T-Mobile And Motorola Razr V3 / bad customer service and bad product!
PO Box 37380
Albuquerque, NM [protected]
It’s rare that I encounter a customer service issue compelling enough to take the time to write a complaint letter, but I feel that last night’s phone contact with a T-Mobile technical service representative warrants it in this case. I purchased a new Motorola RAZR V3 phone and signed up for T-Mobile’s Get More 1500 Minute and 400 text message plan through LetsTalk.com 2/9/06 (order # *****). Prior to that I’ve been a T-Mobile subscriber on different lines since mid-2003.
In the past month my phone started to turn off randomly, usually while in a call. It would behave this way either with the phone flipped open or when closed and on a call on the handsfree earpieces. It exhibited this behavior while out of town in Florida and Texas.
I looked into the problem online and tried suggested fixes such as taking the battery out every once in a while and also, all along, I’ve followed the phone’s instruction manual which advises that owners completely drain the battery periodically before letting the phone completely recharge again. In my online searches I found articles (examples enclosed) about T-Mobile (and Cingular) temporarily pulling RAZR V3s from its stores due to a Motorola-acknowledged defect on some of the phones which caused exactly the problems I’m describing. Interestingly, my phone was purchased in February and the enclosed Computerworld article indicated
T-Mobile began pulling Razr V3 phones from retail outlets on Wednesday, said T-Mobile spokesman Peter Dobrow. "There was a defective component in a limited number of shipments to us from Motorola during the month of February," he said. "Since there's no way to tell at retail which units [were defective], for the best interests of our customers we pulled them from our shelves." (my emphasis).
On the night of Monday, July 10th I was at wit’s end after the phone repeatedly powered down and interrupted several phone calls. With the phone completely still and the earpieces attached I attempted to call T-Mobile at 611. It kept powering down and restarting. I have the internet telephony application Skype on my computer so I called T-Mobile customer care through it. The first representative was very helpful and noted my problem was a technical one and said he’d transfer me to a technical support rep for RAZR V3 phones. I was connected to a woman and our conversation lasted approximately 30 minutes.
While the technical support rep used professional language (such as addressing me as “sir”) and waited to hear what I had to say, her tone all along suggested frustration with me and her suggestions all placed blame not on the phone but on something such as a faulty cell tower in Chicago or even on my perceived care of the phone. The implication seemed to be that I may not have been properly caring for my phone.
I followed her technical advice in taking out and replacing the battery, power cycling the phone, etc. She asked where I was and I said “the Chicago area,” to which she replied that “that’s probably itï¿½we have a cell phone tower in Chicago that’s been down since June 26th and it’s an ongoing issue.” I told her that while it’s understandable a faulty tower may cause dropped calls, how exactly could it cause my phone to power off? I added that I don’t live in Chicago proper, that Chicago’s a big place with many cell phone towers, and that the same problem happened to me while recently out of town in Florida and Texas. I also mentioned the recent T-Mobile/Cingular shelve-pulling recall of RAZR V3s and that the problem that prompted it sounded exactly like my problem. She did not admit any knowledge of a T-Mobile recall or sales halting of RAZRs, which I find hard to believe.
In any case, instead of attempting to fix my problem, her goals seemed to be:
1.) to place blame on external factors (a cell tower, my possible mishandling of the phone, etc.) 2.) to not offer a replacement or concrete help and 3.) to get me off the phone. She even made an outlandish suggestion that I turn off the phone periodically throughout the day. I don’t have a home phone, this is what I use to communicate, and no other phone I’ve owned required that it be turned off a few times a day!
After sparring about the phone problem (her: it’s something else, me: it’s a publicized and acknowledged phone defect) with her for a while she begrudgingly offered me a replacement since, after all, my phone is under warranty. Wow, go figure! I pay $250+ for a phone and less than a year later it’s not functioning as a phone. Of course I want some sort of recourse! In the “replacement phone” script that followed, disclaiming all manner of future events, I found then that I’d have to pay $9.95 for UPS shipping of my new unit. I ship with UPS all the time and, while I understand T-Mobile is attempting to contain its costs, this is definitely exorbitant for shipping of an item that weighs at most two pounds. That and I’ll probably have to pay my own shipping for the unit I’m returning to T-Mobile. I asked her to waive the fee but she didn’t so I reluctantly agreed to all the (confusing and long-winded) terms in her script.
All this was frustrating enough but the worst was yet to come. After everything was done I thanked her and she said a scripted “thank you for choosing T-Mobile” goodbye, but after she thought I was off the line I heard her say in a very rude tone, as if to her nearby coworkers, “ohï¿½.myï¿½.GOD.” I understand the call may have been work for her. But it was work for me. I’m the one trying to fix a broken phone. I’m the one who is expressing to T-Mobile customer care that there’s a problem with my phone only to be replied to with nonsense. I’m the one trying to seek resolution only to be thwarted at every turn.
There are web posts galore that say this or that cell phone company is terrible or has bad customer service. Someone’s got a story about every company. But if you need a cell phone, you have to choose one of the companies. Sadly, after this incident, I’m highly unlikely to choose T-Mobile again after my current contract ends.
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