People's Court: AT&T Employee Scams Money from iPhone Buyers, or Guy Gets Screwed By Co-Worker?

One of my readers sent me the following story. You be the judge as to the true guilty party.

AT&T billed me $667.91 with no explanation of the charges on the phone bill. When I called them they said that it was a charge for my phone because the credit card charges had been disputed by the person that purchased the phone. I told them that I had purchased the phone legally from a co-worker they did not care. They have refused to give me any details on the charges. They even refused to do any investigation into their facts to make sure that I do owe the money. They finally, after several hours agreed to investigate it but still will not tell me much. What I have been told as of now is; the phone was charged with an American Express card, the phone was shipped but not to the address the credit card was registered to. They also tell me that no receipt was requested for the phone upon delivery. (I find this very strange. You would not send out a phone worth more than $600 and not ask for a signature of the recipient). They cannot explain how I ended up with the phone. They said that they are not concerned with that. They have also told me that the charge was put on my account by an AT&T store but when asked which one they refused to tell me. I also know that several employees at the Burbank store, including the one that sold the phone to my co-worker, have been fired for “questionable actions”. I said to them “If this phone is stolen than call the police and I can take care of it from there.” (Another strange action, if it was stolen the first thing you do is get a police report). I guess they don’t want anyone looking too deep into their actions. They said they would not make any call but if I do not pay it they would take me to court for it. It seems strange that they seem to only go after me when they even talked to the person that sold it to me who told them that he was the one that bought it from the Burbank store. If it was really stolen as they claim than why did not try to get my co-worker to pay for it. This whole thing stinks of a scam by AT&T to make up money that a dishonest employee took.

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People's Court: AT&T Employee Scams Money from iPhone Buyers, or Guy Gets Screwed By Co-Worker?

14 Comments

Uhhh... that's what you get when you buy expensive things from shady people? How is it AT&T's fault that this idiot bought an iPhone off of the back of a truck? Hey buddy, you lose, get over it.

People’s Court: AT&T Employee Scams Money from iPhone Buyers, or Guy Gets Screwed By Co-Worker?
Posted by Kent Pribbernow on October 17th, 2007
One of my readers sent me the following story. You be the judge as to the true guilty party.
AT&T billed me $667.91 with no explanation of the charges on the phone bill. When I called them they said that it was a charge for my phone because the credit card charges had been disputed by the person that purchased the phone.
I told them that I had purchased the phone legally from a co-worker they did not care. They have refused to give me any details on the charges. They even refused to do any investigation into their facts to make sure that I do owe the money. They finally, after several hours agreed to investigate it but still will not tell me much. What I have been told as of now is; the phone was charged with an American Express card, the phone was shipped but not to the address the credit card was registered to. They also tell me that no receipt was requested for the phone upon delivery. (I find this very strange. You would not send out a phone worth more than $600 and not ask for a signature of the recipient). They cannot explain how I ended up with the phone. They said that they are not concerned with that. They have also told me that the charge was put on my account by an AT&T store but when asked which one they refused to tell me.
I also know that several employees at the Burbank store, including the one that sold the phone to my co-worker, have been fired for “questionable actions”.
I said to them “If this phone is stolen than call the police and I can take care of it from there.” (Another strange action, if it was stolen the first thing you do is get a police report). I guess they don’t want anyone looking too deep into their actions. They said they would not make any call but if I do not pay it they would take me to court for it. It seems strange that they seem to only go after me when they even talked to the person that sold it to me who told them that he was the one that bought it from the Burbank store. If it was really stolen as they claim than why did not try to get my co-worker to pay for it.
This whole thing stinks of a scam by AT&T to make up money that a dishonest employee took.
The Ranting By: JJBERTRAMIV
I should mention your story sounds very familiar to a scene I have experienced, encountered, and lived (or survived I should say) personally. I’m an eBay veteran of seven years. I have seen nearly every scam out there. FYI stay away from all forms of Nigerian business transactions. I commiserate with any honest Nigerian’s out there because anyone who is educated bout the game knows not to conduct business with anyone located within Nigeria due to the prevalence of fraud and scams.
Before I offer up my opinion and break it down for you I should mention that your story is a bit confusing (contradicting actually), I imagine that is tied to the fact that you most likely wrote your post out of frustration and while upset. Please revisit (edit/repost) your story, the vital facts that may make or break your case in the following two quotes are inconsistent of one another.
"The phone was charged with an American Express card, the phone was shipped but not to the address the credit card was registered to. They also tell me that no receipt was requested for the phone upon delivery. (I find this very strange. You would not send out a phone worth more than $600 and not ask for a signature of the recipient)."
Followed by…
"It seems strange that they seem to only go after me when they even talked to the person that sold it to me who told them that he was the one that bought it from the Burbank store."
So did he "Purchase" the iPhone from Apple's online store and have it shipped OR did he "Purchase" the iPhone from an Apple or AT&T store (walk in)?
Until all the facts are presented in a logical order I am confidently unwilling to make a quick judgment on who is in the wrong, and I suspect AT&T is taking the same route.
Following your cleaned up version of events I would be more than happy to share my opinion on what really went down here. I imagine that would hopefully meet your expectations, unfortunately for you a little thing called “Accountability” still does exist (well for some of us it does at least, ahem). Somewhere in fine print you may have legally agreed to more than you are even aware of, I urge you to begin reading through anything you may have already signed (or virtually signed by scrolling to the bottom of a window and clicking on the agree button) this includes but is not limited to: The Terms of Agreement, or even a basic service contract. Because of the partnership between Apple & AT&T on the iPhone I’d imagine it’s nearly twice as difficult to digest.
There are some other crucial details that you neglected to divulge like..... The amount you paid for the iPhone? Do you have the Receipt? (let's face it if your "co-worker" legitimately purchased to resell it he obviously had intensions of profiting we can assume, regardless to whom he ultimately sold it to I see NO REASON whatsoever to NOT include the original receipt on his behalf and in fact if he did purchase it with the intentions of reselling it he would have also asked for a Gift Receipt at time of purchase.
I am going to agree to disagree with your last line "This whole thing stinks of a scam by AT&T to make up money that a dishonest employee took." I do Agree that "This whole thing stinks of a scam" but the "by AT&T to make up money that a dishonest employee took." I don't think so.
You may want to step back and re evaluate your judgment(s) and watch the company you keep (your "co-worker"), don't get me wrong AT&T I'm sure has made more off of billing "errors" than they have lost over the years but I really don't think they are attempting to collect their losses from an isolated internal incident(s) via your monthly bill (account), silly goose that's what criminal prosecution and civil court are for.
You can’t blame corporate America for making as much money as we facilitate them to, do your math and Please People step outta the box, take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
“Guns don’t kill people, People kill people” – unknown.
Definition of the word Corporation (Eng.) – “2: a body formed and authorized by law to act as a single person although constituted by one or more persons and legally endowed with various rights and duties including the capacity of succession” source: Merriam-Webster online.
Note keywords: authorized by law & succession.
I do realize this most likely is not what you were hopping to hear right now. but I am trying to offer you more than a generic heedless line or two like … “Dude that sucks” or “AT&T are a bunch of greedy b*tches.”
Please note that the preceding quotes are fictitious examples of quotes found on “other” popular Apple related blogs.
I decided long ago, (pre iPhone era) that I didn’t want to participate on Apple’s Blog where they’re infamous for the filtering (censoring if you want to be a d*ck about it) of anything that isn’t straight from the deep imagination of one of their faithfully obedient die hard Pro-Apple Emo Fan Boys.
That does not however make me any less of a fan of Apple’s products; it’s just the weirdo’s in their marketing campaigns that I can’t relate to, I can’t even relate to the people that they relate to. You know the ones where they are all wearing clothes that are three sizes to small and the males sport more hair than Barbara Walters and scrawnier biceps than Brittany Spears (before she was a Mommy).
No wonder they are so Emo, please stop it Steve. You make excellent products that sell themselves; we don’t need the new age / trendy / metro sexual lifestyle as well as well.
Anyways…
I would just like to say Thank You Kent for all hard work and time you have put into this site, I am on theiPhoneblog daily although I must admit this is my first post.
Sure hope you can appreciate my professional yet questionable tone, value my knowledge & experience (or lack there of), and adore my never ending satirical humor proven to stress all boundaries while promising to make you love me. Or at least entertain (tolerate) my writing enough to let it reside on your blog from time to time if not crave for more.
I should mention that I am far from a racist, and if I have offended anyone out there I dare you to sell an item online to a bidder from Nigeria and if you are Nigerian and you are offended Good, I bet if all the honest Nigerians would do the right thing and start prosecuting all the dishonest ones than they would show the world that there is an actual effort being made. Until then it is unsafe to conduct business with anyone residing there, this has nothing to do with color so please nobody take it there!
If nothing else maybe I would get a few less emails a day regarding the "son on a mission trip in Nigeria that they want to buy my item for", or maybe a few less fraudulent PayPal (look alike, VERY poor look alike) "Payment has been sent" emails asking you to please ship out the item immediately and to respond with the tracking number to allow the funds clear to your account, people PayPal is NOT an Escrow service and it never has been one.
LOL, do people really go run and ship high ticket items (or any items for that matter) based off of an email they received?
Sadly apparently so, otherwise the criminals would move on to some other scam that brings in money. These must be the same geniuses that made it to the Polls in masses last Presidential election; in fact I’m willing to bet it’s those same geniuses with those W04 stickers still on their pickups.
Sadly I think they feel that makes them a great American, because the news tells them so every evening, it isn’t funny when a man who can’t cannot speak for five minutes without stumbling on his own words is the President (and that is one of his best quality’s making people laugh).
People PLEASE stop being so ignorant, you’re f*cking it up for the rest of us!

JJBERTAMADWINJKLLL whatever your nick is.... Is there a cliff notes version of your screenname? Its so long and confusing I didn't even get to the doctoral thesis you posted below it....

let's pass the hat for this guy so that he can take a class on how to write. Yes, presentation does matter. I'm not sure what happened here, but if his conversations with AT&T are anything like his post, I'm sure they thought he was nuts.

Kent that was painful to read.. please "pribbernowerize" such articles next time.
Also, I am hurt by the use of such low qualities images.. come on now Kent, its not hard to get a good HQ of a similar looking face or even for you to photoshop one for us!

ok this seems a little funny. I work at a at&t corporate retail store, and when a customer comes in to pay for a iPhone, we give it to them then. so how can you friend buy a iPhone with a credit card at this store, and then apple ships you the phone? I dont know of any customer that pays me 500 bucks for a iPhone and will accept that i have to mail it to you in a few weeks. thats funny! lets tell the whole store before you try bashing at&t buddy.

i have a message for everyone who has been scam by the at&t company into a dead lock of $30 dollars data plan that as a customer you are entirely right to decide to removed from your plan. recently i have a head-on with the company about my data plan that is costly and i would like to have it remove, from my monthly plan, and everytime i has call to do that they alway seem to come up with a new policy to keep me lock onto to the expensive plan every months. it been 4 month since i have open a services with AT&T, and i still have to paid a total of 150 dollars for the data plan that i don't really need and never use it. first they said that it is because i buy the iphone, but would that just like any other phone that at&t is offering, so why can i remove the data plan that i don't needed. Then i have to change phone, and so i when and bought another phone, but when i call into change the phone and have the data plan removed then they refused to let me do just that, because they said i have an option to return the product within 30 days and it would be cancel the services and the data plan, now that would be cancel the service that i don't wanted to cancel. so what i am saying is if anyone out there who have the same problem happen to them and cost them alot of money for the entrapment and a scam method that At&t is using to lure us into their trap, and make a believe that purchased the iphone will be different then other phone that they have in their store and turn around to charge use an expensive plan, then we should united and let our voices be heard and stop these corporate scam that cost us thousand of dollars. if there are enough of people who has the same problem then we could file a class action lawsuit and make these people paid for their scheme, that they be able to get away from the law and for us who have been taken under because of scam!!!

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I believe most sites are shady but there are some that are credible. I'm registered on three real sites and its a pretty steady income. You're not really risking much so I'd advise you to try it out.