I bought the phone less than a year ago for $320 cash as a non-subsidized phone with a $50 a month plan for two years. I use it primarily for business purposes.
Three months ago I unlocked it because I often travel abroad. A few weeks later after my return the phone acted up: I could not hear the people calling me, nor they me. When I called up, there was no problem. OK, after many online chats and tech frustrations "customer service" sent me a REFURBISHED (I paid for a new) replacement phone. It seemed, however, to work OK.
I waited a week and planning a business trip abroad again I requested a new unlock code for the phone. No problem. Three weeks later the d**n phone developed the exact same problem: I could not hear people in the other end, they could not hear me.
New chats, phone calls and what not. They now send me a second REFURBISHED phone. That's all "they can do" as they explain it. I stress that I need an new unlock code to the phone since I'm leaving for an International business trip in less than a week (as I write this in two days).
They explain that all I have to do is to contact support once I have the phone and they will "request the code for me".
Yesterday I made the request. Today I received the following message in an email:
"Thank you for taking the time to contact T-Mobile. We have received your SIM Unlock Request. Unfortunately, we are unable to process your request at this time. This subscriber has received an unlock code within the last 90 days. Per T-Mobile Policy only one unlock code will be provided per active subscriber every 90 days. Please submit a new request 90 days after the last unlock code was provided.
Sim Unlock Department
T-Mobile USA, Inc."
I am speechless. I call support immediately and get forwarded to three different departments - to no ado. "It is our policy to wait 90 days" they maintain. Nothing they can do...
I maintain that it is my "policy" to buy a phone that works and if it does not work to return it and get my money back. It goes on and on - I am offering to cancel my account - with no cancellation fee of course - and send them my REFURBISHED phone while accepting a 50% payback on my original payment of $330. Fair offer I think.
Eventually an "account supervisor" make this fantastic claim: That T-mobile do not have the unlock codes!! But if I call Samsung Customer Service directly they might be able to help!! I call Samsung immediately and talk to a professional warranty expert. She is laughing. I am laughing (mostly because I'm exhausted).
The warranty expert suggest I call T-mobile back and put us all on a conference call so the Samsung warranty expert can explain this T-mobile "account supervisor" who has the unlock codes and who distributes them.
I call T-mobile, but of course the "account supervisor" in question is no longer available. Instead I get a new one. She makes excuses for the false information yet maintains that the 90-day rule is indeed their policy, and that if I want to pursue the matter further I have to write to "Corporate".
Can you believe it? This is supposed to be a professional company who are in the middle of a huge marketing campaign to offer "no contract plans" to the American consumer. But who has the "policy" that if they sell you a bad product you are out of luck when it comes to the "number of unlock codes" they are willing to provide you with for A PHONE YOU PAID FULL PRICE FOR!!!!
Now I have to buy an unlocked phone I can use abroad for the next couple of months while at the same time being hooked up with a cell phone plan I cannot use.
T-mobile is bad business. Do not get involved with them. Do not buy into their claims that you can buy a non-subsidized phone to get a favorable contract. Choose a phone the carrier pays for. That way you wont get caught in the ponzi-scheme Im caught in.