I would like to describe to you my recent experience in trying to claim my rebate from T-Mobile. I felt I was deceived, deliberately misled, and seemingly lied to by T-Mobile employees.
I ordered an upgrade to my phone on T-Mobile's web site on Sept. 9, 2012. When choosing my phone, it was strongly implied that I was eligible for two rebates, one for $50 and another for $150. I received the $50 rebate with no hassle. However, a few days after receiving that rebate, I got a letter indicating that the other rebate was denied. The reason stated was that it had been activated at a location other than the one specified on the rebate form (see attachment).
I had thought I had activated the phone from home when it was delivered to my home; however, later that day went to the T-Mobile store in town to have my old SIM card data transferred, and the service employee may have mentioned something regarding activation, so perhaps I hadn't actually activated the phone at home and it was done in the store. Why that would make a difference to T-Mobile is beyond me, but I decided to call a few days after receiving the rebate denial letter to straighten things out.
I spoke to a T-Mobile employee by phone on Dec. 19 (I think his name was Brian), who said that my plan was ineligible for the $150 rebate. This was not what was stated in the letter (see attached). If you will also notice in the letter, there is no mention of account #, order #, plan, or rebate amount. After some back and forth with Brian, wherein I explained to him that these rebates were ones that their web site directed me to fill out, print, and mail AFTER I had logged into my T-Mobile account (which has my plan information), he finally said he look up a rebate I was qualified for, which came to $50 (see attached), $100 less than what I had applied for. I was at my lunch break from work and didn't have time to argue further, so I just let it go until I could go home and get a look at the rebate offer I originally applied for.
On the T-Mobile $150 rebate that I printed and filled out (see attached terms and conditions), Offer Eligibility Requirements #4 states "Requires Value Voice Plan and Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data Feature or higher". I have a Family plan, which any reasonable person, having been instructed during order process to fill out and apply for this rebate, would assume is a 'higher' plan than any 'Value' plan. Note that on the other rebate I did receive (applied for at the same time as the $150 rebate), it states in the eligibility requirement state "5. Requires Classic Voice and a 2 GB or higher Data Feature." How is it my Family Plan qualified under this requirement, but not under the other?
I next talked to 'John' at T-Mobile on Dec. 22. Again, I explained to him that the T-Mobile website led me directly to these to rebates, fully implying that I qualified (I want to stress that this was after I had logged into my account, so T-Mobile knew all my customer details before I even go to the rebate site). John still insisted my plan did not qualify. I told him I would call back once I took a closer look at the documents I had.
Next talked to Avery. Same story, but when I asked how it is the T-Mobile site would lead me to fill out and mail a form for a rebate for which I didn't qualify, she said that the tmobilerebate.com site (seemlessy linked to from tmobile.com) was a separate site and for security reasons my account information could not be forwarded. That's insane, as they're both T-Mobile operated sites, but aside from that, I didn't log in to tmobilerebates.com. Which means a) they retained and transferred my login information when I clicked the link to the rebate site (which is all that's needed to access my full account); or b) when I fill out the new phone's IMEI #, phone #, and date of purchase, they at least get some confirmation back from their other web site. Why not also my plan details? What security issue in communicating the type of plan the consumer has between web sites that they themselves host?
Hung up with Avery, hoping to dig up some more documentation. Next talked to Brea. Got a THIRD explanation as to why my rebate was denied, this time stating that I could not recieve two rebates for the same service. Interesting, because Brian had sent me a second rebate, albeit for $100 less that what I had originally applied for. At this point I requested to talk to Breas supervisor, Lacy.
Lacy again said my plan did not qualify. Read her the wording on the rebate form (Value Plan and Unlimited 4G Data plan or higher) and asked her how my Family Plan would not be considered 'higher' than a 'Value Plan'. Lacy said the Value Plan was a completely separate plan. What does that mean? She next told me I should have talked to a representative before making a purchase from their website!
Had enough of the runaround by then and let Lacy know that I would be contacting the appropriate government agencies about my experience.