AT&T getting harder to deal with

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by danny_w, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. danny_w macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #1
    Has anybody noticed that AT&T is getting harder and harder to deal with these days? I have been through the many incarnations (AT&T, AT&T in name only, Cingular, and (again) AT&T), starting in the early 90's. They have always, until recently, been easy to deal with IMHO; they would do whatever it took to retain a customer. Not so any longer. I used to have an iPhone 2G on AT&T, but sold it back in the summer and went with a cheap Nokia flip phone. Then early this month I went to AT&T to see about getting a new phone, and wound up with an LG VU (I didn't want to pay the mandatory $30 data fee for the iPhone at the time, and I can drop the LG data plan). Today I went back to see about returning it and getting an iPhone 3Gs, but they wanted a $35 restocking fee for the LG (this is the first time I have ever experienced a restocking fee at AT&T). When I asked to speak to a manager about dropping the fee, the manager said that he couldn't do anything about it. So instead of giving in on a $35 restock fee he just lost the company $30/mo x 24 months = $720 in data fees, plus possibly a longtime customer entirely, in which case he also loses the monthly voice fees. That sounds like an extremely foolish business decision to me. If that is the way that AT&T now chooses to do business, perhaps it is time to move on.

    EDIT: I wouldn't even have considered an iPhone now, except that I just cancelled my cable service and freed up some extra money every month. I'd love to have an iPhone again, but have absolutely no need for the mandatory data service.
     
  2. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

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    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #2
    Profits have narrowed across the business. Buy you returning a phone that has been used, now they can't "sell" it as new. They will lose money by having to repackage/use as a replacement phone. Apple has long had a restock fee. Businesses can't afford PIA's (whether returners or overutilizers or complainers) so they feel no compunction to kiss your a@@.
     
  3. CandyCane23049 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    #3
    Just brought my iphone yesterday and the back of the receipt explains the policy. Why would they change it for you?
     
  4. danny_w thread starter macrumors 601

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    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #4
    Maybe they have had restock fees for a while, but I have never encountered one. And even if they had to eat the full price of the LG VU they would still come out ahead. Again, stupid business decision. And also the manager's insistence that "he couldn't do anything" is sheer nonsense; managers at these stores always have the ability to override if they think it is in the best interest of the sale.
     
  5. danny_w thread starter macrumors 601

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    #5
    To retain a customer and a revenue stream, both voice and data. Companies do it all the time, it's called "retention".
     
  6. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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  7. danny_w thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #7
    $100. There is supposed to be a $50 rebate but I had not sent that in yet (requires the UPC from the box). Also the data plans are not mandatory (except for the first month) and start at $10.
     
  8. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #8
    So that's the 2-year contract price. Was there any other fee on top of the $35 restocking free for getting out of that contract, or was it just the $35 they wanted to charge you?

    (Or were you buying the iPhone at the full $599 price?)
     
  9. danny_w thread starter macrumors 601

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    Austin, TX
    #9
    The cost to cancel or trade would have been the $35 plus the current useage )of course - I did use it after all) plus the non-refundable $18 upgrade fee from when I got the LG. Of course this is still within the 30-day return period. The 16GB iPhone would have been $199 minus the amount I had already paid on the 1st phone.
     
  10. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #10
    When you tookthe LG phone and its receipt you accept the terms. The terms clearly stated such fees and charges.

    AT&T shouldn't break the terms just because you feel special. Also next time read what you are agreeing to before you sign
     
  11. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #11
    Should've kept your 2G iPhone if you're planning on going to a new carrier. Good luck on your journey for cellular provider happiness. :rolleyes:
     
  12. danny_w thread starter macrumors 601

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    Austin, TX
    #12
    This has nothing whatever to do with my being "special". Of course I'm not "special". I know those are the terms and yes I did agree to them. All I am saying is that what the manager did was a dumb business decision that cost the company money. That is all. Period. End of story. It looks to me like somebody could see the business side and see that losing over $2000 in revenue (voice + data for 24 months) just to save $35 is pretty stupid. It just seems to me that somebody could see the business side of things and see that losing over $2000 in revenue (voice + data for 24 months) just to save $35 is a stupid move.
     
  13. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #13
    1) The manager probably no longer has the wiggle room to make an exception to stated customer policy.
    2) It seems pretty stupid to change carriers because you expect to not have to pay the $35 you contractually owe of you wish to return an perfectly useable item thet has been opened and used.

    I'm sure AT&T won't miss you.
     
  14. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #14
    Numbers or not, you signed a paper where you states you accepted the terms no matter what or how much profit AT&T can make. So now that you signed you wish not to comply with such policies? Who's the hard one?
     
  15. schwell macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2009
    #15
    You don't fully understand ALL the business implications. You understand the business implications for your one scenario with the assumption you will honor the 2-year iPhone contract.
     
  16. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Northern District NY
    #16
    1. Cancel AT&T service
    2. Sell iPhone on eBay
    3. Get T-Mobile service
    4. ???????????
    5. Profit

    or

    1. Cancel AT&T service
    2. Sell iPhone on eBay
    3. Move to Canada
    4. Get iPhone on Rogers
    5. ????????????
    6. Profit

    or maybe

    1. Don't pay iPhone bill
    2. Rebel against AT&T
    3. ?????
    4. Profit
     
  17. hsk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #17
    It stinks when a company does not do what you want them too - but think of what the $720 you stated really means to a company with $123 BILLION in revenue.

    Now, I have always found that if I call customer service, I get better results. I moved 3 lines over to ATT this past summer and ended up getting all of the activation fees waived. Not in the store, but by calling customer service. Not saying it will work every time, but it is better than the store.
     
  18. kelpi macrumors regular

    kelpi

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    #18
    Maybe I should call up my electric company and ask for a rate decrease since I've been with them for 11 years?

    What do you all think?
     
  19. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    Aug 29, 2006
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    Washington DC
    #19
    On the other hand, after just 1 month of owning a VU you were back, asking for discounts.

    When I owned a business I discovered that there are 2 main types of customers: Those who were happy and those who constantly asked for special favors and were never satisfied.

    It sounds like the AT&T manager saw you as that second type. (I'm not saying you are, just that he probably saw it that wasy.)
     
  20. danny_w thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #20
    Yes maybe he did, but it is his (actually his company's) loss. For me the iPhone would be a nice luxury that I don't need. If at&t is as bad off as somebody above claimed, they need me (or my money to be exact) more than I need them. Case closed. I'm out of here.
     
  21. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
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    #21
    That last one is not profit. AT&T will hit your credit score with an Ugly Sitck if you try to do that.
     
  22. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #22
    Actually, so is the used phone you wanted to return to them that was perfectly good, but they can't sell because, well, it's used now.

    Actualyl, they're not that bad off at all, and it's largely because they are doing waht they should be doing to prevent money leaking out of them like a sieve with frequent customer returns/exchanges and the like.

    The restocking fee is both a deterrent and a means to recover costs when someone opens up a brand new phone, uses it for a bit and and then decides for the heck of it that they simply don't want it anymore. They can't just stick it back in the stockroom and sell it someone else.


    Cya!
     
  23. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

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    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Northern District NY
    #23
    I take it you didn't get the feel of the dripping sarcasm on that post eh?
     
  24. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #24
    Oh I did.... it's just the last one can't be used for a ????? Profit! step guide.
     
  25. gemz1000 macrumors newbie

    gemz1000

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #25
    AT&T is a POS company who sadly only gets my money because of Apple's iPhone.

    AT&T is simply difficult and expensive. Screw AT&T!
     

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