T-Mobile Doesn’t Get It

By Nathan Weinberg

T-Mobile today unveiled their second big new feature: Hot Spot @ Home, which lets wifi-featured mobile phones use home wifi routers and T-Mobile Hot Spots for unlimited calling. It’s a great feature, one that lets you make free calls and save your minutes when you have wifi, as well as get coverage in areas that you frequent, but have awful service. They also recently announced myFaves, which lets you choose five phone numbers from any network to call for free.

Both are great services for T-Mobile users, with one problem: They ignore and insult almost every current T-Mobile customer. myFaves is supported on only three phones, almost none of which you are likely to have if you are a longtime, loyal customer, and Hot Spot @ Home is even worse, supporting only two phones. The choice of phones is annoying:

myFaves supports

  • Samsung Trace
  • Motorola Razr V3
  • BlackBerry Pearl

Hot Spot @ Home supports:

  • Nokia 6136
  • Samsung T709

Ridiculous. I am a big fan of T-Mobile, because they let me get some great phones for practically nothing. My phones (the MDA and SDA phones) both have wifi and run Windows Mobile, and only an idiot would tell me that there is no way to upgrade them to support the new services. Windows Mobile’s firmware can easily be updated, but T-Mobile has announced no plans to do so, crapping on customers who should be able to get the service, but can’t.

Like all wireless carriers, T-Mobile is showing it doesn’t care about making current customers happy, just gaining new ones. I will never understand why customer retention and satisfaction is so unimportant to mobile phone companies, since most people will choose a carrier based on word-of-mouth. There is no excuse for rolling out a feature, and not giving it to smart phones with compatible hardware. If there is a good reason Windows Mobile phones aren’t getting the new features, I’d love to hear it.

I haven’t seen any sort of T-Mobile presence in the blogosphere. Are there blogs about cell phones, blogs that actually get responses from the carriers and aren’t just obsessed with getting pictures of new phones? I want an explanation why I, with a two-year contract, can’t get a feature that would improve my reception at home. I get bad service where I live, and could really use Hot Spot @ Home, but for some stupid reason, I won’t get it.

Sometimes, when you do something good for some of your customers, you should apologize to the rest of them for not doing the same. This is one of those times.

Posted:
October 24, 2006 by Nathan Weinberg in:
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5 Responses to “T-Mobile Doesn’t Get It”

  1. CJ Millisock Says:

    Same here. I had the SDA, sold it and bought the MDA, based on your (Nathan’s) recommendations. I, like you Nathan, get less than average reception in my own home, but I have Wi-Fi. There’s NO reason why the MDA and SDA aren’t compatible with these two services.

    This whole blog post is exactly how I feel.

    Ugh.

  2. Nathan Weinberg Says:

    Hey, CJ, glad to hear that you picked up the MDA. I’d recommend it again and again to anyone who will listen. While the SDA is real good (my wife has one), there is no more affordable and easy PDA phone than the MDA.

    Windows Mobile has a registry. It installs programs, syncs with a lot of software, and can be updated to do pretty much anything, so long as ut supports the hardware. Considering thar the main hardware need is wifi, which both the MDA and SDA have, they have no excuse.

  3. DB Says:

    Engadget Mobile maybe?

  4. Nathan Weinberg Says:

    DB: Whaddaya mean?

  5. Inquire Says:

    T-Mobile is not aware of one very important marketing sloan: “IT IS EASIER TO KEEP A CURRENT CUSTOMER THAN FIND A NEW ONE”.

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