T-Mobile retention goes above and beyond to keep me on contract

T-Mobile retention goes above and beyond to keep me on contract

Summary: With a new Galaxy S III purchase, my plan was changed without authorization. Thankfully, customer retention made things right and took steps to ensure I was kept a happy customer.

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TOPICS: Mobility, Samsung, Telcos
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Regular readers know that I have been a loyal T-Mobile customer for over 10 years. After testing out the Samsung Galaxy S III I decided to buy one for myself so visited my local T-Mobile store on Friday. I have a two year old five phone family plan with unlimited data so made sure that my plan wouldn't change with this purchase and was assured it would stay intact. A couple hours later I received a text message and warning that I was over a new 2GB monthly allotment and that my data was being throttled.

At first I thought this was just a temporary error as my account was updated with my new phone and microSIM card. However, I was trying to use Google Maps Navigation the next morning and couldn't get any maps to load fast enough to navigate (I went to my Lumia 900 on AT&T for navigation). I ran a speed test and found data down in the 100 kbps range and could not believe I was seeing EDGE data on my new Galaxy S III. I've written in the past that it wasn't that big of a deal for T-Mobile to throttle data after 2GB or 5GB, but after experiencing this EXTREME limit on data speeds I now agree Sprint is the only true unlimited data carrier left.

After a day and a half I checked my T-Mobile account online and still saw it showed a 2GB limit. I was fuming and ready to make some heads roll since I specifically made sure that my plan wasn't going to be changed. I called the T-Mobile customer service line and after checking out what was going on I was told that they could not reenable my grandfathered plan and the only way to get more data was to pay another $15 per month for the 5GB plan. They said I could go to the store to see if they could help, but there was nothing else they could do.

I then called back to find out what my ETF would be to cancel T-Mobile service so I could return the GSIII, cancel my plan, and make a move to a new Verizon shared data plan. The customer loyalty representative acknowledged my 10+ years of service and immediately put my 5GB data limit back in place. He then told me he was wiping out my upcoming $200 July bill and then even applying a $10 credit to my bill every month for the next 24 months. WOW, I was just simply trying to get my 5GB data limit back and T-Mobile showed me respect deserving of a 10+ year customer. I am now signed up for another two years with T-Mobile, but given how pleased I have been during this time I have no problem with that. Thank you T-Mobile for quickly restoring my faith and showing me why I continue to stick with you.

BTW, I also learned that ETFs are assigned for the plan and not individual phones like they were in the past so it would cost me $1,000 to cancel my T-Mobile service even with just 3 months left in my current contract. Given that all phones are now on the new two year contract and eligible for full subsidizes, I may see if my wife wants to upgrade to a Galaxy S III as well.

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Topics: Mobility, Samsung, Telcos

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9 comments
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  • ok2phone.com,dual sim android

    Congratulations,i like your writing.
    ok2phone-com
    • I think This is a lie

      I have been with T-mobile for about 4 years now and I have never been pleased with their Loyalty Dept. They provide one of the rudest customer service I have ever experienced. They talk to you in a rush and do not care about you being satisfied or not. So I think the author of this article works for t-mobile.
      Facts
      My real name : Johnny Petit
      I have a corporate discount on my account that has not been honored for over a year. I called every single month all they tell me is to check my math (funny right, it's simple arithmetic) They caught the mistake two weeks ago, all they told me is that they cannot go back for more than two months. (how frustrating) That is not everything though. I have to call them every month to make sure fix things that I have never touched in the account, it's like another full time job.
      They are the cheapest in the nation, the service in not bad ( reasons why I have been with them for three years). But when you call them you realize that you get what you pay for.

      Worst customer service ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      jlpakf
  • .

    I doubt it would of cost you $1000 to cancel though, i'm pretty sure if you kicked up a stink about them changing your contract agreements when you made sure they wouldn't change they would not be providing you the service you pay for, therefore you can just cancel at any time.

    Here in the UK my friend kept getting cut off of Vodafone, so they cancelled the direct debit and started a new contract on O2, Vodafone rang them saying they owed them £600 to pay off the contract early, and threatned to take them to court. My friend just noted the dates they were cut off and the 6 calls they made to Vodafone complaining about being cut off, Vodafone dropped the charges and didn't even ask for their phone back!
    danjames2012
  • Wheeling and dealing

    "Retention departments" are apparently a well-kept secret. We've all seen the deals that new subscribers get when signing up for cable/phone/internet bundles, but what happens to the current subscribers when their deal runs out? We signed up for FIOS a couple of years ago when our then-current provider wouldn't match Verizon's new customer deal. When the FIOS deal ran out and the higher prices kicked in, we looked around and sure enough, The Other Guys would give us two years for $49/month, plus they'd come over to the house and peel grapes for us, and walk the dog too. We called Verizon to see if they would match that deal and they said no.

    I was Googling around for an even better deal when I ran across a note about Verizon's "retention department." It turns they can break all the rules and do whatever they have to to keep you with Verizon, but you have to ask for them. You have to literally tell the jerk on the phone who says they can't match DirectTV's deal, "Connect me with the retention department."

    All the companies probably have them. But I guess most people just let their "deal" expire and then go on to pay new and higher rates for years, so that's why the carriers try to pretend there's nothing they can do. But if you scream loud enough, it turns out there is something they can do.
    Robert Hahn
    • Yep

      It costs more to acquire a new customer than it is to keep one. Plus, that "good" feeling you get when you offer a customer a deal who is about to leave means they are far more likely to a) keep you around after the deal ends and b) you might even tell other people about the story as well.
      Jeff Kibuule
  • T-Mobile - strick policy on plan change = 2 yr contract

    I have T-Mobile as well and had a very different experience. I attempted a plan change online that didn't complete the transactions and got an error message to call-in to complete change. After spending over 45 mins with a representative to complete the plan change it was still not done correctly. I had to call back on 2 other occasions, both waiting over 30- 60 mins to complete re-rating of my charges. I purchased one device at full retail price and signed a contract on the 2nd lines. When I attempted to cancel my line that I paid full retail price I was told I had a 2 yr. contract on the line because of the plan change. I told them that I never agreed to a 2 yr. contract on that line or an extension on the other line. They said they had proof, but couldn't provide it to me. I then spend additional time talking to retention specialist and managers in an attempt to resolve my dispute. I sent emails to a speciality team that would supposedly get back to me after research - they never did follow-up with me. I even explained that I get having a contract when they are discounting the phone purchased, but I had paid full retail price on my device. They would not consider removing the break-fee, but amazingly offered to change my plan to a low price plan and extend my contract for another 2 yrs. I had been a rather happy T-Mobile customer up to this experience. Now I understand why they are seeing high churn from post-pay customers. I was so disappointed I cancelled the line and paid the break-fee. I will only keep my other line until I can cancel it as well. Their very strick rules on adding 2 yr contracts with a plan change is a disappointment and can't be the best solution to retain customers. They do allow data feature changes with our a plan extension - just don't change your actual plan.
    BettyMobileGirl
    • Same thing happened to me

      The same thing happened to me. I changed my contract on their web site resulting in a bill that was exactly the same as before. That triggered a new 2 year contract. WHY!?!? The whole point of a contract is because they subsidize the hardware costs. In this case there was no hardware and now decrease in the money I paid them each month. This is exactly why they're in 4th place and dropping quickly. No respect for their customers.
      Raymond M
  • Glad to hear you are happy...

    can't say that I am with the new ZDNET look and feel. Hard to find the articles I am interested in. Have to wade through a lot of articles that I am not interested in to find those that I am (case in point would be Android, Nokia, Mobile in general, Windows Phone, etc...) without having to wade through iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, etc... For a while there I was still wondering if Matt was still writing here as I couldn't find any articles by him.
    Old menu at the top of the website allowed me to do that. If it takes too much effort, I may just have to move on to another website to get my mobile information.
    jkohut
    • Understand frustration, ZDNet is now more topic based

      We are still working out the kinks in the new system and as you can see the site is much more topic based than author based with inclusion of articles from around the world. You can bookmark my blogs or visit topic based pages such as http://www.zdnet.com/topic-smartphones/ or http://www.zdnet.com/topic-android/ or http://www.zdnet.com/topic-t-mobile/ I just entered http://www.zdnet.com/topic-FILLINBLANKHERE and then entered a topic heading of interest to see articles filtered for this topic. You could then save these Topic-focused pages for viewing. It is tougher to find articles by author and the only way to really see those is to bookmark the author page, http://www.zdnet.com/meet-the-team/us/matthew.miller/
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)