I’ve had several generations of iPhones over the years. Even though I’m paying an Apple Tax, the phone does what I want and how I like it to work.
Over the years ordering, however, AT&T has been a miserable experience, with the new Apple 6 Plus being the latest.
I’m a business customer of AT&T, so I have to deal with a different department that provides “improved” care. I’m not able to order directly from Apple.
Friday Sept 12th, 2014 was when the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were released for preorder. Not wanting to hassle with ordering online, even though I knew it would put me further behind in line to get the phone, I called to order at about 7:20am. After being on hold for about 40 minutes, my call was the “next in line”. Agent that took my order was nice. I wanted the 128MB iPhone 6 Plus in silver. No problem. Took my order. Stated there may be a 4-6 week delay for this new model, which was fine. Confirmed the order was a Plus model. Took my credit card info and then stated an email will arrive with the order confirmation and order number to use for tracking. Great. Process went well and after about 20 minutes to take the order, was done. All is well with the world. Well. Not quite.
By Monday night, I realized I did not get confirmation of the order. Hmmm. Well AT&T had texted me, when I called 611 to order the phone, that they have a new My Business app on the iPhone, so I installed it. They have a simple sign on procedure and they have a chat with agent option within the app. Great.
Tuesday morning I get on chat with an agent who checked on the order and said it was about to be shipped. Really? Wow. Sweet. Can you give me the order #? Sure. So I notated the order number and checked the status for myself. Sure enough, my iPhone 6 128MB silver appears to be about ready to ship. Awesome. Wait. iPhone 6 128 MB Silver? I ordered the iPhone 6 Plus 128 MB Silver. uh oh.
I got back on chat with a different agent. Started to go through the issue with agent and the chat apparently died. Great. Round 2. Tried again. Got with another agent, who was helpful and appologized for the mistake, which I knew and stated it wasn’t her fault. She said she can cancel the original order and order the correct product. That was fine, though I was upset that I would be put to the back of the line behind people who’s orders were placed correctly after me. She appologized and stated she would waive expedited shipping, which she stated it would only mean once the phone IS available to ship, it would arrive sooner, but it wouldn’t mean the phone would be ready for me soon. While not happy, I understood. She also stated she would have the upgrade fee waived. Ok. Appreciate it.
Went through the process, took credit card info. Then was told to check my email for the terms and conditions agreement link. Ok. Email was there. Clicked link. Entered info and was told I couldn’t use that page because I’m a businsess customer. Also I noticed the email was for a completely different customer and phone number. Great. On chat, I explained and she then pasted a link to click on within the chat page of the AT&T iPhone app. Ok. Took me to a page which was invalid. Great. Not happy. So went to go back to the chat and…. ooops. There’s no back button. Clicking on that link had brought up a web browser from within the app and they did not think to put a back button. There was no way to get with with that agent.
SOOOO Round 3, get with another chat and explained the whole thing AGAIN and that I’m now VERY upset having to waste, what now is about 3 hours, my time dealing with this. The agent appologized and was sympathic to the situation and would do his best to rectify the situation. Mind you, I’m not blasting the agents as it’s not their fault. It’s AT&T as a business that I’m incredibly frustrated with.
I was actually checking on T-Mobile’s website for pricing at this point. Just before the agent said he was going to speak with his manager on how to resolve the situation, I put in the chat that in case there is a disconnection to call my cell or call my work number and gave those numbers. I was thanked for that and will be right back after getting information. Well that was a pipedream. The chat disconnected due to a timeout while waiting. I waited about 10-15 minutes. No call. I’m livid.
Round 4. Back on chat. Told agent I wanted to be transferred to the prior agent and gave that agents name. I was told she could help. I asked again to be transferred to the prior agent. After a one moment staller, the agent responded that the Manager has all the information needed and would be contacting me end of business. Ok. Well I had work to do, so left it there.
It’s now 6:10pm Pacific Time. Neither my cell or business had received a call from AT&T. It would have been lethal had I held my breath waiting, which I knew as a pipedream anyways, but I wanted to give AT&T the benefit of the doubt that they cared enough about me being such a long time customer, that they would have treated me at least as one of their average customers and given me a courtesy call to at least say “hey, we understand the problem and are still working on it, but I’ll have to get more info tommorrow and call you back”. But no. They didn’t care to send the very best. They didn’t try.
So about 6:20pm I call instead of chat. Only a couple minute hold time and get with an agent. Except wrong one, so they transfer me to correct department. Except they transferred me into a completely wrong area that was in la la land. Frack.
Hang up and call again. Couple minute hold time and get with an agent. The agent was nice and I went through the entire speel. He was sympathetic to the situation and would try to rectify the situation. When checking on the first order, he found that it was in a state too late to do anything. “I can’t cancel this at this point, however you can send the phone back when you receive it.”. Ok. I’m not happy about that as I just want the phone I want ordered, knowing I wouldn’t be getting now until probably Christmas. “Would you like to upgrade one of your other lines? This way you can get the phone you want on the other line and have the 6 on the line originally that I wanted.” I don’t want two iPhone 6’s. I only want one and on the phone number I ordered on. If I wanted two 6’s I would have ordered a 6 and a 6 Plus or two 6 Pluses. “I understand.”.
Great. So I’ll send the 6 back when I get it, which I’m not happy about having to do, but at least order the 6 Plus for me now, so I’m in line. “I’m sorry. I can’t. We have to wait until your phone has been returned and gone through processessing, which may take up to one or two business cycles.”. Seriously? You understand the situation, it was due to no error on my part, but I can’t order the correct phone for the correct phone number?
The agent understood frustration and did apply a small credit to my bill for the inconvienance. It didn’t cover my time having to deal with this for what now is going for about 4 hours on this issue. So I relented and was FORCED to purchase what I wanted on my wife’s number, which was eligible, then when that phone arrives around Christmas, call them to change the phone number over to my number, which was the intended number.
Frustrating. Upset. Peaved. Disappointed in the lack of customer satisfaction. Re-evaluating AT&T, which is sad, because as far as service has been, the mobile service has met my expectations. It’s the order process that is broken.
Throughout this process, I’ll say, which may in similar customer service issues may not say, is that through all points of contact, I was never treated rudely. I was simply mistreated as a customer and penalized for mistakes not made by myself.
I had to go through a situation when the iPhone 5 came out. I wanted it shipped to work. No problem sir. Great. Get confirmation that it’s going to be shipped…. To my home. I’m never home and my work is only a couple blocks away from home. So I call. I’m sorry, we can’t change the shipping address. Ok. I have MyUPS service which I use to redirect packages at time to my work. Can I do that? Yes.
Ok. So I did that. When I checked my tracking number the next day, it say it was on its way BACK to AT&T. They recalled the package. I called and wanted to know why. “It’s for your protection. The phone has to be delivered to the address sent to.” I asked and they said it was ok to do what I did. “No sir. That’s incorrect. I’m sorry you were told the wrong thing, but you can not do what you did.” Ok. But I asked for the phone to be delivered to my work address in the first place. “I’m sorry, I don’t know why it went to the other address.”. Ok. What do we do?
I had to order the phone again, had to wait several weeks because I’m now placed on the back of the line due to AT&T’s error, charge my card for the new phone again and wait one to two billing cycles for the credit. Thank you AT&T.