ATT Lost Trade In = Theft. Hurts when your telephone provider basically scams you
In August, I helped my mother take advantage of a new AT&T promotion: existing customers could trade in a qualifying phone and receive the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 5G for FREE (MSRP $1,000). Of course, there are caveats to this promotion - you have to sign up for a 30-month installment plan, the phone you trade in must meet a certain threshold for condition and functionality, etc.
So we took her Samsung Galaxy S8 (owned by us completely, in impeccable condition, and qualifies for the trade-in) to our local AT&T store (not an AT&T Servicer with a 3rd Party - a legitimate AT&T store). After a representative checked the phone, we were informed that it seems to be in good condition and qualifies for the trade-in. The representative then proceeded to go through the in-store trade-in process, culminating with us handing over the phone to complete the trade-in.
We were told that it might take a couple of billing cycles for the credits to start appearing in our monthly bill, but that they would show up eventually. That was 5 months ago - still no credits. Instead, we're now paying $33.33-34 / month for a phone that should be $0 / month. After hours on the phone with different AT&T representatives today, it has become clear that AT&T never recorded our trade-in in its internal systems. Instead, they took our Samsung Galaxy S8, told us not to worry about the charges in the first couple of months, and let enough time pass such that we have no meaningful recourse - the store representatives don't remember a transaction from 5 months ago.
As legacy AT&T customers, this mishap has been beyond appalling. Simply put, AT&T scammed us and is now saying, "deal with it." It doesn't matter if the store representative pocketed the phone for themselves, or if AT&T's system spontaneously failed right when we were trying to trade-in. What matters is that AT&T doesn't seem to be able to take responsibility - instead, it passes on the consequences of its own mishaps to its customers. Disappointing and disgusting.
In browsing online, I can see that other customers have had this problem. Feel free to comment if this has happened to you, or better yet, provide any information you have around resolving such problems. I'm at my wits end with phone representatives for the day, but I plan to grossly escalate this concern starting tomorrow. @AT&T you're not robbing me without a fight.