Un-carrier? More like unethical: T-Mobile clashes with the FCC (again)
T-Mobile might want to change its nickname. Unless its claim of being the "un-carrier" is meant to be ironic, the moniker just can't stand up to scrutiny from even the rosiest of tinted glasses.
The latest example of T-Mobile failing to differ from other wireless providers comes courtesy of the Federal Communications Commission, which has ordered the company to stop lying to its customers about the speed with which they receive data, especially after that speed is throttled.
T-Mobile has agreed to change its service in the wake of the FCC's concerns. It will now tell its customers about the speed of their data services after reaching their monthly allotment of data. It will also provide access to speed tests that show the throttled data speeds instead of the network's typical speeds, and along with a button linking to an accurate speed test to its devices.
But this isn't the first time T-Mobile has clashed with the FCC after claiming to be the un-carrier working to save consumers from the contractual hell imposed by other companies.
The company was previously chastised by the FCC for making it harder for customers to receive refunds for convoluted charges added to their wireless service bills. Instead of helping those customers get their money back, T-Mobile offered partial refunds or no refunds at all.
The FCC alleged that everything about T-Mobile's billing practices, from the 50-page-long statements to the disinterest of the company's support staff, made it harder for consumers to get money back from scammers. That was after T-Mobile's chief executive slammed other wireless companies for their billing practices. As I explained in my report on the complaint:
At least he had a point — T-Mobile’s customers did know how much they were paying. They just didn’t know who they were paying, why they were paying them, or how they could stop paying them even after they made their way through the company’s obscenely convoluted billing statements and its legion of customer support workers who apparently couldn’t help them get the charges (which just happened to line its own pockets) removed from their bills.
Consider the mold — and a basic sense of morality — broken. All of which leaves us with a company that lied to customers about their service, prevented them from learning more about what they've purchased, and tried to stop them from getting money back from scammers. That doesn't sound like the foil to wireless carriers T-Mobile pretends to be so much as it seems like the personification of carrier dickishness in disguise.