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Jan 2004 02

T-Mobile's Stellar Service

Rants!

I have a Sony Ericson p910a cell phone/pda. It rules.

It can do full internet among other things.. but I noticed I wasn't getting full internet through my service provider, T-Mobile.. I had "Unlimited T-Zones" from them which is an added $4.99 a month which they SAY will give you full internet (or it used to).. Well suddenly I'm not getting internet access but I can get WAP access..

So I call them.

She explains to me that I need the T-Mobile Internet option that is an additional $19 a month. It gives me T-Zones and Internet. So, so much for unlimited t-zones that used to give me the internet.. Gotta love them changing shit without telling me..

But that isn't what bothers me..

What bothers me is that the chick that I was talking to flat out lied to me about activation times, and the reason the way they are.

In order to get the T-Mobile Internet, she has to flip some switches and it takes 2-48 hours for them to "propagate".. But since T-Mobile Internet has T-Zones included, I can drop the Unlimited T-Zones service. So I do.

It dropped absolutely INSTANTLY. I was on the phone with her, and when she said, "Okay I'll do that now, it can take 2-48 hours to stop working" I clicked refresh in the phone browser and was given an access denied prompt.

I explained to her that it suddenly stopped working, and she said "oh well I guess it can happen quicker, and it was only a chance that it could take 2-48 hours".. So either she lied to me about the amount of time it takes to disconnect, or she simply didn't know and was making it up.

So, you can disconnect me instantly, but it takes 48 hours to connect me? Why?

"Well it has to propagate a bunch of information to your phone"

But it disconnected instantly, isn't it a matter of flipping a bit and it connects the other one instantly?

"No it has to propagate."

What's that mean? What does it have to do? It stands to reason that if you can instantly disconnect, then you can instantly connect.

"It has to update your account to reflect the changes and it has to send information to your phone."

But you just updated my account to discontinue T-Zones and it was instant, why does connecting take 48 hours?

"Cause it has to propagate..."

{ You keep using that word, I don't think it means what you think it means.. }

"Put simply, it has to send information to your phone so it knows to use the Internet"

So, T-Mobile is pushing information to my phone? My phone already knows how to use the internet, it was doing it. It's a pretty high tech device I got here. And when she said "put simply" that pissed me off.. she was talking down to me the whole damn conversation. I was asking very straight forward questions that she didn't have an answer for.

"Yes your phone has to be updated by the server to make this T-Mobile Internet work."

That's a complete fabrication.

I just said whatever and hung up.. So now I have no internet on my remote device while their system does some magical shit to connect me that she could have done right there..

It irritates me.. and frankly this is amazingly poor customer service..

T-Mobile used to be a damn good mobile carrier, but their service is starting to suck. Their customer service people lie, are generally rude, and talk down to you.

Their phone service is starting to suffer lately too. My new home site gets full bars Verizon and Cingular, but nothing from T-Mobile.. (My phone can ping all towers in the area and tell me the signal strength..)

Okay at this point I was sufficiently pissed enough about this (especially after reliving it as I wrote it down) that I called back..

I got another lady who was very nice and actually admitted to me that she just didn't know and that she probably received the same training that the first girl got..

She put me on hold and went and talked to someone over in the "PDA queue" about this problem .

She came back and said that the expert that she talked to, who was an expert on my phone, said that the GPRS connection is instant.. But the other services and features have to be turned on by the "webmaster"..

So in order to get email it has to be setup.

I explain to her that I had email working just fine. I was able to read my emails through the GPRS system which has now been turned off to me, and all of these connections are through GPRS whether to WAP or to WEB.. She gave me the phone equivalent of a blank stare and put me back on hold.

I swear these tech support people are the virtual deer in headlights of technology..

SO then I get a third woman, who was an escalation of the first two I suppose.. She (a very butch sounding "She" btw) told me that the engineers handle all this stuff and that the reason it takes so long to get something implemented was because of the way billing works.. It has to go through the billing account system and that system delays any feature you added.

Example you HAVE T-Zones, you remove T-zones.. it will be instant. You add it back, and boom..48 hours. She called these provisional delays.. It basically takes into account that everything is added in queue order.. so anyone who asked for a thing before you gets it before you..

My main point of contention is, if you have me on the fuckin phone.. do it right then..

What's funny is that this chick actually admitted to me that at one time it the T-Zones system worked just fine for web browsing but they "fixed" that. And they angered and lost a lot of customers due to that fix.

This third person while nice and knowledgeable wasn't able to help me either.. She went through every setting in my phone..

Everything was "Correct", shockingly.

So, she shucked me off to the advanced PDA group in England who know more about "fancy foreign phones". Back on hold .. yeah..

At this point, I have been on the phone for over an hour and have to pee so bad I am floating.. I have a co-worker come over and sit on hold while I go throw a line..

20 minutes later I get someone else.. Not in England, but rather Seattle.. Not even close..

Another woman. She didn't know a thing about my phone, and had to go look it up.

We went through the exact same routine the previous person did.. checked all my settings and had me reboot the phone and try again.. ("Did ya try rebooting?")

This woman basically told me that everyone I talked to previously were idiots. She said that any phone that has full HTML browser used to be able to get full access with the T-ZONEs.. so they "fixed that".. Information I already had..

"Having a smart phone with full HTML wasn't something they planned for.. and since it was just changed we can set it up and we wont know if its working.. "

Long story short, they can't help me.. Nothing she did made a damn bit of difference. She said though that even though it can show up as provisioned (enabled), it may not be actually working.. Nice.. Cause, it aint..

In the end they TRIED to help but either their knowledge was lacking, or the system they are working with is so technical it borders on magic..

Oh and another interesting note, ONLY port 80 is blocked on WAP. Everything else works fine. So basically, you pay an extra $15 a month to have that port opened .. What a fucking scam.

I'll give them 48 hours. Then I call another carrier.

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