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User3956764's profile

Tutor

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2 Messages

Wed, Aug 22, 2018 4:26 PM

Is AT&T running a BOGO scam?

I was recently offered and accepted a BOGO offer from AT&T however, when I received my next bill I was in for a surprise. AT&T charged me considerably more than agreed without saying a word. I contacted AT&T and they told me that, that offer had already ended. I have been trying desperately to get AT&T to honor our agreement for over 6 months now. I have been on the phone with the company for 27 calls totaling 912 minutes and have had my service disconnected 3 times after being told that the account and bill would be put on hold and they will get back to me. Has anyone else had the same or similar issue with AT&T?

Responses

Accepted Solution

Official Solution

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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88.2K Messages

2 y ago


@hamzulaurie wrote:
we are trying to get out of Att I am so disappointed in them. This was
not a bounced check fee this was $1000! We are still paying until next
April 2020. I wish there was something we could do to get their attention
and have them make this right.

You need to understand you received phones worth what you are paying for them.  You signed agreements to pay for the phones in full. If you didn’t meet the requirements of the BOGO, At&t has no reason to give credits.  It’s like redeeming a coupon, you have to read and follow the fine print.  

 

Start with the basics:

1) Has it been over two billing cycles since you bought the phone?
2) Did you pay off the installment plan early?
3) Did your account get suspended for non-payment?
4) Did you add a new line to At&t for the free phone?
5) Which phones did you buy?
6) Do you have TV or Internet through AT&T?

7) When did you buy the phones?   Exact dates please 

        Most failed bogo deals are due to not meeting all requirements.  

 

Accepted Solution

Official Solution

CayNet

Employee

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21 Messages

2 y ago

Repeating what lizdance said:

The biggest causes of a failed BOGO are due to not meeting one or more of the following requirements. The ones bolded are by far the most common reasons for not getting the credits.

 

1) Has it been over two billing cycles since you bought the phone? (Most common call-driver, but credits do start in this situation once enough time has passed.)
2) Did you pay off the installment plan early?
3) Did your account get suspended for non-payment?
4) Did you add a new line to At&t for the free phone? (Ports from Cricket, and Prepaid conversions do not count as new lines.)
5) Which phones did you buy?
6) Do you have TV or Internet through AT&T?

7) When did you buy the phones?

Mentor

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25 Messages

3 y ago

Yes, I have had a similar problem with an offer from an AT&T sales representative on 02/26/2018.  The offer stated specifically...."BOGO 1 Free I-Phone 8 Plus 64 GB BuyOut 3 Lines".  When I received my bill, I was given a credit of $23.34 per month but charged $26.67ea for (3) iPhone 8 Plus 64 GB.  I contacted AT&T support and was told I was only eligible for the monthly credit.  Additionally, they stated I was given bad information by the sales representative and ended with a "sorry for your inconvenience".  AT&T will make no effort to honor the agreement their sales representative made with the prospective customer.  Additionally, almost 6 months after the fact, I was provided a link that offered an explanation to how their BOGO worked.  And believe me, it's definitely NOT the traditional BOGO offered in the retail business.  This information WAS NOT provided by AT&T's sales representative.  In fact, my BOGO ended on 02/22/2018 according to their information, and yet their sales representative was pushing the BOGO in their sales pitch.  I find it difficult to accept that AT&T is not held accountable for the actions of their sales representatives.

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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88.2K Messages

3 y ago

@Carolinaboy71

The bogo offers are are usually for the base model.  If you get more storage, or the plus model, you pay the difference.  Sounds to me like your bogo worked exactly correct, but your expectations were wrong.

 

New Member

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10 Messages

customers often should accept more responsibility for their predicaments, but i believe it is att's job to set the proper expectations for the consumer. especially after the fact, the least a person representing att could do is be honest and forthcoming. if done the right way, most people willbe like, ok i'm a bonehead and didnt read the fine print.

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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88.2K Messages

3 y ago

@User3956764

I would need to know the exact date of your purchase.

Did you add a new line to ATT?   If yes, from where? (Port in)

Did you have or add TV service?  Almost every bogo in the past 2 years was a bundled offer.

What phones did you purchase?

on installments?

have you paid on time every month?   (Sounds like ‘no’)

 

Mentor

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25 Messages

3 y ago

I'm sorry, but I must disagree with you.  I had an AT&T sales representative put in writing specifically "....BOGO 1 Free I-Phone 8 Plus 64 GB BuyOut 3 Lines".  To me, that is very clear.  The only "expectations" I had was AT&T abiding by that agreement.  I still have all the documentation provided me at time of sale.  I do not have any literature explaining how AT&T's BOGO worked.  Unless specified otherwise, as apparently AT&T did but failed to inform the prospective customer, a BOGO means buy one get one free in the world of retail business.  And I firmly believe that AT&T should honor any agreement made by their respective sales representative.  Especially those agreements that are in writing.

MicCheck

ACE - Expert

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10.2K Messages

3 y ago


@Carolinaboy71 wrote:

I'm sorry, but I must disagree with you.  I had an AT&T sales representative put in writing specifically "....BOGO 1 Free I-Phone 8 Plus 64 GB BuyOut 3 Lines".  To me, that is very clear.  The only "expectations" I had was AT&T abiding by that agreement.  I still have all the documentation provided me at time of sale.  I do not have any literature explaining how AT&T's BOGO worked.  Unless specified otherwise, as apparently AT&T did but failed to inform the prospective customer, a BOGO means buy one get one free in the world of retail business.  And I firmly believe that AT&T should honor any agreement made by their respective sales representative.  Especially those agreements that are in writing.


Sounds like the didn't give enough details for anyone to say the info wasn't technically correct. Regardless, while I know the $3.xx per month will add up over the 30 months, it's still not going to be that much different. It wouldn't be worth my time to argue, I can tell you that. 

Mentor

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25 Messages

3 y ago

Everyone seems to be dancing around the issue that I stated.  I'm not looking for an argument, I'm looking for a solution.  An AT&T sales representative offered me a FREE iPhone 8 Plus 64 GB phone, not verbally, but in writing.  In the business world that I'm accustomed to, this constitutes a contract between the company's agent and the customer which I agreed to in good faith.  

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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88.2K Messages

3 y ago

@Carolinaboy71

You have something written?  Then why didn’t you post it?   

   An error by a sales person is corrected by the computer.  It’s all computerized just like sales in the grocery store.  If you met qualifications (you did) the computer issues credits (it did). 

    That was not ATT’s offer, which is published and ATT is held to the published offer.  The free phone is the base model....   you can read the same here. 

https://www.att.com/cellphones/iphone/apple-iphone-8-plus.html#sku=sku8870333

     Tax on full retail price of both due at sale. After all credits, get iPhone 8 64GB for free. Credits may be applied towards iPhone 8 256 GB, iPhone 8 Plus, or iPhone X priced up to $1149.99, which will be discounted but not free. Req’d Wireless: Postpaid wireless voice & data on both devices (min. $65/mo. if new with autopay and paperless bill discount. Pay $75/mo. until discount starts w/in 2 bills. Existing customers can add to current plans).

 

 

Tutor

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2 Messages

3 y ago

Dear Liz,

Thank you for your answer and your input. While I appreciate your position on how the sale is supposed to work, the reality on the ground is often different and considerably more ambiguous than the foundation of the intended agreement. Please allow me to provide some more background on my experience for clarification. I am 62 y/o, disabled and live with chronic pain. I also live on a disability pension of under $2000 per month almost 10% of which goes to my phone bill of $182.58, all inclusive. In January of this year I dropped and severely damaged my iPhone 6 to the point the case was ruined as well as the glass and was completely non-functional. Realizing my only option was going to be to purchase a new phone, I "started" with a call to AT&T to see if I was eligible for any kind of upgrade or discount on the acquisition of a new iPhone. Now, let me preface the further content by stating the obvious, that AT&T in their desire to maximize profitability has outsourced their customer service to foreign lands thus creating a very real "frictional" communications barrier between AT&T and the customer. This friction is exacerbated by the foreign representatives aversion to allowing the customer to speak to a supervisor when warranted lest he be deemed ineffective or somehow lacking in the necessary skills to competently solve the customers problem. Consequently, the representative will proffer continual, repetitive, insincere apologies for your experiencing a problem but they will not allow you if requested, to speak to a supervisor. Truth be told Liz and I sincerely hope that your evaluation here will acknowledge these truths, more often than not when an AT&T representative does put you on hold for a supervisor, five or ten minutes later and after having been on the call for often an hour or more the next sound you are most likely to hear are one of the following two recordings: A) Thank you for calling AT&T if you know the extension..... or B) If you're trying to make a call, please hang up.... this is your indication the representative has disconnected your call in the interest of job preservation! 

So on this day I explained my predicament to the representative who advised me of a BOGO offer which I was hesitant of because I was already having trouble with my monthly bill at $182.58 and I couldn't do anything to incur additional charges and in fact I intended during this call to also address my monthly bill and services in an attempt to try to lower my bill. So when the representative offered the Buy One Get One offer I was thinking well hey, I guess my wife could use a new phone as well since her iPhone 6 was also not in the greatest of shape. So as the representative explained the offer that I would be paying an additional $23 per month for three months and then they would refund the three months payments which made no sense to me and so on she went trying to explain something I was not grasping . However, since my main concern after having a working phone was my monthly bill I inquired what my monthly bill would be, out the door, including all taxes. The representative explained that the services and pricing had changed somewhat and my new bill would be adjusted accordingly. Well the representative came back on the phone and gave me a rundown on the services, all of which were favorable and my monthly cost of $181.69 out the door, with taxes included was actually one dollar less than my current monthly bill. At that point I did ask for the representative to please go back and double check my monthly services and the bill I really needed above all else that the quote she had provided me was accurate. So, the representative did go over all the services and payments required and did indeed again come up with the same price. So as the call was winding down, the rep said let me give you your new number and I said whoa Nellie, I do not want a new number. My wife and I have had these numbers for 15 years. However, the rep assured me that that was just how they did it with the new phone and that when I received my new phones and called AT&T to activate I only need to tell them that I want to activate the new phones with our old numbers. As we got closer to terminating the call I asked the representative to just humor me and verify the pricing was correct. I have been in similar disputes before but with my current financial situation I just could absolutely not be hit with any surprises. Well a few weeks later I got my new phone bill and it was only $455.80. Now truthfully that's only 250% of the amount I was quoted. This is where the longer saga begins. The calls between myself and AT&T. In total there were 27 phone calls for a total of 912 minutes from January to August. Now I am no conspiracy theorist however, with each phone call there is a deliberate AT&T strategy to discourage customers from calling to file any type of complaint or grievance through what I call the "wear em down system". Here's how it works: you call up AT&T customer service and you will spend an inordinate amount of time trying to get a person on the phone to rationally state your case. The customer service menu does not provide an option to address situations such as this so you must search, try different connections, and eventually you will get someone on the phone. This is the first of the "obligatory three". This person will first ask you what type of problem you are having apologize for your problem and vow to remedy your issue, and then ask three or four questions verifying your identity. Following this, the rep will ask you to explain your problem in detail after which he will again apologize that you are experiencing this difficulty and then vow to get you to the right person to handle your particular problem. This is now when you get to the second of the obligatory three and go through the Exact same process! You go through explaining the entire issue again for which you will get the apology and the whole identity verification procedure again and another detailed explanation and apologies. Now this rep will surely get  you to the right person to handle your problem. Then you get the third obligatory AT&T representative and do the whole thing over a third time! Finally and this has

-happened to me several times- you get a promise that your situation will be looked into and someone will contact you soon. In the meantime, don't worry about the bill. The bill will be on hold until they are able to ascertain what was done and what needs to be done to rectify the situation only before that happens your service will be disconnected and so you are forced to immediately pay the bill online because you won't be able to contact anyone by phone since your service has been interrupted again! In the course of this six month plus standoff I have been put through with by AT&T my service has been connected 3 or 4 times. AT&T says that the BOGO their customer service representative offered and signed me up for was meant for someone adding another line to their account which is not something I wanted, not something that was properly conveyed and certainly not something I can afford to pay for. In short, there is No Way on God's Green Earth would I have accepted any deal that increased my monthly bill by even one dollar however this company representative just took away another 5% of my total income! This was an egregious act of the part of a greedy salesperson who's own position in life was obviously more important than mine  validating her right to intentionally hurt another human being for her own personal gain and AT&T is saying that's ok. Well it's not ok and I have retained an attorney already, well actually I should have done 4 months ago!

LS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

 

 

Mentor

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25 Messages

3 y ago

As you've discovered, trying to get your issue resolved through AT&T support is pretty much a wasted effort.  Also, when you read the responses from the other customers that have been designated "Ace", you get the same information as if you were talking, or chatting, with AT&T support.  I was hoping the Forum would provide constructive advice on problem resolution.  Especially from the customers who have been with AT&T for a long time.  

[Per Guidelines:  Keep it Relevant and Appropriate]. Also, AT&T does offer a dispute route if you wish to take it.  Here is the web address: https://www.att.com/esupport/article.html#!/wireless/KM1041856?gsi=hxlnpu8.  But, it's a possible tool to use in seeking a resolution to your problem. 

Your observation that AT&T support uses a strategy to discourage customers from filing a complaint is accurate based on what I've seen so far. 

Mentor

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25 Messages

3 y ago

Yes, I have a "written" agreement.  I did not, and will not, post it because it contains personal information.  Btw, I found it unusual that AT&T support did not ask for a copy of this written agreement when I was trying to resolve the issue through them.  The agent was completely focused on the information contained here: https://www.att.com/esupport/article.html#!/wireless/KM1236446?gsi=pP_h4Yk, and so was their supervisor.

"That was not ATT’s offer, which is published and ATT is held to the published offer. "  Are you stating that the verbal, or written, offer made to a customer by an AT&T sales representative is not an offer from AT&T?  Wow, I definitely have a problem with that one.  

It's good that the computer can note the errors made by a sales representative and correct them.  This has happened to me on a few occasions and I was notified of the error and allowed the opportunity to continue with the sale or say no thanks.  

 

 

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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88.2K Messages

3 y ago

@User3956764

To put it bluntly, you were told the truth, briefly:  to get a free phone you had to add a new number and dump an old number to get the price quoted and a ‘free’ phone.  BOGO offers require a new service.  When you said you wanted to keep your numbers, you altered the offer.  Now you need to have 3 lines to keep the deal. 

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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88.2K Messages

3 y ago

@Carolinaboy71

You could have covered your personal information, I do it all the time when I post screen shots.  

     Have fun.   It’s going to cost you more than the $100 difference on the phone.

 For principal?   Right...

cant tell you how many times I thought my rights were A.   Only to read my actual ‘contract ‘ or written and signed documents and I was wrong.  

 

Gary L

ACE - Expert

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15.8K Messages

3 y ago

@User3956764

 

my phone bill of $182.58

This seems pretty expensive for two lines if the phones are paid off. (I assume since it's an iPhone 6, they are paid off).

 

 

Can you tell us what made the bill go up to $455.80? Your bill should be itemized.

 

Even with activation fees, it seems like there are no two phones sold by AT&T that could raise your cost $280 a month.

 

As we got closer to terminating the call I asked the representative to just humor me and verify the pricing was correct. I have been in similar disputes before but with my current financial situation I just could absolutely not be hit with any surprises.

Part of the issue here is that asking the same person the same question is often going to get you the same answer, especially if they are lying or don't know what they are talking about.

 

 

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