or, have used the Call Me button on the MY T-MOBILE app to initiate a support call.

There has never been an instance on any call I've been a part of where the agent revealed to me their location. They could be down the street or in India and I'd be none the wiser, other than by listening for an accent. Though, conceivably, a person in any onshore or offshore call center could have any accent.

After their business hours you will be routed to a team in the Philippines.  Don't waste any more of your time if it is after hours because they do not know how to problem solve or go the extra mile to get anything done. 

Honestly, the "Team of Experts" are just the same customer service team with a new name.  The only thing that they are experts at is making excuses and finding ways to blame the customer for any and everything.  They do not know how to get things done and let me tell you, I have spent countless hours on the phone trying to get resolution to issues with billing, errors with pairing my watch to the line that I have been paying for since 2018 but have actually been able to use for 4 months of that 2 years.  They tell you to try social media but that doesn't help either.  They are the same people with the same responses.  They are also experts at not helping you but with a really nice attitude and being pleasant while blaming you for not reading correctly, or the agent not properly notating the account.  TBH I think T-Mobile is getting too big for their britches and forgetting all the customers that helped get them to where they are today!  I might as well switch to another carrier because even if I pay more, at least I have a chance at getting decent customer service!