Regarding the recent speculation of a T-Mobile IPO, I have to say, as a once incredibly loyal customer -- kept an account for several years without even looking at the competition -- I fled T-Mobile in 2009 and will hope to never have to deal with them again. Sketchy/unfair billing practices, significantly stupid and rude customer service reps, and an absolutely piss-poor selection of mobile devices may be beyond any repair that IPO financing can provide. They DID NOT lose subscribers because of a poor network as the recent article described -- the network is fine -- but the people at the core of it are clearly misguided, and the company itself is unable to be trusted or desired even by the people who once liked them the most.
Furthermore, the T-Mobile brand, which was once nearly untouchable and highly desired by its target demographics, is now wholly analogous to garbage. You have T-Mobile? Are you poor or just stupid? No one like T-Mobile. I can't stress this enough.
As a DT shareholder, you really should take any opportunity to dump the POS as soon as possible. Support the creation of the IPO and cut it loose, but if you put your money in it you will stand to lose every single dime.
She died, but the T-Mobile phone bills kept coming T-Mobile crosses wires with family trying to close daughter's account By Debra O'Connor email@example.com Updated: 02/08/2010 11:21:11 PM CST
Last week was the final straw for Bruce Bethke and his family. His wife, Karen, answered the phone, and it was a collections call from T-Mobile, demanding payment on the cell phone account of her stepdaughter, Emily Bethke.
She burst into tears and told the agent what the family, in increasing irritation mixed with their sorrow, had been telling T-Mobile for months: Emily is dead.
The 28-year-old graduate of Tartan High School in Oakdale had been studying social work at Pike's Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, Colo. She was putting herself through college by cutting hair, and on her one day off each week, she volunteered at a homeless shelter, where she gave free haircuts along with her smiles. She was a Big Sister, an environmentalist, a Harry Potter fan, a strict vegetarian and a camper.
The only thing Emily didn't have going for her was perfect health. She had epilepsy, for which she took medication and which was considered under control. On Sept. 24, she went to bed as usual. On Sept. 25, her roommate found her dead of her seizure disorder.
In October, Bruce Bethke said, Emily's mother, Nancy Rotramel, called T-Mobile to cancel Emily's account; Emily's name was the only one on the contract that wasn't due to expire until December 2010. Emily's mail had been forwarded to the family, and the bill kept coming. So her mother tried again in November to cancel the service, but yet another bill arrived. She turned the unpleasant detail of the T-Mobile bill over to her ex-husband.
In December, Bethke got on a live chat with T-Mobile and confirmed the rules for canceling the account of a family member who has died. He sent the required information, which included a detailed account of why the cancellation was requested.
For good measure, he added a copy of Emily's death certificate. A medical examination ruled Emily's death was "sudden unexpected death in epilepsy.". Young adulthood is a risk factor, and it often happens overnight. A copy of the certificate was not required, but "beneficial to help attain resolution," according to company policy.
The Watchdog called T-Mobile about noon. By the end of the day, T-Mobile was on the phone with Bethke, apologizing for its mistakes and assuring him that his daughter's account was canceled and nothing was owed on it. A couple of days later, the family received a letter from a collection agency that was already in the mail, but after another call from the Watchdog, T-Mobile made sure the agency knows the account is closed.
T-Mobile spokesman Tom Harlin thanked the Watchdog for bringing the problem to the company's attention and issued this statement: "T-Mobile is committed to delivering the best customer experience in wireless, and we regret this unfortunate incident where we did not meet those expectations. We have resolved this issue with the Bethke family and apologize for any additional stress that was caused during this difficult time."
Bethke told the Watchdog: "I was at wit's end, so thank you very much. I am relieved."
Editor's note: Feel like an underdog because of a problem with a business, government agency or school? To ask the Watchdog for help, go to TwinCities.com/watchdog, call 651-228-5419 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.