AT&T Next trade in fiasco

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Jan 17, 2018
Hey everyone- First time caller here. I'm hoping I can get some tangible help with the cluster that my husband is currently dealing with. I will attempt to be concise, but bear with me as (a) it's a long story and (b) I'm very, very angry at the moment.

My husband ordered the iPhone X on preorder day through the AT&T Next plan. He was to send his iPhone 7+ back to AT&T for trade in by 12/11 to avoid being charged full retail price for the X. On 12/3, we mailed the phone. Tracking shows it being in AT&T's hands on 12/7. On 12/21, we received the phone back in the mail and a charge of $1149 was applied to his account.

On 1/2, he had a CS chat session wherein the agent said "Yes, we screwed up, just go take the 7+ to a store and we'll credit your account." On 1/9, he attempted to do just that and was told that they don't do that in store. Meanwhile, his account had been suspended and cancellation threatened for owing a past do balance of over $1300, which included the erroneous charge for the X.

Later on 1/9, I put a call in to CS attempting to resolve the situation. After 2+ hours on the phone, the representative was able to reinstate the account and stave off cancellation, generate another return label for the 7+, and generate a case which was to be examined by... someone. I was to receive a call back from whoever that someone was within 72 hours. As of today, I had not received a call back.

I placed yet another call to CS and after getting to someone who claimed he had no way to contact his supervisors was told that the case was "still being examined" and that the only way we would see the account credit would be if we put the 7+ in the mail to them again and they receive it. I asked for some written form of communication guaranteeing that (assuming the 7+ is in acceptable condition, which it is, but I digress), and was told that there is no way to provide written communication. From a telecom company. I find that difficult to believe.

Now, I understand that they need to have the trade in in order to provide the credit, but given the vast swaths of incompetence shown on their part up until this point, I am sure you can also understand my reluctance to take their word on it with no guarantees. We have done this already and it has been nothing but a nightmare to bring us right back round full circle to the place we started at back at the beginning of December. With no written admission of error barring the chat transcript from back on 1/2, my greatest fear is that we'll put this thing in the mail, never see it again and be out the old phone and carry the charge for the new one.

At this point, my inclination is to cancel the account (as well as our Directv), sell both phones, pay off the balance and be done with it, but I'm beyond angry at the mishandling of this situation from the get-go, the lack of communication both in-house and with us, and what exactly the case being "still being examined" means for our account. It seems to me if it was as simple as us returning the 7+ that the case would have been resolved and I would have heard back by now.

What do I do next?
Likes: AMA


Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
@Amyk I'd return it again... keep in mind if you cancel, you'll probably have cancellation fee and still be on the hook for any unpaid balances on the phones. In all probability, you're not going to make enough selling your phones to pay off AT&T and buy new ones for the next provider.
Jan 17, 2018
Hi John. So far as I am able to tell there are no fees associated with cancellation beyond paying off the balance due on the phone. We would be able to pay that balance off by selling both the 7+ and X quite easily, and can finance a new X on my Verizon plan no problem. I had just hoped to be able to keep my husband on his beloved grandfathered in unlimited data plan, and wanted to make sure I had explored all options for resolving this with AT&T before ending his time with them as a customer.
Likes: AMA
Feb 9, 2016
You cant arrange to drop it at an ATT store instead?

Drop it there, get a receipt from the store and let the store be liable after that.
Jan 17, 2018
ADM, we never received an explanation, only a "Oh yeah, we screwed up."
Where do I find the executive contact? The sticky in this forum only offers numbers I have already contacted.
Apr 10, 2017

Start with the first executive and that person only. Make your email polite and concise. Mention how you have always been happy to be an AT&T and Directv customer. Wait 1 week for a response. If no response or you don't get a satisfactory answer move up to the next person on the chain of command. Again, wait 1 week. Keep doing this until you get a satisfactory answer. Don't start with the CEO and don't email everyone at once. Good luck.

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York
3748F795-0891-4058-8934-E1D6A2C399FC.png If you could see the tracking, so could they. They had no answer as to why it was returned to you? Was it returned in the same box you mailed it or was it mailed back in a different box?

I agree with John- get it back in the mail ASAP and send THEM the tracking number so you can both see it being tracked.

Some of these stores are not actual authorized AT and T stores. I have to go 3 towns over to go to a direct ATand T store even though there are 2 in my town. Maybe that is the problem where you took it to.

If you go to this website:
And input your zip code it will tell you which stores you can use to drop off. The ones that say Store Pickup not available won’t take back your phone.

This is a picture of my area showing the closest stores to me dont offer pickup (or drop off)


Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
San Francisco
Oh dear, Amy, good ol' ATT, where their motto is "if it can get bolluxed up, we're the ones to do it better than anyone." It's almost impossible to comprehend how they've stayed in business all these years, through all the corporate name changes and all the early retirement bonuses which went to all the people who knew what they were doing.

I totally understand that you might not want to put the thing back in the system. I'd find a real ATT store (as Neil explains) and deal with someone at the top of the food chain so you can obtain a receipt that ATT now has the blessed thing in its possession.

I'm sure this situation seems impossible, but you can be a real star in letting your husband keep the features that he likes. I think it may take a little more patience (maybe a lot), but you communicate very clearly, so I think it's a matter of getting the 7 back into their system so those ding-a-lings can process something they understand. Good luck, and please keep us posted, this is a most interesting case.
Likes: Nancy and AMA