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Telcel billing glitch - yes, it's our fault; no, we're not going to fix it

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Telcel billing glitch - yes, it's our fault; no, we're not going to fix it Empty Telcel billing glitch - yes, it's our fault; no, we're not going to fix it

Post by TrueBrit on Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:33 am

Imagine you have just withdrawn $1000 from the ATM, but instead of the machine giving you your card back, it spits out a coupon for a Brazilian wax and charges your account $1000.  Not only that, every two minutes it spits out another coupon and charges you $1000.  As you pound every button on the machine, after 20 minutes it mysteriously stops and you get your card back.  You think, well it's a bit of an inconvenience, but I can go to the bank and they will sort it out.  Right?  The bank manager confirms that, yes, there was obviously a glitch and yes, it is totally their fault, BUT there is nothing they are going to do about it.  After all you have ten valuable coupons.  You explain that they are for pubic waxing and expire in one month - not terribly practical. He shrugs, apologizes and asks if there is ANYTHING ELSE he can help with.

Yesterday, due to a glitch in TELCEL's automatic charge system, I was charged my monthly charge every 2 minutes for 20 minutes giving me hundreds of minutes that will expire before I could ever use them. I visited the Center of Attention [sic] in the mall, where they first told me someone has stolen my Telcel password and was stealing money on my behalf.  I returned with a printout that showed that it was in fact their system that produced the error - complete with transaction and order numbers.  At this point he admitted it was their fault, but there was nothing he could do about it.  When clarifying his words, I was always careful to rephrase his comment as there was nothing he WAS going to do about it.  And he added before nodding to the door...was there anything else he could help me with?

I thought this can't be right, logic and responsibility shouldn't stop at the border.  So I went on-line and spoke to a Telcel representative - excellent Spanish practice, by the way - and she said yes, it was their fault, but there was nothing they could do about it and please visit your Center of Attention.  And if there is anything else...etc.  I tried another chat session.  This time the rep gave me a number to call.  The voice at the other end of the phone reminded me how important my call was, agreed with me that it was their problem, but they couldn't do anything about it, and I should visit the Center of Attention.  Before inquiring if there was anything else they could help me with, they hung-up.

I did a Google search to see if I was missing some lesser known way to get this situation corrected.  What I found, based on complaints, was a corporate culture and deliberate strategy of ignoring complaints with absolute impunity.

I hope this helps anyone considering their cell phone options.  And if there is anything else I can help you with....

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Telcel billing glitch - yes, it's our fault; no, we're not going to fix it Empty Re: Telcel billing glitch - yes, it's our fault; no, we're not going to fix it

Post by Zedinmexico on Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:47 am

And folks wonder why I am the only gringo without a cell phone. Not worth it to me.

I should point out a few years ago class action lawsuits became legal. These companies should be afraid of this. So Spenser is a class action lawsuit realistic these days or just talk??

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Post by lobita on Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:52 am

Well, that's quite the horror story. Telcel billing glitch - yes, it's our fault; no, we're not going to fix it 477249 

We use TelCel, although only pay-as-you-go on the lowest-end phone they have, so a) no monthly auto-billing and b) our online top-ups route through our credit card so we have recourse in the case of wrongful charges.

Does anyone here use Movistar instead? I'd be interested in knowing your experiences, if so.
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Post by Pedro on Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:54 am

i don't/won't have this problem because i pay cash for my minutes as i require to restock either at oxxo or guadalajara pharmacia.
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Post by solajijic on Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:07 am

We too follow Pedro's style in topping up only with cash at the Oxxo.  Its done every month when the landline is paid, in person, with cash.  We do not use our phone except when travelling. We never got the hang of having one day in and day out.

Nothing on autopay with banking is ever easy and if it gets messed up its is always a case of "you lose" so I hope you cancelled that feature.

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Post by Intercasa on Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:09 am

File a complaint with PROFECO, that should get them to sort it out.
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Post by CanuckBob on Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:37 am

I wouldn't use "autopay" for anything. Not here and not NOB. Once a company has your money it is always difficult to get it back.
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Post by TrueBrit on Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:35 am

The first thing we did was cancel the autopay. Rarely have I had a problem with autopayments in US and never in UK. But if there has ever been a problem, there are always transaction logs that make it quite easy to sort out. The other party has to be willing to sort it out. And reputable companies usually don't have a problem - it is in their interest to sort it out too. I will try PROFECO.
It has been obvious that in my dealings with Telcel reps that their main concern is not solving the problem, but just getting you to go away. And if Telcel really wanted to do something, it would be so easy with some quality control types pretending to be customers.

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Post by windrider17 on Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:35 pm

I'm still wondering what happens to the wax coupons.....................

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Post by brigitte on Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:59 pm

We have used autopay for the last 13 years and had one problem. I went to the bank put a temporary stop payment to the company (CFE) that was messed up and 3 months later I had the autopay resume..CFE gave us credit and that was the end of it. It is not rue that you alwasy lose but speaking Spanish does help.

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Post by rs6000 on Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:19 pm

Telcel has so many customers that they don't really care anymore about losing a few.

I use their online system for my prepaid cell, and you have the option to register your credit card and automatically pay a certain amount of money every month , but I never give my credit card number or store it on their sites.
PROFECO might help, but it is really going to be difficult for you to prove that it was their glitch.

If you can't definitely get a refund , one option might be to "transfer" some of those minutes to someone else in exchange for some money, but bear in mind Telcel charges a fee for transfering minutes.

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Post by jrm30655 on Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:19 pm

I think this is just a TELMEX problem rather than a MX problem.

A friend of mine had a problem with a clerk at OXXO stealing his money. He reported it to the management and within 24 hours, the clerk was gone and the district manager met him with his money and a very sincere apology.

In 6 years here, I've only had a couple minor problems and they were immediately resolved.

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Post by David on Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:53 pm

It was TELCEL, not Telmex.
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Post by TrueBrit on Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:31 pm

I had a similar problem with AT&T north of the border - a rude and indifferent representative wasn't really interested in solving any issue, so we switched. And then they bombard you with pleas to return. A lot of companies recognize it is cheaper to keep an existing customer than recruit a new one.
I am not saying that all the Telmex people I spoke to were indifferent - some were, some appeared as frustrated as I was and you could tell the system was against both of us. I believe it is a corporate culture. Executives who just don't get that when you speak with a rep, or are in a hotel and speak with the cleaning staff, or are in fast food and interact with the service staff, that these people, who are often the most mistreated, underpaid and overworked, are the only face you see representing the entire company.

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Post by David on Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:08 pm

So, was it Telmex or Telcel?  They're different companies.  I've had only good service from Telmex people.  No experience with Telcel folks.  If it was a cell phone, as you said, then it was Telcel.  Please take care to slam the right one.
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Post by TrueBrit on Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:22 pm

And I thought I was being soooooo careful. It was TELCEL.

My apologies to the good folks at Telmex, with whom I have also enjoyed good service. I have never felt the need to count my fingers after shaking hands with a Telmex rep.

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Post by Rosa Venus on Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:44 pm

Horrible story. So....

Have you talked to a "boss" yet? In my experience, employees here (on the phone, or across the counter) have little influence over or interest in happy outcome. They aren't empowered with that responsibility. It tends not to matter if it's a private company, or a government office. When there's a snafu...etc., you have to go up the ladder. Good luck.
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Post by TrueBrit on Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:25 pm

From what I have seen, the boss doesn't talk to us wee folk. The rep forever has to shuttle back and forth between us and the boss to get our questions answered. A request to speak directly with the boss was met with a look that said "You're kidding, right?"

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Post by Rosa Venus on Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:38 pm

Some times you have to quit being nice here when it comes to customer service. It's not fun. Good luck.
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Post by Mad_Max on Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:27 am

If they charged your credit/debit card multiple times, then you "should" have recourse through your credit card provider - as you would have authorized "one" charge, not multiple. Just contact them and let them know the unauthorized charges - and that you did contact TelCel and they were unresponsive.

And although they may not care about losing a customer, having charges reversed - if there are too many - will impact their discount rate they receive from VISA/MC.

If this instead just charged to a bank account, I don't know if you have recourse - but worth a try - under the heading of fraudulent charges- as you authorized one charge - not multiple.
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Post by addtocart on Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:35 am

David wrote:So, was it Telmex or Telcel?  They're different companies.  I've had only good service from Telmex people.  No experience with Telcel folks.  If it was a cell phone, as you said, then it was Telcel.  Please take care to slam the right one.
A distinction without a difference.
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Post by Pedro on Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:51 am

carlos slime owns both and telcel is merely a division of telmex
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Post by Mainecoons on Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:09 am

lobita wrote:Well, that's quite the horror story. Telcel billing glitch - yes, it's our fault; no, we're not going to fix it 477249 

We use TelCel, although only pay-as-you-go on the lowest-end phone they have, so a) no monthly auto-billing and b) our online top-ups route through our credit card so we have recourse in the case of wrongful charges.

Does anyone here use Movistar instead? I'd be interested in knowing your experiences, if so.

We do that as well. There's no way I'd let anyone here auto bill me for anything.

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Post by MexicoPete on Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:01 am

Remember if you have the Amigo plan with Telcel, you can give away or sell your extra time in blocks up to 100 or 200 pesos I don't remember which to other Telcel customers. There is a small fee for this averaging about 3 pesos per transfer.

Also remember that your extra time can be extended basically forever if you pay at least 100 pesos per two month billing period to Telcel.

The maximum limit you can transfer each time increased recently along with the transfer fee. To learn more, just go to you the Telcel home page and look up your options and the newest rates. You can make any number transfers per day assuming your balance is high enough

I find it easier to have my account registered on line with Telcel and that way when I am out of the country, I can check for free to see my account balance and next required payment. Etc.
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