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Contradictory information in T-Mobile letter and two Customer Service agents regarding LineLink

    I recently got a letter from T-Mobile advising me that my @Home would be going away on March 31.  Not to worry, as they would send me a LineLink device, free for the asking.  The letter promised the 'same benefits' I currently have with @Home.  So I called Customer Service to arrange to replace my @Home with LineLink.


    My first question concerned how much more this was going to cost.  I was told that it shouldn't cost more than my current @Home service.  When I objected to the word shouldn't, the agent apologized and corrected himself by saying that it wouldn't cost more than my current service.  Ok, so far, so good.  On to features.


    I'm losing the Wi-Fi router of the @Home device.  No problem, since I have other routers, but it's still a downgrade, as far as I'm concerned (see 'same benefits', above).  But I won't belabor that point.  I then asked about Caller ID with Name, since casual online research suggests that this feature is not included with LineLink (this is provided at no extra charge with @Home).  The agent assured me that this wouldn't go away.  Good enough.


    The device arrived, I plugged it in, waited for it to connect, then logged into T-Mobile's website to have my account information in front of me before I called 611 to activate the new device.  The first thing I noticed was that this line was showing a separate monthly charge of $20.  That's quadruple the price of my existing @Home service (see 'shouldn't cost more' vs 'wouldn't cost more', above).  To add insult to injury, it showed that I could add Caller ID with Name for an additional $3.99 per month (see 'same benefits', above).


    I called to question these charges and was told that the monthly fee could be lowered by $10, but no more.  I immediately cancelled the service.  It was quickly removed from my account.


    This is a common scam.  It works by initially increasing the monthly charge by an exorbitant amount, in this case, by 379% to $23.99, then saving the day by reducing that by 42% to $13.99 (still a 179% increase over my current service).  I was expected to be thrilled as the sympathetic customer service agent saved me from the clutches of corporate greed!  One can't help but wonder how many people are sucked in by this, or, perhaps more importantly, how many unknowingly suffer the 379% price increase.


    Shame on you, T-Mobile!

      All replies

      • tmo_marissa

        Ouch.  I am so sorry to read about this experience - we definitely could have done a better job of giving you clear answers here so that you wouldn't be left feeling scammed and disappointed.  Since the @Home service is slated to be discontinued in the spring, we sent proactive notices via text and mail to current customers utilizing the service.  When we have this type of campaign, we all need to be able to support customers with questions about these service changes to prevent this understandable frustration.

        When it comes to monthly pricing for @Home customers who choose to switch to LineLink, for most customers, the price will be the same.  This is because customers who are using @Home service pay for it as an additional voice line on their account - which is, on most rate plans, $10 a month.  LineLink is billed as a $20 a month mobile internet line, but if you have another voice line (which a customer paying for it as an add-a-line definitely does), you receive a $10 discount on the LineLink, making it also $10 a month - and when your original @Home line is canceled, they even out.  This gets tricky, though, when it comes to promotional plans.  Some of our promotional family plans price out additional lines at a rate lower than $10 monthly, so if that was the type of plan you had, this change would come at a cost increase.  Conversely, the $0 @Home feature was a promotion, and some customers who don't have that promotional rate actually paid $5 a month for the service on top of the additional line fee, so for them, LineLink would actually decrease their bills.


        Since the Support Community is a user forum, moderators here don't have account access - so I can't take a look at your rate plan and billing to determine whether you would save money, lose money, or break even if you chose to continue maintaining a "home line" through LineLink once @Home is discontinued.  What I can do is assure you that we'll pass this feedback on.  You've got a great point about the router functionality - we do offer routers as coverage solutions, so if a customer were in a position where they relied on the router for WiFi calling connectivity, we could look into providing one through the coverage solution program instead - but it is definitely different to have two pieces of equipment doing a job previously handled by one.  Also, until reading this thread, I hadn't considered the implications of the language "offers the same benefits..." and the difference in Caller ID - you make a great point there as well.  I am sorry that the initial mailings weren't more clear, and doubly sorry that we let you down when you reached out for clarification.  Thank you for taking the time to share this experience here.


        - Marissa