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Tutor

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4 Messages

Sat, Dec 12, 2015 6:25 AM

USPS Lost NEXT Return Packages

I upgraded 2 iPhones at Apple Store on 10-17-2015
They were on the Next plan and so I was required to return them to AT&T.

 

At the time of purchase (Of the new phones at the Apple Store) I received 2 prepaid USPS shipping labels and was instructed to return the old phones via mail.

 

I received 2 text messages from AT&T in mid November stating that AT&T has not received the returned phone and I would be charged $299.60 for each of the 2 phones.

 

On 11/17/2015 I contacted AT&T to determine how to resolve the issue of the non-delivered returns. The Customer Service (CS) Rep confirmed that AT&T had not received the returned phones and acknowledged that the two tracking numbers showed the packages were in transit. The CS Rep the informed me that I would need to wait until the two charges of $299.60 show up on the next bill, then dispute them. The CS Rep indicated that she would annotate my account so that the next CS Rep I speak with would have all of the background information when I call back after December 4, the date my next bill would be issued.

 

On 12/2/2015 I received two charges on my account for $299.60 for non-returned phones.

On December 11, I contacted AT&T to request my account be credited for $299.60 for each of the two returned phones that AT&T indicates were not received. The CS rep asked for USPS tracking numbers that I previously provided AT&T on 11/17/2015. The CS Rep then advised that I would need to work with USPS in locating the two missing packages. I explained that I had already contacted my local USPS facility in and they (USPS) were not successful in locating the packages. The AT&T CS Rep then advised that I would need to contact USPS again and get them to provide a written acknowledgement that the packages were lost.

I explained to the AT&T CS Rep that it's not my responsibility to deal directly with USPS since I am the third party.

 

I then asked to speak with a manager within AT&T Customer Service. I explained the situation to the manager. He stated that I would need to ask USPS to email me a confirmation that the packages were lost by USPS. I explained to the AT&T manager that since I am the third party, my only responsibility is to ensure that the phone return packages are dropped off and accepted by USPS, and that it should be AT&Ts responsibility to follow up directly with their postal carrier that they contracted. I explained that if I was responsible for purchasing the return postage I would have used a different parcel service and insured the packages.

 

The AT&T Manager was unwilling to take a customer-friendly position and instead insisted that I, the Customer, spend the time dealing with AT&T's supplier (USPS/Newgistics). I have no leverage with USPS or Newgistics; I anticipate it will be difficult to get cooperation. Also I am traveling through the end of the month so it will be very difficult to find the time to deal with this.

 

Has it been this difficult for anyone else, or easier?  Has anyone had a similar situation with a positive outcome?

Responses

gio1290

Contributor

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3 Messages

5 years ago

How can I find my tracking number if I lost it? Thanks for the help. 

Gary L

ACE - Expert

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15.8K Messages

5 years ago

@GLIMMERMAN76 Thank you for the link for the tracking, that's so much better than the "Tendered to Returns Agent" message that shows when USPS hand it off. http://tracking.newgistics.com

 

I just sent a phone back and now I know it actually left USPS!  Maybe it is at it's destination, but I don't know since there was NOT an address on the shipping label (but at least I know AT&T's carrier has it and it's out of my hands).

 

@lizdance40 I have shipped hundreds of packages via USPS and never lost a package with their system (first, priority, media or ground but always with tracking) and never had a package not make it to the destination.  It's stuff I get rid of on eBay so it's all shapes and sizes: commemorative drinking glasses, computers, phones, comic books, rolled up posters and more only had one damaged problem I've had one problem (a poster box got smooshed, but it got to the destination) and that was it. 

 

FYI: Even though I print my shipping labels via eBay (it's cheaper), I like to go in and give it to a human so that I get my receipt to show I dropped it off. Then I photograph it so if I lose it, I still have a copy...

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David606

Employee

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3.5K Messages

5 years ago

Receipts. Always get them from the post office counter. Whenever a package is lost and shows no tracking information the receipt is all the proof needed to show the customer did their part.

*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.
Gary L

ACE - Expert

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15.8K Messages

4 years ago

And reciepts disappear sometimes.  Take a photo of it with your phone too!

  • Rember the Golden Rule: Treat others how you would like to be treated.
  • Just because my answer does not solve your issue (or agree with you), it may still be correct information...
  • Stating a fact about how something works, is NOT taking sides, it's just stating a fact...
  • Information provided might not be for "you" only, it might be clarification for other community members.
  • This is the public AT&T Community Forum (not AT&T support), please do not post personal info.
  • When provided an answer, please click "Accept solution" which helps other people to find an answer more quickly.
The (very) fine print - This footer is at the bottom of all my posts, its particulars may, or may not, apply to you & your post.
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.
lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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79.7K Messages

4 years ago

I buy and sell on eBay all the time.  Mostly with no problems with the USPS.

 I bought a phone last fall and the tracking kept showing it was moving slow, then stopped moving in a hub in Springfield after a few days the tracking read "destroyed in shipping". The seller only got the box top with address back.  We figure someone stole the phone. 

 

UPS delivered an Amazon package last week that was chewed up.  Fortunately the contents were not fragile and fine.

 

It happens, it's rare, but it really stinks if it happens to you when the contents are expensive.

 

 

🐾 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 years ago

This is my 3rd year of experiencing this. Mine was lost and damaged and I was charged for it. I did get them to reverse and credit me the charges, but we shouldn't be having to deal with this. They need to definitely step it up and make a better solution to not upset us longtime loyal customers. This is truly a stressful hassle I deal with every year now. I really hope that they switch service and do something different to better serve us.

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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79.7K Messages

4 years ago

Yeah.  Don't buy phones from ATT, or pay off the phone and sell it yourself

 

🐾 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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8 Messages

3 years ago

exactly the same thing im going through apparently i have an iphone 7 just floating around in some warehouse that has not been scanned or sent anywhere 

Voyager

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3 Messages

3 years ago

I'm now going through this very same problem.  I dropped off an iPhone under the NEXT plan (using AT&T's process/box/forms) to my local post office and got a shipping receipt (thank god). A few weeks later, I received an email from AT&T that they did not receive the iPhone and I was charged $470 (and change).  I called AT&T and they gave me the run around.  Tracking under USPS's web site shows the drop off (it shows "Accepted" but no further tracking or movement) - AT&T confirmed same and said "just keep waiting for it to arrive" -- almost a month with no delivery and I should just keep waiting? Side note:  The AT&T rep kept pestering me about upgrading or adding new AT&T services vs. staying focused on the issue I was calling about - I wish they would stop that practice.  So, I went to the same post office where I dropped the package off and spoke to a supervisor there - he couldn't find anything more than what the USPS web site showed and said he'd check into for me and call me (I'll be heading back to the post office today since there was no call / follow-up yet).  I'll follow the same process as the OP to see if I can get a credit.  Definitely a pain - AT&T could make this process a lot simpler on their customers.

Voyager

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3 Messages

3 years ago

Update to my December 22, 2017 post ("I'm now going through this very same problem").  

 

I will definitely never ever use AT&T's NEXT plan again and I'm going to pay off the one iPhone X that I currently have on the NEXT plan.  

 

So, what's happened since my last posting?

 

I followed the OP's steps with one "extra" step:  I revisited the post office where I had dropped off the iPhone and spoke to the same supervisor (my second time to speak with him on this) - he said they couldn't find the package and didn't understand why it didn't show as "scanned" out when it was loaded on the truck.  He recommended I submit a "missing package" investigation form online.

 

Back to the OP's steps I followed (or at least tried to follow):

I called the USPS customer service number.  After a 1 hour and 20 minute wait, a USPS customer service rep answered.  I explained the situation to her (lost package and local post office had record of receiving but nothing about it leaving...), she did a quick search using the USPS tracking number I provided and she echoed back what I already knew -- USPS had accepted the package 30 days prior and it was to be delivered to AT&T’s representative (she didn’t name the AT&T representative).  I told her I needed an investigation case number to which she replied that she was unfamiliar with that process and would need some guidance.  She asked if she could put me on hold to get some guidance and I replied “okay” at which point she disconnected the call.  Needless to say, there was no auto-call back (I recommend, if you do end up calling/waiting for a USPS rep, at the beginning of your conversation, you provide them with your call-back number and ask them to call you back if you get disconnected – something I didn’t do).

 

Not wanting to wait another hour+ on hold for a USPS customer service rep, I decided to try submitting an online USPS missing package investigation form (as recommended by the local post office supervisor).  I was successful at that process after a number of attempts (there are some required fields that didn’t apply to my case that I had to “provide a response for” before it would complete) – and I had a USPS case number.

 

I then made my second call to AT&T customer service.  At the start of the conversation I asked the second AT&T customer service rep to read my case information (as documented by the first AT&T rep).  I then asked the second AT&T rep to see if there was any new information in their system.  She took a few minutes and came back with, “yes, I can see that USPS has added a new entry today at 3:51pm that they have the package” – now, how that was any different than the information which AT&T could see in the USPS system prior (that USPS had accepted the package 30 days prior), I don’t know but it seemed to make a BIG difference to the second AT&T rep.  She said she would request a credit to my account from her manager, put me on hold for a few minutes, came back and said the credit would be applied in a few days.  I thought everything was done and today found out that it wasn't done yet - no credit had been applied.

 

I made another call to AT&T customer service today (Jan 4, 2018) and the very nice agent read through all the notes on my file and told me that while they had agreed that I should be given a credit the "case team" had subsequently denied the credit.  She further explained that the AT&T customer service team (the number I called) is separate from the "AT&T case team" and there was no explanation for the denial.  She too agreed that I shouldn't have to pay for the returned iPhone and sent the "AT&T case team" an internal email requesting another review and response within 48 hours.  Since my wireless bill is now coming due, she provided me with the amount I should pay less the returned iPhone and put a dispute on my account for the $475.  

 

I'm now in a wait mode to find out what happens next.  I will post back (hopefully that this is resolved to my satisfaction).

 

 as I noted earlier - this is my very last AT&T NEXT purchase.

 

 

Voyager

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3 Messages

3 years ago

Update:  I was finally able to obtain a full credit on my return.  It was a rather long and not clear road to resolution.  The last step which appears to have helped me was the last/most recent call I made to the AT&T Customer Service number -- the agent, after reviewing my file, all the history documented in it/confirming the USPS status as still being "accepted" with no change from the drop off date - agreed that I shouldn't have to pay for the phone.  She spoke to her supervisor who told her I needed to talk with the Stolen Device Specialty Team.  I was forwarded to the Stolen Device Specialty Team and went through the same process again (my name, phone number, passcode // she reads my file/history, validates the USPS status as "accepted" with no change since drop off and agrees that I shouldn't have to pay, etc.).  This agent is also at a loss to explain what to do next and speaks to her supervisor.  Her supervisor says they need to get confirmation from their warehouse that the phone was not received - her supervisor will send an email requesting the warehouse to verify.  I was told to wait 2-3 business days.  It was a bit longer than that -- I received a txt msg from AT&T that I had a message in my AT&T account - logged on there and saw the full credit was granted.  

 

In total, I called AT&T Customer Service 6 times over the duration and spoke to 7 reps.  I know the first attempt failed (AT&T Customer Service provided a full credit which was later denied by the "Case Management Team," with no explanation).  I think the Stolen Device Specialty Team was the source of resolution but I will never really know.

 

Recommendation:

Retain your USPS tracking number

Verify before you call AT&T 611 (each time you call) the USPS tracking information - have that handy

If you are getting close to the payment due date - ask for payment arrangements (extended time to pay without penalty)

Ask to speak with the Stolen Device Specialty Team if you don't get a credit // tell them about my case - request they verify with their warehouse that the phone was not received.

Keep ALL of your AT&T case numbers and AT&T ICU numbers (if you get one) 

Ask each agent to document your conversations and next steps in your file

Open up notepad or word and keep a good dated trail of each call (USPS, your local post office visits, each AT&T Customer Service call - include the first name of each agent/person you speak to) -- I was able to reference all of my documentation at one point or another along this painful (and needless) journey.

Don't give up.

 

Good luck

 

 

 

Contributor

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2 Messages

3 years ago

I was charged twice on 2 separate occasions a few months apart for lost ATT Next returns that were eventually found, it was my phone and my spouses. The fee was much more than the remaining balance.  The last one was $1064 for a returned iPhone 7 after 12 months.  Rediculous process and seems fraudulent that the devices are just randomly lost.  Still trying to get an accurate rebill.

Contributor

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2 Messages

2 years ago

This kind of problem is still happening. But here’s my twist. I mailed back an iPhone X in great condition. A month later I received a box from AT&T with a toy phone in it. The letter said that I had not returned the right phone. They said the toy phone was what I mailed in. Seriously??? I’ve been an AT&T customer for over 10 years and bought dozens of phones. They think I would scam them like this??  Seems to me that someone with USPS or AT&T’s receiving department stole the iPhone and swapped in the toy phone so that the package would continue. I’ve called 7 times over the past two months and have asked for supervisors the past 4 times. Constantly have to explain the problem over again and send in all the tracking information and other details. I’ve been hung up on and transferred to random parts of the company. No one will take accountability of the problem. I’m ready to hire a lawyer over this $500 insult!

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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79.7K Messages

2 years ago

@Jbbird

File a complaint.  The USPS weighs the packages.  If it weighed less coming back, they switched phones.  

 

🐾 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

 • 

4 Messages

2 years ago

I too had an iPhone that I sent back via the AT&T start label process on July 23, 2018. I sent 2 on the same day. One box mad it to AT&T and one didn’t. I have called at least 20 times and spoke to every department. Finally got an ICU case filled and they came back and said the phone was used to make calls to Cuba on August 7, 2018 so they rejected the case. Tracking shows I dropped it off at USPS on July 23, 2018 at 8:52 am and on the same day at 8:35 pm it was checked into the USPS distribution center in Tampa FL. One box was then picked up by Newgistics on July 26, 2018, but one shows it is still in the USPS distribution center. I filed a complaint with USPS, they said they do not have the package and it was picked up by Newgistics but Newgistics does not have a record of picking it up and USPS can not give me any documentation stating that Newgistics picked it up. I think someone in the USPS is stealing these phones or Newgistics. There is no consistent chain of custody for the switch from the USPS to Newgistics. [Per Guidelines:  Keep it Relevant and Appropriate]. The AT&T Customer support staff tell me they hear it all the time. AT&T knows this is happening over and over and yet this scam continues. 

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