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?


Recommended Reading: Sum; Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman

24 05 2011

I just finished reading Sum; Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman.  I highly recommend this book of short stories.  Hit the link to read a few of the stories, you won’t be disappointed. 

New Shape Cats Love!

23 05 2011

This is what I feed my hedgehog.  He likes it.  I know that because he gets excited when I give it to him, and he eats it.  That’s pretty much the extent of my knowledge as to how he feels about it.  But recently I noticed they had changed the shape of the food from what I remember as being roughly non-circular to circular.  My suspicions were confirmed when I noticed the bag advertised that it was in a “new shape cats love!”

Here’s the abstract of the study performed to validate this statement:

Cats were asked to express their cat food preferences. A list of cat foods of various sizes, shapes, and styles was provided. The cats’ responses were recorded and analyzed. Claude is a food driven feline and he said this study was important.

. . .

I realize that there probably was an actual study done to determine which shape cats find most appealing (which is disturbing enough as it is).  But if someone studied it than surely they must have been trying to solve a problem.  Were cats unhappy with the shapes we had been feeding them?  They’re one of the oldest domesticated animals – surely we must have been doing okay.  What need could have possibly warranted this study?  Have they simply been upset with the shapes of their foods up until now and just been too polite to mention it?

In any case, I suggest asking your cat (or hedgehog as the case may be) if they are satisfied with the shape of their current food, and if not, try switching to something round.  I hear cats love it.

Vote GOP

23 05 2011

Respect vs. Tolerance

10 11 2009

I had a conversation tonight in which it occurs to me that the other party involved was making the mistake of confusing respect and tolerance.  I had made it clear that religous beliefs were not something I had much respect for – in part because of religion’s intolerance.  I was then accused of being intolerant because of that opinion.

The difference is that I am not trying to force my beliefs on anyone, I’m just arguing that I should be extended the same courtesy.  But when lawmakers ban gay marriage because their book says it is wrong – that is a blatant violation of the separation of church and state.  When I say that they are ridiculous for believing that gay marriage is wrong, I am not saying that they don’t have the right to choose not to marry someone of the same gender.

I wonder how many decisions are made by how many people have an impact on my life that I’m not even aware of.  Seemingly infinite.  I wonder how many of those decisions are made because of the input of the person’s invisible friend . . .

USSA – No Way!

6 08 2009

obama healthcare

This comparison brought to you by Rush Limbaugh.  Coincidence?  I think not.

With all the allegations being tossed around by the right wing nut jobs I find myself wondering where it all comes from.  What does it say about American culture that this seemingly large number of people are so unabashedly ignorant?  Just today I came upon some people with signs protesting the health reform currently being considered in congress.  One of their signs pointed out that the plan we all about killing old people, and another preached against socialism.  Both of the people were what I would consider to be elderly and it was entirely likely that they were receiving medicare benefits.

Someone told them that these things were true and they didn’t care to look into it for themselves.  They want to hate it so bad that they will latch onto anything, regardless of how ridiculous it is.  When did reason stop being a virtue?  Was it the rise of consumerism that was the demise of intelligence?

I don’t think Glenn Beck should be fired for calling Obama a racist.  I find it utterly depressing however that he isn’t taken off the air because of low ratings.  The fact that there is a market for him – that people like to hear what he has to say regardless of how many times he has proved himself a clown.

Does Canada have any vacancies?

Comcast – Get with the Program

27 04 2009

Here’s another item to add to my already long list of things I hate about Comcast:

Why can’t they limit the list of channels in their channel guide to only the channels they’ll let me watch?  I don’t pay for HBO or any of it’s 87 spin off channels, so why do I have to scroll through them on the channel guide?  I have a feeling it is because they hope that I will see that The Princess Diaries is playing on HBO and that if I were only to order those channels I too could be enjoying it.  In reality it just makes me that much more bitter at Comcast every time I see the “for ordering info, please press “info”” message appear on my screen.

I understand, it is easier to just give everyone the same list of channels and let them remember which of the zillions of channels they are allowed to watch – but that hardly seems like good customer service.  In fact, I used Comcast’s online chat feature to ask if there was a way to limit the list of channels to only those I pay for, and after having to convince the customer service representative that I was not in fact having an issue with my remote (that’s always their first question, probably because their remote is the worst designed piece of shit on the planet) they eventually suggested that I try turning off the closed captioning . . .

It’s 2009 people.  It’s a digital service which means that somewhere there is a computer controlling what I see.  I know there is also a computer that knows exactly what I pay for.  Just link that shit up man!

And don’t get me started about the design/functionality of their DVR.  Sweet Jesus.