Be wary of T-Mobile SIM cards

By: Modesto P. Sa-onoy

CELLPHONES and the internet have made telephones obsolete although there are still homes, government and business and commercial institutions that have this gadget. By and large, however, the cellphones have taken over as the main means of communication among people. Many feel incomplete (some claim naked) without them.

Cellphone cards in the Philippines are generally limited for use in our country so that to communicate by our cellphones here in the US we have to take out new SIM cards to use them here. We can take out cards with international links or limited to the US which is cheaper and most practical. Emails, Messenger, Facebook, etc. can be resorted to for communication at home.

So our niece bought us a card for 30 days at the T-Mobile counter in the Newport Mallin Jersey City. That makes our phone as useful here as there, especially here when we are practically strangers and needed to have a fast means of contacting people even just how to get around.

T-Mobile is a major provider with heavy television and print ads telling people how good they are. It has an aggressive competitor so we thought that T-Mobile would be customer friendly. But we thought wrong.

Our niece, now an American citizen who has been here for about 30 years, paid $58 or so for one month of unlimited calls and text. The card worked perfectly well for one week; thereafter we had only text messaging but no voice. Sometimes we can hear the caller but the caller cannot hear us. Sometimes it was the opposite. Text messages are either unsent or took hours before they are sent. The email was still functioning but we received as well numerous advertisements. Did T-Mobile share our number? Then, nada, the service was cut off. Didn’t we pay for the whole month?

When our phone got notices from T-Mobile that our account is already $0.00, I complained about the lousy service and our grandnephew called T-Mobile and reported the situation. He got a lot of explanations and after a long discussion, the exchanges ended up and we could send messages but not voice. Then it turned out another way – we got voice from one end but cannot hear the other. This was the situation for a few days. Then service was cut off again.

To communicate we had to use another phone to send a message that they call us. It was a terrible experience with T-Mobile’s service, supposedly a leading provider in the most technologically advanced country in the world. Our niece told us that the store where she bought the card said that any complaint should be sent directly to T-Mobile.

The situation became worse when we had an emergency. We had to bring someone to the hospital and we were alone in the apartment. Fortunately a neighbor helped by calling an Uber and informing our host who was at work. Throughout the ordeal, T-Mobile was useless. Appointments for the next day could not be rearranged.

We listened as our niece called T-Mobile to do something because she paid for the whole month. The woman at the other end kept explaining about how their technology works but could not answer why the service paid for a month was stopped. Then a male voice supposedly a representative of T-Mobile took over and repeated the same explanation, going around in circles. Finally he introduced a new one – our phone was incompatible with the service of T-Mobile.

That moronic representative probably thought we are stupid. If our phone is incompatible with whatever brand they prefer, why did their sales woman in Newport Mall accept payment and therefore entered into a contract and the phone worked for a week? Then he said they are making adjustments in their set-up. If so, did they issue a notice?

Our niece told this man of the emergency situation when the phone was needed especially to call for Uber transport to the hospital. The man said why didn’t we call for 911?

The T-Mobile representative was insensitive and utterly arrogant. Is he a racist? Is it because he was dealing with a Filipino?

Filipinos or any other nationals should be wary of taking the T-Mobile service when they come to the US because its services do not represent the best of America – honesty.