Unclear billing and services that customers didn't ask for and didn't know were on their bill are a common tactic to make a quick extra buck, but it often ends badly for the company putting the charges on the bill. Most of the time, customers catch on and quickly take action to get the extra bill items taken off, and if the practice runs rampant, it can attract the attention of consumer groups and higher authorities. That seems to be what is happening to T-Mobile. According to a new report from consumer advocacy group Change To Win, T-Mobile has a company culture that encourages associates to upsell far more aggressively than would be helpful to consumers, and even to add charges and services to customers' bills that they don't want.
Like many fast-growing organizations, T-Mobile has some seriously aggressive sales goals for ground-level employees. While such goals are normally set at a level that encourages excellence in sales and friendly competition among co-workers, the report from Change To Win alleges that T-Mobile's goals are too lofty, and employees are too harshly pressured to meet them. Their basis for this data is a survey of roughly 500 current and recently departed T-Mobile employees, interviews with a few employees, and survey data from about 2,200 current T-Mobile customers.
According to the data gathered by Change To Win, hourly monitoring of tough sales goals makes about 83% of surveyed employees feel like they are being pressured to upsell very aggressively, and even add fraudulent charges to customers' bills and simply hope that they won't notice. Employees are reportedly made to feel that getting little extras like accessories, device protection plans, and higher-end handsets out the door can be the difference between having job security and being on the chopping block. Because of this, one third of customers surveyed say that they saw unwanted charges on their bill. While most customers report that they're satisfied with the Un-Carrier's billing practices, the number of those who aren't is high enough to warrant Change To Win, who has targeted T-Mobile before, putting in an official complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. As of this writing, T-Mobile has yet to put in an official statement on this situation.