Friday, April 18, 2008

Addios AT&T!

The display on my little pink RAZR phone died yesterday. I took it out of my pocket to check for missed calls and it was dead. It resurrected briefly, long enough for me to frantically type my phone numbers into a text file... but now it's totally gone.

So, I called AT&T where I believe I've been a customer since before they were Cingular... I think since 2000. Figuring that since I'm an old customer, surely they'll cut me a deal. It turns out that I was only 13 days out of warranty. Surely, they could make an exception, right? Actually, not so much.

Here's what they came up with (the nice manager I spoke to said these were the 'out of the box' options):
  • I could buy a 'no commitment' phone for $40. This phone was not nearly as spiffy as the one I had, but it would not extend my contract.
  • I could get a 'no commitment' refurbished RAZR for $200
  • I could get a refurbished RAZR for $80 and extend my contract another year
After nearly 2 hours on the phone, through multiple levels of reps and management, each one was courteous and they genuinely wanted to help, I said addios AT&T. I can buy out my contract and get 2 brand new free RAZRS from Verizon (who has a better network in Boston anyhow) for about $20 more than the refurbished RAZR that you're offering me. I said, "I can give you $100 to walk away from this contract and you loose thousands, or you can just bend the rules and replace my phone without touching my contract. It just doesn't make sense to me that you can't help me more."

The manager said, "Once somethings out of warranty, that's it. You can't get it fixed for free." I said, "That's not true. My husband bought a car and his CD player died when it shouldn't have. It technically wasn't covered under the warranty, but they fixed it as a courtesy. And you know what? We bought our next two cars from them." I know a phone isn't a car, but at $75/month for ten years... it almost is.

And their hands were tied. It's not like they weren't trying, but the deck is so stacked against them. All the warranty and insurance services are outsourced to other companies that make the most money when they don't have to pay out, so their options for helping me generally fell within their ability to upgrade my phone at a relatively normal cost.

I really don't expect Verizon to be much better. But it felt good to just walk away.


Post a Comment

<< Home