Sorry for the length, I figured posting the entire letter would be the easiest way to get people's opinions.
So, as the title says I recently wrote T-Mobile customer relations asking them to forgive a rather large debt. $987 to be exact.
I am looking for opinions on whether I should be setting aside that thousand bucks or not.
Basically I had only been a customer for a brief period of time, 8 months I believe, I have since cancelled and went to Big Red (and their prices have really came down, $130 plus fees for 2 lines) due to never ending service issues. I actually live in what T-mobile considers an excellent service area, I live less than 2 miles from the T-Mobile store at 1715 Niagara Falls Blvd, Amherst NY.
A few other questions... should I have had my attorney friend throw his name and signature on it and spice it up with some legal jargon? Should I have asked for only half the money or something? And do you think I have to still own the phones? I traded them in and basically got my new phones for free.
Insert all my personal info here
To Whom It May Concern:
I recently was forced to terminate my phone service with T-Mobile for several reasons that I will outline in the following letter. The purpose of this letter is to request that you forgive the debt I incurred when purchasing cell phones for my two lines of service. The debt as of the writing of this letter is $987.00.
Problems with my service have been constant and started soon after I began using your service. The first problem happened approximately 1 month after starting service, while my wife was at work she went from having functional albeit poor service (8053), to having absolutely no ability to make or receive calls or texts while at work. During this period service also declined notably at our home. At this time she had an iPhone which does not and did not have the ability to use your wifi calling service. On a date prior to October 25th myself or my wife called about the drastic change in service, we were told that an engineer would analyze our problem and repair it if necessary. In the days following the initial call we received a return call from T-Mobile stating that our residence was in an excellent service area and repair was not needed.
On October 26, 2013 I purchased an HTC One from T-Mobile in an attempt to rectify my wife’s service issues with the use of the wifi calling. Due to not being informed of the process of switching from an iPhone at this time she was forced to have her phone number changed to 9553.
A separate problem began for my line (8886) relatively soon after beginning service as well. At the onset of my service I purchased Samsung Note 2. Upon using the phone for several weeks I noticed that I was unable to send and receive group (mms) messages. I put in at least one technical support call on June 6, 2013 and according to my memory was told that it was not an available service on the phone. I also inquired about several Android applications that are able to effectively send and receive mms messages that are known to work. However, these programs are non-functional with wifi calling, a service that I was forced to use at home and work due to poor service quality.
In an attempt to fix my problem on October 6, 2013 I purchased an HTC One, a phone which includes mms messaging in the stock messaging application. For several weeks mms messaging worked as promised, however with no major software update mms messaging began to fail. After trying several applications known to work correctly I found once again they do not function with wifi calling. On 11/21/13 I put in a technical support call in an effort to fix the problem, I was again told that an engineer would look into the problem. Several days later I was told that it was a known issue and would be fixed as soon as possible. MMS messaging was the sole reason for my upgrading my phone and incurring the debt in question. As of the cancellation of my service any mms group text I attempted to send would appear blank to everyone it was sent to.
The final problem began in the weeks preceding the termination of my service on December 13, 2013. The problem commenced intermittently so an exact date is difficult to determine. Said problem started when occasionally both lines in service would have trouble making calls, it would connect but make no ringing sounds on my end and the person on the other end would pick up and get no response and eventually hang up disconnecting the line on my end. When receiving calls many would just appear as a voicemail without our phone ringing and with no note of a missed call. After several weeks of this problem I placed my first call on the morning of December 12, 2013. I was once again informed that the technical support provider on the phone was unable to fix my problem and an engineer would check into it. During the next 24-36 hours the problem escalated to the point where both lines of service were completely unable to receive phone calls. At this time placing a call would require approximately 20 attempts, meaning the receiver would get 19 blank phone calls from me or my wife. I made another call to technical support on December, 13 2013, to inquire about my problem and check on the progress of the engineers. Once again I was told that no solution could be provided.
Both my wife and I are required to be available at all times and our only forms of communication are our cell phones. I am a Doctor and my office’s emergency contact is sent to my phone after hours. I absolutely require my phone to function properly as I have patients who potentially depend on me being in contact with them in a timely and professional manner. On Friday evening I made the decision that I was unable to risk going the entire weekend and likely longer, given the history of the effectiveness of your engineers resolving problems, with a non-functioning cell phone. During the months of using T-Mobile I was extremely patient with the incessant service issues, of which none were ever corrected. I have been informed based on several phone calls placed to T-Mobile on December 17, 2013 that extensive notes detail the many issues I have experienced. I was informed only five calls were placed, however the number is significantly higher, with contact made as many as ten times.
In closing, I am requesting you forgive the entirety of the $987.00 debt, incurred in purchasing the two cell phones. Both phones were purchased with the implied guarantee of having functional cell phone service and that they would fix a problem caused by previous cell phones. Neither would have been purchased with the knowledge that my service would be rendered completely useless.
Last edited by agreendc; 12-21-2013 at 07:41 AM. Reason: Clarity
Sorry for the length, I figured posting the entire letter would be the easiest way to get people's opinions.
I would be putting the $987 aside if you don't want to ruin your credit over it. And $987 is definitely not worth that. I can see T-Mobile forgiving some service related charges, but not equipment charges. You essentially 'sold' (traded in) your old handsets which means you're not out money for the phones if they helped pay for your new ones. It's not like you're offering to return the unusable handsets back. I would just pay it and move on. You recouped money from the handsets and that was a wise move.
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I was able to get a total of $300 for the trade on 2 phones. I figured I would start my request high... and work down towards $687 to make myself whole.
I don't plan on ruining my credit, but I plan on making it very difficult for them to collect money I feel that they basically stole from me ($687). I offered to bring the phones in multiple times to the highest level people I could get on the phone. I even suggested what would be fair would be to take the trade-in at what they needed to break even on a refurbished sale, and I would pay the balance, ie everyone wins. All I got was "We don't take in trades except for towards new devices."
And T-Mobile is the first company I have ever dealt with where the tier 3 reps use the exact same script as the tier 1 reps.
You can make it difficult yes but credit will be hit
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I was told that while I was arbitrating (or whatever you want to call it) that the payment would be suspended until the decision was made so I think I have plenty of time. I figure if it comes back not in my favor, which seems likely, I would report it to the BBB and see if that does anything.
I was also told by one of the tier 2 reps that as long as you pay something monthly then they won't send you to collections or ding your credit.
Assuming that preserving your credit is the most important objective, this ultimately boils down to how much time you want to spend on this matter. You can dispute the charges, go to arbitration, report to the BBB, etc. But keep in mind that once an item is reported to the credit bureaus, getting it removed becomes yet another time intensive task. Bottom line: it sucks, but you're going to pay, either in hassle factor/time, or in dollars, or both.
You don't have a legal backing for this.
The way our legal system in the US works is that if you're unhappy with service, you don't stop paying because you have that contract to pay. You have two options if you believe that the other person isn't holding up their end of the contract - you can continue to pay any bills that are due, cancel your service, and then sue for actual damages (if you have any). Alternatively, you can begin to pay into an escrow account and ask the party you're in a contract with to remedy the situation. If they sue you, you can prove that you've been setting aside money into an escrow account, which will pay out once the problem is remedied.
You do not stop paying because that's you breaching your end of the contract, and you're trying to argue that T-Mobile breached on their end, which may or may not be true. If you continue paying and uphold your end of the contract you'll have an easier time in our justice system.
Yes it sucks but you should have definitely made sure that Tmobile worked for you there and even if you do want to fight it you're going to pay one way or another. As much as you might feel wronged you have to ask how much your time is worth and a hit to your credit as well.
“The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.”
― George Orwell
I understand your point regarding lack of service. But what you owe money for is not the service but the phone. They delivered two phones to you, you took delivery for the phones and agreed to make payments for those phones. That is in indisputable. Any kind of arbitration is going to find the same thing.
If you're a doctor, you deliver services to your patients and the patients are billed for those services. Maybe the outcome of the service is not always what the patient desired, but nonetheless, you are entitled to be compensated for your services that were competently delivered.
And T-Mobile will maintain that they deserved to be paid for the phones that they shipped out.
You don't mention it but what plan are you on? Based on the timeline provided, it seems it is Simple Choice. If so, there is no service contract. Therefore, the debt is solely on you because you purchased 3 devices off-contract: HTC One, Samsung Galaxy Note 2, another HTC One.
Do you really expect your debt on phones you purchased off-contract to be forgiven? Come on, I expect better from a doctor.
the whole "should i have had my attorney friend throw his name in there to spice things up..." portion makes me doubt this whole im a doctor claim of his argument to have his debt forgiven.
anyway, its xmas season so its the perfect time for wishful thinking!
Sent with the HoFo App
Last edited by gdagreat; 12-21-2013 at 08:20 PM.
During that two week period a researcher in Albuquerque will be assigned to investigate all of your past calls and complaints. You will be VERY surprised how knowledgeable the President rep will be about your prior history when they eventually call. These reps do this all day long for a living since T-Mobile receives about 25 BBB complaints per day. You can't pull a "fast one" on them and they have heard every excuse in the book. They will be fully ready to defend their position when they call.
When they call... they will at least be patient and listen to your entire story. Then they will remind you several times that the contract you signed clearly outlines all of their terms and stipulations and that they "do not guarantee service". They usually will offer some kind of "courtesy" credit... but the amount that you are asking for is excessive and you are no longer a customer.
Since you're no longer a customer and T-Mobile doesn't expect to regain you after voluntarily cancelling your service and filing a BBB complaint... I don't see them doing much for you. It is much easier to just send your account to collections.
I don't see a legal letter being sent to T-Mobile helping you much. You might be somewhat successful filing in small claims court if your time allows.
In any case... I sure wouldn't want to risk my credit over $1000 especially being a doctor. You have a professional reputation to uphold and are held to a higher accountability in terms of morality and ethics than the average "joe" on the street.
You had an obligation to return the equipment that T-MOBILE paid for. That you did not do. You sold them and made a small profit. You actually cheated yourself if you received $300 for 2 new devices. No sympathy from me. I work in Customer Service, and I hear these foolish stories all the time. The average american thinks it is OK to just stop paying their bills, until the account goes into a non-paid disco status. Guess what Dr.? That's a + in the companies favor! Haha!
Then they call up making all sorts of demands from these companies. No, it doesn't work that way. They threaten all the time to contact their lawyer, which is just BS. Because if they were actually going to do it, they would not be making that idle threat to an agent, but send the legal document to Corporate.
What fool believes that if you just pay something, that you won't be sent to collections? OK, just send them $5.00.
Is your account NOT in a past due status? Well, that's the only way that you're NOT going to collections!
I'd love to see you in front of a Judge in Small Claims court with this one! LoLzzz.
Send him to collections and let him battle it out with the bureau that purchases the account! And those collection agents from the outside companies don't have to be nice to you either - and once it's in their hands, it's already hit your report - BYE!
Last edited by The SPCS Guy; 12-21-2013 at 01:21 PM.