Consumer group wants FCC to investigate T-Mobile, accuses deceptive advertising and enrolling customers in unwanted services

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Last month, some consumer groups published a report that accused T-Mobile of false advertising and unfair debt collection methods. We haven’t heard anything about those accusations since, but now one of the same groups is going after T-Mo once again.

Change to Win (CtW) is a labor and consumer group that has filed a complaint to the FCC regarding T-Mobile. The group wants the FCC to investigate T-Mo regarding three “deceptive and unfair practices.”

The first claim is that T-Mobile has “misleading ‘no contract’ advertising.” CtW feels that Magenta is being dishonest when it advertises that it has no contracts, but offers Equipment Installment Plans that spread the cost of a new phone out over 24 months. The group claims that these 24-month financing agreements are misleading because if a customer decides to cancel service before their phone is paid for, they must pay the remaining balance on the phone. “Thus, for many customers, there is no material difference between T-Mobile’s ‘no contract’ service plan and a traditional service contract, except that for smartphone users — which constitute two-thirds of Americans — it may be more expensive to break an EIP agreement than it was to break a two-year service agreement,” the complaint reads.

The second claim against T-Mobile is about Contract Freedom, T-Mo’s offer to pay the switching costs for folks that move to Magenta from another carrier. CtW feels that T-Mobile is misleading customers by saying that it’ll pay their ETFs and device payments, but what T-Mo actually does is reimburse them. The group also complains that T-Mobile has requirements for ETF payments, like that a customer submit their final bill from their old carrier within two months of switching and that its payments are in the form of a Visa prepaid card, “which is not redeemable for cash and expires after one year.” CtW goes on to point to a few BBB and FCC complaints from T-Mobile customers that never got their ETF reimbursement.

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Finally, CtW alleges that T-Mobile is “fraudulently enrolling customers in services without their consent.” The group suggests that T-Mobile reps are enrolling customers in services that they don’t want — like insurance and higher data plans — to help the in-store reps to get commission or to meet performance metrics.

Neither T-Mobile nor the FCC have responded to Change to Win’s complaint.

It’s been nearly two months since the group put up its Calling Out T-Mobile website and we haven’t really seen anything come of that, so it’s not surprising to see CtW escalate the matter with a formal FCC complaint. It’s been suggested that CtW may be going after T-Mobile because the Communication Workers of America — a group that CtW is aligned with — has been fighting with T-Mobile over worker unions. Whatever its motivation, CtW isn’t backing down from its Calling Out T-Mobile campaign. Of course, just because the group has requested an FCC investigation into T-Mobile’s business practices doesn’t mean that it’ll get one. We’ll just have to wait and see how the FCC responds.

If you’d like to read Change to Win’s full FCC complaint, you can do so right here.

Via: Phone Scoop
Source: Calling Out T-Mobile (PDF)

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  • SatanicSponge

    I used to be on the magenta bandwagon, but between John Legere’s beef with the EFF and my own difficulties with the company, they seem less like a “disruptor” and more like your standard, smarmy cell phone carrier.

    • patt

      Lol

    • Ascertion

      Everything John does is just marketing. At the end of the day, they are just another company that solely exists to make a profit. While John has made some serious strides in the mobile industry (global roaming, wifi calling, built-in tethering allowances on unlimited plans, etc.) There are some things that truly should be pointed out. You can’t advertise No Contract and then sign all of your customers into a contract…err I mean EIP agreement.

      • Bradley Karas

        Simple solution…pay full price for the phone!!! Don’t spread it out pay full retail price and no contract…problem solved!!!

        • lomsha

          This!

        • Ascertion

          I fully agree, but not everyone can shell out $500+ whenever they want to upgrade.

        • Bradley Karas

          Then you shouldn’t be buying the latest and greatest phone you should live within your means…T mobile is not going to take back a used. Can you return a car if you aren’t happy with it??? No you sell it take your losses and move on or deal with it. Just another spoiled American looking for a handout

        • Ascertion

          You guys argue the points I’m not supporting. I said prior that I believe people should pay off their phone, but what I’m arguing is T-Mobile claims they do not lock customers in when they DO.

        • Bradley Karas

          They clearly say no contract no ETF and finance your phone or buy your own outright

        • Ascertion

          So you’re saying if I finance a phone, but decide to keep the phone and cancel the service, there is no ETF, or phone payment due?

        • Bradley Karas

          You’re being dumb and I don’t have time for this

        • Ascertion

          Point taken, you cannot argue the logic of the lawsuit, then.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Exactly. It’s clear as day and he’s just trolling again.

          We don’t have high expectations of S4GRU trolls. Especially this one who’s trolled me ad infinitum (and still does when I’ve repeately asked him to move on) all while lacking basic comprehension.

        • guest

          There are absolutely no ETF or phone payments due. You can continue to pay off only the phone if you want to use another service. So there really is no argument here. And even if you didn’t want to keep the phone, you still owed that same amount of money the moment you walked out of the store with that device. You aren’t all of a sudden made to pay a certain amount of money BECAUSE you are switching, cause you would have had to pay it if you stayed with the company regardless, just over the course of 18 or 24 months. And that’s only if you choose to. To end all of this nonsense T-Mobile should just advertise no SERVICE contracts, since everyone wants to bitch over phone payment options they have the freedom to use or not use.

        • orgwizard2000

          aren’t they donig exactly that now, but for extra cost. their new jumpy program, don’t recall what it was called
          but the you pay extra to be on the program, and then can get a new phone every year or something like that. so they seem to be willing to take in old phones.
          frankly while I don’t agree with teh whole suit, and have been happy with tmo over the last couple years especially, they do have a point, that compared to the old contracts, you break this one, especially too early into it, it’ll cost you a lot more out of pocket.
          I say if they really don’t want to call it a contract, then take the phone back if the customer cancels and hasn’t paid it off yet.
          ala rent a center ;)

        • JMccovery

          If you can’t afford to do so, THEN DON’T.

          There are viable options under $500, and even under $200; anyone that complains about being unable to purchase a phone a full price, and complains about installment plans should use common sense, and do one simple thing: live within their means.

          I didn’t want to pay full retail for my Note 4, and purchased it with half down from T-Mobile; I fully understand, and have no problems with being required to fulfill a financing agreement that I initiated if I so choose to leave.

        • Ascertion

          I don’t have that problem. I buy my phones outright. I’m just discussing the other point of view.

        • JMccovery

          I didnt specifically say that you have the problem, but that It’s a flawed point of view.

        • Fabian Cortez

          The Sprint/S4GRU trolls continue to troll and common sense clearly escapes them.

          But I and others thank you for presenting the simple solution and truth.

      • lzdking

        All plans are no contract. Purchase your phone up front if you don’t want an EIP.

  • Matt

    This is precisely why I am a prepaid customer. I want complete control over my service. I doubt T-Mo is the only carrier that engages in this practice. I’m sure the others do shady shit too.

  • vinnyjr

    This is total bullshit. People buy phones, sign a contract and then decide they don’t want the new phone and think they don’t have to pay for it. Trolls, just trolls. Try not paying for that new phone with the other Carriers, what do you think they will say just pay us when you can. Wake up you fools, this is the real world. T-Mobile doesn’t do anything any other company would do to collect debt. This group is probably headed by the Carrier taking the biggest hit from T-Mobile’s huge growth. T-Mobile is # 1 with me. I’ve been with them all. Thank You T-Mobile, Thank You John Legere.

    • Ascertion

      I think the argument is that T-Mobile is advertising No Contract but still applies the same “contract” as 2yr agreements. People should definitely have to pay for their phones, but T-Mobile shouldn’t advertise No Contract.

      • Acdc1a

        Why? They aren’t forcing users to take installment plans.

        • Ascertion

          I never said they did.

        • Acdc1a

          No but implied that if they are going to offer EIP they should say they have service contracts…it’s not even close to the same thing. The good news is phones are becoming more affordable because pricing is more transparent.

      • StevenM

        There is no contract–there is a 0% interest loan. If you don’t like the payments of a loan, the only to make them go away is pay off the loan. T-Mobile isn’t doing anything new or different from other institutions that are lending their customers money. Hell, people should be thankful they do it at 0%.

        • Ascertion

          Is a loan not a contract? Do you not sign at the end of it? That’s the point. You guys are attacking the wrong point. It’s T-Mobile’s advertising that is in the fault, as it implies there are no lock-ins. Yet, they lock every customer in when they device to lease or finance a phone.

        • StevenM

          If you don’t want to be bound by the financing contract, pay the purchase in full from the beginning or pay the loan balance off. Problem solved.

          There is no ‘contract’ to maintain service with the carrier.

        • Ascertion

          I did pay my phone off in full, that doesn’t negate the fact that T-Mobile is advertising no contracts, even with EIP, but make the phone payments due once service ends. They can very easily just keep the account open to finish the device financing.

        • Hurlamania

          The phone purchase and phone service are 2 separate things you can have either without the other. The service has no contact.

        • Ascertion

          But – if you cancel service, phone payoff becomes due. This ties the phone financing to service, which is a contract. To advertise it as something else, is contradictory.

        • Hurlamania

          And… That is for the phone you decided to buy separate from your service and but it on a payment plan. You owe nothing for stopping the service no etf or remaining balance due on your service for up to 2 years. That’s because they are separate they are 2 different things. You can have one without the other they are not connected they are even in a different computer system.
          when you buy a phone if you choose it is explained to you that you can pay it all out have it in 24 month payments.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Thank you for the explanation.

          It’s hard for those who don’t have a T-Mobile postpaid account and continue to rely on Sprint’s legacy device subsidy loophole for poke upgrades.

        • Hurlamania

          one more thing all the big four have the same offering now they all have no contracts and 24 month phone financing due if you cancel your service..

        • Fabian Cortez

          Correct. Which makes it odd that they aren’t going after everyone.

          At least T-Mobile allows you to make extra payments on EIP. AT&T won’t allow you to do so. Either continue with the scheduled payments or pay the entire thing off.

          So I paid eventually paid off my Galaxy S6 Active and sold it.

        • Fabian Cortez

          That makes too much sense. Unfortunately, there is one on here arguing for nothing.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Exactly.

          People still fail to understand the simple difference between service contracts and device financing.

      • PC_Tool

        The argument is stupid. T-Mobile shouldn’t advertise the fact that they offer plans without contracts because they offer phones for purchase on credit?

        The logic there is just mind-boggling..

        • Fabian Cortez

          T-Mobile shouldn’t advertise the fact that they offer plans without contracts

          T-Mobile should absolutely and will continue to advertise no contract service plans because that’s what they offer: service plans that are not dependent upon a contract.

          So unless you can provide some evidence of the contrary, this complaint is a nonissue.

        • Ascertion

          But little do people know, when they cancel T-Mobile service, the total financed becomes due (in other words, ETF.) Nice try, but even the logic of contracts with service plans apply here.

        • Fabian Cortez

          But little do people know, when they cancel T-Mobile service, the total financed becomes due (in other words, ETF.) Nice try, but even the logic of contracts with service plans apply here.

          Troll someone else S4GRU troll.

        • Hurlamania

          the Fact is their plans have no contracts. Their phones have up to 24 Months of payment plans.
          you are not obligated to purchase a phone or if you do have it on payment plan, to get a service plan. BYOP or pay up front for an affordable phone.
          As for adding services and misleading customers about what they need our what they can get when they goto buy a plan and phone is very misleading and false at times. I’ve seen it many times.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Agreed.

          The store rep. Jump addons were ridiculous.

        • mo

          You are right – I have brought all my phons to Tmo but only purchased from them in the early days. Some phones I purchased from Apple, some off eBay, Craigslist or the local secondhand electronic store. I’m able to leave TMO at anytime as I owe them nothing (except my current bill) and they owe me nothing. There is no fee to break my cellural service contract as I don’t have one nor does any other Tmo customer. Some may have equipment payment plan but that’s not a cellural contract. Why they keep beating this dead horse is beyond me. Tmo service is very affordable and you can always bring you own phones (unlocked of course). If you can’t afford an expensive cell phone do what I do get it second or even third hand. Stop bitching that you bought something outside of your means.

        • PC_Tool

          “this complaint is a nonissue.”

          That was actually the entire point of my post. Cannot tell if you are being sarcastic, or if you just need to slow down and take a breath…

        • Fabian Cortez

          I guess I misread your comment or didn’t understand the intent.

          My apologies.

    • Bradley Karas

      Agreed!

      • Ross

        No one puts a gun to your head and tells you to buy an IPhone 6 that you can’t afford and you place it on a eip! T-Mobile has affordable phones that you can buy without a eip, problem solved and still no contacts! :)

    • Your Mi Boy Blu

      Remember, they’ll put investment into Germany and Europe above coverage in the US. They do that because the ads appear to be working. Budgets for coverage (where t-mobile equipment can’t be placed on an existing AT&T or Verizon tower) will continue to be a black hole.

      The payment plan defaults to 2 years of payments, and Jump insurance requirement is just a way to obtain additional revenue lost in the rateplan which is advertised. Call it what you want, but a 2 year obligation is still a 2 year obligation.

      Remember- Jump fees increase next month. Sure, it isn’t very much, but it’s still an increase in price and rateplan prices continue to be advertised lower.

      • Acdc1a

        Who’s forcing you into an installment plan?

      • JMccovery

        How is it an “obligation” when you are not required to purchase a phone under an installment plan, or purchase a phone period?

        You can either: Bring your own device, purchase a device from T-Mobile at full price, or purchase a device via installments; if you choose to finance a device you can only blame yourself for being forced into a “2 year obligation”.

  • Adrayven

    This group thats filed the complaint has backing from ATT.. so, ahh, yeah.. totally in ernest here.. not…

    • Fabian Cortez

      And they have yet to bring complaints against the other carriers that have copied T-Mobile.

      Shocking.

  • Ky

    “fraudulently enrolling customers in services without their consent.”
    Completely 100% true!! Every damn time my family and friends go to T-mobile stores they add “features” to my plans that cost money. It’s the same damn game every time even though I tell them not to. Knowing what I know now, the new process is : every visit to a store will be immediately followed by a call to T-Mobile and ask for what ever random service the store added removed by the 1-800 rep.

    • Lily

      You can’t just say only Tmobile does this. My family member has ATT and is always calling in asking y the bill keeps going up and it’s because things are added to the account.
      So it’s not just TMO that’s just part of the “sales world” and it’s always happening. It sucks but as a customer u have to make sure ur on top of everything. But what I have noticed is if anything is changed on my account I do get a text message from TMO letting me know. If just up to the person that gets the text messages to make that call and not wait for the bill to come out to then say something.

      • Ky

        I am sure T-Mobile reps aren’t the only ones with the shady practice and I didn’t imply as such.

        Regardless who’s doing it, the practice is crooked.

    • John Doe

      I bought several smartphones from a T-Mobile store and they always add Jump even after specifically telling them not to add but I look at my bill the next month and there it is. I even called and complained then a year later I bought a Nexus 6 in store and they still added it. Unbelievable! Since then I always call customer support to buy or change anything with my plan. Customer support is much better than store salesmen and they are probably T-Mobile’s best asset.

  • Jonathan

    They added me to jump when i upgraded my phone even after i told them i didn’t want it. When i got home i received a txt stating “Welcome to Jump!”. I was very pissed about that. Why would they do that after you specify you don’t want to sign up. I had to get on the damn phone call customer service to have them remove that shit. I say keep an eye out for slick moves like that. I love Tmobile and the great signal and service they provide but that is a shady move.

    • Acdc1a

      Yes, me too. Phone and retail reps are under a lot of pressure to make unrealistic quotas. That should be the next pain point addressed.

      • Fabian Cortez

        Yes, that’s a nasty store rep. practice.

        • Acdc1a

          No lie, I bought a pre-owned Nokia 635 for $60 outright and had JUMP added to my line.

        • steveb944

          Wow that’s bad.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Now that’s a new one!

    • lzdking

      Same. When I switched to T-Mobile I said multiple times that I did not want Jump. Received a welcome to Jump text message that same day.
      Thankfully it was easy to cancel via online account manager. Shouldn’t have had to though.

  • Zacamandapio

    I can speak from personal experience:
    Regarding the contract thing and paying off the phone I think it’s BS.
    Regarding adding unwanted features (I completely agree). It has happened to me.

    • Acdc1a

      It happened to everyone. It was and still is an opt out service.

      • Zacamandapio

        How can you op-out of unwanted features added without permission?
        I understand it takes another phone call to customer service. But I didn’t know you can op-out of getting stuff added to your account without permission.

        • Acdc1a

          I think Disqus is having a bad day. I referred to a BingeOn comment and it went to a cramming comment…

    • Spanky

      A couple of years ago, I had T-Mobile reps add insurance to my plan on two separate occasions while upgrading phones, despite specifically stating that I don’t want insurance. Of course, I called customer service immediately after spotting it on my bill and had it removed on both occasions; nonetheless, it’s a shady practice.
      Full disclosure: I’m not currently a T-Mobile subscriber.

      • SBacklin

        I had a VZW rep do the same to me a couple years ago. I had ported from AT&T to VZW and this rep was so full of herself. She kept going on about how she’s the top female sales lead in the area and I soon discovered why. I still had my AT&T iPhones with me and on and they were connected to wifi at the VZW store. When she was setting up the accounts, BOTH of my iPhone screens lit up with a notification welcoming to their Total Equipment stuff. I can’t remember the exact title of it but it was their most expensive option. I immediately asked wth was going on and she just nonchalantly goes on you can have it removed. I’m thinking WTF, she never asked me about insurance, never discussed it with me at all. I contacted VZW HQ and told them what happened and that I’m NOT happy. Corporate was pissed. They have every right to be because carriers have gotten in trouble with stuff like this before. I also contacted the store manager. He actually goes “oh f**k” so quietly on the phone after I told him what she did. He kept apologizing and I told him she goes around claiming she’s the top sales lead and I go, now you know why.

  • Ky

    True, but they don’t add it to the bill *after* I am already driving home like T-mobile stores.

  • Mike

    It’s a business agreement that requires 18 to 24 months to pay off the equipment you agreed to buy. It’s pretty simple. If you want to leave the full amount becomes due. Couldn’t be simpler. Says so in their ads, contracts (big and fine print) on the web site and all printed material. Phone service had not been under a contract for some time now. Must be a group of stupid people being lead by an even stupider lawyer group.

    • Spanky

      If you leave before paying off the phone, you pay the remainder of the balance. If you leave before completing the contract, you pay the balance of the prorated ETF. Same thing, if you ask me. Just packaged differently.

      • Fabian Cortez

        No one is forced to buy a $700 phone to get service.

        • SBacklin

          That is very true and also a damn blessing. Still though, it doesn’t change the very open fact they advertise no contracts but do push you towards the contracted methods that I mentioned in another post. Its not binding but it is misleading.

        • Fabian Cortez

          They are a business and are in the business of selling.

          They also clearly state your monthly payments and any fees associated to termination before the dotted line gets signed.

        • SBacklin

          Thats true but the ETF was pointed out before we signed, at least it was to me. Lol. Also, just because a business is in the business of selling doesn’t mean they have to be misleading. One could argue that if a service or product is so great, they wouldn’t have to do that. I’m curious though as to what will happen with your earlier idea of a rising demand of cheaper phones as a result and if that happens or simply people upgrade less often.

        • Acdc1a

          ETF was always buried in the fine print…they would also make you do another 2 year agreement simply to change a plan, etc…the brave new wireless world is nothing like a traditional contract.

        • Fabian Cortez

          They’re not being misleading though. T-Mobile is very clear when one signs up for EIP.

          I’m curious though as to what will happen with your earlier idea of a rising demand of cheaper phones as a result and if that happens or simply people upgrade less often.

          It’s only a matter of time at this point. High end OEMs will either have to adjust their MSRP or witness their revenue drop. Samsung is feeling the pressure and Apple’s iPhone sales are expected to fall for the first time ever.

        • Acdc1a

          I’ve had multiple in-store and on-phone experiences with T-Mobile. No one ever suggested buying one way vs. the other. In fact the last time I bought a T-Mobile phone the gentleman asked if I’d like to pay in full or put the tax on a credit card and pay in installments. Notice what the first option he gave me was.

        • 21stNow

          We’ve had different experiences. I have had a rep tell me I had to sign an EIP agreement when I was there to purchase a phone by paying upfront. He almost fainted when I told him that there will be no EIP agreement because I’m paying the full price for the phone now. He had to look to other reps to even understand what I was saying.

          Almost every time I try to buy a phone, the rep tries to get me on EIP. Let’s not even mention the JUMP! conversations.

        • Acdc1a

          As I mentioned below…somehow JUMP was added to my paid in full pre-owned Nokia 635…

  • SBacklin

    I’ve always had an issue how they advertised “no contracts” when the EIP is just a different kind of contract. Same song, different tune. You have a fee to pay if you leave before the allotted months are up. Its just what the fee is for is different. I personally feel that they shouldn’t be advertising it as no contracts. People had the option to buy outright then as they do now, that has not changed. Still, when it comes to it, they shouldn’t be advertising no contracts when they’re still there but in different form.

    • Lit

      How is EIP a contract though? You’re just paying off what you OWE. You have the option of paying off the phone in full up-front.

      • Ascertion

        That’s exactly what the legacy contracts were. Paying off the phone.

        • Lit

          Legacy contracts actually subsidized your phones, which was a bonus, in exchange for 2 years of course.

        • Ascertion

          Exactly. Back when phones didn’t cost $700-$900, carriers placed the monthly cost into the service plan. You pay $200 for a 2yr contract, and a portion of your monthly payments for service went towards the phone cost. The longer into your contract, the lower your ETF became because in theory it was paying off the phone.

        • Actual Salesperson

          phones have always cost that much! have you ever broke a phone on a contract and wanted to buy another device? If you have you know what phones really cost!

        • Ascertion

          Okay. So then, what is the difference between T-Mobile’s service and standard contracts? Both require paying off the phone when you cancel service.

        • Steven

          now you can get a $150 phone and really save now, you used to be giving the carrier “free money” if you got the cheap “free” phone under contract. Because then you were still paying a rate that covered a 600 dollar phone. Contracts were evil, now you can actually balance out your own budget for a phone.

          I got the Lumia 640 off the rack at Walmart for 90 bucks in June. It does everything I want without the unnecessary extras, and my bill is dirt cheap compared to the feature phone addicts.

        • Ascertion

          People on Legacy plans with 2yr contracts are actually roughly the same price as non-contract. The service plans pricing has gone up and now it also does not include phone cost anymore. Can you say that the norm a few years ago for an individual plan was over $100 with 5+ GB of data on postpaid?

        • Steven

          Before T-Mobile removed Contracts, it was 80 bucks for the first line and a discount per each line after. Now its 50 bucks for the first line and a discount for each line after. If you got a premium phone on top of the $50 now, the avg feature phone is roughly a 27 dollar monthly charge for 24 months if you finance… Due to simple math, this confirms they took out the built in phone pricing and allow the customer to actually pay for the phone they want and the service alone. You can get a feature phone and still pay roughly what contract pricing used to be, or you can get a 100 dollar phone and save, especially if you can keep a phone for longer than 2 years. We tend for forget just how expensive contract plans were just 4-5 years ago. T-Mobile has forced the hand of the other carriers to remove contracts completely and lower costs for a reason.

        • Fabian Cortez

          At a higher rate than an EIP.

          But where’s the bonus after the 24th month of service when they’re still charging you the same price even though you’ve completed the 2 years?

          Also, at no point can you fork over extra money in return for less payments.

        • SBacklin

          Its a little more complicated than that. The old style contracts were the cost of the device baked into the SP cost and an ETF but the easy way to view it is yes, it was their way of paying off the phone cost/subsidy. Now, its just set differently. The cost of the phone is separate and for me, the contract terms are a lot simpler to understand but its still a contract.

        • donnybee

          It’s an agreement to repay what you finance. If that’s a bad situation for you, pay the cost up front. T-Mobile gave you the choice, and you choose what works best for you. If you’re responsible enough, that is.

          These kinds of complaints demean your level of responsibility.

      • SBacklin

        Because its an agreement to pay what you owe. You sign an agreement (contract) on what you owe. Its just what the money is for, is different. So its still a contract.

        • Acdc1a

          In the same way that the terms and conditions of your credit card are a contract. It’s still not a service contract.

        • donnybee

          Perhaps T-Mo needs a better way to determine who is responsible enough to choose an EIP method, if this is really that confusing to some people.
          Fact is you can sign up for T-Mobile without a contract. You can even get a new phone without a contract. Just choose that method. If you can’t afford the full price of a new phone I see no reason why this would be the fault of T-Mobile.

    • Andrew Singleton

      Before “no contracts,” you COULD NOT show up to a t-mobile store, buy a $15 sim, and start a post-paid plan with 0 obligation. Now, you can. Argument over.

      • SBacklin

        Actually, I never said walk in and buy a SIM. I said you could buy a phone full price back then and you could now as well.

      • Fabian Cortez

        Exactly. Not to mention the fact that the elimination of the service contract meant a lower monthly bill as you were bringing your own phone.

        Likewise, many forget that after the 24th month on a service contract, your bill stays the same. So anyone who kept their phone for 4 years (many still do), would have paid for the same phone twice over.

        Service contracts are very anticonsumer. But let’s look at who still offers them in this industry…

      • SBacklin

        The upside to the new way of doing things is that there are more options now. Leasing, outright, EIP contract and BYOD. I think that the issue that we’re seeing with the people in the article is that two of those options are contracted options where an agreement is signed and monies paid if you leave before the term is up. Yet they still advertise no contracts and they really do push you towards the contracted style methods with heavy advertising on JoD, $0 down, etc.

        • Fabian Cortez

          I think what we’re actually seeing is bill shock as predicted a few years ago.

          This will usher in the wave of cheaper phones that perform just fine for most. Think of the Chinese midrange phones in the ~$300 range.

          It’s the transparency of separating the device from the service which has exposed this. Unfortunately, people (actually, these groups that claim to represent people) are pointing their fingers in the wrong direction. It’s the phone OEMs, like in any other industry, that need to adjust their prices.

        • SBacklin

          I think that is true. On paper, the EIP stuff makes things look more expensive. I say, its good thing because it means people will see what their phone really cost and will not be so quick to treat it as cheap crap. However, if that does happen as you think, it may not be quick…if at all. A lot of people are still wary of things from Chinese companies. They are notorious for hacking and trying to break into US properties. That said, I wouldn’t be so quick to buy them for that reason. Like I said though, once the EIP style takes hold and people really start seeing the cost, a demand for cheaper devices will rise and/or upgrades will simply happen less often.

        • Acdc1a

          You don’t even have to go cheap Chinese stuff. Last year’s flagships are already very cheap. There are also good options at the $200 – $300 level that would suit most people just fine.

        • Anon

          Exactly.
          Nexus 6’s were just around $300. Best buy just had Motorola X (2nd Gen) for $240ish – brand new unlocked, with warranty.
          Last year Best Buy had LG G2’s $200 and under, all new.
          All capable phones. ect ect

          BooHoo I signed up for 24-months of payments and Im too stupid to understand what that means. Im a victim

        • Fabian Cortez

          And/or leasing will skyrocket since the monthly payments are generally the same as EIP and you only have to return the phone (possibly the remaining payments – someone confirm or deny please) if you decide to quit.

        • donnybee

          I believe I read somewhere that if you leave, you turn in the phone (since it’s not yours) and all remaining payments on the lease become due, which is the market standard for a lease.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Like a car lease minus the mileage stipulations.

          Thanks. I’m not into the whole phone leasing game so I’m less interested in it.

        • donnybee

          I actually was more against it at first, but think I might be opening up to it more and more. Just because I’m always trading my phone in every year anyway for a new device. It would just be nice to not have to pay the sales tax haha

          But I’m also on the Jump! 1.0 program so I really have more upgrade choices and will probably stay where I’m at. But it’s a little more costly if I’m not trying to keep the phone permanently. I guess that’s the price you pay for a little more freedom though.

        • Acdc1a

          Think of the Nexus 5x for $300 and several good options for $200.

      • Spanky

        Yes you could. Look up Even More Plus.

        • donnybee

          And you can do exactly the same thing with Simple Choice.

          So buy the phone for how much it costs when you go into the store and don’t ask T-Mobile for a payment plan.

          Simple, really.

      • 21stNow

        Even More Plus allowed you to do just that, and the SIM card was free.

    • thepanttherlady

      “You have a fee to pay if you leave before the allotted months are up.”

      There are no “fees” associated with leaving T-Mobile early. There also aren’t any “allotted months”, leave when you want.

      Bring your own phone: No balance other than your last bill is due.
      Purchase a phone outright: No balance other than your last bill is due.
      Finance a phone and pay it off prior to leaving: No balance is due other than your last bill.

      Finance a phone and choose to make only the minimum monthly payments: Balance of phone plus last bill is due if you leave before the phone is paid off.

      Payment of phone balance being due upon termination is clearly stated in all advertising I’ve seen. It is in the contract one signs when utilizing phone financing. I won’t paint all reps with a broad brush but every one I’ve dealt with has made it a point to state this when presenting the EIP contract for signature.

      As long as people continue to blame someone else for their own ignorance and inability to ask questions as well as living outside of their means (purchasing phones they can’t afford), we will continue to have these issues come up.

      • donnybee

        I wish we could sticky this comment. Anyone who feels confused is just being ignorant, and ignorance is no reason to not feel obligated to pay your debt.

        • Fabian Cortez

          I agree.

    • donnybee

      You can be a T-Mobile customer without a contract. Simple. The plan has no contract. End of story.

      The phone doesn’t have to either. Bring your own phone, pay for the phone up front (or put it on the credit card). None of these options are any different than how phone buying should be.
      Luckily, T-Mobile also offers interest-free financing for those who choose to enter an agreement with T-Mobile to pay off their new device. Nobody is making you do this to be a customer. Not sure how anyone can be victimized by this increase of options, but nobody is falling for the tall tales of confusion.

  • mreveryphone

    I created my own jump long before T-Mobile did… I would buy my phones on Craig’s use them until I got bored, sell them and use that money towards the next big thing. If you are worried about getting burned on phones that are still on a payment plan, offer to pay the phone off in the store with the other person there, now you have a receipt showing the phone paid in full and you can use that when you want to sell… Problem solved with this 24 month payoff stuff. As far as having extra stuff tacked onto my bill I usually try to go to the same store and establish a relationship with the sales person, get their card so I know if something got added I can use that when calling into cooperate if I need to.

    • Acdc1a

      Pretty much what I do, except now I just wait for last year’s model to go for cheap…when I’m done? eBay it is. I bought my Idol 3 for $199 pre-sale and sold it for $180 ($155 is what I netted after fees and shipping) though that was actually a new phone.

    • Chris

      Not just craigslist. I mean, there are tons of cheaper phones nowadays that are decent and can be considered high end – Nexus, Moto X, etc. And people just need to have the social “class” mentality of I need an iPhone just cause everyone has one.

  • Spanky

    Wow. The fanboyism/apologism levels today are off the charts. Prior to the arrival of John Legere, T-Mobile used to have a plan called Even More Plus. It didn’t include a device subsidy and, as a result, had lower monthly payments than it’s counterpart that did have a subsidy. It also didn’t have a contract and subscribers were free to leave at any point without paying an ETF. Of course, the plan that included a device subsidy did have an ETF.
    What T-Mobile did was repackage/rebrand the two plans into one. If you finance the phone and leave before paying it off, you become liable for the remainder of the balance owed. If you brought your own device or purchased the phone outright, you are not liable for anything and are free to leave anytime. Is the magenta Kool-Aid really that strong that people can’t see through the marketing? You can argue the semantics of “no contracts” until you’re blue in the face, but the fact still remains that you will owe money if you financed a phone and owe nothing if you didn’t. How exactly is that different from contracts and no contracts?

    • Fabian Cortez

      You’re partially correct.

      The difference here is that no one is forced to sign an EIP to receive service.

      • Acdc1a

        Absolutely agreed. And it wasn’t as simple as paying off the device to go to the Even More Plus side of the house.

      • SBacklin

        They weren’t forced back then either, people could still do outright. I think the reason why some of us are going round and round is that we are looking at different things. Me, Spanky and the like are seeing the idea of an agreement signed, term laid out, monies owed if you leave early. That’s a contract, straight up. Its just a different kind of contract. As before, you had options but have more options now. Some people are literal and that we see T-Mobile advertising no contracts when they do have them…as an option….just as before but, here they do push you towards the contracted style methods and here is where people are beginning to have an issue with the advertising.

        Fabian, I think people with your mindset see that we have options and think nothing is wrong. Its great we have choice but that choice does not change the fact of ads saying no contracts when they are still around and people are pushed in that direction…which from the carrier perspective makes sense so you have a lasting customer but, its misleading to advertise no more contracts.

        Lastly, overall, if it was me making the complaint, I would just ask T-Mobile to quit advertising no contracts…quit using those words or that phrase. Simply don’t talk about it. When a customer comes in, the rep can explain the options at that time because it then its on the customer from the get-go. If a customer has a fit about paying off an EIP. Magenta can throw their hands up and say hey, we never said there wasn’t a contract. I think that would be huge. Who knows how it’ll play out. Anyway, i’m off to work. Lol

        • Acdc1a

          Not true. In the bad old days even if you had your own phone you had to sign a contract to obtain service. In the dark ages when I worked for AT&T Wireless we had a single plan that was contract free…$19.99 for 60 minutes with a $10.00 upcharge for not being on a contract.

        • Spanky

          Nope. Again, look up Even More Plus. It was T-Mobile’s contract-free plan that didn’t include a phone subsidy.

        • donnybee

          Even More Plus plans = Pay lower monthly rate than competing contract-based plans, but pay for full price of phone up front.

          See also:

          Simple Choice (contract-free plan that doesn’t include phone subsidy)

        • Acdc1a

          Bad old days. Prior to the pre Simple Choice plans.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Exactly, so you were better off spending the $100 or even getting the “free” device since you’d be paying the same monthly rate no matter what.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Fabian, I think people with your mindset see that we have options and think nothing is wrong. Its great we have choice but that choice does not change the fact of ads saying no contracts when they are still around and people are pushed in that direction…which from the carrier perspective makes sense so you have a lasting customer but, its misleading to advertise no more contracts

          And there it is right there: choice. No one forced you to sign anything. And to be clear: T-Mobile advertises no service contracts. It’s part of un-carrier 1.0 and has been in existence since Q1 2013 (100%). It is very strange that this is all coming up now, in Q1 2016…

      • Spanky

        By the same token, no one was forced to sign a contract; a subscriber could have opted to sign up for Even More Plus and be contract free.

        • Fabian Cortez

          That was the exception to the 2-year service contract, not the rule.

    • mreveryphone

      Because it’s an agreement lol

    • CRT24

      Because the amount that is paid that YOU are representing as a termination fee finishes paying off material goods….. A service contract is a penalty for leaving and you get nothing for it. If you bought the phone outright then you pay the same amount as if you spread it out over payments so I think you know how that is different from a contract. Wise up

  • Ross

    I have a solution, stop buying phones like the IPhone 6s that you can’t afford out right and putting it on eip! T-Mobile has affordable phones that you can buy out right! :) This solves the so called contact complaint.

    • maximus1901

      but but that’s racist! lol

      • Ross

        Not racist at all, it’s called budgeting. Stop buying things you know you can’t afford!

  • Jose Lugo

    Yup, everytime upgrade my phone i get “jump” added. I was never asked if i wanted to get jump. Sry t-mo, you guys slipped up on this one!

    • guest

      Well, JUMP is what the upgrading program is called. If you don’t have JUMP then you are not able to upgrade. There are different variations of JUMP though, but without it on your account then upgrading is not even an option.. You are just simply buying a separate device. I get the frustration though. The rep should have clarified that.

  • Jose Lugo

    This thread is going to grow real fast lol.

  • SBacklin

    I was just thinking wasn’t something similar in terms of this complaint tried before? I could be remembering wrong but i’m getting the feeling of deja vu here. Lol.

  • nd5

    Why does this keep getting regurgitated??? If you are a customer, they will “finance” your phone for 0 percent interest over 24 months. What possible reason would T-Mobile have to continue to provide 0 percent financing to a non-customer??? You need to pay for the phone or return it. And I’m pretty sure that it’s explained clearly when you sign the papers for the EIP. This is just dim-wittedness.

    • maximus1901

      if you buy a band 12 using jump on demand, tmo will let you continue paying them at 0% while letting you have service somewhere else.
      the coverage guarantee.

      • Fabian Cortez

        That’s a good point.

    • John Doe

      What possible reason would T-Mobile have to continue to provide 0 percent financing to a non-customer???

      I don’t know why do many retailers offer zero precent interest rates on the products they sell? Even Apple offers 0% interest rate for up to 18 month when you buy from them.

  • TheRealKingSen

    A few years ago when I signed up for service in a store I only wanted the min data plan as it wasn’t my primary phone. The rep acted like the printer wasn’t working right and when it did print out the paper work out was in another language. When u eventually checked my account info online I was signed up for a unlimited plan.
    Called customer service and told them everything and all they did was apologize and change my plan to the 500mb data like I wanted. I told them I felt this was done intentionally but they didn’t really seem to care.

  • Yes, it is happening..

    Yes, it is happening on some levels. I had an in store representative to change my data without my knowledge and/ or authorization. T-mobile customer service management, to their credit, immediate, address my concern and issue. Also, I have observe, if not, received some misleading information from the agents at the sales level on services, maybe trying to reach a sales target.

    • Fabian Cortez

      This happens on all carriers’ store employees. But it does not make it less wrong.

  • Anon

    Im not a big Tmobile fan. But their wireless service, has no contracts. There is no lie there.

    And if you want to buy a phone you cant afford, its your own damn fault you sign a 2 year finance agreement. Nobody forces you to buy an S6/iPhone6 . Buy a lower phone if you cant afford one.

    • lzdking

      There is no 2 year finance agreement either. You can pay off the phone any time you like.

      • RLB63

        That’s a silly comment. You can pay of your 30 mortgage anytime you want as well. So that isn’t a finance agreement either?

        • gmo8492

          He made a valid point, you can choose to pay off the phone whenever you want.The original comment made it seemed you are locked down for 2 years which is not the case. Are you really trying to compare paying off a 30 year mortgage to a smartphone…lol

        • Chris

          Paying off a 30 year mortgage if you do can at a faster rate will be beneficial. So yes, argument is valid and same thing.

        • donnybee

          I was going to say this comment was silly, but now I see you were pointing out lzdking’s error. I’m sure what he meant to say is that there is no requirement to use the full two years to pay off a device. You can pay it off at any point because the finance agreement says you can.

          What should be noted is the difference between a finance agreement and a service contract.

        • Acdc1a

          Good point…and you can’t just move out of your home and leave it abandoned without paying off that mortgage.

  • Guest 2

    To those siding with Calling Out T-Mobile or Calling Out T-Mobile themselves if someone can take the questions to them:

    Do you understand the EIP program?

    Do you understand what and how the no contract idea behind T-Mobile’s plans is and work?

    What would be your solution, go back to 2 year contracts?

    Why is not Binge On being talked here, a real consumer rights issue in my opinion, which the EFF is complaining about?

    Could it be because they like the idea of carriers acting like middlemen between the internet and us, like Verizon and AT&T want?

    • peharri

      Uh, we have had plenty of discussions of Binge On here. Binge On is optional and free. The problems with it are related to full disclosure and dishonesty over what it is, not over whether it’s ultimately consumer friendly (it’s pretty much agreed it’ll benefit most mobile users, and mobile users lose nothing by having it there as an option.)

      I kinda have mixed feelings about what CtW is alleging here. It sounds like the complaints are that T-Mobile’s new customers are ending up with a misleading picture of what EIP etc entails. I think it’s a good program, and it’s a huge improvement on traditional contracts, but there’s a decent argument to be had for ensuring that if you’re going to be radically different from what was before, there’s a sizable onus on you to be upfront and clear in your marketing materials.

      That is a consumer issue. T-Mobile doesn’t necessarily need to have set out to mislead here for customers to be hurt, just not careful enough in what they say.

    • lzdking

      Binge On has been discussed for weeks.

    • Adam

      My solution would be to separate the handset sales from network sales. If you cannot run a handset business, get out of it and let someone that can run a business do it. Quit leaning on the network because the handset business is too tough. I want to see handset financing at market (not subsided) rates.

      Handset OEMs should not be legally able to dictate retail prices through withholding warranty support or future deliveries. If I retailer buys a handset, that handset should be theirs to resale however they see fit.

  • donnybee

    1) There are no service contracts. Bring your own phone. Or, get a phone from T-Mo (separate from plan) using the following options:
    -Full phone cost up front (no repayment agreement)
    -Jump on Demand (shorter payment window, due to lease layout)
    -EIP (purchasing phone at full cost, spread out over no-interest payments)
    Neither of these methods is forced upon a subscriber. You choose what you want to do and it’s very clear. There should be no grounds for complaint.
    2) T-Mo is paying the ETF/phone payment costs. They aren’t just paying some standard figure to every switcher, they’re paying the specific costs of switching to T-Mobile. Any case where this doesn’t happen is a separate matter and not widespread. There should be no grounds for a widespread complaint.
    3) No carrier should be adding features without consent, not just T-Mobile. With that being said, I’ve experienced more review from T-Mo reps whenever I make a change to my account or even when I signed up for new service, than I’ve seen from any other carrier. If there is something to complain about here, it should be directed at the other carriers, but this is the only complaint that should hold any ground.

  • Hugo Garcia

    Sprint does the same installment payment plan on phones, no one says anything about them

  • Daniel Marchand

    I do have an issue with the last complaint, it’s really messed up that some sales reps deceive the customer and sign you up for crap you don’t want. I got the free tablet deal a while back and i told the guy several times i do not want Jump i mean it’s a cheap table it just didn’t make sense! After 3+ times of stating no jump, i look at my paperwork and it’s on there… Then he lied saying there is a 30 day trial to shut me up and get me out of there (found out when i cancelled 3 day later i was getting a prorated charge).

    As for the EIPs to me it’s more fair if you want an expensive phone your breakup fee is more and vice versa, with the old contract deal if you got some crappy free smartphone on 2yr contract your breakup fee was equal to someone getting the latest high priced iphone.

    • Chris

      Daniel, same issue here with JUMP.
      I don’t go to that store anymore. I found another store that’s a mile farther but with better reps that don’t force JUMP to customers throat.

      • Acdc1a

        It’s worth the $6 you have to pay in shipping to just handle your business with T-Mobile online.

  • donnybee

    There are zero contracts required. If you ask T-Mobile to finance your phone purchase for you, that’s on you. And, yes, you have to repay that.

    These kind of articles really help the community identify who among us have below normal comprehension and decision making. It’s like a short bus and CtW is the driver.

    • Fabian Cortez

      Agreed 100%. Especially with your final paragraph.

  • Roger Sales

    How can a group go after simple choice and ignore AT&T Next, Verizon Edge, or Sprint easy pay? They’re basically the same thing.

    • Ordeith

      They are a union group that hates that T-Mobile is a non union company and are making a point to be a thorn in T-Mobile’s side unless they cave to unionization pressures. It’s an extortion ploy to get T-Mobile and it’s employees to pay their protection money. They won’t go after unionized companies.
      That said, they also have a point.

      • donnybee

        As in, they have a point on the top of their head

        • Ordeith

          Two, actually.

      • Ted Contreras

        TMobile has a big piece of the blame here. Their illegal anti-union activities have already gotten them cited by the NLRB for a whole slew of violations and that’s what’s stirred up the union.

  • gmo8492

    The first complaint is really a non issue since T-Mobile clearly spells out that you owe the remaining balance of your device when you cancel your service. Its like when you lease a car and decide to return it 5 months later, yeah you still owe the remaining balance of the lease and addional fees, why isn’t the CTW going after car dealerships too. I will agree that T-Mobile needs to work on reimbursing it customers better when they switch. If a customer has felt that they were signed up for something they didn’t want, customer service can easily fix the problem.

  • steveb944

    I only agree with the last point (went to buy an iPhone and we couldn’t leave without extra data because it was SO necessary for the new iPhone, my cousin’s wife was okay with it but I was livid since my whole family has Android flagships with basic data, 2.5GB).

    BUT you can’t single out T-Mobile and ignore all the other carriers that do the same or worse things.

    I think most of the comments here are missing that point, this is only to slander T-Mobile, not to change the industry as a whole. AT&T has their pockets deep in this.

    • maximus1901

      the union is mad that tmobiles workers are unionized. they don’t have a fuuuuudge about consumers.
      the cwa was IN FAVOR of att buying tmo because it would’ve forced tmo workers to join the union.

      • Guest 2

        And they didn’t care for the consumers then.

    • Chris

      I’ve had bad experience with some reps auto enrolling you to JUMP.

      So now, I always clear it up before I leave.
      I always say ‘No, I don’t want that’

      • Realest Ever

        I had this happen to me as well, I bought my mom’s phone an LG Leon straight out to replace her old one , and said that I didn’t want jump but the rep added anyway and I had to call customer care to remove it. It was the store manager at that. Been a customer since 2007 and this was something I thought that just happened to me

    • Acdc1a

      I had to go into the store myself when referring friends because reps wouldn’t sell the base Simple Choice plan when it first came out. It’s bad when I have to say, “I’m the customer, you’re the employee, do what I ask.”

  • riverhorse

    I request article title be EDITED, reads like FCC itself targeted Tmo.

    • donnybee

      I thought the same thing when I saw it. Definitely should be worded differently. He can effectively take out “FCC” and it would make more initial sense, IMO.

      • riverhorse

        You are correct.
        Plus encourages the trolls…

    • Fabian Cortez

      Ambiguity.

    • Winstons

      I agree. That was my initial thought as well. With a title like that, you amplify the propaganda / agenda of the accuser (in this case, a little known union front group with obvious motivations).

    • Alex Wagner

      I’ve tweaked the headline to make it more clear that the group is behind the complaint.

      • riverhorse

        TY so much for this site + your work at all hours.

      • riverhorse

        EDIT never mind, that’s perfect.

      • Ted Contreras

        I think if you’re going to cite the union involvement you should also cite the article back a couple of weeks ago that describes the NLRB violations at TMobile that have motivated the union to take this action.

        • Guest 2

          If the editor does another edition like the one you’re asking, he should also replace “consumer group” with the word “group”, or “self proclaimed consumer group” until we see these group’s track records, their list of donors, and the answers to questions like, why the other 3 carriers are not being targeted since they do similar EIP programs?

  • Guest 2

    I think TmoNews/Alex should ask Calling Out T-Mobile some questions they need to answer, because they make sense.

    I think the majority here don’t agree with this complaint they are making.

    What do you guys think?

    What would you ask them?

    • Guest 2

      I meant: because they don’t make sense.

      • Fabian Cortez

        Sounds reasonable.

  • Brian Richards

    I’m a T-Mo fan, but I agree with the complaint on paying the switching fees. They don’t really do this. It’s extremely deceptive and they make it so hard to get your reimbursement that I’m sure most never actually see the credit. I’ve seen this with several friends who have switched. Not one has gotten the reimbursement. I keep waiting for the class action suit to be filed – it seems inevitable. Also, T-Mo store personnel ARE notorious for slapping stuff on that you didn’t ask for, and arguing that you need things you don’t. The first issue is just dumb.

    T-Mobile has done some GREAT things to fix the industry, but in the end it’s a profit driven company that lives in a dirty, creepy industry, so there’s always going to be a need to keep an eye on them.

    • KrisKordova

      I have done 6 total reimbursements when the program started to now, all successful. You need to call in to the direct reimbursement dept.

    • I have to agree. One of my best friend’s was called my Verizon not too long ago to say he owed them, or something about a collection’s services, after he switched from them to T-Mobile, during that buyout promotion T-Mobile did for Verizon customers.

      • Guest

        Because your friend thought that everything will be served on a platter?

  • Demond Edwards

    I just found out this week from T-Mobile that if you pay off your EIP and have a balance due on your bill, the money you used to pay your EIP will be moved to your bill payment instead of the EIP. T-Mobile will then mark your EIP as paid-off, but add the pay-off amount to your bill. The rep stated that the only way to avoid this is to go to a T-Mobile store and pay off the phone in person. So do not pay off your phones online or on the phone. This really left a bad taste in my mouth about T-Mobile, after being with them for so many years.

    • Larry Hutchinson

      That’s false I paid my Nexus 5 & 6 off online and it didn’t mess with my bill they have an option on the website to just pay off your EIP

      • Demond Edwards

        No it is not false, I’ve paid off phones in the past also using the website, and I did use that option to just pay off your EIP as usual, but this time this is what the rep told me. Just because something did not happen with you and it did with someone else does not make that occurrence false.

    • Chris

      Your phone is still paid off. I’ve done this many times.

      The only thing they do is add a record on your next bill for the transaction.

      Basically if you owe $100 today and paid it off, and your bill doesn’t come until 1st of the month.

      Your bill will just have a record that says $100 EIP and then there’s the $100 payment.

      Nothing’s lost or taken.

      • Demond Edwards

        I understand all of that, I am just saying my bill was $164, I paid $174 to pay off an EIP using the EIP function within the Billing site. The Rep from T-Mobile said that they took the $174 I paid towards my EIP using the EIP payoff site and applied it to my bill of $164, this left my amount with $-10 because the system make it look like I had paid more than what my bill actually was. The Rep then stated that the $164 for the EIP payoff was applied as a change to my upcoming bill which made my bill higher than usual for that particular line. Yes the phone will be paid off, I just wasn’t expecting them to do it in that manner. When you paid towards/off a EIP, than money should stay with that EIP not moved towards your regular bill. This is all I’m saying and the Rep agreed of course, stating they receive these calls all day long. The best thing to do is go to the store and pay in person on your EIP.

  • 21stNow

    I’ve never had this problem when buying a car, but I have had the attempted forced add-on at T-Mobile.

  • mikeZo6

    About time Tmo is held accountable.

    • David

      I have bought a phone a year over the last 6 years, all from T-Mobile stores and never had any of these things happen.

    • Winstons

      Mike, that’s an interesting opinion…. So how are you enjoying your CWA / CtW membership?

    • Guest

      I call Bs. I work for Tmo and yes I push all my managers and employees to drive results while providing great service. It’s an f…ing sakes company dude. You don’t want something you say no thank you. Employees don’t push something you don’t want because if you take it off they get commission taken away within 4 months so stop your Bs.

      Your friends that work there are worthless if that’s how they feel cause they can’t sell.

      • Chris

        Ah, they do. I’ve reported this to T-mo many times. I’ve always gone no JUMP but whenever I buy a phone for just 2 lines of my many others cause they want T-mo sold phones, I always get JUMP listed in my account even though I’ve said No. The only response I get from T-mo is “No that’s not our policy”. It’s probably my fault too as I should’ve just talked to the branch manager.

        I still have the name of the rep and location. So if you do work for T-mo. Let me know and you can take care of that sales rep.

        But as I’ve posted here before, I found a new store to go to that doesn’t push services down your throat.

        But still doesn’t take the fact that some stores practice this bad service.

  • AStepUp

    You know, T-Mobile is a company and companies do tend to try and make money off their customers. But I will say this : they are a step up from AT&T which I’ve been trying to get rid of four years. At least T-Mobile makes an attempt at having good customer relations. I have felt like a freaking hostage of at&t.

  • Mike Thaler

    Why does a union backed group want to hurt the company that gives them jobs? I’m 100% pro union. There are other methods short of striking that can get the attention of management.

    • Winstons

      You’re assuming all unions are about jobs… I’m sure some of them still are. But ask the former employees of “Hostess” (Twinkie’s and such) how that worked out for them? They’re all now unemployed, and Hostess bankrupt. I would argue most unions are now primarily purposed as political front groups whose primary intention is legalized shakedowns of legitimate organizations and corporations to raise funding for their own purposes. The welfare of the workers is a distant secondary concern.
      I doubt most union members are truly much better off than if they were in a performance based organization like T-Mobile – where tenure isn’t the single most important factor in determining one’s wage, and that’s pretty much the crux of this “complaint”.

      • donnybee

        I agree with your assessment, but Hostess has actually been able to restructure and return in the face of product demand after supply was cut.

        Unions had their place in history to shape the landscape of worker protections and rights. That was needed when they came about, but today they do less for the worker and more for themselves and whatever politician is willing to give them more power/money. Unions control employment more than the employee does these days and you are often forced into them with high union dues required of your income. We now have laws in place that do more for the workers today than any union can claim, and for that it’s an outdated ideology that’s led to greater corruption over time.

        Rant over. I just wanted to chime in and say I’ve got my Ho Hos back!

  • Timothy Rhodes

    Seems to me, as a T-Mobile customer of 12 years, that these charges are all crap.

  • #1 is absurd, but I can sympathize with #2 and #3. I do think the wording with the ETF payoff is ambiguous. It’s not an issue that’s relevant to me and I more or less suspected that it worked that way; however, I can see how others, especially college students, might get the wrong idea. I also have not been personally affected by the third complaint, but I have run into aggressive sales persons that try to persuade me to change or alter my plan. Fortunately, after their lengthy explanation that wasted my time, they were always courteous enough to ask me if I wanted to change anything. For clarity’s sake, I want to emphasize that these aggressive types weren’t the norm, but they are out there. Most of the time, sales persons have had the good sense to leave me be after checking on me or have been incredibly friendly gadget geeks, excited to talk shop with me.

  • Joe

    EIP is not a contract. It’s a short term loan on your phone. If you leave, you need to pay off “YOUR” phone. It’s not like Tmobile gets to keep your phone if you leave AND you have to pay it off. Then that would be deceptive. If you don’t like the loan details you don’t have to sign up for it and you can buy your phone in full.

    This group bringing up all these complaints is funded by either Verizon or AT&T. Tmobile should counter complain to see where “Change To Win” gets their money from.

  • Topher1013

    Why does everyone bully Tmobile? The only carrier that gives me music freedom, international, unlimited data, hot spot, and binge on all for a low price. Then they let me upgrade whenever which is awesome. The other carriers do EIP so why are they only targeting Tmobile? Why not Verizon, Att, or Sprint? Oh and buying me out of my contract sounds so bad? If Tmobile still owes people money for there switching fees, then they need to pay them but I doubt that’s true. But I’ve moved my whole family to Tmobile because they changed. Tmobile has grown into a great company for itself and its consumers. Why they have to keep trying to knock them down is just a way to make consumers pay more and I won’t stand for it. If I the consumer need to fight for my company I will, because in my eyes Tmobile has done nothing wrong!

  • ucmee

    1. I’d love to see who “donates” to these consumer agencies. I’m a tmo customer for 11 years. I’ve never been pushed to buy anything I didn’t want. if I want to add, change or remove services, I never get sent to a manger level sales person.
    2. as for EFT’s, do people expect Tmo to drop a direct deposit payment to their competitor on behalf of the customer? every other carrier is doing the exact same thing. why aren’t these “consumer groups” complaining about VZ, AT&T and Sprint?

  • Probablynot

    Anyone who complains about the EIP plans is a moron, they don’t even charge any fee’s or interest.

    I’ve had them sign me up for that $10/month Jump thing (back when it was $10 and inc insurance) TWICE, and both times I had expressly told them I didn’t want it. I’m assuming the reps get kickbacks for enrolling people.

  • Stefan Naumowicz

    2 out of 3 of these complaints are about something that all carriers do, sounds like this “group'” is influenced (aka paid by) the other carriers

  • Goat

    I wonder if they’re used to carriers just settling and not fighting. So if T-Mobile settles, they’ll be back again..

  • yankeesusa

    That phone eip complaint is the dumbest complaint i have seen. Let me get this straight, you buy a phone on a payment plan from any company, whether it be tmobile,att,sprint or verizon. Before you pay off the phone you decide you don’t want service with that company anymore, so you call and cancel services but they ask you to pay the rest of what you owe for the phone….. ok, how is that misleading? Are they going to give you the phone after paying only a couple months? Get real. What dumb complaint.

    • philyew

      The simple solution would be for TM to completely sever the EIP from the service contract by allowing the repayment over the original term, with a reasonable adjustment to cover finance services charges (say an extra month or two’s payment), while allowing the customer to end the service at will.

      As long as the bubble payment is tied to the service termination date, it acts in the same way as an ETF, regardless of how explicitly it is explained during sign up.

  • Paul

    – you can leave at any point, there’s no service contract fee or multi-year time limit for the customer.

    – you can pay the phone off at anytime, service contacts don’t allow that.

    – there’s no contract for service.

    – the EIP is a short term loan, like paying your car off.

    How hard is this to see? It’s very simple to understand.

  • yankeesusa

    How do you get in contact with this consumer company? I would love to ask them a couple of questions directly.

    • Guest 2

      callingouttmobile dot com

      I posted 5 questions here yesterday too, if you want to take a look.

  • Aubuchon

    He goads the other carriers to do away with overages and brags about his uncarrier move to do away with them yet they have been quietly kicking people off of grandfathered plans (the ones that would actually accrue overages) in favor of the more expensive Simple Choice plans. This is a deception that should be brought to the FCC’s attention.

    • guest

      prove it

    • TaylorW86

      That is a lie. No one is being “kicked off” of anything. Customers with grandfathered plans can add or remove features, add or remove lines, make accessory purchases, or upgrade their phones and still remain on their grandfathered plans. There may be some reps who are dishonestly convincing customers to change their rate plan, but i’ll repeat that no one is being “kicked off” of anything

  • Topher1013

    Can we get a class action law suit against them for not going after all the other carriers? This is straight up bullying hardcore. I feel like the wireless industry is in high school and everyone’s picking on Tmobile for being different. If all the customers that actually care for Tmobile got together and fought against this CtW for bullying just them and not everyone else. I know I’m not the only customer that thinks this is ridiculous.

  • I would not be surprised if this CtW is spearheaded by Blue & Red! LoL!

  • Joe Chien

    I believe some of the claims. I was enrolled in insurance without my consent from store manager…