T-Mobile store doing something shady? They always take out sim card from new box and keep it


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  1. SamsungVibrant

    SamsungVibrant Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Hey, I have a question. I go to the same T-Mobile store always, and I have a feeling the employees there are doing something shady.

    I have several lines, and anytime I do a phone upgrade, the T-Mobile employee opens the box, and takes the new sim card out and keeps it, no clue what they do with it. They just transfer my old sim into the new phone, but keep the new sim card from the box, I think I have a right to own that sim card. One time I confronted the employee, I said "hey that comes in the box, why are you taking it out and keeping it" he said "Oh i'll just give you a new one anytime you need one, they are free."

    So guess what, someone on my account lost their phone, I bought a used phone from online to replace it, went to the T-Mobile store to get a sim replacement, thinking it would be free, nope the employee charged me for a new sim. I didn't feel like starting a fuss, so I just paid for a new sim.

    So, it happened again, my friend lost her phone, she bought a used replacement online, we go into the same store, they charge her for a sim card even though she remembers specifically that same store taking her new sim from the box and keeping it when she had done an upgrade months earlier. It is always the same employees working there for past few years, I think they are doing something shady. Is it normal practice for T-Mo employees to keep the brand new sim card from the box?

    Just doesn't make sense to me, it came in the box, I own it, then you have the nerve to charge me for a replacement when I lose my phone.

    update:
    On one of my cell phone boxes it says "SIM card not included with upgrades" guess that answers my question.
     

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  2. Woosh

    Woosh Well-Known Member

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    I don't rly know if its T-Mo policy but I don't think I would allow them to take it out and keep it. Heck if they tried to pull that on me I would go over to Radio Shack or something and see if they try same thing. You pay big bucks for phones and your right if it comes in box you should be able to keep it.

    Question though...How much did they charge you for it? Signing up soon for T-Mo and I will prob need two of them. I checked ebay and they don't seem all that expensive...It is possible those "shady" employees are making a few bucks by selling them there though.
     
  3. SamsungVibrant

    SamsungVibrant Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I think it was 20 or 25 bucks, I'm kinda pissed now after you mentioned that. I bet they do put it up on ebay or sell them under the table to people.
     
  4. pantlesspenguin

    pantlesspenguin Well-Known Member

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    No, I think it's some kind of store policy. They do it here, too. Except whenever I see them go for the sim card I ask if I can keep it and they let me. I have the card from my Vibrant and my BB 9700.
     
  5. SamsungVibrant

    SamsungVibrant Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Well then, if it is normal store policy to keep the brand new sim, then they shouldn't charge me for a new one if I lose my phone. Pisses me off, technically they shouldn't even be opening my new box, the seal should be broken by the consumer, so technically they have no right taking upon themselves to open my new box and take my sim card and keep it. I have a right to everything inside the box.

    The reason I think someone shady is going on, is because I never see them placing the new sim card back into any kind of inventory. Everything in stores have inventory, chances are they are keeping it and selling it on the side. Personally I don't care if they keep it if a replacement was truly free, bastards charge you.
     
  6. Swizz

    Swizz Well-Known Member

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    It is T-Mobile policy to remove the SIM cards from packaging. T-Mobile used to print it directly on the phone packaging, that a SIM is not included with upgrade; and as a result a rep has the right to open the package and retrieve it. The only reason a SIM is included with the packaging is for ease for the representative; not for the customer to build a collection of SIM cards.

    In regards to being charged, 99% of the time a replacement SIM is free of charge. The only time I would charge customers for SIM cards is if they were repeat offenders or complete jagg-offs. When it comes to official policy, T-Mobile allows the rep to make the ultimate decision whether or not to charge for a SIM.

    No, they don't. There's no money in it, and they are tracked in inventory. To see them go missing would raise alarms.

    When signing up for service, it is included in the entire packaging. You wont be charged.
     
  7. shawn1224

    shawn1224 Ex CEO-DNPSEA foundation VIP Member

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    Why does it even matter if you get the sim card or not. You stil have to pay to activate it.

    Its not like the sim cards included work anyway unless it's a new activation.
     
  8. SamsungVibrant

    SamsungVibrant Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Why does it matter if you get the sim card or not? Are you not reading my post? Okay, I'll outline it for you again. I do an upgrade, the employee keeps my new sim card, and transfers my old sim into the new phone. But he kept my new sim from the box, but tells me sims are free whenever I need one. Lets say 6 months later I lose my phone, I purchase a used phone off ebay but it has no sim, so I need a new sim for my ebay phone. I go into t-mobile thinking I'll get a new sim for free, but I get charged.
    Had the employee NOT taken the sim out of my box from my upgrade, I would have had an extra one on hand to call in and activate, and I've never heard of a sim activation fee.

    I have no idea what you are talking about when you say you have to pay to activate them.

    Also I know the sim cards don't work, they are inactive until you activate them.

    Did all of that make more sense now? You keep my sim card from my new box, then when I need a new one you charge me, had you not taken the new one from my box, i would have one handy to use.
     
  9. SamsungVibrant

    SamsungVibrant Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Hey I just asked my sister, she is an attorney, she agrees with me. See the problem with what you state is T-Mobile policy is two things.
    1) the stick on the box says "by purchasing or opening this package, or using t-mobile service, you agree to be bound by the t-mo terms and condtions..."

    It is true I purchased the product, but the store employee shouldn't act any further by opening the package for me

    2) second problem with your policy, open items have a restocking fee. The employee opening the box without asking me, which they always do, automatically makes my phone open box, and forces me into a restocking fee.

    I also have issues with your inventory logic. How do you keep inventory of sim cards that are inside boxes then removed and kept. I've seen them take my sim card out, and never scan it or anything, so I doubt an inventory is kept on sim cards the employees pull from boxes.

    The store employee should not have the right to open my box period. If what you state is true store policy, it should be stated clearly, I don't see it anywhere. Also I'm not happy about employees opening boxes for me and instantly making my unit an open box with restocking fee. Heck maybe I go home and decide I don't want it, i should have the right to return the box closed and not get charged.

    I dunno, maybe I'm wrong, but I just think it's bad practice.


    I also have to point out one other flaw, when you do an upgrade over the phone, you get a new package with the sim card inside. The customer service employee over the phone didn't open my box and keep the sim card. There shouldn't be 2 separate policies on this. You either take out the sim card on upgrades for all customers or you don't. Simple as that.
     
  10. SamsungVibrant

    SamsungVibrant Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    really where? I have all my cell phone boxes, tons of them, some are even 6 yrs old, none of the boxes have what you say printed on the box, and this is going back 6 years.

    update:
    Well look what I found, you were right, on one of the newer boxes in fine print it says "SIM card not included with upgrades."

    Guess that's the end of that debate, I still think they shouldn't charge you if you lose your phone and need a new one. At least now I know the store employee's aren't doing something shady.
     
  11. Swizz

    Swizz Well-Known Member

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    You're right. In the majority of circumstances a customer should never be charged for a SIM card. If T-Mobile refused to replace a SIM card, you would have no way of using the service you paid for, and that's just opening up a bad can of worms.

    What they need to do is clarify policy regarding this and set which circumstances warrant charging for a SIM card. Such as: "a customer is entitled to X amount of free replacement SIM cards within a Y amount of time."
     
  12. Palmetto Fellow

    Palmetto Fellow Well-Known Member

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    If it's policy that the SIM is not included in an upgrade, then it's really their SIM, not yours. If you buy one at full retail, then YOU open the box, and YOU own all the contents.

    If you get the phone through them...and it's subsidized...then it's really THEIR PHONE. Paying the early termination fee or fulfilling the contract terms would make it YOUR phone...but even then, I don't think you can go back after 2 years and say you want your SIM now that the phone is 100% yours.

    I think it is BS that they tell you a replacement SIM will be free...then charge you for it.
     
  13. Woosh

    Woosh Well-Known Member

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    I agree with this. All companies do it though...Since T-Mo is GSM and you have an activated Sim technically they don't rly have to do it though.

    But when I bought my Evo the guy did the same thing and opened it up and even removed the front screen guard.(I used my Pre one for like 6 mos w/o removing)

    My Mom last week bought a Vibrant and she was annoyed that the person removed it from the box and was actually showing it off to another couple to try to sell another phone and told her nothing about the phone.

    Same policy if I bring my own phone and sign up for the non contract plan?
     
  14. pantlesspenguin

    pantlesspenguin Well-Known Member

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    I never had any qualms w/ T-Mo employees opening my phone boxes. I've never really seen that as a problem. They swap out the sim, activate the phone, & send me on my merry way. I'm fairly certain that one could go into T-Mo, go up to the counter, & say "I'd like to buy a Vibrant, please, but I would rather take it home to open the box and assemble everything myself." I'm assuming they'd just have to enter into the computer that they bought the phone & whatever activation they have to do. You really can't get mad at them for doing something they're trained to do if you don't speak up and tell them you'd like to do it, yourself. There's also the option of pre-ordering your phones & have them shipped directly to you instead of going to the store to pick one up.

    I do hate restocking fees, though. I bought an iPod Touch last April. I bought it @ the Apple store, & I opened the box myself when I got home. I didn't even have it a full 24 hours when I realized it wasn't the device for me. Sure enough, I had to pay a restocking fee. Ticked me off. But...it was a pretty substantial purchase & it was something I had considered getting for a long time. I thought I wanted one, only to decide it wasn't for me after playing around w/ it some. I don't understand why someone would get a device that costs over $200, to take it home, NOT OPEN IT, & then take it back.

    I also agree w/ you that it's not fair that T-Mo takes the sim & then charge you for another one, especially when an employee TOLD YOU that if you needed another it would be free. But, now that you know they do this you can simply take charge & say that you'd like to keep the sim from the box. It's worked for me twice now, since I've been alerted to them keeping the sim.
     
  15. Swizz

    Swizz Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely.

    And just for clarity: Everything that I have stated or will state is only pertaining to what you can expect from a T-Mobile corporate store. 3rd party dealers are their own beast, and you take your life into your own hands then.
     
  16. Woosh

    Woosh Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Good to know! Pretty sure the ONE T-Mobile store that is still in business around me is a corporate store.
     
  17. howetechnical

    howetechnical Well-Known Member

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    Regarding the employee opening the box, remember, with T-Mobile you have a 14 day return period where you bring the phone back with all of it's stuff and they'll undo the contract, etc.

    I find it funny that if you order the upgrade phone online or over the phone, you get a new SIM card in the box (and, obviously, the T-Mo PoPo doesn't come knocking at your door to confiscate it). In the store, as you mention, the keep it. That's why I always like doing things over the phone. I want to be the first to open it, and I usually get a better deal since customer support has a very bad track record with me (20+ hours logged on the phone with them, they even terminated all my lines once and froze the account another time due to their billing system glitching, and every issue was their fault, so they continue to make up for it with device upgrades at great prices).

    So to solve this thread's dilemma, just order your upgrads online or over the phone.
     
  18. howetechnical

    howetechnical Well-Known Member

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    If it's an actual retail store with the official T-Mobile sign out front, it's corporate. If it's a "Wireless Guru" selling multiple carrier's equipment and contracts, or one of those Mobile Solutions kiosks in the mall that only sells T-Mobile, it's third party. I don't go to those anymore, but I used to have a buddy at one who would do some pretty great deals with me such as two free $80 bluetooth headsets with any new phone purchase/upgrade, and he'd call T-Mo support to give me another $100 credit on my account (he was a manager which is why he could do that). Needless to say, he's not a manager anymore, but stuff like that still goes on. They also sell returned phones instead of sending them back to the manufacturer. My wife's Samsung Blast a couple years ago came pre loaded with a bunch of phone numbers. So we called the one that said "Bro", and he called his sister who returned it the day before. We took it back to the store and they gave us a new one.
     

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