Monday, July 12, 2010

Open Letter to T-Mobile & Google

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with T-Mobile or Google or Android or any of the brands associated with T-Mobile usage or Android phones that may be mentioned in this rant, nor was I paid by anyone to write this article.  This is totally my own personal musings and opinion.

I know this is not stamping related, but it's really bothering me, and I consider my readers my friends so I'm going to digress for a moment...or few.

So, I'm one of those people who doesn't have a smartphone--I didn't want to pay the extra $30 per month for the data plan, and I don't use Outlook or Google Calendar so there was nothing for me to sync with.  But after years, my old Palm Zire barely stays charged a whole day, and I can't sync my Palm calendar and Palm contacts with my Sony Ericsson TM506 flip phone.  Not that I'd want to use my phone as an organizer, anyway, because it has no keyboard and the screen is so small.  So, the bottom line is that I need to find another solution.  I'm not interesting in using Outlook, or anything that syncs to Windows, so I guess I'll work my way over to using Google Calendar.  If I do that, I figure that, plus the smartphone, will at least bring me to carrying just one device (although I hear I'll probably need to carry an extra battery around with it at all times).  Plus, with a bigger screen and a keyboard (touch or slide) I can actually use it for helpful stuff like Google Maps while I'm traveling to a customer's home to do a Workshop, or to the Stampin' Up! Convention next week!  [hey, I did mention stamping after all!]

Anywho, the other day, my sweetie comes home and tells me all about his co-worker's awesome Android phone and all its nifty apps.  I look up what my carrier, T-Mobile, has to offer in Android phones, and I research reviews on the web as to which Android phone is best.  Long story short, the consensus seems to be that the Google Phone (Nexus One) is the best option offered with T-Mobile service...and lucky me, as a T-Mobile customer I might qualify for an upgrade to get the phone at $179 with a 2-yr contract extension.  I try to order the phone from Google, with the T-Mobile service, at the upgrade price of $179.  Google claims I don't qualify.  Hm.  That doesn't sound right, T-Mobile never told me I couldn't upgrade--in fact, I knew the smartphone day would come and I asked about upgrading to a smartphone when I previously extended my contract and they said I could do that anytime I wanted.  If I don't qualify for the upgrade, I have no choice but to buy the phone from Google at the full price of $529.  No, thanks, I don't want a smartphone that bad.

So, I go into my local T-Mobile store and it is explained to me that my last 2-yr extension for the current phone I have, which just plain doesn't function on the web (I tried free web service for a month, it's useless on this phone) is not up until February of 2011 and I am not allowed to do any more contract extensions until that is over.  They can't even give me an upgrade on any of the phones in their store--which I don't want, anyway.  I want the Nexus One. 

T-Mobile, are you serious that you can't just add two years onto the date of the end of that contract term??  I'm not the greatest at math, but even I can add two to eleven without a calculator.  Have we ever not paid our bill?  Absolutely not, not in like over 10 years of being a T-Mobile customer, even when we weren't on any contract at all.  So what's the problem here?

Here's some more easy math I can do...a data plan at $30 per month, times the 7 months I have left on my current contract = $210 T-Mobile will NOT get for a data plan while I'm stuck with my current phone.   Then, $30 per month for another 24 months, for each month of the two-year extension of my contract, with the smartphone that requires the data plan = $720.  Again, I can do this math, that's $930 more dollars T-Mobile is contracted to get between now and February 2013 if they let me upgrade to the Google Nexus One.  That doesn't even count any of the $179 cost of the phone, because I'm not sure if T-Mobile gets any of that or not. 

Google, pay attention here--if T-Mobile is unwilling to upgrade its customers to your Nexus One phone, then it costs $529 for the consumer.  Statistically, I have to believe that more T-Mobile customers will buy the Nexus One as an upgrade than at the full price, and most like me, who cannot get it at the upgrade price, will just not buy it at all.  Let's say Google sells 10 Nexus One phones at the upgrade price for every one sold (if that) at the non-qualifying rate of $529 each.  For simplicity's sake, I'm going to assume your phone cost as at least half of the qualifying $179 price, or you'd never sell let it go for $ that's an assumed approximate profit of $90 per phone.  Selling 10 at the $179 price is approximately $900 profit, and one at the $529 price is $439 profit.  Without a calculator, I can see Google would make less than half the profit selling one full price Nexus One phone than 10 "T-Mobile qualifying" price Nexus One phones.

I'm just a consumer, doing simple math, but it seems to me that a HUGE conglomerate like Google should be able to persuade even T-Mobile into letting its clients upgrade, so that Google can make more sales.  After all, T-Mobile is the one set to make (in my case) almost $1000 off the deal once it's completed.  Something is wrong with the picture of me as a consumer trying to contract to give more of my money every month to a cell phone company, and the cell phone company refusing to take it.  Google can claim it's a T-Mobile issue, and T-Mobile can claim it's a Google issue (because we all know that's what they'll do), but the bottom line is that I am not getting what I want as a customer from either of you, and neither one of you is getting my money for a smartphone or data plan...probably not even when my current contract is up, just on principle alone. 

How many more wannabe T-Mobile Nexus One users like me are there out there?  How much more could you be making every day if you chose to provide the supply for the demand?  How about one of you step up with some salesmanship and customer service to make this work?  Google?  T-Mobile?  Bueller?  Anyone? *sigh*


  1. I had the same experience with Verizon! I was told that my anniversary/upgrade date was in Nov 2010 and I would have to wait until then or pay $599 for the new Droid. Full Retail. I does not make any sense when you are giving the company more business and a longer commitment. It's soooo frustrating. I swear, Apple needs to come up with their own mobile service...and put AT&T to shame. Thanks for sharing...good to know I'm not the only one who thought it was crazy!

  2. Call TMO and ask for the Retention Department. Explain what you want to do and see what they can do to help. I think they are actually one of the best companies to work with, they do seem to care how long you have been a customer!
    Originally I had a two line service with just one Blackberry and one "dumb" phone. I was able to get an additional Blackberry plan added at the old rate I was paying for my line. I added a second Blackberry 9700 when they first came out in November.
    Hope that helps!


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