AT&T Turns iPhone Exchange Into Customer Nightmare?

If Casey saw some bad experiences at the Apple Store, these poor people's experience can only be described as horrendous. Short version? Lady gets defective iPhone 3G, brings it back to Apple, Apple drops it, Apple tries to give her a new one, AT&T says sorry, nope, no activation for you! Apple ends up eating the price difference (good on Apple, boo hiss to AT&T), AT&T pockets the ill-gotten gain.

And telco's wonder why they routinely bottom out the customer satisfaction charts?

Check out the whole sad, crazy tale over at the Consumerist...

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts



← Previously

Updated Again! App Store Redux: 10 Million Downloaded, but Are they Well Coded?

Next up →

Joz Speaks! iPhone 3G Cut-and-Paste, Turn-by-Turn, and Office Suites?

Reader comments

AT&T Turns iPhone Exchange Into Customer Nightmare?


I think this is some what Apple employee's fault. I had to exchange my iPhone 3G and that was not what happened. Apple stores get a shipment of replacement phones for exchanges only. They come in a little white box with the phone only, no accessories. I think this Apple employee tried to do a return on the old phone then rang her up for a new one. By doing that, she would need to sign a new contract as AT&T said you can't buy the phone without signing a new contract. So if she went to the Genius Bar and had them look at it then they will do an even swap.

Well, I hope my experience isn't as bad as the story.
I have an appointment at my local Apple store for my BRICKED iPhone 3G.
-I've turned it off/on.
-Tried the reset with the Lock and Home button holding.
-Connected it to PC but iTunes just won't connect to it.
...Come on Apple store, don't fail me!

Wow... I don't blame AT&T, they have a solid company and they have been good to me. (^^ AT&T Employee, I'm brainwashed to say it...) But, really, this is pretty freakin ridiculous. Just plain bad customer service from that store.

This is just one reason I won't go with ATT. My youngest son and younger brother went with ATT about the time of the first iPhone roll-out and had nothing but troubles. Maybe it was the local store, I am not sure, but it is too bad that Apple tied their cart to ATT for five years, at least that is what I was told at the ATT store, they had the first iPhone for five years. Now that Verizon and Alltel have joined forces, maybe they can get in the race as well. In the meantime the Blackberry will have to do.

So AT&T should subsidize 2 phones because apple dropped the ball?
I have had AT&T for 8 years now. No problems. I don't understand how all these other people get it so wrong.

@Whirlwind: Kinda hard for AT&T/Apple to have the first iPhone marriage for "five years", considering the iPhone first came out last summer (2007). You may want to check yer facts before putting your opinion on "blast".
I've had a great experience with both AT&T and Apple with the legacy iPhone. I'm sure this case is the exception and not the rule.