Newest JD Power Customer Care Study Places T-Mobile Dead Last

Disappointing news this morning for the T-Mobile faithful as the newest JD Power 2012 Wireless Customer Care Full-Service Performance Study, Volume 2 places T-Mobile dead last in the overall customer care index ranking.

The 2012 Wireless Customer Care study is based on response from 7,428 wireless customers due to their experiences with their respective carrier over the course of the past six months. The study was conducted between January and June 2012.

There’s many ways I can imagine any company, including T-Mobile will try and spin this but as news of call center closings still looms in the back of our minds, we can’t help but wonder how T-Mobile plans on turning this around. For a company that used to dominate these rankings, the mighty have certainly fallen.

Let’s remove ourselves from reality for a moment and ask what you, as the T-Mobile customer would do to improve customer service if you were in charge of customer care? Let’s not get hasty and include ideas that aren’t actually possible or wildly out of this world, but real world ideas that the company can actually carry out. Perhaps we’ll think of something the powers that be at T-Mobile haven’t or won’t. Just a thought.

While this is all bad news, being dead last doesn’t bother me as much as losing to AT&T. I just loathe the idea of losing anything to AT&T. I don’t think I have EVER had a positive customer experience with their customer care department.

JD Power

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  • mystik4l06

    As a former employee to T-Mobile a sales rep/key holder to be more specific. This is the main reason why i left the company 2 years ago right after all their systems were changed from regular Watson to Quickview and their commission systems changed from ACS to Callidus which was major BS. Lost over 30% in commission earnings in one SHOT! BAM GONE!! Commission checks went from $3000+ to just barely hitting $2100 a month. Numbers went up not as unrealistic as call centers. They were still attainable but it was set at such a number that once you hit it your still not making any money. You had to double your numbers to get money as if you would hit your numbers alone on the old system. 10K+ employees quit on the spot when they said they are changing commission structure. I stayed due to the promotion and training to be an assistant manager and its not worth it. I got out before i had my next promotion due to their bogus offer of a $3 raise with more responsibility. Pathetic. Immediate management as in store managers and call center managers have NO FAULT at ALL. DISTRICT managers are to blame. I have worked closely with MANY and they set all these numbers which are ridiculous and unattainable. If your store has a quota of 80 and you try to make yourself “Look good” and hit 150. Your quota next month will be 200. Why? well you hit 150 so why not 200? If you dont hit it then you are screwed. That’s where the pressure starts to go down the chain.

    • Michael D

      If all that is true then damn, very uncool of them (internally speaking).

    • Jimbean7654

      This post has absolutely nothing to do with the customer care ranking. Sales quotas are mathematical formulas based year over year sales. Go twittle your thumbs.

      • mystik4l06

        The mathematical formula is not based on year to year sales. That’s how much of an idiot you are for posting a reply without any basis of factual information. Sales quotas are for every store every call center are on a month to month basis. It all depends on how much you accomplished on the prior month which is set by regional managers not the company. I was on the inside for 5 Years so I know exactly what I am talking about. So, Next time get some facts before you post your stupidity on this site.

  • J. Williams

    Wow lol, they are doing bad. I’m shocked, lol. I never really have issues with customer care, but they mistakes have been made on my account back in the day. Oh well, no worries. Hopefully they can recover.

  • Vinny

    First problem it takes sometimes 20 minutes on hold just to talk to a human being. Then they play hold on I will switch you to a different dept. Then you loose the signal and have to call back, what a joke and I am not kidding either. I could tell you some serious problems I had to deal with T-Mobile over the last 6 months and they were all with the employees working for T-Mobile. Last week T-Mobile sent me my SGS3, great phone but wrong color, returned it and what do you think happened, they sent me the 2nd phone which was also wrong. I am flipping out at this point. If I had a T-Mobile employee in front of me right now I would throw a choke hold on him so fast and say wake the fu– up. Is it my fault for staying with them I keep asking myself but I have been with them for so long and I do have fantastic coverage and data speeds at my location so I bite the bullet and hope things change. AT&T has very fast LTE in my area and so does Verizon which i also have an account with but I still have my T-Mobile account and hope things get better.
    Sorry for the venting folks.

    • JoeyKhache

      Eat it!

      • mystik4l06

        You sir are a dumbass for actually taking him seriously. Read the end Of his comment “sorry for venting.” Learn to differentiate intentional threats from harmless venting. Just for your stupid comment he should go choke hold YOU and I’ll go help him out by punching you in the throat so you can stfu. Smh

        • JoeyKhache

          You mad bro? You’ve got some serious mental issues in the brain too… Come at me bro, I dare you! I bet it feels good to hide behind the internet. You’ve probably never punched anyone in your life. Mr. Mystik over here. Pfffff…haha…

    • 123

       so simple as put a case on it…people is crazyyy

  • Moneylifemusic Ent

    I agree with the ranking. As far as a solution i really don’t have any suggestions.  I just know that at one point i was 30 months into my contract and willing to upgrade my handset. Apparently, I stumped the customer service rep because when i called to upgrade my phone he told me that i was no longer under contract. I kindly said “…I know. Im willing to upgrade my handset and extend my contract.” He proceeded to tell me I was out of contract and had to pay full price for a handset. At that point i just gave. I didnt owe t-mobile a dime. I don’t know what that was about so i just went to Best buy and did my upgrade. Im actually considering leaving T-Mobile if things dont improve later this year. 

    • Moneylifemusic Ent

      gave up *** (Typos suck! smh) 

      • Bajamin

        my bet is you are/were on an old PLUS plan. Which means the only option you have is to keep it or move to a VALUE plan. In both cases the phones are full price.

  • Untouchable4rc

    As a T-Mobile sales rep in nyc this bothers me to the core. I’ve never been a good “salesman” but my customer service is nothing short of amazing. I have gotten customers out of ditches that many would think are impossible. Nowadays it seems as if our primary goal as a company is to suck a customer dry regardless of tenure by imposing all sorts of tricky ways to charge for nonsense. First it was the bs $50 pay per use overages(that they later admitted was wrong) but now they have this REALLY screwed up $65 10gb plan that’s “randomly” showing up on peoples accounts. I seriously had a customer that within the last 4 months didn’t use over 10mb of data(mind you he didn’t even have a smartphone) and they slapped a 10gb $65 feature on his account. They could not credit this back because it wasn’t a Tmobile error. WHY is this even being offered to someone who averages 3mb of data A MONTH? It’s sickening it really is, especially in a time where people are living check to check. I feel almost as if MY integrity is being compromised when I see reports like this.

  • Michael D

    This doesn’t really jive with me.  T-Mobile customer service has always been excellent for me through the years. Sometimes they’ve clearly been American.  Sometimes I was sure I was speaking to a Filipino, and even few times I think they might have been Indian, but always good service.

  • Gladys

    I’m an Enterprise Customer with nearly 1000 lines.  200 of those lines are USB modems on a 200MB plan.  When I called T-Mobiel business care and asked to bump the data plans up to 5GB and 10GB plans they told me I had to extend my contract for another 2 years per line.


    I called my B2B rep and she said that’s just the way it is.  No getting around the forced 2 year renewal just for changing my plan and paying them more per month.

    Terrible service if you ask me. 

    As a large business customer I still have to go through the offshore team for Activations and ports.  They are almost as bad as AT&T’s offshore Premier support. 

    • Bajamin

      EVERY cellphone company does this. This is nothing new. Is it fair? No. Is it the way it is done, yes. 

  • Guest

    Well, hmm….

    Lets see…the could start by completely removing the current automated system. For 3 months you had to call sales directly and get transferred to customer care because the system in place would hang up on you no matter what you chose.

    I’m willing to bet most of the bad rating comes from the automated system debacle after they closed call centers. So…they deserve what they received.

    • ac


  • Zabaniya

    how in the world did they lose to at&t???…thats a whole new level of bad. i’ve never had a single positive experience with at&t with any of their services (phone, internet, cell phone, tv)

    • kalel33

      They were dead last in the previous JD Powers study too.

  • Taquafanda

    How did this happen? I’ve been w/ T-Mo for nearly 10 years. They were always the best in both my experience and stats. What, did everyone just turn bad when AT&T merger talk began? Doesn’t make sense. 

    • perfectalpha

      Read my post below and you will see why. The culture changed. When we were winning JDP, we focused on the experience of the customer. Now, the focus is on not replacing phones, get the customer off the line as quickly as possible, and they outsourced a lot of the jobs that they just shut down. The department of Labor called them out on it. Folks don’t want to speak with someone from Honduras.

  • Mr. Hill

    Everything has been going down since they started forcing those “Right Fit” guides down employees throats and onto customers.  No other carrier does this.  They’re annoying and don’t do anything to help the sales reps or the potential customers.

    • Disgusted

      Oh my gosh! Those damn right fit guides and numerous ridiculous papers they have you fill out is terrible. I sometimes dread asking a cust a question b/c of it. I fail to see how this helps with customers wanting a speedy transaction?

  • Jtr ex.employee

    There is no surprise here, this is what happens when the jobs are sent overseas. I do understand the need to cut costs, but cutting the frontline customer service agents that had made this company succesful at the customer service level was a mistake. They closed the most tenure centers to avoid paying high salaries, but we can clearly see the quality of service that is now being provided. I wish Tmob the best, but the reality is that customers are not happy with their service and are leaving the company . As an ex employee who was given the option to relocate, i think is not a good time to be at tmobile anymore.

    • 123

       I did relocate and very happy with my choice…

      • Jtr ex.employee

        Am really happy it worked out for you. It didnt make sense for me, best of lucks to you and to the company.

  • Vendetta517

    Remember when this was their pride and joy. If they don’t care about this anymore, how much can they possibly care for their customers.

  • Secret Shopper #42

    As a current T-Mobile RSA, these comments are actually really interesting read– especially the comments from the past and current employees.
    The sad thing is, I think T-mobile really has a great product. Their shift to Value plans was really a bold move, and attacks the widespread issue of a perceived “$199” phone. Smartphones really cost a lot more than that and the carriers don’t actually make much money from phone sales. But for some reason, customers on all carriers are more comfortable paying $199 for a phone, and a ridiculous monthly price for their service. Maybe because it’s simpler, and they don’t get decision fatigue.

    I respect that T-Mobile has taken this approach, but their plans are terribly confusing to customers. The systems are also not intuitive at all. Simple account information is not easily identifiable, and this can lead to a poor customer experience overall. Sales tools should be available to instantly calculate this stuff and give the customer a bottom line quickly.

    On my end, I definitely see the change in the call centers, both as a customer and as an RSA. When I am speaking with a call center outside of the US, it’s quite apparent, both in quality of service and level of communication. I speak to plenty of call centers with other companies, and usually the service is *better* .. especially when calling India. So, that appears to be a management issue.

    I hope they turn this around with some realistic expectations from their employees with a focus on real value rather than unattainable numbers. Personally, I feel better when I get a customer out of a jam than when I activate a multiple line account– because I love technology and how it is evolving. I can’t wait to see what’s coming out next and where new and innovative technology will take us. I’m going to ride that train either way, and hopefully it’ll continue to be with the Tmo.

  • Jade Hart

    Looks like AT&T or Sprint may be my next carrier. I was thinking of switching to T-Mobile from Verizon, but unless things change I may go with another carrier. It almost seems that after the AT&T-Mobile Merger failed, everyone in charge at T-Mobile just gave up and are letting the company crumble.

    • Jade Hart

      They also need to get up to speed with LTE because every other carrier is surpassing them when it comes to next gen wireless. 

      • Bajamin

        You are retarded. Many test have been done showing T-Mo HSPA + just as fast and FASTER (in some cities) than LTE. On top of that LTE drains a battery where HSPA+ does not. They are also rolling out LTE ON TOP OF HSPA+. Also if you call customer care enough to be frustrated enough to spend twice as much per month then please RUN to ATT.

  • Terron

     With the economy in the state it is people are looking to downsize any way possible…unfortunately, cell phones are the easiest and most sought after targets.  I can imagine that out of the seven thousand or so customers that this survey was based on, they’re complaints were probably faults of their own…im a tmobile sales rep and people complain because of the restore fees that we charge per line….pay your bill on time or make a payment arrangement and you wont have that problem….if you decide not to get insurance on your phone to save the 8 dollars a month, dont get upset that they wont give you a free phone after you drop yours in the toilet…i honestly get it, times are hard but in my experience tmobile attracts and targets sub-prime business mostly.  when you have sub-prime customers as a whole you get these kind of complaints. Tmobile used to be #1 with JD Power before, but back then, there were no upgrade fees, regulartory fees were a little lower, there was no bill current, hell at one point Fridays were considered weekends on some plans. I have faith in tmobile and i think that things will get better. Customer Care does have to improving to do, but the customers need some education as well. Verizon is leading the way and their qualification process is a lot more strict than the other carriers. It seems that people with higher credit scores tend to have better judgement….they understand that its wise to get a protection plan on a device that cost 600.00 full retail, and they understand that there will be a penalty for paying late. It’s gonna take a lot from all sides of T-Mobile to dig their way up from this

  • Jweavers2

    They can start by stopping the whole “hanging up on customers” thing. I’ve been yelled at so many times because the customer care reps are either highly rude or just flat out hang up on the customer. 

    • tmobile tech

      and if u keep screaming u will continue to get hanged up.. just chage ur attitude because us employees we here to help no to hear u scream.. have a good day :)

  • Fed up

    I am an ex employee. We have Required sales quotas to meet in customer care. So in order to keep their jobs reps are committing fraud left and right. I spent a lot of time filing out fraud reports.
      We had Required Call Resolution time 380 seconds. Ths is just over 6 mins. To fix a real problem it takes more then 6 mins in most cases. Meet or else.
     We also get customer surveys done Many times the surveys were not done on the right person. So a helpful employee would get a bad score, and a rotton employee got the good score.  So the system is flawed and does not help.
      They  let me go for not harrassing our Good employees constantly about their metrics. I worked with them to service the customers needs.  Also I was a very Well paid employee so they wanted to get rid of me and hire some one else for a LOT LESS MONEY. 
      It is so much cheeper to out source customer care to some location over seas.
      A lot of good people are getting the shaft and it greatly affects the level of customer care.

       Also the Pay Per Use charge scam going on does not help. Or the 3rd party charges. Get rid  of those 2 items and customer satisfaction would go up a lot. The powers that be want you to call in so we can sell you something you dont want.
      At this Point Id implore all Customers to leave T-Mobile untill the customer demands are met.

    • 123

       sure and you will pay they ETF’s as well…go get a life looser !!!

      • SadButTrue

        Dont be difficult. I was in the same boat and you are just adding a comment that does nothing for this thread. This if for REAL discussions

      • kalel33

        You called someone a “looser” but you can’t spell “loser” correctly.  Who’s the idiot loser?

  • Andres

    From first to last in 60 seconds, even ATT does it better, wow

  • Sad

    I am not at all surprised by the results. It’s a classic case of what happens when you are a dime wise and a dollar foolish. In my opinion, T-mobile could do with an entire corporate restructure, starting at the top.

  • Gheadr4

    They need to hire knowledgeable reps at the stores, not just pretty faces. They send me right back to call customer support of which I’ve given up the right before. They forced me to report this incident to the raters online.

  • turnitaroundquickly

    Biggest issue is the disconnect from the language barrier . Results from that are the customers are forced to come into the retail store for help and there is only so much help a retail store can give – ie credits and etc. Second issue is the script reading also resulting from the language barrier. Have a true conversation with someone instead of reading some phony script to try to answer each question.

  • Hopeitgetsbetter

    We went from a company who cared about customers and doing the right thing to a policy driven one. Everything today is policy driven and we dont budge. Customer care wouldnt waive a $20 late payment fee for a customer who was in the hospital giving birth to her new born son. They told me that “the customer has the same billing due date every month and should have know her payment was due”. Thats the company we are today. 

    • swave

      well hey when you sign and 2 year agreement you sign that says you will pay the bill it never say that in the act of something happen like having a baby you cant pay a bill that not there fault stop making excuse and pay up

      • 21stNow

         Yeah, I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be any compassion, but customers have to take responsibility, too.  Just because my bill is due on the 9th of the month, it doesn’t mean that I have to wait until the 9th to pay it.  If I know I’m going to have a baby (last time I checked, gestation is around 9 months-the birth isn’t unexpected), I will arrange to either pay my bills earlier, or designate someone else to handle this for me.  Or, there is that 20th century invention called AutoPay.

  • theanalyst

    I’m not surprised.  I’ve had to call T-Mobile a few times over the past 6 months and my service was awful.  At least by the first line of customer service reps (tech support and retentions usually have been helpful).  The first line of customer support often has no idea what they are talking about.  For example, when I called to report difficulty I was having with my Galaxy S/Vibrant, the rep told me the problem was because I was running froyo and that T-Mobile would upgrade my phone to a new OS.  Ha!  We all know that wouldn’t happen.  Where did she even get such information?  I also had to contact customer care to ask if I would have reception when traveling.  My 1st attempt I was told yes and that of course I would have service, because I was at a conference being held at a university and that all colleges have T-Mobile reception!  Truth is, I only had roaming and I knew this ahead of time after speaking to a rep in retentions.  T-Mobile has become a joke.

  • formeremployee

    I tried e-mailing the owner of this blog about this stuff over a year ago and he wouldn’t listen because he was too much of a fan. I had been working for the company in their call centers for over 7 years, I was making a very good wage, probably one of the top CSR earners as I had moved up in position and then gone back to a CSR to move back home. However, days after the official, at&t is buying us out, announcement I was unceremoniously fired because I could not sell people on services they didn’t need. The call center where I live is down to about 25% of they staff they had before the buyout announcement. And the reps they let go were the customer focused ones, they only kept the ones that cared more about selling. If T-Mobile wants to fix this, they need to rehire all those reps and drop this sell sell sell mentality. 

  • ThoCh

    I called to do an handset exchange on a faulty phone they sent me from a previous exchange. The Philippine rep wanted to charge me $20 for a crappy phone THEY sent me!  She put me on hold, mute, for almost 30 minutes, then blind transferred me to a number that rang for 5 minutes. Then I engaged with a chat rep, also from overseas (call center 145), and it was just as bad.
    You want to know why they are in last, for this kind of bullshit. And its not going to change.

  • Malachi Megiddo

    I just wish it was easier to actually get someone on the damn phone! You have to jump through so many button presses (or retarded “say the word” commands) to get to an actual voice.

    Or maybe just hire a customer care specialist to work at the store that’s two blocks away. One per store. And customers would be far happier.

    Just my thoughts.

  • Gregory Gillham

    I was a T-mobile customer from 2001 but then switched to AT&T in 2010 to use an iPhone. The only issues I had during this time was when my brother-in-law got a random phone number in the Dallas, TX area and because it was long distance to call from my wife’s job I was willing to help him change the number. 

    I called T-mobile and was surprised that the Rep didn’t want to help me change to a different 469-xxx-xxxx number that had a different prefix so it would be a local call from a 214-xxx-xxxx number. This was in the fall of 2007. Finally after 10 minutes I was able to convince her that I needed to change the number but she was *not* happy about it. Then after about 30 seconds we realized there weren’t any numbers available in the 469-831-xxxx prefix so I just gave up as it was just a bad experience compared to the normal experience I had from 2001 until that time (2007). It seems like it would have been faster for her to just help me instead of fight it for 10 minutes. We weren’t calling customer service very often and had never asked to change numbers before so we were just normal customers, not over using their resources.

    My wife recently ported back to T-mobile and the only issues I had was the port didn’t complete and I had to call back a few times until it finally ported. But customer services was fine during this process.Really, from all the comments, it seems that T-mobile has a fundamental  management problem that sounds very similar to the issues that Spirit had a few years ago.  Because of Sprint’s management pressure, Reps would extend contracts for just calling in to customer service and do other things that were shocking. Now Sprint has improved its rating and is just below Verizon. This means, a new permanent CEO could always correct the customer service issues at T-mobile if it is deemed important to the company.

  • Neoprimal

    I can agree that something drastically changed within the last year. 

    I’ve been a customer since 2003 and customer service has generally been impeccable. Within the last year or so but more recently a few months, I have had the worst CS I’ve ever had to death with. 

    I practically had a phone fight with a supervisor who demanded that “all android devices are designed to crash and reboot”, to which I told her this was not the case. Even under low memory conditions, it isn’t normal for Android devices to crash and reboot – lag and stutter, yes, like any computer. And yes, maybe old phones would crash and reboot, but not the MT4G S and certainly not a GS 2 which she claimed to own and claimed her phone did “all the time”. A supervisor!!

    It was so bad she even had me tempted to switch carriers but common sense whipped that out of me since I have perfect service in D.C and an unbeaten price for my service and what I get ($100 for 2 lines, unlimited everything with 2GB each line high speed data; beats all these nasty shared data plans coming up now for sure).

    Suffice it to say, that has left an extremely bitter taste for TMo CS with me and I avoid calling them like a plague now.