AT&T Wireless Cell Phones

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Sold a Defective Phone
Posted by on
On August 6th of 2010, I purchased a new Samsung Captivate from an AT&T Retail store . Wtihin the first couple of months, I noticed my phone would turn off randomly. At first, I believed it may have been a button push caused by me while the phone was in my pocketbook or pocket. After a little while, I noticed it would happen when the phone was not in my pocket or pocketbook, but at random times and places. Sometimes as many as 3 times a day. I called AT&T and was transferred to their Android Warranty technician. They walked me through a factory reset and promised that the problem would be resolved by the reset.

The reset did not stop the shut downs at all. I started to do research and learned that the shutdown issue was being experienced by many other Captivate owners. There are many boards and forums with people complaining about this issue, not excluding AT&T's own community website. Those having their phones replaced by AT&T were getting refurbished devices that were also shutting down. Those who went to Samsung for repair received their "repaired" devices and still had shutdowns. In December, after having a particularly bad week with shutdowns, I again called AT&T. I explained that my phone had been reset and that it still had shutdowns. At the same time, Samsung had sent out notification that there was a known issue with the Captivate that caused it to shut down. It also stated a serial number (or IMEI) range and manufacturing date range that would most likely experience the shutdown issue. In short, those phones manufactured after November 6th, 2010 would not have this issue. The operator assured me that I would not get a phone with a shutdown issue and proceeded with processing a warranty replacement.

I received the phone on January 7th. By the next morning, the replacement phone had shut down on me 5 times. I repackaged the replacement phone and sent it back to AT&T. I called AT&T the same morning to report to them what had happened with the replacement phone and that I was assured by the previous agent that the replacement phone would not have the shutdown issue. I was told by the current agent that there is no way to insure that any refurbished phone that is sent to me will not shutdown. I then stated that I purchased a NEW Samsung Captivate and instead was sold a defective device with a known issue. I should be able to have the NEW and non-defective device I paid for in the beginning, not a defective phone that will be replaced with another defective phone. The agent stated that if I wanted a new phone, I would have to contact AT&T customer service, which I did. As it turns out, that was just a redirect, as they also told me to contact warranty to see about replacing my phone.

After a "cool down" period, I again called AT&T on January 24th to inquire about getting my phone replaced. I explained that I had been having shutdowns, received a replacement that also shutdown and wanted to receive a non-defective phone, as that is what I originally expected when I made my Samsung Captivate purchase. The agent stated the refurbished phones that were sent out were not defective as of November 6th. I then stated to him that the replacement I received was in early January - well after November 6th - and it was certainly defective. And that the November 6th date was manufacture date, not a ship date. I had already been down that road and tried everything. What I really wanted was to have a non-defective Samsung Captivate, manufactured after November 6th. Unfortunately, the agent reverted back to the statement of the previous agent - there is no way to insure the refurbished phone that is sent to me will not shutdown. I reminded him of the manufacture date and suggested that sending me a phone manufactured beyond November 6th would (according to Samsung and AT&T) insure that I received a phone without the shutdown issue. He again stated there is no way to insure the phone that is sent to me will not shutdown and would I like to move forward with a refurbished replacement. I stated no, as I had done that already and I did not think it was fair that I could not be assured of a phone that was not defective, even though I paid for a new phone.

At this point, I would like AT&T to replace my Samsung Captivate with a New Samsung Captivate, since that is what I paid for. Once they realized that the shutdown issue was wide spread, all Captivate owners who purchased a new Captivate that was defective should be able to get a new (not refurbished or repaired) Captivate that is built without this issue.
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CrazyRedHead on 01/25/2011:
If the phone is less than 30 days old then you are entitled to a new phone. Since the phone is older than 30 days the manufactures warranty kicks in. The warranty reps have no control over which phones is sent nor can they test, or inspect the phones. The reps are in one state and the place where the phones come out of is in another state. There is absolutely no guarantee that the phone you get won't have the same problem. If you want a new phone then you will have to purchase it. Since you sent them a used phone then it is a like new replacement phone that you will receive. This is the manufactures warranty that you have to follow.
Heather of Smyrna on 01/25/2011:
I would agree with you if the phone was not sold defective. Keep in mind, it's not just my unit that is defective, it is a known batch sent before 11.06.2010 that is defective. AT&T should not continue selling them or sending out as replacements - they should go to Samsung and say give us phone that our customers can use. As it turns out, AT&T's Office of the President was shocked to hear my story and stated that the phones are not supposed to be in any of the warehouses as it is against their policy to knowingly stock phones that are defective. They agree that I should be given a phone built beyond the date of the defect. So, apparently they can find out the build dates - you just have to reach the a high enough person who is willing to go the distance to make things right. It took me almost a month and countless agents to find one. Hopefully, the phone that is sent will indeed have a build date later than 11/06/2010. It will go along way towards their improving their credibility.
CrazyRedHead on 01/26/2011:
Actually AT&T has no warehouses that these phones come out of, it is strictly done through the man, and although AT$T can request things done, it is Samsung who is the final say.
There is no such policy that states that they will not have any out of date ones, it is just a line that they say. Hopefully you will get a phone with current and updated software after all that time you spent looking. There are codes on the back of the phone, under the battery that tell them all about the phone. You can also go through the menu and pull up the info out of the phone. Sometimes the reps know this and sometimes they don't. They don't always get the memo that gives them the ranges, so it is a crap shoot when going through warranty. I could go on and on about this but I'm just hoping you get what you want.
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Billing Problem: Have You Had This Problem?
Posted by on
REDMOND, WASHINGTON -- I have four AT&T Cell phones under a two year contract. I have asked/re-asked/re-asked them to send me an itemized paper bill. I used to check my charges online but found that AT&T has a setting that defaults back to a paperless bill when you check your bill online.

One month when I didn't get a bill, I estimated a payment and it turned out too low and I got dun notices on the account. I hate having to call them! It is always a hassle.

I spent the better part of an hour with them today. I have not received a paper bill this month again! Someone had changed my back to a paperless bill. The Supervisor said that no one but me can change it and only if I go onlne to do it. He verified that I had not been online since April but he still maintained that I was the only one who could do it. I have my account password protected. No one went online to check or make changes to my account.

Have any of you had this problem, where someone at AT&T has changed your billing settings without your permission? My theory is that they either have a rogue employee or that they have a software glitch.

What do you think?

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MDSasquatch on 08/12/2010:
I have Verizon and I do all of my business online; I can view my bill in detail, monitor my kid's usage, upgrade my phones, pay my bill, etc.

To me, having a bill come in the mail is a waste of time and resources.
CoonCatOne on 08/12/2010:
I have important personal reasons for wanting a paper bill. Obviously MDSas doesn't have ATT or paperbills. Are there people with that have ATT who could advise me?
goduke on 08/12/2010:
Do you by any chance have the option of printing the online bill in a PDF format? I have Verizon and they give me that ability.

Frustrating, though, to have it turning on and off.
Mrs. V on 08/12/2010:
I have AT&T wireless. I went from paper to paperless (online account info only) without a problem. I check my accounts a few times a week without any proplems.

I'm sorry I can't be of more help :(
CoonCatOne on 08/12/2010:
I could print out the bills Goduke, but after the huge hassle I have experienced, I am inclined to shut off the phones instead.

After reading the reviews of other providers on this website, I fear that all of the wireless providers stink. We need some new federal laws to prevent abuses.
goduke on 08/12/2010:
CoonCat, you've hit it right on the head. It seems that wireless carriers are so used to customers just jumping around, they don't seem to really care about building loyalty in their customer base through service. I've had Verizon for a few years without any big hassles (a few minor issues that were fixed pretty easily), but I also know other folks have experienced bad things with them.
leet60 on 08/12/2010:
To the OP. They are blowing smoke at you. I used to work for these people in their customer service call center. Any employee there can change you to paperless billing with the simple click of a button on your account. In addition they have a program that allows them to log in to your account as if they are you, and they are able to change this setting as well as some others.

You should know that 95% of the time you call these people you are speaking with an employee of an outsourced U.S. contractor called Convergys. AT&T wireless is their chief client and they take these calls as if they were AT&T. If you want a resolution write a letter directly to the corporate offices. Send them to the attention of Ralph De La Vega CEO.

He will not likely read it directly, however, there are actual AT&T employees that work on a customer service team for their corporate executives. They are very good about responding to customer issues and you will probably see a true resolution if you contact them.
CoonCatOne on 08/12/2010:
Very helpful, Leet60!
clutzycook on 08/12/2010:
Last year, T-Mobile started charging people for paper bills. Well, that got me on paperless really fast. As of today, I only have four bills that still come in paper format-and three of them are quarterly statements from the village.
CoonCatOne on 08/16/2010:
I spoke with a gentleman from ATT after escalating the complaint: you can reach them at I found out that leet was correct. The man who said he was a supervisor lied to me. Anyone at ATT can change the preferences. I have a real live person now to call in the future. I still would be interested in hearing if any other readers has had a similar problem.
CoonCatOne on 10/01/2010:
Update. AT&T changed my billing details this month again without my permission. I called the man at the company who said I could call him if I had the problem again. I called four times and he neither answered my call nor returned my call. 'Tells me that bad customer service is at top and bottom levels!
Jean Varnado on 09/20/2012:
My 77 year old mother has had the same issue. Back in April someone switched her to paperless billing without her authorizastion or knowledge. Her CPA pays all her bills and due to some mobility issues the CPA picks up her mail for her also. When the paper bills stopped coming the CPA wasa not aware of it and since my mother doesn't acutally pay the bills she didn't catch it either... Until last week when the shut everything off for non payment. So she has to play catchup now to the tune of $800.00 which is budgeted so it is not really a problem. The only thing confusing is AT and T's statement that SHE is the only one who could have changed the billing and in the same conversation offered her a $100.00 credit. ???
Oreo on 11/17/2013:
I wouldn't necessarily believe everything the rep says. This week I spent hours on the phone wirh AT and T trying to fix a situation they created. They charged my account twice in error and on top of that they wear making me jump through hoops to fix my account. I was told that my bank needed to fax to them my statemt, that they specifically needed for it to come through from Wells Fargo. I asked my bank, they said they can't send my info to a 3rd party (sounds very reasonable.) I was told by another rep that I not only needed to submit a statement showing that the payment posted but that I had to get a letter on letter-head from my bank stating in words that the AT and T bill had posted, the amount that went through and since they caused me to overdraft they asked that it should also state that (basically what the statement said already.) I spoke to several rep.'s trying to get past that because I not only know that my bank is not going to do that but my bank said they couldn't (its not like I'm purchasing a home I told the rep.) Another rep. said that yes I did need a letter on letterhead as well, that one said that it was due to my bank and previous problems with my bank and myself, I was almost in shock, I've never had a problem with my bank and it just seemed really odd that she would know my history with my bank, I was getting all this conflicting information from every rep I spoke to. I finally spoke to someone after several days of conflicting information and she told me all I needed to do is to take a snap shot of my statement and e mail it to them. THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT I THOUGHT WAS THE ONLY THING NECESSARY..!!!! I was in the process of moving and I couldn't wash all these days (they caused me to overdraft by submitting the bill twice and I didn't have enough funds to cover the overdraft) because in our building we charge our laundry cards with our ATM cards and it was too much to take to the laundry. I missed 2 other bills (payments) I couldn't make because I couldn't deposit any $$$ into my account, any money I would have put into my account the overdaft would have eaten it so I ended acurring late fees on those bills also. I had asked a rep. if they would credit my account for the huge inconvenience, she said to call back after the problem was solved. So I did, I spoke to a manager and she just said they do not give out credit just like that, this is after I told her everything I went through and her reading the notes. While we where speaking she was saying that she was notating my account with our conversation. She was not helpful at all. It was actually more frustrating because her response to me was "I do not know who you spoke to or what was said tobyou" I asked her "Well where is everything that you are notting down going to go because I would assume that it goes to my account right? So how could you, being a manager, not be able to see notes that other reps have put on my account. You know who I spoke with because I find it very unlikely that your not going to put your name down as haven spoken to me or I don't know if the computer does that automatically" Well that was that... I called the day after to change my address and I got the NICEST REPRESENTATIVE, I did not ask her for anything she read all the notes and said that she had to do something for me. She gave me $150.00 credit on my account. Because of the manager I spoke with I will not renew my account in one year. I am all about customer service and I don't want to give my money to a bunch of liars or unqualified people ( with all of the different information I was being given it felt as if all these people I spoke to worked for different company's,)
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How we can collectively punish ATT
Posted by on
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- I have filed a lawsuit against ATT wireless for deceptive trade practices, fraud, civil conspiracy and negligent misrepresentation in small claims court (so as to avoid the mandatory arbitration provision in the contract). I am an attorney. I am writing this letter to encourage everyone who believes that they have been cheated by ATT to file their lawsuit. I saw on that there were over 1,000 complaints by consumers. If each one of those consumers filed a small claims cause of action seeking $5000, and ATT spent $3000 in attorney's fees for defense, that would expose ATT to an $8 million possible expense/exposure. Some have called for a class action lawsuit, but the mandatory arbitration provision prevents this. The alternative is for each consumer to file his own J. P. Lawsuit. If 10,000 lawsuits in J.P. court were filed, then the exposure would be $80 million dollars. We can do this people, put forth your $72 dollars and file your lawsuit, do not wait till tomorrow.
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Anonymous on 11/09/2003:
I think you all need to be aware of AT&T's new LOW in business practices. AT&T has taken to disabling the phones of FULLY PAID customers who are not currently under contract. My annual contract expired over the summer. Have been an AT&T customer for over 3 years. When one calls customer service one is advised that one needs to purchase a new phone and the ONLY way to do that it to sign up for another annual contract. Unfortunately I don't plan on staying with AT&T until after the Nov 24th deadline.I am not without any cell phone service for at least the next two weeks. ALL THAT despite the fact that I have paid AT&T approx $100 per month, including the current month.

Anonymous on 12/02/2003:
Sure guys, go ahead with the lawsuit, BUT beware the terms and conditions state that the consumer pays court cost, so your 72.00 will be multiplied by hundreds of dollars
Anonymous on 12/21/2003:
GROW UP!!!! It is because of vindictive, childish, lazy people who just try to get lawsuits as 'payback' to settle their own score why insurance across the board is so high. Most of the cry baby postings I have read on this site for many companies are just childish whining of people who were probably too lazy to read the contracts they got themselves into, or their own fault for 'assuming' that they thought they knew what it was w/o reading it. People like you don't need services of any kind. You will never be satisfied w/ not always getting what you want after whining and yelling at these poor reps on the other end who don't get paid enough to deal with 50 yr old cry babies. Read your contracts before you sign/verbally agree to them, test your calling areas out, ask questions, tell people the SPECIFIC cities/states you will need to be able to use phn, and PROACTIVELY keep up with your own act. Companies shouldn't have to spoon feed it to you, wipe your mouth, then give you more free stuff for something that the cust. probably did wrong in the first place. This isn't true for just AT&T, but for all companies. Granted, some companies do have horrible polices and what not, but grow up. ALL COMPANIES !! have their bad seeds and rules. Life isn't fair. What are you going to do, sue for everything. You should save that for serious things.
Anonymous on 12/29/2003:
To "grow up". Many companies are bullying people and ripping people off. You are the one who needs to grow up and accept some responsibility for fighting the unfair and illegal practices of some
companies. Americans are far too passive that is why companies are able to push most of their customers around. Think about it. Millions and millions say nothing and often get charged too much. I have caught all kinds of "mistakes" on my bills for phone, cable, cellular etc. Again multiply these mistakes by the tens of millions who say nothing and you begin to get my point. Companies make hundreds of millions off of your silence. John
Anonymous on 12/30/2003:
AT&T has the worst service of any wireless service provider, bar none. If I thought the 72 bucks would make them better I'd do it. They just need to step up to the plate a give a.....
Anonymous on 01/04/2004:
Should be brought to attention of court that when AT&T Wireless Monitors calls and a Care Rep is graded negatively for "Customer Impacting" misinformation or omission of disclosures that there is no documentation to the Customer Account of this and the Customer is still held responsible.
Anonymous on 01/15/2004:
AT&T wireless IS the most corrupt wireless co. out there. There sales dept. manipulated me by making a completely separate account for my wife's phone, WHEN I ASKED THEM TO ADD A LINE TO MY ACCOUNT! So instead of one bill, we get two bills. Instead of 600 minutes + Unlimited Nts/Wkds, we get some ridiculously low number of minutes (for each of us) and get charged for night/weekends! They have overcharged us for minutes that are supposed to be free. They've charged us for options that we continually ask to drop (option placed on our account without prior notice). Customer service is impossible. A lawsuit is the least we can do.
nlcoco on 02/18/2004:
ATT wireless is a criminal corporation. If you are thinking about signing up with AT&T wireless. Do not do it. There customer service dept yells at customers and there contracts are set up to legally siphon the consumers money. The best you can do is tell all of your friends about your experience with their tactics.
the_vaughans on 03/11/2004:
I would like to participate in a class-action lawsuit against AT&T Wireless. Listen to THIS: My husband had two identical phone (same plan, purchased at the same time, etc.) accounts in FL through AT&T Wireless. When he moved to TN in 2001, they did not provide service there. We were told that we could terminate the contract(s) by paying the bill in full plus an early termination fee and penalty, which we did. Upon cashing our check, one account was promptly closed without further...ado. However, on the other account we received another statement with additional penalty fees charged. When we called about it we were told that the fees would not be waived; that this was their 'policy'; and that the company could not be held responsible if one of their representatives had misquoted their termination policies to us. Since we had already remitted full payment for minutes used plus the initially-requested termination fees, we did not believe it was appropriate for AT&T to now be asking for additional funds. A few months later (March 2002) we received notice from the first collection agency regarding the matter. We responded in less than a week and never heard back. The following year (March 2003) we received notice from a NY law firm that they were representing AT&T Wireless in an attempt to collect from us. We sent them a letter, plus copies of previous correspondence. They contacted my husband at work to verify some information a few weeks later and we have not heard from them since. Last week (March 2004) we received notice from a new collection agency regarding the same matter. I have responded, but it is becoming obvious that, after hearing the facts, none of these agencies sees fit to pursue the matter further, thus AT&T apparently must assign our account to other firms. I feel we have been more than reasonable regarding this matter...for three+ years now and resent their continued attempts to harass & coerce us into giving them more money. Anyone who has advice on how I might proceed, please let me know.
skeeboze on 03/11/2004:
I am glad to have moved to Verizon !!! After months of poor service in southern Maryland, we made the decision. But, get this, when I called to find out how to best move over to Verizon, I was told by AT&T Wireless customer service that I would see a billing cycle, but get prorated back for the other 26 DAYS. WRONG !!! And, get this, the customer service people, this evening, tried to "blow me off" completely. Never thinking that I might find Verizon service and customer service bad and come back. Sure, folks, I am only a $45.00 a month customer. But, now, not an AT&T Wireless one. And, with a story to tell others !!! Thanks for listening. Had to tell someone.
eawilder on 03/29/2004:
I am in total agreement with regard to AT&T Wireless and their deceptive business practices. AT&T is claiming that I "agreed" to a 1-year contract despite the fact that this is NOWHERE on the actual agreement I signed (I thought I was on a month-to-month deal). I also never received rebates for the phone and activation fees that I had been promised (if this deal sounds too good to be true, I should point out that the salesman was a "friend" who I trusted!). Also, I had specifically told the salesman that service between NC and VA was a requirement because I travel between the two states regularly - he assured me I would be fine, but there is no service in southern VA (at least not along I-85, which I consider to be a pretty major route). It took 3 months of phone calls and complaints (FCC and Better Business Bureau) to get ANY response, and they still want me to pay an early termination fee even though I was lied to and misled about the coverage and "contract," and never received the rebates. They even acknowledge that I may not have been told it was a 12-month agreement, but still say I agreed simply by using their service! Is this even legal? I should add that all my experiences with customer service have been horrific. Representatives are rude, and waits on hold can exceed 30 minutes. Worst experience I have ever had with a company like this. Moved to Verizon and am MUCH happier, even though I pay more.
rarebear143 on 05/14/2004:
there has to be a way to file suite against this miserable company. I have a lawyer who wants to help. I need people in NY to get the ball rolling. Dustin B.
rarebear143 on 05/14/2004:
oh by the way to the person who wrote GROW UP, why don't you sign a name? this is more than just a whiny thing. ATT is stealing millions monthly and needs to be held accountable.
Dustin B.
Niko on 06/07/2004:
This complaint has help me understand that I'm not the only one who had been abused by At&T
I have posted a review with 3cents to see if anyone can help me with this matter.
BeeBonk on 06/12/2004:
WOW! I have finally found where all the users who have been screwed by AT&T hang out. I have been taken by these crooks several times in the past couple years and today was the final straw. Below is a copy of the complaint I filed with the BBB, the FCC, the FTC, and my local consumer protection agency. If anyone in Texas wishes to file a class action suit, please contact me at Best of luck to you all. As for the whiner above, I would be willing to bet that either he is an AT&T employee or he is just severely lacking what most of us normal people would call "a life".

I (along with many, many others) have been the victim of unfair business practices by
AT&T Wireless. I called to cancel my service with them on the last day of my billing
cycle (as per the contract) and was asked if I would like to keep my old number. When
I asked them (three times!!!!) if I would incur any other charges, I was told "absolutely not". Upon hearing this, I agreed and said that I would like to keep my number. Well, my wife is
still using their services and we received a bill for the entire month of service on
my old number after shutting off the service. There was 1 minute of usage because that my new phone was not working and I tried to make a call with my old phone (which had been
reactivated by AT&T to transfer my old number to Sprint). This totaled a whopping 1 minute of
service used for the time the phone was left on. For this one minute of service, I was
billed the full $75.00 charge for a month of services. AT&T was NOT willing to
pro-rate my bill fairly and I refused to pay until I found legal representation. I
don't understand how I got charged if I followed the rules of the contract and
cancelled as stated in said contract. I also called again and asked if I could have
that month of service credited if I were to switch back to AT&T. Of course, they were
willing to do this so it makes it seem as if they were retaliating against me for
switching carriers. Seeing as how they have lost almost 500,000 customers in Q1 '04 alone,
it's not surprising that they are trying to take advantage of people as much as
possible. I also have a friend whose phone was stolen and had $1700.00 worth of
fraudulent calls made. As soon as she realized the phone was missing (the next day), she reported it and was told that she was responsible for all of those calls regardless of whether they
were hers or not since she did not report it missing immediately. Something HAS to be
done about these people. They are doing nothing more than fleecing the American Public
for everything they can get, lying to their customers, and taking advantage of them.
mauikitty on 08/08/2004:
I wish I had seen this board before my husband and I signed up for the Family Share plan. I researched other companies, and AT&T was the more fitting one. Well, there would be times when we couldn't even get a signal in our own house! And there were times when our friends had signal and we didn't, being in the same place. I've told my husband to cancel, but he won't. I don't know why. And after reading all the complaints, I'm afraid that if we do try to cancel, we're going to have the same problems as other people.*hands covering my face* on 10/16/2004:
I have filed a lawsuit against ATT wireless for deceptive trade practices, fraud, civil conspiracy and negligent misrepresentation in small claims court (so as to avoid the mandatory arbitration provision in the contract). I am an attorney. I am writing this letter to encourage everyone who believes that they have been cheated by ATT to file their lawsuit. I saw on that there were over 1,000 complaints by consumers. If each one of those consumers filed a small claims cause of action seeking $5000, and ATT spent $3000 in attorney's fees for defense, that would expose ATT to an $8 million possible expense/exposure. Some have called for a class action lawsuit, but the mandatory arbitration provision prevents this. The alternative is for each consumer to file his own J. P. Lawsuit. If 10,000 lawsuits in J.P. court were filed, then the exposure would be $80 million dollars. We can do this people, put forth your $72 dollars and file your lawsuit, do not wait till tomorrow.
couldgounsel on 07/28/2006:
I did sue ATT, last year. They counter-sued for the $1500 inflated bill. Not only did the judge rule that I did not owe the money because of a deceptive trade practice by AT&T. AT&T had to pay me $1,000 for my attorneys fees. Vile Corporation. Usurpers! Despoilers! Report that to your stockholders and see who gets fired!!!
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Poor Quality, Poor Service, Poor Customer Service
Posted on
On April 16,2008 I purchased a cell phone from AT&T. I purchased this online from Office Depot (where I work, we get a discount that way.)

On about the 13th or 14th of June, my phone stopped working. I could not make or receive calls and the screen on the front of the phone was blank. I called AT&T and they trouble shot my phone and I was able to make calls but my screen was still blank and I could not receive calls. This took 45 minutes. (I was trying to get this done on my lunch break, that was the only time I had because by the time I got off of work, they would be closed.)

Since my phone still wasn't working properly, I was transferred to the warranty department. I was told that I needed to go to a nearby AT&T store and they would swap the phone for me. I was unable to do this at the time and I let the rep know this. She said as long as I stayed within the warranty period (90 days), I could go to any store at any time.

Finally on June 20, 2008, I was able to go to one of their stores in my hometown. The clerk there told me I had to go to a corporate store and gave me directions to the nearest one (15 miles away). I drove there and was told I was given the wrong directions to the wrong store and I was directed to yet a THIRD store. I get to the third store only to be told I would have to call the warranty department. It was all I could do to keep my composure while I calmly let this clerk know that the warranty department had directed me to a corporate location. This clerk was very nice and directed me to a phone in the corner which conveniently had the warranty department's phone number listed.

I call the warranty department and speak with gentleman for 20 minutes while he again troubleshoots my phone. Finally, he agrees that my phone is not working and will send me a new one with a box to send back the old one. Great! Now, I am happy even if I did have to waste gas and jump through hoops.

Two days later, my phone comes in. I open the box to find that it is the wrong one! I call AT&T back to let them know and to ask them to send me the right one. THEY REFUSE! They tell me my phone is not under warranty (even though two people whose names I have told me it was under warranty.) And let's not forget all the paperwork I have.

Now, I am livid. I ask to speak to a supervisor who basically tells me there is nothing they can do. I get his name and ask to speak to his supervisor. I am put on hold for over 15 minutes so I come up with a solution of my own: I will pay the difference for the wrong phone I was sent, I will send the bad phone back, and they can send me the battery and SIM card for the replacement phone. The first supervisor comes back on the phone to tell me that his supervisor said they can't do anything for me. I tell him this is unacceptable and offer my solution. He goes back to his supervisor, I am on hold for another 10 minutes, and he comes back to tell me that if I keep the one they sent, they will charge me $200!

Now, I can't hide my anger. I demand to talk to his supervisor who basically says the same thing. I finally tell him that because I have been sent mal functioning and incorrect product, that this is a breach of contract on their company's part and something must be done to rectify the situation. By this time I have been on the phone for nearly 2 hours!

Finally, the supervisor contacts customer service and comes back to tell me they have several options for me. I think I am actually getting somewhere. Nope. I am offered one solution which is upgrade and add an additional two years to my contract. I told this rep that with all the trouble I have been through, why in the h... would I do that?1

I call Office Depot and explain the situation to them. (Office Depot customer service over the phone has been known to be lacking). They ask me to send the paperwork and the phone back using the label in the original box. After making copies of all of the paperwork, I Fed-Ex and a few days later, I receive my phone.

Ah, the ordeal is over. Nope. 2 days ago, July 19, 2008, I put my phone on the charger at night. The next day, I check and the phone is not charged. I try different outlets and still the charger doesn't work. I call AT&T and after being on hold for 30 minutes, I get the EXACT same run around as before. I am told to go to an At&T store. I told this rep the last time I did this, I just wasted gas because they told me to call the warranty department. I am basically told I HAVE to go to an AT&T store. Fed up by this nonsense, I tell the rep that I work for a company that promotes their and their competitors product and I'll be sure to no longer promote theirs. I call Office Depot and they offer me a full refund. Interestingly enough, this morning when I got my phone off of the charger, my phone was charged. (I had someone else check it before I even tried calling anyone.)

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msnanny on 07/21/2008:
Why do you keep contacting AT&T? They do not make cell phones, nor did they sell you the one that you are having trouble with. AT&T provides your service only. It's like calling and complaining to NBC when your television doesn't work!
Anonymous on 07/21/2008:
According to AT&T wireless reps, they do make the phone I have because it has their logo on it. One way or the other, they are misinformed and misinforming the consumer.
Anonymous on 07/21/2008:
msnanny, office depot is the authorized rep and service to the customer is under the same terms and conditions as if the phone had been purchased at a company store. I think the OP had frustration with the phone but I get the feeling that the biggest feeling of frustration came from the run-around he received from the CSR's at AT&T and their lack of customer service. If he had not been sent all over town for no reason at all and had the issue resolved during the FIRST CALL, even if it meant referring him to the manufacturer, maybe he would be posting a compliment instead of a complaint. Your comparison to calling NBC when your television does not work is not relevant. NBC does not directly sell TV's. AT&T does sell cell phones.
CrazyRedHead on 07/21/2008:
Just because AT&T's logo is on the phone doesn't mean that they make it. The person that told you that must me a newbie cause AT&T don't make any of there phone, either LG, Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung or many or the other manufactures make the phones. Don't bother going to the store, cause the store cannot do the warranty exchange. You must contact the warranty department and the warranty is one year from the original date of purchase and the replacement phones have a 90 day warranty. The warranty is provided by the man and AT&T has to go by their policy. There was no contract breeched. AT&T only provides the warranty service as a courtesy to the customer, they could turn the entire thing back over to the manufacture. I used to work for AT&T for 6 years in the warranty dept and things sure have changed, sounds like for the worse.
Anonymous on 07/22/2008:
JohnInSoCal is absolutely right. The runaround was the frustration and must have been all newbies since they all told me that my phone was under warranty with them and they did manufacture the phone. I called the number I was given which would have been the same number I would have been told to give my customer had I sold the phone to them. All they had to do was tell me that I had the wrong number and yes they could have referred me to the manufacturer but they kept insisting they were the manufacturer. An AT&T rep came into my store recently (separate from this incident) and he was extremely nice and told me that it was handled inappropriately and to call the billing department to get a credit on my phone bill for while I was out of a phone. This helped a little but was really too little too late.
CrazyRedHead on 07/23/2008:
What kind of phone/equipment do you have?
Anonymous on 07/24/2008:
RedHead, it is a Motorola razor v3. Just out of curiosity, why do you ask?
Anonymous on 07/25/2008:
Hurricane, I've heard horror stories about Motorola phones. I've been getting LG's and I have had good luck so far, but I've run across those who have said that they think the LG phones are bad. It is really like a crap shoot. I have heard that SonyEricsson has good phones too. If you are still stuck with AT&T I think they offer those phones.
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Cell Phone Policies
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
CUSTOMER SERVICE, WASHINGTON -- I purchased two new Cell Phones in October. My wife told me to check mine out to see how it worked before she would even open the package of her new phone. After a few days, I learned to dislike the way the phone reacted to the touch commands, as sometimes it took anywhere from 4 to 8 touches to get it to work. My wife said she would keep her old phone, as she could not use a phone that was as defective as that. The box for her phone has never been opened. I finally decided that it was the "cheap" phone and not me that was the problem, so I called and explained to them what the problem was. I was told that they would not accept any returns, as the return time had expired, even though one of them had never been unwrapped.

I decided maybe I could find another brand, and just toss the one(s) that I had and start over. I was told that I could, if I was willing to pay off the contract to the amount of nearly $400, and then start another 2 year contract! I mentioned the fact that I had been doing business with them for a number of years, and that providing me with a product that you could not even "get a handle on" for a few weeks, and then telling me "too bad", but that's our policy, would cause me to never renew a contract with them, or use their services again when this contract was up. They didn't seem to care.
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Poor Customer Service, Dropped Coverage of Our Area
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
FRANKLIN, TEXAS -- After 15 years as an AT&T customer they've dropped service in our area. However, they will not let us out of our contract. They have let other people in the area out but apparently you have to reach the "right" person. After five hours on the phone getting the run around and being told several different stories, I would not stay with AT&T if the situation was resolved. Their customer service is terrible and very rude. One person I talked to actually told me my sim card was not working and I just needed to go get a new one. This was after I had already explained that we were having problems with all four phones on our plan and our local store told me all towers in our area had been dropped. Another basically insinuated I was lying because our phones had been used. We traveled out of town where the coverage was fine. Half the time I tried to tell them something they were trying to talk over me. I have never experienced such bad customer service. Another representative actually likened AT&Ts ngotiations with cell phone towers to a hockey game. No wonder they couldn't reach an agreement. When I researched AT&T does rank at the bottom of cell phone carriers in several areas.
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ok4now on 01/02/2013:
The problem with AT&T is their service is really great or absolutely horrible depending on your location. You found this out the hard way and are now locked into a contract. Complaining to customer service is futile, they read off of their cheat sheets. Management couldn't care less. As bad as this sounds you might want to consider paying the early termination fee just to get rid of these toads and protect your credit rating.

I had a similar problem with T-Mobile. No matter how much I complained they were quick to remind me about my contract. Having only two months to go I rode it out and dumped them.

I'm now with Cricket, $50 bucks a month for everything and NO contract. Yes they have issues where you are throttled back with heavy internet usage. This is not important to me. The phone and text is reliable with no drop calls. Call quality is excellent with the HTC phone. If I have a problem I can walk with no contract issues. Something to consider.
At Your Service on 01/02/2013:
I believe AT&T is using the same GSM towers as those that other carriers use, including that of T-Mobile. If service was not supported in your area any longer, it suggests that said towers weren't being maintained.

If you're in Franklin, just beyond the Pioneer motel and Horseshoe cafe there's a fairly nice new motel, pretty decent occupancy; along with the Best Western a little south. You might want to stop by each one and just ask the front desks if anyone's been complaining about coverage in that area. Mainly with the two carriers I've mentioned. They'll either be aware of the issues or they won't, which will give you an indication as to whether we're talking about (a) phone(s) issue, a dead spot within your town or general coverage going out.

Let us know what you find out. Best of luck.
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Don't Sign Up With AT&T
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
FAYETTEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA -- Please do not go with AT&T. I was advised my first bill would be $86.00 by the customer service representative when I signed up with AT&T.

My first bill was $262.00 and not one person at customer service could tell me why. Now, I cancelled the service with them, my phone was cut off 10/30/2012 and they billed me for November and December. I had 1 line and 450 minutes a month with 3GB data plan paying $120.00 a month if you can get with a different cellphone carrier please do. I DO NOT RECOMMEND AT&T TO ANYONE.
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madconsumer on 12/06/2012:
I have been with AT&T for decades, never any issues with my billing. in the last 4 states I lived in, I used AT&T. best service of all!!
At Your Service on 12/06/2012:
Several things come to mind within your review:

To begin with, I can tell you several people thing they are signing up for a certain usage plan when they agree to $49.99 or $59.99, etc... Unless everything provided for is UNLIMITED, you are only signing up for a plan that will stay within that price PROVIDED YOU STAY WITHIN YOUR USAGE REQUIREMENTS.

The frustration you MAY be incurring is going off with you new smartphone and going into overages. This is extremely costly as you pay a premium after the fact.

Ask for a copy of both your contract and monthly statements. If you're not able to understand the documentation, get help from a family member or friend. Ultimately, it's important you know what you had signed up for and what you are being billed for. My guess would be that you received a promotional discount on a phone when signing the agreement. This is something they will generally charge you for, in the form of early termination fees, by leaving the contract so early.

In all earnest, if what you review in the contract and usage statements clearly show the charges are incurred, DON'T IGNORE THEM. THEY DON'T GO AWAY. Companies are legally allowed to charge late fees and collection charges to such amounts. NO ONE GOES THROUGH LIFE WITHOUT REQUIRING INFORMATION FROM THEIR CREDIT REPORTS and if those reports show a large negative, you're going to have to deal with it.

Credit reports are pulled for a variety of reasons, not the least is to apply for a line of credit. This happens, too, when purchasing a car, home or applying to rent an apartment. In fact, more often than not, your credit report will be pulled when applying for a job. The point is, if the debt is legitimate, you really do want to deal with it now and not down the road as it will generally grow exponentially. I've seen debts under $100 grow to a level as to potentially costing someone their home -- it is that serious.

Get it handled and then let us know the outcome. Thanks for the posting.
trmn8r on 12/06/2012:
AT&T is right behind Verizon as the second largest wireless provider, with about 106 million customers. While your experience was a bad one, it doesn't seem possible that it is typical.
ok4now on 12/07/2012:
I'm a former Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile customer. I played the game and got fed up with the high monthly bills, overages and iron clad contract locking you in.

I'm now with Cricket for $50 bucks a month with unlimited voice, text, internet and NO contract. Yes the reviews are bad and it's not perfect. They throttle you back with heavy internet usage but that's not important to me. I got the HTC Smart Phone and have no complaints with the service. Do the math and the cost savings are huge. If I'm not happy I can walk owing them nothing. Something to consider.
CrazyRedHead on 12/07/2012:
Your first bill is always the highest.
omlos on 03/10/2013:
I have just had a similar experience. I asked about my first bill and went through it a couple of times with the sales person. When I got my bill, it was very different with add ons. I addressed this with a few reps, who when I appraised them of this, simply started saying the same sentences over and over. Not conversing, just rehearsing what they have been told to say in certain situations. I have never walked away from a store that I have a contract with, when I have no copy of my agreement. Was told I could look up their contractual agreement online. Am I the only one who sees a con here? The method in use is transparent and I am counting the days until I can change. While problematic, I had been with my previous carrier since the early ninety's. Their service being insufficient in the area I moved to. I have to say, with the previous carrier I had never been subjected to any element of the rudeness I have found with AT and T. I suppose it is to be expected, as surely they are dealing with unhappy customers all day. I feel sorry for them, but to understand is not to condone. Naughty naughty, AT and T. I
Disgusted on 03/26/2013:
I spend $2400-2600/year with ATT on 4 phones
I spend 45 minutes a month wasting my time going over each and every bill for OVERCHARGES !!! Do NOT go with this company! It is a surprise bill every month. Go prepaid with No contract
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AT&T Is the Worse Ever!!!
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
WINCHESTER, CALIFORNIA -- I changed my cell phone service after 12 years of having T-Mobil because I wanted to have an I-phone but I have regret it from the first day!!!!!!

I can't be more disappointed with AT&T service because I have dropped calls 95% of the time, people can't hear me 98% of the time, I have changed my cell phone, I have changed all of our SIM cards, bought a product that was supposed to fix the problem... but I am stuck with their horrendous product. I am counting down the seconds to get rid of this product!!!!

If you are thinking about getting AT&T service please don't, I don't wish this on anyone!!!
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No Longer Any Service
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
MELBOURNE BEACH, FLORIDA -- Zip code - 32951 - used to have great service but a few months ago there stopped being any access for myself and anyone in town. No new blockages, no storm damage, nothing! No answers from AT&T but still have to pay for service we're not getting any longer or pay penalty to get out of contract. How in the world is this fair? AT&T gives no answers or explanation. I feel victimized, robbed and held hostage by AT&T.
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jc on 11/02/2012:
AT and T may be breaking their TOS if they say they have coverage in your area and do not. Ask to speak to their executive complaint department...if that doesn't work, go to a local news station and ask to have your story aired (get some friends/neighbors experiencing the same thing to go with you). Good luck!
Adam M on 11/15/2012:
AMEN! Its aweful on all networks. Don't know why, but not a soul can hear you if they call you.
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AT&T Customer Service
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
MACON, GEORGIA -- I up graded my cell phone on a military base exchange and this was a private seller and not a AT&T owned. Left to go to another location and my phone quit working. Stopped at an AT&T store for service and was refused service since I purchased the phone at another store. The phone was new and under 30 day warranty. AT&T would not help me anyway. I was told I had to take it back the same store that I purchased it from. Now I was in another town when the phone stopped working and was some distance from the base exchange. AT&T was not helpful in helping me with my problem.

I was advised that if I had purchased at an AT&T store anywhere I would have been given a new replacement phone. AT&T told me if I purchase a phone from any store other than AT&T store it would have to be returned to the store purchased from. AT&T does not care about you the customer. Be aware when you purchase from any store other than AT&T. I was told after 31 days I could take it to one of their stores (AT&T) and they would honor the warranty. I have my home phone and high speed internet (DSL) with them and when my contract is up I will discontinue my service with this company.
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trmn8r on 07/03/2012:
It sounds like a return policy is in effect the first month, and after that the warranty kicks in, which AT&T can honor. You say that AT&T doesn't care about you, the customer, but you bought the phone from someone else. Seems like that makes you that other entity's customer. I'm not a cell phone owner, but that is my take. This doesn't rise to the level of throwing them over the side in my opinion, but that is your privilege.
BigAl on 07/03/2012:
I think T-8 is right. It is like buying a Ford and wanting Chevrolet to exchange it for one of theirs.
leet60 on 07/04/2012:
There is a major difference in a corporate owned store location and an "autorized reseller/retailer". The corporate location inventory is part of corporate assets. A reseller/authorized retailer has assets owned by the owner of that location. Corporate should not have a responsibility to take back in to their inventory and replace equipment they did not previously own.
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