Hello iPhone, bye bye iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by klex, Sep 11, 2007.

  1. klex macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    #1
    So, I purchased an iPhone at an AT&T store, (after the price drop) took it home, naturally very excited. I was a little concerned having to sign up with AT&T for 2 years, but concluded that there was no way around that, at least not yet.

    I'm not going to go into too many details but after experiencing AT&T's customer "service" I decided to return the phone. I had at this point not broken the seal/plastic wrapping so I naturally walked into the AT&T store for a full refund. The first rep offered me a refund minus 10% restocking fee. I told her that I was entitled to a full refund seeing as the wrapping was unbroken. She said no, and went to get the manager. He too told me no, and that I had to pay a 10% restocking fee. I couldn't believe it! We argued endlessly back and forth for what seemed like an eternity. As I was about to give up and take to phone to another store, I noticed that the plastic bag I had gotten with my original purchase had big black bold letters written on them stating that the 10% restocking fee only applied if the seal/wrapping had been broken. I brought this to the manager's attention. He looked at it, looked at me, and without so much as an apology, told the other rep to give me a full refund.

    The whole incident is so indicative of AT&T and I cannot believe Apple signed a 5 year exclusive contract with them. They have got to be the worst when it comes to customer care. Apart from that, the fact that the store manager(!) was clueless about the applicability of the restocking fee just makes it even worse. I wonder how many people AT&T have "stolen" from with tactic.

    So come on all ye olde tech geeks out there! Get me an affordable unlocking software so that I may enjoin the eighth wonder of the world, without having to endure the 11th plague.
     
  2. munckee macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    #2
    Experiences like yours and my own in dealing with Cingular/AT&T are exactly why I will NOT own an iPhone until it's available on another service's platform. And its a damn shame, because I'm itching to get one.
     
  3. earthsick macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    central nj
    #3
    I do not understand why you decided to return the phone in the first place. You did not even power the thing on and you were unhappy with their service? It seems to me that Apple designed the buying and activation process so (if all things go as planned) you never really have to contact AT&T directly. Personally I bought the phone on launch day, connected it to iTunes, and was done with it. Your experience in returning the phone is ridiculous and uncofrtunate though.
     
  4. earnjam macrumors 6502a

    earnjam

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #4
    Let me get this straight.

    You decided to return it after dealing with AT&T's customer service, but you had not broken the seal on the box? What were you dealing with them about?

    I'm just a little confused. Did you just return because of previous experience with ATT? Because of something you had read/heard? Why were you interacting with them if you hadn't even opened the iPhone yet?

    Addition: I haven't spoken to anyone at AT&T a single time since I got my phone. Bought it at the Apple store on launch day and activated it online with no problems. Even transferred my number from Alltel.
     
  5. azdude macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2003
    #5
    It shouldn't matter his reason why. If the shrinkwrap wasn't broken, there should be no question about it.

    It's almost as sleezy as when they told me twice to my face that they didn't have any iPhones in stock, until immediately after I let it slip that I'd be signing up as a new customer. Suddenly they had two cases of them in the back.

    If it were any other phone, I'd have walked out then and stuck with Sprint. ;)
     
  6. angrygolfer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    PA
    #6
    My experiences with AT&T have been stellar. i was a Verizon customer before they were even Verizon. I was naturally concerned about switching to AT&T. However I have been very happy with the service and their customer service both in the stor and on the phone. Sorry to hear about your bad experience.
     
  7. earthsick macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    central nj
    #7
    The truth of the matter is that no one would be happy no matter what carrier had the iPhone. You like Sprint, from my experience Sprint is the worst customer service wise. No one flat out LOVES their cellular provider. You can not please everyone, and at this point its just beating a dead horse.
     
  8. d21mike macrumors 68040

    d21mike

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Location:
    Torrance, CA
    #8
    I think all phone companies and probably all businesses have some bad customer service reps. My solution is to afford them unless I have to talk to them. I think most people on this forum know as much or more then they do about the phone. So if not a billing or activation question why do you call them. While with Verizon for 5 years I seldom needed to talk to them. While with AT&T for the last 2 months I only talked to them for about 1 hour when having a problem moving my phone number from Verizon. That experience was fine. I was nice to them and they were nice to me and got my problem solved.

    I guess I don't put as much weight into the customer service problem as most people. Getting a great phone is a higher priority for me.
     
  9. Twinkie macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
    Milford, MI
    #9
    How could you possibly complain about their customer service, if you were a reasonable person who understands that an iPhone costs $399 + tax, and that the service plans that are listed on the site are what's available?

    You shouldn't have needed to have any interaction with an AT&T employee (other than to say "I'd like an iPhone, please") to buy an iPhone, go home, and activate it like a normal person.
     
  10. angrygolfer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    PA
    #10
    So true.


    Couldn't have been better said.
     
  11. klex thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    #11
    Let me explain.

    I am a current AT&T customer, and for the duration of my current contract I have never had to deal with them, except on the day I opened the account. When I purchased the iPhone at the AT&T store, I did not have to sign up for another 2 years, as the rep told me it, that it would automatically do that once I activated the phone and transfered my number.

    In an unrelated event, I was trying to upgrade my phone on my second line. I logged on to my account where I saw I could get a pretty cool phone for free. I went to a store, asked if the online prices also applied in the store, to which they replied yes. I then asked to get the phone I had seen online. We then went through the whole process up until I had to accept the terms of the new 2 year contract which, according to the automated voice detailing my new contract, included an upgrade fee. I had noticed online that this fee would be waived. The rep said no to fee waiver, and I figured it wasn't a big deal ($18). At this time I had not pressed "2" to accept the terms of the new contract, and while waiting for an answer on the fee waiver question, the automated contract acceptance process was disconnected.

    The rep then quoted me a price of $99 for the phone I could get free online. I told her it was free online, and that she had told me that the same prices applied in store. She said it was impossible that the phone was free. I told her I could show her if I could use her computer to log into my account. When I logged in and clicked "upgrade" I saw that I was no longer eligible for any upgrade, and that my contract had been renewed for 2 years. I asked how that was possible since I had not gotten any upgrade nor accepted the terms of a new contract. She didn't know, but told me she would change it back. That apparently was complicated so she got a supervisor/manager to take care of it. This process took what felt like hours. Naturally at this point I was agitated. My contract had been renewed, without my consent or acceptance. What the hell!!!??? I left the store, called customer "service", explained the situation, and asked for my free upgrade. They said there was nothing they could do because I had started a new contract. I explained the situational again, and they told me the store had not, in fact, changed my contract back. More anger followed, and after over an hour on the phone, I was finally able to change my contract back, however, I am no longer eligible for any damn upgrades. The lack of upgrades is not what bothers me most. It's the fact that I was automatically enrolled in a new 2 year contract without my consent or acceptance. What kind of business practices are these?
     
  12. earthsick macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    central nj
    #12
    So you bought an iPhone and returned it due to a bad experience that happened in the past? I still think I am missing something.
     
  13. Sobe macrumors 68000

    Sobe

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Location:
    Wash DC suburbs
    #13
    compartmentalization of information in customer support is neither new, remarkable, nor limited to AT&T.

    If someone doesn't know something is an option, they can't give you that option.

    Happens all the time. Is it annoying? Sure. But let's not pretend that it's an experience limited to AT&T.

    I'm not particularly fond of AT&T but my affinity for the iPhone is enough to overcome that. For you, it might not be enough.
     
  14. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #14
    Hellooooooo iPhone!

    I have heard a "rumor" that iPhones can be unlocked without an AT&T contract.

    1) Buy the cheapest AT&T pay as go phone and activate it.

    2) Find a copy of iASign, which is free. (as in beer) Latest version is 2, I think.

    3) Use iASign to activate the iPhone using the AT&T prepaid phone sim. (this activation is necessary before the next step.)

    4) Buy iPhoneSimFree to unlock the iPhone.

    5) Insert the sim from your existing carrier. Woo Hoo!
     
  15. KittyToy macrumors 6502

    KittyToy

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    Location:
    Davenport
    #15
    awww

    I don’t even get why you returned the phone since you never opened it, I wish I knew where these AT&T stores where at that your going to because I never had any of those problems and I have been with Cingular for the last 8 years and I have yet to have a problem. When I got my iphone they just charged me the upgrade fee and they even activated the phone for me, I had to do nothing. When the iPhone price reduced I called AT&T and they credited me 200 bucks with no problem, I just ask and they gave. I may sound bias but I have nothing to complain about so I guess I'm just lucky:p
     
  16. jamesarm97 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    #16
    I love my iPhone, but as far as AT&T support goes I had an experience the other day that was work related. We were configuring a system for a customer that used a wireless data modem (using AT&T SIM card). We needed something called 'Mobile Terminated IP'. Normally you can only get data from the modem, but we needed to be able to send data to the modem remotely but this is normally firewalled without this option. To make a long story short, I talked with AT&T support for over an hour and a half, going through 4 tiers of support and at the end was told this option was no longer offered. It was with the old Blue AT&T SIMS and they were being fazed out. I talked to a few vendors and they said to just hang up and call them back.

    I called back and had the feature enabled after only being on with him for 5 minutes. Seems like one hand does not know what the other is doing. He said he had not heard of it, then found it by searching and put me on hold to talk with a data specialist (which is who I had talked to the first time). Came back and said it was done. Started working fine after that.

    - James
     
  17. earnjam macrumors 6502a

    earnjam

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #17
    That sucks. I'm sorry.
     
  18. cybertron3 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2003
    Location:
    Mass
    #18
    I had to deal with ATT during my activation (D-Day activation hell), but since then, all has been ok. I had Cingular in the past so I know the pain they can cause. I just hope there are no problems with my account and I can fly below the radar for the next 2 years.
     
  19. NewtypeCJ macrumors 6502

    NewtypeCJ

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Decatur, GA
    #19
    If you saw the deal online you just should've gone with it online. My experience in cell phone stores with ANY carrier has always been extremely unsatisfying. And it's really not that shocking that someone in-store or even on the phone are unaware of online deals.

    Anyway this is more an indictment of the situation at AT&T retail stores than it is of the iPhone, which by design completely takes away the need for the in-store experience. Personally if you're not gonna switch carriers now altogether I would give it another shot, but buy your next iPhone from an Apple Store in case you have any problems with it.
     
  20. z28black98 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #20
    exactly. The only time you really come into contact with a person from ATT is when you buy the thing, assuming you buy it from them and not an apple store. But none the less, you take the thing home, download itunes, open the box, plug into the usb cable and do your thing. I found it easier then buying a new phone in the att store and having them activate and transfer everything over there. I would much rather do it from the comforts of my own home laying on my bed on the laptop watching football games in HD!
     
  21. spencecb macrumors 6502a

    spencecb

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2003
    #21
    This is so true. I have had troubles with Cingular in the past, but they were mostly problems caused by defective Motorola handsets.

    I have had hordes of problems with TimeWarner in the past. I have bitched them out more times than I can count.

    Customer service in big corporations barely exists. They are too big for the good of the customer.
     
  22. Bernie-Mac macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Location:
    Sin City, NV
    #22
    Hmm....idk why everyone bashes AT&T, ive had them for the past 5 years and they have been nothing but good to me, i mean their service (reception) is excellent, they may not have such a variety of plans and phones as say T-Mobile does but their reception definately makes up for it, in my group of 4 friends (ive known them since before i even owned a cell phone) i have AT&T, the other has T-Mobile, one has Verizon and the other has Sprint and i must say that out of everyone i have to best service wherever we go and i have the coolest phone :D, i was happy when they said the iphone was with AT&T, i just got out of a contract so if the iPhone went to T-Mobile or something i was free to sign with them but i had no problems signing another 2 years to AT&T...i dont really get it but whatever :rolleyes:
     
  23. nismo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    #23
    You can't judge the whole company based on a couple of bad experiences. The problem is just that those people hate their job at the AT&T store and that reflects on AT&T as a whole. I am sure that if you go to an Apple store your experience would differ very much. Every cell phone company has a couple of bad customer service reps.
     
  24. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #24

    You sure showed them. :)
     
  25. klex thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    #25
    I just don't enjoy being pissed on like that. Don't need, don't want it. Waiting for more success stories regarding the unlocking software, then I'll march down to an Apple store and switch to T-Mobile.

    We'll at least they're not getting my money for the next two years, so I don't have to feel like a complete fool.
     

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