ZoneLabs to T-Mobile: 'Don't point David's signal loss finger at us'

ZoneLabs to T-Mobile: 'Don't point David's signal loss finger at us'

Summary: Two days ago, I posted a recording of my customer support call to T-Mobile.  You should listen to it if you haven't already.

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TOPICS: Mobility
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Two days ago, I posted a recording of my customer support call to T-Mobile.  You should listen to it if you haven't already. Judging by the comments that ZDNet's readers filed on the blog post, those who have listened to it are seething mad.  I tried to use T-Mobile's hotspot at the San Francisco airport and had excellent signal strength until the point at which I supplied them with my personal information and credit card number for a one-day pass.  Then, the signal basically disapppeared.  So, I called T-Mobile to get my money back and Rudy in customer service told me I was out of luck... that one-day passes were non-refundable even if they didn't work.  He told me the "signal is there" and attempted to pin the blame for the WiFi signal loss on my system's security configuration -- specifically citing certain products like ZoneLab's personal firewall as a product known to cause the signal loss problem (I knew this was BS but Rudy insisted he knew what he was talking about). 

Yesterday, via e-mail, James Grant who leads the driver group in development of ZoneAlarm and who says the buck stops with him if Zone Labs' products cause connectivity problems, contacted me to verify what I already knew:

I've never heard of reports of people losing their signal strength because of ZoneAlarm. 

Meanwhile, someone claiming to be a senior manager of customer service at T-Mobile contacted me yesterday to apologize saying he was appalled at Rudy's aggressive manner and the tone.  He asked if I might notify ZDNet's readers of T-Mobile's apology and attempt to make good on the deal. He sounded very sincere.  But, with no way to verify that the person was actually from T-Mobile, I asked them to send the apology to me via email and said I'd publish here on ZDNet.  Since that call from early yesterday afternoon (east coast time), I haven't received anything.  That doesn't mean the call was a farce.  I can imagine that T-Mobile's lawyers and public relations people are pouring over every word before sending that letter to me. If and when it gets to my inbox, I will republish it here.

Topic: Mobility

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7 comments
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  • Why do I suddenly smell phish?

    I hate to play the paranoia card, but this "hotspot" sounds like phish bait.

    [i]I tried to use T-Mobile's hotspot at the San Francisco airport and had excellent signal strength until the point at which I supplied them with my personal information and credit card number for a one-day pass. Then, the signal basically disapppeared.[/i]

    With mobile malware on the rise, this would sound like the typical phishing tatic; Pose as a legitimate hotspot, request personal data, then disappear. Mr. Rudy and the "Senior Manager" could very well be the phishers themselves. Who knows how many such "hotspots" are operating out there, or whose personal data they have?
    Mr. Roboto
    • Rudy couldn't be a phisher

      As I called T-Mobile's 800 number.

      db
      dberlind
    • never thought of that

      Ya know, a laptop running a web server and a wireless nic in the right configuration COULD pull something like that off.

      Man, the security analyzer in me is now getting the heebie jeebies about those access points.
      Sxooter_z
  • Hey David...

    It's news like this (especially in the IT) world that will help us out. I love when people actually use what they have to help everyone instead of just themselves. Brings back some credibility to journalism/blogging.
    ju1ce
    • Seems like the sort of thing that..

      we could do more of.

      David
      dberlind
      • Agreed...

        Lot's of fishy things in the IT world that could be brought up to inform consumers. Would be nice to have a Canadian version too. Since we don't have T-Mobile up here in the Great White North.

        Great articles as of late anyways.
        ju1ce
  • Isn't San Francisco Airport still free?

    Last year when I traveled through San Fran the entire airport had free WiFi available. Has this changed now to using T-Mobile HotSpots?
    palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)