Why are t-mobile salespeople so inept?

Maybe all cel-phone salespeople are, but I’ve been dealing with t-mobile all afternoon. I’m upgrading from an old crappy cel phone, on which texting is awkward and I asked to be shown the latest in celphone technology for texting.

Would you believe that the salesman who “helped” me could not get the text function on a Blackberry to work? And when he finally got somethig resembling texting, he couldn’t show me how to enable the “predictive texting” function–he just concluded with “The keys are so easy to use, you don’t need predictative texting anyway. It sucks, tell you the truth.”

I found it very difficult to buy that–literally, so I left the store without buying a phone. You’d think it would be important to t-mobile to attract potential customers and selll them phones from time-to-time, but not to judge my experiences today.

I bought a t-mobile phone and had terrible trouble putting more money into it. Hours of my life I will never get back. I had just arrived and bought the phone. I had no idea that calls into the phone would cost me (not so in Australia) - so calls in from home checking that I had arrived safely depleted the funding at a rapacious rate. I spent fruitless hours trying to add more money. The helpline people kept pointing me to a phone number which was all automated. That line insisted on my 5-digit postcode as associated with my credit card. We only have four digit postcodes in Australia, and there was no way around that - I even tried adding a leading 0. Despite this, my credit card was readily accepted everywhere else in the States. When I tried to explain this to the help-people, I got nowhere - they pointed to online. I found a terminal. Online adding money did no better (no need for details), so I rang them back yet again. Maybe I was messing up somehow, but I just couldn’t get any help other than guys following some standard script who then gave up on me and my four-digit postcode. In the end I had to find other ways around having no phone in an emergency and then get a refill card the next day.

Given the phone was sold at the airport specifically for travelers who don’t want to use the ridiculous roaming charges from home, this scenario has convinced me to just get a US sim-card next time. But that means my usual phone number goes out of action.

Off topic: whenever I got into confusion or messes traveling in the US over the 4 week trip to all sorts of strange places, there was ALWAYS some stranger who came to my aid, often to an unbelievable degree. Can’t speak highly enough of American friendliness to an Aussie traveler. Except for T-mobile.

I’m afraid* all salespeople *are once they have your money. There is no bank, phone company, shop, or organisation on the entire planet which doesn’t have half a million threads exactly like this devoted to them.

I used to switch banks a lot when I was dissatisfied, until I realised that all that was happening was that I was undergoing a bunch of effort every couple of years to no effect. They’re all the same. They all recruit the same people from the same pool for their call centers. They all have the same priorities. There’s really no fundamental difference other than branding.

I have had the opposite experience. Having had T-Mobile for about 6 years now, I have never once had a problem with their customer service, nor their staff in the store nearby. At least here in my local Las Vegas T-Mobile store, they know what they are doing and have been fast and friendly when problems (few) arise. I was having some battery problems with a phone and found out the battery cost nearly as much as the damned phone - so they simply gave me a new phone - four months earlier than my contract stipulated - at no cost.

I am a bit ticked that they seem to be somewhat more expensive monthly than other carriers for similar plans, and have been thinking about doing some price comparisons when my current contract ends at the end of December. However, other than this monthly fee problem, T-Mobile has been great.

I have had pretty good experience with Verizon Wireless customer service. Most recently, I had a problem with their GPS app, VZ Navigator. It stopped anouncing the street names ("Turn right at…). They suggested removing the battery, reinstalling the app, and some other things that didn’t work, so they wrote a ticket and said they would be in touch within 24 hours. The next morning, I had a text message to try it again, and voila! she worked. Apprently there was a patch from the developer that fixed the issue on their end. I have no complaints with Verizon.