This is my advice for anyone who is an AT&T customer or is thinking of becoming one…
Always use an AT&T corporate store when buying a phone or making any type of AT&T purchase. Not all AT&T stores are the same and if you happen to notice your in an AT&T Authorized reseller, run the other way. Why do I say that? Authorized resellers are independent operators and their standards are not up to the same standards as a true AT&T store.
How can you tell? Look for the Authorized reseller sign on their entrance. In effect these stores are not owned by AT&T and are really independent operators selling AT&T products. The stores are identical in every way. The service is definitely not the same! I can usually tell when I’m in an AT&T corporate store without even looking at the sign on the door. The authorized resellers standards are definitely lower than AT&T’s own store standards. I’ll explain…
My first dealings with AT&T were horrible. When I first signed up with AT&T about 4 years ago I went to Sunrise Mall in Massapequa Long Island. Here I went and bought the original Motorola razor phone with iTunes. Yes, I’ve come a long way. I went home with a new phone but my original phone number was ported over wrong.
The salesclerk who setup the phone said it would take 24 hours for my original number to port to my new phone. It did not. I then called AT&T customer service and found out the new phone was setup with a new phone number and my old number was never moved over to the new phone. AT&T customer service fixed that little problem right then and there but they failed to let me know that this phone was discontinued and the AT&T reseller was just clearing out old inventory at my expense. How did I know this?
When it came time for me to upgrade my phone a year later I happened to walk into an AT&T corporate owned store in Farmingdale LI. The AT&T employee asked me where did I get this old phone as they have not been able to sell this particular phone for over 2 years. I told him I got it in the mall. I was then given a little lesson on why I should always use an AT&T corporate store. They stand behind their products.
I was reminded again this week why you should always go to a corporate owned store. My car charger for the iPhone just went dead. It only cost $20 but since it was less than a year old I went back to an AT&T authorized reseller near my home to exchange it for a new one. I was told I couldn’t as they didn’t carry this type of charger.
I then showed the sales girl the AT&T logo branded on the charger and said it’s definitely carried by AT&T. The sales girl then asked when I purchased it. I explained I purchased this about 2 months ago (a big fat lie, more like almost a year). The salesgirl says if I had purchased this charger in the last 30 days she could exchange it for me.
Really now!?! That’s when I noticed the authorized reseller sign. I told the salesgirl I would take it to a real AT&T store where they would take it back. Have a nice day. :)
I went back to my original AT&T store in Farmingdale. The salesperson looked up my account, told me flat out I bought the charger last June and it was still under warranty. The salesperson took another charger off the shelf and gave it to me. That’s it. “Have a nice day!”
If you happen to be in Sunrise Mall, or any mall for that matter, and you are looking to purchase an AT&T phone, be advised there is now an AT&T Corp kiosk on the 2nd floor. The AT&T Authorized reseller is on the first store. Most malls have a reseller and a corporate store. Look for the latter.
Avoid the authorized resellers at all costs. Make your purchase at the Kiosk. Trust me. I have had nothing but good experiences with AT&T since I’ve used corporate stores.