Att - Charged $399 for a warrantied phone

My Sony Xperia which is real piece of work stopped working, no one could clearly hear me, the sound was garbled. After taking the phone to CPR (Cell phone repair) and they blew the mic hole out to make sure that was not the problem, I returned the phone under warranty. The phone being roughly 6 months old was in perfect condition. I got the new phone and returned the broken phone and weeks later got the broken phone back in the mail. Opening the package was my phone now with a red arrow on the screen showing a tiny dent on the side that isn't visible unless you're really looking for it. Of course I returned the phone because of the sound problem not because of the tiny dent however AT&T claims the dent was there and no matter what else is wrong they can't warrant the phone so it was returned even though the problem was no way related!

My problem was that warranty should cover the operating capabilities of the phone, not the perfection! I'm sure that if my phone was rejected then AT&T replaces only a very small % of phones returned to them under warranty! If my new car's engine that was under warranty failed to work a dent in the car wouldn't void the warranty, the dent isn't the reason the car's engine failed!

I would have certainly taken the phone to an AT&T service place however it was 1 hour drive away and there was nothing wrong with my phone! I believe AT&T didn't want to replace the phone because of the cost and it was they who actually put the dent in the phone. They tell me they take pictures of the box and the phone when it's returned but they won't share the pictures with me and who is to say it's really my phone, pictures don't mean much! However check out how small the dent is in the phone they returned to me, it's tiny but enough for them to claim foul and hide behind their warranty statement instead of doing the right thing. So now AT&T is charging me $399 for the new phone I have and there's nothing else I can do! Absolutely horrible service!

I spend roughly 300 /month on AT&T and have for more than 10 years with great service so you would think someone at AT&T would care, but they've come to be just like everyone else!

My recommendation is don't use the warranty service unless your phone is pristine and even then you better have picture proof probably a video proof showing your phones ID. Take your phone to one of the very few Service Centers and work it out with them, the AT&T Warranty Program is a joke!


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Oct 08, 2014 #881723

Actually, the warranty that AT&T processes is the 1 year manufacturer's warranty. A warranty can be processed by the manufacturer directly, but it usually involves mailing your phone to them first. Typically, the process takes 2-3 weeks and most customers are without a phone during that period. AT&T's Warranty program allows customers to replace their phones quickly and without an interruption to their service. Because of this, AT&T is subject to very strict guidelines from the manufacturers.
Generally speaking, physical damage voids warranty. The physical damage guidelines are an industry standard and are the same as if you had talked to Sony directly. For a physical damage fee to be applied, the device is inspected by the in-processing agent. If that agent spots damage, he hands it to a manager for authorization to add the fee. That manager inspects the device and gets a second manager to verify that there is damage, before any authorization to add a fee is released.
To perfect your car analogy: its like trying to get an engine warranty, but failing to mention that you had rear-ended someone with that car. Sure the bumper damage may be minor and may not be causing the engine problems, but the manufacturer isn't going to cover it because of the accident history.

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