TMO @Home vs LineLink?


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I'm a long time TMO@Home user and have just come across the new TMOLineLink service and want to know if anyone has any feedback on the newer service?  I'm pretty happy with TMO@Home, but would really love to get rid of the old TMO@Home router...plus if the router goes, there apparently aren't replacements and have more clear calls.  My present system seems to be quite unstable now that I have a Comcast router and I drop calls, they bug out during calls, and all kinds of other annoyances.  I use it as a business line, so it's important it is more reliable than it has been in the past 3-6 mos.

 

That said, in my brief investigation, it looks like TMOLineLink does not have call waiting or caller id, is that correct?  Also, from the only other discussion in this area, there seems to be other issues like call forwarding codes (??) and caller id names?  I've been with TMO for 14 years and tried to call in to get some info, but got transferred 3 times and it doesn't seem like reps know much about this product.  Is there a special number to call?

 

Any feedback would be appreciated.  I'd hate to move away from something I know works, even if sometimes unreliable, to something that I don't know and it be worse.

 

Thanks!


58 replies

My @Home was working fine but then I got a text from T-Mob to get Line Link. I ordered and wasted 7 weeks (calling again and again and waiting) and then the other day they told me I have to go to the store. So I went and migrated my two @Home lines to Line Link. I had made sure, repeatedly, that everything will be the same and there is no extra charge. Now there is no caller ID name, only number AND when someone leaves a message no blinking light to alert you. Not even a tone when you lift the handset to tell you that there is message waiting! So every time I come in I have to dial 123 to check if there is any message.

The deceptive practices I noticed in this deal:

1. They assure you that everything remains the same but better sound quality and they remove Caller ID Name. If you want it you pay extra $5 to get that back.

2. They remove the blinking message alert. May be it is another option for more charges, I did not check.

I feel cheated because my @Home service was working fine. If I had NOT blindly trusted T-Mob I would have tried switching only ONE line and would have noticed the shortcomings. I have been with T-Mob for two decades or so, before they were VoiceStream, and they have been good more or less. That's why I moved all my numbers to T-Mob. I have a total of four numbers with them. It is not the $5 extra or the message light, I feel tricked by them into this. I asked them to move me back to @Home and they say that is being discontinued, can't move back. I should have stuck with @Home till they discontinued it but I trusted them and they cheated me. They can do good business without deception and trickery but they probably feel the need to follow others in this business.

Userlevel 7
Badge +13

It's $20 a month with a credit of $10 a month making it the same.

‌OK.  I replaced my @home router 24 hours ago with landlink and boy am I unhappy

  1. No enhanced caller ID
  2. No call waiting ID at all
  3. No real time call logs
  4.     Web site can take hours or days to update
  5.     Does not list unanswered calls
  6. No messages lite on phone
  7.      Linelink is in closet not on desk next to phone
  8. Linelink has locked up three times in last 24 hours
  9. Told I can NOT switch back

I assume these two are related:

  • No messages lite on phone
  • Linelink is in closet not on desk next to phone

The message light is on the Linelink, so yes if you keep it in the closet you will not see it. However I have noticed that if you have a waiting voicemail the dial tone sounds slightly different when you first pick up the phone. It stutters slightly - Comcast voice service does the same thing. I hope that helps

All of the above and more.  I got the letter and switched.  Not only do I have fewer features, but the price quadrupled over @Home.  Fortunately, I cancelled it before my @home was stopped, so I'll use that until I get another provider.  T-Mobile is not the only game in town.  I should also note that Customer Service has clearly not been brought up to speed on the new product.  The misinformation I got when ordering the service is almost comical.

Badge +2

Interesting.  So, it's not $10/mo as stated on the TMO website and what I'm paying now for the @Home service?  If that's the case, looks like I'll be switching to another provider, as well.

I just spent 50 minutes on the phone with T-Mobile with an obviously outsourced call center worker who clearly had no idea what she was doing.  I explained to her clearly multiple time I was calling in response to the letter and wanted to get the process going but she put me on hold multiple times to try and decipher the account memos.

They also couldn't get the transfer process straight.  She wanted to migrate my line to the LineLink device immediately, even though I didn't have it in hand.  I had to explain to her that my @home service still needs to function and that it would make more sense for me to call back once I have the actual LineLink device to perform the plan migration.

She finally agreed to send me the LineLink device for free, as stated in the letter, but said she had to charge me $7.61 for shipping, even though the letter clearly says the fee would be waived.  After some back and forth, it was finally agreed that she would have to charge that amount to my CC and then credit the amount to my T-Mo account.  Pretty stupid to go this route if the letter said everything with the migration would be free of charge to me since T-Mo was forcing me to switch from @home to LineLink.

All in all, a miserable process so far to get ousted from my @home service and migrate onto LineLink.  I'll expect more ridiculous issues to come up when I actually perform the formal plan migration.  T-Mo used to have stellar service but this was a definite -1 experience for me.

Well I'm glad I wasn't the only one that got charged the $6.99 plus tax shipping fee.  They should've made it clear that you would've been credited it back in the letter, not just the appearance that everything was free.

I'll have my fingers crossed too with the switch whenever I get the device.  Just pains me I have to call back again and deal with their lovely reps.  At least I'll be saving a whopping $1/month with this new plan.  I'm currently getting charged $15/month for @home and LineLink will bring it down to $13.99 (including the optional enhanced caller ID).

Yes, I'm currently and actively using the TMOLinelink.

You are correct, not many tech support know about this product. It's pretty new to them.  After many calls and discussions, I've become 'friends" with them. Great guys though unable to do much. Their hands are tied. 

So, I love that it is cheap, gives me access to US/Canada and Mexico for a flat fee ($20/mo) and to 70 countries for an additional $15/mo but it comes with 2 major issues:

1 - It randomly drops calls within 60 minutes of conversation, outgoing calls only though.

2 - from time to time, the line becomes silent for several seconds. Then it resumes. Very strange feeling.

I've filed numerous tickets with engineering to try to get this fixed without success. They shipped ,e a new unit suspecting I broke the one I had!, but still the same. 

Lately I got a bit frustrated, one rainy Saturday, I decided to roll up my sleeves and put my engineering hat. (I am a telco engineer with two decades of R&D experience in this industry) After some quick analysis, I made some disturbing technical discoveries which I am not prepared to share on this forum. (Not sure T-Mobile would like me to disclose confidential information publicly and hurt their business)

At a high level it goes back to the old adage: "you get what you pay for". It's cheap, but at the expense of quality of service and explains all the missing features you used to have on the former network.  Consider yourself warned 😊


Since this is my line of consulting business, I'm offered my service to T-Mobile as a telco consultant and help them stabilize their network with some highly needed fine tunings and basic features. I'm sure they know there are other solutions highly competitive out there right now, and they might not be able to stay in business with this product if they don't take the necessary approach. 

After a few days of my posting the above under another topic my VM notification light started blinking and the tone also is back. May be it takes a few days for that to come alive but still no caller ID name, only number.

@chris13‌, the caller ID name was always there on @Home, if your phone was capable. I did not change any of my capable equipment, only the LineLink devices, and the caller ID NAME no longer shows, only number shows up. Names showing does not depend on whether it is stored in your phone or not because mine is a regular Panasonic landline 3-line phone and there are no names saved in it. Name is now extra charge they say. Then why did they say everything will work the same but better, is my gripe. This surely is deceptive practice. Either they should make this clear everywhere they advertise LineLink or they should make CID Name available. Or I should look for Ooma or something else. I never thought of moving but now I am getting ideas. Mainly because I feel cheated. They took advantage of my gullible/trusting nature.
The service does not seem to be any better than @Home either, I have not noticed anything better. May be my senses are mired in their duping me into switching to LineLink. I was very fond of being a T-Mob customer and recommended them to everyone and even persuaded some of my friends to switch from other difficult carriers but this is the first time ever I am feeling a dislike and distrust towards T-Mob.
I spent many many many hours recently with T-Mob customer service (difficult to speak to, understand and whatnot) but they will not put the NAME CID back. More often than not I got someone in Philippines and I could not understand about 75 percent of what they were saying. Not a comment about Philippines but they should be trained to speak in a way that the rest of us can understand. I am not born an American and I have an accent too but I can understand all sorts of accents but I can't understand much of what these customer service reps would say. Finally I got a nice lady supervisor and she understood my concerns and transferred me to (once again!) to another department ("loyal customers department") and after wasting more of my time they said they cant give me name CID or switch me back to @Home.
I don't want them calling me a "Loyal Customer" again. Totally feeling cheated.

I got the @Home transition letter, too.

I called TMO and the agent assured me that LineLink was exactly the same as @Home, just new hardware and pricing. I agreed to the transition, received 2 LinkLink adapters, installed and activated them.

I was surprised that caller name ID (CNAM) was not working.

I called TMO and was advised that CNAM was available for $3.99 per month per line. Sigh.

I asked for this to be enabled.

Still not working.

Called TMO again today and this time the agent told me that CNAM is not available at all for LineLink.

Looking forward to a definitive answer from TMO.

CNAM is requirement for me, so if LineLink does not include it, I'll be looking into alternative VoIP solutions

that have this essential feature.

- Wayne

I was charged $20 versus $5 for @Home.  They lowered it to $10 only after I called to complain.  The $5 for @Home is in addition to the price of the 6th line on my mobile plan for that device, which, I assume, would also apply to LineLink.  I didn't keep it long enough to find out.

That is another ploy. This has happened with me from T-Mob before, for something else. They will charge full and give you a discount to make it as before. Then when you are not looking they will stop giving you the discount. Then when you realize after a couple of months ans call they will say "oh, that's old story, you can't go back!" Speaking from experience. I want to meet ONE company or organization who would be truthful to me in what they say and T-Mob was almost like that but not anymore.

Userlevel 7
Badge +13

I have a prepaid phone I'm thinking of porting the number to and buy Bluetooth handsets to cut my bill.  I pay nothing for the prepaid plan and get minutes for buying groceries.

Last night when I checked my LL rates have gone up from $10 per line to $20 per line! So 40 for two lines, which was only 10 for two lines in the beginning. Now I have to call and ask why. This is a constant struggle now with Tmob. I am getting sick.

Badge +2

Yep, welcome to the new, fast growing TMO, unfortunately.  I've been with TMO for 14 years and don't put up with someone that doesn't know what they are doing.  I'm nice (worked in a call center before), but ask them to either transfer me to the "loyalty dept" or I'll call back and try someone else.  Knock on wood, but seems to work every time.

Yes, I got charged a $6.99 shipping fee, as well, and the loyalty dept staffer immediately credited it to my account.  Again, fast growing pains where Marketing doesn't talk to Customer Service, who doesn't get respected by Management because someone in CS probably told them about this disconnect, who doesn't listen anyway...Ha.  Welcome to big corporate America.  😀

We'll see how it goes once I get the LineLink device and migrate the @Home device to it.  Fingers crossed!

Something else to notice: When I dial if I pause more than may be two seconds to look at the number or something the "incorrect dial" beep will come and you will have to disconnect and start all over again. So elderly people cannot use LL for sure. The allowed default interval between digits is too short for those who take the time to dial each digit or try to look at their note to carefully dial.

Hehe, no you are not getting old, TMo is getting incompetent. If the software writers had cared to look at the standard/established time between digits that has been tested and proven by phone companies since about a century, they would have known the proper timing to allow.

I also noticed my phone rings slower than it used to before with @home.  Not quite sure why though.

Thanks Chris13

Turns out, Kevin (Customer Support @TMO) just called me today to follow up and iterate the same response from TMO engineering; No Trouble Found (NTF). They keep insisting this is coming from my (our) ISP, yet are not understanding that the call drop only occurs on an outbound call. No inbounds.

Despite the fact they are trying to blame on others (finger pointing technique), and as a result I've switched my connection to point to their own network (LTE) and the same disappointing results! Good luck blaming on your own ISP now!

Anyways, irrespective of network performance issues, just know that VoIP is a very resilient technology when properly rolled out. (CISCO has successfully demonstrated it for the past 15 years now)

To your questions:

     1.  Do you think a DSL filter would help with anything?  I've read it may help the call waiting/caller id issue.

      I do not think DSL filter would help. The traces I am seeing are not suggesting any network issues between our router and the ISP. Packet networks are highly resilient to noises.

     2.  Would performance improve if I plugged the LL into it's own router and then that router into my Comcast, kinda like before with @Home, and then did a "bridge" with that setup?

     I don't think so. Here again, this is not related to your router or your ISP.

Totally agree with this side of the business that is tiny compared to cell phone. However, the cell phone market is now highly saturated and they need to look for new business opportunities. That is part of their strategy to attract of retain existing customers with new features which were until then, not available; High Quality phone calls, then video calls should naturally follow this route that will offer services that compete against Apple (FaceTime), FaceBook (Messenger) and Microsoft (Skype).

It's all converging right now on the same packet technology.

In other words, even if it's tiny, I am convinced this is a very strategic move for TMO and they certainly don't want to screw up their early adopters.

Let's keep pushing !

Badge +2

Awesome, pch, thanks for the info. (Hope you don't mind me shortening your UN 😊 )

Yeah, I kinda got the "it may be your phone", "it may be your ISP", but I was prepared for the first one, as I had tried multiple phones and all acted the exact same.  They did more research and called back and when they had called back I said, the call waiting caller id was now working, which it was.  A day later, it went funky and stopped, but now works on and off.  I'll just wait it out for a bit longer and see what happens.

Thanks for answering my questions, it was worth a shot for a novice to ask.  Oh well...

You make a great point/argument in your last paragraph, especially as most people are now just dumping their home phone lines, but if they had a cheaper, high quality alternative, TMO could pick more of that up.  Agree on the cell phone saturation.  We can't really go without a home phone line where we live as service with all of the carriers is sporadic.  Plus, I'm a bit old school and you still can't beat the clarity of a "landline".

I'm with ya!

Last time when I talked with a "knowledgeable" supervisor more than a month ago he tried to explain to me why some calls show name ID and most don't. He said it is a cellular setup thing and it is due to how the CALLER'S system is setup and not a fault of TMob. I said ALL my callers' Name ID were working and now ONLY a couple of known callers' names are showing up and rest of them are all only numbers, he 'made me understand' that it is because of the way the callers' systems are setup. I said the callers did not change anything from how they had it setup before I changed to LL, he still said it was the callers systems. Finally I understood it (just to disconnect the call so that I can carry on with my life) but the gist of it is if I pay $5 per line I will get all the names which as a matter of principle I am NOT going to pay because they duped me. One lady even did some research (while putting me on hold) and told me that they did not advertise anywhere that caller name will be available with LL as it was with @Home. Oh yeah, when they say "everything will be the same but better" I was to know that some things won't be. If I were clearly told what will NOT carry on from @Home I wouldn't have felt duped. If they were truthful with their persuasion to switch to LL I wouldn't have felt so bad with this change. I am still not decided what to do.

Userlevel 5

You are correct on the caller ID and Call waiting. 😊

The product is fairly new and only sold in stores, so phone representatives may not be as familiar with the product as store. Can you specify what you mean by call forwarding codes?

What are the specific features you need? I'll be happy to look into any feedback on what is important to you and make sure you don't swap to something you regret!

-Lauren

Badge +2

Meaning NO caller ID and call waiting, right?  You are throwing me off with the smiley face...it would be a frown to me, if those features aren't available... 😊

Ok, in my quick research I've read some people have gotten the product/service by calling in, so will defer to you as the expert that it is only store purchased.  Thx.

There is another thread in the LineLink area that talks about "call forwarding codes" that I guess you can type into your phone line (like the old star 69) and it will forward calls.  Seems the technology is there per that thread, but it is hit or miss on it working with LineLink.

I really need call waiting and caller ID (number showing is just fine even if no name shows).  Call forwarding would be nice but not a requirement.  If those things are there, I'd probably go to the store and switch to LineLink today, but without them I'll probably stay put until the router kicks it.  If that happens, I'd unfortunately probably move this line to another provider.

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