Saturday, April 28, 2012

T-Mobile: 0 for 3 on Rebates

This Valentine's Day I picked up a free-after-rebate HTC Sensation from T-Mobile. So I had to pay $150 at the counter, file the noxious rebate paperwork, cross my fingers and hope the promised $150 Visa card arrived 8 weeks later.

4 weeks after submitting the rebate, I received a letter stating my rebate had been rejected. The reason provided was cryptic, but seemed to suggest I didn't have a qualifying rate plan. I knew I did, though.

I've been through this drill before, so of course I saved all my paperwork. When I called the TMo rebate center, it took the CSR all of 20 seconds to figure out the problem. My rebate had been submitted on the wrong form. The very wrong form the nice people at the TMo store had handed to me. She nicely fixed the problem on the spot.

This is a perfect example of why I think rebates are unethical. It's the third time in 3 years this has happened with T-Mobile. The previous year, I took advantage of their "free data for a year" promotion (really not free, just $10 off per month--still a very nice discount on a family plan). For 5 straight months, I had to call to get them to give me the discount (they seem to have finally fixed it permanently). Then the time before that was another free-after-rebate handset, and again, the wrong form provided by the TMo store.

In all cases, the Tmo people were very nice, didn't argue with me, and came across with the credit. But SO much time and tedium, on my part and theirs. If I didn't know better, I would believe that there was some very powerful labor Union of Rebate Processors, furiously lobbying to require all mobile phone special offers be provided in the form or mail-in rebates!

I am actually a TMo fan, due mainly to their lower prices, but my loyalty is starting to wear thin.

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