An extremely unhappy customer.

Mr Stephenson:

My name is Luis Flores. I have been an AT&T customer since November of 2004 – almost 8 straight years – and I am writing you today an extremely unhappy customer.

Last week I walked into my Local (corporate) AT&T store. The lady that help me to upgrade my phone was perfectly pleasant, and assured me that with exception of a $35 restocking fee, if I had any desire to return/exchange my device for a different one, there would be no problem. I left the store that day very happy with my brand new device, albeit in a slight hurry. When I got to work, and started to fiddle with my newest ‘toy’, I notice in the top corner that there was a small crack in the screen. As it was a very busy day/week I decided it was not a huge deal, as it did not affect the display, and decided to deal with it when I had a chance over the next few days. Two days later, the 27th of September, I had a moment over lunch to call 611 and ask about options. A very pleasant lady (unfortunately I did not get her name) explained to me that as long as I returned to the AT&T store within 30 days, they would swap my phone out, “no problem”. I thanked the rep, and kindly asked her to note our conversation in my account’s notes. I was happy with the prospect of a worry free exchange for a defect free device, and sad that I was leaving for vacation until the following week in just a few short hours.

Upon my return, I managed to get back to the same store where I purchased the device. The Gentleman who stepped up to help me, introduced himself (Dan, I believe), and ask how he could assist me. I explained my situation, including the phone call to 611, and the notes that the rep had entered into my account. Immediately the mood went sour, (I’m paraphrasing here), “I don’t think we are going to be able to replace your phone, we get people in here lying to us all the time.” Excuse me? I’m not anyone other than myself, and I am not lying to you. “It does not matter what the rep on the Phone told you, we don’t answer to them” I am sorry, but AT&T promised me a replacement, you are AT&T, why are you going back on your word?” These are the Highlights of a conversation that anyone with any training in commons-sense customer-service would cringe at hearing. Dan then suggested that I speak with the store manager. I told him that I would like that, and he went to retrieve who I was lead to believe was the store manager, but turned out to be just another employee. This person (I never did get his name) went round in circles about how the only thing they could do for me was to refer me to the warranty repair center, after thirty days from purchase, and hope that they would help me. At this point I had spent more than half an hour with the two reps, been made to feel that I was being dismissed from the store, accused of being a liar, offered no acceptable solution to the problem and effectively refused an audience with the store manager. I was livid, and knowing my temper, I informed them that I was an extremely unhappy customer, and left.

On my way home, I rang 611 again, to see what suggestions they might have for me. The gentleman who took my call was very kind and understanding . Ken listened to my story, and explained that with a screen problem there was little they would do, but offered me a $25 credit to my account. At this point I was offended. Not that he meant too offend me, Ken was very nice, but from my point of view I was sold a defective device, and then offered 1/8th its value as compensation. I explained to him that I did not want to be placated. I am a long term (8 years!) customer, I have never had any issues with AT&T, and here I was feeling completely wronged, and taken advantage of. All want is to have a device that I have spent good money on to be sold to me in the condition that it is advertised (in this case ‘New’).

Ken suggested that I write your office through the ‘contact us’ link at the bottom of my account page on your website. I could only find general feed back forms, so I found your email address online.
I sincerely hope that we can work something out that will leave both myself and your company happy. I don’t want leave, but I won’t continue to do business with a company that makes me feel taken advantage of.

Thank you for your time and energy, it is appreciated.

Luis Flores III

I got a Phone call not 2 hours later from a senior representative from the office of the CEO, they are sending me a new phone. :0)

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