T-Mobile doesn’t want to be left out of the fun! One of their sales reps has generously and selflessly written down his innermost thoughts and sent them to the Consumerist for your personal edification. Bask in the glory of Confessions of a T-Mobile Sales Rep…
• T-Mobile price matches. “T-Mobile has a policy that they do not advertise that is called a price match guarantee. This states that they can honor any price that has been printed (advertisement), as long as the terms and conditions are the same as T-Mobile’s. It also states that you can get an account credit if the price of the phone goes down within 30 days. “
• T-Mobile lets reps give away accessories. “Most reps have the ability to give away accessories for free without checking with their managers. If we give any bit of discount, we don’t get paid out on the accessory so you might as well ask for it for free. Things like waived activation or discounts on phones can be done, but usually through the manager or senior sales reps permission.”
• Use features to get free stuff, avoid insurance. “As other reps have stated, features are a big portion for reps. Any data feature nets the rep some extra cash. Use that to your advantage and ask them to throw in some accessories if you buy unlimited messaging or t-zones. The only thing that does not earn us money is insurance, so stay away from that one.”
• Shop at the end of the month. T-mobile has a quota system for reps. They’ll be more generous at the end of the month. “Go in to purchase service during the last 5 days of the month. This is the time that is most crucial for store reps and their managers. They need to make sure to get quota, and everyone is more lenient during the end of the month.” If it’s not the end of the month, you can still try to take advantage: “If you have already been approved for service and you are not offered the deal that you want, give the rep your phone number and tell them to call you when they can give you a good deal. I had a customer do this and get what they want on the last day of the month because we were 2 activations short of goal.”
• Never get a 2 year contract. “As the VZW rep said, only sign a one year contract. Yeah you have to pay 50 bucks more, but you can upgrade again in 11 months. “
• Your rate plan doesn’t mean anything at T-Mobile. “At T-mobile, we don’t get paid very much on how high the rate plan is, so don’t push that you are going to spend a lot on the plan. We care about the accessories and the features. “
• Get your rebate at the store and on-line. “As the cingy guy said, if you ask and get an in-store instant rebate, you can still find the mail in rebate at www.tmobilerebates.com. The rebate center will still honor it.”
• Get free stuff by calling within 14 days and threatening to switch to another carrier. “If you want to squeeze a bit more out of the deal and you are within 14 days of new service, call the store and ask to speak to the rep that helped you. Remind him/her who you are, and ask what you need to do to cancel. This will set off alarms in the reps head since you are their customer, and they will get a chargeback if you cancel. When they ask why you want to know how to cancel, let them know that you have been offered a deal for a similar type phone for the same price from a DIFFERENT carrier, but with a couple free accessories and waived activation. Most likely the rep will try to offer you a free accessory to stay with us, being as how they worked hard at getting you to sign that initial contract and don’t want to lose the sale. You have to tell the rep it is a different carrier because if you say its another Tmobile store, the rep will not lose the credit if you cancel and sign back up with a different store. “
• Replace a broken T-mobile phone with a prepaid one.“Go to Walmart and buy a T-Mobile prepaid phone. Your contract sim card will work in the phone no problem, and there is NO difference (software or hardware wise) between a prepaid phone and one that is upgraded with contract. Then put the prepaid activation code and sim card up on ebay, and make $10. (from what I hear, this is the same with Cingular and Verizon)”
• Upgrade over the phone, not in a store. At T-Mobile, reps don’t get paid much for upgrades and don’t care if you get a deal on a phone. Upgrade over the phone to get the best deal.
“If you are out of contract, you have a bargaining chip with customer care over the phone. Ask for a cheaper price on a phone, or a “preferred” rate plan that’s cheaper but gives you the same amount of minutes. If you have been a good customer and made payments on time, you have a good chance of getting a discount. T-Mobile corporate store reps cannot discount the upgrade price at all in store. We don’t make very much money off an upgrade, and many will spend less time with you if its busy. Go in during a off-peak time if you want an honest opinion or to chat about the phones. There is nothing worse for us than to get an hour-long upgrade on a Saturday and watch as our coworkers are getting new lines and getting paid.”
• Unlock your phone. Immediately call into customer care and ask to have your phone unlocked. Unlocking your phone allows your phone to be used with any GSM carrier (Cingular is the only other national US carrier). T-mobile will unlock your phone for free at anytime during or after you contract. Once you unlock your phone, you can now use a cingular sim card or any sim card in the world. Whether or not you plan on traveling, you have still increased the resell value of your phone by quite a bit.
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UPDATE: Another T-Mobile rep rebutts some of the statements made above:
Being a TMO sales rep myself and having been with the company for over three years, I must point out a few possible inaccuracies in the other rep’s post on Consumerist:
Most reps have the ability to give away accessories for free without checking with their managers. If we give any bit of discount, we don’t get paid out on the accessory so you might as well ask for it for free. Things like waived activation or discounts on phones can be done, but usually through the manager or senior sales reps permission.
This may be true in that rep’s market or area, but is most certainly not true in many markets across the country. For example, in my area, management forbids any sort of discounting on accessories at all without a darn good reason, so unless you’re getting four or five new lines, don’t expect this to happen. The prices of accessories are what they are. YMMV. (Although, activation fees are waived pretty regularly in my market.)
Go to Walmart and buy a T-Mobile prepaid phone. Your contract sim card will work in the phone no problem, and there is NO difference (software or hardware wise) between a prepaid phone and one that is upgraded with contract. Then put the prepaid activation code and sim card up on ebay, and make $10. (from what I hear, this is the same with Cingular and Verizon)
Don’t expect a rep in a store to suggest this, as it’s considered commission fraud and I’ve seen reps reprimanded and terminated for suggesting it to customers.
T-mobile will unlock your phone for free at anytime during or after you contract.
This is completely false. TMO will unlock a phone at your request, but you must have continuous service with us for at least 90 days, be an active customer (not suspended or canceled) and in good standing.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Consumerist.