AT&T: Being Robbed At Knifepoint Will Not Help You Qualify For The Cheaper iPhone

Reader Anthony was robbed at knifepoint by a jerk with a 10″ blade, but his real complaint is that he feels that AT&T is robbing him again. After he filed a police report and told AT&T that his new iPhone had been stolen, they told him that since he already bought an iPhone he no longer qualified for the subsidized price of $199.

Anthony writes:

My name is Anthony [redacted], and I was just robbed at knifepoint in Queens, NY, for my iPhone. I was walking home fairly late at night and a man walked up to me wielding a 10-inch or so blade and demanded my money and my iPhone.

I am writing you because after reporting the robbery to the police, I called AT&T – my service provider for 3 years – and asked if they could possibly work with the NYPD to track down my phone via the iPhone 3G’s GPS. They said it was not possible to track any closer than the closest cell tower if the iPhone’s functions were used, which kind of defeats the purpose of GPS in many ways. Given the Patriot Act and everything, I figured they can track down where we’re taking a piss at this point.

But the big problem came when we started talking about replacing my iPhone 3G. Now I was an early adopter of the original 8GB iPhone and I just purchased the iPhone 3G in July. So when I asked if there would be a free replacement or a discount of sorts, the woman at customer service responded that since I just purchased the iPhone 3G that I would have not qualify for the discounted $199 iPhone 3G and I would have to purchase the phone at the higher price point of $399.

So after being such a long time AT&T customer and supporter of Apple’s marquee product of the moment, I have been told that despite the fact that I was robbed by someone brandishing what was essentially a mini-machete I am now being robbed by AT&T.

I feel insulted as a customer, and appalled by the customer service at AT&T. This is beyond poor customer service; this is a lack of basic human compassion.

It’s a shame that you’re stuck in a 2-year contract because of a phone that you now no longer have. Ugh! AT&T is probably a dead end, but if you bought the phone with a credit card, you might want to call your credit card company. Many credit cards have 90-day “purchase assurance” or “purchase protection” programs that protect your recent purchases from loss, damage or theft.

Most people don’t think to call their credit card company when something like this happens, which is a shame because they can be very helpful, and certainly more pleasant to deal with than your cellphone company. Don’t delay, however, once the 90-days is over, so is the coverage.

(Photo: jetsetpress )

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.