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New Member

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9 Messages

Tue, Jan 21, 2020 11:21 PM

Help! Customer Service agrees my records show I returned a phone, but they say they are helpless to help me due to their broken system

I am looking for help and I don't know where else to turn to at this point. Is there any way to speak to someone at AT&T when none of their normal channels can help you despite their best efforts?

I bought 2 iPhones on 6/6/2019 with a BOGO promotion. Only a few days later, I returned both unopened iPhones because the salesman gave me the wrong information when I ordered them and the net result was my one daughter who already had a phone number would have to switch to a new phone number. I ahd to return them and order two more a week later. I returned the two iPhones in one box but somehow, one of these two iPhones was never logged back in at the receiving warehouse at AT&T. I noticed right away that I had an extra phone line I was paying for. % lines instead of 4 lines for 4 people. Customer service told me to keep paying the bill and it should all straighten out eventually. But it never did. I called every month and eventually a customer service rep was able to determine that I did indeed return the phone in question, and she issued me a credit on my account at this point, for all the months so far that I was paying for the monthly iPhone payments and the phone line linked to that phone that I never used. The credit was a relief as this was AT&T acknowleging that I was paying for a phone that I returned, and I thought the case was closed. Yet month after month after that initial credit, I kept getting new bills for this same phone! Every time I called, Customer Service had to read through my very long case, and eventually they would agree that yes, I returned the phone. Seven months later, I am still being charged for this phone I returned a day or two after I bought it, unopened, never used. How can I reach someone in upper management? Managers of Customer Service or Retention never take calls directly, and they will not give phone numbers, nor do they ever call me back no matter how many times I am promised a call from a manager. Every AT&T employee who ever studies my long case history will eventually tell me, out loud, that AT&T is wrong, and that I should receive full payment credit for the phone they lost and all the payments I ever made on this phone and its phone line. They tell me the conversiation is recorded, so there are dozens of recorded calls with Customer Service appologizing to me and promising me they will do their best to get my issue resolved. One of them today told me they are very sorry because they see I returned the phone, they stated that as official representatives of AT&T, I should be creditied in full for every payment I was every charged for this returned phone, but that sadly because of the automated way that AT&T conducts a search for a phone, the company will never stop billing me! She said an automated system will look for the phone's ID# and when it doesn't find it, my case will be closed and a bill will be generated every time. EVEN THOUGH THEY ADMIT THIS IS A MISTAKE. Time and time again! I am so frustrated by this madness. It is right in my case history for any AT&T representative to read. They want to help me. Instead, because of their broken system, the customer will be screwed. This will soon go to a collection agency and this will effect my credit, and if I do not pay $600 that no AT&T representative believes I actually owe AT&T, my 4 phones lines will be shut off. The customer service rep today told me at the end that there is sadly no way for me to receive fair treatment, or talk to any person with the resources to simply override the broken bureacratic automated system. She was basically hinting that I should just pay the $600. What kind of company creates a customer service system for the public wherby there is no way to escalate a case to a higher level??

All I want is for somone to read though my case history and actually give me the credit that has been attempted so many times already. Plus maybe a few grand for the hours and hours I've spent on the phone for something that was not my error!!! As a loyal member since 2008, who pays for 4 phone lines, it is really in AT&T's best interest to not lose me over a $600 bill in their error, because they lost a phone I returned 7 months ago that is now outdated and unsellable anyway. There are some very nice people in Customer Service and the loyalty department who have spent over 20 hours on the phone with me trying to work this out. Two separate cases were opened and then closed automatically when the system could not locate the missing phone ID. I am hoping that someone at AT&T will spot this and pass it to some higher secret department or something. The next steps if this leads nowhere will be to reach out to my source at Gawker Media/Gizmodo, the tech blog, as that will certainly gain more attention if they publish my story. But I believe in playing nice first and giving people a fair shot to do the right thing.

-Frustrated Dad

Responses

mobilemax

Employee

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796 Messages

a month ago

Hello,

The promotion can be added via ticket through customer care via (Phone number hidden) (611 form you AT&T phone). Keep in mind, there’s certain requirements for each promotion, so they’ll check to make sure it qualified for the promotion that was going on during that time 06/2019. Once a ticket is placed, you’ll get a confirmation number form the representative, as well as an expected resolution date (you can choose a callback or text confirmation of result of ticket).

A credit is a one time fix, but like a bandaide, and not a solution that will automatically apply the credit like the promotion is supposed to do (as long as service is active and account in good standing).

(edited)

*I am an AT&T employee, and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.

New Member

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9 Messages

Thanks for the reply but I am not sure what promotion you are referring to? I did qualify for the BOGO promotion that I signed up for, and indeed the second time after I returned the first two phones that were set up incorrectly. For the phones that I ordered later on, I received the BOGO credit as well as a $250 VISA card.

What I would like resolved is that I returned two brand new iPhones inside the return window and I am being billed for one of them 7 months later.

mobilemax

Employee

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796 Messages

Was this done through a store or online? The local store can submit to resolve this with a Manager. Online is through customer service or AT&T Office of the President (google search for how to get in contact).

*I am an AT&T employee, and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.

New Member

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9 Messages

The purchase was done on the online website store, and the phones were delivered by the 3rd party ENJOY delivery company so there was no local store involved. The online customer service is the party that tries to remove this lost phone from my account and every time the request is denied internally. Thank you for the tip about AT&T office of the President. I will persue this lead now!

New Member

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2 Messages

a month ago

How infuriating! I had this very problem not too long ago. Assuming you have all your receipts and tracking numbers, look for the tracking that shows your return was received at their returns center in Texas. Call customer service and tell them you have tracking information that shows they received the phone at their center and that you would like to take the information to a store so they can review and assist with backing you out of the contract for the phones. Then go to an AT&T store, ask to speak to a manager and explain the story again for the millionth time and have them call in to customer service to handle the rest.

What is broken in the system is they use a third party company to process the returns and they have their own tracking system which is not updated in AT&T's systems. Good luck!

(edited)

New Member

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9 Messages

@denclem Thanks. This is good info although unfortunately I do not have the tracking information, which is part of the problem.

sandblaster

ACE - Expert

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34.5K Messages

a month ago

File an FCC or BBB complaint. The complaint will result in someone from corporate contacting you. If they can’t straighten it out, no one can.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

New Member

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9 Messages

@sandblaster Thank you Sandblaster. That is my next step it seems, as now when I call AT&T they send me right to their collections department. I was really hoping that one of the AT&T moderators on this forum would see my post and maybe escalate my case to a higher internal team but there are so many posts every day that it is likely a matter of low odds that my comment has the chance of capturing a Mod's attention.

New Member

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3 Messages

a month ago

Good luck, I'm fighting a similar battle. Someone recommended that I file a claim through better business bureau. I am now trying that route to see if I can get any help. This is a badly broken system, and perhaps a way that AT&T uses to generate additional profits, no matter how illegitimate it is.

New Member

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9 Messages

You know what? I honestly don't think AT&T is trying to squeeze any profits out of customers by cheating them or ignoring their requests for help concerning incorrect charges or incorrect billing. It is simply bad for their reputation if long-term customers get so fed up that they post negative things on social media. My $600 remaining bill for a phone I returned long ago is a lot to me, but if I create a big stink on a few forums, there is a good chance that a few other potential long term customers might decide to leave for the competition. AT&T could potentially loose out on many many thousands of dollars in future profits from my public forum posts. A large company doesn't care about a single customer like me or you one way or another. They care about profits and marketshare.

I think our shared problem here is that there are some gaps in the way ATT customer service works, and some cases simply fall through the cracks. While I type this I am actually on hold with Customer Service yet again. I call so often that I actually got the same person whom I spoke with just a few weeks ago! Imagine how many times you have to call to get the same person on a team of dozens or maybe hundreds of people. She just verified again that my phone was accepted as returned and I was issued around $170 in credit for partial payments of this phone back on September 11th of 2019. Yet still their automatic billing system is biling me the remaining $600 for this phone and it has now indeed been passed to a collection agency. Frustrating, but I'm not buying into a conspiracy theory that this is intentional. It is more like a flaw in a very large beurocratic agency where computer software can override the direct decisions of the Customer Service Team.

(edited)

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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70.3K Messages

a month ago

As @sandblaster wrote, File a Better Business Bureau complaint online. The complaint will be forwarded to AT&T upper management, who will call you directly

The system does not allow the regular reps to correct a problem when it is gone this far wrong. You have to go over their heads to get this one done.

(edited)

🐾 (The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

New Member

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9 Messages

@lizdance40 Thank You. I jsut filed a compaint with the BBB. I wish I did this months ago instead of spending dozens of hours on the phone running into dead ends every time.

New Member

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9 Messages

a month ago

UPDATE: As was recommended to me by several people, I filed a complaint with the BBB. Only a few days later a person from the AT&T Office of the President called me directly and appologized for all the sufferening I have gone through. Within 30 minutes she reviewd my case and erased the $600 charge on my bill and creditted me $150 which together makes up for the full price of the phone I returned so very long ago. I reminded her that I have paid a lot of money for the phone line itself associated with this returned phone and she promised to credit me for those payments as well, but that will take a little time to sort through. I am confident this will happen soon so I am officially reporting that contacting the BBB was indeed the way to go. Once I receive all my credits for all my illegitamate charges I will also report to the BBB that AT&T resolved my issue.