My T-Mobile night mare


I’m 70 (almost).  Anytime I see a chance to save some money on monthly expenses I jump on it. Sometimes I jump too fast, and neglect to read the *fine print. This is just such a case.

Near the end of April I received  what I perceived to be a sweet heart deal.  AAA (which I have been a member of for about twenty years) sent out a flyer for people over the age of 55.  They have teamed up with T-Mobile, and if I switched from my current cell carrier to T-Mobile they would give me a load of perks:

  1. $27.50 / month (+ tax and fees) for each line, which is about what I was paying anyway.
  2. $100 in gift cards ($50 per line) just for doing the deed.
  3. They would pay my AAA membership every year (That’s worth $66 / year as it stands).
  4. (This was the straw that broke the camels back — that made me want to do this) They would pay off what I owed on our two phones, up to $800. This would reduce my cell phone bill by $56 / month.

Great! Let’s do this!  I drive down to the local T-Mobile store and talked to some really nice sales people.  Of course, the first one tried to upsell me. This was to be expected, that is what sales people are trained to do.  I left and came back a day or so later. I needed to procure the payoff from my current cell provider and needed that in writing. So I brought back this print out that had the cellular providers name and logo prominently displayed (This fact is important).  I also procured the port over pins for our two lines.

My sales guy, after I told him not to try to upsell me, attempted, and succeeded in getting me hooked up.  His manager came and helped him over some rough spots, all was well.  The manager was the one who clued my in as where on the web I could find the $50/line rebate and the pay-off the phones rebate.  My wife and I were assigned place holder numbers to use until our old numbers were ported over. A few days later I brought both phones in, and the porting process was started for both lines. All was well.

That evening, my wife’s number was ported successfully. But mine was not.  I waited a day or so, and then I noticed that on T-Mobiles website it showed that both numbers had been ported successfully, except this wasn’t true, I was still using the place holder number.

In the meantime, I went to the appropriate place on T-Mobile’s website to get the rebates.  The two $50 rebates were a snap and those will be sent to me in about two weeks.

The $800 phone payoff was another story.  It seems that my former provider was not on the special list of providers T-Mobile will pay off.  It happens that I just don’t have a spare $800 floating around.  I found this out at the website of course, but when I looked at the original flyer with the offer, the fine print mentioned which companies T-Mobile would pay. *I just hadn’t read that.  The question is:  why didn’t the T-Mobile manager at our local store know this? She saw my print out with the balance. She saw who it was from. Why didn’t she mention this? The other thing is that I probably could have made a big stink about the manager not informing me about the payout situation. Maybe I could have received it anyway. But I am also afraid someone would get fired. I don’t want that Karma.

So, at this point I will have to go back to the original provider, hat in hand, and beg them to let me come back; to reinstate me; to let me have my old payment plan back.  Well, lucky for me they were willing to take me back and all is forgiven.  So now I need new SIM cards for both phones, and I need port pins for both phone numbers (including the one which did not successfully port), so that my new/old provider can completely restore my service.

We tried three times to successfully port my old number into T-Mobile. I was thinking maybe that was why T-Mobile’s system wouldn’t generate a port pin for that number. Funny thing is T-Mobile’s web site still shows it as the active number for that account, even though it is not.

On Monday (tomorrow) I will go to the T-Mobile store to try and procure the port pins.  This is what customer service told me to do. I guess it’s because the new service is less than a month old. It’s some kind of security thing (isn’t it always?).  In the meantime, new SIMs are supposed to arrive by mail on Wednesday (Friday at the latest).  With those two provisions fulfilled, all should be well again.

Or not.

Waiting is.