UPS delivery confirmed to t-mobile but now im paying for another customers phone

  • 30 January 2018
  • 16 replies

This is by far the most bizarre customer service experiences I’ve ever experienced. I Joined T-mobile mid OCT 2017. I Received a Iphone 8+, within a day i decided i would exchange this phone for the iPhone X. Great, I ordered the IphoneX it arrived the next day no issue. I Printed my UPS Tracking label from T-mobile and dropped off the iphone 8+ at a UPS store to be shipped to Tx on 10/26/17. Im not sure why, but the package isn't delivered to T-mobile until 12/11/17... Yes it took 46 days alone for the package to arrive.

At this point I have called t-mobile twice about the package and was told it still appears to be in transit. Im a little worried because i really don't see why in 2017 it takes 30+ days to ship a package within the US. So end of December i call T-mobile, asking if my delivery finally says delivered why am i still being charged. of course i get the run around regarding backup at the delivery center delays due to holidays. but the representative assures me that it will be sorted out once he opens a "Handset Research". I think to myself, okay that makes sense. Thanks i appreciate it. 2 week goes by i haven't heard anything so i call again. This time after explaining what happened, this Tech informs me that the last tech did the Handset Research on my IphoneX not the 8+ i had returned, So he assures me that this will be taken care of with another Handset Research for the correct phone this time... (thinking to myself....Great....) Now on our timeline this puts at end of Dec.


This is where the bizarre part comes into play if you didnt already find this story a little strange. on 1/10/18 I receive a "Oh No we cannot locate your device" email from from the last Research Request. At this point i don't really know what to think... I call T-mobile This Tech tells me he wants to do another Handset Research, but this time i explain to him its been 5 months and ask to speak to a supervisor, i wait maybe 20 mins on hold, someone picks up the phone (the voice sounds identical from the tech but who am i to say it was the same person) The supervisor claims that their is nothing he can do over the phone and i need to go into a T-mobile store, show them my proof of delivery documentation and the associates in the store will take care of it for me... (Oh Great)... I go into the store and of course the associates tells me he cannot do anything for me. But fills me in on the secret that sometimes you have to hang up and call the help line again to get a tech that can actually help you...

So i did as he instructed i called once... that person wanted to do another Handset Research... i hung up and called again.... This time the tech actually gave me some valuable information after being on hold for 35 mins. The Tech informed me that the reason the Handset Research didnt find your phone is because that device is being used by another T-mobile Customer. ... Now i absolutely do not know what to think, so your telling me that i sent a phone via UPS, it was supposedly delivered over a month ago. But it is currently in use by another customer... So im actually paying for another persons phone right now.... Lost for words, i ask what do i do now... guess what her reply was, Another Handset Research Request. I can't help but scratch my head at this point... Because im at a lost, She informs me that Yes you have proof that your package was delivered but there is no proof that a iphone 8+ was in the box or that there was anything in the box at all. At that point my dumbstruck because she's right.... Who's to say i can Trust UPS or T-mobile to get my phone safely from me to whatever system is used to clear my account of the phone.


but to tie this story up, Currently i am paying for someone else Iphone 8+.... awaiting the results of another Handset Research Request and i did request that the phone be reported Stolen, because if im paying for i don't think it is right for that customer to be using it...


I have a couple theories as to what really happened but i wonder if ill ever know the truth...

16 replies

Userlevel 6
Badge +13

Geez this is so rough. This is totally not the norm for returning phones at all. The handset research for is the right step to follow but my apologies this wasn't handled properly the first time. I know it can take a few days to get a response on it, but have you heard anything back after you filed it? Have you tried running this by our T-Force folks on our Facebook and Twitter support pages? They too can help get this in gear and give you updates on the status of your ticket. I know this has been tough and I wish this would have gone smoother, but please let us know if you've gotten any updates on this.

I wish it  didn't have to be my first customer service run in with t-mobile, literally within the same month I joined.... I was hoping that on Monday when I made my original post that would be the last time I had to make a handset research request but believe it or not. I had to make another 1 Tuesday... Honestly im not even sure if that one went through it would be nice if T-Mobile sent out some type of automated summary of our calls. because its really hard to believe the associates that answer the call... (ill probably update the orginal post with more details on what happened Tuesday. But to address the rest of your questions mike;

Have I heard anything back since I filled it, YES, so far out of all of the Handset Research I've "illegibly" been tasked, only 1 has turned back results (Reference number 07494478) . But the results were, " Oh No we cannot find your phone" (received via email 1/10/18).

Have I tried running this past FB/Twitter - I don't have a twitter but I did try to find a FB page where I could post my story to, but I couldn't find 1 with a option to post ( I rather not post to my personal page with a #Tmobile hash tag, because to be honest the whole situation is a little embarrassing). BUT if you have a page where I can post to please share a link id really appreciate it.

have I gotten any updates, - I called back the day after I wrote my original post of course Im pretty much feeling hopeless at this point but I'll share.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>@>>>>>UPDATE BELOW<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

I called back Tuesday 1/30/18, Mainly because Monday when I called and was informed that another tmobile customer has been using the phone I returned for "over a month" I requested that the phone be reported stolen since tmobile didn't seem to care that I was paying for the phone this other customer has.

first thing, as the associate picked up my call, I kind of got the sense that she already knew of my situation after I responded with all 0 to the automated, "how was your call text" tmobile sends out.

So I could tell she was being very careful how she responded to my questions (understandable) 

I asked her if my device had been reported stolen as I requested yesterday, her answer was no... I kind of expected tmobile not to do that part... As it would probably create another irate customer. The next part was to my surprise, I asked her what was the status on the Handset Research Request submitted. She than states one hasn't been submitted since the end of December but she would like to submit another one today with the updated information so they can determine how the other customer received this device...

At this point I can only laugh to myself as this cant really be happening I sat on the phone for at least a hour just the night before to have the Same thing told to me again... I inform her that was suppose to happen last night. She apologies and takes my email so that when the results are in I will receive a email but if I don't hear anything within 7 Days to Call again.... So that is where I am at...  98 Days later... Maybe ill have better luck after we reach 100 days... who knows!?!

Userlevel 6
Badge +13

I definitely don't want you to have to wait any longer to get this taken care of. Shucks, you've been waiting quite some time already and I'm bummed this hasn't been resolved. I wasn't able to find using that reference number. Were you given any other one? As for reaching out on our FB page, you can use this link:

You'll have to sign in and you can post there afterwards. Keep in mind, they do have a safe and secure way of helping you so you don't have to be embarrassed posting there. You can keep it as generic as you want, but I'd encourage at least posting that you'd like someone to give you a hand with a Help Desk ticket you filed for a missing phone. That's enough for someone to hope on this and get the ball rolling. My apologies this has been so rough, but I'm sure our T-Force team can dive in and give you more assistance if you give them a chance.

Userlevel 6

Hey there! I just wanted to check in here and see if you'd had the chance to reach out to the fine folks at T-Force as Mike recommended. We've heard rave reviews back from Community members working with them to resolve even unusual scenarios like yours, so I'm hoping that was the ticket! How are things going for you? If I'm following the timeline correctly, I know it hasn't been quite seven days since the last Handset Research form was filed -- but have there been any updates on this?

This issue is still ongoing. It, currently still awaiting the results of the last handset Research Request.....

Handset research

07494470 - 1/29/18

Same thing is happening to me.  Traded our phones back in October when the iPhone 8s came out.  We ordered the phones at the store and had them shipping from the warehouse to our house.  Seemed to be great.  However, when we switched out the phones, store would not take the trade ins in store - since the preorders were shipped to the house.  Online support emailed us a shipping label and we shipped them back, documenting everything.   Then, we waited and waited and waited....

January 7th, I called back.  They had no record.  Fortunately, I had the IMEIs and the Delivery receipt showing receipt on October 2nd.  I gave them all the info so they could do a Research ticket.  Seemed like things were back on track, so I waited and waited.

Flash forward to today and it's like Groundhog Day.  Another associate going between three systems, not able to do much outside of another "Research ticket".  Really?  It's been five months.  I've documented every step and done everything that has been requested.  I have the shipping info and delivery confirmation.  However, they can't find the phones, so they can't give me the credit.  Left another record and they're supposed to try finding the phones again.  Same song and dance...and it's getting old.        

Userlevel 7

The problem is that you spent too much time talking to T-Mobile on the phone. At the first indication of a screw-up you should write them a business-format letter explaining their error and citing the Fair Credit Billing Act and giving them notice to fix the error. This puts the law on your side and makes them respond or face default.

You have much more patients than I do. I agree with drnewcomb2. Also I would switch from calls to emails or Chat. That way you have a written record of what was said and the first thing I would ask in the email or of the Chat rep would be, "I've been told another customer is using the phone I returned. Is this correct?" If they answer yes then you have it in writing. Then I would first find out who their president is (can often be found online with an email address and if no email address then address it to him or her at the corporate HQ) and writing them a letter (email is faster if they have a public one) outlining in detail what has occurred and what you want to have happen as a remedy. The last part is up to you but I would start with a refund of all charges related to the old phone. You should also tell them that if they do not remedy the problem within a reasonable time period you set that you will file complaints with all federal agencies that would have jurisdiction like the FCC, the FTC (enforcement of the Fair Billing Credit Act), and even writing your congressman. I suspect a letter from your congressman might get their attention but who knows.

Finally I would file a claim in Small Claims Court for the full value of the phone plus expenses incurred such as court filing fees. Most likely this will force them to investigate your claim and assign someone to defend themselves in court. This should get the attention of someone much further up the food chain than the customer service reps you have been dealing with.

Userlevel 7

You have to know if the law in your state supports the small-claims route. You agreed to submit to binding arbitration when you signed up for service. In some states (e.g. mine) this clause is unenforcable. In others, it will kick your case out of court.

I could be mistaken but I believe last year the feds made clauses in contracts requiring binding arbitration null and void. Those who are interested can google it.

As for small claims you are right in that the laws vary from state to state.

Like I said the OP is much more patient than I am. By now I would have been rattling as many cages as I could think of.

After the last round of support calls, they found one of the phones by IMEI and they let me know via email.  However, a month later and no credits.  Ironically, it's held up because they still can't find the other phone that I sent in.

Got to the end of the call when the agent asked when I sent them in.  She seemed to be insinuating that I had not returned the phones in a timely manner.  That's when I started to get a little heated again - eight months.  I mailed these two phones back in September 2017.  They were received October 2nd and now we are days away from April 2018.  And still I have to waste a half hour each month pushing along this case.  All because T-Mobile can't figure out how to handle trade-ins.  

I'm supposed to get an update next Thursday.  We'll see if I finally get a resolution.

This certainly seems like the norm to me.  I've been dealing with a similar situation for more then three months.  It's still not fixed.  I was just on the phone for nearly an hour, and have to wait another 3 - 5 business days while T-Mobile continues to look for the phones they seem to have lost.  In the meantime, I've spent $75 extra per month, for three months, most of which is going toward phones I DO NOT OWN OR HAVE. 

I'm beyond angry.  To top it all off, I'm being told that if T-Mo CAN'T find the phones, I'll be charged!  That's in spite of the fact that I have the tracking information that clearly shows they were delivered to the correct address, and I shipped the phones the day after I received the labels.  That's completely ludicrous.

For icing on the cake, it took me a month to GET the correct shipping labels because the T-Mo website wasn't generating them like it was supposed to.  The first two times I called, support sent me labels that would've only returned 3 of the 4 phones I was trading in.

I've been a customer for several years, and have almost never had cause to complain, but, at this point, I'm just thinking about calling it quits.  I'm posting up on this forum, because I think it's important for people to know that this problem is real, and it seems like others are experiencing it as well.  I want to make this problem real for T-Mo too so they do something to fix it.

Userlevel 7

theq_42 wrote:

To top it all off, I'm being told that if T-Mo CAN'T find the phones, I'll be charged!

If you've been doing your paperwork and sending them letters citing the Fair Credit Billing Act, they can try to charge you but the charges won't stick. Any court or arbiter would throw them out.

What came out of this? I am expecting my husbands' S10e in the mail soon and we will have to trade in the iphone 8 that he has now. I would hate for this to happen?

I’m going through the same thing. Going on 6 months now. Just got told If they can’t find them they will not issue credit.... This is after being told twice now that I will get the credit in 3 billing cycles.. end of the first one called got told it was an error and they said it again... 3 billing cycles end of that I hear both of those people were wrong we don’t know where your phones are....

In the end, the device was sent out to another customer before it was logged as received by T-mobile (CRAZZZYYY) but after countless phone calls and countless wasted hours the issue was resolved and funds were credited