Horrible Tmobile Prepaid Phone Experience

by Ada
(Alexandria, VA)

I purchased a t-mobile prepaid phone for my son and I have had the most horrible situation. I have spent countless hours on the phone to find out why the phone did not work and was referred to the reps at the mall for assistance. I got there and spent another two and half hours to find out my number was someone else's and the number and pin was changed. The phone worked for a week and packed up again. I called tmobile and got the worst customer service I ever got. I was transferred to a total of 8 condescending and rude reps who asked me to repeat this whole story and give the phone # and pin each time. The last rep while being rude finally told me the following:

All prepaid numbers are recycled. My pin was wrong according to him and when he said he could not help me because of that I asked him to repeat that for the records. That was when he told me to change the pin and he checked the prepaid account.
He confirmed that there was a plan on the account with my name, which I had no idea existed.

I reminded him that I had just got the number and that it was identity theft to make a plan without the customer's consent. I asked him to check that the information on the account was mine. That was when he gave a date of birth that was not mine.

We finished the conversation with my reminding him that identity theft is fraud, and recycled phone numbers are not recycled plans and contracts.

I have been a tmobile customer for 12 years and my current contract is my last. This was an awful experience.

Comments for Horrible Tmobile Prepaid Phone Experience

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Oct 30, 2013
T-Mobile Is A Different Company Now NEW
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

It's been awhile since this was posted, and it still gets daily traffic, so I wanted to post an update.

Over the past 12-18 months, T-Mobile has essentially re-invented themselves as "The Uncarrier" (their term!). This terms is used to signify that they are so different, and so much better than any other wireless carrier in terms of not only its offers, but also its customer experience.

Their entire business is now no contract, and they have implemented some pretty rich plans, as well as interesting upgrade programs and device financing.

While I haven't personally re-evaluated their service with hands on testing, I do believe that for those considering T-Mobile, giving them a run for their money by taking them up on their "uncarrier" experience is worthwhile.

If they ultimately don't meet your expectations, call them on it, and demand better! At least we now know for certain that you won't need to lock yourself into a contract to get the best that they have to offer.

Aug 20, 2011
All Wireless Phone Numbers Are Recycled
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Wow, what a bizarre and frustrating experience to say the least! I'm not sure that I fully understand exactly what your situation is. So you activated a plan and they now say that phone number and account is under someone else's name, and a different phone number and account is under your name?

I can't even begin to understand what's going on there. It may in fact not be identity theft, but rather some kind of account setup issue; very strange.

All wireless carriers, both postpaid and prepaid recycle phone numbers, so to infer that prepaid wireless is somehow inferior because it recycles phone numbers, inferring that postpaid does not, is completely ridiculous.

Historically, many prepaid wireless providers recycled disconnected phone numbers faster than the standard for postpaid (ex. a few weeks to a few months for prepaid vs. 8-12 months for postpaid). I'm not sure what the current standards are, and they do vary by carrier. With rapid customer growth, phone numbers are actually a limited resource, and carriers are under pressure to reuse disconnected phone numbers as soon as possible. Also, historically prepaid wireless customers tended to change their phone number often, or had a shorter lifecycle; that trend is, however, changing a lot in recent years.

All that's to say that as you noted, recycling a phone number only means the risk that you could get people calling you that were trying to reach the previous owner of the phone number is higher. But does NOT mean that account information is recycled, reused, or overlaps in any way with the old vs. the new customer.

Anyway, I hope you work it out for the remainder of your contract, and thank you for sharing!

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