THE FIXER HAS SAVED YOU
Updated: July 1, 2012 12:12PM
Dear Fixer: I visited a T-Mobile store in the 6600 block of West Joliet Road in Countryside to look into getting a new phone. I allowed an employee to access my account but ultimately I left without making a purchase.
A few weeks later, I went to a different T-Mobile store. The employee there told me I had no upgrade left on my account and that the Countryside store had extended my contract for two years, including entering a serial number for a phone I hadn’t purchased.
I returned to the Countryside store to have the error corrected. When I explained the situation, the same employee immediately started yelling at me that he had made “one click” in error. So according to him, that one click entered a serial number, had me agree to a contract extension and extended my contract for two years.
He refused to call T-Mobile to correct the error, instead insisting that he had sent an email to them. I asked for a copy of the email and he refused. I also asked for his name and he told me “John” (not his real name).
So I called T-Mobile’s customer service. The representative on the phone was quite helpful and asked to speak with “John.” He agreed, but had an aggressive attitude and still insisted he was handling this via email. The phone rep didn’t believe him, and ended up straightening everything out, but this is where the story gets really crazy.
The next day, I posted a negative review of the Countryside store online. The day after that, “John” called me six times from his store until I answered. He then told me I had 24 hours to remove my review or he would cancel my account. He also stated he had “ammo and guns” and would “f-ing kill me” and then recited my personal information from my account.
I filed a police report and called T-Mobile several times. The police helped me find out the employee’s real name, and I got information about the store’s incorporation.
I had a difficult time getting T-Mobile’s customer service to actually file a complaint, but after several phone calls I did eventually hear from an investigator from their corporate office. He was very friendly and sympathetic to my situation but said that because the Countryside store is a franchise location, he wasn’t sure what he could do. He said he’d forwarded my case to the department that handles franchises but hadn’t heard anything back.
Tracey Schielie, La Grange Park
Dear Tracey: Well, your letter sure puts into perspective some of the complaints we get about poor customer service. Yikes.
Team Fixer got in touch with T-Mobile’s corporate folks to find out what, if anything, their investigation had turned up about this franchise location, which goes by the name Xtreme Wireless.
We heard back from Scott Goldberg, a senior communications manager — and you also received a call. Goldberg said your safety is their “utmost concern” and “T-Mobile will not tolerate the mistreatment of customers by any third-party distributors.”
To that end, T-Mobile has withdrawn Xtreme Wireless’ authorization to sell T-Mobile products and services, Goldberg said.
We tried to reach the store owner but did not get a call back.
Get ready, get shreddy
Spring cleaners: Don’t forget to safely dispose of your unwanted personal and financial documents at the annual free “Shred It and Forget It” event from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 23 at the United Center, parking lot E. You can bring up to 10 boxes of documents, which will be destroyed on-site under the watchful eyes of federal agents.
The event is sponsored by the Better Business Bureau, along with the City of Chicago, Chicago Police, FBI, Federal Trade Commission, Illinois Attorney General’s Office, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, and United States Postal Inspection Service. The Fixer will be there in the morning, so wave hello as you drive through!
You can also bring old or broken TVs, monitors, laptops, PCs, servers, data storage devices, printers, fax/copy machines, cell phones, VCRs, DVD players, video cameras and game consoles for recycling and safe disposal.
Thanks to contributor Mike Nolan.
Getting the runaround over a consumer problem? Tell it to The Fixer at suntimes.com/fixer , where you’ll find a simple form to fill out. You’ll also find a list of consumer contacts and tips. Because of the large volume of submissions, The Fixer can’t personally reply to every problem. Letters are edited for length and clarity.