I continue to be amazed at how shortsighted technology companies can be with regards to providing services to business customers. My recent experience with T-mobile is a perfect example. My company uses T-mobile as our corporate cell phone carrier and with our recent move to Google hosted premium email services, we decided it would be great to test the G1 as a replacement phone for our standard Blackberries. Unfortunately, T-mobile has decided to not make the G1 available for business customers. Here are the steps it took to figure that out.
1) Sent an email to our local store representative. He noted that the G1 would not be in stores in our area as it is only being launched in 3G cities. Recommends I try online.
2) Log into our online account and are told we are not eligible for the phone and are given a toll-free number to call.
3) Call the toll-free number and am told it is not available via phone order and to try online. After telling the representative that online doesn’t work, he gives me an email for business care.
4) Email business care and never get a response. At this point, I am frustrated and have just about given up when a friend says I should email the CEO and gives me his email address.
5) Drop an email to the CEO expressing my frustration as a business customer not being able to get this phone. It seems to me that someone who spends thousands a month should be entitled to buy the same phone available to the average consumer customer.
6) I get an immediate email back from T-mobile executive services, which surprises me. Asks for my account information so they can help.
7) Email my account information to them and explain reasons for wanting the phone and that we use Google for email anyway, so G1 should be a good fit.
8) Receive a voicemail from a T-mobile rep where he states that the G1 is not available to business customers, but that we should look at the negative aspects of the G1 which he says is primarily the lack of enterprise email support. He also goes on to recommend that we look at the new Blackberries and we don’t really need to the G1.
A couple of things come to mind. First, good on T-mobile for being responsive to notes sent to the CEO. Second, it amazes me that the representative would try to push us to BB when I made it clear we wanted a G1. Lastly, it is a shame that business customers are treated as second-class citizens by T-mobile and that this phone is not being made available to us. I am sure this will change as phones hit the stores, but major fail for T-mobile thus far. Maybe we should look at corporate iPhones?