AT&T Credits New Customer's $200 T-Mobile ETF Just To Be Nice

Mike shared with Consumerist a story that is almost baffling for many reasons. First, he writes that T-Mobile charged his wife a $200 ETF when there were only 90 days left on her contract. But then a delightful, wonderful AT&T customer service rep offered a $200 credit for AT&T service–effectively paying her T-Mobile ETF and earning themselves two delighted customers in the process.

I’ve been with AT&T for 4 years (and a few iPhones) and in November ’09, my wife finally decided she wanted an iPhone as well. She was with T-Mobile with a contract ending in February ’10. As any good tech-loving husband would, I went right to the AT&T store, had her number ported, bought a new iPhone and started a family plan with AT&T – effectively saving us $30/month.

My wife called T-Mobile to see what she owed as a final payment and she was told by the customer service rep that it looked like she was all paid up for her contract and she was good to go. She was shocked, as was I, but we assumed that since her contract had only 3 months left, there wasn’t going to be an ETF and that was that.

And then the T-Mobile bill arrived a few weeks ago. $200.00 ETF plus $48.00 in service fees. Ouch.

My wife called T-Mobile and asked why, if she had less that 90 days left on her contract was she paying a $200.00 ETF… blah, blah, blah, no prior notice, blah, blah, older contract, blah, you owe us $248.00. UNLESS, she wanted to leave AT&T, port her number back to T-Mobile for the duration of her contract and fulfill said contract. She would only have to pay a reconnection fee, her previous balance and any fees to bring her account up to date and then finish out her contract – total cost would be about the same as paying the ETF and balance.

I called AT&T customer service to find out what my wife’s ETF would be on THEIR end – The very personable rep told me it would total $168.00, plus a reconnection fee when she came back after February. After a bit of discussion, the rep thought for a moment and asked if she could place me on hold. After a few minutes, she came back on the line and told me that AT&T was going to credit my account $200.00 to offset the T-Mobile ETF. Instead of putting us through all the porting back and forth and the considerable fees on both ends, AT&T offered to pay T-Mobile’s ETF by crediting our account.

I was speechless to say the least.

I know AT&T gets knocked for service and speed and ‘big corporation’ issues all the time, but I thought I’d let you know that they still seem to care about their customers from a consumer service point of view. And back that caring up with cold-hard cash.

I’ll be an AT&T customer for a good long while now. (Until Apple decides to go with another carrier of course).