Ivan M Cbw
Apple - AT&T's $200 Penalty for Getting Robbed
I had an iPhone 3G for two weeks. I was quite excited about it and really loved the only present I gave myself after my summer job. Then I was mugged on a subway platform. The guy pushed me into a fence as I was talking on the phone, grabbed it and fled. Now, AT&T wants me to pay $499 for a replacement iPhone 3G instead of $299 (the price I paid when I purchased the phone). A “$200 penalty” to teach me not to get robbed again! I am not an unreasonable person: if I had lost or damaged the phone, I would have paid the extra $200. But not when I was a victim of a crime and did not even have an option of purchasing insurance. Yes, they do not offer insurance for the iPhone 3G! It is not covered by my Renter’s Insurance and even if I wanted to cover it under a Personal Items policy, it couldn’t be done because I originally paid $299 for the phone. When I requested that my account be cancelled because I had come to AT&T for the iPhone 3G, I was informed that I need to pay an Early Termination Fee of $175. When I suggested that it had been less than 30 days since I had opened the account, it was explained to me that since I could not return the equipment (a no-brainer as it had been stolen) I had to pay the fee. To reimburse them for what???? The Terms of Service state that “The Early Termination Fee is not a penalty, but rather a charge to compensate us for your failure to satisfy the Service Commitment on which your rate plan is based.” However, the customer has the right to “terminate this Agreement within thirty (30) days after activating service without paying an Early Termination Fee.” And “If you exercise this option [canceling within 30 days of activation], you may be required to return devices and associated accessories purchased in connection with your Wireless Service Agreement.” According to AT&T “may” is now equivalent to “must.” In the end, apparently I have a choice between paying AT&T $175 to cancel the contract or $200 extra for a new iPhone 3G! What a sweet racket—your customer gets robbed and you get paid either way!!!
Stone Mountain, Georgia
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