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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-04-2007, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Pissed at AT&T, want opinions

Long story, bear with me.

So a few month ago my wife and I upgraded our cell phones with AT&T and resigned our contracts for another two years. There's a long story to how we picked out phones, but that's not really important. In any case I ended up getting a Treo 680 smartphone, and she got a Moto KRZR. My phone came with $150 in mail in rebates, and her's came with $100. So while we're checking out the salesman tells me that since I have a PDA phone I have to have a PDA multimedia plan on my phone and basically refuses to sell me the phone without it. I go ahead and accept the plan knowing that I'm going to cancel it in a day or two.

A few days later I call up the customer support line and tell them I'd like to cancel the PDA plan on my phone. Just so you know the PDA plan is just a text message and internet plan with a cap of 20mb on it. I know lots of people use multimedia plans, but at my work (or home) I have so many computers available to me that it's just easier to use them vs. typing on a tiny keypad. So they go ahead and cancel it without any problems, and when I tell them what the salesman had told me said that they'd basically flat out lied to me and that there was no reason to require the PDA plan beyond making more on his commission. Just food for thought on the cost. On a regular phone the basic media package is $15. The lowest PDA package is $29.99.

Now fast forward a few days as I start reading through my rebate paperwork. I find in there that my rebates (for my Treo only) require a PDA data plan on the phone. The paperwork specifically states that it's required to be on the contract at the time they confirm the rebate, but does not specify a minimum time to keep the PDA plan. I think to myself that I'll have to reactivate it for my rebate, and that while I'm waiting for that to go through I might come to like it enough to keep paying for it. I call in through the customer support line again but keep getting disconnected so I go into the store when I bought the phone. I told the guy (a different one this time) that I needed to put the plan back on as I'd realized afterwards that it was required for my rebate and I'd cancelled it without knowing...... since my salesman didn't mention anything about it. He said he'd put the plan back on but that it really annoyed him and AT&T in general that people would add the plans back in just to get the rebate and then cancel them as soon as they'd received them.

So we're now back in the present. I received all of my rebates for both phones, and over the last two months have found that while the PDA plan is useful and convenient sometimes, I still use it's features so infrequently that it's a complete waste of $30/month to me. Yesterday I called up AT&T and once I finally got to the right person told them I wanted to cancel my PDA plan. The woman I get to talk to is really very nice and helpful and tells me that there's a note in the record saying that I had a 6 month minimum commitment to the PDA plan before I could cancel it. I told her that I'd previously canceled the PDA plan before without any problems and asked what the difference was now. She asked if I'd put in for rebates and that since I had I had to keep the plan for 6 months. Now this entire time I was being very nice and reasonable (my wife can vouch, she was sitting next to me) and I told her that I never agreed to that, or signed anything additional to that end. She asks me to hold for a moment while she checks with the supervisor and when she comes back tells me that I'm basically SOL. So I ask to speak with the supervisor.

She gets on the phone and I tell my story. She asks if I received rebates on my phone, and tell her yes. Then she asks if I planned on returning the rebates once they canceled my PDA plan. I told her that I did not and she accused me of trying to gouge them out of the rebate money. I again go through my whole story of how I canceled the plan and reactivated it without signing or agreeing to anything additional and how the rebate forms do not state any requirement of a time period to have the PDA plan, only that it must be there when they confirm. She calls the store and talks with the people there who say I agreed to a six month contract, which I didn't do. Now the supervisor is very unhappy with me, possibly because I quote her the rebate forms where it specifically does not mention a time period for having the plans to receive the rebate. She then says that she'll remove the PDA plan from my phone (pointing out that I'll no longer be able to use the "full capabilities" of the phone) and says that AT&T will no longer extend any warranty offers to me since I had breached a contract with them regarding how long I would keep the plan.

So now my question. Do I do nothing now? Am I just being an unreasonable greedy consumer? Do I write letters to AT&T stating I will go to another carrier (when my plan is up) unless they agree to extend any future rebates that I would normally receive? Do I write a letter to the Better Business Bureau detailing the shady business practices that went on with this?

Incidentally my wife thinks I should call them back tomorrow and ask them to restore any future rebate offers, with the (subtle) threat of switching carriers and contacting the BBB. Also I've found over the years that I've generally been happy with many cell carriers (specific incidents excluded) but where they've all fallen short was in horrible customer support.

Thoughts? Comments? Concerns? Constructive criticism?



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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-04-2007, 04:15 PM
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Re: Pissed at AT&T, want opinions

You will not get anywhere with the BBB AT&T is a giant and you are a peon


Best thing to do cause I have been in the same boat, is call and ask to speak with that supervisors boss and tell them you are not getting off the phone till you are happy. Keep calling, they can do whatever they want. I had them credit almost 500 dollars worth of charges after fighting for about 3 months.

All I did was talked to a manager and told her if she could not help me that I need to know who her boss was and how could I contact him.

Just keep moving up the chain.

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-04-2007, 04:23 PM
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Re: Pissed at AT&T, want opinions

working for a faceless corp as i am, i can tell you threats of switching and BBB are all in one ear and out the other. i don't give two shits when somebody implies or expressely mentions this and they won't either.

however, if somebody calls enough and is SO ANNOYING then they usually get what they want as long as they actually have a point or an issue that is relevant.

my best advice.

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-04-2007, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Pissed at AT&T, want opinions

Yeah, I'm not really convinced that I'll get anywhere with it. As to calling back a lot and being annoying...... I used to have SunCom phones before I switched to Nextel. When I went to cancel my phones they refused to do so and said I had to give them 30 days notice to cancel anything and that I would have to pay for that month of service. I called back enough because of "disonnects" and they were annoyed enough with me that once they found out who I was they would just leave me on hold, or accidentally "diconnect" me during a call transfer.


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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-05-2007, 02:36 AM
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Re: Pissed at AT&T, want opinions

Actually man, I hate to say it ... but it sounds like AT&T is in the right and you're just being a pain. They basically are saying that they are giving you a discount for being a customer for X number of months/years and you're canceling that plan after you get your money, so you're just trying to take advantage of their generosity. If it was a manufacturer's rebate that's one thing but it doesn't sound like that's the case.

Just my $0.02



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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-05-2007, 03:21 AM
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Re: Pissed at AT&T, want opinions

Was the 6 month thing in writing? Isn't that what the dispute is about?
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-05-2007, 09:59 AM
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Re: Pissed at AT&T, want opinions

[quote author=m3marshall link=topic=93680.msg1832238#msg1832238 date=1194244590]
Actually man, I hate to say it ... but it sounds like AT&T is in the right and you're just being a pain. They basically are saying that they are giving you a discount for being a customer for X number of months/years and you're canceling that plan after you get your money, so you're just trying to take advantage of their generosity. If it was a manufacturer's rebate that's one thing but it doesn't sound like that's the case.

Just my $0.02

[/quote]

eh...I have a problem with your opinion. I think we can all take it as an absolute given that AT&T will hold their customers to the letter of their contracts, as long as its in their own interest. So here's a guy who's trying to get his rebates and not pay for services he doesn't want, and AT&T is trying to make him feel guilty while the terms they say that he agreed to aren't actually written on any of the forms he signed?

He's not trying to gouge anyone. He's trying to get the rebates he is entitled to without paying for services that AT&T never told him he would have to pay for.
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-05-2007, 10:26 AM
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Re: Pissed at AT&T, want opinions

Although I see where you're coming from Marshall, technically, he is right in what he is doing. He is entitled to a rebate and he is doing what he needs to obtain that rebate.


Sounds like they are canceling your warranty just for being annoying(to them). Doesn't make sense that they would cancel a warranty for using a phone for less than what it is intended.



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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-05-2007, 11:15 AM
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Re: Pissed at AT&T, want opinions

Does AT&T actually carry your warranty? Or does the manufacturer carry it? If so, then AT&T can't do shit about your warranty on the phone.



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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-05-2007, 11:28 AM
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Re: Pissed at AT&T, want opinions

Based on what you have told us, you are definitely in the right on this one. What kind of B.S. "rebate" requires you to spend even more money than the "rebate" itself on a service you don't want in order to receive said "rebate?"

If they were just honest with you and said "Spend $180 on a service you don't want and we'll give you $150 off the phone" you probably wouldn't have signed up...nor would many other people.

It is not YOU who is doing the gouging, it is AT&T.

However, your only real option is to finish the contract and move to another company (although customer service is likely to suck at other companies as well).

Oh, and the tit-for-tat thing on the warranty...un-f-ing believable!
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