April has always been pleased with AT&T’s customer service, but a recent experience delighted her so much that she just had to write to us and share the love. She upgraded to the Samsung Galaxy S3 from an iPhone 4S, and was very pleased with the new device, finding it vastly superior to the iPhone. One thing that the Galaxy isn’t better at, though, was staying out of her toilet. Her phone went “splash,” and she didn’t have $600 lying around to replace it. So she wrote to a selection of AT&T executives and made her case.
Here’s her story:
AT&T has always been high on my list of companies that offer good customer service. I have never had a problem with them, and they’ve always been more than reasonable with me. They’ve given me credits for both deserved, and probably undeserved issues, they’ve been quite helpful throughout the years, and I’ve always had good phone service & whatnot. So, I’ve never had many complaints with them (other than the fact that they no longer offer an unlimited data plan).
I fell in love with my new phone right away. I couldn’t put it down. I spent hours every day customizing it, playing with all the new, awesome features, etc.
Then, after about 7 days of my torrid affair with the Galaxy S3, it came to a screeching halt, when my phone (which was nestled safely in my robe pocket… or so I thought), came flying out of that pocket as if it had grown some kind of consciousness, and landed itself right in the toilet (a very *clean* toilet, I might add… for the record). Long story short, I immediately disassembled the phone, and my boyfriend used the vacuum trick to such all the water out of every port. Shockingly, EVERYTHING works on the phone… except the touch screen. Usually, you’re lucky to have anything work at all, or to have a screen that doesn’t flash technicolored reminders of your clumsiness at a constant rate.
Nope… the phone’s screen is just as gorgeous as day one, the buttons work, the SIM card works, the voice commands all work (which allows you to operate A LOT of features in the phone)…. but the touch screen doesn’t, and that is a deal breaker. I was heartbroken…
I, of course, called AT&T’s regular customer service, simply to go through the motions of going through the proper channels before escalating it. As expected, they couldn’t help me. A liquid damaged phone is an utterly worthless phone. There was nothing they could do. They were all very nice, professional and sympathetic, though, which I can appreciate.
So, last night, I pulled the “email the CEO” trick, and composed a well written email to the CEO and VP’s. I explained what happened, I explained what a great customer I’ve been since 2005, and how many customers I’ve brought to AT&T throughout the years, etc. In hindsight, I probably could have just stuck with that level of information and they still would’ve resolved it, but I wanted to be sure to leave no room for doubt. So, I was sure to throw in a paragraph about my inability to take a total loss on this phone.
I would not only be losing a fantastic $600 phone, I would have wasted a $36 upgrade fee, and the actual, much anticipated upgrade itself. I’d have to wait another 18 months for the next upgrade. SO brutal. So, I explained to them that, since I cannot take a total loss on this, if they cannot help me, I would have no choice but to look at moving to Sprint. With Sprint, I could take advantage of their buy back program, which would award me $90 for my iPhone, and with a new 2-year contract, the Galaxy S3 is $200… meaning I could get another Galaxy S3 for about $110, PLUS I could get unlimited data.
I also made a point to acknowledge that I know this was 100% my fault, and that if they chose not to help me, I still wouldn’t trash them to anyone.. but if they DID do this for me, I would certainly sing their praises to the world. So, here I am doing just that.
First thing this morning, I received a phone call, and a follow up email from AT&T letting me know that they will be happy to replace my Galaxy S3 for me. Not only that, but they offered to replace my SD card if it was damaged from the water, AND they FedEx overnighted it, meaning it will be here Wednesday. They went WAY above and beyond what I expected. I am beyond thrilled and excited that I don’t have to take this major loss on this brand new phone, and AT&T has just secured a customer for life with me.
I hope this article can help others to resolve their issues in the future. You should always follow the proper channels (i.e., call customer service, ask to speak with a supervisor or 2, and THEN take it to the executives), but both times I have attempted this method, it worked to my favor tremendously (the first time was with Office Depot, and I got a free $1,000 laptop out of it). I originally got the idea to email the executives from this website! It was the best tip I’ve ever read.
We’re glad to hear that the executive e-mail carpet bomb worked. The secrets to April’s success? She emphasized her loyalty to AT&T over the years, and didn’t demand a new phone.