Purchasing an iPhone (take one)

I’ve been testing an iPhone for over a month and love it.  I went over to the AT&T wireless store today to purchase one (the one I have is the office tester).  I entered the store and was promptly offered assistance.  I told the woman I wanted an 8GB iPhone.  No problem she said.  What’s your telephone number?  I provide it and she pulls up my account.

“Hmm… you’re not available for an upgrade.”

“So?”

“Well, that means that it will cost more.”

“How much more?”

“An extra $200?”

“WHAT?!?”

You got it.  For me to purchase an iPhone will cost twice the price of the phone.  I am 16 months from an upgrade.  Instead of simply tacking on another two years to the 16 months, AT&T wants to charge me $200 now.

I told her I have been a loyal customers for years.  I was with AT&T before they were Cingular (BellSouth?).  She said she could check with corporate. They may… thats MAY… excuse this fee but it could up to 72 hours before I would get a response.  F#@$#ing lovely. I told her to submit it to corporate, let me know and left the store extremely pissed off.

This makes absolutely no sense to me.  If I could by an iPhone now at $200 I would immediate incur many more fees and services charges than I currently pay for my braindead Nokia.  That would be much more money in AT&T’s pocket.  But no, they are ignoring that and waving a stick at me instead of a carrot.  Yet another marketing failure on their part.

If corporate turns me down I’m not sure what I will do.  I could get a new number, which would save the $200 fee, but then I would have a new number and all the associated headaches. In addition, I would still be stuck with my existing one for 16 months.  Or I could pay the $200 fee.  I’m not sure I can do that.  I may live without one for 16 months.

I was so hoping Apple would teach the wireless carriers a thing or two about customer service and marketing, but it hasn’t happened.  As shown here, the motto of “screw the customer” is still going strong.

Stay tuned.  Part two sometime in the next 72 hours (or so I’m told).

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~ by Genevieve on 2009.01.10.

2 Responses to “Purchasing an iPhone (take one)”

  1. Holy Crap!! I hate wireless carriers. I was with Cingular for years and when the iPhone first came out, it was only available to NEW customers, not existing ones. What the hell happened to appreciating customer loyalty?? You know, I wanted to change my billing date right after I got my phone service with Cingular. Mind you, I had asked them in the store when I signed up for service if it would be a problem to change my billing date. I was told it was no problem at all. Not exactly true. I had to pay two fees for changing the billing date. It was explained to me was that I was basically terminating one contract for which there was a fee, and then starting a new contract for which there was another fee. I cost me over $100.00 to change my billing date! I later had more problems with them and when I threatened to terminate my service, they informed me that I would have to pay an early service termination fee which was close to $300.00. I believe that is what is happening to you. To end your current contract it will cost you $200.00. On top of that, you’ll have to pay the activation fee of $36.00. We weren’t expecting that one either. Good Luck!

  2. […] one is here.  Part three […]

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