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25.7K Messages

Sat, Feb 2, 2019 3:06 AM

AT&T iPad Scam

I am beyond upset. My boyfriend just told me that AT&T has been charging his dad $20 a month for the past 44 months for an iPad that he gave me as a gift. His dad went to an AT&T store to buy a new iPhone and they mentioned they were having a special to get an iPad at a discounted price with the purchase of a new phone. He already had an iPad, but knew I wanted one, so he got it and his parents gave it to me as a gift. He told them he didn’t need a new line or service for the iPad as I am a T-Mobile customer and already have an iPhone. They assured him that he didn’t need to set up service to get the iPad. At some point he saw they were charging him for three lines when it is just him and his wife on the plan. He called and they said the third line was for the iPad. He told them again that it did not need service and to cancel it. The representive confirmed that the line was cancelled. He didn’t even ask them to reimburse for the time he was charged for a line that was never used, he just wanted it cancelled. Flash forward 3 years later and his dad finds out they never canceled the plan that:

1. Never should have been set up in the first place.

2.  He was told it had been canceled after he realized he was being charged. 

I don’t need any comments about how it is his dad’s fault that he didn’t look at the bill or notice. I get it. But his dad is in his 70’s and made the mistake of blindly trusting them to do what they said they were going to do. My dad taught me to write down the time, name, and take notes every time you talk to a service representative. His family is just not that way. He just had his bill debited every month and didn’t think to look at it again. He wanted to get a new iphone this month, and that is when he found out he is still being charged. He called and even talked to a supervisor and all they offered was a $100 credit. I have had the iPad this whole time, it has never had service, and my boyfriend took the SIM card out years ago. I only use it to download and read books on iBooks. The internet obviously only works if I am at home and connected to my WiFi. I also used my T-Mobile phone as a hotspot one time so I could download a book when I wasn’t at home. I don’t understand how in the world they would not honor their word, especially when they can see the service has never been used. Who adds a line/service to a device and never uses it?! It is not like they cannot verify this for themselves. He has been charged over $800 for this “scam.” His dad has been in and out of the hospital this last year, and we almost lost him around Christmas. This is just an unnecessary stressor and a lot of money. He doesn’t even know I am trying to figure out a solution, but I can’t help but feel bad. He goes and does something nice for me and this is how it turns out. The iPad was not free, he paid for it. It was just at a discounted price that he was told he qualified for by getting a new phone. This is a common promotion stragey. “Spend $900 on something, and we will give you 1/2 off an iPad.” Like I said, I don’t need to be told how this is his dad’s fault for not looking at the bill every month. That is not the point. I feel like AT&T needs to credit the amount back that never should have been charged. At the very least from the day he called and was told it has been canceled. Honestly, I am shocked that he has been treated this way even after talking to a supervisor. I have worked in the Service industry my whole life and have been with my current Big Corporate employer over 11 years. We would NEVER do something like this. We would fix our mistake. We could even pull and review the phone call to see what the rep said if needed. We may have to fork a little money out, but isn’t it worth it to be a company with some integrity that creates loyal happy customers that in turn help us get new customers? Rant over... hopefully someone can give me some advice. I don’t know what kind of stuff you are not able to post here, but I have been with T-Mobile for over 15 years and have had an amazing experience. I have all of my family on T-Mobile now and just convinced my friend to move his dad’s 9 line plan over. Nobody has had one complaint. I am ready to get his parents to do the same. It is a lot cheaper, much better service, and they support people who are/have been in the military with amazing plans. 


Accepted Solution

Official Solution


ACE - Expert


20.3K Messages

2 years ago

Take the 100 dollar credit.  Att will only reimburse 90 days of charges.

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*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.

ACE - Sage


78K Messages

2 years ago

You’ve seen the BOGO offers right?  The condition every carrier puts on the new free or discounted phone is a new line and service for 24 to 36 months.  After that the line can be canceled.

Lets go further back to the days when all carriers used contracts for free or discounted phones.   A contract was required for 2 years and ETF charged if you cancel early.   

After the contract is up, the line can be canceled without consequences.  

    So why would an iPad worth $350 to $900 NOT have a deal just like it?

(hint, it wouldn’t)

    Please.   You can’t convince anyone AT&T or Verizon, T-mobile, Sprint are running a charity, or just a extremely benevolent businesses that gives stuff away for no reason.  

    It wasn’t a mistake.   AT&T doesn’t owe a refund.   Someone enjoyed the iPad with cellular all this time, so it wasn’t a waste.  

   Don’t know which iPad it was, but I’ve paid $500 to $900 for cellular iPads.  They are typically $99 or free with phone purchase.  



🐾 I don’t work for AT&T or any carrier. Never have, never will. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. 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


4 Messages

2 months ago

At a corporate store, I was told an iPad was $5 with upgrade to the IPhone. My daughter was getting an IPhone that day. I asked if there were any other charges associated with the IPad. He said $10/mo. for service. That is understandable. Then I got my bill and am being charged $460 for the IPad. When I call they say it is beyond 14 days so if I return it I still have to pay the $460 for an IPad I didn't want or need. That is a scam! My husband is eligible for an upgrade but I think I will just start migrating us over to Verizon. Maybe we won't get screwed over as much there. 

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