To Whom it may concern, I have been an AT&T Customer for nearly 30 years. A while back I received an email from AT&T suggesting I upgrade and extend my contract for two years as I normally have done for years…I did extensive research for two months to find a phone I would like and that would perform similarly to the Palm Pre Plus that I have been using for sometime. This phone has been a perfect device for my business and personal affairs. I finally decided on the Samsung Captivate Glide and ordered through ‘MY ATT’ online.
I signed up and did all the necessary agreement and service contract with specific plans, etc. Once my phone arrived in mail I began to follow instructions to transfer contacts and activate new phone until I realized that there was no instruction to transfer contacts other than ‘one at a time’ ( I had hundreds). At this point I called AT&T tech support and got an operator that seemed as though he was reading the same thing I had on my screen and I waited for him some twenty minutes to figure out what I figured out in five minutes myself. He advised me to go into the closest AT&T store location and that they would have to do this there.
This is where my big problems began. Once at this store I was greeted by the store manager and she motioned to an employee ‘Jarel’ (sp?) and said ‘contact transfer’ or something like that. For the next two hours I was in this store as and a guy named ‘Garrett’ (who chimed in to contribute his own particular style of discouragement) attempted to simply transfer my telephone contacts from my old device onto my new device. She was using a converter machine with different cables and then she would walk away and let Jarel work on it for a while…nobody really handling this with a solution but rather giving me various explanations or excuses as I heard them.
I could not and still cannot see why this would be such a mystery for a company that is marketing these phones, selling these phones, creating comparative views online and service, data and text plans…every imaginable phone combination (including mine!)of instructions to transfer contacts, etc. I would imagine that there would be some IT protocol for this type of situation as Palm Pre Plus is not exactly that antiquated of a phone.
I realized it was time for me to upgrade (even though this Palm is a fantastic device and works very efficiently doing things that some smart phones still do not do) and of course that is why I did! Stuck here in this Pasadena/ Colorado Blvd AT&T store I realized and knew ultimately that someone, somewhere would be able to handle this but that I was in the wrong place and/or at the wrong time. Eventually I was convinced by everyone that it was my fault for having such an unusual phone and that they had never experienced such a situation?!?
I know from reading that there are many thousands of customers with AT&T that use the Palm Pre and have or will need to have their contacts transferred at some point if they wish to upgrade…spend money on new phone and extend contract for two years like I did… once again. So, why did they give me this totally callous, irresponsible treatment and turning the whole situation around as if I was asking for too much and treating me as some sort of difficult customer? I really was not sure. It was a bit baffling to me. Normally when this type dynamic happens it is when someone is trying to take advantage and redirect away from a particular honest responsibility. I fell for it I guess … after all they said… they tried for all that time and made a suggestions that I owed them the consideration for this. OK fair enough.
I was convinced ultimately this Saturday evening by Jarel that I would be able to take my old phone home and connect it to my desktop and sync all my telephone numbers. He said that night my sim card was empty and that my contacts were on my phone. I thought that was strange. She seemed exquisite at making herself scarce at opportune moments. I shook hands with Jarel, thanked him and left the store and headed home to set out on the task of transferring all my contacts…at this point was beginning to worry me. I had many years of accumulated telephone numbers of all my customers, family members, employees, friends, local vendors and business that I use daily.
Once home I discovered that all of my telephone numbers were gone. It wasn’t long before I realized that the numbers must have been on the SIM card. The contacts that everyone at the store kept pointing out and had me go home with were only the synced contacts from my desktop already on my phone, most of which were only email adddresses. All my phone numbers had been erased. If they were aware of this then that would explain the strange behavior. If they were unaware then perhaps there would be a way to recover them. I was very concerned.
I could not imagine that they would not know they had erased my SIM card. It was too late, the store was closed when I called. I returned today (Sunday February 19, 2012). Having decided I was going to give everyone the benefit of the doubt I went in with an open mind and was only concerned with finding out if there was some way to recover these numbers as the alternative will be a long process of recovering them…and some I may not be able to get at all. In my reality I have to work come monday morning and this is going to create havoc. Having my own business is not having the dubious luxury of excuses, muddled smokescreens and discouragement while collecting a paycheck.
Almost as soon as I approached and her body language and manner in which she reacted was very telling that I was not going to get any help with this problem (as a reminder; a problem which occurred as a direct result of paying for goods and services, agreeing to a contract and following direction by AT&T personell to then thouroughly being abandoned in the lurch once things went awry) I still gave her the benefit of the doubt. I asked her if she could please relate to what I was experiencing and that it was my understanding that this whole transaction was marketed to me as a seamless transaction and now I am left hanging and having to deal with a mangaer taking this ‘personal’ as if it was about her.
I was appalled how much personal attention she seemed to be demanding and how unproffessional and irrespponsible this whole ordeal was. How did I get stuck in this situation? I got no resolve. Spent nearly an hour at the store arguing and of course Mr. Garrett was again pitching in his two cents only insofar as to offer more discouragement (help get me out of there) but no responsible ‘take care of business’ person could I find.
Except for the security guard, he seemed level headed and a straight shooter. really wished I could have done my business with him. I did notice that ‘Jarel’ was there in the store and the minute I walked in he disappeared in the back and when I asked for him said he was gone for the day. Another weird thing.
I left with the problem. I was hoping to find some efficient technical person that could perhaps convey what exactly had happened, maybe move forward with this whole thing in a responsible, productive way but instead I felt like I was dealing with a group of teenagers unable to confront problems and solve them without being sneaky and dishonest. All in all, as a paying loyal customer I was hoping to leave feeling a little better and confident about something through all this. Instead, I was distraught and angry.
I will proceed to see if I can hire a private technical person to look into this and If all else fails (and hopefully not) I will do the more inconvenient thing and return my phone, ask AT&T to cancel my contract on account of this breach and remain month to month as I was and keep my options open. Maybe this is a sign for a turning point for me to consider another carrier after all these years? I don’t know. All the folks at this store seemed as if they would be perfectly ok with that. Probably nobody would care. I must get back to my life and my work now, this is a costly and time consuming issue!
Are You Upset Or Frustrated At A Business?
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