Guess what? The iPhone 3GS I just bought had a broken button

seanwes

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Feb 13, 2008
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#1
I get to the AT&T store early so I could have the best options, an I'm first in line. At 7am, they took the preorder customers in. (there were only 2 or 3) at first, the lady told us we'd have to wait until 9am, but after they took care of those first direct fulfillment orders, they started taking the rest of us in around 7:20, so that was really nice.

The whole ordeal went reletively smoothly, except for the confused rep who was telling me I had to pay $699 for my phone. I kept saying, no, I'm SIGNING a new contract. the $699 is for NO contract. Finally with the help of an assistant manager, we got things taken care of.

Well, after spending close to $800 in there, my fiancé and I leave with 2 white iPhones, a 32GB and a 16GB. Much to my dismay, once we arrive at our location, and I decided to play with my new toy a little more, I discover that the home button is broken! it only works about maybe 20% of the time, and when it does, it acts like it's being held down. (i.e. it keeps jumping to the home screen, and then spotlight, then home screen, then favorites, then voice control, over and over.) and if I try to turn it off, it takes a screenshot. And then, the other majority of the time, it did not work at all. I could not wake it up from sleeping with home button or anything.

I rush back to the AT&T store, only to find that all they have is three 32GB Blacks left. So begrudgingly, I take a black one, though I had my heart set on white. I'm out of town now, but once I'm back home I'll be able to exchange it. It's not a huge ordeal, but it's just frustrating.

Oh well, at least I have a working phone right now.

And yes, I did reset it multiple times, tried pressing it with more pressure, nothing. Voice control kept popping up on it's own, constantly. When I brought it back, the AT&T rep definitely confirmed it was a bad egg. He was certainly as surprised as I was. I've had bad experiences with refurbished models before, but this one was NEW. That just sucks, I'm sorry. Thanks for letting me vent, all.
 

JimD

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Dec 15, 2007
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#2
Much to my dismay, once we arrive at our location, and I decided to play with my new toy a little more, I discover that the home button is broken!
Maybe you got the one the guy dropped in that video! :laugh2::laugh2:

(as commented on here)
 

seanwes

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#3
This situation just gets better and better.

I've been calling AT&T stores to see if they're in stock, and they haven't been. But this time, I ask the rep a few more questions about my situation, and it turns out that I'm going to have to pay a 10% restocking fee on the $499 I already paid if I want to switch it out. After giving him more specific information about my particular situation, he said the only way I'm going to get an exception for the restocking fee to be waived would be to go back to the AT&T store that I bought it from.

Ok great. I was on a trip and out of town when I bought it. I guess I'm stuck with a black one. :(
 

cabinets

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#4
Black is better IMO.I had a white 3g, but the black seems more professional.
 

Get_Zwole

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#6
sucks man i hate that they do that crap. I like black better but would feel the same way if they made me take a white instead. sorry to hear about your situation.
 

seanwes

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#7
lol, this is just getting ridiculous.

I spoke to the guy at the AT&T store again on the phone, and he said since they don't have any in stock, I could pre-order it and pay another $499 up front, and when it comes in, I could exchange my black one and get my money back (minus the 10% restocking fee).

As much as I hated doing this, I decided I would just put it on the credit card, and then pay it off once the phone comes in, so I tell him that I will go ahead and pre-order my white 32gb. "Oh," he says, "you can only do that in the store, I can't take it over the phone." What the heck?

So a couple days later, I go to the AT&T store, and I talk to a lady there, and tell her my situation and explain what the other rep told me. She said they cannot do a pre-order unless I am starting new service or adding a line, not for an exchange. She said there's no option for that when they file a direct fulfillment order, they can only choose new service or added line.

Which means my only options are to wait and hope that AT&T stores get more phones in stock before the 18th of July (the end of my 30 days to return), or bring it to Apple and get a refurbished phone in a white box.

I paid $500, and I have to go through all this crap because I want a white phone?
 

Europa

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#8
Why are you sure it will be a refurb? It's so close to the release date, that they are probably giving out new ones. Even if it is a refurb, I'd go with that option. Refurb's are just as good.
 

seanwes

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#9
Why are you sure it will be a refurb? It's so close to the release date, that they are probably giving out new ones. Even if it is a refurb, I'd go with that option. Refurb's are just as good.
You're correct, I'm not sure, but it is a possibility. And I've gotten a couple bad refurbs in a few of my swap outs. Of course, they did switch those out too. Maybe you're right.

Will I need to return the box? Or do I just bring it in and they just swap out the phone?


edit:
oh wait, that would be weird for me to keep the black box and have a white iPhone. I guess I bring it all back it?
 

Europa

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#10
I haven't done it before, but I think I'd bring everything just in case.
 

seanwes

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#11
Well, I just setup an appointment for tomorrow. Now I have to restore it again lol.
 

dturner

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#12
I would think your odds are at least 80-20 on getting a new phone instead of a refurb. Really can't imagine too many of those out there yet.
 

seanwes

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#13
I would think your odds are at least 80-20 on getting a new phone instead of a refurb. Really can't imagine too many of those out there yet.
Really hoping so. I guess I was being picky about spending $499 and not getting an original box. It just helps for resale value, but whatever.
 

seanwes

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#14
The Hell-ish Nightmare Continues

Ok, so my Apple Genius Bar appointment was this morning. I go in, and talk to the "genius", explain my situation, he gets a manager out, the manager explains that because I bought the phone through AT&T, it's through their Point Of Sale, meaning if I want an exchange, I have to go through them. I told him that I knew this, but they are out of stock, and are not able to order one for me for exchange, and sent me here. He said they can only give me a replacement under my warranty, but that would have to be for exactly the phone that I have. Like for like. Meaning, they could not give me a white phone under my warranty, because I have the black one.

He then proceeded to tell me to go to an AT&T store and have it exchanged there. I said no AT&T store in San Antonio or New Braunfels has them in stock. He said they will order it for me. I said that's what a rep told me, but when I went into the store, the lady told me that they could not do that. The Apple manager insisted the have to. So I said there's nothing you can do for me? He said no.

Next stop: another AT&T store. I go in, a rep asks how he can help me. I chuckle, and ask if he wants the short or long version. He says short, but I eventually end up giving the whole deal. He says they are not able to order me a phone for exchange, the only options they have on the system are new line or new service. I said can you ask someone else? He gets an assistant manager out. She says the same thing. I said I just came from an Apple store, and the manager there told me that you guys will do it. She says, well they don't use our system, so they don't realize that we do not have that option, and because of the contract we have with Apple, we are not able to make any exceptions to that rule, even managers.

I said can't I just pay you guys another $500 up front to order it for me and then exchange mine when it comes in minus the restocking fee? He said no, we can't do that unless we did a reversal upgrade in which case I'd have to return my black iPhone right now, and they'd order a replacement. I said I don't want to go without my iPhone. He said normally we could issue you a rental until it comes in, but I don't think we have any phones, unless you want to buy a GoPhone. I said no, no, I don't want to be without an iPhone. I said is there any way for me to not be without my iPhone and get this replaced? He was quiet for awhile, and then said I can't think of any way.

The lady (assistant manager) said you could just keep the black phone, it would be a lot easier. At this point I just started laughing. This is just ridiculous. I said I waited in line on the launch day, and was first in line, to get a White 32GB 3GS. I did get that phone. The phone was broken. They only had black ones to replace it with, but assured me that I could switch it out within the 30 days.

The rep said it's unfortunate, and I'm sorry you were misinformed. I wish the guys at the AT&T store you bought it from had taken more time to look over the situation, I think they were not completely informed.


This guy is not offering me any solutions. Finally I actually came up with the final solution. I told him I was willing to wait however many weeks or months it would take for them to get the phone physically in stock, but the thing is, my 30 days end on the 18th of this month, and you are unable to guarantee me that you will have a shipment by then. He said that's correct. I said well can't you extend my 30 days? He said let me ask the manager. A few minutes later he came back with the manager and said yes, we can do that. I said what if you still don't have it in stock after the extension? The manager said we won't put a time limit on it.

So I essentially got an indefinite extension to my 30 days until they get the phone in stock. At that point, I can come in and and exchange the black phone for the white one I should have had in the first place. And it will be brand new, in it's original box and everything. All of this, of course, minus the restocking fee. He said he'll see what he can do about having that waived. At this point, I just said that's fine, just do what you can. He gave me his card with a cell phone number that I could call or text to find out when they're in stock.

*heavy sigh*
 

Mr5150

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#15
You should just keep the black phone, they're better. :p
 

Joon

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#16
I bought my 3G white iPhone from the AT&T. I decided a day later I wanted black. I returned it to AT&T and it was a pain. I turned around and got the black one from Apple. Things went much much easier when I bought it from Apple. I learned my lesson the first time. Buy Apple products from Apple. That is just my motto.
 

ZipZap

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Dec 15, 2007
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#17
If the first ATT store could do the switch to Black, then any ATT store can do it in any direction.

They just don't want to because of the limited supply.

Locate & call the AT&T corporate offices and demand to speak with executive customer service
 

The Apple

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#18
I buy my phones from AT&T. When service situations arise, I contact Apple and they take care of my issues.
 

seanwes

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#19
If the first ATT store could do the switch to Black, then any ATT store can do it in any direction.

They just don't want to because of the limited supply.

Locate & call the AT&T corporate offices and demand to speak with executive customer service

They are willing to swap it for a white one, the problem was, they had none in stock, and had an issue with doing a direct fulfillment order for an exchange. It's not going to be a problem for them to swap it once they have them physically in stock. I was just afraid that it might take longer than my 30 days for them to get the white ones in stock, so I had them extend it.

Just gotta wait now.
 

seanwes

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#20
Happy Ending

My AT&T store just got a shipment in today finally! I texted the rep I'd been in contact with this morning, and he said they still didn't have any in. But a few hours later he texted me and said the store got 2 White 32GB 3GS iPhones! He said he'd try to hold them for me.

So finally after almost a month's wait, I went in and easily got the black phone swapped out for my white one now that they had them physically in stock.

I was expecting to pay about $50 (the 10% restocking fee I'd been quoted), but after he rung everything up he said it was 63. I was thinking 63?! Seriously? I guess there must be extra fees on top of that, but that sure is lame! I was all bummed, but was going to pay it any way because I was tired of messing with all this, and then I realized he said said $0.63! I said "Oh, it's $0.63?" And he said, "Yes sir, we'll be crediting your account with $0.63." I said that's great! So I don't have to pay a restocking fee? Are you waiving that? He said "You've been through enough hell with this already."


Woot! :D:laugh2:
 
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