BOGO Gone Wrong
On 12/2/2017, my wife and I took advantage of the ATT / iPhone 8 BOGO offer. When we walked into the ATT store, we had (4) lines in a family share plan. In order to take advantage of the BOGO offer, we had to add two new lines. We had no need for two more lines since there are only (4) of us in our family; however, it made sense to pay that added monthly fee for two more lines in order to get the two "free" iPhones.
We bought one iPhone 8 Plus and got one "free". The credit for the 2nd iPhone 8 Plus was to be the cost of the standard iPhone 8. I had to pay the delta between the 8 Plus and regular 8. This was part of the BOGO rules. We added one of the 2 lines to meet this particular BOGO requirement.
We bought a 2nd iPhone 8 Plus and got a 2nd "free". Again, I had to pay the delta as described above. We added the 2nd new line to conform to the BOGO rules.
All four new phones were Christmas presents for the family and weren't activated until 12/24.
Much to my surprise, I am getting charged for all four phones. Here's the history:
- statement from 11/11/17 to 12/10/17 ATT charged us installment #1 of 24 for the two BOGO phones. This statement was correct in that it charged the correct amount and the other two phones had zero charges as they were free.
- statement from 12/11/17 to 1/10/18 ATT charged us installment #2 of 24 for the two BOGO phones. Again, this statement was correct.
- statement from 1/11/18 to 2/10/18 ATT charged us installment #3 of 24 for the two BOGO phones. This is fine, but in addition, they started charging us for the two free phones...installment #1 of 24 for each of the two free phones ($33.34 each x2).
- statement from 2/11/18 to 3/10/18 ATT again charged us for the two free phones (#4 of 24 for two BOGO phones (correct) and #2 of 24 for two free phones at $33.34 each x2)
- statement from 3/11/18 to 4/10/18 ATT again charged us for the two free phones (#5 of 24 for two BOGO phones (correct) and #3 of 24 for two free phones at $33.34 each x2)
In mid April, I called the ATT support number to inquire about the billing. It was a very long call. It eventually involved the supervisor (Manager I was told) of the customer service person I was speaking with. They told me that the system didn't like the delayed activation (since we didn't open them until Christmas) and they told me that their system had a "glitch" in January that made the software think we changed plan types and thereby we forfeit our two BOGO plans. I made ZERO changes to our plan in January. Any and all changes were on their end. I haven't visited a store to make changes. I don't make changes on-line. I obviously had no interest in forfeiting my BOGO deals. Eventually, ATT customer service told me that they completely understood and that their paperwork would go to the "BACK ROOM" for approval and credit issuance. I've read about this infamous "BACK ROOM" of ATT. I was told that it could take months but it should be okay since her "Manager" was involved and put her name on it. [I have the name of the customer service person and her Manager].
Well, I started checking back after a few weeks and saw that some credits were issued. I was excited at first and then the reality set in. There were four credits for $23.34 each. As I stated above, up to that point in time, I had been overcharged (6 times for $33.34) over three statements. So, I was short credited by $10 on four of the charges and was not given a credit on two other overcharges. The credit at that point should have been $200.04 ($33.34 x6). Instead, the credit was $93.36 ($23.34 x4). On top of that, my next bill has come and they are still charging me $33.34 for all 4 phones!!! No additional feedback was ever provided to me.
Now, I guess that I have to start over, call the 1-800 number again and go through the entire issue with someone new. I'm sure this will once again get passed to the "BACK ROOM" where I will have to wait for weeks / months. I will get no response, but I'll just have to keep checking on-line to see if any credits appear. This is a MESS!!! The last call tool 2 hours. This is such a waste of time and such poor customer service. Am I the only one getting abused?
I would love to speak with someone that has the authority to listen to the story and act immediately. This "BACK ROOM" stuff is very shady at best and appears to be more strategy on ATT's part than customer service. The icing on the cake is that I'm paying for two new lines that I don't even need and still not getting credit for the (2) BOGO offers.
If I'm not getting the two BOGO deals as I was told I would when I signed the contract, then I don't want to pay for the two added lines. One way or the other. Instead, I'm getting abused on both ends. Of course you discuss billing issues at the ATT stores....can you?
Can anyone help or offer advice?
ACE - Sage
5 years ago
All promotions are on the website. At the time of sales, they are on the sale pages for the phones.
There is no BOGO paperwork. It’s like 2 for 1 canned peaches. The register scans qualified purchases and the computer automatically gives a credit on the sales slip for the free can. Same here. The computer has 3 months to make sure the customer had all requirements met, paid on time, bought correct phones, added a line or TV service, etc. it’s all automated. .
4 years ago
So my story is that, in early October, I purchased 2 iPhone XS Max’s and was told by a sales rep that I was working with on the corporate phone number that it qualified me for a BOGO offer of my choice of 2 iPhone 8’s or 8 Plus’. I thought, “Great, backups in case of future phone damage.” The 2 iPhone 8’s I chose are still sitting new in their boxes.
I was told that I would have to maintain the lines for the two BOGOs’ for 2 years and that the monthly installment charge for each of the 2 iPhone 8’s would show as a charge and a refund of said charge on each statement.
The charges started up as expected, but no refunds for the I installment charges of the 2 iPhone 8’s. I’ve called every month or so and for the first 3 calls, I kept being told, “Give it time to kick in - it can take up to a few months for the refunds to engage.”
Fast forward to today. I just got off the line with a couple different individuals at AT&T and was told that the reason that the refunds never kicked in is that I was never eligible for the deal in the first place. Apparently - and this was never mentioned by the sales person - I had to add internet or cable services, as well, to qualify and that I just had to pay for the devices. When i then told them that I don’t need or want the extra phones at this point and would be happy to send them back (still new in their boxes, mind you), I was told that I was outside the 14 day return window and there is nothing they can do.
My stance on this:
I’ve owned my own business and had to take a couple bad financial hits on jobs because I honored my word when I forgot to account for something. To me, that is simply good customer service. AT&T’s sales rep got me signed up for 2 new phones and lines under false pretenses (obviously a mistake on his part). In light of that, they should honor our original agreement. In lieu of that, take back the 2 iPhone 8’s and wipe that slate clean. I should not be financially responsible for their mess-up.
When i explained this, their response was, “We understand. Sorry, this is the way it is.”
ACE - Expert
4 years ago
@Runoverthenback Why would you agree to two phones you didn’t need and two lines you aren’t using even if they were free? At a very minimum, those lines are going to cost you around $600 each over the life of the installment plan, maybe more.
4 years ago