Friday, June 24, 2011

Just Say No to T-Mobile... Seriously.

Did you know that you can send a fax from the internet? I had no idea, until today when I needed to fax something. Amazing, right?! Or, maybe I'm just behind the times? Yeah, that's probably it. There's a website where you can either send a free fax, or you can pay $2 and send your fax ad-free. I'm thinking that maybe I didn't know because faxing is so old fashioned. Who faxes anymore? We fax across campus at work, but other than that, who uses a fax machine? Wait, they are old fashioned, right? Or, am I behind the times on this too?

Well, either way, I got my fax sent and didn't have to go to Staples. Although I could probably have used the fax at work, but that would have meant going up there, which I will have to do later, but seemed like so much more work. You see, we're having some problems with our cell carrier and after talking to three people on the phone/chat yesterday, two of which just seemed to want to pass the buck, I was told that I needed to write a letter to customer relations and either fax or mail it. The last rep I talked to was really nice, very understanding, and helped me to get the appropriate information so that I could get this problem cared for.

The problem? Oh, well, we're with T-Mobile and our service has never been good, but lately it's gotten unbearable. It was so bad, in fact, that within the first week of our contract we seriously considered taking the phones back. We decided to hang in after finding out that roaming is free, there's no additional charge, as long as we're not data roaming. Okay, we hung in. A few months into our contract, we were forced to cancel our data service because, though we were promised that we could get good data service here, we got nothing. No data service and we were paying $60 a month for it ($30/month per phone). They gave us grief about it, but eventually cancelled it on the understanding that we would keep unlimited texting. Okay, we text a fair amount, not enough to warrant unlimited texting, but enough that it's not a burden, either. So, we agreed.

Fast forward to early this year. We started having serious problems with our phone service. Texts usually get where they're going, eventually, but we couldn't make phone calls at all. At all, zip, zilch, zero. Nada. No phone calls. We'd dial, it'd try to ring, and the call would be dropped in a storm of static. Not just one of our phones, either, but both of them! So, no data and no phone calls. We now have smartphones that do nothing besides text. That's just plain absurd, if you ask me, especially considering we pay $107 a month for service we can hardly use. I reported the problem to T-Mobile and they filed a ticket with tech support on May 12th. Then, I heard nothing about it. In my faith, or perhaps stupidity, I just let it go thinking that they were fixing the problem and that it would be resolved.

Then, yesterday, I got a text that my bill was available. I went online to check it out and found that my bill had gone up almost $5. Usually, that wouldn't be a big deal and I'd have just paid it, but that $5 felt like the last straw considering we already pay too much for service we can't even use. I got on the chat support with a girl who knew nothing and she told me it was because our taxes went up. Um, $5 in one month, I don't think so. I told the girl what my problems were and all she could say was "I'm sorry you feel that way" over and over, then she told me to call T-Mobile if I had a problem. That was pass the buck #1.

I called T-Mobile and got someone in billing who told me my bill had gone up not because of taxes, but because they added a new feature and were charging us more than $2 per phone. She said we should have received notification about it. We didn't. And I told her so, and that our service is horrible, and that I didn't want to pay more for terrible service. She told me she understood, that she would make a note on our file, and that I needed to talk to someone else. Pass the buck #2.

It turns out she didn't make a note, except to say that I was inquiring about our service cost going up. That was really frustrating all by itself. The last woman I talked to was really nice and gave me the information I needed. She gave us a bill credit and told me to send a letter to customer relations because if she turned our service off with an open ticket, they'd charge us a cancellation fee. So, today I sent them a fax. But, it just occurred to me while writing this that I forgot to mention the whole cost going up thing on my letter. I remembered everything else, but forgot to mention that our service cost had gone up and that I hadn't even been notified or authorized any new features. Ah well, hopefully they'll see all that in our file if they look into it. With any luck we'll be through with T-Mobile and their terrible service soon, because I'm having a really hard time seeing my way to paying almost $112 a month for the privileged of sending texts that don't even always get there on time! Nevermind the fact that if they don't wave our cancellation fee, we'll have to pay $200 per phone to be rid of them, something that I just cannot do.

Anyway, wish us luck getting this whole thing settled. We might need it! :(