The customer is no longer always right

For several years, I have been very happy with mobile phone service from T-Mobile. Before joining T-Mobile, I tried nearly every other mobile phone provider, switching as soon as the contract expired due to my disgust with the lack of customer service, hidden charges, or other deceptive practices. T-Mobile has kept me satisfied for over three years, more than double my tenure with any other company.

Things changed last week. I called customer service to inquire about a $200 charge on my mobile phone bill. I learned that the charge was imposed as an early termination fee for cancelling one of the two lines on our family plan.

Indeed, the contract allows them to impose this penalty for early termination. My fault. But I then asked the supervisor for a credit because I have purchased my telephones at full retail price. Remember, the mobile phone companies offer “free” phones that are actually subsidized via the monthly subscription fees, and the early termination penalty simply helps them recover the telephone subsidy.

“Sorry Dr. Glockner, we can’t do that.”

I’ll remember that in 11 months when my contract expires. I know there are other providers that have the latest smart phones, and they will be quite happy to get my business. Yes, they also have deceptive practices. But at least I’ll be $500 richer for not having to purchase the latest smartphone at unsubsidized, retail prices.

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One Comment on “The customer is no longer always right”

  1. NS Says:

    Which phones did you get? My GSM phone is dying, and I was looking at a RAZR (which is ironic given my allergy to the actual thing). Those are subsidized and still world phones, but no longer cutting edge.


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