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Customers forced to buy iPhone accessories

updated 02:10 pm EDT, Tue July 3, 2007

AT&T refunding

It appears that some customers who were forced to purchase iPhone accessories if they wanted to buy the device on launch day, June 29th, are now receiving refunds from AT&T. Gizmodo reports AT&T is explicitly stating that forced accessory purchase is not a company-wide policy and that that 'no one is required to buy accessories in order to get an iPhone.' The company is also reportedly taking disciplinary action against AT&T retail outlets that enforced the purchase requirement. Customers who were embroiled in the fiasco are encouraged to return to their local AT&T store and return any unwanted accessories.

Horror stories of the forced-purchase policy include a customer who was told the practice was "corporate policy" backed by a falsified printout, claims from AT&T representatives that Apple stores were sold out of the iPhone when they were not, and a 10 percent restocking fee for accessories as well as the iPhone.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. sixcolors

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    f****** AT&T

    Typical cell phone companies... I was hoping that Apple would roll their own network instead.

  1. SubPop

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    as much as I hate att

    ..This scam was perpetrated by the owners of the independent outlets and not AT&T. In fact, they violated an AT&T policy designed to prevent these antics.

  1. njfuzzy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Alas, wrong

    SubPop-- Unfortunately, I think you're incorrect. Only AT&T Corporate stores have the iPhone currently. Franchise stores won't get it for a while yet.

    These shenannigans were perpetrated by staff or managers, but at AT&T owned stores.

    Interestingly, I think it was equally local and selfish decisions that ruined my experience on launch day. The sales people at the AT&T store wanted to make their commissions so badly that they put everyone through a pre-authorization (presumably to tie the contract to a sales person), and wouldn't give a clue as to how many units, so the people in line would all order from the store (presumably for more commissions).

    Honestly, Apple should have taken even more control over this launch. My experience at an Apple store the next day took five minutes, and was much friendlier and low-pressure.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    CompUSA

    CompUSA tried to do the same thing to me with the original iMac. They were out of stock ... unless I purchased a service agreement.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    do the right thing

    AT&T should eat the cost of the accessories purchased at that/those store/s involved and demote the manager/s, whether each purchaser at the location/s was/were coerced or not.

    I can't imagine that they would loose more than a few thousand dollars at worst. It would certainly make a big difference in how those customers percieved their new telephony overlords.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Horror stories?

    Horror stories of the forced-purchase policy include a customer who was told the practice was "corporate policy" backed by a falsified printout, claims from AT&T representatives that Apple stores were sold out of the iPhone when they were not, and a 10 percent restocking fee for accessories as well as the iPhone.

    OMG! Those stories are horrific! I can't believe people weren't scared shitless after having to deal with stories that horrifying as being shown a fake printout, or demands for a restocking fee.

    And isn't the restocking fee standard for open items like this?

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: Horror stories?

    Yeah, but it could've been worse. Can you imagine getting in line at the AT&T store at 9am and realizing you're stuck in line for 9 hours next to testudo!

  1. deVilliers

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    unpleasant behaviour

    Many customers do not enjoy the process of a pressured sale. It is not difficult for an aggressive salesmen to bully consumers with the disreputable tactics on which others, above, have commented.

    It is not, that people may have been, what has been described vulgarly as, 'scared shitless'. However, when confronted with a salesmen with a seemingly official letter that bears a company logo, consumers may have felt pressured, bullied and harassed.

    It is quite right that AT&T have deprecated this undesirable practice. It is not unreasonable for others, also, to criticise it.

    de Villiers

    -------------------------------------- Horror stories? Horror stories of the forced-purchase policy include a customer who was told the practice was "corporate policy" backed by a falsified printout, claims from AT&T representatives that Apple stores were sold out of the iPhone when they were not, and a 10 percent restocking fee for accessories as well as the iPhone.

    OMG! Those stories are horrific! I can't believe people weren't scared shitless after having to deal with stories that horrifying as being shown a fake printout, or demands for a restocking fee.

    And isn't the restocking fee standard for open items like this?

    posted by testudo

  1. deVilliers

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    tense

    I apologise for the mixed tenses in the message above.

  1. flyjetboi

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Mislead by AT&T!!!!

    I stood in line for over an hour at AT&T store in Santa Ana, CA, only to find out afterwards that they only had 20 iPhones in stock. Unfortuanately, I was not one of the lucky few. We were told, while standing in line, that we can place our order online and the iPhones would be ship to our home by Monday (7/2) for next day delivery. While placing my order with the store clerk, he then proceded to tell me that I had to purchase two accessories, WTF?!?!. Since I was in a rush to get home that evening, I went ahead and purchased the two accessories, with disgust! I just didn't feel like yelling at the store clerk nor at the store manager. Just to retierate, I was told that my iPhone would be shipped by Fed-x priority delivery on Monday (7/2), well, it's Tuesday (7/3) and I still haven't received any confirmation by email that my iPhone has been shipped. I'm extremely disappointed in the way things were handled at that AT&T location (388 W. 4th St, Santa Ana, CA) and how I was mislead by store employees that I would have my iPhone by Tuesday. I left AT&T several years ago because of bad customer service. I just may consider it again.

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