Are AT&T Store Employees a Bunch of Liars?



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Michael Ellis

They listed a two for one deal as one hundred dollars after rebates. It was two hundred. The rep said the phone would arrive in a week, it took almost a month. I called to check that there was no soft data cap. I was told no, but was later informed that there is a soft cap.



I was eagerly awaiting FiOS in my area (being in the Bell Labs area of NJ, fiber is actually pretty common), and I signed up for the notification on the web site.  I never got one.  What I got were some supposed Verizon employees canvasing the area and signing people up for service with the promise of a $200 AMEX gift card.  Awesome.  I signed up and canceled my Comcast account with a $175 cancellation fee.  Worth it right?  Because that $200 gift card would more than cover the cost of the cancellation fee.

The fiasco begins...

Long story short: 6 months later after numerous phone calls and passing the buck, no $200 gift card.  An agent did promise us money off of our bill.  The next month, no discount.  We get another agent this time who tells us that the original agent couldn't have possibly given us such a discount because it doesn't exist in their computer system.  She gave us one of their current promotions, which gave us money off of our bill for 1 year and all kinds of cable channels (totaling more than the $200).  It finally worked out after 8 months of fighting tooth and nail.

Now we're fairly satisfied with our FiOS service.  30/25 internet, all movie channels, phone service for under $160 / month (until the promo runs out, then like $190).  Plus, I haven't lost an internet connection for even a second in 2 years.

I like Verizon a lot more than Comcast, but I won't get into that story.



When I signed up for AT&T, I was asked at the store if I wanted an unlimited data plan. I said yes. A month later I got a bill with about $300 in data charges.

I had no way to prove my case that I had asked for an unlimited data plan and the rep would have just denied it. Heck, I don't even remember who it was that was signing me up at the desk. I wouldn't be surprised at all if it wasn't an accident.



I was a "customer service" rep at T-Mobile and this sort of thing was not at all uncommon. I had a caller whose agreement had been amended by hand by the sales rep who'd signed him up. He faxed it to us and, based on that, I submitted a request for a refund. A day or so later I was instructed to call the guy back and tell him that the agreement was invalid and that the refund could not be approved.

I was quite taken aback by all of this and refused to call him back as I wasn't the person who made the decision not to honor the agreement and at least refund the fees to try to make the best of a bad situation. (I should add that I was planning to leave within a month). I simply couldn't bring myself to do that.

Many employees there would brag about how they never gave anyone a refund. It wasn't as if a refund was counted against us in any way. It was simply based on their petty desires to have the power to refuse something to someone else.

The company itself would have various contests and offer a quarterly bonus. As time went on, they started pulling new rules out of the hat at the last minute and deny us our bonuses. It was as if T-Mobile corporate management treated its own employees the same way it treated the customers.

It was as appalling as it was amazing as it was incredible. I've never seen anything quite like it . . .



We avoid "authorized" agents and retailers for this reason. Their business name is usually a dead give-away, but in one case, the corporate store was given over to an authorized agent to operate, and the store name didn't change. Keep an eye out for clues on business cards and above or on the door. If you want the discounts, the special package deals, and the ability to control how things get set up, you must go to corporate-run stores.



i used to work for dtv mid manegment... the lies the sales force told customers to get them to sign on the dotted line were well known. it was a joke

it's like rebates, most people just do not send them in, someone gets a new system. cell phone, etc. they often just roll over and take the abuse or make a phone call and accept what they are told. in the end a new customer is added to the base

as far as the company is concerned they could care less how that customer was added to the pool



Well, having worked both sides of telco (along with a million other kinds of jobs) I definitely beleive it. You think even a store manager is gonna look askance at these sorts of behaviors when it brings up sales numbers and brings in spiffs and commissions (hint, activations and billing/chargebacks are handled by completely different departments, divisions even, and nary betwix the twain shall meet)

On the other hand, much like AOL about five or six years ago, if this sort of behavior was indemic, the public would be screaming about it anyway. Then again, this could be the start of that wave.

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