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I believe I have pulled off a financial masterstroke!

Today I signed my life away with a two year contract with T-Mobile; on the condition that I get a free Android phone like any other new customer. I initially tried to sign up for a new account/number online as previously I had been told by a customer support that existing customers were not entitled to a free phone, but that didn’t work as the website told me to call customer support. So I have maintained my package but on contract instead which will save me the $5 surcharge on pre-pay accounts. I was assured a number of times that I am entitled to a new phone but I would have to wait seven days for the account to update across all their systems. That seems very odd to me; I have worked in and around IT for a long time and never known such lag in data information systems but whatever, I can wait a week! But if it turns out that they lied to me; there will be hell to pay; my primary incentive to move to a contract is getting a free new phone. So where’s the financial masterstoke I hear you say; well my previous bill was nearly $68 on the pre-paid plan which I was going to let slide as we are short of money; see previous blog entry and had to buy tags for our cars which totalled $270, it never rains but it pours, eh? Instead that bill dropped to $11.99 and the next payment won’t be until the end of August; hopefully at that point; we’ll be more financially stable and having a contract phone will improve my credit rating which in turn will help with other aspects of life. I am hoping to get a Samsung Exhibit™ 4G which is free with a two year contract on the T-Mobile website. I’ll visit the local T-Mobile store next Monday to see what they have on offer, I’d prefer to actually see and feel a few phones plus have an easier time understanding the rep. What is it with T-Mobile and their overseas employees/call centres? I have spoken to four different representatives and not one of them spoke English as their first language. I’m not saying that they don’t speak good English but with the Indian accent and they tend to speak quite fast; I had to listen really hard to understand what they were saying!

Update #1 [18 July 2011 @ 17:16]: Now I feel like a spanner; I have been paying small amounts that I thought were posted to my account of money owed; first one was $4.33, second was $8.66 and when I looked again it said $17.32. After paying the first two payments; I call up T-Mobile customer support to ask what’s going on; and the nice lady explained what I failed to notice is that the amount was in parenthesis; which means that it’s a balance owed to me; so basically I have paid $11.99 towards my next bill. Knowing that I can pay towards my bill in advance; I think I will do that in future, four payments of $15 per month is much easier than coughing up $59.99 + tax.

Update #2 [19 July 2011 @ 20:50]: I find out today that T-Mobile didn’t move me onto a contract; instead they moved me onto a post paid account because T-Mobile are phasing out their Flexpay system. I called customer suppport up again tonight to get that confirmed and apparently I am eligible for a contract but I only get a $200 reduction on the cost of a new phone, not a free phone like a new customer as I was told yesterday. There seems to be a lot of misinformation going on at T-Mobile and I feel that I have been led up the garden path over the past couple of days. I will visit a store tomorrow and try to move to a contract as the representative suggested tonight but only if I get a free Android phone like a new customer. If I am going to be paying $200 for a new phone then I might as well go with Boost Mobile as they offer a decent Android phone for $180 without a contract and $15 less per month for basically the same service!

Update #3 [20 July 2011 @ 14:25]: I have just got back from the T-Mobile store and I am even more angry and frustrated; yes I am entitled to a contract and a full rebate on a phone but their stupid system of pricing is misleading. The phone I liked had a price tag of $150 with a $50 mail-in rebate, so I took that as we pay $150 and get $50 back from the mail-in rebate. In reality I would have to pay $200 now and hope that mail-in rebate comes back. I say hope because it was explained to me that if I didn’t take the unlimited 4G web package I would more than likely not get the rebate. Which would mean that I would have to get a a plan that costs $10 more just to get the $50 rebate. At this point I am thinking it’ll be better to wait a little while and get myself the Samsung Galaxy Prevail on Boost Mobile; $179.99 and $50 pcm for unlimited talk, text and data.

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