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T-mobile bills for original G2 and the warranty replacement

T-mobile tries to charge for both the original G2 and its warranty replacement. Are slow internal systems to blame?
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor on

After reading the specifications of the Samsung Vibrant, I purchased one at the local T-Mobile store. Although the phone was beautiful and fast, I found that the GPS capability didn't work well at all.  I'd be sitting in my home office and the phone would tell me that I was 20 miles away. After going round and round with tech support, I decided to return the phone for a full refund. It took 30 days for the refund to show up on my account.

The T-Mobile G2 by Google looked pretty interesting so I ordered a phone using T-mobile's online system. The phone appeared 3 days prior to the official launch day.  I set it up, loaded all of my software, noticed how much bloatware that they had installed on the phone in a way that made it impossible to remove it. I tried to use the phone. I also noticed that T-mobile had disabled some standard Android 2.2 functions as well.

The G2 was faulty, however. I couldn't hear callers unless I turned on the external speaker. After several calls to T-mobile's tech support line, they proposed sending me another phone to replace the first one. Sounds like a typical story of an early adopter doesn't it? Wait, it get's better.

On October 5th, the replacement G2 showed up.  I transferred my software, photos movies and the like to the new phone. I reset the old phone to factory specs and sent it priority mail to the national repair center just as suggested in the documentation that accompanied the new phone. It's my best guess that it arrived at the repair center by October 8th.

The new phone works very well and, other than the bloatware that T-mobile loaded on the device, is quite pleasing to use. I've been able to work around the disabled parts of Andriod without too much trouble. Amazon's MP3 service, even though I haven't accepted the service agreement, keeps restarting. I wonder what information it is sending to Amazon? There are other pieces of software that keep restarting. Who knows what they're doing?  I loaded advanced process killer and had it keep killing the processes when they restarted. Over all, I was happy until I received my T-mobile bill.

The cost of both phones, the original and the warranty replacement phone, was listed! The bill was over $1,100!

I called their telephone support line twice, neither agent could or would be of help. I visited the local store, they were kind enough to call their support line to find out what had happened.  Although the broken phone was sent to the national center immediately after the replacement phone arrived, the repair center hadn't logged it into the billing system. So, I was presented with a bill for both phones.

I paid the bill for telephone usage and one of the two phones. I told them that I wouldn't pay for a phone that I had returned to them.

Have you had an experience like this with T-mobile or another service provider? What did you do

Update on October 27th

Although the on-line billing statement didn't show a credit or adjustment to remove the cost of the returned G2, the presented balanced was $5.99. Since that was rather confusing, I called telephone support and had to endure T-Mobile's mindless voice response system before getting to a very pleasant representative.  She was able to look into their system and see that the credit/adjustment had been made, but had not yet been posted to the online system.  I guess the lesson here is that T-Mobile's online system is not a real-time system. It clearly doesn't represent the current state of a person's account. That being said, I'm happy that T-Mobile addressed the problem.

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