I recently had an experience with the Cingular (I think they are now at&t) kiosk at the Paramus Park mall in NJ. I did not get ripped off because I know better, but realized that people who don't know better will. Therefore, I wanted to share. I was looking to purchase a phone at its retail price (listed at $299 online) from the kiosk because the was recently discontinued and can not be found in the actual AT&T stores. I had just bought one and was looking for one for a friend of mine. This kiosk carried the phone however, I immediatly noticed that it was priced about $50 higher than online. I knew this because I just purchased mine online and was fully aware of the 2 year contract price as well as the actual retail price. In addition, I noticed that the contract price was $324 and offered no rebate. I was turned off by this because I just purchased my phone for $199 with a $100 rebate. That is a HUGE price difference. Anyway, since I was purchasing the phone retail, I was hoping the man behind the counter would give me a discount. He told me he was getting a new phone this week and could sell me his under the table next week. After I refused that offer, he than gave me a higher price on the phone than he had a minute prior. I questioned why and he went to the computer and then gave me, yet another price. This time it was slightly lower, but not as low as his original quote. SOOOO, I left, because not only had he confused me, I felt that he had no idea what he was talking about.
I went back 4 days later, (I really wanted the phone and didn't want to wait for it to be shipped.) When I got there, I couldn't believe that the price had went up another $100 dollars ($454) I thought it may be a mistake, so questioned the guy explaining that I was there a few days before and the phone was cheaper. He insisted that I was not being truthful, but he would give me a discount and only charge me $400 for the phone. (still $50 higher than the price 4 days prior.) I pressed the issue, and after the woman he was helping walked away, (probably because I was expressing to him that he was ripping people off) he then pointed to another piece of paper and told me that was the phone price. That paper only listed the with contract price (which was $329 - remember I just purchased the same phone and plan online for $99.) He told me that if I wanted it retail I would have to pay $454. (didn't he just tell me $400?) So then I expressed that his contract price was out of line in comparison to the online price. He said he didn't care and that, that was the phone price. I expressed that he was ripping people off. He again said, "thats the price of the phone."
So to make a short point out of a long story...someone is going to shop at that kiosk and get ripped off big time. The kiosk doesn't have a name, it just has Cingular, AT&T signs, so I would imagine many would think they are dealing with the big company and trust the pricing. Ripping someone of by $50 or $60 is not nice, but $100 is a little out of line, $150 is dispicable, and $200 is enough to make me sick. In this story...with all the different price quotes...I would have been ripped off by each of those figures.
Oh, and I did get the phone. I ordered it from the company and actually paid only $199 for it. It was also the easiest phone transaction ever.
Cingular/AT&T company gets two thumbs up...they are great. That Paramus Park Mall kiosk however isn't even worth the energy it would take to lift my thumb.
Airmont, New York