For the mom who gives us everything - Mother's Day gifts that connects us.
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helpmeplz777's profile

2 Messages

Friday, March 1st, 2024 3:37 AM

Documented Broken Promises with Trade In Program

I help my mom in her late 70's manage her technology. In exchange she makes me two dozen of her Blueberry Muffins. I make out like a bandit in this deal.
Last August she said she wanted the new iPhone and when the ATT Promo dropped indicating her phone would be worth $830 in trade-in credit, I told her I'd help her get her new phone set up and her old phone sent back.
When the new phone arrived, my mother mistakenly threw away the box and packaging designed for the ATT Trade In Program
I quickly (within 20 days,~Early October) called the trade-in team and asked them to send new materials. The agent on the line told me the materials would arrive in 1-2 weeks and assured me my offer would still be honored 
By November materials had still not arrived and I was beginning to worry my mother would not get her trade-in credit and we were no longer able to return the phone
At this point my mother was getting frustrated at the high bill she was receiving for an iPhone she would not have bought without the $830 credit
I again called the trade-in team who saw my previous request and assured me that this time the materials would definitely arrive and that my mother's profile would be noted so she received the full credit
All December no materials arrived and I was beginning to stress. I finally called in early January and asked how else I could trade the phone in. I was provided a new label and told to just carefully wrap it to avoid damage and send it
Exasperated and frustrated that I could have been told that in October, I sent the phone in and trusted that the 3 separate interactions with agents would allow a smooth resolution
Today (February 29th) the bill finally showed the credit: $350... NOT the $830 my mother was entitled to.
I had done everything I needed to on my end, relied on the promises of ATT agents on several occasions and was assured my mother would get her trade-in credit
I have now called in and been on the phone for 3 hours and 35 minutes attempting to solve this issue with truly world-class staff. The $350 credit reflected the change in promotional rules from September to Februrary and it was noted that I sent the phone in late despite being assured this would not hamper earning the credit and acknowledgement that materials were never sent
 Everyone I spoke to acknowledged they could see the previous calls and recognized that this was an issue worthy of effort to resolve.  
I spoke to Raymond, Caleb, a woman who's name I'd prefer not to butcher, and a wonderful gentleman with a cat in Tupelo, MS
Ultimately Caleb in retention was able to bridge part of the gap and reduce the sting, but my mother is still out a substantial amount of money ATT agents assured her she would get. 
Please help make my mom whole and make up for the run-around

2 Messages

2 months ago

ACE - Expert


14.2K Messages

2 months ago

ATTHelp will only give you a link with details on how to contact AT&T. 

The promotion requires the trade in to be sent within 30 days. Period. It doesn't matter what any rep told you; that is the rule. The lump sum of $350 received was likely a courtesy.

Your ONLY hope is to file a BBB complaint. That will get you in touch with the Office of the President. If anyone is able to give any additional credits, that's who it would be.

Community Support


231.3K Messages

2 months ago

Hey there @helpmeplz777,


Thank you for reaching out to us. We understand, and we're here to help you in any way possible. However, we'll need more information in order to get you the assistance you need.


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Robin, Community Forums Specialist.


ACE - Sage


117K Messages

2 months ago

1.  The most critical issue is the 30-day requirement which AT&T cannot extend because it's not AT&t's trade-in program it's the same trade-in program that is run by Assurant Mobile through Verizon, T-Mobile, Google, Samsung, and AT&T. AT&T can extend the return window for phones that are going to them for early upgrade, and even insurance returns. But they cannot extend the 30-day window for the trade-in because it's through a completely separate third-party business.  

    1A.   There is a way to get replacement trade-in packaging if yours either didn't arrive or was accidentally thrown away.  It can be ordered right off AT&t's website through their AT&T trade-in program, "lost trade in kit".  

    1B.   I strongly discourage doing this process by mail at all. If you make your purchase in an AT&T store, you can return to that same store with your trade in within 30 days, make sure you get a receipt which accurately reflects the phone number, the phone you're trading in, and the trade-in value.

2.  Your mother stated to you that she needed a new phone. Then you stated that she wasn't going to buy a new phone if she wasn't going to get $830 in credits. These two contradict each other. Either she needed a new phone, or the phone she had was perfectly serviceable and she could have hung onto it for a few years.   

3.  Per the published requirements of this deal, you and your mother have *not* met the requirements of trading in the old phone within 30 days.  And you've documented it here that you did not meet those requirements. The fact that Mom threw away the trade-in material is significant.  She took part in this promotion specifically to take advantage of the trade-in but then threw away the materials she was expecting for shipping.  

4.  Because the trade-in was not accomplished within the required 30 days a one-time credit for the book value of the phone was issued for $350. Lump sum instead of dribbled out in payments over 36 months.  Same deal she probably would have gotten if she had done her trade-in straight with the manufacturer.  Not a bad deal.  If she's still miffed about it she can pay off the remainder of the phone, and unlock it, and use it on a cheaper service provider.  

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