T-Mobile COO Says Company Lost Its Way Before Failed AT&T Deal

T-Mobile Chief Operating Officer, Jim Alling  gave a keynote to the Competitive Carriers Association earlier this week and said that T-Mobile had lost its way while trying to survive in an AT&T deal world. Alling, who sat in as interim CEO after Philip Humm left the company, said that the company had a shift in priorities trying to make the AT&T deal work and that has caused trouble in a post-AT&T world. Now, Alling says the company will work hard to refocus on creating the kind of earlier passion it had for putting customers first.

“Every single customer matters. That is most important thing we have to rekindle,” Alling said during his keynote address at the Competitive Carriers Association conference here. “And we are on our way,” he added.

I know that with T-Mobile’s previous JD Power domination, the company certainly has it within itself to return to that passion for customer service, all it takes is the will and the way. Hopefully, T-Mobile’s new CEO has a clear vision for ensuring that customer service is a driving focus for the company moving forward.

Fierce Wireless

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  • sidekicker89

    Well at least he’s honest… lol

  • squiggleslash

    Well, duh!

    Now, perhaps T-Mo can quit firing CS staff to save money, and start working on rebuilding the network we all once loved.

  • Guest

    stop blaming others for your mistakes TMO!!! lol

    • XookieMonsterX

      he’s not blaming anyone, and he’s taking ownership of mistakes t-mobile made. your an idiot who obviously can’t read and any comments you make is invalid

  • Soun Maokhamphiou

    That shows good character to be able to come out and own up to the mistake T-Mobile made of not putting customers first during and after the AT&T deal. I might just stick around a little longer.

  • Ov1

    Great to hear but sad to hear. I mean my perception is when they thought they would loose us they didn’t try to keep us. Now personally I have been with the since Power tel and never had an issue with cs and often wonder how their results had fallen so quickly. All l have to say is welcome back tmo welcome back.

  • charles44

    thats why i just signed with At&T with an iPhone 5 for good after 5 years good bye t-mobile i am gonna miss you

    • sidekicker89

      hopefully you come back after your contract is up and when T-Mobile can fully support the iPhone on the network. Let us know how the AT&T thing goes though. If I wasn’t with T-Mobile i guess i’d be with AT&T anyway.

      • Spanky

        I’m a former T-Mobile subscriber of 7 years who switched to AT&T last July, as a result of an ongoing T-Mobile data issue in my area. So far, I love AT&T’s service, but I’m keeping an eye on T-Mobile to see if they will improve by the time July 2014 rolls around. If they do, I may just consider coming back.

        • sidekicker89

          Thats great, yeah i think some people don’t realize that ALL the carriers are constantly working on their networks. I hope you get better service in your area soon. I check the coverage maps on a daily basis haha but they take FOREVER to update them unlike other carriers.

    • GwapoAko

      I have iPhone 4$ with Tmobile. Bought it unlocked from Apple Store last Nov 2011. Switched from Verizon to Tmobile. Hope you have very deep pockets for the ridiculous bills. :0)
      Sent from my iPhone 4$

      • sidekicker89

        Ridiculous bills from Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile?

        • GwapoAko

          Sorry Verizon and AT&T they are the same to me :0)

    • I left Tmo for the iPhone 4S last year after waiting 2 years for them to carry it. Came back earlier this year though (got tired of paying $100+) when I heard about the coming network refarm. Decided to hold out here with Edge until it’s done and switch to the truly unlimited data plan. Hopefully it’s done soon and then you can come back.

  • asmidnightfalls@yahoo.com

    As a front line rep, he only has to say that to the customers, but a also inspire the front li e reps like myself. We are the perception to many tmo customers, but too often I see reps cutting corners, not helping, or even sending customers out bc it wont pay them anything to do so. When I came onboard, it was customer first, sale later, now its quota, upsell, and w/e else except help them. They created an environment where only sharks can thrive, and thats the zeitgeist theyre trying to change…..good luck, just enforce the policies inward instead of marketing that we should do otherwise.

    • randomnerd_number38

      If I could like this comment 31 million times, I would.

    • archerian

      I have a question seeing you’re a tmobile frontline employee – are the store employees given the same training as a first tier CSR on the phone? or are they more geared toward selling phones/plans instead of troubleshooting existing customer problems? I ask as I have seen a trend among store employees to refer to the tmobile support line for any non sale related issues.

      • tomtomben

        The store employees are given no training on anything but sales of phones/plans. Anyone who can fix a problem at a store is simply a person who learned it on his/her own time. Our store manager does not know how to turn off wi-fi on a phone or perform a master reset. We had reps before that didn’t know the difference between 4G and 2 Gigabytes. Call RSL is all our manager yells all the time.

        • Trevnerdio

          …Should you even be a sales rep if you don’t know how to do those very basic things?

        • tomtombennn

          Your reply exemplifies the very reason T-Mobile is struggling as a company. Reps who know how to fix problems and do right by the customer are not rewarded. Those who are rewarded are the ones who can lie the best and up-sell the most. If you like to a customer about how much a contract will cost per month but you are a shark and have the best stats, you will be rewarded. If the customer comes and complains, the manager will say…”not our problem you signed the contract…shouldn’t have believed the rep then or verified it yourself before signing…” Managers are hired based on who they know not what they know and the shadyer they are as people the better.

        • LC

          That’s why for me, the greatest compliment a customer can pay me is by adding for my manager’s email address to pass along their thanks, experience, etc. It just lets me know that in doing my job well and that they appreciate the fine and effort I put into it.

        • Matlock

          Honestly, I was let go earlier this year because of the change in atmosphere at the company! I will admit I was not one of the best performers, but I maximized every transaction I had, by making sure all my customers were satisfied first, and that it guaranteed repeat business for me. And I will say that for the most part my customers were satisfied. The changes that started to take place in the company after the whole ATT Merger, made it an entirely different place to work at. No longer did they care about assisting customers with issues, and then probing for the sale . It was all about the sale. I went from loving going to work, to absolutely dreading it. I remember my manager telling us at my store, that when a customer came in and needed help, if it ended needing to be escalated to tech/customer support, to use one of the demo phones to put the customer in touch with customer care, rather than assisting them ourselves. When I was let go, i both sad and relieved. T-Mobile definitely needs to go back in part to the way they were pre-ATT takeover, and provide the best damn customer service in the industry.

        • UglyPete

          that’s the difference between tmo and verizon….. at tmo, i was thrown on the sales floor with zero training. when i started at verizon, they put me up in a hotel for ONE MONTH for training in another city. We covered everything from troubleshooting devices to sales. Of course i already knew how to do it, but damn, what a difference.

      • asmidnightfalls

        Well as a store rep, we actually werent trained to do anything besides system and sale techniques. Anything else is extra( as someone posted below). As a rep in the wireless industry for verizon, sprint, at&t and best buy, they all mostly taught this way. Those that go above and beyond are a rarity, and in tmobile its a numbers game….pretty sad considering it was a much better company to work for not that far back.

        • brad162

          agreed, that’s why i got out while i could. I loved the company with a passion and even got my entire family to switch, but in the end even though i was one of the most helpful reps (still did decent on numbers), it was no longer about the customer.. just what can i shove down their throats and that was not a company i wanted to be involved with. After Robert was kicked out the company slowly went down, and so i left the first opportunity i had.

        • tommyt

          Everything went to shit after Dotson left…agreed….then even worse with the ATT deal collapse…tottotlly different company now

      • me

        They’re not doing that because they don’t know how to help. They do that because they’re not getting commission. Sucks but it’s the truth. Why waste time when the customer can do it with CS? Time is better spent selling phones. I hope T-Mo can fix itself. They’re going in the wrong direction. I HATE calling customer care now.

        • Secret Shopper #42

          God.. i wish that wasn’t true, but it totally is. I get an enormous amount of satisfaction out of helping a customer in the store– or working out a problem. It’s really the main reason I work there (personally). BUT, yes, sales, quotas, php, e3, etc is all that gets rewarded. And I get that, because it’s a Sales job. I’d much rather have a tech support job in store and get tipped out like a bus boy ;)
          hey.. that’s kind of a good idea.
          i’m writing the new ceo. who’s with me.

      • Carrboxx

        The frontline sells first. Thats the reality. It doesnt mean the frontline shouldnt service and give a great experience but until they start stocking stores with technicians a majority of issues need to be respectfully passed to tech care.

    • LC

      It drives me absolutely insane watching my co-workers do that…take the extra ten or fifteen minutes out of your day to try to figure out what’s going on, and hop on the phone if need be…in my mind, it’s sheer laziness when I hear my co-workers say “let me get you on the phone with customer support” or “let me get tech support in the line for that”. Get on the GD phone yourself, deal with the customer service, the other side of sales, and show them why they should keep coming back to you with their business. It’s extremely frustrating to work with fellow employees who aren’t willing to put in a little more effort to create a great experience for our customers.

    • Aaron Tant

      You said it perfectly. Also as a frontline rep, I have seen everything you’re talking about.

    • M42

      Here are three things that I see that are keeping T-Mobile out of the game.
      First, their 4G coverage is extremely limited. The coverage area is so small in my town that if I turn around I’m in Edge territory. There isn’t 4G for another two hours. And there is no 3G. It’s just painfully slow Edge everywhere I travel to. Every other carrier, even regional ones, have much broader 4G coverage and when you’re not in a 4G area you are on 3G, which is bearable. I’ve only briefly picked up 3G on T-Mobile once. Edge is a horrible experience and I feel like I”m back in 2007.

      Second, your stores are all in the slums – the bad part of town customers don’t like to go to for fear of being mugged or having your car vandalized while you are in the store. We have two malls and T-Mobile is the only carrier without a presence in either of them. Even regional carrier US Cellular has nicer stores and is in the malls and shopping centers.

      Third, nobody wants to deal with people overseas who barely understand English whenever you have a problem. When I had AT&T I always got great customer service. I didn’t have to hold forever like I do with T-Moble and the reps were well trained and very knowledgeable. Bring your customer service back to America. Apple is constantly ranked number one in customer service by a variety of consumer organizations and they’ve achieved that ranking by keeping their customer service in the US. When Dell hit the bottom their response was to fire one firm in Mumbai and hire another one in Malaysia. They just don’t get it and neither does T-Mobile.

  • JustSaying

    So the $4 Billion invested in the network includes refarming and build out of LTE right? or does that include building new towers in general? I wish they would update their coverage map more since all the other carriers do. Every map i see on Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T have dates when they were last updated.

  • MagentaMadness

    IMHO, we didn’t lose our way. There literally was no “Plan B”. Both parties were “all in” for the acquisition. That being said, once the acquisition was nixed, TMO then had to make a plan on what to do next. This takes time. But with all our workload, I can assure you TMO knows where it is headed.

  • guest

    Iphone.

    • MagentaMadness

      Go lay down.

  • NuShrike

    You mean BEFORE. They don’t seem so lost now.

  • FUHGEDDDABOUDIT!!!

    With no i-phone 5 and after losing 1 Million Customers last weekend to The Big 3 Carriers during i-phone 5 launch weekend, this company has turned into a joke! A complete laughing stock!! FUHGEDDDABOUDIT!!! Bankruptcy is next…

    • TMOTECH

      We still make a profit every quarter there bud. Sprint cant say that. The iPhone will bankrupt them long before we are gone.

      • JustSaying

        I secretly want Sprint to go bankrupt.. ok there i said it! haha do you think they will file soon though? hope all their customers come to Tmo!

      • Mirad77

        You took that right out of my mouth. Not mention that Spring went on a borrowing spree to put up it’s lte network with now only 5-7 markets live.

    • This looser!!! Has no idea how many customers were lost, yet running they mouth bubble guts style.

      With T-Mobile customer starting to get accustom to value plan and paying full price for there phones, many people are waiting for the refarm to get iphones so they DONT have to leave. I personally think this is one of the best plans tmo has had in a while. Soooo Mr Fuhgedddaboutit, whether its Sprint, at&t, or Verizon you working for, your welcome to leave now. THANK YOU!

      • Gouv

        I doubt most customers are even aware of what a spectral refarm is, nor would most of them really understand it either. Truthfully, i doubt most pepole even realize what’s really going on during the refarm process and all the bureaucratic big-government crap they have to deal with. So maybe a small amount of loyalists are holding out or they just have bad credit because it’s t-mobile and seemingly most of their customers are credit challenged because that’s who tmobile embraces predominantly. There is no doubt TMO is bleeding customers, you simply can’t deny the losses. TMO needs a tourniquet and it needs one fast. I admire your enthusiasm for your employer but looking at the bigger picture tmo is at a great disadvantage any way you look at it. Its almost impossible to recover from the losses they’ve had to suffer. And not to be a an erection about it, but i think you meant “loser” not “looser”. By saying “looser”, it could imply the tensile strength rating of his inner vaginal walls :-)

        • @Gouv:disqus that last part was somewhat entertaining so I will leave you alone. I will say that I am an ex employee and I noticed when i did work there that there are quite of bit of customers with great credit and pay quite a bit of money monthly. Now, this five letter word that had something to say below is about to get it! Have a great rest of your evening.

      • kalel33

        I’d say the loser is the person that can’t spell loser correctly.

        • @kalel33:disqus climmb a treee and jummp offff of iitt, heeaad furst! Buutt donntt huurt yosef doe, thaatt wooter suker… O, iff thehere art anty tyypers, sentcernterlyer apolergizerrer!

  • Kim Jong-il

    Yea, good luck with that….My concern has been that the damage has already been done. Trying to “undo” such damage IS going to take a crap load of work. NOT just with the CEO/COO/CFO but the front line as well. As a ex CSR (who was fired because I was taking CARE of our customers) I can only hope that the moral with the Sales Associates and the CS reps, can be helped and improved as well.

    • TMOTECH

      Nothing worth doing was ever easy.

    • UMA_Fan

      Sprint has done it surprisingly despite losing money… Their data network pales in comparison to T-Mobile though.

    • Remember, at one point, even almighty Apple needed a bailout out from Microsoft. So a company can turn itself around and Tmo is in the best position to do it.

  • WhoKnowsWhyTmo

    Numbers, numbers, number. All the talk has ever been about on the front line. That’s the fact jack. Take a look at the new compensation plan that launched in July, Tmo reiterates this fact. Preexisting customers don’t pay anything like they use to and if you are more than 6 months from the end of your contract but more than 22 months since last handset upgrade you are just as looked over as those who haven’t reached 18+ months. Reps don’t get paid for selling you a phone just the services and length of renewal. Oh and don’t forget you don’t get paid anything worth anything if you upgrade a classic customer, all about the value plan and nothing about customer service. JD Power, you got it right time and time again, still getting it right when comes to where Tmo belongs on the list. This coming from a rep and former customer. Even I don’t carry Tmobile as a provider and I work for them. And let’s not even get started as to the poor excuse of a marketing plan for the iPhone, you know you are gonna keep churning till you have no options left.

    • TMOTECH

      So you pay upwards of 80+ dollars a month for service from the competition instead of paying 10 bucks a month for unlimited everything. Not to mention 2 free handsets every year. You are either dumb or full of crap.

      • TMOTECH IS DUMB!

        You sir are stupid in every way fathomable. First, no I was smart and bought a galaxy nexus. I am on a family plan with another provider that is basically the same thing you get with the $15/month after taxes employee plan 2000 mins and 5gb data, no nights, no weekends, no PHP, and yes your data is capped under the employee plan retard! 2 free phones? Really what world do you live in that you think those phones are free? 40% off tmobile full rates(SGS III runs about $380 with that discount), which is by all means MSRP. Then you pay taxes, look on your pay stub 60 days from phone purchase to see the extra you paid because it was a “benefit” that tmobile gave you. Even had to fill out the forms lately to ensure the correct tax tables were used, did you fill this out? Are you feeling as stupid as your words say you are? Do even understand the world in which you live in let alone work in? Some people talk from their mouths, you sir talk from the other end.

        • Guest911

          Let me agree with you on one thing – Tmotech is as you say. Some of his posts make you wonder if he is actually ATTtech.

        • After five years with the company you get 2 free devices a year, but yes you still have to pay the taxes on them.

        • MagentaMadness

          No nights? No weekends? We get 2000 anytime minutes and 500 long distance domestic per month. I’m with the company 14yrs, unless something has changed and I’m grandfathered in? I’m on my phone constantly, using data like mad and I’ve never come close to 5Gb of data lol. I agree with capping the employees, we can’t have free reign of the network, it’s for the customers(yes we are customers too but c’mon…other carriers don’t even have an emp phone plan lol).

    • UMA_Fan

      No company needs employees like you who victimize themselves. What’s sad is people like you can be found everywhere in any company. T-Mobile was rated one of the best places to work (and the only wireless company) for a good reason. You should use your brain to make your sales compensation work for you… that’s what sales is all about! You just said it yourself, you are a SALES rep not a CSR. You think at&t and verizon sales reps have it any easier? If you can’t do it, take a hike.

  • BigMixxx

    Talk about pointing a finger at an individual.

    He basically said….it’s all Humm’s fault, without besmirching Humm’s name. Now there is no trust in the company….

    So what they have to do is invest in the customers. Towers, roaming agreements, sharing agreements. Best cost…

    I’d be in the stores, whole staff, talking to customers, camped outside of ATT and Verizon stores, talking to customers. Pay somebody to walk the streets…(not hookers) but beat the street down with a good name…

    • SmallMind

      Your comments are full of nonsense. Nobody is camping out on a regular basis in front of AT&T or Verizon. When they are, on that rare occasion, you want them to troll? Think a little. Your suggestions are lame too. Might as well just say invest in everything, which your simplistic ideas practically convey. Sorry to besmirch you thinking, my bad.

      • BigMixxx

        Awe big dog…
        Besmirching….like that, eh?

        Yes, those are the type of statements people make about former leaders. Especially bad ones. Humm — Bad for Tmobile U.S.A. business, comes from the McKinsey school of thought. Slim down, Outsource what is percieved as minuscule tasks, make your senior most people believe, think sales over service when service actually sales, offer as little as possible and position the company as best as possible for any offering that’s available, however much it devalues the company. Taking the people out of what made the company actually pretty good.

        Of course if full of nonsense. The point there is, do something to spark interest in the company. If you DON’T, people will leave, just as they have. Hit the streets…yes PACE in front of a verizon store, ATT store, Wal Mart, target, best buy…invest in your company by developing people….set up a tent, get a big umbrella. Something has to be done to be enthused about committing to T mobile… vs ATT, Verizon or Sprint.

    • UMA_Fan

      Good catch. I didn’t notice it but he is totally saying between the lines that when Humm came in he Phucked things up

  • JT

    Although I think TMO has lost it’s luster. I’ll still choose TMO over AT&T any day. Not sure if it’ll ever get back to how it used to be when I first signed on back in 2002 or 2003, but just because TMO was the first real bill/payment contract I ever signed… I’ll stick with around a bit longer. As long as they follow through with their plan, Refarm, LTE in 2013 and rehire all those nice folks they laid off.
    PS: You don’t have to subsidize the Lumia 920, as long as your network supports all it’s functionalities (unlocked) I’ll be happy. :)

  • Howdy

    This is the reason we left T-Mobile and went to Verizon. They weren’t even remotely concerened about keeping us as a customer after calling and telling them we are thinking about switching.

    • crybabies

      You left because they wouldn’t give you a deal. So you goto Verizon and pay more, how dumb can you be? If you went to Verizon for iPhone or coverage I understand. But don’t blow smoke up our ass.. Get off the tmo forums trader and whiner!

      • Howdy

        We left because of poor customer service and we are paying the same amount…..don’t tell me what I’m paying! You sound like the whiner! LMAO….Mr. expert knows what everyone is paying for their service.

      • JustSaying

        I feel like the average consumer switches to iPhone or picks iPhone FIRST without donig ANY research though.They don’t understand other OS’s can do what the iPhone already does and sometimes even more.
        If you walked up to a random person or asked a friend why they bought the iPhone i bet most people would say “Because everyone else had one so I got one too” :p Not hating on the iPhone but lets be honest, thats what a lot of people do.

        • Howdy

          You are right about that, I’m glad to be an Android fan!

      • UMA_Fan

        LMAO!

      • MagentaMadness

        Traitor (sorry had to lol)

  • Admitting your Mistakes is a good start to healing.

    • frigadroid

      Exactly, it’s good to hear someone up the ladder finally gets it. If they continue in denial like “SOME” (not all) of the tmobile reps posting here (you know who you are) those who blame the customers. Then they will never return to the glory days some of us charter members remember from powertell & voicestream years.

      • tommy

        Many T-mobile reps who post here are actually quite critical of the company’s current state and remember the good old days fondly as opposed to the mess it is now.

  • Aurizen

    How about iPhone after the refarm

    • GwapoAko

      You can buy iPhone from Apple Store or Ebay or Craigslist. You do not have to wait after the refarm. I bought iPhone 4$ from Apple Store and 3G from officemate. :0)
      May be Apple will be willing to give Tmobile iPhone next year at Tmo’s term. I believe Apple is trying to do an Armani deal with Tmo that’s why Tmo is not carrying it.

      • Aurizen

        Armani deal?

        • GwapoAko

          It is Arm and Leg :0)

        • Aurizen

          ohhh,are they in dealing with Apple now?

  • fixxmyhead

    look at his teeth

  • He’s right and I agree. When I first joined T-Mobile back in 2009 they were amazing in terms of customer service. Always nice and helpful and NATIVE English speakers. These days it seems like many of them couldn’t care less about your problem and are just reading off of a checklist rather than using their own brains to service you. Fortunately I’m somewhat of a techie and can take care of my own issues but I can see how CS is now frustating for customers and why T-Mobile lost its JD Power dominance.

    We’re on the right track now though with the network refarm and LTE-A coming soon. The good thing about the failed AT&T deal is that it gave T-Mobile the capital and spectrum to do these things and make a better network for the customers.

  • mingkee

    Two focuses T-Mobile must do now:
    1. bring back the good old customer service
    2. expand the current HSPA network while deploying LTE Advanced network.

  • AndTheWorldMayNeverKnow

    I switched from ATT to Tmobile right after the first iPhone came out. ATT overcharged and their coverage wasn’t that great and I live in Cali. I switched to Tmo and at first the service wasn’t that great in certain areas but over time it got better and better. Their customer service has always been good and the plans are good so I have never really had many complaints (personal use phone mostly not business but heavy internet use). Went from the Dash to the G1 to the Mytouch 4g to the GS3 and I’m happy.

    My only complaint was Tmo never got good phones, after the G1 all their Android phones paled in comparison to Androids on other carriers. I had already given up on the iPhone and WM was a disaster imo (identity problems?) so I stuck with Android and it killed me to see the all those Androids go to other carriers. The past year has been good and now they are better but as long as they compete with phones and prices and keep up the 4g speeds I won’t switch

  • dkbnyc

    Thanks for admitting it. The way people were being treated when they called customer service made me believe that AT&T has taken over and installed it’s demon minions in all of T-Mobile’s call centers.

  • 21stNow

    If he wanted to put the customers first, that shouldn’t be that hard. To find out why customers aren’t satisfied, just look at T-Mobile’s Support Forum. I’ll make it easy and give a summary:

    1. Customers don’t like extending their contracts every time they want to change their plans. T-Mobile is the only US carrier that I know of that does this.

    2. Customers don’t like mail-in rebates. AT&T and VZW don’t do this which is probably one reason those two carriers rank higher in recent customer satisfaction surveys.

    3. Customers want higher end phones across all of the OS platforms, not just iPhones.

    4. Customers don’t like getting slammed with $9.99 charges for premium services that they didn’t (actively) request. I see this complaint on T-Mobile’s forum more than I do on AT&T’s and VZW’s forums combined. Considering the sizes of the customer bases for those carriers, something is wrong.

    5. Some customers who sign up for Value plans don’t understand them. Explain the details of the plan better so that you don’t have a mad customer in 22 months. Value plans are different from what most cellular customers are used to in the US. T-Mobile has to take the time to explain it to the average customer, who doesn’t find the forums until they are ready to complain. I expect to see a dip in contract renewal rates in 2Q’13, when the first Value plan contracts start to expire.

    • Durandal_1707

      What’s there to get mad about in 22 months? “Hey, all of a sudden you’re charging me $20 less per month! HOW DARE YOU?!!”

      • GwapoAko

        The best!!!!

      • 21stNow

        The bill drops down after 20 months, not 22 months. Customers are used to getting an upgrade at 22 months on T-Mobile. When Value plan customers try to upgrade (without knowing the details of the Value plan), they may be disappointed to find that they have to make the downpayment on a new phone and their bill goes back up by that $20 a month that you joked about.

        Personally, I have run into one T-Mobile customer that was upset about this so far. Considering that I only know four T-Mobile customers other than myself, this is significant.

        • mrsbelpit

          Did they forget that that happened the last time they bought a phone on the value plan?

        • 21stNow

          The Value Plan is too new for there to have been a “last time that she bought a phone on the Value plan”. She (and her family) came from a legacy plan to a Value plan earlier this year.

        • shane

          the 20 dollar monthly doesn’t start till two months after the purchase so it is 22 months

        • 21stNow

          OK, I didn’t know that. That wasn’t how it was explained to me in the store by the rep that tried to get me to convert to a Value plan. He specifically said that I would pay the additional $15 for the first 20 months then for the last four months, my bill would drop. I didn’t convert, by the way.

        • Durandal_1707

          So you decided to pay an additional $20 for all 24 months and then never drop, rather than paying an additional $15 for the first 20 months and then having your bill drop. Good call.

        • 21stNow

          No, I decided to stay with my Even More Plus plan, which was $5 cheaper than the comparable Value plan. I do agree with your last sentence, though.

        • tomtombeni

          That’s cuz most reps have no idea what they’re talking about it. And I’m saying this as a rep in a corporate store.

        • Secret Shopper #42

          Disappointed? How do you figure?
          Honestly, I don’t think people really care about the details. Sure, I explain them in their entirety, but when it comes down to it, I think customers just care how much comes out of their pocket, and how long they’re committed.
          But let’s say a Value plan was at 22 months and you wanted a new phone (hypothetically).
          How much is an S3 with the classic discount? I think it comes out to like 380ish with tax, in store. On the value, they walk out paying around 250 with tax. (not reflecting recent price drop).

        • Which uncovers another problem T-mobile is having. All other carriers who are offering the exact same phone aren’t charging anywhere near that price when subsidizing that phone. Especially when you can go to wal-mart or a few others and get the same phone for 199.99 on launch day.

        • 21stNow

          My initial post was based on my observations of customer reactions on the T-Mobile forum. Don’t get me wrong, I know where you are coming from, and prefer non-subsidized (and non-contract!) plans. However, for every person that seems to be satisfied with the Value plan on TmoNews (not typical customers), there seem to be 2-3 that are upset with the Value plan on T-Mobile’s forums (typical customers).

    • kevev

      Don’t forget coverage. I browse the T-Mobile forum a lot. The number one issue seems to be coverage. The HSPA network with separate uplink/downlink bands is the issue. Terible inside and some outside coverage. Complete signal drop is my issue with this network. This is my number one gripe. I started with the G1 when this network was running UMTS. The problem existed then and still does today. Hoping the 1900Mhz HSPA network will work better.

      • 21stNow

        While coverage is a concern, I didn’t include coverage because I see that complaint (or reception issues) on all of the carriers’ forums.

        • kevev

          ah. true.

    • Nearmsp

      I think in order to qualify for a value plan both customers and TCR’s should have a minimum IQ score.

    • bleeew

      Verizon does mail in rebates sometimes. Or when you get those verizon specail offer coupons for an upgrade it says “after mail-in-rebate” Or even on some free phones. Like the LG lucid when they did ‘double the data’. Trust me, when I got my thunderbolt they sent in those special offer coupons for after mail in rebate. I fucking hate how verizon wants me off my unlimited. GO TMO!!!
      Also they need a high end phone that NO ONE ELSE HAS. And market it well and brainwash people that it is better than the iPhone, like how verizon did with the “DROID” phone.

      • 21stNow

        OK. I don’t see mail-in rebate offers in the VZW emails that I get, so maybe it’s for some customers, but not others?

  • GwapoAko

    Dear Mr Jim Aling,
    I have a very good suggestion. In Europe and Asia if you receive calls the call minutes are charged to the caller. Here in the US the caller and receiver are both charged with minutes. Why don’t Tmobile start doing what Europe and Asia do.
    Sent from my iPhone 4$

    • Nearmsp

      That is how the system was set up. So If I call 612 area code from 612 it is a local call for the fixed line. In other countries where incoming is free, the landline person has to pay long distance charges to call a mobile phone. I the end it is the same, one person at either end or both people have to pay. I like the US system. It keeps unwanted callers to cell phone kept away.

  • Man……

  • ccnet005

    When I was looking to leave verizon over an unlocked N900 Tmo was the only provider who put me in touch with an engineer. He actually looked up the specs on the phone and let me know that it work on their network.
    I signed up later that morning and haven’t had any 2nd thoughts.
    If they have a different environment now days, maybe they’ll go back to their old ways when it comes to providing support.

  • Dakota

    Well my experience with customer service last 18 mos definitely declined… I refused to sign contract & looking @ straight talk or an iPhone elsewhere

  • WhoKnowsWhyTmo

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/13/technology/leaders-copy-t-mobile-usa-strategy.html?_r=0

    The truth about where profits are coming from and why the decline in CS, JD Power and so forth. Just cause a company posts profits because mergers fail and jobs are lost doesn’t make it a good company, in fact just the opposite.

  • Hesster

    T-Mobile needs to dump the foreign call centers and bring them back to the US or Canada. There’s a reason why VZW has all their call center employees in the US or Canada, and it’s not because they think it wouldn’t be cost effective. I used to work for a company that did outsourced call center work for them, and VZW is more tightfisted than Scrooge McDuck. They’ve done the metrics and decided it would cost them more money in lost customers than it does having everyone work here.

    It’s not a matter of outsourcing jobs to foreign countries, it’s a matter of customer satisfaction. As a TMO prepaid customer, every time I have to call customer care it’s a huge headache. Not as bad as when I was on Straight Talk, though.

    • FireMarshalWaterPump

      I am looking to switch to t-mo prepaid or maybe even straight talk. What is so bad, but more importantly, I am curious, why does one need to call their reps? It makes me worry that maybe I should stick with ATT. what’s the catch here?

      • Hesster

        You usually don’t need to contact Straight Talk, but I ran into a porting issue that resulted in my having to call them multiple times. I got transferred a minimum of three times every call. The reps seemed poorly trained and I could barely understand them. Even after explaining I had a non-ST phone under the ‘bring your own device’ program, they still persisted in trying to walk me through stuff
        like checking my balance under menu options my phone didn’t have.

        The final straw was when I got throttled for excessive data usage and they refused to remove the limitation after my plan renewed. Since I didn’t want to lose my number, I ported out ASAP.

    • LC

      The only call centers that T-Mobile has outside of the US are for the prepaid and, if anyone still has it, flexpay departments. Sure, if you call customer service you might get someone with an accent. But no one ever stops to think that hey, maybe this person is from another country, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t in the US…because we don’t have people from foreign countries living here or anything.

      Obviously this isn’t the case for everyone, but I live in an area that’s incredibly culturally diverse and frankly I think it’s rude when customers come in complaining about having to speak with someone who has an accent. Everyone has a set of guidelines/scripts that they have to read when they’re assisting a customer, but as soon as the rep had an accent, they suddenly aren’t helpful or don’t know what they’re doing. It never ceases to amaze me.

      • FatFredJones

        You have to understand that when someone’s primary job is done via verbal communication, the customers want to be able understand them clearly. Its not a personal attack against the employee. It can be terribly frustrating when trying to understand some of the thick accents. I liken this to the handwriting of a 5-year-old. Yes the kid can write a letter, but how legible will it be?

        Usually when a customer contacts a company’s customer service department, its because the customer may be having an issue with something. There’s no need to compound the situation by having the the customer strain just to understand what is that the representative may be saying.

      • TMoRep

        That is incorrect. I am a rep in a corporate call center (gen care/tech care) here in the states and there is a bigger portion of centers outside the usa then just prepaid. I handle only regular non prepaid accounts and when we review memos on accounts we can see what call center the rep is in and i will say that nearly every customer I speak with on a daily basis has had more then one call that was routed to an outsourced center. And even the memos made on accounts by outsourced reps are hard to read for us sometimes as there is great issues with spelling. Some Tier 2 tech, some online chat and a good portion of gen care routes to outsourced centers when we get busy. You can tell an outsourced rep because they do read “Scripts” and reps that work in corporate centers like myself have NO scripts accept for a few legal things we may have to read under certain circumstances. I have been with T-Mobile for 6 years and remember when only prepaid and flex pay were only outsourced but within the last 1.5 years more and more calls are.

      • ThoughtSausage

        If this was 2006, you would be correct. I personally went to manilla and panama to train financial care reps in the last 3 years. They also have customer care And tech care.
        You don’t know what you are talking about LC.

  • rennspeed

    Jim…If you are reading this. PLEASE get rid of all your overseas call centers. They have no ability to help the customer. NONE. My personal experience with CS has been so excruciatingly painful that I cringe every time I have to dial 611. PS. I understand you have the right to charge subscribers for tethering but it leaves a bad taste in everyones mouth. If I use my allotted 5GB then throttle me. Don’t charge me to use the bandwidth that I already pay for.

    • Rizzle g

      The cs issue you have I agree with however The 5GB plan already comes with free tethering and Hotspot. If you don’t have it your web feature is old and needs to be changed

    • rennspeed

      Rizzle. I have the $20 preferred android web plan. Tethering is not permitted. I pay $20 per month for unlimited bandwidth. Once 5MB of highspeed data is reached I am throttled down to 56K (no joke) for the rest of my 30 day billing cycle. If I want to tether I am required to pay for a different $30 per month data plan. In other words I need to pay an extra $10 per month to use my data the way I want. Throttling I understand. Charging to tether…Not so much.

  • FILA

    I dont think so, I think T-Mobile had this planned all along. They had one up on ATT. T-Mobile knew the deal wouldnt go through and took a hell of a chance. But they were after the $4billion “FAIL” merger contract along with some new cell areas. I dont think T-Mobile will come out and say it anytime soon, maybe in 10 years.

    • AAAAAAAAAAAA

      They didn’t know. Not that it mattered to them — it was a win/win for DT. But a lose for the employees who got it from the executioner Humm.

  • 0neTw0

    Awe I lost my way when I was going to pay my bill. I guess you can forgive me and wait till I get around to paying. J/K I have auto pay.

  • mattcat03

    Heres what I think Tmobile should strive for.
    1) Maintain their competitive prices on their voice and data plans.
    2) Improve their coverage (including penetrabiility and realiability).
    3) Get top of the line phones, not just the mid-end or low-high-end.
    4) Get their customer service back to the award winning status.

  • tomarone

    I was in store last weekend getting a demo of a new Relay. When I asked the ‘demo guy’ (the guy assigned to do demos) to try something he refused to. I think they should do what the potential customer asks for. I wanted to try S-Voice calling a number, not a contact. I know it’s not supposed to work, but I was curious about what it would do. He refused to try. What do you think?

  • John

    T-Mobile just needs to get the iPhone… plain and simple!

    Everyone can say go buy an unlocked iPhone but why would I pay $300 for a used iPhone that runs on EDGE? Plus you have to pay to have it unlocked. Thats a waste of money. I would like to purchase a brand new iPhone for $200 from T-Mobile and sign a contract. Just like Verizon, ATT, and Sprint. Lets make things simple.

    If Sprint can afford to do it then T-Mobile can!

    • Mirad77

      I’d rather you say upgrade their network as they are doing faster and cover many areas. Per you I can ask the same question as in why would all those on T-Mobile and AT$tT would buy the Galaxy Nexus? If all those millions of people can do it then T-Mobile doesn’t need to subsidize the iphone.

      • Guest911

        You are comparing the paltry sales of the Nexus to the iphone? Sigh. You must be senior mgmt at Tmobile to be so dense.

        • Mirad77

          If you are a frequent reader of this blog you will notice that way far many people complain of network coverage. With that being said I think it will be more beneficial for T-Mobile to upgrade their network with the resources they have than investing on iPhone which per every indication would cost more. I don’t have to be a rocket scientist or T-Mobile personnel to figure this out. If I don’t know anything I do know that no business wants to make investment that will not generate revenue.

        • philyew

          You are right that there are a ton of other considerations to weigh in the decision about offering the iPhone. However, despite the opportunity for people to bring their own devices and benefit from highly competitive plan pricing, the initial response to the Magenta Deal Days doesn’t appear to have been great. The current strategy hasn’t begun auspiciously because the network capability is still not compelling.

          My local TM store happens to be in one of the largest shopping malls in the region, but while all the major carriers were dealing with a high level of interest last weekend with the iPhone 5 launch, the TM store was deserted – so much for the “All Hands” designation.

          I agree with you that the top priority has to be completing the network improvement. The commercial imperative for that is three-fold:

          – as you say, there is a continuing level of frustration about coverage which drives away customers

          – TM have to be able to promote an LTE-based 4G network when everyone else is doing so, because they will be stopped from describing their HSPA+ service as 4G once other carriers are able to deliver true 4G. In the absence of LTE, we would then have “T-Mobile: the nation’s largest used-to-be 4G network”

          – TM can’t promote an iPhone of their own until they have a network and iPhone device that are mutually supportive.

          That said, once the re-farming is completed by year end, TM need to again look at doing a deal with Apple.

          Because TM will then be able to adopt and fully promote the GSM A1428 model without modification, it’s likely that Apple’s asking price will be hugely different from what they will have asked to develop a device capable of supporting 3G/HSPA+ on AWS.

          That price difference will be crucial in determining the loss from providing a competitively subsidized selection of iPhones, and the long term feasibility of sustaining a relationship with Apple.

          Since the initial uptake on the new iPhone seems to be much lower than analysts predicted, there may well be potential for iPhone 5 sales in 3-6 months time, if that can be harnessed to a solid HSPA+ data network and aggressive plan pricing. Without either of those key elements, carrying the iPhone would be a disaster.

        • Mirad77

          You made a compelling and factual argument and I agree with everything you say.

      • 21stNow

        The Galaxy Nexus? It’s different because customers will get HSPA+ on the Galaxy Nexus on either carrier, vs. EDGE only on the iPhone on T-Mobile. A new Galaxy Nexus in the Play Store is also around half the price of a new unsubsidized iPhone.

        Let’s be generous and say that 3 million customers have a Galaxy Nexus on either AT&T or T-Mobile. That’s less than 3% of that combined customer base of over 130 million. T-Mobile won’t succeed or grow by basing decisions on what 3% of mobile customers are willing to do.

        • Mirad77

          I was comparing an uninformed situation to another. The bottom line is T-Mobile doesn’t have the capital to invest where it doesn’t see revenue in a short term. T-Mobile has been trying for a while now to do away with subsidizing the cost of phones (Value and Even more plus plans) and looking at cost of investment to return for iphone is something they can afford now as opposed to upgrading their network.

    • philyew

      You need to put this in context.

      Sprint have 56 million customers against TM’s 33 million. Sprint had to make a $15.5 billion spending commitment to Apple that won’t break even for them until 2015, according to the sprintusers.com web site.

      Right now the more sensible option for TM is to continue transitioning their network to deliver 3G/HSPA+ on a band supported by the current iPhone, rather than commissioning a unique iPhone from Apple which will support TM’s current infrastructure. That way they have the much cheaper option of doing a deal for the exact same model as is sold by AT&T.

      However, until their re-farming program is completed sometime in the next quarter, there really is no point in trying to market an iPhone that, as you rightly point out, will only run on EDGE for the majority of customers in the short term. By Q1 2013 the story should be dramatically different, and a TM iPhone then becomes a real possibility.

  • Chill

    I’m also a front line rep, and as a rep I can honestly say that the reps are passionate about the company because 90% of us were previous customers. The corporate office needs to motivate the reps again(the AT&T deal really fucked up the moral) and get back to competing in this market. I mean really compete…high end phones(iPhone included), better call center reps, and keep upgrading network. As for rate plans….there’s nobody out there that really competes with our plans…that’s just being honest. The corporate office needs to understand that people are really loyal to the tmobile brand…we just have to get them excited about it again.

  • Deceptivesmiles

    Improving the network is key. I walk by my daughter’s school and my data drops to 2G and is unresponsive.

    Also, while I’m on the turnpike, I’d be lucky if I got a phone call. What if something happens and I’m nowhere near a em phone and mines doesn’t have service?

  • jbaer

    One way to keep customers is to treat them like a new customer or even better. $99,00 for a Samsung Galaxy S III for new customer vs $279.00 for a customer who has been with the company for over 10 years. I could care less about a 2 year contract. Yes I know you could play the phone number game if you are not attached to your current number. I may not be a business major but it just seems to me your bread and butter are your current customer base. It does not do you any good if you can not keep your current customer.

    • Udubb

      Its all about the margins for T-Mobile. If they give an existing customer that $99 deal they are losing money on the phone and it doesn’t change their subscriber base at all when the numbers come out. If they give a new customer that deal they are losing money but at least it shows one more subscriber on the positive side to offset the mass exodus of customer leaving magenta each quarter. If they are going to lose money, they would rather take the loss on a net subscriber gained.

  • CitizenT

    #1 Improve customer service
    #2 Expand the HSPA network. T-mobile doesn’t have the biggest network but it is mostly 2G yes rural areas or areas outside of a city doesn’t equal the most customers but if you add the total population covered in edge/gprs it does add up. That is my biggest complain and the biggest complaint of a lot of people you leave the city or are traveling 70% of the time your on 2g. For a customer in today’s market that matters and is a big deciding factor. The T-mobile network is strong in a native coverage area even the 2g. The towers are spaced correctly if it was at least plain old hspa 3g I think people would be happy and there would be a potential for more customers. Heck there are some people out there that don’t understand the difference between networks they just know that webpages load fast or slow and slow automatically means that carrier is garbage at least to them and they will spread the word of their experience. Look how much of Verizon’s and Sprint’s network is something besides 2g 1x. Even At&ts current HSPA network is larger than T-mobiles entire network.

  • frigadroid

    Nice statement and as most of us know & agree the major damage was done when DT brought in the carpetbagger team led by Mr. Humm.
    That said tmobile has always suffered an identity crisis. Sadly their reputation has always been looked at negatively by many consumers who never tried it and even tagged it as the ghetto network. It’s my opinion that sparse coverage in the early days & time it took to roll out 3g and even coverage now hasn’t helped to change peoples perception. Also marketing that plays on words true meanings does little to attract new & intelligent customers.
    Question is what can they do to change the negative perception at this point? They have addressed the much needed change in leadership but the average joe dosent know that. They are now offering truly unlimited that’s great. Problem is because of prior poor marketing plan of throttled unlimited plan the average joe & even long term customers who had former unlimited plans changed to 5gb throttle are skeptical that this is just another marketing bait & switch ploy.
    I would suggest name changes. Don’t call it unlimited call it the all you want plan or all you need anything other than unlimited. It might be the right time to drop the tmobile name as well, along with the carly 4g marketing plan. Just show the total cost our plan vs their plan all inclusive same plans same phones what it would cost for 2 years people can see the difference if they keep it simple. If they want to use a celebrity endorsement get somebody that people know & trust someone who is currently popular not some discount has been. Someone in marketing needs to be on the ball & sign the next Tbow, Beiber, or Carly Rae Jepsen.
    Good luck it’s a daunting task but I think there’s enough good people still left to get the job done.

  • not important

    Too bad T-Mobile got rid of too many good, seasoned Reps that were helping them gain all of those JD Powers awards

  • tmo_employee

    your right t-mobile lost their way all our customer service is overseas now how did we go from the best customer service to it being overseas? we have useless customer service agents who just send customers to stores now so that we can fix their problem. we might as well just get rid of customer service in all.

  • M42

    Yes, out sourcing customer service to Mumbai is certainly the way to climb back on top of the JD Power rankings. Good thinking T-Mobile!

    • ThoughtSausage

      Philippines and Central/South America – nothing in India.

  • Gouv

    I think it’s obvious and many of us have been saying this on here for a very long time. Maybe they finally woke up and got a good whiff of the coffee.

  • Andrew

    T-mobile really needs to rework its customer service. I’ve still been fighting to get the two Amaze 4g’s I ordered swapped for non-functioning bluetooth, apparently having an effective range of 6inches – 1ft is working as intended.

  • None

    Can he start by removing the mandatory image compression proxy?

  • Riopato

    “lost it’s way” is another way of saying not caring and giving up

  • Carrboxx

    US-based call centers stocked with friendly, english-as-their-first language care reps. It would be the easiest and quickest way to give our customers a better expereince

  • ThoughtSausage

    They did everything they could to nickel and dime the customers before the “acquisition” was to take place. They wanted to fatten their pockets before at&t bought the sinking ship. Obviously, that didnt work. Some monies in the short term, but a few million customers less. Nice work Humm!

  • Justin

    i was a customer with Tmo for 10 years, (with VoiceStream before they switched) As soon as the Att came to light, the customer service as well as the company as a whole lost its edge….. Almost like they just didnt care anymore, damn shame it is, they were the only ones who seemed like they gave a damn about their customers before and now they just dont….. Hopefully maybe if they turn it around maybe, just maybe, myself and many other people i know will return to Tmo