Carrier T-Mobile: What You Should Know

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by rockitdog, Feb 4, 2014.

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  1. rockitdog macrumors 68020

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    #1
    I was a T-Mobile customer from October 2012 - January 31, 2014. I was a happy T-Mobile customer for almost the entire time that I was with them. Here in the Minneapolis area we have a reasonably large T-Mobile LTE network and their price has always been amazing for what you get, IMO.

    As you know they have branded themselves as the "Un-Carrier" in which the rid themselves of annual contracts. But under their new policies customers are forced to buy their entire device by either purchasing it in full or by financing it through T-Mobile and making monthly payments on it until it's paid off. Personally I like the ability to buy a subsidized phone every 2 years but I learned to live with this.

    As someone who enjoys trying different phones and operating systems I would often find someone on CL who either wanted to trade devices or buy mine which would enable to me to pay off my current plan with T-Mobile and then would allow me to start a new EIP plan (electronic installment plan) on a new phone. Many times I would make this deal at a T-Mobile store in front of T-Mobile employees who would often help to verify that my device or one that I was trading for was clean and had no issues associated with it. Never seemed to be any issues with this until in November when I did what I had done quite a few times before.

    I paid off a phone and went into purchase a new iPhone 5S. I was unhappy with the wobbly power button I received on the device and I went back into to exchange it when the manager told me that she could not exchange it because my account had been "flagged" by their loss protection team. I immediately got on the phone with their customer care team and forced my way through to the loss prevention department and talked to them and asked if there was an issue with my account. Eventually the issue was cleared and was settled.

    That is until last month. Up until this point I had been the only person on my account but when T-Mobile decided to start paying off ETFs I brought 4 family members over from Sprint on January 17. On January 20 I received a text message that one of my lines would be closed as requested. I called customer care and tried to find out what was going on and explained that I didn't want any of those lines closed. The CSR explained that she could not see a reason why a line was being closed but did see a note that stated that my entire account was being closed! She needed to research and would call me back. I never heard back from them and called later that day and was told by another CSR that the issue was now with their legal department and they were instructed not to talk with me. a Letter had gone out to me and would explain the situation to me and any questions I had needed to be in writing. At this point I was beyond confused and upset. The following day, I received a letter stating that as of January 28, 2014 my account would be closed and any/ all lines associated would be lost and if we wanted our numbers we needed to be ported to a new carrier by then.

    The letter also accused me of buying at least 5 handsets and never using them on my account only to have them later show up on other customer accounts which is completely false. Any devices I purchased were used on my account for some amount of time. They accused me of selling a devices for profit which I didn't. I sold devices to pay off my EIPs and to start a new EIP plan and according to them you can't. You are not allowed to re-sell your T-Mobile device under any circumstances even if you pay it off. That is complete BS!

    They could have easily cancelled my account before my brought over 4 other lines and we had them all trade in their phones but they waited until I did that before they decided to cancel my account. They never gave me the chance to explain myself or being able to discuss why think I did what they accused me of. Their legal team gave me one week to move my numbers over without being able to explain my side or even talk with me about it.

    The moral of the story is that if you own your T-Mobile device, you don't own that device. It's not yours and you can't do whatever you want with it. If they think you are selling your T-Mobile device they will cut you off at a moments notice with or without proof. Oh yeah and if you have 3 devices on EIPs like I did (mine, my wife's and my sister-in-law) good luck. My three EIPs were instantly dude in full ($1600+ due now).
     
  2. djuarez03 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    #2
    Wow, that really sucks. They almost make it sound like it's not even your phone even if you pay it off. This just doesn't sound right, either logically or legally. Maybe they just really wanted to get rid of you and had to find some BS excuse under their terms & conditions to do it. Hope you get this resolved somehow. :/
     
  3. bobright macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    #3
    wow

    I was on the fence on maybe switching over to them from AT&T, and was actually going to phone them about details on getting a new iPhone 6 through them eventually but switching to them with my iPhone 5 I am using for now. That is all I needed to read no way in hell I'd go through them. You fullfill a 2-year commitment and your phone is still a dead weight and essentially their property.
     
  4. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601

    AutoUnion39

    Joined:
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    #4
    Wow, that is some serious BS. You can do whatever the **** you want with the phone after you pay it off. (theoretically at least)
     
  5. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #5
    T-Mobile definitely dropped the ball on that one. Once you walk out of the store with the phones you can do whatever you want with them. They have no say in that.
     
  6. kazmac macrumors 601

    kazmac

    Joined:
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    #6
    yikes

    Stinks you had to go through that (almost sounded like my experience with Sprint which I thankfully got resolved after four months.)

    Thanks for posting.

    I'll stay with AT&T.
     
  7. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Oregon
    #7
    I'm not familiar with their terms and conditions, but it is possible that there is a clause that says a T-Mobile account holder cannot flip phones in this way. :eek:
     
  8. CEmajr macrumors 601

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    Charlotte, NC
    #8
    It's possible. I haven't actually purchased a phone from them since 2012 so I haven't seen their latest terms and conditions. My last few phones I've bought outright.
     
  9. rockitdog thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #9

    Here you go, no 18 in its entirety. You tell me where it says you can't sell your device!

    18. * Misuse of Service or Device. By activating or renewing Service with T-Mobile, you agree that you do so because you want Service from T-Mobile and not for any other purposes. You agree not to misuse the Service or Device, including but not limited to: (a) reselling or rebilling our Service; (b) using the Service or Device to engage in unlawful activity, or in conduct that adversely affects our customers, employees, business, or any other person(s), or that interferes with our operations, network, reputation, or ability to provide quality service, including but not limited to the generation or dissemination of viruses, malware or "denial of service" attacks; (c) using the Service as a substitute or backup for private lines or dedicated data connections; (d) tampering with or modifying your T-Mobile Device; (e) "spamming" or engaging in other abusive or unsolicited communications, or any other mass, automated voice or data communication for commercial or marketing purposes; (f) reselling T-Mobile Devices for profit, or tampering with, reprogramming or altering T-Mobile Devices for the purpose of reselling the T-Mobile Device; (g) using the Service in connection with server devices or host computer applications, including continuous Web camera posts or broadcasts, automatic data feeds, automated machine-to-machine connections or peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing applications that are broadcast to multiple servers or recipients, "bots" or similar routines that could disrupt net user groups or email use by others or other applications that denigrate network capacity or functionality; (h) accessing, or attempting to access without authority, the information, accounts or devices of others, or to penetrate, or attempt to penetrate, T-Mobile's or another entity's network or systems; (i) running software or other devices that maintain continuously active Internet connections when a computer's connection would otherwise be idle, or "keep alive" functions (e.g. using a Data Plan for Web broadcasting, operating servers, telemetry devices and/or supervisory control and data acquisition devices); or (j) assisting or facilitating anyone else in any of the above activities. Unless authorized by T-Mobile, you agree that you won't install, deploy, or use any regeneration equipment or similar mechanism (for example, a repeater or signal booster) to originate, amplify, enhance, retransmit or regenerate a transmitted RF signal. You agree that a violation of this section harms T-Mobile, which cannot be fully redressed by money damages, and that T-Mobile shall be entitled to immediate injunctive relief in addition to all other remedies available.
     
  10. Troneas, Feb 4, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014

    Troneas macrumors 65816

    Troneas

    Joined:
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    #10
    the question i have is why do they even care what you do with your purchased phone?

    even you've bought 50 phones from them to resell who cares? are they losing money? no. are you paying for your mobile service? yes.


    its not as if you are reselling subsidized phones or still paying installments on them.



    EDIT: in their letter, they say they are terminating your service due to a violation of their terms of use. if you can prove those terms don't apply to your case, i would take legal action. They claim to have evidence against you though, and specify exactly which clause you've violated.
     
  11. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    Oregon
    #11
    Doesn't this right here say you can't resell your device? I guess they're assuming you're making a profit.
     
  12. boshii macrumors 68040

    boshii

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    Jul 6, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #12
    They care about resellers because it's a lost EIP to them.

    I don't agree with their terms, but just saying.
     
  13. Troneas macrumors 65816

    Troneas

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #13
    i gave your situation a more thorough thought and this is what i believe is happening here:


    1. t-mobile is not in the business of selling phones - apple and samsung are - but not t-mobile. they are there to sell you a *service* and in order to sell that service, they make it easier for you to acquire a device.

    2. if everyone were to buy and resell t-mobile phones, they could risk being short of stock to offer their customers.

    3. i cannot think of an effective way t-mobile could prevent people abusing phone subsidies or other advantages offered by t-mobile to resell their phones even when they are still paying installments on them. all one needs do is insert a different SIM and voilá, sold a phone for $600 upfront whilst i'm paying $25 a month for it.

    4. They do appear to have a clause stating you cannot re-sell their phones for a profit (presumably, this means *new phones*).

    5. They seem to have evidence you've breached that clause selling online.
     
  14. rockitdog thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Mar 25, 2013
    #14
    They found a craigslist ad in which I was selling a 32GB iPhone 5S for $800. (this was during a $0 down promo). They claim the iPhone sells for $749 but when you include tax that when included actually adds up to more than $800 s0 again, not making a profit. Trying to break even.

    Legal action would cost me thousands of dollars and for what, to retain my $70/ month phone service? Not worth the fight, IMO. They eventually agreed to allow the 4 members family members on my account to pull out of my account and allow them to create their own account and then transfer two of their phones to the new account and then allow me to send back my iPhone to them.

    ----------

    It's just ridiculous because if you look at sites like ebay, swappa or CL there are tons of people selling their devices all over the county but yet it's illegal. As I searched for a new provider I talked in length with both AT&T and Verizon about this and they both found it insane and thought T-Mobile was grasping for something here.

    FYI, those terms are found in very, very small print at the bottom of their website. They never make you read through all of that stuff when you buy a phone. It's basically stashed away on their site for them to pull out at their disposal to use against you when they feel like it.

    ----------

    I'd like them to prove that, but they can't because I never did.

    ----------

    Good call. I chose Verizon and I'm happy with them.
     
  15. blarivee macrumors 6502

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    US
    #15
    I wonder if you do cross upgrades (with grandfathered contracts) does that violate their terms as well/illegal?
     
  16. Troneas macrumors 65816

    Troneas

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    #16

    so you were re-selling new devices?


    earlier you claimed you had used all devices you chose to sold?

    "Any devices I purchased were used on my account for some amount of time." - you said.

    sorry but i do see t-mobile's perspective now. it doesn't look like you just like trying new devices and OS but rather that you are engaging in some kind of parallel business.


    and by "not making a profit" you should understand not selling *new* phones. they found that phone on e-bay as proof but if you chose to sell on the street they'd have no proof of your asking price.


    of course, t-mobile can monitor the usage of phones and they rightly assume that you will not make a profit from a phone you've used for a few months.
     
  17. rockitdog thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #17

    Any device I used/ sold, I bought new front them. All were used for at least 3 weeks if not longer. At that time I was out of my return window so what was my option at the point aside from pay it off and then get rid of it. Again, the bottom line, when you purchase something in full it should be yours do with as I see fit.

    What really irked me was them stating that at least five of these devices are purchased and never even used on my account. That is 100% positively false and inaccurate!
     
  18. Troneas, Feb 4, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014

    Troneas macrumors 65816

    Troneas

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    #18
    well i wouldn't buy an opened and used iphone (regardless if it has only been used for 3 weeks) from a random user in craigslist if i can get a new, closed iphone from apple for the same price.



    so understand and forgive my doubt about the condition of your phone.



    and yes i agree it should be yours when you buy something unless the conditions you agree on state otherwise... and those condition make some sense from the perspective of t-mobile. i've listed them in a post above.



    if you can afford paying upfront and enjoy trying different mobile phones you should consider buying them directly from the OEM.
     
  19. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #19
    So in other words don't finance the phone from them with no interest and turn around and sell it.
    They're doing that without making a profit or charging extra for 24 months like other carriers do so don't take advantage of it that's all.
    Obviously the can see that you got phones and are not using them on your lines any more and found out about your CL sales and rather provide that service and convinience to customers instead of people that want to make a quick buck by flipping phones.
    Sorry for you but it's only right to protect themselves from people trying to take advantage of their system.
     
  20. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    Location:
    Oregon
    #20
    When you sign up you are agreeing to the terms and conditions. It is up to the consumer to actually read them.

    Uh, you were selling a $750 iPhone for $800 on craigslist:

    Your tax argument wouldn't hold up if you took this one to court...
     
  21. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #21
    Wow that's pretty scary. I sort of do understand why they are doing that though. They're financing the phone for 0% for you, and so selling them like that, could be considered as abusing the system.
     
  22. Am3r1ca16 macrumors 6502a

    Am3r1ca16

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    #22
    good thing i never go through any of this hassle.

    The way i got my iphone 5s on T-Mobiles network without giving any of my personal info is by buying the iphone through craigslist. i got the T-Mobile service by buying the sim card from the T-Mobile store and activating it online. then i just would pop the sim into my iphone 5S and done.

    Now when the new iphone 6 is released i will sell my iphone 5s on craigslist and then use the money to buy the iphone 6. although i would wait out a few months to let the price drop because noway am i paying $600+ for a phone.
     
  23. rockitdog, Feb 4, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2014

    rockitdog thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #23
    That's what I did. I used CL exclusively!
     
  24. jamezr macrumors G3

    jamezr

    Joined:
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    Location:
    US
    #24
    Something just doesn't add up. TMO is BUYING customers by paying their ETF fees. Why would they care if you bought phones used them then sold them. Even if the turn around was a little fast. How in the world would they even KNOW it was your eBay listing anyway? How would they know to look at you and your account unless something was going on? The it begs the question…….WHY would they take the time and effort to write the letter and close your account?
    They would potentially be losing 4 customers because of the extra lines on your account different people were using. Then to bar you from enter ingANY TMO store? That is pretty harsh….it also begs the question WHY? They can close your account for abuses they deem worthy of closure but baring you from TMO stores?
    They are putting a lot of effort into getting rid of you. I still don't see a valid reason to go to all that trouble for re selling a couple of phones…...
     
  25. Troneas, Feb 4, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014

    Troneas macrumors 65816

    Troneas

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    #25

    if you are buying the phones off t-mobile you are not using CL "exclusively".

    ----------


    the OP switched phones *at least* 10 times in a year.



    they might not notice one or two, but 10 they would.


    and apparently they care people don't use their system which offers them a financed phone at 0% interest to pay in two years so that they can conduct their own business selling it at full price elsewhere.



    that would be a pretty good business if you ask me. i'm sure they'd had no shortage of people doing it if it were allowed.



    to the question as of how they found out about his sale a few things comes to mind:

    the OP uses his real name in CL, maybe he listed the IMEI or serial number in the description... maybe they've got friends at the FBI :D


    who knows.
     
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