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2 Messages

Monday, January 15th, 2018 4:42 PM

Faulty iPhone Scam

Is anyone else affected by this like me?  Does this seem unreasonable to others too?


So apparently, you can return your phone for any reason - even just because you're already tired of the color - within 14 days...Oh, wait, there's one reason you can't...the most logical reason of all: a faulty phone.


If you utter those fateful words, you can't simply say, hey, you gave me a phone that isn't working, so can you help me transfer all my photos and numbers to a new, working phone?  Bc oh, if you do, AT&T puts up their hands and backs off and says, oh, we can't help you.  You have to go through the hassle with Apple.


I spent thirty minutes on the phone arguing with an AT&T rep because an older relative of mine, brave enough to embrace new technology, was given an iPhone that doesn't work; now they're telling this relative that they have to travel a long, long distance to an actual Apple store and/or go through the risky and messy business of having a new one shipped, transferring the personal info, and then shipping the faulty one back.  The AT&T rep even read me the warranty/contractual language.


AT&T has got themselves a sweet deal.  They totally have washed their hands of what should be the ordinary costs and hassles of acting as a distributor for a manufacturer.  AT&T can distribute and cash in on faulty products all day long but then have nothing to do with fixing it and thus take no responsibility for their part in distributing faulty products...they don't have to pay shipping costs or anything!  Plus, it incentivizes customers to return their phones because they've grown to "hate the color" but in reality aren't able/afraid to hassle with shipping and/or traveling to exchange a faulty phone - in other words, it incentivizes dishonesty and is probably how my relative got a faulty phone to begin with. 


While most younger people such as myself live fairly close to an Apple store, AT&T seems to be forgetting or don't care that they have customers in rural regions where mail is less reliable and where there's not an Apple store on every block...and apparently don't care they have older customers who might actually want to use their product but have challenges of travel, technological knowledge, etc., that most in the younger set don't have.  (Oh, and don't even get me started on the risks of mailing something that expensive either...I've had multiple times where the postal service involved stole or damaged something.  Then you have incurred the cost of two phones, have no phone, and a huge, huge mess.)


By the way, this is the first and hopefully only time I've gone onto some type of online forum to complain.  I've been a loyal AT&T and Apple customer for years; I'm hoping enough people will see this and complain that we can get the two companies to act in customers' best interests and act like decent companies...not like companies figuring out how best to scam their customers into taking on the risk of their own faulty products. 


I don't know about you, but I'm sure going to think twice again about buying from AT&T...because if I do, I'll be gambling that I'll be given a product that doesn't even work and then I have to deal with all the costs and risks involved.

Accepted Solution

Official Solution

ACE - Expert


64.7K Messages

6 years ago

It is not a scam. It is Apple’s policy and has been that way since the first iPhone. Only Apple does warranty replacement of iPhones and that is true no matter where you buy it from. If you are not close to an Apple store, they will send you a new phone.



2 Messages

6 years ago

Your response sounds as though you are an AT&T employee.


Re: it's always been that way - I have never walked out of the store with a faulty iPhone before (and neither has my family) I have never had to put it to the "test" before.


But it still to me is a "scam" because it ensures that AT&T doesn't have to take responsibility or assist customers when it (unknowingly) distributes a bad product. 


And your response that Apple will send you a new phone dismisses my points in my initial comments: the risks involved when mailing valuables (particularly because, as you also did not mention, the customer is then responsible for the set up and the shipping back of the faulty device) and the endless hassles.


The contract should allow within that "return policy window" of 14 days for someone who is honest enough to report that their iPhone is faulty.  AT&T should take responsibility and ship those back to AT&T.


I appreciate your time. 

ACE - Master


10.6K Messages

6 years ago

You may choose to believe that it’s a “scam”, but that’s the policy, and always has been.  It’s the same for everyone, a pioneer, a long term AT&T customer, someone who spends $500 a month with AT&T, and so on.

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