T-Mobile Complaint

Ficititious charges, abusive billing practices

Where to start? Well...in my opinion and with our experiences, T-Mobile is the most unscrupulously run operation I've ever encountered.

We have four phones under a shared 1600 minute plan with them. One of the phones has a monthly $14.99 surcharge for unlimited text and instant messaging. Our December 2005 bill came in an 8 1/2x11' envelope, was hundreds of pages in length and was a whopping total of $1086. What?!?

They had charged $0.35 as used minutes for every single text/instant message on that phone. On top of that, because each message was charged as a minute-they chewed through the 1600 minutes and charged all phones for minutes over the 1600 limit. The 1600 minutes were 'used up' by messages that were charged as minutes.

It took several weeks, calls and emails to at least six different T-Mobile customer support 'specialists' and their business care email address to get the problem resolved. Each call ended in the following. 'We are going to give this to our offline billing department...we'll get back to you within one week.' Finally we got the fictitious charges cancelled from the bill. But they never reversed the charges for overbilling us for the minute overage. They dropped the messaging charges, but NOT the charges for the over 1600 minutes that the fictitious message minutes. Worse, repeated instances occurred where the same 'minute' was charged for multiple times--because some messages were sent/received within that same minute (!). They never dropped these charges.

January's bill comes--and they have done the same thing again, with the same phone, with the same outcome--a bill of over $966. Again with the
repeated phone calls to at least a half a dozen customer support specialists, the repeated run around, repeated, wasted time.

Finally, again, after endless phone calls and stalling, we get the bill credited for the fictitious charges. They still did not drop the fictitious charges for the minute overages triggered by the fictitious minute/message charge. They rolled December's charges for this over to January's billing.

February's bill comes--and they have done the same thing AGAIN, with the SAME phone AGAIN, with the SAME outcome AGAIN--a bill of over $684. All the same billing for the various fictitious charges from December and January showed up.

We haven't started round three, but I am now convinced that our only recourse is through whistle blowing and legal action in small claims court
or through binding arbitration. After three months of this, our conclusion is that they will continue to deal in bad faith on this matter--now and in the future.

Having scoured the terms and conditions agreement, it is clear to me that the only way to get billing disputes logged them and potentially resolved
is in writing to the address listed in section 2 of the Terms and Conditions. Write about any illegitimate or fictitious charges on your
bill to this address:

Customer Relations
P.O. Box 37380
Albuquerque, NM 87176-7380

You should understand that you can also take T-Mobile to small claims court for any illegitimate or fictitious charges. This may be your only
protection since they may unilaterally decide to hand your bill over to a collection agency for a new set of hounds to ruin your life.

In our case, they have dealt with us in 'bad faith' at every turn. If (when) you are unable to get a result from their customer relations, you
must 'serve' T-Mobile by sending all paperwork and a description of your complaint to this address:

Corporation Services Company
1010 SE Union Ave. SE
Olympia, WA 98501

Then you can contact the--American Arbitration Association for a disposition. Their phone number and web site are: 800-778-7879 www.adr.org

We are not deadbeats or bill dodging non-payers. We have credit scores of of 900/930, 805/850 and 800/825 from the three credit rating services. We have become gravely concerned that T-Mobile will file a fraudulent, negative report against our record with the big-three credit bureaus if we refuse to pay these fictitious charges. That would negatively affect us for years. There seems to be no recourse and no end to them continuing to
levy fictitious charges, abusively bill and continue and repeated deal in bad faith.

This has been a nightmare for months now.

Our contract with T-Mobile ends on March 29, 2006-Independence day, Bastille Day or whatever you want to call it. After that date, we will cancel service and begin legal proceedings against T-Mobile for fictitious charges and abusive billing practices. We are left with no other choice.

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Reader Comments:

Posted by megang2dau on 02/01/2008
I have been in a dispute with T-Mobile since last September. I signed up for service online and completed my application there including my address which MUST include the apartment number of my Condo or the post office will not deliver mail. I had not gotten a bill by the end of September so I called their "customer service" department. While on the call we found out my address was missing the apartment number so they corrected their records. I got the amount of my bvalance paid my outstanding charges immediately through my bill pay system at my bank. I though all was well. Then I didn't get a bill for October so I call again! Now the dingbat tells me I missed the billing cycle so they would have to send special bill and that should arrive within two weeks. Quite by accident I discovered during the call they had added penalty charges. I did not pay the penalty but paid the charges again immediately. Now when I got the physical bill I find they not only added penalties but they had shut off my service (I was not notified) and now charged me a reconnect fee! I refused to pay the fee and wrote a letter explaining their screw up and sent copies of all bills with dates and calls and payments. I never got a response but the penalty charges continued to be added. I finally got a call from their "executive service rep" saying I should have paid my bill and they could not remove the charges. I then wrote to the BBB and the Attorney General. I got a copy of a letter where they responded to the Attorney General and said they only added a $5. penalty on my bill and agreed to waive the fee and requested the case be closed. I could not believe the arrogance of the rep. I fortunately had sent copies of all bills and payments showing the penalty charges were now $35. After the address was corrected I paid all subsequent bills but refused to pay penalties. The case is still hanging. For your own safety make sure you copy the email signup form with all your personal data and do not just pay your bill without closely reviewing the charges to be sure they match your expectations. I still have not gotten a response from my second letter to the Attorney General, copies to T-Mobile. It does appear I will take them to small claims court if they do not remove charges. Yes I will use a day of vacation but their costs will be far in excess of the charges they added. I will wait to see if they try to send to collection agance and if they do will hire an attorney. I am tired of big phone companies trying to take advantage of me. The last company extended my contract another two years when I was nearly at the end of my first contract when my phone died and had to be replaced. I have yet to deal with a mobile carrier who gives a crap about the customer. It is time to complain and force them to pay attention. Hit them where it hurts the pocketbook because if you don't they will get you and not care one iota.

Ron, Frustrated in Minneapolis

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