Musings from Munkimatt

A flow of whatever tickles my fancy

T-mobile update #2

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this point.

Last night I popped out for a walk along the beach front. It’s been a fairly shitty week (not just because of you T-mobile, you’re not that special) and I knew it’d help me clear my head. About 5 minutes into the walk, I get this.


Now the crucial thing to notice here is not the content of the message, but the time it was sent.

So, quick as a flash I try to call customer service. What message do I get?

“T-mobile customer services is open from 8am to 10pm blah blah blah…”

I’ve finally got hold of them this morning. I was over my credit limit as a bill had been produced for £400+ for my ‘early termination charge’. While I understand why this was levied on my bill, what I do not understand is why the 3 people I’ve spoken to since my phone was reconnected didn’t notice this and remove it.

So…connected again…who wants to make a bet about for how long?

Oh T-mobile, you really do excel yourself.


June 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Update on me, the suspected fraudster, and T-mobile

I would like to start by thanking people for the response and attention that was drawn to my previous post regarding my fall out with T-mobile. While there wasn’t a huge amount of comments on the post itself  I received a great deal of correspondence via e-mail and Twitter for which I am truly thankful.

Now, here’s what happened next…

That evening I returned home, desperate to find out for certain if and how this situation could be resolved. Thankfully, my call was answered by someone who not only bent over backwards to help, but sounded genuinely horrified at how this had been dealt with so far.

As she delved into the notes that had been left from that day, I could hear little utterances of phrases coming down the line.

CS : “Well that makes no sense…That conflicts with what it says before…etc”

Nice to see I wasn’t the only one who was perplexed from the previous information given.

After a good 10 minutes I’m told I’ll have to be placed on hold while she grabs someone else. I’m fine with this, I expect it and I’m glad she’s doing this. She doesn’t know the correct procedure, and please all other customer service representatives who read this take note of this nugget of information, she’s gone to find out what to do.
(On a side note here, please T-mobile, I beg of you, change the on-hold music. It’s frigging awful.)

Back she comes. I’m waiting with bated breath when she tells me…

CS : “Well…I’ve got good news and bad news.”

Considering the day I’ve had with them, I was expecting the good news to be that I wasn’t going to be strung up by the testicles while the T-mobile Secret Police tortured me with a feather duster while the bad news was that the phone was about to self-destruct and blow out my right ear drum. BOOM. Thanks for calling Mr Jones.

As it turned out it was actually slightly more positive. I could have my line back. what I needed to do was pay the amount that had been contested and bingo! my line is back. But there’s a little problem.

I’m banned from using cards on my account.

That’s right, I can’t use any credit or debit cards on my account. Now instantly I thought “Well fair enough, until this is cleared up I can understand why they may be hesitant.” But no, I can’t use cards ever again on this account. (crossed out for a reason, keep reading)

This will apparently will hang over my account forever. Despite the fact it’s a mistake, a bit of human error, I will forever be tarred with the brush of a fraudster. This obviously leads to a bigger question. Where else will it linger? Credit reference files?

However, we agreed I could do a BACS transfer into their account. Could take up to 3 days but most likely within 24 hours. When this hits my account, my line would reactivate.

I’m not too proud to admit that at this point I got a touch teary. I don’t know whether it was the tiredness of the day or relief. I was however very thankful that I spoke to someone on the phone who genuinely cared about my issue and took the time and effort to find out what steps to take. I thanked her unreservedly for her help.

Now I’m sat in the knowledge there’s a potential 3 day wait until my line flicks back on so I decide the wisest thing will be to top up my Pay As You Go number. I ring through to the delightfully polite automated service where I register my card. When I come to top up though I kept being told there was an error.

I rang through to PAYG customer services who informed me that my card was now blacklisted with T-mobile. That’s right, I can never use a card with T-mobile ever again.

I don’t know how to deal with you now T-mobile. I used to be very fond of you. I told my friends about you. Even when I did the upgrade and gave me a phone that barely worked yet customer services refused to help me at all (“It’s a known fault so we won’t replace it.” What kind of excuse is that?!), I didn’t care. I bought a Nokia 5800 (T-mobile PAYG, no less) and plodded on.

So thanks for reconnecting me, I really appreciate it. But I think it’s the final straw. If I think about it, I’ve been with you for probably a year now and so far had a dodgy phone you refused to replace, a period of over 2 months were text messages were delivered in blocks of 8-10 at a time, a point where the aforementioned dodgy phone refused to show incoming calls which resulted in me missing a job offer (thanks. No really, thanks. It was only £12,000 higher than the wage I’m on now) and 2 of the rudest customer service people I can honestly say I’ve ever spoken to I think I’m pretty much done. I’ll be letting this contract run down and I’ll change network to someone who I feel values customers.

Again, thank you to those who commented, tweeted and generally made themselves known. And thank you to the one person at T-mobile who listened. You’re a credit to your company, and I wish you all the best.

June 18, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments

How I was accused of credit card fraud, and what T-mobile could have done better.

I’m rubbish with credit/debit cards.

I lose them so often, it’s very rare that I will keep one for more than 4 months before I lose a wallet, the card, eat it, whatever. So back in February when yet another card mysteriously vanished during a night of epic drunkness I thought nothing of it and ordered a new one.

In the meanwhile I had a few bills to pay. Having given my mum the cash these were sorted, no problem. Low and behold though, I forgot the crucial mobile phone bill.

This dawned on me during a work day. Having a back pocket full of cash that I had withdrawn to get me few the next few cardless days, I came to an agreement with a colleague of mine that I will give him the cash, he will ring up and pay the bill. The deal was struck, the call was made, the bill was paid.

All sorted. Fast forward to last night.

Your beloved host here was sat comfortably on his sofa, messaging away on his 5800. Suddenly, everything drops out. No signal, nothing. Now, being a long time Nokia user, I’m aware that phones (and I shall use the technical terminology here) ‘fuck up’ every now and again so I gave it a battery pull and rebooted.

Oh deary me… “Sim registration failed.”

OK then, so sim out, blow in the hole (the magic cure to all phone related problems) all back together again and…”Sim registration failed.”

This was repeated a few time, with the same outcome. Trying to figure what was going on I popped in a Pay As You Go card I have lying around for emergencies. Oddly, it worked first time.

Don’t ask me why I did this, but I tried to ring my standard contract phone number.  ” The number you have called has not been recognised.”

Hmmm…now this I did not expect.

I tried to call T-mobile customer services but they were closed. Fair enough, it’s 11:30pm, we all need sleep. Perplexed, but not overly worried, off I went to bed, safe in the knowledge that this will all have been a big mistake. I’ll ring up in the morning, I’ll explain, they’ll apologise, I demand some freebies, they give it to me, everyone’s a winner.

Well…that’s how it went in my head….

This is what actually happened.

I rang up this morning. Explained that my phone had randomly died, if they could switch it back on that would be simply spiffing.

CS : “It’s been cancelled. Credit card fraud on this account.”

Now it’s fair to say that this wasn’t what I expected. What I also didn’t expect was the utterly unhelpful attitude of the chap I was speaking to. I shall include my favourite part of the conversation below.

Me : “Ok, so how do I resolve this?”

CS : “Well you need to speak to the bank who have put the claim in, they’ll contact us and we go from there.”

Me : “Great, so which bank is it?”

CS : “Can’t tell you that for legal reasons.”

Me : “Right…so you want me to contact the bank to resolve this…right?”

CS : “Yes.”

Me : “But you won’t tell me which bank to contact… right?”

CS : “Yes.”

Now I appreciate it was first thing in the morning and no one want to talk to a suspected fraudster before you’ve even had a coffee or a morning dump, but really? Could you have been any more awkward?

I couldn’t remember ever using another card to pay my bill so I rang my bank who had absolutely no idea what T-mobile were on about, so back I go to T-mobile in the desperate hope I get to speak to someone who has had a bit of caffeine this morning.

Thankfully, I got someone very helpful. Perhaps a little too helpful, she gave me a couple of hints as to exactly what was going on and sure enough, it relates back to the payment made in February.

She then told me he needs to get in touch with his card provider, who will then get in touch with T-mobile and WAYHEY!!! we’ll be rocking and a rolling and a calling and a texting before you even know it.

Just to make this a little more awkward, the chap who made the payment for me is out in France all week.

So I’ve spent my entire morning trying to get hold of him which I eventually did. After explaining, he’s contacted his wife who is a joint account holder on this and, yes, you guessed it, she’s seen the payment, didn’t know what it was and rang up to report fraudulent activity. “Not a problem,” he professes, “I’ll get on it. I’ll ring them right now from France, explain it all. Really sorry mate.”

At this point I’m elated! See, I have no other phone. I have no landline these days. I only have one contract. This Pay As You Go sim has no credit. My contract is cut off…I am cut off.

I ring back T-mobile to give them the good news, I’ve always believed that you should keep someone updated during a problem. Unfortunately, what I didn’t expect was to get someone who was blatantly in a worse mood than the first person I’ve spoken to. This was one of my many highlights of my interchange with quite possibly to worst customer service representative I’ve ever spoken to.

Me : (After explaining exactly what’s happened, what steps my colleague is taking, etc) “So after his credit company has informed yourselves that this was in error, what the procedure to get the phone reactivated?”

CS : “We won’t do that. You’ll be billed for your remaining line rental.”

Me : “What? This has all been a mistake. His credit card company are going to get in touch to let you know. I obviously don’t expect you to switch it on right now, but from when you do receive the confirmation, what is the plan.”

CS : “Nothing. Also, you will not be allowed to ever use a card on this account again. You’ll have to find a different payment method.”

Ok, so my account is terminated apparently…I’ll get billed for all line rental…but I can’t use my card to pay my bills in future? That makes a load of sense, well done.

Later on in the conversation, I was told this;

CS : “You will have to appeal, it’ll take 14 days for them to reach a decision.”

Oh, so now I have a right of appeal against a contract that will be cancelled but I will have to pay future bills through another payment method!

Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against T-mobile taking decisive action against fraudsters. I positively applaud it, especially considering I spent 3 years in mobile phone retail and have been involved in the arrest of various dodgy characters in the past. However, surely a little bit of common sense should come into play here?

Let’s look at my account. It’s registered to my address. This would be the same address that my card is registered to. This is relevant because you ask this question when you register your card for payment online. So, you know exactly where I live and that I specifically make payments around the same time each and every month from the same bank account. Surely, if I was such a master criminal that I decided to steal someones card and use it to pay my bill, I wouldn’t continue to use the same account, registered at the same address from that point onwards!!!

Surely when you got that call from whichever bank it was it would have been an idea to contact me, the account holder and ask the question. I understand you need to act quickly and decisively in these matters but a quick phone call to explain what’s happening and why, so then I could have contacted my colleague who could have instantly got in touch with his credit card company and this whole mess could have been avoided.

Lets look at my next issue. You were contacted by the credit card company yesterday and you cancelled my contract the same day. However, from the poor information I’ve been given so far, it seems that the credit card company can get in touch with your ID fraud department in order to confirm that this was a mistake. But my phone still won’t get switched back on? And if it does, it will take 14 days? Sorry, that is completely shocking. If you can switch it off same day, you should be able to switch it back on same day.

Lets look at your customer service employees. Rude, short, unhelpful, constantly spoke over me when all I wanted to do was understand what I can possibly do to resolve this. I can honestly say I felt like I was being treated like a criminal. Well thanks very much. We could also talk about the fact that the third one quite obviously didn’t know what to say and hence why she told me 3 different things.

Now I know I’m not the most valuable of customers T-mobile, I only spend £60-80 per month, but I expect a little more. A little more courtesy. A little more respect. After all, I’m your customer.

So here I am. No working phone. No support from customer services and not one solid, clear explanation of what I should do.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

June 16, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 8 Comments