My Belated Christmas Present


I got a much needed, much deserved and much fought for Christmas present yesterday that I honestly did not expect to get....now or later!

I FINALLY got AT&T to help me with my phone!!

In mid-October my Blackberry Torch just started draining in a matter of minutes.  I'd have 80% battery and 20 minutes later I'd pull it out of my pocket to use it and it would be flashing a battery warning at me because it would be just about dead.

I started uninstalling apps and double-checking to make sure that I was closing out of all of the apps when I was done with them.  I always keep my bluetooth and wireless off when I'm not using them, so I knew it wasn't that.

And it wasn't every day that it was happening.  It was on days when I barely touched my phone and also on days when I made phone calls or sent texts.  And when it started to drain, it would be dead within an hour.

The first weekend in November we went to Oklahoma with my family (about two weeks after it started) and before the Razorback game that weekend, it did that to me again and Jason said that his phone had been doing that, too.  Both of ours were completely dead before the game was over that night, even though we'd fully charged them that morning.  So on Sunday I called AT&T to try to get the devices swapped out under warranty.  The first rep I talked to said he'd actually had several calls like that and that they had to swap the device out for them, so he sent me over to warranty to get two good devices sent out to us.  When I got to warranty, I had to start all the way back at square one and tell them what was going on and do all the same troubleshooting I'd already done and they would only send us new batteries.  Since I was days within being out of warranty, I asked them what if that didn't work, because it didn't seem like the battery to me (as a computer nerd, I like to think I've developed a 6th sense for these things).  They said they'd notate the account and extend the warranty to give me time to see if that was it.

A week and a day later I finally got the batteries that they said I should have in two days.

And it didn't do a thing to fix the problems so I started calling AT&T again but this time I got "your phone's out of warranty and you're not eligible for an upgrade until July."

So for just short of TWO MONTHS I've talked to I don't know how many people telling them my phone was IN warranty when the problems started and that was supposed to be notated on my account and I couldn't spend (then) eight more months with a phone that may or may not work when it should have been swapped out under warranty to begin with.

And for two months I've gotten NOWHERE with anyone.  And every time we go out of town for something, inevitably, the stupid thing would die with very little warning.

I went into our local AT&T store here last Wendesday, hoping some face time with a rep would get me more help than I'd gotten but that rep...we'll call her 'Sara'...was the LEAST helpful person, ever.  I could tell the second she said my name that she didn't want to be there and she didn't want to have to help me.

So she didn't.  She initially tried to shut me down with "You're out of warranty and ineligible for an upgrade until July" and I attempted to tell her about how this all started back when I was in warranty and told her that if I could just get someone to either help me figure out why it was doing that, or get a working device, I'd be happy.  She didn't so much as look at or touch my phone.  She just looked at the computer, turned around and made a comment to a coworker and proceeded to make me feel as if she thought we were just trying to cheat AT&T into new phones.  She claimed she was submitting notes and sending it on up to a supervisor because she didn't have the authority to do anything.  That was, supposedly, as much as she could do.  But she assured us repeatedly that we'd hear something--one way or another--within 72 hours.

So yesterday, a week and a day later, I chat with online AT&T tech support.  Same song and dance for the dozenth time.  Starting at square one and going all the way through it.  He told me that they have some upgrade options for us that should be more suitable and call this # and they can take care of us.

So I call that # and have to start all the way back at square one and at the end of it she tells me that all she can do is give us a basic Samsung phone for $50 a piece.

Which is unacceptable to me because if they'd done a warranty exchange to begin with, I'd have a like quality phone for no additional cost.  She wants me to pay $100 to have two inferior phones.

So I go in the AT&T store nearby, mad enough with frustration that I was on the verge of tears, and the heavens opened and God had mercy on me and gave me a sales rep that we'll call 'Jeffrey'.

Jeffrey listened to the whole ordeal patiently.  He went through the computer through every documented conversation (out of curiosity's sake I asked him what Sara's notes said from last week and what was done on that but it appears that all that shows up is my payment that I made that same evening.  She did NOTHING.  Well...she lied to me and antagonized me.  But she didn't actually do the job that she's paid to do.)  But back to Jeffrey, finally I get someone who also feels like this isn't fair, that they should honor the warranty since it was still in warranty when I came to them over this.

So he calls up warranty and he waits and he talks and he waits and he talks and he's getting upset, "You mean you sent them replacement batteries when you knew you needed to send replacement devices?  That is unacceptable.  We need two replacement devices sent to them under the warranty they had in effect at the time."  (Here's where I almost started crying because even the reps were running into the same walls that I was)

I'm pretty sure that he actually ended up hanging up on them and went to the back and then came back to the front.

"Here's the problem...we don't have any of those particular devices to swap them out with....are you happy with that phone?"

"No.  I hate it.  And it may just be this whole ordeal that has me hating it so much because I used to like it...but with all this nonsense, I hate it and I won't have another Blackberry again because even they wouldn't help me out."

So he went around to his computer.  "Okay then, what kind of phone do you want?"

"Well, it depends on the price.  Both of our families have iphones and love and recommend those, so that's really where I lean to, but I know there are a lot of droids out there that everyone likes.  But we just need something that we can afford and that will work properly.  We certainly can't afford to pay $350 a phone for two phones."

"We're going to do this as if it's July.  We're doing an upgrade with a 2 year contract renewal so you can get two new devices at the upgrade cost.  So, which one do you want to look at?"

So we went through prices and devices and went for the iPhone 4 (not the new 4S, we just needed good phones, not the latest and greatest.)

So we have working devices and I am DONE with all of that mess.  It took about 3 hours yesterday for the headache to fade and the tension to melt away.  It's almost like my body couldn't accept that I was done fighting that fight.  Who knows...I might have PTSD from all this.  :P

But I'm going to send a letter to the manager of that store when I find out who it is.  Jeffrey did everything a good employee should have done and then he did even more, whereas Sara did nothing.  At all.

But it's over and it's done with and I'm happy and thankful and relieved.  It's just so frustrating having to fight for service that--to be honest--as a customer, you're owed to begin with.

Okay.  And that's enough of that soapbox.  It's my Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Birthday all in one.

Hope the holidays were wonderful for each of you, too!
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.