1. Emusedone's Avatar
    Not to be rude, but being late on a bill is actually a really big deal. When you are given upgrade pricing, AT&T is essentially giving you a loan (the subsidy). You pay off that loan by paying your bill. If you were late twice in a year, you were late for over 16% of your payments. The only way to prove to AT&T that you're a valuable customer is to make your payments on time.

    You should set up automatic payments and paperless billing online. You'll never be late again.

    Again, I'm not trying to be rude, but to explain to you why AT&T made their decision. They're running a business.
    Not to be rude, but being late on a bill is actually a really big deal. When you are given upgrade pricing, AT&T is essentially giving you a loan (the subsidy). You pay off that loan by paying your bill. If you were late twice in a year, you were late for over 16% of your payments. The only way to prove to AT&T that you're a valuable customer is to make your payments on time.*

    You should set up automatic payments and paperless billing online. You'll never be late again.*

    Again, I'm not trying to be rude, but to explain to you why AT&T made their decision. They're running a business.
    Ummmm, I refuse to sign up for automatic debits from my account since in the past I've had incorrect charges added & getting a refund or allowing for that additional charge in your bank balance is a nitemare.*
    Also, late payments may be due to so many things beyond a person's power. Like death in family, or you have an accident & end up in hospital where being two days late on your AT&T bill is the last of your worries. Whether it's 16% that I'm late over my contract time or 16.5% the fact is, I pay my bill.*
    OK, I've dealt with a couple of cell providers & I have to say that when AT&T launched something new like this, the *** end doesn't know what the front end is doing when I call. Yes, they are polite most of the time but it's the transfers to other reps, the "I'm not sure, please hold" then the disconnect & call back scenarios. AT&T provides a great cell service, cool phones, but I'm not going to go so far as to say it's the best customer service IN THE LAND! All companies have good & bad points. But this iPhone 5 fiasco & eligibilty thing for someone who has a 100% on time paying history with AT&T plus has been a customer for a long time it makes me ill to think I've got to jump through so many hoops to simply upgrade. I totally understand everyone's disappointment & frustration over this upgrade stuff! I have an iPhone 4S & have to wait to upgrade (or pay the big money). Quit making newer phones each year or two & expecting your customers to wait. AT&T should reward valued customers & be happy with the new customers they will get by word of mouth from their happy, satisfied, upgraded customers....just sayin
    09-15-2012 06:00 PM
  2. scottdoc718's Avatar
    Not cool. At&t, the only carrier who's mission statement is to hassle current customers. Im not sure, but I think if you ask att to approve you for the upgrade, Then maybe you can just walk into radioshack that morning and pick one up?
    BTW, Leanna, shared data plans on AT&T now get free hotspots. I thought that might have been one of your reasons for going to Verizon.
    09-15-2012 06:44 PM
  3. scottdoc718's Avatar
    BTW, Leanna, shared data plans on AT&T now get free hotspots. I thought that might have been one of your reasons for going to Verizon.
    09-15-2012 06:45 PM
  4. Neutrino's Avatar
    Switching carriers is never easy. Especially when all carrier staff are overly stressed with the iphone launch. I will share that VZW has a tendency to sneak charges on your account. I recently ported one of my VZW lines to AT&T, and noticed that VZW took the opportunity to charge me 65.00 for voice overages when the affected line was no where near the shared family plan limit.

    Bottom line: scrutinize your bill, and stay on top. The carriers are nothing but school bullies.
    09-15-2012 07:02 PM
  5. jerome g's Avatar
    Ummmm, I refuse to sign up for automatic debits from my account since in the past I've had incorrect charges added & getting a refund or allowing for that additional charge in your bank balance is a nitemare.*
    Also, late payments may be due to so many things beyond a person's power. Like death in family, or you have an accident & end up in hospital where being two days late on your AT&T bill is the last of your worries. Whether it's 16% that I'm late over my contract time or 16.5% the fact is, I pay my bill.*
    OK, I've dealt with a couple of cell providers & I have to say that when AT&T launched something new like this, the *** end doesn't know what the front end is doing when I call. Yes, they are polite most of the time but it's the transfers to other reps, the "I'm not sure, please hold" then the disconnect & call back scenarios. AT&T provides a great cell service, cool phones, but I'm not going to go so far as to say it's the best customer service IN THE LAND! All companies have good & bad points. But this iPhone 5 fiasco & eligibilty thing for someone who has a 100% on time paying history with AT&T plus has been a customer for a long time it makes me ill to think I've got to jump through so many hoops to simply upgrade. I totally understand everyone's disappointment & frustration over this upgrade stuff! I have an iPhone 4S & have to wait to upgrade (or pay the big money). Quit making newer phones each year or two & expecting your customers to wait. AT&T should reward valued customers & be happy with the new customers they will get by word of mouth from their happy, satisfied, upgraded customers....just sayin
    I too would like an early upgrade and I understand your frustration, but it is based on being spoiled, like the rest of us. You have to understand that things change. Just because they have upgraded early in the past it doesnt mean they should now. You should not expect anything special when you sign a contract. If it is for 2 years and they let you upgrade early then you should be thankful to AT&T.
    That being said, I do agree that customer loyalty should come into play as well if you want to be a successful company. They have rewarded us in the past for that.
    Maybe times have changed and the economy is bad now so the don't think it is wise to do that at this point. They obviously lose money when they let you off the hook for an extra $250 charge for an upgrade right ? Just think of how many they let do that in the past? Tens of 1000's probably, right ? How much money is that ? If you are a company in this economy now would you think it is wise ?
    And the late payment thing is far more impactful than you think also. Yes, of course things happen it is not your fault or their fault either, it is just a fact, and they are running a business where the bottom line counts. You would feel the same way if it was you. I am part of a small business also and try to do what I can for loyal customers but sometimes it is what it is and I can't make exceptions like I have in the past when the economy was better.
    Here is a hypothetical. Say AT&T has 5% of customers making late payments. Say they take in $10 million a month. Well I think that adds up to half a million dollars.
    If you are AT&T then you would view those customers as bad customers, although loyal. And if that happens more than once, well you do the math.
    It's about the numbers and I can see why they would make it a lot tougher to "give away" money doing early upgrades when you are not eligible.
    09-15-2012 07:13 PM
  6. jerome g's Avatar
    No. It's not like that. I'm an independent contractor. When you hire someone to do landscaping, are you expected to provide him with all the tools to do his job?
    So actually it is not $200+ extra then since you need it for work and can write off a portion of it, right ?
    09-15-2012 07:14 PM
  7. Leanna Lofte's Avatar
    Honestly, you really do seem like you are the customer from hell. All of this just for an iPhone upgrade? Who does that and why encourage other people to do it. It's just ridiculous.
    I'm not the customer from hell. I called AT&T and asked very nicely about getting an upgrade. I didn't demand anything, nor expect anything -- I was already planning to move to Verizon and just figured I'd give it one last shot on my husband's line.

    Now, once AT&T started telling me that I did not have an order and refused to recognize that my credit card had a pending charge, you bet I got pissed. Wouldn't you? Would you just sit back and smile and say "oh ok, everything sounds good then, thanks!"? That's the whole reason I had to go through "all this" -- the pending charge that AT&T claimed didn't exist. The first call was very short and very happy for both parties.

    I never told anyone to do it -- just sharing my story.
    09-16-2012 03:48 AM
  8. Leanna Lofte's Avatar
    BTW, Leanna, shared data plans on AT&T now get free hotspots. I thought that might have been one of your reasons for going to Verizon.
    Yeah, I remembered that recently. But I'd have to give up unlimited data (which I'd do by moving to Verizon, anyway). Since I don't really use that much data since I'm usually around wifi -- I'll probably end up switching to a shared data plan when the next iPad comes out and get it on AT&T.
    09-16-2012 03:52 AM
  9. Leanna Lofte's Avatar
    Ummmm, I refuse to sign up for automatic debits from my account since in the past I've had incorrect charges added & getting a refund or allowing for that additional charge in your bank balance is a nitemare.*
    Also, late payments may be due to so many things beyond a person's power. Like death in family, or you have an accident & end up in hospital where being two days late on your AT&T bill is the last of your worries. Whether it's 16% that I'm late over my contract time or 16.5% the fact is, I pay my bill.*
    OK, I've dealt with a couple of cell providers & I have to say that when AT&T launched something new like this, the *** end doesn't know what the front end is doing when I call. Yes, they are polite most of the time but it's the transfers to other reps, the "I'm not sure, please hold" then the disconnect & call back scenarios. AT&T provides a great cell service, cool phones, but I'm not going to go so far as to say it's the best customer service IN THE LAND! All companies have good & bad points. But this iPhone 5 fiasco & eligibilty thing for someone who has a 100% on time paying history with AT&T plus has been a customer for a long time it makes me ill to think I've got to jump through so many hoops to simply upgrade. I totally understand everyone's disappointment & frustration over this upgrade stuff! I have an iPhone 4S & have to wait to upgrade (or pay the big money). Quit making newer phones each year or two & expecting your customers to wait. AT&T should reward valued customers & be happy with the new customers they will get by word of mouth from their happy, satisfied, upgraded customers....just sayin
    Again, I hold no judgement against you regarding late payments. God knows I've been late on my share of various bills for various reasons. I was just trying to explain it from AT&T's perspective. They are a huge company and aren't going to investigate the reasons their customers were late. In their eyes, late is late.

    Regarding auto payments -- I've never had an issue. Sorry to hear that you have. If I didn't have auto payments set up on just about every bill I have, I'd be late on so many of them because I'm terrible at that kind of stuff. A long time ago I did have adjustments that needed to be made, but they didn't refund my bank, they just credited my account for the next bill.

    For the most part, I'be been happy with AT&T's customer service, but you're right, they're definitely not the best. Well, I guess I can't really compare with other carriers since I've always been with AT&T, but just as far as customer service goes, in general, AT&T isn't amazing, but they aren't bad.
    09-16-2012 03:59 AM
  10. Apple4ever2011's Avatar
    Honestly would it have made you feel better with a big fat "No"?? Customer service tried the best they could to hook it up. So now that you are not happy you chose to bring it up to management to put a service rep on blast because you cannot wait. This could cost someone their job but you are mad because you didn't get a break or the best out of AT&T?? I have a iPhone 4...I waited just like most. Don't take for granted a early upgrade ..it's a favor not a right. Think it over...you might have cost a good rep a job.....
    09-16-2012 04:56 AM
  11. Eileen89's Avatar
    Sorry that you had to go through this, but glad to hear that you got it sorted out after all that.


    Sent from my iPhone 4S using Tapatalk
    09-16-2012 12:34 PM
  12. Leanna Lofte's Avatar
    Honestly would it have made you feel better with a big fat "No"?? Customer service tried the best they could to hook it up. So now that you are not happy you chose to bring it up to management to put a service rep on blast because you cannot wait. This could cost someone their job but you are mad because you didn't get a break or the best out of AT&T?? I have a iPhone 4...I waited just like most. Don't take for granted a early upgrade ..it's a favor not a right. Think it over...you might have cost a good rep a job.....
    You clearly aren't even reading anything that I write. If they said no, I would've moved on and went to Verizon, not tried to fight it. The fight began when they said "yes" then later told me that I wasn't getting a phone even though I had a charge on my credit card. You wouldn't be pissed if AT&T charged you $350 but didn't give you anything for it?
    Fausty82 likes this.
    09-16-2012 04:50 PM
  13. BreakingKayfabe's Avatar
    You clearly aren't even reading anything that I write. If they said no, I would've moved on and went to Verizon, not tried to fight it. The fight began when they said "yes" then later told me that I wasn't getting a phone even though I had a charge on my credit card. You wouldn't be pissed if AT&T charged you $350 but didn't give you anything for it?
    In all honesty, I'd be pissed. But if I put it on my credit card (not a debit card) and realized I would have to have gone through all that, I would have just made a dispute on the charge since it was a credit card. All the carriers are a bunch of dictators, though. Pick your poison. When you're coming in, they're nice. Once you're in with them, you're just a number.
    09-16-2012 05:14 PM
  14. squire's Avatar
    I'm glad it all worked out.
    09-16-2012 06:04 PM
  15. Taunman's Avatar
    So what I'm getting from you is that your a whiny spoiled rotten individual. Who has no respect for people. First of all you are going take an IPhone and return it later so that another person will not have the chance to pick one up. Secondly your going to hit the person who gets stuck selling that phone with a return rate as well a diminished pay check. Please grow up and realize that your actions have consequences that affect other individuals.


    Best Regards,

    The gentleman who will most likely get stuck helping you.
    anon4691711 likes this.
    09-16-2012 08:19 PM
  16. Taunman's Avatar
    You clearly aren't even reading anything that I write. If they said no, I would've moved on and went to Verizon, not tried to fight it. The fight began when they said "yes" then later told me that I wasn't getting a phone even though I had a charge on my credit card. You wouldn't be pissed if AT&T charged you $350 but didn't give you anything for it?
    They are legally required to return it. In most cases it would have been automatic and would have been refund within 5 business days.
    09-16-2012 08:52 PM
  17. mc511#CB's Avatar
    Last year i was able to upgrade my HTC inspire 4g to a samsung galaxy s2 (switching back to iphone this april) but i had to buy an android tablet and a phone and they bumped my cousins upgrade for me about 9 months. I paid $600 but got a new phone and tablet and kept my unlimited data plan. I think this all depends on things like credit rating, and your payment history. Do you pay your bill on time? Do you have a good credit score? Is there a problem paying your bills? I am not positive on this but i believe its a factor. My mother has an amazing credit score and always pays the bill on time.
    09-16-2012 11:26 PM
  18. dbello92's Avatar
    In case you missed it, I was planning to switch to Verizon.

    Then this morning it dawned on me that I never asked AT&T about get an exception made on my husband's line. They told me on the phone that I couldn't upgrade because they never make any exceptions in under 20 months (which is weird, because they have several times in the past) and that my husband's line should be at least 20 months into the contract. Sure enough, his official upgrade date is October 21st, exactly 30 days after the iPhone 5's release date.

    So, this morning, I called AT&T to ask them. After jumping through some hoops, the rep said she was able to get the line approved for full upgrade pricing because it was within 30 days of the upgrade date. Great! But I need the phone on Friday in order to get my work done for iMore, so I asked if that would be a problem. Not at all -- she told me I'd get the phone on Friday. Awesome! The only requirement was that I would have to respond to the email to accept the terms and conditions, otherwise the order would be canceled. No problem.

    Several hours passed and the email never arrived.

    So I called AT&T to see what was up with the terms and conditions. The girl tells me that she doesn't know how to resend them, but she can transfer me to a number that lets me accept them over the phone. Ok cool. Except that the system tells me that I've already accepted them. Nope, not right. So I call again.

    This time I'm told there is no record of my order and that what I "claim" to have happened earlier in the day would have actually been impossible. I go through two different levels of managers, both who tell me the same thing. My order does not exist. No notes in my account. Nothing... except for the $358.11 pending charge from AT&T to my credit card. I have an order number that turns out to be completely useless. At this point, I'm not even concerned about the phone anymore, I'm concerned with the fact that I have a pending charge to my credit card that AT&T is denying exists. After more time on hold, a manager says she's transferring me to someone else. This "someone" ends up being some weird voicemail that spews off a bunch of phone numbers then hangs up on me.

    Now I'm livid.

    During one of my several conversation, someone told me to go to an AT&T store and bring my credit card statement to get it taken care of. I knew this was total BS, but I went to an AT&T store anyway so that if they told me to go to one again, I'd just say "I'm actually at the store, here, talk to the manager".

    Of course, the first thing the AT&T store does is put me on the phone with 611. A really nice guy answers and I'm kinda rude by demanding to speak to a manager because I don't want to repeat myself for the 50th time just so he can transfer me and I be required to repeat myself yet another time. He puts me on hold and reads through all the notes left on my account and makes it his personal mission to set everything straight. He was able to find my order, but confirm that it never completely went though. AT&T's system immediately rejected my order because of "restrictions placed on AT&T by Apple". This is why my terms and conditions never arrived. He tells me if I wait for Oct 1st, I can get the upgrade without problem. I tell him that this isn't an option because I MUST have it on Friday to do my job.

    He then speaks to several different managers on my behalf and gets the line approved to attempt the order again. He says he's not confident it will work, that the same thing may happen, but that he's going to give it a try. The system goes through several glitches but eventually my order goes though. The terms and conditions email arrived almost immediately so I accepted it and confirmed that my acceptance went through. Everything looks good. Everything except the delivery date. That is unknown.

    So, my plan is to stand in line at the Apple Store on Friday and purchase an iPhone on my own line for at the more expensive price. Then when the iPhone 5 that I just ordered arrives, I'll return the one I bought at the Apple Store. This allows me to get my work done for iMore, but also saves me over $200 in ETFs and taxes to switch to Verizon.

    What a day.
    This is exactly why I will NEVER have at&t again, the customer service experience is an absolutely atrocious nightmare!
    09-17-2012 01:46 AM
  19. aileronguy's Avatar
    I have been a cingular/att customer for over a decade. I have 5 phones on the plan. Unlimited text, One iPhone and one blackberry, three dumbphones.

    I have never missed a payment, never had a complaint. I upgraded one phone last year, and waited to upgrade my iPhone 4 until the 5 came out.

    I went in to the store to pre-order, and found out I am not eligible, even though last year all my phones except one were supposedly eligible this year. "Somehow" (according to the att rep in the store) my dates are all changed, and I can't upgrade ANY until Nov 1.

    Their reply to my incredulity? "Come back and see us maybe we can work something out in 6 weeks or so."

    Att really does have No business running a profit. I am now looking forward to my switch to Verizon. At least I may get a hotspot, instead of a eff-off from a jerk rep (oh yeah, he was an asst mgr).
    09-17-2012 02:28 PM
  20. mtalty's Avatar
    Great Story Leanna, thanks for sharing. I had similar issue with AT&T and made the switch to Verizon. There are some add'l charges with Verizon. I paid my ETF - $225 and then had to pay Verizon $35 activation fee per line and then a $30 upgrade fee to get the iPhone 5. I opened an account prior to iPhone 5 launch to make getting the phone easier.

    I don't care about the extra money though. I just can't deal with AT&T and their approach to treating customers. Also their business practices when it comes to data throttling. I would rather pay more an get what I pay for. Verizon has a real cell tower coverage and LTE service actually exists in many major cities. AT&T runs on a toothpick and bubble gum connected system. I'm not OK paying $200 a month for that.

    Looking forward to hearing more about the iPhone 5 at iMore. I like your site.

    Best,

    Martin
    aileronguy and CooperS84 like this.
    09-17-2012 02:58 PM
  21. CooperS84's Avatar
    I was eligible for an upgrade on July 17th, I changed my number a few days after because I was receiving a lot of harassing calls and text messages, my new upgrade eligibility date is october 21st. I've called several times and spoken to several managers even visited an ATT store, and was told there is nothing they could do about that, it comes as a consequence of changing my telephone number which to me makes no sense.

    I thought I'd give it one last try because I live in Philadelphia and ATT happens to be the only carrier you can use in the underground subway, spent about 40 minutes speaking to what I'm sure was a brand spanking new customer service rep who told me he could get my wish of being able to upgrade at a store friday morning accomplished only to find out at the end of mine phone call that he couldn't. He told me he wasn't sure where I got the impression that if I had preordered my phone on 14 Sept that I would have it by the 21st.. Honestly.

    I think the point is that I've never had any issues extended my contract with ATT because I've been pleased with the service but the fact that they seem to be going the extra mile to keep me from something that I am technically entitled to (I think you are eligible for an upgrade 18 months in to your 2 year commitment) gives me all the incentive to change carriers. My EFT is 145 dollars, I can sell my iPhone 4 to cover that. I have friends who have Verizon Wireless, whenever we are at a concert or any setting with large amounts of people my phone seems to never work and theirs do. I'm excited to move on to a (hopefully) better network
    09-17-2012 03:17 PM
  22. CooperS84's Avatar
    I have been a cingular/att customer for over a decade. I have 5 phones on the plan. Unlimited text, One iPhone and one blackberry, three dumbphones.

    I have never missed a payment, never had a complaint. I upgraded one phone last year, and waited to upgrade my iPhone 4 until the 5 came out.

    I went in to the store to pre-order, and found out I am not eligible, even though last year all my phones except one were supposedly eligible this year. "Somehow" (according to the att rep in the store) my dates are all changed, and I can't upgrade ANY until Nov 1.

    Their reply to my incredulity? "Come back and see us maybe we can work something out in 6 weeks or so."

    Att really does have No business running a profit. I am now looking forward to my switch to Verizon. At least I may get a hotspot, instead of a eff-off from a jerk rep (oh yeah, he was an asst mgr).
    Honestly something must be going on, your the 3rd person I hear (including myself) who's upgrade date has been changed for some ludicrous reason.
    09-17-2012 03:19 PM
  23. CooperS84's Avatar
    Last year i was able to upgrade my HTC inspire 4g to a samsung galaxy s2 (switching back to iphone this april) but i had to buy an android tablet and a phone and they bumped my cousins upgrade for me about 9 months. I paid $600 but got a new phone and tablet and kept my unlimited data plan. I think this all depends on things like credit rating, and your payment history. Do you pay your bill on time? Do you have a good credit score? Is there a problem paying your bills? I am not positive on this but i believe its a factor. My mother has an amazing credit score and always pays the bill on time.
    Your credit couldn't have anything less to do with your upgrade eligibility.. I have great credit, and have never missed a payment on my ATT account and my date was changed due to "changing my phone number"..
    09-17-2012 03:22 PM
  24. aileronguy's Avatar
    ...if ATT is paying attention to anything posted on any threads anywhere. What better place to start than here, on one of the better known iDevice sites?
    09-17-2012 03:30 PM
  25. Fausty82's Avatar
    Has anyone else been told by the AT&T rep that this was a Apple directive? The lady I spoke with was very pleasant all the way through the conversation. She tried to push the upgrade through on my primary account (primary of 5-line account of iPhones w monthly bill just over $250) - the line for which I was given an annual upgrade for at least the past 5 years... only to find out that she could not work around it. When I pushed her on "why it changed?" she said that it was something Apple now required.

    I explained that Apple had nothing to do with it - their primary objective was to sell the phones, and it was AT&T that offered the subsidy/allowed (or disallowed) early upgrades, etc... and at that point she became quite short and started working to end the call.

    Do they all think that we're stupid enough to believe whatever crap they want to throw at us?

    I read online somewhere that others were reporting similar reasoning, and was wondering if any one here had gotten it, too.
    09-17-2012 03:34 PM
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