Since I am a global traveler and at the suggestions of some of my colleagues, I wanted to look into switching from AT&T to T-Mobile as a phone carrier. I contacted T-Mobile and started to explore the options I have. Trouble for us started right from the beginning when the rep *assured* us that we can switch our three iPhones (4S) over to T-Mobile in a very easy manner and that they will actually buy back the rest of the contract (which expires in three months, March of 2015.) The Sales Rep also *assured* us that the unlocking and the switching from one company to another will be the easiest process possible. In addition, I asked if any of their techs will be able to help us to replace some our iPhone batteries in the process, since they seem to have lived their cycle, to which I was AGAIN reassured that YES, there will be no problem with it.
Once all "assurances" set in place, we started what it seemed a process of pre-qualification, where the rep started to ask me some questions to setup the information in the system. We decided I will purchase three SIM Cards from T-Mobile, they will send them over and then we'll start the process of the transfer, both for the accounts & numbers as well as the phones. The Sales Rep also mentioned that if all purchases and arrangements will be cancelled within 30 days from the first conversation, there will be no charges, no penalties and I will have a full refund on the SIM Cards purchase.
That's when the whole trouble started... Soon after, I went to talk to a store manager in my neighborhood about the transfer and to start the process. The guy was quite knowledgeable and he started to explain to me that AT&T actually does NOT permit unlocks and transfers until the full balance (including penalties) is paid in full, and only THEN it takes up to 72 hours after the payment is received and the unlock request is submitted to have the phones unlocked. He also explained to me that T-Mobile does NOT buy back remaining contracts UNLESS you are purchasing brand new phones from them (fact that the zealous Sales Rep "forgot" to mention.)
I then spoke with AT&T about the remaining contract and I was given a penalty for almost $300 to be freed of the contract (again, which will expire in only three months.) Knowing all of the above I realized that it is not at all worth it trying to switch to T-Mobile right now and it's better to wait until spring to do the switch.
I immediately called the T-Mobile Customer Care and started the process of cancellation of the account and all arrangements, that within exactly 9 days from the start of the whole process. I was given the confirmation for the account cancellation and verified it all, with the mention that my full refund cannot be issued until the NEXT billing cycle will come around, which she mentioned that will be on December 5th after which I will see the full refund on my Credit Card I used to purchase the SIM cards.
Soon after that we started to receive one monthly bill after another (three notifications total) claiming our outstanding monthly balance ($109.30) when we didn't even start a service with T-Mobile. I kept on calling back after each time we received a bill notification and talking to one Customer Care Repreprentative (CCR) after another who PROMISED me that everything will be taken care off (Notice that was NO mention of the fact the fact that the issue has been resolved, but that WILL be resolved, which contradicted entirely with everything I've been promised prior.) Last time I received a bill was on Dec. 11th, 6(six) days after supposedly my refund was processed. I called again (for the fifth time) and connected with a CCR who apologized over and over, explaining to me that unfortunately they will have to issue a Check Refund actually and that she personally will make sure that this will be resolved. She also promised she will call back to my phone number directly within a week (by Thursday, Dec. 18th) to verify that I did get everything I needed and that the check arrived.
To our total surprise, on Dec. 20th we received a NOTICE OF COLLECTION PLACEMENT notice, which as you can imagine left us completely stunned. I called immediately again and for the sixth time T-Mobile and asked to talk to a CCR Manager in the US (they use a regular Customer Service somewhere in Asia - again buyers beware!) He introduced himself as Kenneth which took all my information and looked into the whole historical information. Only then he was able to verify with me that indeed as of now the balance is 0 and that he will put in a refund by check going forward (not that it's been done, but that he sent it in for approval!!!!) He was finally able to give me some sort of confirmation number Form ID: 238400842.
As of now, we have to contact the Collection Agency and report that based on the Form ID above our balance is supposed to be 0(zero), the same time hoping that the entire matter has been resolved once and for all.
This has been one of the most painful Customer Service issue we've ever encountered, and I can only promise T-Mobile that we'll NEVER sign up with their service. Not after all this…
One Very Disappointed Consumer
Product or Service Mentioned: Tmobile Cell Phone Unlock.
Reason of review: Billing and Customer Relations Issue.
Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.
I didn't like: Customer service, Service, Billing.