Local T-Mobile Customer: "People need to know this is going on"
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - Temus Terry said he was fired from T-Mobile at Hamilton Place for reporting what he calls "unethical" business practices.
"I thought it was a mistake, and so did everyone else," said Terry. "But once other customers started coming in the store with the same story, that's a red flag."
He said the complaints started last fall.
Customers claimed the store's manager deceived them.
"They were saying things were added to their account without their approval," said Terry.
Terry documented dozens of complaints in emails that he shared with Channel 3.
"Commission-wise it raises him up, numbers-wise it makes him look good in the market, he's at the top of the game," said Terry.
The 32-year-old said he was let go when his boss learned he had reported him to an employee integrity line.
"You start getting written up for things, you know, you didn't do," he said. "I knew right then they were coming after me, because I wouldn't let the issue go."
It's not just Temus Terry who won't let it go.
"People need to know this is going on," said Casey Clear.
Clear is one of the customers who filed a complaint.
"Instead of $168 when I complained in July of 2011, my bill is now $234."
Clear said she went into the store to pay a bill and the manager suggested a new plan that would give her more services for a lower monthly payment. All she had to do was sign a new contract.
"I was credited for a couple of months, but my bill was never lowered, it just looked like it," she said. "By the time I caught on to all, it was too late and I was locked in."
Channel 3 gave the store manager a chance to tell his side of the story. He declined to comment when our crew stopped by the store.
In a statement emailed to Channel 3, a spokesperson for T-Mobile corporate wrote:
"T-Mobile believes that our actions are guided by a strong set of Values, and our dedication to ethical standards is recognized nationally and is something we are respected for in the community. Our Code of Conduct offers each employee with the opportunity to speak up and raise concerns if he or she becomes aware of any activities that may violate the Code or other company policy. We maintain the Integrity Line for the reporting of such concerns, which allows employees to protect confidentiality. In respect for individuals' privacy, we are not able to discuss this particular matter further. We take all matters involving our Integrity Line very seriously and take prompt action where appropriate."
Casey Clear said there's been no action taken to remedy her situation.
"I guess you could say I signed something and took it on, but it was not explained to me, I believe, in an honest manner," said Clear.
Clear and Terry are joining forces in a mission to warn other customers who haven't taken the time to read the fine print.
"Always pay attention to what you're signing," said Terry.
Terry said T-Mobile contracts come with a 14-day grace period for customers to return a product or make a change after signing a contract.
Terry said most customers don't read the contract thoroughly until they see their first bill. By then it's too late, the contract is binding.