Saturday, January 12, 2008

T-Mobile Declares Customer Support Bankruptcy

A while back I heard the phrase "email bankruptcy," which describes the state some people reach when their inbox contains thousands of messages that they simply cannot cope with. The mere sight of it is paralyzing, and so sometimes people simply "declare bankruptcy" and delete them all - then send a message to everyone in their address book announcing that all email is gone, and anything important was there, please re-send it. And then the hapless victim of email overload vows to do better.

Apparently T-Mobile is having this problem. A week or so ago I sent an email to their Hot Spot customer support group with an account question. It wasn't a critical issue; I signed up for the service with a term commitment, and I wanted to know when it ended. That's information that I should be able to see when I log into my account on their site, but they don't provide it, so I asked.

I finally got a response:

Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you for taking the time to contact T-Mobile HotSpot regarding.

I greatly apologize for the delay in response. We are currently experiencing a high volume of e-mails. Your comments, concerns and questions are very important to us and we would like to see your issue satisfactorily resolved. For prompt assistance, please contact our Customer Service Department anytime 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 877-822-7768. Again, I greatly apologize for the delay and for any inconvenience you have experienced.

Hello, T-Mobile? If you'd like to see my issue satisfactorily resolved, answering my question would be a great idea. And if you have people standing by to talk to me on the phone, couldn't some of them answer the email waiting for responses?

Here's the kicker:

Please feel free to contact us by email or at the number below if you have any further questions, comments or concerns.

So, they've sent me an email to tell me they aren't answering email anymore, and they're inviting me to respond to them by email.

It's not often that a multinational telecommunications provider is able to make themselves seem so completely amateurish. I get the feeling that T-Mobile is really Gunther and Inge in somebody's garage trying to keep the wheels flying off the whole enterprise.

Really sad.

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