I am registering the following points as a formal complaint.
I have been a T-Mobile customer since September 2006. I had a Web'n'Walk PCMCIA card on a Pay-Monthly contract, £19.98 per month paid by direct debit.
After three years, in September 2009 this card was stolen in a burglary at my home. I called T-Mobile to report the loss. I was told that the PCMCIA cards were no longer in use, and I would be sent a USB stick (and SIM) as a replacement.
Before the USB stick arrived, I realised that I no longer made much use of Web'n'Walk, and checking the T-Mobile website I discovered a Pay-As-You-Go Web'n'Walk service which would save me money. I called T-Mobile again, and was told I could certainly cancel the Pay-Monthly service and use Pay-As-You-Go instead. I would be sent a separate USB stick and SIM. I was specifically told that I should return the Pay-Monthly USB stick and SIM unopened, and that the Pay-Monthly contract would be cancelled.
I did return the Pay-Monthly USB stick and SIM, unused and unopened, when they arrived. I started to use the Pay-As-You-Go stick. As far as I was concerned the Pay-Monthly contract was cancelled and that was the end of the matter.
I have made a very few uses of the Pay-As-You-Go service. On about 7th September 2010, I tried to use it, and found that I needed to top it up. I tried to log onto my T-Mobile web account to do so, and found to my surprise that it showed a £19.98 balance for the Pay-Monthly service.
The next day I called T-Mobile customer service to clarify this, and was very alarmed to be told (by a friendly and efficient member of staff) that I had been charged £19.98 per month for Pay-Monthly, in every month, for the last year.
Furthermore, I was told that the Pay-Monthly account had not been cancelled because a confirmation text message, sent to the Pay-Monthly SIM, had not been answered.
The practice of sending text messages to Web'n'Walk accounts is ridiculous--such messages are very unlikely ever to be read. The use of such a message to confirm cancellation of my account, sent to a SIM which I had explicitly been told to return unopened, is beyond absurd. T-Mobile could have written to my address, or used my actual cellphone number, but chose instead a method of communication which--following the instructions I received from T-Mobile--I could not receive: a message which I knew nothing about, sent to a SIM which I returned unopened to T-Mobile.
In short, T-Mobile has charged me £19.98 every month for a year--a total of £239.76--because I did not read a message which I could not possibly read, and which T-Mobile certainly knew had not been read. I insist on immediate repayment of this amount. I am cancelling my T-Mobile direct debit today.
I look forward to a swift response to this letter.