Trade In and Get Rewarded!
Bechara23's profile

4 Messages

Wednesday, November 29th, 2023 2:14 AM

Don’t trade in your phone with AT&T

I trade in my iPhone 14 Pro Max 128 GB for 15 pro max on Sep 27, 2023 and sent the phone via USPS to AT&T in the kit they provided with the label. After 2 months when I didn’t see the credits in my bill, I inquired and came to know they received iPhone 11 Pro instead with broken screen and I will not receive the promised credit from AT&T. I’m not sure who stole the phone on its way to AT&T but one thing is for sure that this whole trade in program is a hoax so please don’t fall for it.

I got the stolen phone blacklisted by Apple after providing them the original receipt I had. Also after a lot of going back and forth AT&T customer service opened the case for me but they already mentioned that there’s no guarantee you will receive credit for 14 pro max. 

I’ve seen a lot of similar complaints now at this forum and believe this is a known issue with AT&T. I will wait to see the outcome of my case, but will definitely switch carrier if not satisfied. I will also report it to BBB and FCC. Please stay away from this whole fake trade in program.

Accepted Solution

ACE - Master

 • 

10.4K Messages

5 months ago

@Bechara23  Just file a BBB complaint to get it escalated to corporate management.  They will contact you and when you provide the proof, they should credit you.

In fact, I would recommend that everyone in this situation simply file a BBB complaint.  Give AT&T chance to correct it by contacting them, but if they stonewall you, or you have to play DM tag for days, just file the complaint.  

The problem isn’t the USPS, it’s the system that AT&T uses for returns.  If you just gave the package to USPS, and  USPS does the delivery direct to the warehouse, it will almost certainly get there.  The USPS is pretty reliable.  The problem is that isn’t how the system works.  USPS sends the package somewhere, not to the final destination, and then it gets picked up at some variable time by an “agent” who is then responsible for getting it to the final destination.  There’s an entire second delivery system in their process, and that seems to be where a lot of the problem lies.

ACE - Sage

 • 

117K Messages

5 months ago

There's nothing wrong with the trade-in programs. But you shouldn't be doing them via mail.

And you should understand how the program works. You take your package to the postal service and it's either an RMA label for an early upgrade which means it's addressed through Pitney Bowes back to AT&T in Texas.   Or it's a trade-in label which is addressed to an address in lavergne Tennessee for the refurbish and recycle business which takes all the trade in phones.

Your package/phone can easily go missing or be destroyed anywhere along the way. 

The best way to participate in the early upgrade which is what you did is to do your return and your purchase in an AT&T store and make sure you get a paper receipt for your return.  

If you order online or over the phone and your new phone is shipped, you are usually stuck mailing in your early upgrade return or your trade in which is where things can go wrong.

14 Messages

5 months ago

any trade-in program where you ship your trade-in via UPS, FedEx, etc. is a risk.....Samsung, Google, doesn't matter. every time I do it (and I do it properly) I'm nervous, because something can always go wrong.

ACE - Sage

 • 

117K Messages

5 months ago

@notforhire 

Yup.  I've done it 4 times now.  First two were direct trades for a new Google phone. I was very careful about taking my package to the post office, getting a counter receipt, and then tracking my phone all the way to Tennessee and saving all the screenshots.

It's the most recent two that were nearly a disaster. Traded in for two new S23 during the pre-order. The order seemed to go fine. It's when I was filling out the stuff for the trade-in that I realized that it was going to go really wrong. The phones were identified correctly by IMEI for the purchase of the new phones but filling out the trade in information neither phone was identified correctly. In fact my phone a Note 10 Plus wasn't identified as a US phone at all despite the fact that it was a carrier purchased phone that I was no longer using. I wound up going to a local corporate store where they processed everything for me and I got my credits in 2 months. I sent the store a muffin basket. And thank them in person and promise them I would no longer order online. I would order my stuff in store so that they would get credit and commission for the sales.  

     When we order online The carrier gets 100% of the credit and profit. No credit is given to the salespeople who do 90% of the work.   People who work in the stores work on commission.  I feel bad that I have not been supportive, but I'm correcting that

14 Messages

5 months ago

@formerlyknownas 

I've done 6 or 7 phone and 4 watch trade-ins with Samsung. I've had a couple of hiccups, and one major issue that was entirely my fault. always resolved successfully in my direction. and every time I say "never again." but (Edited per community guidelines)...some of those deals are too good to pass up. 😉

(edited)

4 Messages

5 months ago

@formerlyknownas @notforhire 

Thanks for your comments, please note that this was my first time and hopefully last time. It was not an early upgrade, I moved from another carrier and followed the process properly, if there was an option or AT&T mentioned that I can bring it to the store for trade in, I definitely would have done that. 

This is on AT&T, it’s their process with flaws, I wished I had done some research on internet about past stolen/lost cases of other customers; same story again and again. AT&T should stop this online trade in program if they can’t rectify the issue and only allow store trade in option.

ACE - Sage

 • 

117K Messages

5 months ago

@Bechara23 

No it's not "on AT&T". Any more than it's on Verizon, T-Mobile, Google, Samsung, and every other manufacturer or provider that participates in these trade-in deals.   

   It is unfortunate that there are bad people who work for good businesses.  (Like my cousin who stole from the post office.)  There is no perfect system. All it takes is one bad person in the chain and you being the unfortunate victim.  That does not make these trade-in offers a hoax or a fraud.  It's been going on since middle of 2019 and literally millions of people have taken advantage successfully.

There are ways even if you have to use the mail that you can assure that your package is accounted for appropriately which forces AT&T to honor the deal anyway. Which means you take your package to the post office and you get a counter receipt. That means it's been checked in by the post office it's weight is noted. Then you go home and within 24 hours the tracking number should show in the postal system and eventually will get picked up by either Pitney Bowes or newgistics courier.  Weight also noted.

You can then track your package all the way to its final destination whether that is back at AT&T, or the trade-in business in Tennessee.

 

   They all run exactly the same way. I'm sure that @notforhire  can confirm 

And if you're doing your trade-in with the manufacturer you have to mail your phone. At least with a service provider you have the option of doing a trade-in in store.

In the past few years I've had packages that never arrived to me, packages I've shipped that have never arrived at their destination. I've had packages that were returned because they were destroyed in shipping.

  And the first Google pixel that they sold, I resold on swappa and it took 6 weeks to get where it was supposed to go. Fortunately because I shipped it I could ship it insured. It was determined to be lost after 2 weeks and the post office paid me the insurance.

14 Messages

5 months ago

@formerlyknownas 

confirmed. I'll note something else. I briefly managed a location (warehouse) in North Texas that had contracts with Verizon, Charter, Spectrum, AT&T, Frontier and a few others. We received ALL returns/trade-ins for their various programs. Moreover, the people that were hired to work in the facility and process all of the phones, set top boxes, routers, etc. were all paid $10/hour, were from all over the world, and barely spoke English. I've seen first hand how the sausage is made. It's not pretty.

4 Messages

5 months ago

I agree some bad apples are involved in cases like these, but this is responsibility of these big Telco companies to investigate and rectify this issue and not leave their customers in misery, but another interesting fact that when I went to USPS with AT&T return kit and label provided by them, I asked that I wanted to buy insurance and USPS worker told me you can’t with this label. They gave me the receipt with tracking number and I followed it till I receive the message from AT&T that the package is received. Also last night I was at corporate office for this issue and I was told that it was you who provided IMEI for iPhone 11 Pro, it doesn’t make sense to me that why would I provide them IMEI for 11 pro when I’m sending them 14 pro max, this tells me that definitely there’s someone in this business who is stealing the phones. 

Community Support

 • 

231.3K Messages

5 months ago

We're here to help you, and this is not the experience we want you to have @Bechara23.

 

We are going to reach out to you in DM to take a look at account details and help you with trade in related information. Please look out for a DM notification from us.

 

Looking forward to speaking with you!

 

Thank you for contacting AT&T Community & Forums,

Susan, AT&T Community Specialist

 

Not finding what you're looking for?
New to AT&T Community?
New to the AT&T Community? Start by visiting the Community How-To.
New to the AT&T Community?
Visit the Community How-To.