T-mobile: their sucky website, sucky automated phone system, and other practices

Not sure why companies are drawing my ire lately…oh wait, I know why. They’re money grubbing faceless corporations and conglomerates that collectively conspire to rape the consumer. For goodness sake, even Amazon has shown their ugly side to me.

Today’s not so random complaint is directed squarely at T-mobile. I’ve been a customer for about 3 years now. Actually, over 3 years. And I have no real complaints. Well, thank goodness for the inter-tubes known collectively as the web and my toddler son.

I was in Target the other day when my son decided he’d had enough of looking at the fruity pebbles box (hey – maybe he thought pebbles was hot or something…for a cave baby) and wanted something else to grab his attention. I tried keys, random toys, but nothing fit the bil. He loved playing with my phone, so I gave him the phone. It was a pretty indestructable phone, I’ve dropped it on concrete and even played pong and floor hockey with it. However, my son managed to bite off the keyboard. (And for all you people out there that are saying “Holy shit! You let him play with a fucking phone?”…Yes i did. Call me parent of the year. When your kid is angry in aTarget, you do whatever you can to placate him. Go smoke in front of your kid – give him an early start at melanoma or a tumor – then talk to me about being a bad parent.)

So now my phone is missing the 8,9,0, and # sign. Ah shit. Well, my contract was up anyone and I need a new phone anyway. The battery life on this is going to hell.

So, I go to the website, and pick out my new phone. Then I pick out a new phone for my wife (we’re on the same plan). I put it in my cart, then I realize “Shit! It thinks I’m a new customer – that’s not right.” So I sign into my account and have to start over. Not a big deal.

Except it is. You see, even though two phones are on the same plan, each phone number has to sign in separately to access “their” account. Even though its one account. Hmmm. Okay, whatever. Except now I have to upgrade two phones which means I have to upgrade each one at a time. Again, inconvenient.

So I upgrade my phone. Done. I login to the other account, and upgrade that phone. Done. Whew. Now I need to cancel a third line on the same account, since it is never used. Okay. I assume I need to call for that.

So I dial up the customer service number. I get an automated system – you know, the whole “Press 1 for Enlgish, 2 for spanish…”

I press 1. Now some automated woman (who doesn’t sound like she’s being too sincere) is asking me how she can help me.

“Drop third line” I say.

“I’m sorry, I don’t understand you.”

Yeah, no shit. I try again a different way.

“Cancel additional line.”

“I’m sorry, I’m not sure what you’re asking?”

Then she rattles off some options that make no sense to me. Like account balance, minutes, things like that. I’ve had enough.


“I’m sorry, I don’t understand you.”

So I press 0.

“That’s not a valid entry.”


“I’m sorry, I don’t understand you.”

“Let me talk to someone. Now.” I press 0.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t quite get that.”

Finally, I’m able to randomly convince this fembot that she can’t help me and she transfers me. And I’m finally able to disconnect the third line.

Okay, so now I presumably have two orders in the system, and third line cancelled. Later, I wanted to see the order status. So I look on the site, and under Support I see order status. Awesome! So I click it. It is this FAQ/help page with links to USPS and UPS. No order numbers, not order status. And the header says “Track Package”. WTF?

So apparently there is no way t get an order status on the site – just track your package. If it hasn’t shipped yet, well, you’re kinda fucked. So since my order hadn’t shipepd yet, I was in no man’s land. I searched the site and couldn’t find anywhere that had some kind of order status. Wow. Amazing.

But I did see a delivery estimate (not specific to my order) that delivery takes 7 business days, after processing of course. So I’m thinking “Wow. WTF? Well, maybe I’ll call to see if I can just pick up my phone in the store. Its 5 minutes away.”

So I call the rep, and ask if I can do this.

“No, if you ordered online you have to wait for it to be shipped.”


“Web only or special pricing.”

“So you mean to tell me that I can’t come into your store and get the phone, even though I’m a customer, and you have my order in the system?”


“If I walked into the store right now, and cancelled my web order, you wouldn’t give me the same price of the phone I paid online?”


“I know this isn’t true, because whenever I walk by a kiosk in the mall, the guy always tells me there are rebates available. And those just happen to bring the price to the web only ’special’ price.”

The call ends. Now if she had told me “it was separate inventory” or something like that, I’d let it go. But the whole price argument is shaky. Very shaky.

I log into my account again this morning, and see nothing on the order status page. Dammit – I want my phone, or at least some kind of update! I click the UPS link, enter my phone number, and it turns out the phone was shipped yesterday.

Skip the drama, please and just put something on your order status page. Please?

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 11th, 2009 at 6:44 am and is filed under sagas. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


3 Responses to “T-mobile: their sucky website, sucky automated phone system, and other practices”

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