My husband and I have had a Tmobile family plan since 2003. Since about 2005, we've had 5 lines, 3 smart phones on the plan and we pay about $200 a month. Sadly, two of the phones on the plans were Sidekicks. A little back story on the Sidekick. This phone and service was developed by a company called Danger, which was acquired by Microsoft last year. Most of the Danger employees were let go, basically the rest of them quit. The idea behind the Sidekicks is a nifty one. The data is all cached locally on the device, and stored on the servers at Danger. You really cannot back up your data- but you're not supposed to need to. For example, my first Sidekick died in 2005. I switched to a cheapy Nokia as my job didn't require me to be so connected any more. In 2007 I found myself with another Sidekick- and as soon as I signed in, all of my data from 2005 was back on the phone. Nifty, huh? Well, in October of this year- Microsoft/Danger opted to upgrade the Sidekick servers without backing up the data. This resulted in massive failure and wide spread outages. Our two Sidekick phones lost all of their data- pictures, calendar appointments, text messages and ALL of their contacts. More on the Danger/Microsoft fail.
We understand that this was not Tmobile's direct failure. However? We pay THEM to keep our service going, so they need to be the ones to fix this. They immediately comped everyone's data plan payments while they worked to restore data. 3 weeks into it, they posted a public apology and told us all that our data was gone forever. For my husband? This is no biggie, he's been using Google Voice anyway- so he at least has his contacts and can access without too much trouble. He doesn't use his phone as a camera, and he calendar is through Google too. Our single mom friend/housemate who uses the other Sidekick on the plan? For her this is devastating. SHe's going through the Welfare To Work program, and has kept all of her appointments in her phone- if she misses them, they cut her off and she's most of the way through this process which should end in a job for her. She uses her phone to take pics of her baby, many of which are gone for good. All of her contacts are gone, and she doesn't have ways to otherwise reach these people.
Because Tmobile has told us that the data is not recoverable, the customer service rep we talk to advises us to switch to G1s. He will give us our annual upgrade early. He assures us that if by some miracle, our data is recovered, we'll get it back, and we're still on the line for this $100 gift card compensation that Tmobile will be giving to Sidekick users in the next 30 days. So, $400 later we're mostly okay. A week later when the G1 price drops by $50, we're annoyed... but no biggie... Tmobile is giving us $100 for each Sidekick, and Tmobile announced that some people will get their data back after all.
My husband's phone never rolls over with an over the air update to the OS that our other two G1s do, and it's driving him nuts. On the Tmobile G1 message board, he learns how to push the update himself. Doing so bricks his phone completely. Guess what? Tough shit. This invalidates his warranty completely. His 3 week old phone id dead.
Thursday I called Tmobile as I just paid my $600 bill and still no compensation or data. Turns out, they trashed out data, which was probably recovered, because we use G1s now... and? We're not eligible for the compensation. Tmobile tries to give me some $50 account credit. Yeah, not good enough.
After 2 days, and several hours I've gotten to a second level supervisor, whatever that is. I tell her who I talked to, when I talked to him, what he promised and say bluntly- my credit is already crap. When I violate my contract I will list you and everyone else I'd spoken with about these issues." She gave me a $200 account credit- which is better than nothing. I'd wanted the Visa Gift Cards we were promised to do some Christmas shopping... I also learned that nothing was in my file about my husband's G1 problems... which meant that he was able to call back and just fail to mention that he tried to push the update himself and since the phone is under warranty, they'll be swapping him out next week.
In the end, it worked out... but it never should have been such a hassle, and Tmobile tried to screw us. :(