To whom it may concern,
As a loyal customer I can say I am very disappointed with AT&T this morning. For over 5 years I have held my head high when telling family & friends about AT&T's customer service & support. After today's conversation I realize AT&T is no different from their competitors.
This morning I called in and spoke to a sales agent about pre-ordering the new IPHONE 5. After review, I was told I was not considered "fully eligible" and would need to pay $449 as oppose to the $199 upgrade charge for this device. Baffled by this information I explained my last upgrade was over 16 months ago and did not understand why I wouldn't be considered "fully eligible". I was then told the 16month period was not long enough and would need to wait until December for this upgrade discount (my last upgrade was May, 2011). I was also told even if I pursued the "partial upgrade" an additional $36 fee would be applied for not waiting until December. I asked the rep if both partial and fully vested upgrades were a condition of another two-year commitment and if so why is there no forgiveness for long-time customers in good standings who are missing the fully vested status by a few weeks. He unfortunately did not have an answer in which I then stated I would like to consider cancelling my service.
I was then transferred to a Mr. Clayton who explained he was within the retention department. I started off by telling Clayton I am a long time customer very concerned about the information given to me this morning. After over 5 years of service, in which I've always paid on time, I am being told a few weeks will stop me from obtaining the IPHONE 5 at a reasonable price. He basically reiterated what the sales associate had explained and went so far as to say he has denied full eligibility to customers for being a few days shy, let alone a few weeks. As a customer this statement was very frustrating. Is it possible AT&T would be willing to lose a valued customer over a few days (I could not believe what I was hearing)? Clayton then told me I had two options; the first being to cancel service with him over the phone now, or to go to another provider and have my number transferred over incurring an early cancellation fee. When asked the fee amount I was told $160. I then stated "So basically I'm being told it is cheaper to move on to another company and pay the $160 early termination fee because I will be paying over $200 more for the IPHONE 5 if I choose to stay with AT&T"? He told me I could look at it however I wanted but those are the options. It was obvious Clayton was of no help and I then asked to speak with his supervisor.
I was then transferred to a Mr. Rusty who stated he was in fact a retention supervisor and is aware of my frustration (this was his introduction). I then went through the speech explaining my position and how I could not understand how a few weeks could not be forgiven in order to keep a valued customer. Rusty in my opinion was both rude and facetious, continuously cutting me off as though he has heard this all before and there is nothing he could do. I suppose I could understand this type of attitude from a customer service representative but I expected more from a supervisor. I finally had to explain I could no longer carry on this conversation and it was obvious he did not value me as a customer.
In a day and time in which loyalty is no longer found, AT&T must do better to sympathize and compensate their valued customers. To forgive my eligibility by a few weeks in order to retain a valued customer for another two years is a "no brainer" in my opinion. The lack of compassion and appreciation will result in me switching carriers on the IPHONE 5's release date.
Product or Service Mentioned: Att Phone Service.
Monetary Loss: $250.