Store’s customer service leaves lots to be desired
Updated: May 24, 2012 5:08PM
Dear Fixer: I visited a T-Mobile store in Countryside to look into getting a new phone. I allowed an employee to access my account but ultimately I left without making a purchase.
A few weeks later, I went to a different T-Mobile store. The employee there told me I had no upgrade left on my account and that the Countryside store had extended my contract for two years, including entering a serial number for a phone I hadn’t purchased.
I returned to the Countryside store to have the error corrected. When I explained the situation, the same employee immediately started yelling at me that he had made “one click” in error. So according to him, that one click entered a serial number, had me agree to a contract extension and extended my contract for two years.
He refused to call T-Mobile to correct the error, instead insisting that he had sent an email to them. I asked for a copy of the email and he refused. I also asked for his name and he told me “John” (not his real name).
So I called T-Mobile’s customer service. The representative on the phone was quite helpful and asked to speak with “John.” He agreed, but had an aggressive attitude and still insisted he was handling this via email. The phone rep didn’t believe him, and ended up straightening everything out, but this is where the story gets really crazy.
The next day, I posted a negative review of the Countryside store online. The day after that, “John” called me six times from his store until I answered. He then told me I had 24 hours to remove my review or he would cancel my account. He [made increasingly serious threats] and then recited my personal information from my account.
I filed a police report and called T-Mobile several times. The police helped me find out the employee’s real name, and I got information about the store’s incorporation.
I had a difficult time getting T-Mobile’s customer service to actually file a complaint, but after several phone calls I did eventually hear from an investigator from their corporate office. He was very friendly and sympathetic to my situation but said that because the Countryside store is a franchise location, he wasn’t sure what he could do. He said he’d forwarded my case to the department that handles franchises but hadn’t heard anything back.
Dear Tracey: Well, your letter sure puts into perspective some of the complaints we get about poor customer service. Yikes.
Team Fixer got in touch with T-Mobile’s corporate folks to find out what, if anything, their investigation had turned up about this franchise location, which goes by the name Xtreme Wireless.
We heard back from Scott Goldberg, a senior communications manager — and you also received a call. Goldberg said your safety is their “utmost concern” and “T-Mobile will not tolerate the mistreatment of customers by any third-party distributors.”
To that end, T-Mobile has withdrawn Xtreme Wireless’ authorization to sell T-Mobile products and services, Goldberg said.
We tried to reach the store owner but did not get a call back.
Does anyone else remember the days when you could switch an airplane flight at the last moment without spending your life savings?
Once, The Fixer accidentally showed up at the wrong airport and magically got on another plane, no problem. (This was pre-9/11, when they also had in-flight meals with silverware and generous luggage allowances.)
We get lots of letters here at Fixer HQ from people who believe — not unreasonably — that the old rules should still apply when it comes to changing plane tickets. C.A. of Park Ridge is one reader who recently learned the hard way that those good old days are no more.
C.A. had bought plane tickets for herself and her son to visit her college-student daughter in another state. As luck would have it, shortly before the trip both kids got sick. The son couldn’t travel and the daughter wanted Mom to come sooner, because she needed to have some hospital tests performed and didn’t want to go alone.
C.A. called the airline to change her flight and cancel her son’s ticket.
The airline said sure — if you pay an additional $1,000.
C.A. didn’t want to spend that much, so she called another airline and bought a one-way ticket for herself for $348. She took her daughter to the hospital and stayed with her for the tests. She figured she’d use the return flight from her original ticket to get home.
But when she inquired, “They told me they canceled my return flight,” C.A. wrote The Fixer. “I explained to them that I needed that flight to return home, and they said for $1,200 they could reinstate my flight.”
With the hospital bill, there was no way she could fork over another $1,200. So she went to a different airline and got another one-way flight for $578.
As for her original ticket purchase, she was told she could still use it, but she’ll have to pay $300 in change fees per ticket.
Thanks to contributor Mike Nolan.