Let Joe Know: If you don’t like your cell phone carrier, complain - East Valley Tribune: Business

Let Joe Know: If you don’t like your cell phone carrier, complain

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Posted: Sunday, December 22, 2013 8:34 am

Most of us have cell phones and likely have had a complaint or two about coverage, billing or spam. You’ve been letting me know about it for months.

So when I heard one of the higher-ups at a big phone service provider was in town, I had a few questions for him. Sam Sindha is officially the vice president for T-Mobile’s Southwest region and he’s very proud of his company.

Sindha says since T-Mobile said goodbye to lengthy service contracts, the number of customers have increased. And customers trying to get out of contracts with various service providers, is a problem I see a lot.

But, I was at the Chandler T-Mobile store to talk with Sindha about something else. I pulled out a few complaints I’ve received involving not just T-Mobile, but carriers in general, and I started asking for answers.

And Sindha didn’t flinch.

Probably the biggest issue I hear about involves people who sign up for service, then lose coverage where they need it most. But they still have that service contract or are tied into a long-term phone payment plan.

I shared an email from Chuck who was into a two-year deal with T-Mobile company (entered into before the month-to-month change).

Chuck says, “Service was good for a period of time.” Then he started getting spotty service and eventually says it was nonexistent. He says T-Mobile wanted him to pay $100 to get out of his contract and he didn’t think that was fair.

Sindha said it shouldn’t be a problem to get it resolved. He says T-Mobile makes a point to “ask you where you live, where you travel, where you work, what are some places you go often.”

Your ZIP code is entered and coverage is examined. That’s supposed to be done before you buy anything.

And again Sindha said if coverage is lost, even if you were paying monthly on a phone through them, you might qualify for a phone trade-in and could move on.

Then I brought up another big concern I’ve heard, not just about T-Mobile, but the industry as a whole. People say they’re getting unknown charges on their bills. They turn out to be services that the customer says they never ordered.

Well, T-Mobile says it did have a spam problem earlier in the year. But they say they solved it and gave refunds. And the company announced it no longer allows premium message service charges to appear on customer bills. Those could include horoscopes, sports scores, weather alerts and more. And they’ve been a big concern.

Sindha says if his customers see any charge for something they didn’t initiate, call customer service and you won’t be charged.

So you may be saying those are just words and that the company would act differently when pressed.

Well, maybe. But I can tell you the man with the coverage issues I told you about earlier is happy.

After I forwarded Chuck’s information to T-Mobile, he tells me the company credited him three months of charges.

Bottom line: if you don’t like what’s going on with your carrier, complain.

And if they don’t do anything about it, let me know.

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