A Letter to T-Mobile Customer Service

T-Mobile Customer Relations
P.O. Box 37380
Albuquerque, NM 87176-7380

Dear Sir or Ma’am:

I have been a T-Mobile customer for around 10 years. I bought my first cell phone at a T-Mobile store when I was 18 years old. T-Mobile was the first bill I ever had, and I have paid my bill on time ever since then. I even got my long term boyfriend to leave AT&T for T-Mobile when we merged our phone lines two years ago.

I always recommend T-Mobile when my friends are complaining about the terrible service at their cell phone companies because I have had an overall stellar experience with your customer service. Which is why I’m writing this letter.

My phone broke on Thursday, June 27 while I was visiting my grandmother. I was told by the T-Mobile rep that a new phone would arrive at my grandmother’s house on Friday, June 28. I wasn’t expecting such a fast turn-around, and I was overjoyed because I would be returning to my own house the following Monday.

When my tracking information didn’t update on Friday, I called back, and was told by that rep that the order hadn’t been completed correctly, but that the phone would arrive Monday. The rep was extremely polite and helpful, and offered me a $20 credit for my trouble. I decided that if the phone was coming on Monday, I’d wait at my grandmother’s until the phone arrived instead of leaving in the morning like we had planned.

On Monday morning the tracking information still hadn’t updated so I called again. I was told that the phone’s manufacturer was at fault and that it would arrive on Thursday, at the time I didn’t realize that Thursday would be 4th of July, and neither did the rep. She was difficult to hear, her voice kept cutting out and digitizing, but I managed to ask her to change the delivery address to my home address, as my grandmother lives over an hour and a half away. I told her that as a business owner, and a sole proprietor, I needed that phone for my livelihood. Because of the bad connection, I asked her to confirm that the phone would be arriving at my house several times, each time she said that it would be.

The next day, Tuesday, I got a message that the phone had been delivered to my grandmother’s house. So on Wednesday I lost 3 hours in driving to go and retrieve my phone. I’m glad I received the phone a day earlier than I expected, but I had to leave my office completely unattended all morning to go and retrieve it. I’d rather it came on Friday, if I was able to stay near my computer and work phone.

Any one of these events by itself, or even a couple of them I wouldn’t trouble you with. Mistakes happen. I can definitely say that your customer service reps were consistently polite and helpful the whole time. T-Mobile reps are always really amazing. However, it may be a good idea in the future to provide some UPS or shipping process training to the reps so that they don’t tell people phones will be arriving next day when there’s no way they could. It might also be a good idea to look into your phone lines with the early morning offices. Everybody who was obviously American came through on my phone perfectly clear, but the woman I spoke to Monday morning sounded like she may have been overseas. She did speak with an accent, but her English was perfect. I would not have thought anything of it except for the terrible VOIP connection. I was also on a VOIP device, which may have exacerbated the issue, although customers with VOIP devices as alternative phones shouldn’t have to suffer poor service, especially since we’re a growing market as people ditch the land line and go exclusively cell. Finally, the phone being delivered to the wrong address was what ultimately convinced me to write this.

Like I said before, I really enjoy being a T-Mobile customer. Unlike so many of my friends, I can honestly say that I love my cell phone company. I’d like to continue to be able to do that. Please know that I will also be posting this on my blog at marinarosemartinez.com, not because I think it will do anything, and certainly not because I’m looking to embarrass you, but because I mentioned that my phone was broken, and my readers may want to know how that turned out.


Marina Martinez

Editor’s Note: (Oct. 16, 2013) It’s been three months since I wrote this letter. About a week or two after I sent it, I got a nice form email saying that my issue was important and that another $20 had been taken off my account. No specific mention of my issue, just $20. Which is nice, but it kind of made me feel like there’s just a program that sends $20 to everyone who complains and then chucks our letters into the trash. I didn’t write a letter so I could get money, I wrote a letter because I found something I cared enough about to put it down on paper.

As always, every T-Mobile employee I’ve talked to in the ensuing 3 months has been extraordinary. In fact, on one particularly terrible day this month I was feeling like there was really no point to starting this business, that I was a born failure, and was trying to decide if I was depressed enough to start making suicide plans, and then Ben’s phone broke. Completely despondent, we went to T-Mobile in Hawthorne to see about getting it replaced and when the manager asked us how we were doing, I was absolutely unable to keep from telling him that I may want to die and why. We ended up having one of the most positive, supportive and helpful new-business owner conversations I’ve experienced and I left reminded of what I love about working for myself, and what’s really important to me in life, which isn’t money. It’s community and creativity and the opportunity to build something that makes people’s lives better. In my experience, T-Mobile has a habit of employing amazing people and as long as they keep that up, they’re my phone company. I don’t think anybody’s Verizon rep ever helped them remember what their core values are.

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