a clockwork cuttlefish (castalianspring) wrote in bad_service,
a clockwork cuttlefish
castalianspring
bad_service

T-Mobile suckage

I rarely have service bad enough that I feel the need to rant, but this one has me furious. In May I finally gave in to temptation and purchased a smartphone from T-Mobile, the G2 with Google. I decided on the 200MB data plan (the only other option besides unlimited) in order to wait and see how much data I'd really use. I was well under the first two months, as I really only check email and LJ with the phone on a regular basis. On trips I might use maps or something, but otherwise my usage was pretty small. Never more than say 10 or 15 MB in a day (and that would be a heavy use day at that), not even when I was downloading a few apps at the beginning.

Last month I went over by a few megs, which surprised me a lot, so I took a good look at what was possibly using data when I wasn't looking (especially overnight) and stopped those things. Started turning data off if I wanted to play any games so no ads would load, made sure to use my home wifi as much as possible, etc. When I started getting close to my cap with 5 days left in my billing period, I double checked how to turn data off completely (started turning off the mobile data and not just the background data) whenever I didn't absolutely need it. Tested that for a day or so, went online, saw that this took my data usage down to almost zero for the time frame, and figured I was in the clear. I even had surgery last Friday and didn't use the phone at all for a few days while I recovered at home.

Cut to today and I look at my bill online and see an overage charge. Not a big one, sure, but it claimed I'd used up 77 MB worth of data in one sitting last Thursday. When I was keeping the data off as much as possible, only checking emails when it was on (I've checked and there were only a few that day), and going online all the time to make sure I was under the limit.

Called support, got a guy who at first claimed I didn't have a package that even got overage charges. Told him no, that's not even the issue. Got put on hold, he came back saying hey, I only had 200MB and was subject to overage charges. Calmly, I say yes, I know that, that's not what I'm calling about. Explain the situation yet again: data was off for most of that day, I never upgraded any apps or used any streaming video or any other high-usage web activity and wanted to know how that 77 MB was possible. On hold again. He confirms the overage charge but can't see the date or amount that was used.

Me, finally incredulous: So you can't see the information that I can see right on my screen telling me the exact date and the amount of data used?

Him: I'll check again.

Back on hold yet again, yay.

He finally sees it, but can't do anything. I escalate, politely. But this time, oh...this time. I get a supervisor who once again misunderstands the problem. Tries to tell me about data caps. Yes, yes, I know this. That's not what I'm asking. I repeat the problem. I'm barely into my explanation when she interrupts me with a bunch of crap about valid charges. I'm frustrated, but still haven't done anything like raise my voice or use any harsh language, so I just ask her to please let me finish my sentence so she'll understand the issue.

Data off. No activity beyond a few emails. Have NEVER used that much data in a single day, not even close. Over and over again.

Finally she claims she can see that the use was valid and can even see the website that was accessed. Okay, so I ask to know what website that was.

Her: I can't tell you that over the phone.

Me: Okay, so give me the information some other way.

Her: What? No, I can't tell you at all.

I ask to know what policy or law prevents her from doing so. She can't tell me that either, isn't going to help me, and I need to accept the charges. At this point her tone is very snide and impatient. So I ask if another supervisor is available and can I be escalated again.

I hear a lot of "okay, yes, if that's what you want, etc" and then silence.

Yup, she hung up on me. I was in no way abusive or threatening towards this person and was not given any sort of assistance in any way, but told basically "tough shit" and hung up on. This is the first issue I've had with T-Mobile and if they didn't charge ridiculous amounts of money for canceling smartphone plans, I'd be canceling right now. I already see that this sort of thing is a big issue right now, with AT&T being sued for phantom data use. If the phone can supposedly use data even with data turned off, and they won't tell me how it was used? That's just asking for the customer to be screwed. I've found an app that will hopefully keep better track so I can see more information about what application is using data and when, but if their policy is going to be "we don't believe you" then it won't do much good.

I'm writing a letter to T-Mobile customer relations, but I'm so angry right now that it's going to have to wait until I calm down a bit. I love my new phone, but this is unacceptable. I feel like this is a huge scam to get people to upgrade to the unlimited plan, so they can keep charging stupid amounts of money for the tiny amount of data that the majority of their customers actually use (and has been shown to cost the company almost nothing to provide).
Tags: as featured on sf_d, commenters morally obligated to disagree, phone service
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