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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] 

 

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Message 1 of 45
Tutor

Re: Warranty issue - phone returned as damaged

i'm going through the same exact thing right now.  an LG G5 that won't aquire or keep a GPS signal.  Took it to the store (with absolutely NO damage) and they couldn't figure it out.  They told me to send it in under warranty.  I sent it back through ATT's choice of carrier and had it sent back with a hairline crack in the screen that wasn't there when it was shipped.  And they are now trying to charge me for both phones.  I might add that I live 2 hours from where their warranty center.  It bounced around in the back of a delivery truck for 14 days before it was received by them, according to the date they say they received it.  And, according to the tracking number that was provided, it still has NOT been delivered.  It is definately a scam.  I too will be switching carriers.  I don't care if others say "all carriers are like that."  If ATT can't provide any better customer service to a 20+ year customer, I don't need to do business with them.  I am returning the warranty device to not incur the additional $600.00 charge but had to go through 3 people during two different phone calls to get an actual address so i could use MY choice of carrier and INSURE it when i sent it back.  Which leaves me paying $600.00 for a device that is defective.  If the term "scam" doesn't fit, I don't know what does.

Message 31 of 45
Tutor

Re: Warranty issue - phone returned as damaged

This is how Asurian works as well.
It took me over a month to get a new phone, and I had to spend several days a week arguing with them, several hours on the line each day, with Asurian trying to claim the line was not connected when the phone broke, so they don't have to cover it. The use this excuse with stolen phones as well, so if a thief quickly disconnects the phone, they won't replace it.
So many nasty tricks and sneaky ways to make the rates sound low, then charge us far more then what we were quoted.
I'm really reaching my limit with AT&T.
After having their reputation get so bad that no one had anything good to say about AT&T for decades, requiring them to spend millions trying to repair their reputation, look where they are.
They are still repeating the same horrible business practices that destroyed it.
Message 32 of 45
Tutor

Re: Warranty issue - phone returned as damaged

The insurance company AT&T is just as bad. Asurian uses every sneaky inaccurate dishonest excuse they can to deny a claim and replace an insured phone like they claim they will.
After the phone I bought broke, I took the line off of it and connected my old phone so I didn't miss calls while waiting for the replacement to come, that Asurian charges a $250 deductible phone replacement fee for.
After I filed the claim they declined it claiming that once the line is disconnected, the phone is no longer insured.
It took me a month to get them to finally acknowledge that the contract only requires that the line has to be connected at the time the phone was damaged.
Once the did, they then tried to argue that it had taken too long for the claim to be filed from the time of damage, so I had to argue for weeks that I filed it immediately and it was their excuses and stalling tricks that had caused a month to pass.
The contract only requires that I report the damage in a timely manner which emailed proved.
They just finally got me a new phone after realizing I was not gonna quit and it would cost them too much to keep coming up with sneaky lies.
Message 33 of 45
Tutor

Re: Warranty issue - phone returned as damaged

ATT has had to spend millions trying to repair their reputation after decades of horrible business practices.
But nothing has changed. They still have all the same dirty way of doing business.

Message 34 of 45
ACE - Sage

Re: Warranty issue - phone returned as damaged


@BOYER111 wrote:
ATT has had to spend millions trying to repair their reputation after decades of horrible business practices.
But nothing has changed. They still have all the same dirty way of doing business.

Not that ATT doesn't have problems, BUT...

ATT does not warranty or insure your phone.  

For the next time, you must make a claim BEFORE you swap out your phone.  

 

(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.
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*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 35 of 45
Tutor

Re: Warranty issue - phone returned as damaged

Hi, I would like any help you would be able to provide.  What is your private email?

Message 36 of 45
Tutor

Re: Warranty issue - phone returned as damaged

Is there a way for me to get your private email from here?

Message 37 of 45
Contributor

Re: Warranty issue - phone returned as damaged

Yes there is an incentive for you to charge people it happens to me all the time especially when the lady told me that there was going to be no charge for the phone and I had to spend 3 hours on the phone correcting this being passed around from incompetent rep to incompetent rep and then being hung hung up on AT&T is the worst ever and none of you people should ever be in the workforce

Message 38 of 45
Contributor

Re: Warranty issue - phone returned as damaged

I have the same issue. My daughter has a Samsung 6 on our family plan. After 8 months, this phone was over heating. ATT said send it in as it was under warranty. OK, no problems, got a new replacement. 4 months later the replacement phone's WIFI stopped working. After an hour on the phone with ATT support, they said it was broken and send it back in for another replacement. Well, we got another phone but 3 weeks later, the replacement phone was returned and $500 was charged. Why? They said the screen was broken. IT WAS NOT broken when returned. I know because I am the one who repackaged it and mailed it. I followed their instructions to the letter.  ALSO, the broken screen was strange. It was a perfect pea size circle in the corner. If it would have been broken. I would not have returned it. I don;t play those games. I take responsibility for my actions. It was not broken!! After 3 phone calls to complain, no one at ATT would do anything. My cell phone bill is normally $350/month. That's $4200 a year and I have been with ATT (Cingular) since the 90's. You do the math. Willing to lose my business over $500

Message 39 of 45
Tutor

Re: Warranty issue - phone returned as damaged

I ended up getting a full refund, I had to email the office of the president.  But apparently, no one at any lower level was able to help...so they say.  Either way, going forward, I am making sure I dot all my I's and crossing all my T's!

 

Message 40 of 45
Contributor

Re: Warranty issue - phone returned as damaged

How did you get a hold of the office president? I'm going through a similar problem with them! They are scammers! 

Message 41 of 45
Tutor

Re: Warranty issue - phone returned as damaged

I don't really recall how I came across an email. I dealt with other forums, lawyers, and many AT&T employees. I gave any and all email addresses a shot. This particular guy sent me an email back with his phone number, Zachary Gilmore 2288196323. He is the one that actually listened to me and ended up helping me.
Message 42 of 45

Re: Warranty issue - phone returned as damaged

I never did get to the president. I actually got customer service representative who took the time to listen, understand and was willing to help.
Message 43 of 45

Re: Warranty issue - phone returned as damaged

How do i contact you 

Message 44 of 45
Contributor

Re: Warranty issue - phone returned as damaged

I had a very similar experience. I sent a phone with no physical damage to get replaced through warranty, it was returned about a month later half opened on its side and being charged $650.00!

 

History: I had an iPhone 6S that I received through Asurion. Within 3 weeks of receiving this phone, the battery started going out, shutting down, etc. I tried to file a claim through Asurion but was instructed by their online portal to send the phone in to ATT as it would still be covered under warranty. Further, Asurion suggested I take my phone in to an ATT authorized retailer.

I took the phone to a retailer and they informed me that they couldn't do an exchange there, I was on the phone with ATT for about an hour trying to figure out if we should go through Warranty or Insurance claim. During this time, the ATT reps in the store were helpful and all looked at my phone to try to assess reason why the battery was failing. Needless to say, the phone was in good physical condition...I'd only had it for about 3 weeks. If there was any damage, the reps would have told me to go through insurance...

I managed to get the warranty phone over-nighted and proceeded to send back the phone with faulty battery. I followed all packing instructions, used the bubble wrap and all. I proceeded to get the phone back in the mail, about a month later, totally cracked. I called ATT to explain that this was NOT at all how I sent the phone out, otherwise, I would have just gone through insurance and not warranty. The letter from ATT is now asking me to pay full price for a 6S.

Resolution: I spoke to ATT and a supervisor to explain the above. We agreed to send back the warranty phone, file a claim through insurance, and will pay my insurance deductible rather than pay full price for a phone. While not ideal, this resolution is satisfactory.

Conspiracy: I'm honestly a bit shocked to see all these people having the same issue. When I asked ATT if they took pictures of the phone as soon as they received it, with date stamps, they couldn't provide much information. I find it hard to believe that the phone was damaged in transit.

My Theory: I think that one of their technical people was doing an assessment of the phone and broke it when trying to review. The phone was then flagged as damaged so they could have me pay full price for a phone rather than continue using my insurance claim. I've been a customer of ATT for almost 15 years, but this is the first time I see such shady behavior. Again, their unwillingness and inability to have this documented and to try and find out how the phone get cracked open in the first place is appalling. Now they're acquiring Time Warner?...Conspiracy continues.

Message 45 of 45
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