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Warranty issue - phone returned as damaged

Warranty issue - phone returned as damaged

Upfront I admit that:

I didn't read the paperwork close enough before I signed on the line so let this be a warning for anyone with warranty issues (and have a magnifying glass handy).

 

Story:

August, 2014 went into a local ATT dealer and bought one phone for my daughter and one for my son on payment plans along with the bill for wireless service.

 

After about 2 months my daughter's Samsung Galaxy 4 started to randomly turn off and on.

Sometime at the end of November or early December I took the phone back to the place I bought it and they said there was a problem-they called ATT and both agreed it was beyond repair and sent me a new phone.  I sent the defective one back and thought we were done with it.

 

Yesterday I got the old phone back with a letter stating, ..."Unfortunately, we are returning your phone due to the following condition:  Cracked, Damaged, Smashed, Chewed Plastic/Faceplate..." and ATT stated there would be a charge of $469.00 on my next bill.  This is in addition to the other Galaxy phone I'm paying for on a monthly basis.

 

I was on the phone for half the morning, getting nowhere (and I felt really bad for the first woman I spoke to from Kentucky-she was very nice) with anyone (I did speak with the first woman's manager). 

 

I bought my daughter a cover for the phone for her birthday in August and the face of the phone is in perfect condition.  It turns out that there is "damage" where the plug goes in to charge the phone.  After getting a magnifying glass out I could see some wear inside where the charging chord plugs in but that was all.

 

My issue:

1.  The ATT store I bought it did not find any damage when they originally called about getting me a replacement phone and did not say anything about any damage preventing repair or replacement due to something like this.  Neither did they mention anything about having to pay for it.

2.  As a common, untrained person, having no trouble with the phone charging how in the world would I know to look inside this space (and had I even thought to do that, how would I know that it was damaged when it has always worked fine) or that a $75 repair would be cause to be charged $500.  The rest of the phone doesn't have a scratch on it.  If the store didn't find it how would I be expected to???

3.  The phone was charging fine-the issue is with the internal electronics.  I have no problem with any "damage" that might be in the charging port.  Honor your warranty, fix that part that is the issue and send the otherwise "damaged" phone back to me and I'll send back the new phone both you and your agent decided to send me.

4.  The charging port is a $14.00 part on line-you can't replace that and fix the electronic issues (but it was working fine so it didn't need to be replaced anyway)?  If you can replace the electronic issues I'll pay for the charging port part.  If you can't fix the electronic issue then does it really matter whether the $14.00 charging port is "damaged" or not?

 

I have contacted Samsung and they're going to take a look at it to see if it is under warranty and if not they are going to have someone call me with an estimate to fix it-but they are not going to charge me almost $500 for a phone that stopped working 2-3 months after it was purchased. 

 

I've been with ATT almost since the dawn of the cell phone, have paid for a number of phones for a number of kids and currently have three lines.  I'd rather not go somewhere else but of course I think this is an insane policy no matter what paper I signed (what choice did I have-I don't sign it you don't warranty it-I already had the new phone-I'm over a barrel).  I have no problem with the phone charging despite the "damage" that is there-I just want you to have the integrity to stand behind the product you advertise and sell. 

 

I'll see what Samsung has to say in a few days.  At the least they will call me back and talk to me before charging me for a phone that was defective to begin with. 

 

I'm sure there is a very reasonable explanation for this policy but I'm fairly sure it's not one that keeps customers (but I'll admit, I'm a bit biased at this point).

 

Respectfully submitted.

 

[Subject edited for better exposure] 

 

22,332 Views
Message 1 of 45
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Flummoxed

A lesson to be learned is keeping a backup phone available for situations such as this, and using the backup phone temporarily while the problem phone is sent in for repairs.  

Hope things work out favorably for you.

Keep in mind that in switching carriers, you may have to buy all new phones.  

Message 2 of 45
ACE - Sage

Re: Flummoxed

This sounds like normal wear and shouldn't have been an issue.
Document the condition with a store employee and request the charge be reversed.
I don't know if this is AT&T problem, but I can say with assurance, it would not have happened with an iPhone (which would be sent to Apple)

Dig your heels in. This has happened before, I think it's lazy people in repair.

(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.
Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*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 3 of 45
Community Support

Re: Flummoxed

Hi there @Thomas987654321

 

I’m sorry to hear you have had an unpleasant warranty replacement experience. Our store representatives are unable to process warranty claims, which resulted in contacting our warranty department via phone call at the store it seems. With regards to the warranty coverage, it will always result in a replacement. A warranty claim never results in a repair of the device to be returned to the original customer, mainly due to the time that would be involved leaving the customer without a device.

Should there be any physical or liquid damage to the device, the warranty is void, even if the damage may not at first glance appear related to the issue. This is a policy we must follow in order to be able to process warranty claims on behalf of the manufacturers. I’m glad to hear Samsung are looking into repairing the device for you. The terms and conditions of the warranty replacement which are agreed to in order to complete the request state that if any damage is found to the device, you may be charged for the full cost of the replacement device.

We absolutely do stand behind the products we offer. We must also follow the warranty terms and conditions which allow us to provide a streamlined exchange option should a warranty covered issue arise.

 

If this helps, please mark this answer as an accepted solution!

 

Thanks,

Charise

AT&T Customer Care

Need help with an account specific question?  Post a new question here on the forums by clicking the "Ask a Question" button.
For additional support, please visit us at our AT&T services hub.
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*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 4 of 45
Highlighted

Re: Flummoxed

Thank you for your reply.  I'm trying but ATT really has nothing to lose by losing one customer. 

 

Fortunately Samsung fixed the phone and shipped it out in one day under warranty. 

 

As to ATT's claim either Samsung was being nice by fixing "damage" caused by my daughter, at no cost (I'd like to think there are corporations that would do that but since Samsung originally told me they'd call me and give me an estimate if there was damage to the phone not covered under warranty-I don't believe this to be the case), or the damage to the phone was covered under the manufacturer's warranty-which was the case.

 

In either case I am very impressed with Samsung in honoring their warranty and their fast turn around.  ATT is still trying to charge me almost $500 for a phone that I didn't ask for and don't want-I can't wait to hear their explanation as to why Samsung fixed the phone under warranty after ATT told me that the "damage" to the phone would void the manufacturer's warranty (I'm sure it's in the fine print somewhere).  I wonder how many warranty claims they void with the same excuse. 

Message 5 of 45
ACE - Sage

Re: Flummoxed

I'm glad Samsung did right by you. As for AT&T, keep bugging them. I suggest looking here for one of the mobility specialists to see if you can speed things along.
(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.
Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*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 6 of 45

Re: Warranty issue - phone returned as damaged

Follow up:

 

I sent the phone to Samsung and they repaired the damaged charging port under warranty. 

I called ATT back and got a very helpful service manager (Mike) on the phone.  Once he heard my story he went to bat for me with his bosses.  I sent him the paperwork from Samsung showing that they had repaired the phone under warranty.  After a day or so he called back and told me to send the replacement phone back and ATT would not charge me for it.  He called me back once he received the phone and stated he would take care of the charges (as a new billing cycle had started) after the weekend.

 

He wanted to be very clear that ATT did everything they were supposed to according to Samsung and was quite suprised that Samsung made the repair under warranty.

 

I certainly am grateful to Samsung for honoring their warranty.  They have been nothing but very helpful and easy to work with.  They had the phone fixed and back in the mail on the same day they received it.

 

I want to thank Mike at ATT.  He not only took the time to listen to my story, but followed up as he promised.  I have a number of acquaintances who have ATT service who don't have much good to say about their customer service (and frankly I certainly did not after my first call to them) but Mike certainly renewed my faith.

 

Lesson learned:  If your phone is under warranty get out a magnifying glass and check the phone for damage (paying particular attention to the charging port) before sending the phone back to your cell phone carrier (I say this because the original issue for me sending the phone back had nothing to do with the charging port but the charging port was the issue originally used by the carrier to deny warranty coverage). 

 

If it's damaged (and you might call your carrier and check with them if have any question at all as to warranty damage as you probably didn't read that part of the fine print when you originally signed the contract for the phone)-send it to the manufacturer for repair before sending it to the phone carrier if there is any question as to whether the carrier will honor the warranty.  The manufacturer will at least have the decency to call you and let you know of any damage not covered under warranty and give you a price to fix it (as opposed to the carrier who will simply tell you there's non warranty damage-deal done-and charge you some outrageous price for a phone that might only cost a fraction of the price to fix even if the damage is not covered by warranty). Once the non warranty issues are taken care of then send it back to the carrier for warranty coverage (unless of course the non warranty damage is more than the carrier is charging you).

 

Again, the carrier will state that they've done what they've been told to do by the manufacturer. Because Mike was so helpful, I'm willing to believe that.  In either case I appreciate that both companies did the right thing in the end.

 

Message 7 of 45
Administrator
Solution
Accepted by Administrator (Administrator)
Accepted by davidbk
‎11-19-2015 9:12 AM

Re: Warranty issue - phone returned as damaged

Learn what physical damage and liquid damage voids the warranty on your phone, tablet, or other mobile device.

*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 45
Contributor

Re: Warranty issue - phone returned as damaged

I've been having issues with my note edge freezing up on me so I sent it in 2x to get fixes. So the last phone I sent it back perfectly find and the send it back with a cracked screen stating I have to pay $780 for the phone that doesn't work no back, no battery to it. This is crazy I rather pay $50 and order a new screen and fixed it myself then paying all this money for a bad phone. Then my regular is still acting up bc they sent me the smell defective phone back to me.... All this a scam so At&t can get extra money and they don't try to help you... I think I'll take this one to court because it's ridiculous.
Message 9 of 45
Contributor

Re: Warranty issue - phone returned as damaged

The screen was cracked when they sent it back? The same thing happened to us!

Message 10 of 45
Employee

Re: Warranty issue - phone returned as damaged

There is documentation of the package condition whenever a warranty phone comes back. Photographs of the box, photos of the inside before anything is removed, photographs of the phone itself. 

 

Call and ask to see them. If the package indicates no damage to the corners or outside and it was packaged properly it did not break in transit. The packing materials were engineered to ensure safe delivery. AT&T got the replacement phone to you with no damage so now it becomes the responsibility of the customer to ensure the defective phones gets returned without damage. Get the photos. I am not assuming anything but I have seen it a hundred times. Someone put a barephone on top of the sling or simply in the box. It will surely break in transit then. The photos of the returned package and it's contents will tell the whole story. 

 

There is no incentive to simply charge someone for no reason. If something happened that was the fault of the warranty fulfillment center, they would own up to it. If before a phone was shipped an exception was made and an account was notated, those exceptions get made. 

*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 11 of 45
Contributor

Re: Warranty issue - phone returned as damaged

I am so confused right now. I got the samsung edge phone. The first one I got, I dropped and had the insurance so I sent it back and they sent me another. Unfortunately, they sent me the wrong one and agreed to send the correct one and I sent the wrong one back to them. When I got the next one, it was in a cardboard sleeve. No packing. No plastic. Just cardboard.  The screen froze. Then it worked, then it froze, then it worked. For a couple months. Finally, I called ATT and the nice man in service aske me questions and we tested things on the phone it was deemed to be a hardware problem. Warrenty sent me another phone.  I sent them mine. Two weeks pass and mine comes back and they say there is a hairline crack on the back of the phone. I never, ever saw that. As a matter of fact, I rarely used the phone at all. Now they are charging me $700.00.  I am furious and believe this is some kind of scam.  Seems to happen quite often as I see here.

Message 12 of 45
Employee

Re: Warranty issue - phone returned as damaged

There is no scam. If a phone comes back damaged via warranty, it's marked as physical damage and you're charged the value of the repalcement. The defective phone is then returned to you and both are yours to keep.

 

All warranty returns have detailed photos taken of the packaging, the phone, and contents of the package. Ask to see those. If the box shows no damage whatsoever, it wasn't damaged in shipping. If it was packaged properly in the sleeve and inserted into the box correctly (basically the exact same way it came to you) it wouldn't have been damage in transit. Return shipping is the customer's responsibility. The carrier delivered a non-damaged phone to the end user, now on it's trip back it's essentially the customer who needs to ensure it gets back to the carrier undamaged.

*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 13 of 45
Contributor

Re: Warranty issue - phone returned as damaged

I am on my son's account,i.m 63,never have had a problem with any phone I have ever had, my Samsung Galaxy, 6 edge started freezing up after an update,my poor son was on the phone with a representative for over an hour,we ended up sending the new phone back,outside no cracks,perfect condition, same thing happened to us they sent the phone back and charged him $700.00,said it had water damage, I have a side pocket in my purse where I carry it,don't swim,there is no way it could have water damage,it is never around water,very disappointed with at&t,I have had Verizon for years with no problems, I have read the edges are prone to overheat,which is what I think happened.
Message 14 of 45
Contributor

Re: Warranty issue - phone returned as damaged

My stepson has an account through my wife.  His phone stopped charging.  Warranty told him to send it in.  He sent it in (it was undamaged) the way they requested.

 

They sent a replacement phone to him.  Then warranty apparently received the phone with a crack (they sent the pictures).  They then sent the phone back to him and said they were charging the $800 to my wife's bill. 

 

Now, the insurance company will not repair the phone since it was sent to warranty so we cannot send it back to warranty.  Warranty will also not take the new phone back since it has been over 10 days, when most of that time was spent with Warranty sending the original phone back with a note saying it was denied.  Now warranty will never take the phone back, apparently and the insurance will not take the phone to fix the screen (not to mention the phone is now completely dead)

 

My wife has spent over 5 hours on the phone with AT&T; this is a horrible scam where there is no recourse to do anything other than pay $800 by the end of next month.  I have advised my stepson to go to the ATT store to attempt to get help resolving this since we can't seem to make any headway on the phone.

Message 15 of 45
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