I have been an AT&T customer for a few years now, and honestly have not had any issues with the company until recently. We were always capable of getting answers or solutions without hassle and if we had any billing questions or wanted to make changes to our account, it never seemed to be an issue.
Recently,I had an issue with an AT&T device that I received through their AT&T NEXT program I contacted AT&T about my issue with questions as to what I should do about it. Less than a year prior my current device was eligible for an upgrade, and after speaking with AT&T, the current plan we were on was no longer available and the sales rep with ATT.com talked me into the AT&T NEXT program for the available upgrade eligibility. And at the time, there weren't many options as far as a fair upgrade was concerned so I ended up settling for the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, Saphire blue, 64 gb. At the time, they were offering a promotion to receive a Free tablet when purchasing a new Samsung phone, and the option to make small monthly payments, rather than buying the device outright and a free tablet made it sound like I was getting a good deal, until my device had an issue...
I had noticed that the device would intermittently get uncomfortably hot from time to time, whether it was in my pocket or hooked up to the charger, and after speaking with a sales rep at the local AT&T store, he assured me the device itself would do that, and informed me there should be no reason for alarm. I also kept my phone in a protective case, due to it's all glass design, I felt it was the smart thing to do, so I generally only noticed it when I would touch the screen, or if the device was in my front pocket. Around the end of September, 2016, I had returned home from work, and hooked my device up to it's charger as I had done many times before, and set it back down on the counter to charge. While I was sitting next to the device, using my laptop, I heard a noise come from the device that sounded like a pop/crackle sound and the device screen turned on.
When I reached over to pick up the device, with the thought I may had received a message, the device was extremely hot to the touch, and though it was still hooked up to the charger, the device was not charging, and there was a feint smell of burning plastic. At first thought, my charger died. I ended up borrowing my daughter's charger, as she had the same Samsung charger that I did, but after plugging the device in with a different charger and cord, the device stayed at 20% battery life, and continued to not charge. I removed the device from it's protective shock proof case, thinking it may need to cool down I then powered down the device, and plugged it back in again....
nothing. At that point, I had noticed that the device had a small hairline crack in it's back that was not there prior to this event, and to me seemed apparent that it had gotten too hot. I immediately contacted AT&T with the concern and explained what had happened. I explained that device was less than a year old, and that I was still making payments through their NEXT Program.
I explained the device would no longer take a charge, and that the backing had cracked, which would have explained the odd sound that came from the phone earlier. I explained that the device itself was extremely hot to the touch, and I had to let it cool down before removing it from its protective case. The AT&T rep gathered some more information, and decided that I was in need of a replacement device, and that my device was still under warranty. I explained that I did not wish to spend a boat load of money to replace a device that I was still paying on, at which point she stated there would be no charge for the replacement, I simply had to wait for my "like new" refurbished device to show up, and simply mail back the defective device, without hassle.
True to word, four or five days later the new device showed up, and as instructed, I used the provided shipping materials and return label to mail them the defective device and felt all was good again. Boy was I wrong. Two days before Christmas, I received another package from AT&T. This time, the package contained my old device with a letter stating that I was to be charged for the remaining balance on it, along with $700 for the refurbished device I had received as a replacement.
The letter stated the device had physical damage not covered under their warranty policy. I then removed the device from the packaging and what I had found nearly made me come unglued. On the back side of the phone, there was extensive damage that was not there when the device was shipped, along with a little red arrow sticker indicating that this was the damage they were speaking of. I was not happy, not only did they not figure out why the device got hot, and quit charging, but they damaged my phone and placed the blame as if I had anything to do with it.
It was apparent that the phone had been hit with something and now had pieces of glass missing, along with a brand new crack connecting to the crack that extruded from the USB port. Again, I contacted AT&T, by this time I was not going to pay $700 for a refurbished replacement device due to someone else's negligence, especially when it was made clear that my device was under warranty, and that this would be handled as such. Once again, the agent I spoke with assured me that they would get this situation handled, and that I shouldn't have any worries. They explained that I was to receive a phone call the next day to finalize my warranty process and get things cleared up.
That phone call never came. A couple days had gone by, and I had been patient figuring the holidays were a busy time of year, and they would eventually be contacting me. By December, 30th, I took it upon myself to contact them yet again. This time, the gentleman I spoke with, again apologized for the inconvenience and promised to get the situation handled.
Meanwhile, I had logged into my account and about fell out of my chair when I was met with a $900 bill. When the gentleman returned to the phone, he explained that he does't know what had happened, but the notes from my previous interactions were noted and that I should expect a credit to my account through warranty that would take my bill back to normal cost, and that I wouldn't be charged for the warranty replacement. I asked him if I needed to mail back the newly damaged failed device, and he exclaimed that it wasn't necessary, and ensured me that everything would be corrected and I would expect to see my bill reflect those corrections within the next 24 hours. January 2nd, I logged into my account for AT&T with intentions of paying our bill, and was met with that same $900 bill...
at which point, I once again contacted AT&T. This time, I was hot. After three different chat transfers, I spoke with the supposed supervisor on duty, and is arrogance and ignorance, and bold face lies floored me. He exclaimed that I would not be receiving a credit due to the physical damage on my failed device, and that I would be paying over new price on the refurbished device, and would be paying the remaining balance on the failed one.
He told me at one point, their techs would not have damaged the device as they handle everything with the utmost care. And even at one point said he reviewed pictures of when my device came in and it was damaged in a non damaged box, which quickly changed when I told him I had taken photos just prior to shipping it back to them from when I had asked if it could be repaired. And at one point, I asked if it was going to be expensive, why wasn't I given the option to have it repaired, to which he stated they "don't repair devices", and then later exclaimed to me that their "technicians make sure the devices are repaired and sent out without damage" ... which is it?
Needless to say, I am waiting for his supervisor to contact my with a scheduled call at 10am on Monday, January 9th 2017. And just to prove my case, I have saved all chat transcripts from the original contact on the issue, until now. Unfortunately, I haven't recordings of the phone calls. And for the purpose of a good argument, I am attaching a link to my most recent transcript, so that you may have the pleasure of witnessing the arrogance and poor customer care provided to a long time customer who has spent THOUSANDS with their company, and never had any prior issues.
Then turn around and basically call me a liar when they are responsible for the damages to a device that they are going to turn around and charge me for. Keep in mind, by this point I was about to lose my temper, and I feel I have every right to do so considering the lack of support offered, and the two and a half month run around, and them going back on their word, time and time again. And of course because I was being charged an obscene amount of money for a refurbished device as well as a failed device that was still under warranty, of which they then damaged and claimed it was not covered. I offered to return both devices for a full refund, and was denied that option, and they could not do that.
Though their contract and return policy states otherwise, you can find that here.
https://www.att.com/shop/wireless/returnpolicy.html And as promised, for your viewing pleasure, here is that chat transcript from my most recent discussion with AT&T. https://drive.google.com/open?id=1xOmxhmWHypZQTYcA9JwhxzfHDGP0Xba0OMsnpHdjVfDmCDtCd-aBHcEpbv9t3K6M01zv043jBJr_dYEM
Review about: Att Cell Phone Replacement.
Reason of review: Warranty issue.
Monetary Loss: $900.
Preferred solution: Full refund.
I liked: Device.
I didn't like: Poor treatment, Lack of resolve, Lack of communication, Lack of commitment and actions verses their promises, Blaming customers for their mistakes and damages.