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Sunday, March 23, 2008

T-Mobile: Another Company Makes My Shit-List

Update: Complaining pays off sometimes! The sales associate who sold me my phone and plan called me up to apologize and to let me know that T-Mobile has credited my account with $50! This shows that T-Mobile is at least somewhat concerned with customer relations. So I have forgiven this trespass and will continue on with T-Mobile once my contract expires unless I am otherwise motivated to move on.

My $50 mail-in rebate for my T-Mobile phone was just REJECTED:

So I wrote T-Mobile a nasty gram:

March 23, 2008

Dear T-Mobile and T-Mobile Rebate Officers:

On February 2, 2008, I walked into the above-listed T-Mobile store with the intention of switching my phone service from Sprint to T-Mobile. I had been having a few issues with Sprint and was shopping around for a new cell provider. Everyone I ever talked to who had a T-Mobile account was quite pleased with it, so I decided to switch over.

The friendly sales associate assisted me in picking out the Samsung Blast and a phone plan that suits my needs. I purchased the 300 minutes per month plan for $30, and tacked on an unlimited texting plan for $15, for a total of $45, pre-tax. I paid $140 for my Samsung Blast, and the sales associate provided me with a $50 mail-in rebate form, and pointed out the various UPCs and receipt copies which I would need to submit in order for my rebate to be accepted.

I carefully read the rebate form to make sure I was sending in everything necessary to obtain my rebate and then I mailed it in. I saw no mention of a required minimum phone plan purchase.

On March 21, 2008, I received the attached rejection letter regarding my rebate submission. On the one hand, I’m not really surprised, since everyone regards mail-in rebates as a scam anyway. For instance, until I received my $25 mail-in rebate from Sprint when I originally signed up with them, I had not once in my life received a rebate I had submitted. On the other hand, I am deeply disappointed at the lack of business ethics and concern for customer relations being exhibited by T-Mobile in this matter.

My sales associate did not mention that I would need to have purchased a more expensive phone plan in order to even qualify for the rebate in the first place. And if that truly is the case, she should never have given me a rebate form, or she should have explained that I could get a rebate if I purchased a more expensive plan. But in any case, I hardly see how a rebate on a PHONE purchase is at all relevant to the purchase of a PLAN. A phone, I might add, that T-Mobile is now GIVING AWAY FOR FREE (see second attached sheet). Well, free except for the $50 mail-in rebate, which it appears customers will be hard pressed to receive, because of T-Mobile’s shady fine-print loophole requirements.

I’m not writing this letter to coerce my rightfully deserved $50 rebate out of you. You can keep it. And in two years, when my contract with T-Mobile is up, you can ask yourselves whether keeping my $50 was worth losing my loyalty as a customer.

Sincerely shopping for my next cell provider,


Business ethics -- HAH!

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1 comment:

Sov said...

Rebates are an absolute scam. They are nothing more than advertisements, and probably around 75% of the people that send them in never actually see the money. Most people never even fill them out or send them in, and those that do almost never get them. I personally have been lucky enough to receive the few I've submitted, but I tend to avoid them.

I know a year or two ago Best Buy decided to do away with manufacturer rebates all together. This was based on the market research I noted above. People hate them. Other retailers followed suit, but smaller companies like phone places and whatnot still use them as enticements.

I'm pretty sure you got ripped. There may have been some fine print somewhere specifying a minimum contract, but I bet it was on the web site or in some little credit card-sized piece of paper that fluttered out of the box unnoticed or something. You did the right thing in writing that letter.

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