May 5, 2013 in Business

BBB Tip of the Week: T-Mobile’s ‘no contract’ service plan

 

An investigation by the Washington State Attorney General’s Office found that T-Mobile didn’t adequately disclose terms to customers signing up for their “no contract” service plan. Specifically, the company didn’t clearly state that some phone purchasing plans required a wireless service agreement with T-Mobile for the life of the purchasing plan. If consumers dropped the “no contract” service plan, they were required to pay the full balance owed on the phone, a contradiction to the “no contract” advertisements.

The Attorney General’s Office and T-Mobile entered into a court-ordered agreement ensuring that customers are not deceived by T-Mobile’s “no contract” ads and phone purchasing contracts. As part of the agreement, T-Mobile agrees to not misrepresent customers’ obligations in its contracts for the sale of service or equipment.

The agreement also requires T-Mobile to clearly state the consequences of canceling its service, including restrictions or limitations, costs and all fees, including those for early termination; clearly state the actual cost of telephone equipment in all advertisements, including any requirement to carry a wireless service agreement for the life of a financing plan; and train and require their representatives to fully disclose obligations under the terms of its contracts.

Those who purchased the T-Mobile “no contract” service and phone between March 26 and April 25 can get a full refund for telephone equipment and service, if they cancel under the terms of the agreement ( http://www.atg.wa.gov/ Settlements/default.aspx), which includes returning the equipment to T-Mobile. Consumers can also call T-Mobile at (877) 746-0909 for more information.

The BBB advises you to read all contracts carefully.

Be sure to keep a copy of the signed contract; it is the only proof you have of the conditions of the agreement.

To file a complaint or research a business, visit the BBB at www.bbb.org or call (509) 455-4200. You can also file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office at http://www.atg.wa.gov /FileAComplaint.aspx or by calling 800-551-4636.

Erin T. Dodge, BBB editor


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