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asquared0601's profile

Voyager

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3 Messages

Wed, Mar 11, 2015 1:03 AM

NEXT is a huge risk, and AT&T & Best Buy will not help.

AT&T's NEXT feature seems like a godsend for those people who are planning on sticking with the service for a while, but I have recently learned that there are great risks associated with this program. I have been a loyal customer with AT&T and pay them a great deal of money monthly between my mobile service and uVerse, but the interactions I've had with the company in the past 2 weeks are quickly turning me off to my long-term relationship with them.

 

In mid-November 2014, I went to my local Best Buy store and was surprised to find iPhone 6 Plus units in stock --- unobtanium at that time. I decided to lock the phone down via NEXT upgrade, trading in my iPhone 5S in the process. I received my iPhone 6 Plus after handing my iPhone 5s to the representative at my local Best Buy, who inspected the phone, played with it for a while, checked the SIM and inspected it for damage/water exposure.

 

Everything was fine, we finalized the upgrade, and Best Buy provided me a box in a gray bag with instructions on how to wipe my data off the phone and how to ship it. A prepaid label was provided with this package. I wiped my data off the phone and sent it off a few days later -- I handed it to my local USPS mailwoman who frequently picks up my outgoing packages.

I never heard anything about my old phone again and my account proceeded as normal, when all of a sudden a charge appeared on my bill for the amount of the phone ($259.99). After calling to inquire about the charge, I was told that AT&T had never received the phone and added the charge nearly 4 months after I performed my upgrade. I got the usual run-around that they would "investigate" the issue and get back to me. The rep said AT&T would call my local Best Buy store for more information on the returned phone. Today I learned that they never called Best Buy, and I was told by the rep that I should just do it by myself -- makes sense because AT&Ts reps have no intention of being accountable for this issue.

 

I called Best Buy's corporate office and spoke to a representative that says they have no way of tracking the phone. The prepaid label they provided me and explicity told me to use does not include tracking. Once again, I received the run around and was told to contact AT&T and tell them that Best Buy could not help me since the phone was supposed to be sent back to AT&T. I was also told to contact my post office, but that went nowhere quick since I don't have a tracking number or any other information to reference.

 

I called AT&T after trying the post office and my local Best Buy, and once again got the run around. Simply put, AT&T and Best Buy do not feel as though it is necessary to get involved or investigate, and that I am liable for the charges for the phone that was correctly shipped but basically untrackable. I asked the representative to check the wireless activity for my old phone's IMEI/serial numbers and they confirmed that it has not been used since I performed the exchange. This leads me to believe that the package is either A. sitting in AT&T's receiving warehouse, B. in one of any post offices in the 50 United States or C. completely vaporized.

 

Either way, short of me lying down in the middle of my nearest AT&T store in peaceful protest, it looks as though this is my problem, even though it's obvious I do not have possession of the phone. Looking through similar forum posts, this is not a new issue with the NEXT program.

 

If this post does not end up in front of someone who will actually take accountability for the issue I am having with AT&T and Best Buy, I would at least like to think that any loyal AT&T customers would use this and similar stores as a warning if they decide to roll the dice with their old phone.

 

Any advice on next steps or any solutions other members have discovered would be helpful as well. 

 

---

 

Summary

 

  • Performed AT&T NEXT upgrade at my local Best Buy
  • Shipped old phone back to AT&T using box and prepaid label provided by Best Buy
  • 4 months later, $259.99 charge appears on my bill for unreturned equipment
  • AT&T says they will investigate with Best Buy, this is never done
  • Best Buy says prepaid label was addressed to AT&T and they do not have tracking
  • AT&T confirmed IMEI for phone has not been used since I traded it in
  • According to two separate AT&T customer service reps, I am still liable for the charges

Responses

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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83.4K Messages

6 y ago

The prepaid envelopes have a "smart tracking" number on them. Did you save the number?

Best Buy has nothing to do with the returned phones, it's all on the AT&T returns program. With the tracking number, you could at least prove the phone arrived at the warehouse. It is not unusual for it to take months for them to look at your phone and credit your account back.
Keep making a stink till they find the phone.
Good luck.

(P.S. In the future, pay off the Next contract and sell the phone on eBay. It was worth more than $259.)

🐾 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.

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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.

Voyager

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3 Messages

6 y ago

Point taken, and trust me, I've kicked myself in the butt after seeing how much they went for on auction sites. To be honest, I don't remember seeing anything on the label that resembled a typical tracking number, but I should have taken a picture. I'm an active seller on eBay and ship anywhere from 20-50 packages per month via USPS and have never had an issue, so I didn't prepare myself for this one.

 

I'll keep working on getting a solution -- so far, I have yet to speak to anyone at AT&T who has even bothered to provide a solution other than calling another company or the post office to ask about a 4-month old package with a tracking number I don't have.

Community Support

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15.2K Messages

6 y ago

Hi there @asquared0601

 

I’m sorry to hear of your experience with our buyback program!

 

It sounds like this is an issue with the Buyback Program other than the AT&T Next upgrade option itself. The Buyback Program allowed for customers to trade-in a device towards to the purchase of AT&T products. The system in place should have gone a lot smoother than what you have gone through, and I apologize that it has not been that way. I’d be happy to help.

 

@lizdance40 is correct that a Smart Tracking number is included on the tracking label itself and can be used for tracking purposes. If this number is not known, we may have other ways to attempt to locate the device return. I would recommend contacting our Buyback Program Support line which is a department specifically set up to handle all Buyback issues and questions. Our Buyback Program Support line is available at 888-445-6005 and is open Monday to Friday from 7am – 10pm and on Saturday to Sunday from 9am – 7pm.

 

Any information you can provide to our Support Line that can help us identify your return will help, such as your shipping address, the device IMEI, date of return etc.

 

I hope this helps!

Charise

AT&T Customer Care

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Voyager

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3 Messages

6 y ago

Hi Charise,

 

Thank you for reaching out. I'd like you to clarify something for me as I am under the impression that the trade-in I performed with AT&T is part of the NEXT program's "Pay to Upgrade" option, which allows me to pay the balance of my installments and upgrade earlier than the usual year. Not sure if that makes a difference in who I should speak to.

 

As for the buyback department, I have already spoken to a representative from there who said they'd research further and call me back, but they never did. In addition, Best Buy's mobile customer service also attempted to contact AT&T and share information on their end. The BB rep also attempted to call USPS and get more information, but was unsuccessful.

 

I have already provided the information you suggested below to every rep I've spoken to -- it's how we confirmed that the device has not been used since it has been shipped. Please let me know if I can provide you with information that you can take to an AT&T department that can solve the issue without breaking promises to call me back or provide me with updates.

 

Thank you

Contributor

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2 Messages

5 y ago

I know this is an old thread but the same thing happened to me in June and now I'm having to pay a 240 dollar bill for a phone I sent along with their shipping label. Lesson learned for sure! Definitely when your shipping the phone, Don't use the label they give you. Get your own shipping label so you can track it. Or like myself and this person, you'll be in the same boat. We spoke with many representatives and no one could help!
lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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83.4K Messages

5 y ago

@Justeen28

 

You must use the label.  Take a picture of the label and get a receipt for drop off at USPS.  

 

 

🐾 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 2020 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.

Contributor

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2 Messages

5 y ago

I am dealing with the same issue. ATT has charged my account for the remaining balance on trade in phones. One shows delivered 5 days ago but litterally took 12 days to make it back. Still no credit. The second phone was mailed on August 30th and still shows in transit as of Sept 18th! My account is so screwed up that I couldn't get return the recalled Note 7's because best by was unable to do the exchange because of the errant past due amount tacked unto my account for the trade in's! Best Buy is blaimng ATT and ATT is blaming Best Buy. Meanwhile neither is taking responsability to fix the totally botched note 7 recall on my account. I have litterally spent over 10 hours sitting at my local best buy and at least the same dealing with ATT on the phone. Best Buy changed my carrier to Verizon as the only solution to get the recalled Note 7's out of our hands! Now I am sitting with a $500 ATT bill and nobody who will take responsablilty to fix my NOW screwed up ATT account that has a 500 past due balance!

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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83.4K Messages

5 y ago

@mrchipk1

 

If the tracking says the phone arrived, send a copy of what you have through the forum to @ATTMobilityCare  (click on the blue letters).   Stick to your guns, but you have to keep your bill current.  

Send a dispute letter to this address.

IF YOU DISPUTE ANY CHARGES ON YOUR BILL, YOU MUST NOTIFY US IN WRITING AT AT&T BILL DISPUTE, 1025 LENOX PARK, ATLANTA, GA 30319 WITHIN 100 DAYS OF THE DATE OF THE BILL OR YOU'LL HAVE WAIVED YOUR RIGHT TO DISPUTE THE BILL AND TO PARTICIPATE IN ANY LEGAL ACTION RAISING SUCH DISPUTE.

 

 

🐾 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 2020 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.

Contributor

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2 Messages

5 y ago

I am dealing with the same issue.  I haven't even received a shipping label.  Best Buy told me AT&T would send it to me and AT&T said Best Buy should have given me a shipping label.  I am so furious!  Talk about horrible customer service on both ends!!!  This is a disgrace.  I am taking everything back to Best Buy and having them restore my old phones and I'll do business elsewhere with another carrier.  I have been given the run around and I specifically asked the clerk at Best Buy to assure me that this would not happen or I wasn't going to purchase these phones.  He said not to worry that everything would go smoothly.  That was a lie!  This is a total scam and disgrace!!!

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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83.4K Messages

5 y ago

Best Buy has the packaging and should have given it to you.   Alternately you can get it from ATT.  

 

I don't know how much time has passed.  You have only 14 days to return phones and pay restock fees.  

 

🐾 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 2020 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.

Contributor

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2 Messages

5 y ago

I again called Best Buy. They have nothing since it is an AT&T promotion. So who is supplying packaging? You tell me!! I haven't a clue at this point. I'm tired of the he said/she said game!!! What a joke this is. Such a scam by AT&T!!!

Tutor

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4 Messages

4 y ago

I am dealing with a similar issue. I recently upgraded to the iPhone 7 through the next program. My old phone was shipped back and promptly lost. After many calls, with abysmal customer service, the phone was finally found. Now AT&T is claiming the phone is broken, and is charging me the remaining balance. The device was in perfect working order when I shipped it. I used the box supplied by AT&T, along with a nice thick layer of bubble wrap. I have been getting the run around for the last 2 weeks. I never get the promised call back from any of the multiple reps I have spoken to. After 10 years of being a loyal customer, this will be the last device I have with this company. This is inexcusable.

Tutor

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4 Messages

4 y ago

Same problem as above. They received the phone and they are saying it's damaged and trying to charge me the remaining balance. I used a whole roll of bubble paper and sent the phone back in a case that I purchased. Now they can't find any information that phone is even being sent back to me. I'm not going to pay a remaining balance on a phone that was perfect and then not even receive my paid off phone back. What a scam. I've been an AT&T customer since 2008...and this last month has been horrible with them. I'm done!
lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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83.4K Messages

4 y ago

And the USPS has nothing to do with it?

I expect I'm playing Russian roulette every time I ship something.  

 

 

🐾 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 2020 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.

Tutor

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4 Messages

4 y ago

With the amount of protection I had in that box you would have to stab a knife thru the middle or shoot it to damage that phone. Not to mention I got a text from att that they never received the phone. I called the number and, Oh wait...here it is!

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