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06 November 2009

Cell Phone Service Review - T-Mobile's Epic Failure

Guest Blogger: Kooop
While traveling in Indiana I thought I was just in an area where my T-Mobile Sidekick was without coverage and went days without data/internet access, chalking it up to the small town's lack of signal.

Only when friends came to town from Chicago did they inform me that T-Mobile was having a system-wide outage on all Sidekick data! t-mobile service failure reviewFor some reason I was never informed about it (later they sent vague texts about hopeful progress on restoring the data, but never anything useful).

The old adage used to be "if you have a problem, take out the battery" and I basically stopped calling customer support because that's their end-all trick to solving problems. Except NOT THIS TIME. This time, if you removed your battery you lost your address book and pictures and anything else stored in the cloud, which meant the phone/address book for all of the people I was trying to meet up with on my travels was suddenly nonexistent.

Since I didn't have data, I called the one number I knew by heart and asked for assistance on my route. I normally use Google Maps to find my way, but was suddenly rendered directionless. My 300 minute plan was basically exhausted instantaneously because instead of Googling things on my own, I had to call to get any relevant information necessary along my way. You never know how much you rely on Google until it's not on hand in the middle of a state where you've never been and you just need to find the highway that will take you to Turkey Run State Park so you can get a photo of the ladders that looked so neat on flickr.

t-mobile sidekick failure reviewOn top of all that, my battery is dying. I've had the phone for probably a year and my usage (if you couldn't tell by the previous paragraphs) is outlandishly often. I schlepped into the T-Mobile store to ask for assistance with both my bill (because I knew I'd gone over my allotted 300 minutes due to the data outage) and my battery dilemma, but after I waited in line for 20 minutes, they declared that their system was down and actually couldn't help any of us right then. I forged forth, stating I just needed a battery, so the employee searched their inventory as well as the online inventory and neither had a battery in stock, but I could try Radio Shack OR upgrade to a new phone... !! I'm like yeah, NO and left, figuring I'd find my own battery and fix the billing issues online.

Came home and logged into to change the billing and/or my plan and everything keeps coming back NO, try again later. WHY IS EVERYTHING ALWAYS BROKEN? The data outage, the in-store system outage, and now an online outage!!!!!

So I called Customer Service - will their phone system work?? - that is the question! The cocky representative told me "Uh, didn't you try logging out and back in?" Like that's what everybody does and have I ever even used the internet before? I said I hadn't tried that, I will, and he's like "That's how websites work. We make changes and sometimes the servers on one page aren't updated yet when you log in." I'm like "Or you can make the changes and then update the page from the previous rendition?" And he's all "Ma'am we serve 30,000 customers!" In the end I weaseled a $20 credit for the overages but to solve the battery issue I need to call back on another phone line, since everybody has another phone line waiting around for these instances. WTF I HATE T-MOBILE SO HARD.

This cell phone service review was originally published on and is used here by permission of the author. All opinions expressed are those of the original author.

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