Report: #1466732

Complaint Review: SAMSUNG and AT&T -

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  • Reported By: Joseph — SCOTTSDALE United States
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  • SAMSUNG and AT&T United States


*Author of original report: It's the end of November 2018 and 37-days later, still no $450 refund on my AMEX as Samsung promised.

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With the big commercial push by Samsung to have people trade in their Galaxy cellphones toward the purchase of the new Note 9, I took the bait. Needing a bigger screen made sense given my dependence on reading glasses. So I visited AT&T’s local corporate store and found out that they were only willing to credit me with $400 toward that purchase, while Samsung offered $450 for the same phone in unlocked mode. Under his breath, the AT&T rep thought I should go for the Samsung deal to save $50. So I ordered my Note 9, sent my Galaxy8+ in to Samsung, and had it in 3 days. After restoring my data, I was initially impressed, but then discovered that this unlocked version, typically more desirable from a resale perspective, presented me with an unresolvable problem:

NO Wi-Fi Calling!

Where I live, cell-tower coverage is bad. I rely on Wi-Fi calling, more so now than ever before, as AT&T had discontinued support last year for the AT&T Microcell which I had in my home. So placing a call was fraught with disconnections and drop-outs on this brand new Note 9! I called Samsung and arranged to return the phone. They told me that in just a few days, I’d have the full credit on my account and would be able to order the AT&T locked Note 9. The problem was, I believed them...and I was being lied to!

After patiently waiting a week, I called Samsung only to hear that I should continue to wait for the email telling me to re-order. A few days later, I again called and got the same advice from Samsung’s E-commerce reps. Finally, after about 10-days, I called and asked for a supervisor, who informed me that she didn’t know who told me I’d be getting credit in under 10-14 days, but Samsung never does exchanges, and that credit can take up to a month. She apologized, telling me that I would likely be without a cellphone for the better part of a month. She assured me that the way Samsung’s returns are set up, credit requests go through many tiers of back-office checks and take a lot of time to complete. I told her to get her supervisor on the phone. She refused and assured me that they did not take customer calls at that level.

After 70-minutes of dealing with this outrage, I was told to re-order the phone, pay for it in full, and that I would be provided with a credit card refund and that my first purchase transaction would also be credited to my credit card, and a $450 trade-in credit would be applied later by the same back-office. And that the credits could take as long as a month to appear.

So where is the rip-off? AT&T informed me after this calamity that they refrain from providing certain services like Wi-Fi calling on unlocked phones. If you want to avoid losing these services, you’ll kneel at the altar of an AT&T locked phone, and you’ll get $50.00 less credit on your traded-in Galaxy product. AT&T does not offer this information up front. They appear to relish in the inconvenience an AT&T customer suffers when they go to the manufacturer to buy their Galaxy product. AT&T looks down the end of their corporate noses at such traitorous purchases.

And Samsung’s trade-in policies and excessive times for credit card refunds seem designed to discourage returns. Furthermore, Samsung out-sources their e-commerce support to Manila and Mumbai (Bombay). They are poorly-trained or poorly in-serviced employees who make up their own rules and do not know or even care about the proper procedures. You are nothing more than a bothersome long-distance phone call to them.

If you get sucked in on any smartphone trade-in or trade-up deal, be VERY careful and know their policies before expecting any meaningful assistance from your carrier or the phone manufacturer. They will handle your problems at arm’s length and leave your communication needs to languish in a maelstrom for weeks!

The $50 I saved going to Samsung directly for this phone wound up being spent on a cheap AT&T prepaid phone into which I inserted my AT&T SIM card so I could at least have a phone for the month-long wait to get through this process. If you want to avoid this, DO NOT BUY YOUR PHONE DIRECTLY FROM SAMSUNG, and make darn sure you ask your carrier to delineate what the disadvantages are to purchasing an unlocked phone. Unlocked phones can cost more and are supposed to provide you with advantages upon re-sale. That was not the case for me. Caveat emptor!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/06/2018 10:11 AM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/samsung-and-att/samsung-and-att-samsungatt-be-very-careful-as-you-navigate-samsung-and-att-smartphon-1466732. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Author of original report

It's the end of November 2018 and 37-days later, still no $450 refund on my AMEX as Samsung promised.

AUTHOR: Joseph - (United States)

POSTED: Thursday, November 29, 2018

Samsung, because they refuse to cross-ship product (send you the proper device AS YOU SEND IN the improper device), languished and continues to languish in refunding the $450.00 value credit that was supposed to occur due to my Galaxy 8+ trade-in.  Despite having received emails weeks ago from Samsung that my Galaxy 8+ was successfully accepted WEEKS AGO, they have yet to credit me with the $450.00 credit.

I just got off the phone with Samsung sales support. Due to the complexity of my order, cancellation, and re-order history, this agent had difficulty keeping the facts straight. He initially told me that he saw no history of a trade-in anywhere in my file!  After my blood pressure shot up 50 points, I navigated him through the process of validating that I did trade the phone in and referenced an email Samsung sent me weeks ago verifying that the trade-in was accepted.  He ultimately saw on his system that I did, but Samsung employees do not have access to the same graphical user interface that you or I do when we log into our Samsung accounts.  Apparently they have a DOS-like system that is more difficult to navigate to get the proper information that they need to help the customer. He confessed that the trade-in credit process time had been exceeded and the agent apologized to me and sought assistance from his "floor support."  

Once he had everything he needed regarding invoice numbers, he found my traded-in phone in the system and verified that they had it and that it had just arrived in the center that provides those credits!  My old Galaxy 8+ was sent in about 37-days ago!  And the "credit center" apparently just received it on November 23rd! This confusion could all have been avoided if the agent that promised me the proper credit has followed though with her promise to physically attach the $450 credit directive to my file for the sake of assisting the back office with this matter.  She did not do what she promised.

The Samsung agent told me that I should be receiving my credit this week...I'll revisit this report with another update when I finally see the credit.

I realize that this report is a bit lengthy, but I wanted to share this so that no one makes the mistake of ordering an unlocked phone when the carrier, in this case AT&T, refuses to provide complete software/firmware to phones which are purchased UNLOCKED.  They also do not afford their customers with cautionary information that if they buy the device direct from the manufacturer, they will not support all of the features that a locked AT&T phone provides....like Wi-Fi calling. 

Another thing...

Beware that if you pay your credit card bill in-full every month, and usually have a zero balance month to month, an outstanding balance on that card will be reported to Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion credit reporting agencies.  These agencies do not care if Samsung or another device manufacturer owes you a credit and has delayed crediting your card.  An unpaid balance that really should not exist, WILL BE REPORTED, and your credit score may drop a number of points for that particular month.  Neither Sansung nor any other device manufacturer will care about how their stubborness and ineptitude affects your credit score.  

If you buy an UNLOCKED Samsung phone and need all of the features normally provided by your specific carrier, you are ON YOUR OWN.  As usual, Caveat Emptor. 

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