iPhone customer service

AT&T and Apple customer service are like night and day – no surprise really, but it’s annoying.

Today I decided to visit the AT&T store where I originally purchased my iPhone and Belkin acrylic case (701 Market St., San Francisco), in the hopes of getting my little problem resolved.

I was friendly, and politely explained the matter to the AT&T store assistant manager (Jon Talavera), and asked for a full refund on the Belkin acrylic case and an exchange on my iPhone. He agreed, but on the condition that I pay a 10% restocking fee for exchanging my iPhone!

Are you kidding me?

I mentioned that I’m a long-time Apple customer, Apple shareholder, AT&T customer (2 wireless accounts), and tech blogger – that perhaps he would consider waiving the restocking fee. No, “it’s Apple policy.” – besides the store was out of 8 GB iPhone stock…

I tried reasoning with him a couple more times. Nothing – it was like talking to a wall. So I raised my voice just enough for the other shoppers to hear, and shared my displeasure with AT&T’s customer service :)

Then I went to the nearby Apple store. The Apple store manager listened to me, then immediately paired me up with a “genius”, who examined my iPhone. Ultimately, he could only exchange my iPhone for a 10% restocking fee :/

But he suggested that I get Belkin to pay the restocking fee, and that I submit my post to Digg! He asked that I come back to see him once I hear from Belkin (instead of dealing with AT&T)…

In the end, the result was the same, but Apple handled the matter a lot more professionally, despite AT&T (not Apple) selling me the iPhone and the Belkin acrylic case.

Update: After complaining in writing directly to AT&T CEO Stan Sigman & senior VP customer service Kathy Dowling, and getting a verbal apology from the AT&T store manager (Terence), my iPhone was exchanged for free :)

Even then, while exchanging my iPhone, several AT&T store employees (including one named Kevin) started openly dissing Apple and the iPhone – it was very unprofessional.


Belkin acrylic case scratches iPhone

Damn :/ The Belkin acrylic case I purchased to protect my iPhone is scratching my iPhone… Can you believe it?

It appears that some debris (?) is getting trapped between the Belkin acrylic case and my iPhone, and is leaving marks on the aluminum and plastic back cover, as well as the stainless steel screen bezel. The iPhone is a bit loose in the case, so maybe that’s the problem!

Before you think that I’m being careless:
– I always put my devices in cases (either acrylic or silicone) to protect them
– I always put my devices alone in my pockets (no coins, keys or other items)
– Even cheap (eBay special) acrylic cases have never scratched any of my devices before
– My pockets are clean of debris

I’ve contacted Apple and Belkin… I’ll keep you posted!

First update: Others are reporting the same problem – see the comments below.

Second update: AT&T refused to refund the Belkin acrylic case and to exchange my iPhone, despite selling me both…

Third update: Belkin agreed to give me a refund for the Belkin acrylic case and to cover the cost of exchanging my iPhone (10% restocking fee)!

Fourth update: My iPhone was exchanged for free :)

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