This month I had to make a decision. I had to choose whether or not to stick with T-Mobile (the “Un-Carrier”) or change over to another service provider. I have been a T-Mobile customer for over 9 years. For most of those nine years I did not have too many complaints. Their service was never great, but I was OK with that because my monthly bill was usually cheaper than it would have been with the other big carriers. Their customer service was the best in the business for most of those 9 years.
Then came the “Un-Carrier”… The turning point that made me hate being a T-Mobile customer. The first thing T-Mobile did, was to try and put themselves into a new class of carrier by ditching contract plans. This sounded great to new customers and brought a lot of new ones in; however existing customers still under contracts were left behind. T-Mobile started offering cheaper contract free plans to new customers, while offering nothing in the form of discounted plans to their long time existing customers. I was OK with this for a while, since the increased price in contract plans could be attributed to the subsidized phones on the plans. The next thing T-Mobile did was to stop subsidizing new phones to people on contract plans even if they were eligible for upgrades. The problem with this was, that we had to pay full price for new phones and we were still stuck on plans with higher service costs. Again I was still OK with this for a while because my contract plan was still cheaper than switching to another carrier. Then came the new customers… As T-Mobile brought on more new customers, their 4G network started slowing down and became degraded. At no point did it feel like T-Mobile was working on upgrading their network capacity to support the new customers. Places where I normally had good 4G service suddenly started dropping Internet and phone calls. The phones I tried on the network would display that I had full 4G signal, but when I would open up any app that uses the Internet, the network speed reminded me of the AOL dial-up I had in my teen years. Their network became jammed and slower each month. To top all this their customer service went from top notch to worse than AT&T. The customer service reps were hard to get on the line and were rude and inconsiderate most of the time.
With all that said. In the end T-Mobile did do something for me, and I thank them greatly for it! T-Mobile did a fantastic job of scaring other carriers like Verizon into lowering their pricing and offering better service and plans. Ultimately I ended up switching to Verizon which has a better more reliable network, good customer service, and now, my 2 lines actually cost me less than what I paid at T-Mobile for the same service.
This wasn’t the last I would hear from T-Mobile. A few weeks later while enjoying my new Note 4 on Verizon while sitting on the couch, the mail came. I picked up the final bill from T-Mobile and opened it up to find a bill for $250! This was double my normal monthly charges. My first thought was that they had charged me an Early Termination Fee even though I switched to Verizon after my contract was up. This was not the case. After reading through it, I found that they charged me one full months charges for October 18th – November 18th and another full months charges for one day… November 19th. After calling them and spending quite a long time on the phone to dispute the extra full month charges, I was finally able to get it resolved, with an excuse from the rep, that it was an “accidental” charge caused by a glitch. Sounds like this might have been one of those “accidental” charges that is done on purpose to try to get some extra cash from customers that don’t want to go through the headaches and process of disputing it.
Note to T-Mobile: Thanks for becoming the “Un-Carrier” and making it cheaper and easier for your longtime customers to switch to other more reliable carriers.