Mobile

How to drive a small business nuts

How to drive a small business nuts

T-Mobile yesterday "upgraded" its BlackBerry Internet and e-mail service. This is exactly the kind of thing a small-business owner like me doesn't need. I had subscribed to the BlackBerry service from T-Mobile because it was priced well, I could add Wi-Fi hot spots to my account for a discounted rate, Bluetooth Internet service was included in the price, the service was fine, it worked internationally without chip-swapping, and so on.

T-Mobile warned me recently in a few e-mail messages that everything was changing as of October 2, and it sure has. I just spent about 25 minutes on the phone with a reasonably helpful woman (named Mace, she said) after being on hold for about 25 minutes, and she gave me some unfortunate news:

  • I told her that e-mail I haven't read is now being marked as read on my Web-based account (it forwards to the BlackBerry via POP access). She said she'd have to "escalate" the problem because she didn't have an answer.
  • I have to reenter filters I'd set up to keep certain e-mail from forwarding into the BlackBerry. In addition, I no longer can filter e-mail by size, which had been a great way to keep large attachments from clogging my device.
  • I had to go back into another Web-based account that also forwards to the BlackBerry and reconfigure one of the POP rules I'd already set.
  • The new Web interface is somewhat confusing, and not all the fields are explained. And I received error messages when I tried to change certain settings on both T-Mobile's Web interface and my BlackBerry.

    I could go on, but the bottom line is that I've had a frustrating drop in functionality from this supposed upgrade, and I'm spending a valuable chunk of time redoing settings I had already set.

    Word to vendors: If you're trying to capture more business from small-fry companies that may grow bigger, this is really not the way to go about it. I'm looking forward to the end of my T-Mobile contract in a few months, when I will gladly explore other services.