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mifbody's profile

Contributor

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3 Messages

Thu, Jan 19, 2017 6:41 PM

AT&T Bait & Switch Practices - Please train your support representatives!

I reached out to AT&T Live Chat around Christmas and asked if there were any early termination fees if I wanted to port my number over to a different service and return my phone. Since we don't get to keep the phones if we do early upgrades, I was under the assumption that I could terminate my ATT Next plan early for a fee. The support representative responded:

Brian : For my Galaxy S7 Edge device (xxx-xxx-xxxx) I was curious what the fees would be if I were to want to return the device to AT&T and port the number to a different carrier?
Ariel : Thank you for that information.
Ariel : i know how important for you to return the device at AT&T
Ariel : and transfer the line to a different carrier
Brian : Thanks - I don't want to make any changes today, but I want to know what the fees or steps would be if I decide to remove the (xxx) xxx-xxxx line from my plan
Ariel : No worries, i will make sure that I will share to you the process
Ariel : the fees will be just $40 for the returning the device
Ariel : and with that, if you will port in to a different carrier
Ariel : all you have to do is to call the carrier wherein you will have to transfer or port in the number
Ariel : and you can return your device using the return label.
Brian : OK that's not too bad, so the only fee for canceling the line on my plan would be the $40 for returning the device?
Ariel : Yes, that is correct.
Ariel : and I assure you that one Brian

Literally, ONLY because Ariel reassured me that I could return the phone for the $40 charge, I moved forward with porting my number over to Google Voice - I would never have gone through with this had I known what a headache I was in for. During the porting process, I talked to another support rep and asked about how to get the return label that Ariel had mentioned. The representative told me I could just take it to any corporate store. OK - easy enough. The port completed and I went into my local corporate AT&T store to return my phone. Everyone there was baffled and had no clue what I was talking about and told me that I couldn't return the phone -- and the sucker punch was that since I ported my number I was now on the hook for the remaining $600+ payment for my phone! "If you paid the phone off and then wanted to turn it in for credit, we'd value it at (clicks around in her tablet to look it up) ... $250." Yeah OK...

When I got home I called AT&T Support and the person on the line was very understanding of my situation since I was fed bad information by Ariel and offered to put in a case to see if there was anything that could be done. She assured me that someone would call me within 48 hours to talk about the case and that the due date for the resolution was Thursday 1/18. Thursday came and went - no phone call from AT&T.

This morning I went into Live Chat and was informed that my case # was rejected because I don't qualify for Buyers Remorse since it had been 6 months since I "bought" the phone. I thought we were only leasing the phone since I have to return it if I upgrade early, but I digress. Again the representative sounded very understanding of my situation and worked with "a specialist" to come up with an idea to help resolve my situation. I explained that there was no way I could afford to pay the $600+ all at once. Their idea was to put in a request to unlock my phone so it'd be worth more if I tried selling it on eBay as a factory unlocked phone. He also offered to file a dispute for the remaining installments on the phone so I would have until March 1st (I had only asked for a couple weeks, so that was nice of him to give me more time) so I could sell my phone and then use the money to pay off the dispute. I *REALLY* wish AT&T would honor the information given originally so I could just return the phone for a reasonable fee, but whatever I'm trying really hard to be calm and reasonable.

A few hours later I get an email that my request to unlock the phone was rejected because the phone isn't paid off. Again back to Live Chat and I'm being told that no one can escalate it because it will just be denied.

{edited for word filter evasion}

MicCheck

ACE - Expert

 • 

11.7K Messages

6年前


@mifbody wrote:

I reached out to AT&T Live Chat around Christmas and asked if there were any early termination fees if I wanted to port my number over to a different service and return my phone. Since we don't get to keep the phones if we do early upgrades, I was under the assumption that I could terminate my ATT Next plan early for a fee. The support representative responded:

Brian : For my Galaxy S7 Edge device (xxx-xxx-xxxx) I was curious what the fees would be if I were to want to return the device to AT&T and port the number to a different carrier?
Ariel : Thank you for that information.
Ariel : i know how important for you to return the device at AT&T
Ariel : and transfer the line to a different carrier
Brian : Thanks - I don't want to make any changes today, but I want to know what the fees or steps would be if I decide to remove the (xxx) xxx-xxxx line from my plan
Ariel : No worries, i will make sure that I will share to you the process
Ariel : the fees will be just $40 for the returning the device
Ariel : and with that, if you will port in to a different carrier
Ariel : all you have to do is to call the carrier wherein you will have to transfer or port in the number
Ariel : and you can return your device using the return label.
Brian : OK that's not too bad, so the only fee for canceling the line on my plan would be the $40 for returning the device?
Ariel : Yes, that is correct.
Ariel : and I assure you that one Brian

Literally, ONLY because Ariel reassured me that I could return the phone for the $40 charge, I moved forward with porting my number over to Google Voice - I would never have gone through with this had I known what a headache I was in for. During the porting process, I talked to another support rep and asked about how to get the return label that Ariel had mentioned. The representative told me I could just take it to any corporate store. OK - easy enough. The port completed and I went into my local corporate AT&T store to return my phone. Everyone there was baffled and had no clue what I was talking about and told me that I couldn't return the phone -- and the sucker punch was that since I ported my number I was now on the hook for the remaining $600+ payment for my phone! "If you paid the phone off and then wanted to turn it in for credit, we'd value it at (clicks around in her tablet to look it up) ... $250." Yeah OK...

When I got home I called AT&T Support and the person on the line was very understanding of my situation since I was fed bad information by Ariel and offered to put in a case to see if there was anything that could be done. She assured me that someone would call me within 48 hours to talk about the case and that the due date for the resolution was Thursday 1/18. Thursday came and went - no phone call from AT&T.

This morning I went into Live Chat and was informed that my case # was rejected because I don't qualify for Buyers Remorse since it had been 6 months since I "bought" the phone. I thought we were only leasing the phone since I have to return it if I upgrade early, but I digress. Again the representative sounded very understanding of my situation and worked with "a specialist" to come up with an idea to help resolve my situation. I explained that there was no way I could afford to pay the $600+ all at once. Their idea was to put in a request to unlock my phone so it'd be worth more if I tried selling it on eBay as a factory unlocked phone. He also offered to file a dispute for the remaining installments on the phone so I would have until March 1st (I had only asked for a couple weeks, so that was nice of him to give me more time) so I could sell my phone and then use the money to pay off the dispute. I *REALLY* wish AT&T would honor the information given originally so I could just return the phone for a reasonable fee, but whatever I'm trying really hard to be calm and reasonable.

A few hours later I get an email that my request to unlock the phone was rejected because the phone isn't paid off. Again back to Live Chat and I'm being told that no one can escalate it because it will just be denied.

{edited for word filter evasion}


Apparently Ariel misunderstood what you were asking or did not see that you were past the buyer's remorse period. That said, it's not her fault that you signed up for the Next plan without understanding all of the details and requirements. 

 

In the past, AT&T has waived ETFs if customer's come back to AT&T within 60 days, which it sounds like you are still within. I'm not sure if they do the same for "reinstating" a Next plan, but that is probably your best option besides just paying off the phone and moving on. 

 

You can send a private message to @ATTMobilityCare and see if that might be an option. 

ACE - Sage

 • 

98.5K Messages

6年前

If that was the sum total of the conversation, this isn't bait and switch, it's garbage in garbage out.  

You didn't inform Ariel that you were several months into your ATT Next agreement.  

 

ATT doesn't want the phone back, but you have to finish paying for it.  You can then unlock it, sell it, or use it.  

For future reference, (since this is how most carriers sell phones) and a flashback to your date of purchase, ATT next is a purchase over time, like Layaway, only you get to take home the phone right away, or a no interest loan.  The phone is yours, not a lease.    The payments are noted on your bill each month counting down till your last payment.  You don't need to call support, you can look at your bill.   

 

 

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David606

Employee

 • 

3.5K Messages

6年前

There are no phone leases. Next is a hardware financing plan. You own that device the day you take possession of it.

 

That rep was going on the assumption you were within the 14-day return period.

Contributor

 • 

3 Messages

6年前

Ariel had access to my account and should have looked it up rather than making the assumption, especially when I was asking about early termination fees - not something I'd be asking about if I was within my 14 day window. 

 

Then the subsequent support reps promising someone would call to talk about my case which never happened, the other representative who said he'd unlock my phone and then I could sell it to be able to afford paying off the phone, and as far as I can tell the payment was not put into dispute like he said either. The bait and switch is that the representatives promise you the world on the phone or in the chat but as soon as you hang up or leave the chat you find out everything they said was false/impossible and now it's someone else's problem and not theirs. That's the really frustrating part. The subsequent rep and "specialist" should have known that the unlock would be denied since the phone wasn't paid off. But instead he wasted my time making me think he was really helping only to find out ~15 minutes later that what he was promising was entirely against AT&T policy and wouldn't be allowed, no matter how hard I tried to escalate and get someone to override.

 

As much as I believe[Per Guidelines:  Keep it Relevant and Appropriate]. call some local news stations I'm tired of trying to get AT&T to be respectable and help get this resolved. I had accepted i'm stuck with the bill, but I was hopeful someone at AT&T would atleast help work with me now that I have an almost $750+ bill this month which I cannot afford. Unfortunately I'll just suck it up as an expensive, hard learned lesson to never trust a support representative at AT&T and always assume they have no clue what they're talking about. I'll just have to sell the phone on ebay and hope I get anywhere near what I owe. Pretty crappy on AT&T for misleading a customer so they get stuck with a 750+ phone bill and then saying "Oops, too bad."

Gary L

ACE - Expert

 • 

16.1K Messages

6年前


@mifbody wrote:

Ariel had access to my account and should have looked it up rather than making the assumption, especially when I was asking about early termination fees - not something I'd be asking about if I was within my 14 day window. 

And YOU had access to your account too.

 

Why wouldn't you ask about it in your 14 day window?  Why/how are you so certain of that part of the policy if you aren't even aware that you bought that phone and it is not a lease? When have you leased a phone??

 

 

Since we don't get to keep the phones if we do early upgrades, I was under the assumption that I could terminate my ATT Next plan early for a fee.

Basically when you do an early upgrade, they are buying your phone from you for a semi-fixed price (the remaining payments). It sounds like a trade in but it's not.

 

And it's not a "fee" it's just paying off what you owe for the phone you purchased.

 

 

As much as I believe I should get a lawyer involved or call some local news stations

Because you don't realize you bought your phone? The AT&T guy got it wrong but so did you, you did the same thing they did.  You made some assumptions and didn't look it up either. 

 

While you're trying to get AT&T to be responsible, for some bad info on the phone, you don't want to be respnsible for your knowing your end of the contract. 

 

It sucks they gave you the wrong answer.  

 

 

MicCheck

ACE - Expert

 • 

11.7K Messages

6年前


@mifbody wrote:

Ariel had access to my account and should have looked it up rather than making the assumption, especially when I was asking about early termination fees - not something I'd be asking about if I was within my 14 day window. 

 

Then the subsequent support reps promising someone would call to talk about my case which never happened, the other representative who said he'd unlock my phone and then I could sell it to be able to afford paying off the phone, and as far as I can tell the payment was not put into dispute like he said either. The bait and switch is that the representatives promise you the world on the phone or in the chat but as soon as you hang up or leave the chat you find out everything they said was false/impossible and now it's someone else's problem and not theirs. That's the really frustrating part. The subsequent rep and "specialist" should have known that the unlock would be denied since the phone wasn't paid off. But instead he wasted my time making me think he was really helping only to find out ~15 minutes later that what he was promising was entirely against AT&T policy and wouldn't be allowed, no matter how hard I tried to escalate and get someone to override.

 

As much as I believe[Per Guidelines:  Keep it Relevant and Appropriate]. call some local news stations I'm tired of trying to get AT&T to be respectable and help get this resolved. I had accepted i'm stuck with the bill, but I was hopeful someone at AT&T would atleast help work with me now that I have an almost $750+ bill this month which I cannot afford. Unfortunately I'll just suck it up as an expensive, hard learned lesson to never trust a support representative at AT&T and always assume they have no clue what they're talking about. I'll just have to sell the phone on ebay and hope I get anywhere near what I owe. Pretty crappy on AT&T for misleading a customer so they get stuck with a 750+ phone bill and then saying "Oops, too bad."


Did you contact @ATTMobilityCare as I suggested to see if you could come back to AT&T and avoid paying off the phone right now?

ACE - Sage

 • 

98.5K Messages

6年前

@mifbody

As I posted the first time, if you posted the total of the chat, she never looked up your account, she just answered your question about the return process.  

 

Look up the definition of "bait and switch"   It is selling a top quality good or service, then providing a much cheaper one.  Like selling you an iPad Pro, but shipping you a Trek tablet in its place.  

 

Then look up the term "garbage in, garbage out".  It's a term that means if you don't provide the correct information, you don't get the correct information back.  This is what you got...

 

 

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