T-Mobile Torture


I moved to T-mobile last year and apart from occasional glitches, the service is good for what you pay.  However, last week we split our family plan into two separate plans.  I started handling about 7 lines and my friend manages the other 5.  I had a few friends travelling outside the country when we made the change.  2 days after making the switch under my name, all accounts under my name suddenly got suspended!

Cellular technology controls almost everything we do nowadays, ranging from checking emails, streaming radio while driving, watching a show, navigating using Google maps, etc.  My wife was travelling on business and with the service suspended, there was no way for us to communicate.  I called up the T-mobile customer care and they had no clue why the account was suspended.  The only answer I got was a fraud has been detected and there is some discrepancy on your account.  I was asked to fax my ID and SSN card from a T-mobile authorized dealer.  FAX!!!  It is the 21st century and who uses fax anymore?  Also, I don’t carry my SSN card on me at all times.  A warning or heads-up would have helped here.

I went to a store on 1212 El Camino Real, San Bruno and the person working there went over my account, couldn’t figure out what is going on and they told me they didn’t have a fax machine.  I went to another T-mobile location in Tanforan mall, San Bruno.  This time they had a fax machine but it was broken.  I drove down to the south bay as I had to pick my ssn card anyways and went to a store on Brokaw Rd but alas no fax machine again.  I was really frustrated because it had been almost 5 hours without service and driving to different T-mobile stores without GPS was another pain.  Finally, I found a store in Rivermark Plaza, Santa Clara that had a working fax machine and were able to fax the documents.

Once the documents were faxed, there was no way for me to know if they have been received by the frauds team as they are an offline team with no access to customer service reps.  The person at the store mentioned it might well be 24 hours before service will be resumed.  I went home tired and annoyed by the mess.  The next day, I waited till late in the afternoon for my phone to ring but after more than 26 hours without connection, I called the 611 helpline again.  I was told that the back of my ssn card is not clear and so they haven’t started the service!!  There are two problems here

  1. Why would T-mobile wait for me to call them instead of letting me know early in the day that I have to resend the documents?
  2. What in the name of God do you need the back of SSN card for?  There is no information on the back except for some standard message common for all individuals.

I was really agitated by this point and vented some of the anger to the person on phone.  Luckily, they gave me a 24-hour international help center number.  I called this number and spoke to a sensible lady who understood that back of SSN is not at all important and that 8 people are stranded without service.  She was able to get the service resumed in less than 10 minutes!!

I wish that T-mobile gives some sort of warning (24-hours to submit documents) before disconnecting service altogether.  Also, please don’t ask for FAX as not only it is outdated, but most of the T-mobile stores don’t even have the fax machine themselves.