Newest JD Power Report Shows T-Mobile Dropping To Fourth Place For Customer Service

This is one report I’m truly disappointed to write as I feel the mighty have fallen. T-Mobile, once an all-star in the customer service field with enough JD Power awards to fill an entire trophy room, has fallen to fourth place in the most recent JD Power Wireless Customer Care report announced this morning. Don’t get me wrong, I had early signs this was happening as I reported back on January 27th that T-Mobile was in line for a fourth place showing, but it’s disappointing to see it really happen. Between churn reduction and repairing their once mighty customer care program, T-Mobile certainly has their work cut out for 2012. Let’s be clear about one thing though, this fourth place showing is a result of policy changes and not staff. I know plenty of customer service folks and I can say with absolute certainty, they have grave concerns over how they are able to do their job…especially from over a year ago.

Thankfully, T-Mobile acknowledges these changes as they say “..the company introduced many new offers combined with changes to policies and procedures, which made it more difficult for frontline employees to deliver the highest level of service to customers.” Acknowledging the problem is a great first step Magenta, but what’s next? Take the handcuffs off of your employees and let them do what they have done so well for so long. Let great customer service be great customer service.

The two largest complaints I hear are the time in which issues are resolved and the ability to get a hold of customer care in a timely fashion. Therein lies the first steps to take to resolving and revitalizing your customer service. Time is money, for both the company and the customer so focusing on resolving the issue in a timely manner while ensuring customers are routed to the right department properly are two key ways to make the customer happy. Of course, T-Mobile knows this, they have dozens of people on the pay roll to think of these things before I or you, the readers do. Now is the time to execute these strategies as T-Mobile is poised for a comeback post-AT&T. It’s a fresh slate in 2012 and a first place showing in JD Power before years end would show just how serious T-Mobile is about remaining a player in the US wireless market.

T-Mobile has won the JD Power award 11 out of the last 16 times so we know that they know how to execute a great customer care strategy, so let’s see it happen again. Read the full JD Power press release here.

Email sent to T-Mobile employees this morning:

I have some disappointing news to share. The J.D. Power award for Wireless Customer Care was announced today and we finished in last place. We dropped to fourth place, four points behind AT&T. Verizon Wireless continues to hold the top spot.

Delivering outstanding customer service is core to who we are, making this news especially difficult. I know that each of you have a sense of pride in taking care of our customers and I truly appreciate your daily contributions.

We experienced many challenges in 2011 that impacted our service quality. Doing what’s right for the customer AND the business is a delicate balance. So when we saw customer satisfaction scores decline, we responded. We made changes to the SIVR based on customer and frontline feedback which are being well received. We focused on iOCR and our scores started improving and we made myVOC an integral part of our new balanced metrics program. The good news is that we’ve started trending in the right direction, but there is still much work to do.

The latest JDP survey shows that Concern is an area of opportunity for us. Acknowledging the customer’s issue and taking ownership of it shows that we care. Knowledge is key – being confident in our solutions builds customer trust. And, Resolution is still foundational to our success. I’m sure all of this sounds familiar – Courtesy, Concern, Timely Resolution and Knowledge. We must refocus on these.

You may ask, what about sales? Sales remains an integral part of our Resolve, Sell, Grow strategy and this isn’t going away. However, we must strive to balance Service and Sales. We will continue to ensure you have the right tools and resources to be successful.

So, how can you make a difference? Focus on your myVOC scores. When our customers are happy, this is reflected in JDP. I know this team has the passion and commitment to regain our service leadership. Let’s do this by “Winning Back Our Customer’s Trust One Call at a Time!”

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  • Vinnyj

    Of course they are 4th, just try calling CS and you wait on hold for over 30 minutes if you are lucky, then you are lucky to get someone that speaks English. I have sometimes waited 45 minutes to talk with CS then when finally getting someone on the phone just to be put back on hold. I have stuck with T-Mobile thru this entire AT&T attempted takeover, happy this didn’t go thru, let’s just hope they get their ducks in order. I have great service, data speeds are pushing 10 MB down and 3 MB up. Not too shabby for HSPA+. 

  • ArrGee

    As a former employee I can say that 4th place is more credit than they deserve right now. Back when I left the company in October of 2010, I was working at a customer care call center and a few months prior to my departure the company made a drastic change in the way customer car was being run. Rather than focus on the quality of the call (reps were given quality scores 8 times a month by supervisors), the metrics were changed to focus almost entirely on sales. If you didn’t have over $100 in sales per so many calls a day you were not considered a top performer, even if you had outstanding quality scores. I still have friends that work there and from what I have heard they have pretty much done away with the quality system and Customer Care has been renamed to Customer Service and Sales. Its sad that the company has fallen so much because I loved working there prior to them changing to a sales based company. It showed a couple weeks ago when I called about my phone. The rep almost completely ignored the issue and tried to sell me the canada texting plan when she saw that I had TWO text messages to a Canadian number. She didnt touch on my original problem at all. 

  • FormerTMOFanBoy

    I can tell you that I was absolutely outraged when I participated in T-Mobiles Rep training class. The trainer literally said “Sales first.” You had to offer the customer 3 things, he said T-Mobile’s new goal was to have the customer have 1)talk+text plan 2)Data Plan 3)Home/On the go data (Jet sticks, etc). Being a T-Mobile guru of course I knew a lot of what the trainer was teaching us, but it was more focused on sales than anything. This was in July 2011. He said a top store, has top sales, which of course is true in any business but I believe if you provide world-class service THAT in itself should take care of the sales. Instead of bombarding a customer who is only looking to pay their bill with services you know they will never use. I’m all for increasing revenue and profits, but for such a large company to make that their prime focus is greed, and greed never finishes pretty. Needless to say, I stuck with the job for some time and had to resign because my store was more like a “boiler” room if you will. If you didn’t have the numbers at the end of the week you better be prepared to sign a write-up. It was after actually WORKING for T-Mobile I decided to finish my contract and look elsewhere for my wireless service. I’ve been with them since I was 16 (2006) and I’ve always been a die-hard TMOFan. As of late, I literally have to plan a time to call CS because of the excruciating long hold times. It’s sad, but I’m hoping they finally realize the step they chose to take was not a good one. Customer Loyalty was even renamed to “Retention’s”  how welcoming. 

  • Cielomoreno127

    This isn’t surprising at all. The past 2 years has been slowly downhill. Calling customer service and having problems with internet, plans being changed all of a sudden. Everytime there is a different answer from everyone. Don’t get me wrong I love T-Mobile been with them since August 2001. The consumers are getting fed up. Now it’s showing.

  • TMoFan

    I recently called called T-Mobile because I was going over my minutes on my old grandfathered plan. Right away the rep noticed how long I’ve been with T-Mobile and thanked me for my business. I was just interested in changing plans and I already knew what I wanted so he didn’t try to upsell another plan that didn’t fit me. The whole thing lasted about ten minutes with five minutes on hold. It’s sad though reading through some of the comments here that my experience is now not typical. One thing I didn’t really like is that I had to extend my contract just for changing a plan. I
    have no intention of going anywhere but it was still kind of annoying.
    I’ve changed plans in the past without doing that.

    This needs to change fast starting with Humm. I believe he was brought in as a caretaker during the bs sellout; he doesn’t have T-Mobile’s best interests in mind. Now that the sellout has change, the same has to hold for Humm. Bring in some new people to revitalize the company. DT has done so much harm to their US branch with this sellout swirling around for nine months only to have the thing fall apart. The board and Obermann who signed off on this thing were fools for betting everything on the sellout. Does T-Mobile/DT even give a damn?

    • Anonymous

      I think it’s more of a case of you being a rational and reasonable guy and everyone else on here is commenting on situations that are really their own fault and didn’t like what they heard.

      • monkeybdb

        that is the biggest problem here. i am a retail store rep, and honestly MOST problems that care said to be “bad customer service” are situations that are the customers fault or just being told what they dont wanna hear. Just because you are told no to a free phone because you dropped yours in water and didnt have insurance, doesnt mean its bad service.

    • TheWayOfThings

      The reason they didn’t try to sell you anything or give you a hard time about switching was probably because the changes you made didn’t lower your rate plan or added more money to your monthly charges… If that’s not the case, then you had better believe if the rep was monitored on that call, they spent the next half hour being raked over the coals for not pushing a sale, and then spent the next month with a supervisor up their a$$ constantly making sure they sell sell sell!

      • TMoFan

        Well I am spending a little more on my voice plan but he offered me a preferred android plan that actually lowered my monthly bill. If he got chastised for that then that’s a damn shame.

  • William Cron

    Well, if TMobile can give everyone the kind of service that I received last night, they’ll be back to number one in no time!

    • Anonymous

      The thing is it probably IS most of the time.  I’m willing to bet most of the people complaining on here will never be satisfied with anything.

  • An Ex CSR

    Supervisor to CSR: “Why is your myVOC so low?”

    CSR: I don’t get paid to have high myVOC scores, I get paid to shove data features down customers’ throats.”

  • Laughing my Butt Off

    As someone who was fired for not making sales to people who didn’t need extra services and for trying to explain to T-Mobile leadership that I thought the direction they were heading is wrong, I read this with a knowing smile and nothing else. I worked for the company 8 years, had fabulous VOC and IOCR stats. I just also had a bad case of morals. Live and learn.

    I do hope the company spends some time at the bottom and is kicking themselves in the ass for letting people like me go. I know I was not the only passionate and hard working person that was thrown away because they felt the dollar was more important than long term customer loyalty.

    • Damien

      I know someone who met IOCR every single month and had the unit’s highest MyVOC and were fired.  It’s sad, you’re a great customer service rep but if you can’t manipulate customers to buy products they don’t need then you need to go.   It’s why they’re in 4th place now.

    • Sedrufus

      I work for tmobile and I guarantee you were never told to sell someone something they dont need. you were trained to right fit the customer into a plan, feature ect based on need. get over yourself

  • Gerald Bliss

    Things that customers don’t like: $20 suspension fees per line (suspension, not reconnection, and that’s per line, not account). Customer service call centers being outsourced to countries in which English is a second language. Having to renew a contract when changing rate plans. Being locked into a data plan on lines that will not use data (we know its because they want to use their upgrade for a different line to purchase a smartphone, but the customer doesn’t truly understand our policy). Being told they have to buy the phone at “full cost” And finally, they want the iPhone.

    • Anonymous

      Almost everything you stated ignores the reality of the wireless industry.  Suspension fees?  Every carrier does this.  Outsourced customer care?  T-Mobile has the least.  Extending your contract when changing your plan? T-Mobile and the other carriers have always done this to retain customers but it doesn’t affect the customer’s upgrade time.

      The SILLIEST thing you brought up is people having data on a line they are not using.  T-Mobile only offers you the discounted price on a handset if you accept a two year contract and a data plan.  T-Mobile is the ONLY national carrier that LET’S you use a smartphone WITHOUT a data plan.  So if they DON’T want a data plan, it’s CHEAPER for them to just buy the phone at full cost.  Use it on an existing line with data or another line without data with no problems, again ONLY with T-Mobile is this acceptable.

      I can’t believe some people here, accepting the terms for getting the discount and then crying about it later… what does it matter if you are not using the data on the line you upgraded???  You CHOSE to receive the discount on a different line versus paying the full retail price which would have been cheaper in the long run.

      • Spanky

        For the most part, my experience with T-Mobile has been positive, despite the slower than normal data speeds that have been plaguing my neighborhood since August 2011. However, I must disagree with your justifications for suspension fees and outsourced customer care. There’s a reason why AT&T was nicknamed AFee&Fee. It’s just a way to nickel and dime customers. With regards to outsourced customer care, when I have an issue that I can’t resolve on my own, I’d like to speak to someone whose command of the English language exceeds the ability to read from the script.

        When I became a T-Mobile customer in May 2005, the company was truly different from the rest of the carriers. Today, as clearly evidenced by your own statements (every carrier does this), T-Mobile is just another carrier, minus the coverage and LTE.

      • TheWayOfThings

        “Every other carrier does it” is a p!ss-poor excuse for a company that used to strive to set themselves apart and above the competition. T-Mobile used to pride itself on putting the customer first and differentiating itself from the other carriers by not charging all the unnecessary fees and pushing sales onto customers… but now, it seems every month, something new comes around that costs the customer more or is more of an inconvenience to the customer and it’s rationalized by T-Mobile with “it’s in line with the industry standard.” … pitiful.

        • Sedrufus

          its still a business and needs to be run as such. since we are talking about customer first lets give everyone an iphone 5 and free service forever all just becuase your a “loyal customer”

          tmobile will find its way back to its jdp ways but customers will have to live withgetting what you deserve and not what you want becuase you want it

  • Lariana06

    As a customer service&SALES agent we are fed up with metrics that have to be met on a monthly basis, if not good-bye. Focus on selling a higher rate plan, web, or additional add ons(caller tunes, voicemail to text, all that crap probably most of us dont need) ´´for a month free´¨As you know this was not the case previously, wanted to remove data or downgrade not a problem, we will check previous usage and make recomendations based on usage, just focus on Courtesy, Concern, Timely resolution, and knowledge and get the customer up an running. But now is a different story, try to downgrade a plan and the firts thing the customer agent will tell is that you have to sign a 2yr contract in order to scare you and avoid that hit on his spph(sales per productive hour) or even not focusing on resolving your issue but yet insist of selling you something since now the VOB(voice of the bussinness)scoring system is just based on selling mainly, as long as this continue the same focus on sales as a primary thing, believe me nothing will change. Extra stuff was the pay per usage web for $1.99, reconnection fees of $20 per line, billing due date change, sivr hunging up your call, lots of people loss their job because of this metrics and as you know our possitions have been fill out by agents out of the country, that probably lack the same training a direct employee will have. Sales is important to every company, dont get me wrong, but the way is being implemented have fail, need to focus back to the basics as before.

    • Dominique

      It’s sad when you have to scare customers about a 2 year contract in order for them to not change their plan.  I’ve done it many times and it’s not about the customer, it’s about keeping my job.  You’d think they’d want people to do a 2 year agreement but all reps insinuate that the customer should really think before doing a 2 year contract. 

      • senore

        What do you mean? I don’t think I follow…

        • Dominique

           Let’s say a customer is calling in to drop to a rate plan that is $20 a month cheaper.  I say, “I can absolutely help you out with that BUT I do have to have to you agree to a 2 year contract that requires you to be a T-mobile customer for 2 more years unless you pay an early termination fee.  I do see that you have all your lines coming up to out of contract within the next year and want to make sure you understand that your contract will not end until February 2014.  Are you wanting to sign that 2 year contract today and make that happen?”

          By putting it in those words, it usually scares people off of doing the rate changed plan.  They’ll probably leave when their contract is up because they’ll have felt slighted because T-mobile wouldn’t allow them to change their rate plan without a new 2 year contract but it keeps me from getting fired for having negative numbers for sales.

    • Sedrufus

      I see why you were let go.

  • Jhartsb

    I really don’t see how Verizon is rated the highest. I have had horrible experiences with them.

    • Anonymous

      standards are low in the wireless industry. 

  • Manusferrera

    Everyone knows (well except tmobile execs) that in this recession customer service and relationships are what keep customers happy and willing to pay the extra money for it (verizon).

  • Nearmsp

    The most important factor that customers want from their provider is trust and integrity. When a company loses integrity for short term gains, it goes on a slipper slope and no short term measures can rectify that. I have been with T-mobile for over 8 years but  I am not happy and I have no certainty of sticking with T-mobile beyond my contract. With 4 phones on the family plan we pay over $200 in monthly charges. What sapped my confidence is reading story after story of customers whose contracts were renewed by deceiving them on the CSR phone line. I dropped my XM satallite  service for the very reason.T-mobile needs to get back to basics by having ethical CSR on the phone line.

    • Anonymous

      When you accept a contract over the phone through the CSR you accept it verbally first, then though an automated system for additional verification.  I have a hard time believing people were ‘swindled’ into renewing their contract.  Plus, they all got some kind of benefit out of it.

      • TheWayOfThings

        What’s hard to understand? Reps use double-talk, vagueness, twisted information and sometimes out-right lies to get a customer to accept a new rate plan, a new contract or an added feature. This is the sort of behavior you get when the focus is almost completely on sales and when an ever-increasing sales quota is in place that means the difference between having a job or getting fired.

        I’m just curious, what is your position at T-Mobile.. are you a manager or a rep? Whichever it is, you’re really good at blaming the customers and justifying the godawful policies that T-mobile has implemented over the last two years. I would think that if everything was all so hunky-dory good with the way T-Mobile is doing business nowadays, the JDP award would reflect that… but it sure paints a different picture to me.

  • aaron cooper

    They didn’t try to keep me, so I switched providers….

  • Anonymous

    I wonder what Robert Dotson is up to?   Even though I like T-Mobile’s aggressive strategy under Humm better it would be interesting to hear from Dotson and what it was like trying to keep T-Mobile USA competitive with DT’s lack of investment.

  • Anonymous

    I stopped putting any stock in JD Power’s ratings. I can only compare Sprint and T-Mobile, at least in the wireless area. In my experience, T-Mobile’s customer service is a billion times better than Sprint’s. JD Power and Associates can suck it as far as I’m concerned.

  • karma l

    stupid phone reps, rude retention reps, outrageous $200 per line plan change fees to loss of SIGNAL in every building. TMO is going down the hill to sink

  • Elizabeth Watson

    I just got hung up on because the automated system didn’t recognize my number. I’ve been with them for 7 years. I now don’t want to do an 8th.

  • Guest

    This really should not be shocking to anyone. Everything that used to set T-Mobile apart from the competition is now gone or changed. Unlimited data – Gone, contract extensions on rate changes – Yes, data lock policy – Yes, foreign customer service – Yes, Long hold wait times – Yes…Not to mention the lack of investment dollars both in their network & service. Phillip Humm was the death of T-Mobile as we knew it. he was brought in to do 2 things…Increase revenue & Sell the company…Its that simple. Now T-Mobile is reaping the benefits of Mr. Humm’s efforts! Dead last in Customer Service..Who would have thought. Let’s not forget this company had exclusive rights to Android for 12 months and did nothing with it! Horrible marketing and promotions. They basically let Verizon take credit for the innovative Android or “DROID” OS as they dubbed it. What a waste…At least with Dotson at the helm this company had vision, they had values, they had an identity. And now just the sheer stench of an AT&T takeover helped vault T-Mobile right down to the cellar in customer satisfaction. Imagine if the merger had actually gone through???

    • Riopato

      Humm should resign!!!!!!

  • Paull A Marcus

    When Birrer left for Charter, you knew that the customer lost there best advocate. Dotson, Nokes and Birrer had the vision. Humm has a vision also and it is bring the old T-mobile to an end. He is doing splendidly.

    • Anonymous

      Not to completely dispute what you are saying but to be realistic about it, the ‘old’ T-Mobile was failing to grow.  The wireless industry in itself was booming there were huge amounts of growth.  T-Mobile USA was not.  This is why DT brought in Phillip Humm, to change things.  I actually liked the aggressive T-Mobile taking on the competition and them calling their network 4G was a good move.  Ultimately T-Mobile would be having the issue it’s having now with churn irrespective of Humm, it’s not mostly due to his actions.  It’s what T-Mobile was until now that led to it’s position in the market currently.  Say what you will about the old T-Mobile, but if the ‘old T-Mobile’ brought in the customers and the money, it would still be around.  You want to blame someone for all those things you liked going away then blame all those customers leaving in droves for the iPhone or for whatever silly uninformed reason.  It’s those consumers that didn’t Value T-Mobile and everything it offered that caused the shake-up.

      • Damien

         That’s weird, because T-mobile increased customers each and every quarter since they came into being in the US.  The only thing that Humm has done is increase revenue by pushing sales first and foremost, changed the CS culture at T-mobile to sales and not service, and has had quarters of massive negative customer losses since he became CEO, which was well before the AT&T announcement.  Since the day he took over and made the changes, T-mobile has been losing customers and dropping in customer service quality……yeah great job that Humm has been doing

      • Damien

         Oh by the way, they were increasing in customers each and every year and making a $1 billion dollars in profit year after year with the “old T-mobile”.  Not too shabby for a customer first atmosphere.

  • Roshni

     TMO has gone from top to worst. unhappy  and will be  changing carrier soon after 9 yrs with them

    • senore

      worst? that’s a blanketed statement, isn’t it? I’m sure there are some T-Mo stores better than Sprint stores. It’s all relative.

  • Wade Aldridge

    I worked for T mobile for 7 years and I can say that T mobile started down this path when they demanded sales quotas from their reps and constantly lowering call resolution time expectations. T mobile got too stressful for me so I left to go to college and change careers. I went with At&T because the coverage was better in my neighborhood and I expected a challenge with customer service. I was pleasantly surprised with AT&T. Their reps are courteous and rep at the store was very knowledgeable and professional. Issues have always been resolved.

    • senore


  • Riopato

    over 14 years with this company that use to be omnipoint then voicestream. This is the first time this year I actually consider to switch to another carrier. If Tmobile don’t improve their service, policy and choices in their devices by april, I will have no other choice and port my number else where!

    • brandon

      I already have. After I had 6 Sammy Galaxy s 4g phones that constantly froze and malfunctioned on me, I demanded a different phone. At first they said I HAD to stick with the Galaxy. After a few complaints and speaking with the manager, they offered me the Moto Cliq 2 which they were selling for 149 WITHOUT a contract and had a 2 out of 5 star rating, I refused! They told me I could cancel my service and refused to let me speak with a manager. I never got angry or upset with them. I have never felt so unsatisfied or unwanted by a company in my life!

      • senore

        so what’d you do?

  • 305buddyluv

    In the sense of customer service, Tmo will always and forever be number 1 in my book. But in the sense of devices line available, they are dam sure dead last. Tmo; you need a new body behind the driver seat to make better choices on what devices to carry, because in my opinion that’s what killing you. 

  • Buggsy

    T Mobile should hire John Stanton to come back. If there was ever anyone who understands the wireless industry, it’s Stanton.

  • TheWayOfThings

    Spoken like a true management puppet.. If what you say is true, then the JDP award wouldn’t be as it is right now.

  • Lewis Mazo

    I wrote David six months ago telling the that wheels were coming off T-Mobile’s customers service.  I did so based on my having been a customer for nearly a decade, and knowing there had never been a time where one had to deal with thirty minute hold times and customer service reps whose first or second language was not English.   Despite this David vehemently defended T-Mobile (almost as if he was their spokesperson).  Well……the truth is out.  I hang on only because the price is right but the connection is becoming threadbare. 

    • David

      I’d still defend them because the talent is all in place to make the company return to former JD Power glory. The policies and procedures are what has led to this pitfall of customer service values and support. I’d still defend them, don’t think that one JD Power award or a bad years results are going to make me stop defending them. People not to stop acting like customer service at other wireless carriers is some kind of heavenly event and T-Mobile is now the devil, regardless of this poor showing.

      • Lewis Mazo

        You make a very good point relative to T-Mobile’s customer service.  All wireless carriers and for the most part all telcos have sucky customer service.  The best customer service they can provide is ensuring their customers never have to call customer service!!!  

        My expectations for T-Mobile are much higher simply based on my prior experiences with the company.  By contrast, I have zero expectations with AT&T (Uverse) because they have the worst customer service in the history of industrialized society.  I swear the actor in the funny Capital One commercials is an actual CSR for AT&T.

  • Carmstr8

    My wife interviewed at one of the call centers. She worked there previously, as have I. Its how we met so we have a soft spot for this company.

    They were falling all over themselves to re-hire her since she excelled there in the past. But the whole outlook of customer service has changed there. They litterally told her that they were all about selling now, not saving customers money. We use to enjoy working for the little guy with big goals. It was commendable.

    She declined the position because she couldnt stand behind a company that focused on gouging there customers vs truely helping them.

    Also, there employees have changed, contrary to this article. Very few that I know actually enjoy working for them anymore. And they’ve terminated most anyone that i’ve personally,worked with. Im sure that Sue Nokes (the initial driving force behind the glory years of exemplory customer service) is probably shaking her head. When she left the company, it was a slow crumble from there.

    Not the best place to work. Not in the least. And I would have to say that their 4th place spot is deserved.

    • Carmstr8

      I also might add that T-mobile was indeed having a hard time becoming profitable in the industry. You have to make drastic changes in order to gain in this industry. They just went about it all wrong.

  • Juancares

    This is just a pure reflection of what we T-mobile customers have to deal with now. It is incredible but very true.  There is simply no customer service but just a whole bunch of angry people telling you lies and never try to help solve the issue.

  • shaunandelly

    Latest full monty package displays contempt by hiding speed caps. Nearly bought it. Instead now taking in my dongle to cancel out of date contract with them.

  • Anonymous

    The last argument i had about tmobile being good and now thats down the dump. Okay i guess im leaving t-mobile now….money better spent elswhere i guess. 

  • Anonymous

    Well, that does it. I’m leaving T-Mobile next year. Sorry, but that was the last thing you guys really had going for you.

  • Anonymous

    The issues with T-Mobile are mostly internal.As someone that used to work frontline tech support I can say that ever since the merger was announced , T-Mobile call center leadership has been pushing for very aggressive performance goals on the frontline reps such as reducing call handle time and reducing handset replacements. With merger rumors swirling all of last year each call center was taking drastic measures to ensure they did not rank last in case the merger went through and some centers had to be shut down. The performance goals were also a way to cut costs and make the company look more attractive to potential buyers.

    This led to call center leadership pushing the reps hard, terminating the reps that were not producing the numbers they wanted, which created a very tense atmosphere for the reps. The reps in turn started taking drastic measures to meet the numbers, which meant rushing through the call, deferring handset replacements by giving customers extra unnecessary steps for troubleshooting, unnecessary transfers and more shortcuts. Call quality was became a low priority as reflected by it’s 1% weight on the reps performance metrics. At the end of the day as a rep only your numbers matter and that’s the attitude that reps have.

    The obvious results were, customers having to call multiple times for the same issue, incomplete resolution due to lowered handle time requirements, customers spending more time than they should to get their issues resolved and customers would let us know on the calls that they were unhappy.

    T-Mobile needs to find a balance between the performance goals they set on reps, customer satisfaction and shareholder satisfaction because right now the shareholders have it their way.

  • Chum Lee

    BS that VERIZON out of anyone is #1. Verizon’s customer service is godawful. Any experience i’ve ever had with Verizon has been absolutely horrible.

  • TMODefector

    Was considering leaving for Sprint this just put me over the edge. 8yrs with them. Sad.

    • Tbyrne

      Thanks Dan. We’re sending you another money pit.

  • Stonerslane

    I’m still gonna stick to TMobile. As long as I don’t have to call customer (don’t)care. I’m a happy camper. All I ask from TMobile is that they keep their rates low. $124 a month for 3 lines. Now that’s a deal :D

  • Brobberson

    Ya I believe it as I have had Tmobile since 2005 and this last year was the worst to work when I had a question on my bill or any other problems…but still sticking with them. Hopes it gets better.

  • Ivan

    You know, now I’m not really surprised about the result anymore.  I just wasted hours just trying to increase my data so the throttle gets removed, everyone is saying different thing – from retention, to different customer reps.  They really, really need to step up their game this year.

  • InvisibleHand

    Customer service just doesn’t matter; if it did, T-Mobile would have more customers and AT&T would have fewer customers. Customers love to say that customer service and price are super important but when it comes to voting with their dollars, they prove time and time again that it just doesn’t matter very much. Verizon views customer service results as window dressing and they are able to spend a bunch of money to change it in a hurry–because they charge more and people are chomping at the bit to give them money. 

    • D4whatver82

      100% agreed. It really is sad. I think of all the carriers Tmo not only has the cheapest plans, but it also has some of the very best high end phones out there. Sure Verizon has a decent stable, but I’d pit my 1.5ghz Galaxy S2 against any phone on any carrier. I can’t even count the number of compliments that I get just by taking the handset out of my pocket. I’m not sure what else Tmo can do if having a great stable of phones, cheap plans, and decent 4g coverage isn’t enough to lure people in. Maybe, there is a stigma to the Tmo name?

  • JR69

    Is anyone actually surprised?  With the AT&T take over looming for so long and knowing that your parent company doesn’t want you anymore why would you be surprised that the customer care doesn’t care much anymore.  When getting laid-off is looming (didn’t happen) how much effort would you put in?  I think is almost irreparable damage that has been done, especially since TMO DT is still willing (Hum said so) to dump TMO US in the future.  Too bad.

    • Jfaviken

       Sorry to disagree. One of T-Mo’s pride asset has been it’s customer service, a good-enough reason for AT&T to adopt it. If T-Mo is thinking about a merger in its future, and it does, then by all means: Continue to pride on it.

  • TheTruthHurts

    The anti-consumer attitudes routinely posted on these forums by employees clearly illustrates the problem.  They all think that THEY are not the problem, but that the CUSTOMER is the problem.  They have it completely backwards, but are too stupid, egotistical, close-minded, and stubborn to realize the truth.  The JD Power report is condemning evidence against them, their behaviors, and their attitudes.

    • InvisibleHand

      This is where you’re “too stupid, egotistical, close(d)-minded and stubborn to realize that the reality is very contrary to you’re perception. T-Mobile is practically begging the highest maintenance, most price sensitive customers to come sign up. Unfortunately, these customers end up being the most expensive to maintain because they jump ship to the next best deal as soon as they don’t get what they want. They call in to customer care and demand free phones every six months threatening to cancel. T-Mobile gives them what they want a few times and then finally say no, at which point the customer leaves (churn) and goes somewhere else essentially nullifying the expensive retention efforts of T-Mobile. The remaining customers carry the burden of this through seemingly unnecessary fees and service cuts. I imagine that these “bad” customers account for only 15%-25% of T-Mobile’s customers but they have given the brand a stigma of a “poor man’s carrier” which T-Mobile has done nothing to counteract. The devices are always right on the cusp of being great, but always have one or two major compromises. 

      The customers who are less price sensitive will sign up on Verizon or AT&T to get the iPhone or some other well advertised device and pay $20 more per month–all while calling customer care less than 50% as often as the leeches T-Mobile caters to. I’m not saying that it’s right for good customers to carry the burden of the bad; it’s just simple economics. 

      • tmo doesnt care

        Doesn’t mean they have good customer interactions. I have not only worked for Tmo for 3 years but been a customer for 12…I assure you its strictly the price I stay for. There customer care sucks

    • Sedrufus

      Seriously…alot of tmobile customers are the problem. I will say this tho…tmobile created this customer base by always giving now there is a big monster that cant be satisfied no matter what we do. I am not saying that all customers are terrible but I dont take many calls for real issues or where tmobile made an error of some kind.

  • Frank

    I left T-mobile after almost a decade as a loyal customer.  I should have left sooner.  They used to be a great company but they don’t seem to care about their customers anymore.

  • RisM

    Sadly I started noticing this a few months ago. I’ve been a customer of T-Mobile for 6 years. Up until a few months ago, I had a great love affair with Tmo. Anytime I ever had a problem, no matter what it was, customer service was always able to fix it in 1 phone call and they were the nicest people I ever had to deal with. I talked all my friends and family into switching to Tmo.

    A few months ago I had a problem with my plan, called in to customer service, spoke to someone, and they fixed it. A week or so later I checked myTmobile account online and saw my plan was still not right and I was being overcharged. I called again, and again, they said it was fixed – but in order to fix the problem, I had to be signed up for a new plan which required a 2 year contract. Okay, fine, I had no intention of going anywhere else so no big deal. A month goes by and I see my plan still is not fixed. I call back, again, and again they fix it –  but they have to sign me up for 2 year contract – again. Sigh, okay. As long as it’s fixed. Another month goes by, I see my bill is $350! (I have 1 line, 500 minutes, unlimited text, and 2GB Android Data – nowhere close to what my bill was) I call back -again- and as calmly as I can explain to the rep what has happened and what I need to be done to fix this once and for all. Thankfully, this particular rep got her supervisor involved when she saw the notes on my account that it had been “fixed” several times before and what I was supposed to be getting – and how it clearly showed thats not what I actually had. She was able to properly fix my account and she talked to her supervisor to get me a full month’s credit.

    I was relieved that my issue was finally fixed but the damage was done and I haven’t been happy with them since. Every time I call now, I get someone in the Philippines! I work in a customer service call center for a cable provider and I know how incompetent the reps in the overseas call centers can be, not to mention their lack of personality.’

    I’ll be honest, I’ve been considering leaving for Sprint. I haven’t been able to bring myself to pull the trigger though, at least not yet. After seeing this, I’m actually glad to see that Tmo admits there is a problem and I hope they do fix it. To me, Tmo was perfect and I hope they can be again.

  • GRG

    Just spent 1 1/2 hours with Tmo’s off shore customer service with no success. I have been with T Mobile since the Voice Stream days and the few time I have had to call C.S. it was a 10 min non-event, issue solved.

    I know everyone needs a job but the off shore people only know the script and if you break their routine in all goes south from there.
    T-Mobile,  if you are reading this and you have any thought of what was in the J.D. Powers report and what your C.E.O. has stated about Tmo’s decline, it is fairly simple.

    I say this on bended knee, PLEASE bring your customer service back to the U.S. Two years ago it was great, sure it cost more but what is the churn rate and loss of company image costing you.

    • Anonymous

      girl i spoke to yesterday was in the US. 

  • Fahd Yar Khan

    JD Powers have gained my respect after seeing this. In the past 2 yrs. i’ve been on tmobile, my wife has been on ATT and then Verizon and their service is far far superior to Tmobile.

    Tmobile is basically a money hungry company that want’s to make dime and nickle my mis-information followed my applying extra charges to everyone’s account.  I’ve had this problem 3 times in the last 1 yr. horrible customer service. Worst i’ve ever seen.
    Hopefully i would be going to Verizon or Sprint and get the Galaxy Nexus :)

  • TMOguy

    I really hope this is a joke. If not it clearly illustrates the problem with T-Mobile’s new service model.

    • anty fed

      :-0  Very painful to read.

  • Stan

    They all have mediocre customer service . Thats why I have a EM+ plan . So I don’t have to deal with customer service . 

  • Ric Bur Cor

    Customer service used to be pleasant.  Now I just stay away from calling.

  • Pck7352

    Yeah, I’ve had T-Mobile for over 10 years, still love my Nexus One, and I am still paying the $200 ETF even though I only have 4 months left on contract. I’ve been an analyst for 7 years, T-Mobile is seemingly doing every possible thing to put themselves out of business. Yes, GSM is convenient when I am in Europe, but not as aggravating as weak or no signal in the states. Unless T-Mobile begins a massive push to LTE, they’re going to be left behind and bought out by a regional carrier or end up selling their GSM spectrum for voice usage only to one of the remaining big three carriers for next to nothing. DT will sell T-Mobile to highest bidder once they finish acquiring the break up fee and spectrum from AT&T. Too bad, T-Mobile was great for 8 years, then just stopped investing in new infrastructure and fell behind. Bummer.

    • 2JZ_NOS

      This is exactly how I feel, I’ve been with them for 10+ years as well and in the past 2 years or so, it’s been a nightmare trying to get good customer service.  I am too paying the ETF with about 6 months left on contract.  In the past, they would immediately transfer you to retentions and give you a killer deal on their top devices, but now, it’s just a simple “ok, we’ll cancel your service, anything else we can help you with?” Sad really.

      • PatrickU

        it really is sad. I was even transferred to the “loyalty customer care” didn’t know TMO had a division like this but they were the ones that said “ok, thank you for calling TMO”. It really is sad this company is going down the drain fast. 

    • PatrickU

      I agree. I’ve been with TMO for over 10 years as well and I spoke with customer care yesterday about the ETF and I said I was thinking of leaving TMO because of issues with dropped calls and with no signal in area that had full signal. The rep didn’t do or say anything to help with the situation. She just told me it would be $200 ETF and thank you for calling. What has happened to you TMO!!!???

  • gmail

    Spell check???