T-Mobile: Not even enough courtesy for a reach-around

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Deacon
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T-Mobile: Not even enough courtesy for a reach-around

Post by Deacon » Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:28 am

Fuck T-Mobile. No, not just former T-Mobile celebrity spokeswoman Catherine Zeta-Jones. I would screw her, too. But in a good way. A great way. No, fuck T-Mobile in the prison sex way: hands bound, head down, eyes closed, throat wide open.

I'd been with T-Mobile for 4 years. Four solid years. Never once so much as a single late payment. Oh, sure, I had plenty of issues with T-Mobile as a cell provider: dropped calls, bad SIM cards, poor reception both at home and anywhere outside a major metropolitan area, shitty ToS, mandatory contract extensions for another 2-year just to buy a basic phone (RAZR) for less than the GDP of Zimbabwe, phones dying inexplicably and replaced by refurbished units at my expense, etc. Again, there was never a problem with ME as a customer. They got their money, even when overages during a crisis ballooned the bill ridiculously and they were unwilling to meet me half-way.

I finally made the switch to AT&T on August 5, snagging me an iPhone 3G in the process. Near the end of that month, on August 25, T-Mobile charged to my credit card the nearly $60 they'd been charging me monthly, just like they would as part of my auto-pay. OK, cool. Well, I guess that's over, right? Let me log into the website and check my account status. Oh. Wait. I can't. My account is now closed, so I can no longer log in and check. Can't even review my past bills. Whatever, moving on, right?

Wrong.

Apparently there was another bill of miscellaneous charges and pro-rated service of $13.54 that was due September 25. If I got such a bill in the mail, I didn't recognize it as such, and they didn't charge my credit card automatically as they'd been doing for years. I received no email at the email address they'd been emailing me at since 2004. I received no phone call or text message on the exact same number I'd had the whole time, the number ported to the new service. I received no phone call at home at the same number that's been on my account since the beginning of March of 2007. But on October 6, only 10 days after this tiny bill I knew nothing about was due, T-Mobile sent me a letter with the big, bold, block CAPS title across it: THIS IS YOUR FINAL NOTICE.

WTF?! This is my FIRST notice! But a notice of WHAT??

It said my account is past due and will be turned over to a collections agency and reported to the credit bureaus as bad debt if they do not receive payment within 10 days of the date on the letter. Wait, this can't be right. I *KNOW* I saw T-Mobile's fingers reaching into my credit card account and plucking money from it. And wait a second, this letter says October 6, and today's the 14th! They expect me to send in some random payment for which they have provided no justification and no included no receipt showing what it could possibly be owed for in the first place, and they want me to drop it in the mail on the 15th and show up on their doorstep on the 16th?? And WTF is this even about in the first place?

I call up the number on the thing and find out that there was this other mystery bill for a small amount that T-Mobile allegedly sent out, was due on September 25, and then 10 days after that (only 6 business days!) generated and mailed a letter threatening to smear my credit rating if they didn't receive this money immediately. NOW. No explanation. No questions. Just pay. Now.

The conversation I had today was so frustrating, with the maddeningly cheerful and slimy dude on the phone (Joaquin, employee ID 0653093) who took the trouble to explain that it's such a tiny amount and I shouldn't worry about it but that it's definitely big enough that T-Mobile is worried about it and will certainly not remove the charge and that it will be turned over to a collection agency if I don't pay right then. I already wasn't looking back, but after this experience, I can say I'm truly glad I'm no longer with that shitty, slimy company. I don't want to do business with any company that treats its long-time customers like that and threatens to ruin people's credit--and in an economy and credit market like this!--due to a mysterious charge of $13.54 being 10 days overdue.

Fuck T-Mobile.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Jezebel
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Re: T-Mobile: Not even enough courtesy for a reach-around

Post by Jezebel » Thu Oct 16, 2008 3:01 am

$13.54? Seriously? They are going to send you to collections for $13.54??? What sort of fucked up thought process is that? My previous job, while a multi million dollar company, was nowhere near the scope of T-Mobile, and we wouldn't even CONSIDER sending to collections or smalls claims court, and or anything such as that for anything under $2,000. Anything less than that would cost more in paperwork, man hours, time lost, etc to try to claim. The most we would do is send a form letter stating the balance owed. Sending to collections over $13.54 is just a waste of time and money.
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Deacon
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Re: T-Mobile: Not even enough courtesy for a reach-around

Post by Deacon » Thu Oct 16, 2008 4:35 am

No, because collections agencies will simply buy the bad debt from T-Mobile for pennies on the dollar. T-Mobile gets some money and promptly stops caring. In the mean time, the collection agency only manages to get a fairly small percentage of people to pay, but their hope is that eventually enough will so that they're making money. And in the process they hate on your credit.

T-Mobile is using the threat of screwing up your credit to get people to call in and pay, just as I did. In case you don't get the message, they say in the letter, "Your debt may be reported to the credit bureaus and could be available to your current and future creditors." I was almost pissed enough to try to fight it. It's so sleazy and unreasonable. It's like, seriously, I was out of town for a week. Literally, yes, I was. Hold your damn horses. Why not send a simple postcard first that says hey please give us a call so we can go ahead and close out your account fully, etc? Does it have to be so hostile and hold an unreasonably grave threat over your head with demands for payment unreasonably soon? In fact, drop me an email. It's easy and I pay more attention to it, since I get so little legitimate snail mail. And FFS why not drop me a line or text me at my phone number?? You know what it is...
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: T-Mobile: Not even enough courtesy for a reach-around

Post by EvilElf » Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:25 am

This just shows a good reason for me to keep avoiding going with T-Mobile. Same thing happened to my ex with the company. She closed the account and they threatened to send her to collections over I think it was 20-21$ that was left on the account for 3 days after the account was closed.
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Re: T-Mobile: Not even enough courtesy for a reach-around

Post by collegestudent22 » Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:56 am

I think all cell carriers must be like this. FFS, Verizon did this to my parents and they were only canceling because my father is in the military and moved to a base where Verizon gets no service. AND they were willing to pay the hefty cancellation fee. Verizon tried to get them to pay it THREE TIMES. After they had already paid it once. Not to mention the fact that they continued to attempt charges for multiple months after the account was closed and did much the same thing as happened with Deacon...
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Re: T-Mobile: Not even enough courtesy for a reach-around

Post by Martin Blank » Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:32 pm

Large companies send everything to collections. They bundle it up in giant blocks, so their marginal cost for doing so is very small. They wouldn't just be buying this delinquent account, but probably hundreds or even thousands of others.

I want a new phone that's coming out soon from Sprint. They've had a serious problem for the last several years losing customers. I'm hoping that bodes well for me, as I can threaten to jump ship to AT&T in December for the same phone. T-Mobile has no real customer retention problems (and you're already gone), so there's much less leverage there.
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Re: T-Mobile: Not even enough courtesy for a reach-around

Post by thejerseyminx » Sun Oct 19, 2008 9:19 pm

MB- I've been with Sprint since Aug. of '03 and for the most part I'm a really satisfied customer. Any time something has been an issue I've been able to call and act like I will cancel my account and they do just about anything to make me happy.
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Re: T-Mobile: Not even enough courtesy for a reach-around

Post by PVTHillbilly » Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:34 am

I have the hospital calling me and threatening to smear my credit over a bill of $1.84. That's right, $1.84. They've spent more money sending me letters than what the bills was even worth. The whole thing started because I sent a money order to them for a bill for an ultrasound of my gallbladder, and apparently got the wrong amount on the money order and shorted them $1.84. They only sent one letter to tell me about this and it included a threatening letter of the same affect of yours. It's really stupid, they spend more money on stamps and envolpes than what the bill is worth. Finally, I got a day off work and just went over there to hand them there precious $1.84 in person and the lady that works there just said, don't worry about it, and took it off my account.
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