Sunday, September 9, 2012

Poor Service from T-Mobile UK

Update: T-Mobile resolved my concerns. I was happy with the follow up service that I received in response to my complaints.

I wanted to write about a little contract law scenario I am currently having with T-Mobile. I know that there are a few American and British lawyers who follow this blog, so I thought they might enjoy this one! In early August, I called T-Mobile to provide them with the required 30 day notice period that I intended to end my contract. The customer service representative was helpful and friendly - while he attempted to persuade me to stay with T-Mobile, he was not rude. The representative gave me notice that my contract would terminate around September 3. 

All was well. 

In later August I called T-Mobile again, in order to request my PAC code (the code that allows UK cell phone users to transfer their number to a different network). The representative on this call provided me with the code and told me that I would have 30 days (up to Sept.20) to post the number onto another network, or it would no longer be usable. This representative made no mention of a variance of my contract end date - agreed at  around September 3.  All remained well. From my perspective, on September 3rd my T-Mobile contract would end. I expected the interim period between September 3 - 20 to be a dead period where my PAC code would remain reserved but my T-Mobile contract would be finished. 

In late August I travelled to the US for one week. I arrived back in the UK on Sept 8th, expecting that my mobile contract would have ended. To my surprise, when I turned the phone on, the T-Mobile network ID was still showing and I started to receive text messages. I have just finished a phone call with T-Mobile. After speaking to a representative who was polite but unable to assist me, I asked to be put in contact with a supervisor. The supervisor was rude and sarcastic (perhaps hungover?). He informed me that even though I had not been given notice of a contract variance (to extend the contract end date from Sept 3 to Sept 20), post my original PAC request phone call, the generic letter/text confirmation message that T-Mobile had sent me had given me effective notice. He did not seem to understand that simply telling someone a contract has been varied does not constitute a new contract. We had a discussion about contract law. He essentially told me that I didn't know what I was talking about. I decided to end the call rather than waste time.

The PAC letter notice states the following - 

'Your terms and conditions say that you have to give us 30 days' notice to end your contract with us. That notice started when you called us to request this PAC code and it will end 30 days later, so your final bill for that number will include your price plan charge for the 30 day notice period.'

According to the supervisor - this closes the case. Not a chance.

I complied with the 30 day notice period requirement. From my position, because the PAC request phone call representative did not explicitly mention the contract extension, that extension was never agreed. My understanding of the PAC code letter notice is that it is a generic template sent to all T-Mobile customers who request their PAC code. There was no recognition of my personal situation in the letter that was sent to me. Again, from my perspective, T-Mobile made no effort to seek my agreement for the contract extension. 

One party's provision to another party of notice of a varied contract, does not itself constitute a valid contract variation. Agreement is always necessary. In this case where because of the generic letter, the 'notice' was far from legitimate, I have no belief that I have either varied my contract with T-Mobile and/or that T-Mobile's letter provided T'Mobile's notice of their understanding of a variation.

All in all - pathetic service from a major communications firm. This kind of business model will be a disaster in the United States. In the US, customer service is valued as integral to successful business interactions, rather than regarded a flexible notion subject to the whims of the individual representative in question. I will let you know if T-Mobile responds to this.


  1. I was using T-mobile before I switeched to another provider. I gotta agree with there, about there poor customer service. The phones too sometimes would just get cracked up.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Broadband, however for one of several largest businesses, they can't appear to deal with this sort of excessive quantities of prints connected with calls as mentioned because of the Watchdog upon TV.
    sky phone number