Hixie's Natural Log

2010-01-20 08:02 UTC T-Mobile makes no sense

For reasons that aren't material to this rant, I'm trying to get a T-Mobile SIM card set up with T-Mobile's ridiculously named "Even More Plus 500 Talk + Text + Web" plan. At this point I have a SIM card, and after much pain and suffering in phone conversations and online chat support, I have an account that is fully paid up.

Let's log in to the "My T-Mobile" site's "Billing & Payments" page to see how much I currenly owe:

Ok it says I owe $62.42 by 1/19/2010 (today) for service from 2/9/2010 - 3/8/2010 (next month). But it also says that my monthly charges for my previous bill are $127.42 due on 3/9/2010 (two months from now).

None of those numbers seem to add up to $59.99, which is what the "Even More Plus 500 Talk + Text + Web" plan is advertised as costing, but I suppose $62.42 could equal $59.99 if one were to imagine that T-Mobile felt they could put a few "fees" on there that for whatever reason could be assumed not to count. But what's with the $127.42? And what's with the due dates? Let's click "See details" to see details:

Up comes a page titled 'See bill summary'.

Wait, bill summary? I wanted details! And hold on, this page says my account balance is $0.00, and that I paid $62.42 on 1/20/10 (tomorrow). It also gives my monthly charges twice... once as $0.00, and once as $127.42! I guess if you average them it adds up to $63.71, which is similar to $62.42...

Oh look, the details are below the fold.

This says the next service period is $63.71, that they've received $62.42, that the previous balance was $63.71, and that they "adjusted" my account by $65.00 (the result of my calling billing support because they hadn't applied the $63.71 they actually charged me to my account), and apparently that all adds up to me owing $0.00... by 02/05/2010.

Clearly maths is not their strong point. Also not their strong point: being consistent about how they mark up dates. Or how they decide what dates are important.

Oh and... also not their strong point: matching reality. So far they've only actually charged me $63.71, once, though I have in fact tried to pay more than once (earlier today I also tried to pay the $62.42 that some of these pages claim I owe, though my bank has yet to see that charge).

Still, the $127.42 is a bit confusing. Let's see what the "View Bill" button under that number brings up.

Whaaaa!? FPEvenMorePlus 500TTW $119.98? What on earth is that? "Amount due 2/05/10: $127.42"? That completely contradicts the previous page! How much do I owe on that day, $0, or $127.42??

They say the way to work out how much you owe is to dial #225# from the phone, so let's try that... Ok, that says $0. I guess the phone would know best.

I give up trying to work out how much I owe; let's instead try to get the "Unlimited Data" working on this phone. I've heard rumours that one has to buy a $0 optional extra "Unlimited Web" service since otherwise the "Even More Plus Unlimited Web" is actually limited. Add additional services on this line... Internet & E-mail... Aha, here we go. "T-Mobile Smartphone Unlimited Web with FlexPay". That sounds promising. And it's free! Just like the rumours. Let's "buy" that and quickly review the charges:

Added plan and services... $0, yup. Unchanged plan and services... $59.99. Yup. So, the grand total is... $89.99. Wait, wait, hold on, let me recheck the maths here... $0... plus $59.99... carry the one... What??

Ok, ok, clearly it got confused. Let's close the browser and start over. Add additional services on this line... Internet & E-mail... "T-Mobile Smartphone Unlimited Web with FlexPay". And it says FREE. So we click it again, and let's see how much $59.99 + FREE equals this time:



I give up. I'll try calling them tomorrow.

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