In Which TMobile Steal my Money, Have Terrible Customer Service, & are Generally Terrible

UPDATE 2: SUCCESS! Just had a phonecall from a very lovely and helpful lady called Jacqueline, to tell me that they’ve removed all of the charges for the month & reinstated my account. Finally!

UPDATE: Since I posted this blog yesterday, I have received no further communication from TMobile, but they have cut off all of my services. Cheers guys! By the way, you’ll have trouble getting in touch with me to resolve the matter now, since you can’t phone me, and you can’t send me a letter, because I just moved house. You do, of course, have my email address.

From: Natalie Guest
To: Tmobile
Subject: Major Complaint
Date: Aug 6, 2012

Dear sirs

Upon checking my online banking today, I was alarmed to discover that instead of my usual monthly direct debit of £20, I had been charged a whopping £522.66

After some investigation via my online billing account, it looks like there has been some form of technical/network error. I went to Germany for 3 days last month (being careful to turn off all data roaming and mobile internet services), and whilst I was there sent a text to my friend Christian, as he used to live in Munich. For some reason this same text got replicated and sent to him thousands of times. I had no notification of this on my phone – they didn’t appear in my ‘sent’ box – but he did receive the same text multiple times. Thinking it was an issue at his end, he contacted his provider – O2 – who thought it was probably a problem with his handset.

After an hour on the phone today being passed round mostly not-very-useful telesales people, who all agreed it looked anomalous but could not explain it, I was finally told that the issue was “being investigated” but they “couldn’t guarantee a refund” and they would text me in “five working days”.

I am glad that it’s being investigated, but the wording doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence, and I was displeased with the lack of any type of apology. This is a lot of money for me – half my monthly wage – and as I am sure you can appreciate, is having major knock-on effects to the rest of my life.

I am requesting a full and immediate refund, based on the following:

A) Most obviously, this was a technical glitch – whether that was one to do with your network or the German network. It wouldn’t be physically possible for me to send the same text 6 times a minute for 3 days without sleeping, even if I had any discernible reason to want to do this. I’ve attached a screenshot so you can see the sort of thing I’m talking about.

B) According to EU legislation, you are required to inform users once their roaming costs go above £60. Whilst I realise that sms messages do not technically count as “data”, I think we can agree that this is not in the spirit of the thing.

I am going to contact my bank today to request a full refund under the Direct Debit Guarantee Scheme, as I want to get things sorted as quickly as possible. I have been a loyal T-Mobile customer for many years, and was planning to renew my contract in January; obviously I am now going to have to take that into consideration.

My account details:

I hope that we can get this sorted out as easily and as quickly as possible. I don’t want to have to start an angry blogging campaign!

I feel like Michael Banks in Mary Poppins when the bank try to take away his tuppence 😦


From: Natalie Guest
To: Tmobile
Subject: Re: Major Complaint
Date: Aug 16, 2012

Hello again

Just a follow up on this complaint, as I am sure you are keen to know things are going!

As I previously stipulated, I had my direct debit withdrawn, as otherwise I would not have been able to make it through the month. It’s a good job I did that, as I was told that my issue would be dealt with within 5 days, that my bill would be “recalculated” and that I would be texted to be informed of this. This has not happened, and we are now 10 days later.

Instead, these things have happened:

  1. Daily automated texts from TMobile asking me to pay my outstanding bill, in order to avoid an interruption in services.
  2. Daily calls from TMobile asking me to pay my bill, from people with no knowledge of the issue. Upon asking them to read  through my notes, they say the issue is being “investigated”. I ask them to please stop phoning until some progress has been made, or to put a note on my file asking people not to phone me. They claim that this is impossible as “calls are automated”. I ask whether I’m going to be cut off. They say “not until the 31st, and it should be dealt with by then”. I have absolutely zero confidence that the issue will be dealt with by then.
  3. Frequent missed calls (I’ve been in theatres a lot over the past week, so haven’t always been able to pick up) which, once I ring back (which I do, in case the issue has actually been resolved), put me straight back into the TMobile automated service and ask me to press 1 or  2 or whatever. Once I get through to someone, they have no idea what the previous call was about.
  4. Frequent (although not quite daily) calls from TMobile telling me I’m a “loyal customer” and so am eligible for some sort of deal.
  5. Frequent (although not quite daily) texts from TMobile asking me to rate how I felt my customer service was today. FYI, my ratings are very low at the moment, which I presume is what is triggering the “loyal customer” phone calls.

You guys, whilst the attention is lovely, I really feel like I need a bit of space whilst I decide whether there’s a future together for us, and you’re not making that any easier.

Not-quite-best wishes,

Natalie Guest

6 thoughts on “In Which TMobile Steal my Money, Have Terrible Customer Service, & are Generally Terrible

  1. My experience is nowhere near as bad as yours, but I just bought my mum and dad new PAYG phones because I’m leaving the country on Tuesday to get married. I asked for both the £10 top-ups to be put on my mum’s existing number rather than the SIMs that come with the phones. I specified this on the order page and by phone and they said it would be done.

    Both SIMs have arrived with £10 on them, and T-Mobile won’t sort it out, even though I paid for the phones and SIMs in my name. So not only has my order been fudged, but my 69-year old mum has to call about my order (surely a security breach?) and ask for the top-ups to be moved to her SIM card.

    With four days to go until I leave for my own wedding, this is really the last thing I needed to be doing, particularly since I only bought them the phones so I can email them pictures on the day.

    I was thinking of switching to them when the new iPhone comes out, but I definitely won’t be bothering after reading your blog. Thanks for the heads up. The calls and texts you’ve been getting are nothing less than harassment, IMO. That kind of harassment is not allowed if a customer owes a lender money, so why should a mobile phone network be any different?

  2. Howdy
    I’m not on tmobile or anything, and I don’t know what phone you use but I know there are rogue apps on the android market that can take control of your address book and messaging app… possible?

    hope you get it sorted 🙂

    1. I very much doubt it – the on-board storage on my phone is absolutely tiny, so I only have four apps. Adobe Reader, LastFM, Slide keyboard, and Twidroyd. All pretty legit.

  3. Just got a copy of your blog sent to me by bitterwallet. Holly ShT! Sound like the text has been duplicated on the German network. T-mobile wont know what texts you really sent as the German network will just bill t-mobile, hence they bill you. T-mobile will have to get in touch with said German network and dispute with them… long drawn out process by the sounds of it.

    Might want to try a letter to the CEO (or email) 😉

    Hope you get this sorted.

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