Why I’m Sticking with T-Mobile (for now)

Whenever tech geeks get together, inevitably, the conversation turns to which gadget or smart phone each one is sporting this month.  Of course, with that conversation, the question of which wireless company they are using also comes up.  Since we live in a country that still hasn’t woken up about consumer choice and still allows carrier exclusivity, the question is often pointless (iPhone = AT&T), but nonetheless, people often wonder why I’m still with T-Mobile after 5 years, which sadly, is a longer commitment than most marriages these days.

T-Mobile doesn’t have the fastest or largest network. In fact, last time I checked, the coverage is pretty spotty, even in my hometown.  The network is fairly decent, but not terribly fast.

T-Mobile doesn’t have the latest and greatest phones. Most of the time they are last in line to get the cool smartphones, if they get them at all.

T-Mobile isn’t necessarily the least expensive (although since I’ve been with them for so long, I get some amazing loyalty discounts).

So there you have it.  My cell phone company is not the fastest, coolest, or cheapest company out there, so why on Earth do I stick with them?

The answer: In my opinion, T-Mobile has the best Customer Service

Any time I’ve ever had a question, concern, or problem with my cell phone or plan, calling T-Mobile Customer Service has been a real pleasure.  In this day and age, a statement like that is bound to raise some eyebrows, but it’s absolutely true.

It’s not the big things, but in fact, the little things that make them stand out from the rest.

For example:

  • Every time I call, I’m greeted in the friendliest tone of voice imaginable.  They ask me how I’m doing, tell me about their cousin/friend/brother/sister who went to school in Gainesville, and how the weather is in their part of the country.  In short, they treat me like a person, not an account number.
  • They speak English (no, really).
  • As part of their procedure, if they have to transfer me to another representative, they don’t just press the buttons and pray that I get through.  Instead, they put me on hold, call up the new rep, and then conference call once they have them on the line.  They introduce me to the new rep and wish me a wonderful day before letting the new rep take over.
  • At least twice over the years, without me having to ask first, they have looked over my account and suggested that I make a change that ultimately saved me (and cost them) money.  The change was made instantly, and usually retroactive to the beginning of my billing cycle, and did not extend my contract.

Every one has different experiences with cell phone companies, I’m sure, but the feeling that I’ve had over the past 5 years was recently corroborated by an undercover study of cell phone company customer service conducted by Laptop Magazine*.  Unsurprisingly, T-Mobile came in first.

The point I’m trying to make is that it doesn’t matter how much money you spend on upgrading your network to the latest technology, securing exclusive rights to that hot new phone, or spend billions annually on advertisements – if you’re looking to attract and retain loyal customers, who in turn, tell their friends and family, the best solution may be the simplest – vigorously train your employees in the lost art of customer service and consistently strive to make it as fast and easy as possible for customers to have their issues resolved.

Think about it.  If the big cell phone companies spent even 10% of their annual advertising budget on employee training instead of television commercials, we’re talking about millions of dollars dedicated to improving customer interactions.

Forget those immeasurable claims about your network or dropped calls – if you want my business, make customer service your #1 priority, which at least until now, is exactly what T-Mobile has done.

* Read the full report or skip to the results

2 replies on “Why I’m Sticking with T-Mobile (for now)”

I think my favorite T-Mobile memory is when we called to say that the signal was really weak in a specific part of town. Two days later, they called us back to let us know they had made some changes and wanted to see if the signal had improved for us at all.

I’m actually a bit relieved that AT&T has such terrible customer service, because if they were as good as T-Mobile, they’d be unstoppable!

Imagine a company that treats you like a person! Maybe you should send this blog to T-Mobile… it’s an honest evaluation of their services and a better testimonial than they could ever pay for.

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