nickbarnes (nickbarnes) wrote,

T-Mobile, or what you get for not checking your bank statements

To T-Mobile Customer Services, Complaint Management Team:

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.
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