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T-Mobile And Motorola Razr V3 / bad customer service and bad product!

1 United States Review updated:

Tuesday 7/11/06
Customer Relations
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 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 it�we 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, “oh�.my�.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.

DJ Phil.

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  • An
      1st of Mar, 2007
    0 Votes

    Oh my god the same thing exactly has happened to me and 5 other people who i know. But T Mobile and Motorola wont do anything.

  • La
      29th of Jun, 2007
    0 Votes

    I have had similar experience with my Motorola C290 phone. I had problems since I purchased it a year ago with people telling me they tried to call and couldn't get through and the battery going from fully charged to no charge without use. I finally figured out the phone was turning itself off and on. I sent it to Motorola for warranty service and they received it on May 10th. Since then I have contacted them by phone and email numerous times and been told several times the issue was escalated and I would receive a response in 24 hours. The response so far has been a message that they are working on it. I just tried to call the number they left in the messages and was immediately put to a recorder that told me the message storage was full so I couldn't leave a message. I have been without the phone for two months so I had to purchase another phone. Hours wasted on the phone for nothing. Please don't make the same mistake I did and buy a Motorola product.

  • La
      6th of Sep, 2007
    0 Votes

    I have had the exact same issues with the Motorola and T-Mobile. I had to call yesterday (9/5/07) to get another replacement. I purchased the phone in Nov 06. I have already did a handset exchange on 1/07 and 6/07. When I receive this phone I will have had 4 Motorola RAZR V3 in 9 months and besides the cost of the phone I have paid $40 in shipping costs. I asked for a better solution to no avail. I do not want more than I am owed, I even agreed to pay the difference for a different phone and the only way they would do anything with a different phone was to charge me and extend my contract.

  • Ti
      8th of Oct, 2007
    0 Votes

    I have been a customer of T-mobile since Dec '06. I currently have 3 lines on my account, and we all have Razr phones. In less than a year, between the 3 of us, we have had 7 razr phones. Everytime we get a new one, it does the same exact thing...powers down, the screen goes blank at random times, and even has gotten to the point where the person you are speaking to can not hear you. I am absolutely fed up with the customer service that T-mobile offers. I have finally complained enough that my fiance was given a different phone, free of charge. However, my sister's phone continues to do the same thing, and T-mobile says they can't do anything but exchange it for a new razr, and charge me shipping and handling on top of that. For them to tell me that they have no other phone in stock to offer me, is a load of poop.

  • Ta
      6th of Nov, 2007
    0 Votes

    I've been a customer of T-Mobile for years (too many to even remember) Until recently i thought they were a decent company. It started in February when my Fiance got one of these infamous Razr phones. Within 3 months he was having the same issue as everyone else. Powering down and all. My Razor never powered down. And the texting was fine (provided I didn't have to type any Ts that is.) And it only failed to ring occasionally… but very randomly. I can have my phone sitting in the exact same place and sometimes it will ring. Sometimes it wont. But that's not even the reason I'm writing this. Even after all that, I was still somewhat happy with T-Mobile. Motorola was another issue. I was so happy with my service in fact, that in March I got an additional phone off my account for my elderly grandparents. Hey, at 85, you never know when you'll need to make that emergency 911 call. They live in a small rural town in Texas. Now, I'm not an idiot. I checked the T-Mobile website for coverage before I ordered and it said there was a good signal; so I went ahead and ordered it. My grandparents were so happy when they got the phone. When they would drive into town, it was very useful. But they soon realized that it just didn't work when they were at home. Didn’t work in the house. Didn't work outside in the yard. (Scratch that, it did work if they went out and stood by the road. Now I don't know about you, but I don't want my 75 yr old grandmother or my 85 yr old grandfather having to stand out next to a HIGHWAY just to make a phone call.) At this point I still wasn't upset with T-Mobile. It is a rural area and sometimes it just doesn't make financial sense for a company to spend thousands of dollars putting up a cell tower in a Podunk country area where there are few residents around. So, their website says they get a strong signal in that area and it fact they didn't, um ok can you say "false advertising?" Ok calm down. Maybe they're working on it. Maybe it's coming soon. Irregardless, the phone useless now. So I called T-Mobile to cancel the phone. I was shocked that the first rep I spoke to suggested that I find someone else in the area to give the phone to. Um, excuse me? What company tells people to give their product to someone else? That’s not even good business sense. How do you know that person will even pay their bill? Good grief.

    So I called back again to get someone else. I basically told them "look I've been a loyal customer here for years. I got this phone in good faith. It doesn't work where I need it to. I want to cancel that one phone. I'm keeping my phone, but i want to cancel this one." Their response, (in short) "sure no problem but you have to pay the $200 cancellation fee. "But, the service never worked?" "Doesn't matter. The phone is based on your address not at your grandparents (translate that to mean "not where it was being used.") You can imagine the look of confusion on my face at this point. “Ok, lets just pause here for a moment. So take my phone that I have with me here now... you're telling me that you are not responsible if my phone doesn't work at my office or any other place where I use it often? That you're only responsible for the coverage at my home?! That's it?” At this point I'm thinking "Am I crazy or is the whole point of a mobile phone is that you can be MOBILE!!" maybe they should change their name from T-Mobile to NOT-Mobile. Ok I'm completely floored by this point, I can’t even argue with that rationale. I mean how do you argue with an idiot? So I said “OK fine, but you know and I know you can make an exception to this cancellation fee if you wanted to. I’m a loyal customer. The signal doesn’t work where your website says it should... blah blah blah.” (Now, one would think that they would want to waive this fee if only to keep a loyal customer. After all this one phone was only bringing in $9/mo for them. And it was a cheap phone at that. It's not like they're out some outrageously expensive paper weight (as most of their Motorola phones are). My phone alone is $90/mo. and my finance was paying almost $70/mo. But still, they wouldn't budge. Some customer service.

    So what did I do? I went to that company with the big V :). I'll be paying the same price for 3 phones that I was paying for 2 with TMobile. I have unlimited texting and calls to more people. I get a great signal EVERYWHERE I need it. And more importantly so do my grandparents out in Podunk Texas. AND (talk about great customer service) the sales guy not only took an extra $100 off my phones on top of the regular mail-in rebates he also threw in some phone accessories for our phones (mine, my grandparents and my finance- who just canceled his TMobile service too) all that just to make up for the cancellation fees that T-Mobile is charging us.

    Consider me a loyal VERIZON customer now.

  • Ya
      16th of Nov, 2007
    0 Votes

    I had lost my Motorola Rockr E6 model IMEI no. 355557-01-035790-3 purchased on 21-07-07 from Mamta Telecom, No.48, S.N.Bazaar, 3rd Main road,Gandhinagar,Bangalore-560009,
    TEL-080-22356735 and I was not able to trace that particular handset.I had contacted the Motorola Customer care for the support but they told that there is no such feature that they could trace the handset. The only suggestion from me to Motorola is that implement the tracking of the Handset.Also there lot of cases of the Handset being stolen, if Motorola could create a separate team in at lease making an attempt to stop or minimize the crime it would make a huge difference in the Sales of the Motorola and a contribution towards society as Police is not entertaining this kind of complaint.

  • Ra
      15th of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes

    MOTOROLA V3 GSM 850/900 - BLACK

    IMEI : 354099-01-120948-7

    LOST DATE : 15-NOV-2008

    I lost my mobile while riding a vehcile with the black p0uch.
    Kindly take this has serious complaint and kindly see that my mobile will reach me.


  • Ra
      15th of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes


    IMEI : 354099-01-120948-7

    LOST DATE : 15-NOV-2008

    i lost my mobile while i was driving the vehicle and coming back from office to home and i could
    recognize my mobile was lost by approximately at 7:30 pm.

    Raghavendra Daipullai

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