Cellular Nightmare

This weekend, Toby Joe and I finally changed our numbers from San Francisco to New York City. We walked into a store on 5th and 14th, which sported a HUGE sign that proudly read: T-Mobile Authorized Seller. (Yeah.)

For the past 9 months, Toby Joe has been using a phone he dropped down 6 flights of stairs. The phone went right in between the rails and fell the entire way down to the bottom floor. It hit every rail and wall along its way. The face was cracked. Miraculously, while he could not see any of the numbers, who was calling him, how much battery power was left, what time it was, or if he had a voice message, he could use it to talk. And so he did—for NINE FREAKING MONTHS. In spite of my half-assed attempts at buying him new phones, we just never replaced it. On Saturday, that time came to an end. Toby demanded it.

Right before this past Christmas I stopped in to this same store in a desperate attempt to try and buy him a new Blackberry. That quest failed because I had no idea what the hell he’d want added to it. I did however remember the store. And so when Toby suggested we go to the T-Mobile store in Brooklyn, I suggested going to this more “legit” one. (Yes, I think I actually used the word legit.)

It turns out, that particular “T-Mobile” store, the one we chose, is basically running out of the back of an unmarked truck. They guys running it are so very shady. I’m certain the store is also a front for other non-cellular items. We both ended up with non-T-Mobile phones. My phone isn’t even offered through T-Mobile. I had to get the latest and greatest hottie. And of course I had to drop an arm and a leg on it because it’s matte black AND it was the last one in the store. And since we were spending so much money on the phones, the drug dealer, I mean sales guy, sold us on the insurance as well. Granted, it’s only $3.00 a month each, but AFTER we took our lovely phones home, it occurred to us that if the phones aren’t supported by T- Mobile, how is it we’ll get new ones should something go wrong with the ones we just bought? Answer? We won’t. You might be thinking, how did we discover that we weren’t actually SOLD T-Mobile phones? When we arrived home, Toby hooked his Treo up to his computer and upgraded the OS. The OS no longer supported the T-Mobile SIM card, and so the phone no longer worked. When he called T-Mobile, they told him it wasn’t a T-Mobile phone and therefore there wasn’t much they could do. His only option was to take it back to the store and trade it in with a T-Mobile version of the same phone. Fine. He called the store, they said come on down. No problem, right?


They didn’t have any of those phones at their store. As a matter of fact, most of the phones they were selling were Cingular versions. Toby got worked up, walked they guy into admitting to a number of lies, and then finally left with the same dysfunctional phone he walked in there with.

In the end, they lied to us about the rebates. They lied to us about our phones being supported (in my case, offered) by T-Mobile. They sold us insurance that isn’t going to be recognized and they lied to us about the cancellation of our previous accounts.

The only GOOD thing that came out of this is that I got a really freaking HOT AS SHIT phone that no other T-Mobile customer can get. It’s so hot; I actually want to use it. I WANT people to call me; I WANT to use the phone. That’s a major breakthrough for me.

Anyway, we called T-Mobile and we gave them the long version of what happened. (Believe it or not, if you’re actually still reading this, this is the short version.) They are upset that this store claims to be an authorized T-Mobile dealership when clearly it is not. They have agreed to back my insurance should something go wrong with my most hot new Motorola Black RAZR. They have agreed to look into getting their “license” revoked. And they’re well aware of our situation should anything go horribly wrong. We are, however, out of hundreds of dollars as the 100-dollar rebate Toby was to get is not real. Plus, he had to drop another 70 on the deductible in order to get an actual T-Mobile version of the Treo.

But we have new New York Numbers and after it’s all said and done, we’ll be saving over 130 dollars a month by using the T-Mobile Family Plan.

Oh, did I mention I got a hot new phone? It really is pretty. I named her Lucy.


  1. DAMN! You’re phone is HOT! I’m so jealous.

    But your story sounds horrendous.Thank goodness you got a hot phone.


  2. I have to admit, this weekend would have sucked with probably most other carriers. T-Mobile has been really great. I hope it stays that way. :]


  3. I have received a few emails asking if we used a credit card to pay for the phones. That’s another part of the story I left out. We paid cash because the guy said if we used cash, we didn’t have to pay tax. In retrospect, I realize how stupid this was. We’re trying to bring them down for what they did. Better Business Bureau, here we come.


  4. it’s sure is a purty little thing but god damn the pusherman


  5. I’m wearing my new black RAZR on a brown belt. ha ha ha

    ok, not really.


  6. i’d just go up to them and say this:

    You lied, I found out, so what? I’d really like you to fix my situation. If you don’t want to, thats cool—i have tomorrow off, and would be more than happy to stand in front of your store and let every person who is thinking about walking in that door know what deceitful little cocks you are.

    So, lets make a deal—you make things so that i don’t lose my $200 dollars, or I make things so that you do lose $200.


  7. Toby is considering a picket. Thing is, we’re heading to Florida this Saturday, so hopefully we’ll have the steam to do it when we get back. In the meantime, I’ll see what I can do about screwing with them this week while we’re still fuming pissed. :/ I hope T-Mobile does something, too. I can’t imagine it looks very good for them to have people like this claiming their legit. While we were in the store, there was a woman there who was obviously having a hard time with a phone she purchased before. I should have taken that as a sign. I wish I had her name or had a way to find her, power in numbers.


  8. I think you’re heading to Florida on Sunday.


  9. T-Mobile ads on your website! Verizon, verizon, verizon – let’s see what shows up tomorrow.


  10. hm.. you should go back with a mini-dv cam, and do a secret taping. then threaten to sell it to fox.


  11. Sunday? Oh crap. I thought it was Saturday. We need to call our pet sitter, me thinks. We’ll also need to spend Saturday picketing.


  12. Sounds like something you’d see on The Soprano’s. Are you sure you didn’t buy a phone from the mob? Toby better look out for “wise guys” before he pickets the place.


  13. It seems everyone where I work has one and they just LOOOOOOVE to get it out and futz with it and show each other how awesome their Razor phones are.

    I’m just jealous.


  14. That looks as skinny as a debit card. Awesome!! I got a new phone about four months ago, after I dropped mine down a sewer by accident. Last week I dropped the four-month-old phone in the sink, and was hoping it wouldn’t dry out so that I could get yet ANOTHER new phone with even more options and updates. The damn phone works like a charm now that it’s dried out, so I didn’t super size it just yet. Gimme a few more months….


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