T-Mobile Dumps Customers Who Roam Too Much - InformationWeek

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Commentary
11/20/2007
11:42 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
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T-Mobile Dumps Customers Who Roam Too Much

So much for winning all those shiny customer service awards. In a bad customer service moment that smacks of something Sprint did recently, T-Mobile decided to kick 600 customers to the curb. Their offense? Roaming in areas without T-Mobile network coverage too often.

So much for winning all those shiny customer service awards. In a bad customer service moment that smacks of something Sprint did recently, T-Mobile decided to kick 600 customers to the curb. Their offense? Roaming in areas without T-Mobile network coverage too often.The band news came in the form of a letter late last week to some 600 T-Mobile customers. Using some scary-sounding policy called the Extreme Roamer Reduction Initiative, T-Mobile identified 600 people who are costing it more money than they are worth because the bulk of their calls are made in areas where T-Mobile has to pay roaming partners' fees. Another reason T-Mobile is giving them the boot is because this customer set also has allowed their contracts to lapse and are defined as month-to-month customers.

The exact criteria are as follows:

-- Customer is roaming outside of T-Mobile network 100% of the time -- Defined contractual term has expired on all active lines -- Non-Business and non-Government account types -- Non-VIP and non-Special account sub-types

In the letters sent to these customers, T-Mobile essentially gave them written notice that their rate and service plan will no longer be available after a certain date. T-Mobile is asking the customers to contact T-Mobile, and if they don't convert to a pay-as-you-go plan, T-Mobile is going to terminate their service. Ouch.

Sprint recently dumped 1,200 customers who were abusing the carrier's customer service by calling to complain too often.

On the flip side of the coin, T-Mobile is introducing a brand-new sales initiative this weekend aimed at snagging as many new customers as possible. Beginning Friday, Nov. 23, and running through Sunday, Nov. 25, T-Mobile is giving away a free flight to each eligible customer who activates a qualifying two-year myFaves rate plan online or at any T-Mobile retail store nationwide.

"The next best thing to actually being there for an occasion or holiday is to share in the moment by phone. With the Free Flight promotion, we can help our customers enrich their most important relationships by doing both," said Jeff Hopper, VP of marketing for T-Mobile USA in a prepared statement. "It's T-Mobile's holiday thank you to our customers, and another way we're helping to bring people together in '08."

That's some thank you.

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