Wednesday, September 18, 2013

To get out of my contract with T-Mobile: I'm suing

T-Mobile has recently been holding themselves out as the first wireless carrier to ditch the "contract for subsidized headset" business model. The wireless carrier instituted this pivot in early 2013, in what I assume, was an attempt to gain back some market share. 

T-Mobile has lost ground in recent years: they were one of the last carriers to offer the iPhone in the US and had one of the slowest LTE Rollouts. Again both of these changes happened in early 2013, so it's safe to say T-Mobile is into a "full court press" to keep from falling into irrelevancy in the US domestic market following the failed takeover bid by AT&T

Needless to say, before this abrupt "about face" T-Mobile followed the cut and dry business plan carriers have been following since...well...whenever...subsidized headsets in exchange for service agreements.

So when I became dissatisfied with my service, I didn't expect much, and I wasn't wrong. T-Mobile is amongst the most often complained about consumer product companies. 

A few hours with of phone-calls to T-Mobile yield "technical support" such as: "visiting a T-Mobile store" (Where an employee suggested I download a "signal boosting app") or that I "reset" the headset, and call them back if things did not improve. When asked: "What is T-Mobile's accepted dBm range to be considered providing the superior quality of service you speak of given my proximity to a newly LTE enabled tower?" the response: "dBm? What's that?" 

Sex-appeal not quality of service
T-Mobile does not offer "Micro-Cells" for low-quality service areas, but instead relies on built in "wifi-calling" features on most of it's WiFi enabled phones. A feature that is of "dubious quality at best". 

I have an Comcast Wireless-N Router and a 2nd router Linksys WRT310N running DD-WRT as a repeater in my 1200 sqft. apartment, and I am still unable to maintain a phone-call at near "acceptable quality", for example, the call not dropping at least once every 5-10 minutes. 

On the phone with T-Mobile customer support, I was repeatedly offered a minor service discount: 10% a month for 6-months. I eventually learned that like T-Mobile's "Consumer Relations Office" a PO BOX in New Mexico, the only way to "escalate further" is to contact T-Mobile's "legal department" by written correspondence only.

So with the help of my attorney, that's exactly what I've done. 

My attorney has dispatched a demand letter that spells out my specific complaints, my experience, and my desire to terminate my relationship with T-Mobile without the prejudice of a $300 "early termination fee".

You might wonder why I'm so worked up about $300? Most days I make that before lunch. The money is hardly the issue. The issue I want to address is:
"the abuse of contractual clauses and terms of service agreements by large companies against their customers because most consumers are unwilling or unable to take legal recourse to defend themselves."
Other companies Google or Paypal, are infamous for using "terms of service" agreements to terminate relationships with or without due process of law.  

The age of quality service in America maybe long dead, but I want to fight to make sure that "terms of service" stand the litmus test of a "court of law" before I give T-Mobile another dime of my hard-earned money.      

I will update with the results of this little experiment. If T-Mobile responds to my attorney with a less than favorable result, I will be moving forward with litigation 

In case you're curious (and if you found this I'm sure you are):

T-Mobile's Legal Department Address  
12920 SE 38th St., Bellevue, WA 98006-13850
No phone number provided, or listed.

T-Mobile's Consumer Relations Address
P.O. Box 37380 Albuquerque, NM 87176-7380
No phone number provided, or listed.

Legal services provided by: Dell Law Office

Screen Captures
No service @ Home 

"Data Roaming" warning on my patio

T-Mobile US LTE ECN Setting

New high-rise construction is taking place (2012-2015) in-between my apartment and all local towers

Open Signal is an excellent free tool to monitor your coverage and tower locations


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