01-03-2011 11:36 AM
So in late October I purchased an HTC Surround Windows Phone, which has been a great phone. If you're thinking about a Windows phone, definitely go for it - it's probably the best phone I've had in the last 10 years, which is saying something. Except for the fact that it died just after midnight on January 1, 2011, while I was trying to call a cab to get myself and my girlfriend home. One minute, I'm talking to the taxi dispatcher, the next the phone restarts itself but won't ever turn on again. So we were out in the cold for a LONG time because my brand new phone died through no fault of my own. Strike number one.
Since we had to drive most of New Year's day, I tried everything I could find online when we got home, wiped the phone's memory, etc. Nothing works. Bottom line, probably some kind of software issue. So Jan 2 I'm in the store, and they tell me that even though they've got plenty of Surrounds right there in front of me for sale, I have to get a replacement through the device warranty center, which is out of them. Also, I'm on the West Coast, traveling for the holidays, returning to Virginia on the 3rd. All the centers in Virginia are out of Surrounds too. But the rep says ATT can send one to me, guaranteed to arrive on the 3rd so it will be there waiting for me. Again, there are plenty of Surrounds right in front of me, but I can't have one. Two different people assure me that it will arrive on the 3rd. This means they would have to next day ship on a Sunday for arrival, which I don't think any carrier does, but they assure me I'll get it on the 3rd. I'm staring at Surrounds all around me, but since mine broke after more than 30 days the store says it can't do anything, even after an hour of me telling my story, the support person checking with the device center staff, etc. Strike 2.
So now it is the 3rd. My claim status is still "In Progress", meaning "Not shipped", meaning "won't get to me today". The support people I talked to today can't give me an estimate on when it will be shipped. I'm in charge of IT at my work and was not able to stay in touch while I was traveling. My mother is having surgery this week and I haven't been able to check up on her. Strike 3.
AT&T, when my contract is up I am gone. Your support policy should be about empowering your employees to do the right thing, not sticking to rigid guidelines that just screw over your own customers because you think it's the manufacturer's problem and want to pin the cost on them.
01-03-2011 12:27 PM
Wow... that sucks. I think in your position, I'd be seriously considering the same thing, if not paying the ETF and leaving now.
01-04-2011 8:25 AM
Keep in mind that most "AT&T stores" are not actually owned/operated by ATT at all, but just privately owned franchises. They have no motivation to use store stock for warranty replacement purposes after the 30 day remorse period, and they most likely have no mechanism to do so.
But the fact that customer service promise a replacement by Jan. 3 and failed is very much wrong.
01-08-2011 3:09 PM
Thanks for both your comments. I feel like I need to update everyone on this situation, in the hopes that people realize what a scam AT&T/HTC's warranty service has been.
So it's been one week, and the phone still hasn't arrived. In that time, I've realized I've been lied to twice:
First, AT&T/HTC apparently use a mail expediter who takes the replacements to the nearest post office for delivery. So , when the person I spoke with at the warranty center told me that they would overnight a phone to me on the 3rd, it meant they would put it in the mail after a few days. He fully knew this when he was talking to me.
Second problem, and a really big deal, is that AT&T's expediter tracking service says the phone was delivered this morning. The Post Office has the package listed as out for delivery at 8:31 this morning and delivered at 8:34. Think about the timing of that - 3 minute delivery? Fishy. It wasn't in my mailbox, and it wasn't at my front door. I've been home all day.
Now when the warranty person read me the terms and conditions, he told me that if I don't return the broken phone within (I believe) 14 days of receiving the new one, I'm going to be charged something like $500. Imagine after all of this what they're going to tell me when I call them and tell them that the replacement never arrived.
I am calling the Post Office first thing in the morning Monday, and then AT&T after that. I have no idea what to do after that. If there is actually anyone at AT&T that reads these things, please tell me what to do to get what I paid for in October.
Congratulations! You earned the Liz badge!