T-Mobile USA has Horrible Customer Service

15 08 2011

I’ve always had nothing but good things to say about T-Mobile customer service.  I would call up and their representatives were always nice and helpful. 

That is until recently.  Fortunatly I haven’t had need of T-Mobile customer service very often, and was dismayed to learn that something has changed.

If you call tmobile from your phone (either their 877 number or by dialing 611) it doesn’t actually call anyone, but instead opens the t-mobile app which has links to things such as checking your minutes, viewing your bill, etc.  It then also has a link to dial support.  If you press the link, it will dial support, which is their new fancy automated system.

The system asks what you’re calling about.  It suggests you can say things like “check usage, pay bill,” etc.  If you ask for a representative it tells you that it needs to know what you’re calling about first.  No matter how many times you ask for a representative, it will not connect you.  And so you tell it what you want:

Me:  “android update”

T-Mobile:  “Just to be sure, you’re calling about hotspots, am I right?”

Me:  “no”

T-Mobile:  “My mistake.  Let’s try this again.  . .”

Me:  “software update”

T-Mobile:  “Just to make sure, you’re calling about downloads, correct?”

Me:  “kind of”

And finally it connects me to a person. 

I called a few weeks ago to get some information about different plans and their pricing, to see if there was a better deal out there for me and my rather unique phone usage situation (I need one line with text, voice and data, and one with just voice).  I explained to the representative what I wanted and no matter how many times I explained it, or in how many different ways, he just wasn’t understanding my simple question, which boiled down to, “are there any new plans which would keep the service i have now and lower my bill?”.  After offering me several more expensive plans, I finally gave up, thanked him for his time, and hung up.

And so now my phone, (G2X) didn’t receive the gingerbread update it was supposed to.  LG’s website has a way to manully update the phone, but this requires a Windows PC, and being a Linux user, means I can’t do it (easily).  So I decide to contact customer support.  I email them using an address I find after a google search and get this message in return:

Notice:  Important changes to our e-mail program starting Jan 10th:

You spoke and we listened!  Due to overwhelming feedback, our e-mail for Customer Care is transitioning to live chat support. We?ve found that you are more satisfied with chat, and get your issues resolved in less time with chat.

Starting Jan 10th, e-mail will no longer be available for support, but you can still chat live with one of our online specialists. You can also get online help from other customers in our Community Forums (http://forums.t-mobile.com), or use our self-service options in My T-Mobile (http://my.t-mobile.com).  As always, 24/7 support is still available by dialing 1-800-937-8997 or 611 from your T-Mobile phone.

Which means I can’t do it from my phone.  Okay, so I wait until I’m at a computer and I go to their live chat.  Here’s the screenshot:

Why suffer through the convenience of E-mail when you can have a chat service that you can’t access? 

Which lead me to call them again.  After going through the hoops of their automated service and establishing that yes, I actually had a legitimate question, I finally get through to someone.  This person seems both polite and competent.  She tells me that she needs to transfer me to another department.  I say okay, and she makes the transfer.  A few seconds later I am greeted with the sound of the call disconecting.

And so, I call back, go through the same rigamarool with the automated system and this time am successfully transfered to the ‘2nd level support’.  I explain the issue and am put on hold for 10 min. after which time he explains that the Gingerbread update for the G2X was pulled due to instability issues.  Which makes the communication from T-Mobile on their support forums rather confusing.

In any case, it is clear that T-Mobile wants to make it as hard as possible to actually contact support.  They make it easy to give you resources to solve your own problem, but if it is obvious that your problem is not one of their standard issues, then you’re shit out of luck until you have half an hour to spend on the phone.

Come on T-Mobile.  What happened?