Report accuses T-Mobile reps of fraudulently adding unwanted services and products to customers' bills

Report accuses T-Mobile reps of fraudulently adding unwanted services and products to customers' bills
Labor group Change to Win has it in for T-Mobile. It has filed a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau complaining that T-Mobile reps are under so much pressure to reach sales quotas, that they are adding unwanted services to customers' bills. A report issued by the group says that T-Mobile employees are paid low hourly wages, putting them in a position of having to choose between doing right by the customer, or saving their job by running up the bill to hit certain sales targets.

CtW says that the information it cites comes from online surveys it took of both customers and sales associates. T-Mobile employees and customers were also interviewed, and information from FTC complaints was also employed. The report states that 83% of T-Mobile reps who responded to its online survey said that they felt pressure to add services and products that were not specifically requested by subscribers. For example, one employee working in the call center said that every month she would field over 100 calls about fraudulent JUMP charges on customers' bills. One rep said that in order to meet quotas, reps would add an insurance plan to a customer's account without being requested to, and take it off a few days later. One manager allegedly told a T-Mobile rep "Don’t give [the customer] the option to say no."

Another trick, according to the call center employee, is to add additional phone lines to an account that were not requested. "The CEO talks about the company’s growth; from my point of view, I wonder how many of those lines added are real," she says. Making matters worse, the report states that the sales targets are rising. 62% of employees who answered CtW's online poll say that their commission level is getting harder to reach. "It opens up a lot of room for fraud," says one T-Mobile rep. Another was told by her manager, "Don’t think about your customers; think about putting your money in your pocket."

According to data included in the report, T-Mobile receives the most complaints per million subscribers among the four major U.S. carriers, and that number has been rising. From 21 such complaints per million subscribers in 2013, the number has risen to 95 for the first half of this year. Polls taken by T-Mobile customers in five states indicate that 36% of those answering were signed up for services that they didn't request. 43.5% of these additional services were for phone insurance. 27.7% came from an unlimited data plan not asked for, while 12.4% were charges for additional lines that were added without permission. The same poll indicated that 55.7% of those who who subscribed to T-Mobile ended up with a higher monthly invoice than they were originally told to expect.


We should point out that CtW went after T-Mobile last month in another report accusing them of them using non-GAAP (generally accepting account principles) financials to make their numbers look better. Many companies use both GAAP and non GAAP financials when they report their quarterly earnings. As long as the numbers are properly labeled, there is no issue here. In fact, according to corporate advisor McKinsey and Co., 25 of the largest non-financial companies in the U.S. were using non-GAAP financials by 2014.

As for the rest of the report, we're sure to get a statement from T-Mobile which we will add to this story. If you are a T-Mobile customer, let us know if you've ever experienced any of the issues mentioned by CtW by posting in the comment box below.


source: ChangetoWin via TmoNews

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