Explore & discover

Helpful Links

AT&T ‘Authorized Retailers’

AT&T ‘Authorized Retailers’

In my opinion, stay away from AT&T ‘Authorized Retailers’. These authorized retailers are not owned or managed by AT&T in any manner. Authorized retailers are like car dealers. They make up their own rules and contracts and will sell you anything they can get away with. The employees in an authorized retailer do not work for AT&T. Many of the authorized retailers want their customers to think they are walking into an AT&T owned store by having a large AT&T logo on the front of the store. Some authorized retailers design the stores to look like AT&T corporate stores. It’s very deceptive.

 

I had a problem with a phone I purchased at an authorized retailer. I went to another AT&T store that happened to be an AT&T corporate store. The corporate store would not help me at all because I bought from an authorized retailer. The AT&T corporate store had no records of me purchasing the phone and they did not have the authority to touch the phone. I was told I am stuck dealing with the specific authorized retailer that sold me the phone.

 

Authorized retailers usually do not have the technical skills or equipment that a corporate store has. If you have a problem with the phone, hardware or software related, a corporate store is in a better position to handle your request. Authorized retailers are not interested in follow up service; they are interested in sales.

 

There are other retailers that also offer AT&T services, like Best Buy, but at least the people walking into a Best Buy know that the AT&T services are a side business. How many people walk into an AT&T authorized retailer and think they are walking into a store that is owned and managed by AT&T?

 

Stick with the corporate stores if you have a choice. They are well organized, professionally managed, will provide follow up service, and you are dealing directly with AT&T corporate. Not some third party.

69,356 Views
Message 1 of 41
Community Manager

Re: AT&T ‘Authorized Retailers’

 

Thank you for sharing with everyone, that's a good advice!

 

Dmitriy


Rethink Possible


Did a post have a solution that worked for you? Help other people find solutions faster by marking posts that helped you as an "Accepted Solution". Learn about accepted solutions: Learn More.

Employee Contributor*
*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.
Message 2 of 41
Contributor

Re: AT&T ‘Authorized Retailers’

I realize that the statements you made above are only your opinion.

I just wanted to go over a couple of the things you stated and hopefully help you with your misconception.
 
You first stated:

"These authorized retailers are not owned or managed by AT&T in any manner. Authorized retailers are like car dealers. They make up their own rules and contracts and will sell you anything they can get away with. The employees in an authorized retailer do not work for AT&T. Many of the authorized retailers want their customers to think they are walking into an AT&T owned store by having a large AT&T logo on the front of the store. Some authorized retailers design the stores to look like AT&T corporate stores. It’s very deceptive.

 

First off AT&T requires all Authorized Retailers to have their stores look just like any other AT&T store.

They want the customer to get the same feel if they walk into any AT&T in any place at any time.

In order to be an Authorized Retailer you must follow very strict guidelines and rules set by AT&T. AT&T regularly audits their dealers to make sure they are following every single rule set forth in the agreement that both parties signed when they became an Authorized Retailer. They in no way can make up their own rules or contracts.

 

Next you stated:

"I had a problem with a phone I purchased at an authorized retailer. I went to another AT&T store that happened to be an AT&T corporate store. The corporate store would not help me at all because I bought from an authorized retailer. The AT&T corporate store had no records of me purchasing the phone and they did not have the authority to touch the phone. I was told I am stuck dealing with the specific authorized retailer that sold me the phone."

This particular situation you speak of happened not because you went to an Authorized Retailer, but because you did not go back to them.

Each store has their own inventory, and if you buy something at one store you can not return it to another store. Roles reversed, say you bought the phone at Corporate and then wanted to return it at an Authorized Retailer, they would not be able to take it back.

That being said, the big problem with the statement above is you said corporate refused to touch your phone and help you.

This is actually a huge problem. They blatantly refused to help the customer. They are 100% allowed to touch your phone, that is their job. What you actually encountered was a corporate store employee, that was angry some of his potential sales were going to the Authorized Retailer, and instead of acting like a professional and making your experience as a customer a great one, he pushed you off.

The reason that they had no record of you purchasing the phone is because each store uses a different Point of Sale System to ring out their products and keep track of their inventory.

 

You then stated:

"Authorized retailers usually do not have the technical skills or equipment that a corporate store has. If you have a problem with the phone, hardware or software related, a corporate store is in a better position to handle your request. Authorized retailers are not interested in follow up service; they are interested in sales.

 

This is completely inaccurate, a large majority of Authorized Retailers have worked in the Wireless industry for many, many years. Authorized Retailers are completely capable of handling any and all issues you may have. If they can fix the phone they will fix your phone.

However, both Corporate and any Authorized Retailer is a sales based job. Neither of them have a phone service tech on location to service phones. In fact AT&T does not want any of their locations spending hours trying to fix a device. But any of the staff at any locations would be able to troubleshoot any problems that may a rise.

If the representative is unable to fix your phone they would then call tech support.

Corporate and Authorized Retailers call the exact same phone number to help with the issue.

Authorized Retailers are absolutely interested in follow up service. That is how they keep the customer coming back to their location.

 

We already covered this one, but I will reiterate:

"There are other retailers that also offer AT&T services, like Best Buy, but at least the people walking into a Best Buy know that the AT&T services are a side business. How many people walk into an AT&T authorized retailer and think they are walking into a store that is owned and managed by AT&T?"

AT&T will not allow an Authorized Retailer to operate if they do not follow every detail of the store plan. Every Authorized Retailer is told by AT&T what to hang up, where to hang it up at, What phones to have out on display, when to change out posters, phones, etc.

This is because AT&T wants the customer to get the same feel whatever store they are in. Besides the audits to make sure their Authorized Retailers are following everything to a T. They send in their own Retail Account Executives weekly to insure the store is operating up to code.

 

Lastly you ended with:

"Stick with the corporate stores if you have a choice. They are well organized, professionally managed, will provide follow up service, and you are dealing directly with AT&T corporate. Not some third party." 

 

By all means you should go to where you are comfortable and where you feel like you get the best service. But just so are aware, AT&T Authorized Retailers are also well organized, professionally managed and will always provide follow up service when necessary.

 

In my opinion, you bad experience actually stemmed from bad customer service at the Corporate location.

I hope that you realize what an AT&T Authorized Retailer is and how they can actually help to make your life easier.

 

Have a great day.

 

 

 

 

 

Tags (1)
Message 3 of 41
Contributor

Re: AT&T ‘Authorized Retailers’

I just had an issue with this and luckily it was a small one. I purchased a tempered glass iphone screen cover at a ATT&T Company Store, then when it chipped the next day (didn't even drop phone) I tried to return it to my local ATT&T Authorized Retailer. No dice. I almost bought my phone from the local authorized retailer, but decided to go "unlocked" with an iphone 6s from an Apple Flagship. And yes the rep in my local authorized retailer said he doesn't even work for AT&T, but for another company owned by them. I only got this info after pressing him when I didn't want to send my screen protector to the manufacturer for a new one. In future I will only deal with a company store whose hands are not tied in any way.

Message 4 of 41
Contributor

Re: AT&T ‘Authorized Retailers’

Though I recognize the Retailer Store individual put a lot of time into his/her response....they should have invested that time in training and customer service coaching.  

I too recently purchased a phone from an AT&T Retail Store (believing it was a Corporate Store), long story short they "special ordered" a new phone for me TWICE and each time it arrived "ooops we sold it to another customer" as my phone is literally only holding 1 hour of battery life at a time.  I finally bought another model they had on-site 3 nights ago - they improperly downloaded my information from my old phone ("oh you can allow this to stop, leave the store now and restart it with your wi-fi at home") and after my THIRD return to the store and FIVE calls to 611 AT&T Customer Service they are going to replace the phone....however they have to ORDER ONE IN.  AT&T Tech Support could not believe what the Retail Store did to my new phone and she was very "PC" in suggesting the Retail Store personnel's lack of knowledge (I'll say it, complete ignorance of THREE associates including the store manager).  I sincerely wish I had researched the store to understand the difference between Retail Store vs Corporate Store and that even though the entire store looks just like a corporate store it is not.  Save yourself a lot of time, gas, frustration and deception ---- go to an AT&T Corporate store.

Message 5 of 41

Re: AT&T ‘Authorized Retailers’

What are the "strict" guidelines?  Is one of them not closing your store 1/2 hour before the posted closing time?  Because the store at 17100 Collins Ave, Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160 (an "Authorized Dealer" I believe) just did that today.

Tags (1)
Message 6 of 41
ACE - Sage

Re: AT&T ‘Authorized Retailers’

@MarkLetzter


MarkLetzter wrote:

What are the "strict" guidelines?  Is one of them not closing your store 1/2 hour before the posted closing time?  Because the store at 17100 Collins Ave, Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160 (an "Authorized Dealer" I believe) just did that today.


I have never had a quick trip into a wireless store, not in 18 years with Verizon, and not when I moved our numbers and bought phones from ATT., adding lines one at a time.

Minimum 1 hour.

So, yes, they all lock the doors 15-30 minutes before closing, knowing they will probably be there well after closing.

 

 

(The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
*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.
Message 7 of 41
Employee

Re: AT&T ‘Authorized Retailers’

I wouldn't even go to a corporate store for a phone issue. They're sales people, not technicians. There is nothing at a retail store to fix a phone that can't be solved via a call to tech support. They don't do warranty exchanges at a retail store. Unless it's a device support center a trip to a retail store for a tech support issue isn't necessary. It's much easier to backup data using a home PC than uploading it to a cloud service. Being able to actually take time and fix something right while at home is honestly the way to go. The stores are good for some expertise at times but smartphone problems are easily fixed. I think people are stuck in that mindset that everything is a hardware problem...when 90% of the time a simple factory reset corrects all problems. 

Employee Contributor*
*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.
Message 8 of 41

Re: AT&T ‘Authorized Retailers’

1)  Buying a prepaid card takes less than 10 minutes.

 

2)  If the store is concerned about being held late during a long sale, why not set the closing time 1/2 hour earlier?

 

Message 9 of 41

Re: AT&T ‘Authorized Retailers’

1)  Buying a prepaid card takes less than 10 minutes.

 

2)  If the store is concerned about being held late during a long sale, why not set the closing time 1/2 hour earlier?

Is that honest enough for you?

Message 10 of 41
Contributor

Re: AT&T ‘Authorized Retailers’

Most of the visits I have had to a corporate store have resulted in total aggravation.  I believe the empoyees are on a comission and if you aren't doing something that they can get paid for then you just get dumb looks,  we can't help you or get to wait and wait while they help people that walked in long after you did.  I would like to find all of the non corporate stores close to me.

Message 11 of 41
ACE - Sage

Re: AT&T ‘Authorized Retailers’

I disagree.  The last 2 trips I made to corporate stores were SIM card replacement, FREE.  

Not only were they super nice, but took a good deal of time to make sure my non ATT phone worked great.

 

 

(The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
*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.
Message 12 of 41
Contributor

Re: AT&T ‘Authorized Retailers’

It's not just their opinion. It's a fact. I have an 'authorized retailer' near me where I tried to get help getting a new phone on the group plan I am on. After an hour of trying so hard to sell me something I didn't want or could afford, they finally realized that there was nothing they could do to help me with my questions since they are only a retailer and that I actually had to go to an authorized dealer instead. You sell phones. That's it.

Message 13 of 41
Contributor

Re: AT&T ‘Authorized Retailers’

The plural of anecdote is not data.

 

Your singular experience (which, by the way, lacks pretty much any critical information about the situation) says nothing about Authorized Dealers or Corporate Stores as a whole.

Message 14 of 41
Employee

Re: AT&T ‘Authorized Retailers’

Why go to a sales floor for technical support. I can understand if you need a replacement SIM card grabbing one there instead of having it shipped. But for other tech support a sales professional isn't going to be more experienced than a real technical support agent.

 

When my car has issues, I go to the service center, not the sales guys. In the wireless industry unless you're going to an actual AT&T Device Support Center the service center is over the phone or online chat. Now the COR associates have always been spectacular for me regardless of what I needed but personally I call 611 and ask for tech support first before making that trip.

 

Backing up data isn't something they have the tools to do. They don't have a computer in store to move photos or videos, etc. But at home I do have that and calling tech support makes it easier because no need to go out. App support, issues with settings, anything you can think of besides buying new equipment or accessories is better served by calling technical support. This goes for almost any technology product, not just phones. Sales professionals don't have the same technical expertise as technical agents over the phone. Smiley Happy

Employee Contributor*
*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.
Message 15 of 41
Share this topic
Share this topic
Additional Support