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back to article Pay-as-you-GONE: Help! T Mobile's swiped my phone credit – customers

T Mobile customers are baying for blood after a glitch wiped out their pay-as-you-go mobile credit. Dozens of people took to a message board of EE, the joint venture between Deutsche Telekom and Orange SA which runs T-Mobile, to express their rage after the outage rendered their mobes useless and cut of their access to the …

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Anonymous Coward

"Her child had to wait for two hours whilst she drove for 20 miles to get to the school, because she wasn't able to call a family member to help, she claimed."

Hmm, never thought to use a telephone box instead of letting her child wait 2 hours? Work phone? House phone? Neighbours's phone?

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Anonymous Coward

and 2hrs to drive 20 miles? even in severe traffic that seems implausible..

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Around where I live it's pretty hard to find a telephone box unless you want one of those dial a cab ones.

As for the 2 hours, does she work in central london?

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The average speed of traffic in central London is something like 11 miles per hour, so 2 hours to drive 20 miles is very plausible.

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Even if she was in the middle of nowhere, could she not knock on someone's door and ask to borrow a phone and give them £1 for the trouble?

And even if she was in central London, 1) why would you drive anyway? 2) do Londoners not have landlines anymore or phone boxes?

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2hrs for 20...

Depends if she was unable to leave whatever she was doing (eg. job, dog walk, supermarket, any number of other things) right away, hence the attempt to contact others to make the pickup.

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Re: 2hrs for 20...

Presumably if she was at her job she could use the work phone(s), if she was walking her dog then surely she could stop, when it comes to walking a dog or getting your sick child what are you going to do? If she was at the supermarket...you carry on shopping and ignore your childs problem...errr no.

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WTF?

"Her child had to wait for two hours whilst she drove for 20 miles to get to the school, because she wasn't able to call a family member to help, she claimed......

More to the point, why the fuck weren't the school trying alternative contacts. Ours have to have at least 4!

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Alternatives...

Earlier this week I foolishly walked out the house picking up the wrong jacket; locked out, no phone, but luckily some loose change. Maybe I am lucky where I live but there are at least seven public phone boxes within a 10 minute walk I could use to get help. I could reach many more within a half hour drive.

If I hadn't any money and needed help I would ask a neighbour, my local shop, pub or even begged a member of the public to help. Many people are on 'free minutes' so someone probably won't mind lending their phones in such an emergency.

And why doesn't she have a backup phone for when the main one fails, breaks or is stolen? Why no emergency phone in the car? At home there is presumably internet access and email.

Of course blind panic can easily displace rational thought. The lesson is be prepared and have a plan for adverse events like your phone not working when you need it to.

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Anonymous Coward

"Hmm, never thought to use a telephone box instead of letting her child wait 2 hours? Work phone? House phone? Neighbours's phone?"

"and 2hrs to drive 20 miles? even in severe traffic that seems implausible.."

Never listen to the customer, they always lie and/or exaggerate in order to try and claim something for nothing!

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"Hmm, never thought to use a telephone box instead of letting her child wait 2 hours?"

Telephone box? Do those even exist anymore? Outside of shopping districts, they're systematically tearing them out over here.

"Work phone?"

She's a "stay-at-home mom". You know the ones who flog their kids off to school, and go out for frappabloodycheeno and movie during the day with her other stay-at-home mom friends. Downvote me if you want, but you KNOW that's how it works. My sister did that for two years before her husband kicked her arse into gear, right after he had her pick up (not hunt for, just plain pick up) an important part for his work from a supplier down the road - she claimed she "ran out of time". I'm surprised he waited that long - I did warn him before they got married.

"House phone?"

You're just not trendy unless you've canned your house phone and gone mobile. Everyone is doing that nowadays, doncha know?

"Neighbours's phone?"

We're talking about the US here, right? I thought they were renowned for not only not talking to their neighbours, but then not asking for help when they need to, because the "first time they talk to them" is asking them for something - they have to save face one way or another. I'm happy to be corrected, but you never hear they were "just chatting to the neighbor" over something, even the weather. Probably a narrow viewpoint, but from the US base shows we get here, the only time they eventually talk is when one is suing the other over a fallen tree, or when one hears gunshots coming from next door.

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Anonymous Coward

"We're talking about the US here, right? I thought they were renowned for not only not talking to their neighbours, but then not asking for help when they need to, because the "first time they talk to them" is asking them for something - they have to save face one way or another. I'm happy to be corrected, but you never hear they were "just chatting to the neighbor" over something, even the weather. Probably a narrow viewpoint, but from the US base shows we get here, the only time they eventually talk is when one is suing the other over a fallen tree, or when one hears gunshots coming from next door."

Actually, I think we ARE talking England here since EE was invoked. T-Mobile USA is a separate entity and only operates under the T-Mobile name (though several MVNOs do operate on this network as well).

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Anonymous Coward

That'll have been their IN platform going tits up. Their prepay platform obviously isn't as intelligent as they thought!

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Errm, most people still have house phones, call boxes are around, if she was at work the work phone(s), friends, the internet... regardless of what someone said the distance/time thing seems implausible (having lived in London those sorts of speeds would be surrounding rush hours, presumably it wasn't child leaving time as she wouldn't need to pick her child up so i doubt it was rush hour), whole example story sounds extremely exaggerated and implausible given the above.

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I take it you have never drived round Marble Arch at 3:30 am? Even a that time of the night, it is incredibly busy.

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Vodafone was having problems yesterday as well. I couldn't receive any calls. Seems to be okay today.

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Trollface

No problwm with Vodafone

It's just people wont talk to you if they can avoid it. :P

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I had a number of lesser issues with Orange after they became part of EE. I think EE may have dropped the ball whilst concentrating on integrating the two companies.

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I dropped Orange after the second time they massively overcharged for data, I think that was probably shortly after they had melded with EE as well.

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Orange used to be the very best in terms of customer service, and they'd always try to accomodate their customers. Now they've been subsumed into the T-Mobile Borg, their service is non-existent and their prices have gone up. They're now just as crappy as T-Mobile: they were downgraded to match.

O2 have abysmal coverage in much of London, and Vodafone are insanely expensive and just as customer focussed as EE.....

Is there a good mobile service available in the UK any more (and don't mention "3" - they have about 20% of the coverage of the others).

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All my free minutes and internet access vanished.

It's all back now.

Prevented me making a couple of calls, so I used email.

Cut off from the world on the train, so I watched a video.

Made me realise exactly how crap "The Cloud" wifi STILL is.

Why does a hotspot network need you to log in more than once (per device)?

If McDonald's can get it right....

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My Mrs phone over 31/12/13

They also had a FUBAR over New Year when all the text plans didn't get their texts so ate up all the credit, left my Mrs unable to call or text for several days and £18 down for a fortnight (it took a real letter to Newcastle to get it sorted, 150 were useless). Thousands were affected.

Billing systems are complex, but 2 major screw ups in a month suggests deep deep problems.

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Pre-pay: lowest of the low

All those angry letters are going to achieve the sum of nothing. Most pre-pay customers cost more for T-Mobile to keep on the network than they spend on their devices. You don't get compensation because T-Mobile aren't breaching any contract when your pre-pay phone stops working.

Sign a contract, then you get to complain. You might even be offered 2 hours worth of your monthly line charge as recompense for a 2 hour outage. 'Inconvenience' doesn't count, 'lost business' - only if you are a registered business user.

They know the blags we use and refuse to give credits.

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Re: Pre-pay: lowest of the low @ Kay_terra

Never mind contracts, (for example) when PAYG customers are offered free texts for a month when they top up the balance by £10, the texts should be free. Not charged for at 12p as they have been during this screwup.

Thus, T Mobile owe their PAYG customers money. The fact that the texts cost the telcos so little they can't even calculate the amount, adds insult to injury.

As for treating PAYG customers as vermin whose only salvation is to convert to rolling contract Smartpaks, this, like your snobbism about PAYG, is misguided. Let's assume your nom de plume indicates that you are female -- well, my impression is women use the phone differently. Calls are conversational, often a form of social stroking. Men use phones like a walkie talkie -- "Are you in ? Okay, I'll be round in ten". Thus, personal calls don't need a contract with hundred of hours of talk. PAYG is fine for men.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: Pre-pay: lowest of the low @ Kay_terra

"my impression is women use the phone differently. Calls are conversational, often a form of social stroking. Men use phones like a walkie talkie"

If I was watching a 1980s sitcom, perhaps ;-) Let's not go back there.

C.

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Re: Pre-pay: lowest of the low @ diodesign

80s sitcom or not, I'm right. (Many) women use mobiles differently from men -- I checked with the little woman indoors !

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Anonymous Coward

update account set balance = 0..... Oops, I forgot the where clause

I've seen that happen, in a live network.

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Three exclamation marks

"Multiple exclamation marks, are a sure sign of a diseased mind."

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It's like mystery day today. Can someone explain to me the reasoning behind:

"The phone lines were flooded and it crashed the phone network."

So, the devices specifically designed to answer calls somehow "crashed" when... answering calls.

I can imagine phone lines becoming "busy", I can get them going down because of a power failure (as nobody uses the line power to power the phones any more, but even then - UPS?). But I don't get the excuse that something "crashed" because you asked it to do its job.

It's not like it was madly trying to perform the impossible and overflowed it's "calls in progress" integer stored in a byte or something. It has X lines, they are either on a call or not, why can't it handle it?

Which makes me suspect, as I already have for years, that "something crashed" is the excuse trotted out by IT departments when something is underspecced, or just not working as it should.

Crash has a particular meaning, you know. If your phone system crashes because of the number of incoming calls, then it was NEVER designed to handle that many calls. And that means you bought the wrong thing.

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"But I don't get the excuse that something "crashed" because you asked it to do its job."

So by that statement, can we assume you have never used a Microsoft product?

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500 (and counting) angry user comments here:

https://www.facebook.com/tmobileuk/posts/644363712286366?stream_ref=10

Meanwhile, T Mob's Customer Support Twitter account and Facebook page seem to have been unresponsive for about 20 hours despite claiming to be manned 8.00 AM to 8.00 PM. Complaints that the 'My T-Mobile' website is out and the firm isn't responding to user-support-line calls, either.

Many users PAYG allowances were restored this morning, but no sign of a refund on money deducted from balance in error. This is causing further grumbling in the ranks.

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Anonymous Coward

Ranty ranty ranty...

What I see is a lot of waah-waah-waah! You're on pre-paid and you demand satisfaction? Sorry, you're the lowest on the totem pole where service is concerned. Get a contract. And even then you're not high on the totem pole either (corporates are).

However, that said, I have sympathy for those who have lost airtime as a result. It should not happen. T-Mobile/EE should have been more on-the-ball. When the crap hits the fan like this, their social media team should've been there, notifying users about the problem.

As for the one person having to have her child wait for 2 hours, yes, I can see how it would be upsetting more to her than her little darling. Some companies do *not* like having personal calls made on work phones (and in call centres even block outgoing ones), and not being able to reach anyone else is a problem. Again, I have sympathy.

This drama could have been avoided with some smart management, but then again, this is T-Mobile and EE... enough said.

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Get a contract.

They already have. Just because its not in written form, a "sales contract" still does exist between the service provider, and the customer.

Regardless of what you, or T-Mobile may think of PAYG customers, they are afforded the same customer protection laws as "contract" customers. That being, if you advertise a product, and fail to deliver on it, then you are indeed up shit creek.

Fail to deliver upon your promise AND steal from your customers, then the creek becomes a river, your paddle is lost, your canoe capsizes, and that pressing matter is the combined weight of all your irate customers trying to push your head under the surface.

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Anonymous Coward

Completely unsurprised. Just been working on new ecommerce site for EE and all their internal staff they put on the project were totally useless apart from the Bristol guys (Hello Bristol!). And the backend systems were a total mess.

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T-Mobile are hopeless cowboys who couldn't provide a fair service at a fair price if their very lives depended on it. Unfortunately, sans any real competition, they're not much worse than the other providers.

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if this caused a problem in the US, then thankfully John Legere is the CEO. Having worked for him a few, well many, years ago, he does get problems resolved and does care about customers.

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T Mob update

T Mob Twitter and Facebook have started posting again and are promise to reinstate any money lost by user.

Hasn't happened yet, but presumably they want to do the right thing.

Frankly some compensation for extreme cases would seem a good move.

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Not unusual for T Mobile!

Over the years I've had this problem several times. Each time support can't figure out what could possibly have happened!?

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Why use T-Mobile?

I thought EVERYONE knew they are crap for customer service!

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