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View Full Version : Activation fee waived on new phone?


Scottji
05-09-2011, 04:30 PM
Anyone had any luck getting cell phone activation fee waived? I want to get a new phone, but I'm hoping I can avoid the $36 in activation fees ($18 ea for me & the wife).

A little background: I've been a loyal AT&T customer for somewhere around 8 years or so. I've been out-of-contract for 6 months, but am going to re-up for another two years when I get the phone, so I'll get the subsidized phone price.

So, any tips on getting AT&T to waive the activation fee? Will the guys at the store do it? Should I threaten to go to Verizon? Should I try to order over the phone? Any other tips on getting them to waive the activation fee? Anyone had any success with this?

Spike Holmes
05-09-2011, 05:07 PM
There shouldn't be any fees if you are staying with them. We've been out of contract several times over the last 7-9 years. We've always received new phones every two years or less (5 phones on the plan). None of the other services have ever charged us activation fees either.

E36 Phantom
05-09-2011, 05:15 PM
I wouldn't pay it. I've been with Verizon since for around 8 years and have been through at least as many phones. Every time they've waived the activation fee and the fee for transferring the contacts on the older phones. Never had to ask more than once. Its just poor service to charge someone money for purchasing a new device and clicking a few buttons to get the new phone running. I would escalate it to a manager if they wouldn't waive it.

Sent from my Droid using Bimmer App

cjwheeling
05-09-2011, 05:26 PM
So, any tips on getting AT&T to waive the activation fee? Will the guys at the store do it? Should I threaten to go to Verizon? Should I try to order over the phone? Any other tips on getting them to waive the activation fee? Anyone had any success with this?
Very easy... don't do it in the store, those monkeys have no power, and are basically order takers. (sorry if you work at an AT&T store)

Call AT&T, tell them you are thinking about coming back to AT&T, but you don't want to pay any fees.

Now, when you are not under contract is the time to ask for the moon.

Scottji
05-11-2011, 07:13 AM
Very easy... don't do it in the store, those monkeys have no power, and are basically order takers. (sorry if you work at an AT&T store)

Call AT&T, tell them you are thinking about coming back to AT&T, but you don't want to pay any fees.

Now, when you are not under contract is the time to ask for the moon.

Good advice. I agree that the guys in the store are probably useless. Maybe I'll call and see what I can do.

Dave 330i
05-11-2011, 07:36 AM
call customer care. they have the history of your account with AT&T in front of them. mention the good relationship you have to him/her over the years, and politely request new phone activation waivers. Remember, you are at their mercy since I seriously doubt you really want to use verizon as your trump card. If you are not successful, ask to speak to his supervisor. I think you have a good chance of getting the activation fees waived. good luck. report back!

Scottji
05-11-2011, 09:49 AM
call customer care. they have the history of your account with AT&T in front of them. mention the good relationship you have to him/her over the years, and politely request new phone activation waivers. Remember, you are at their mercy since I seriously doubt you really want to use verizon as your trump card. If you are not successful, ask to speak to his supervisor. I think you have a good chance of getting the activation fees waived. good luck. report back!

Thank you! I gotta get around to doing this, maybe next week (although I may have to decide between either new phones or new suspension components for the car this month). I'll report back.

Spike Holmes
05-11-2011, 10:33 AM
If you've been with them for eight years, you should be eligible for a free phone for each line if you sign on for another contract. additionally, I pretty certain they're not going to charge you to activate those new phones.

Scottji
05-11-2011, 10:42 AM
If you've been with them for eight years, you should be eligible for a free phone for each line if you sign on for another contract. additionally, I pretty certain they're not going to charge you to activate those new phones.

Well, I could probably get a free flip phone, but we're going for that $49 iPhone 3GS deal, which is a pretty good deal. I don't think they can subsidize it much cheaper than that.

Scottji
05-17-2011, 09:38 AM
Epilogue:
I first tried the AT&T store, and, like someone suggested, those people are useless. I basically told the guy that, since I was out of contract and had been a loyal customer for a long time, I was looking for a reason to stay with AT&T and was hoping they would waive the activation fee on two phones. The guy said he had to talk to his "manager." The manager, who looked like he was about 26 years old, and who was sporting a faux-hawk and way too much bling for someone who doesn't have a recording contract or Gatorade endorsement, talked to the guy in the corner for the store for a few minutes. I thought the manager would want to talk to me, but no, it was like a game of telephone. The original salesperson came back and said that they were willing to waive the fee on one phone, but not both. I thanked him for his time, said I would see if another carrier could do better to woo a new customer, and left.

Then I picked up the phone and called AT&T ordering hotline. After working through a few menus, I was finally able to talk to someone. This person could possibly have been the least intelligent person on earth, but a polite woman nonetheless. Anyway, she finally got that I was asking her to waive the activation fee on two new phones. Here's how the conversation went:
Me: "Yes, I was hoping you could waive the activation fee on the next two phones I order for my wife and I."
Her: "Let me check your account. [Typing] Okay sir, I have checked your account and I do not see a note instructing me to waive the activation fee."
Me: "Yeah, well, that's what I was calling about. I've been with you a long time and I am out of contract and was hoping you would waive it for me to buy a new phone and re-up for another two years."
Her: "Well sir, unfortunately I do not see a note on your account allowing me to waive the activation fee."
Me: "Well, I was really looking for a reason to stay with you, but since I'm out of contract I might go see if Verizon or T-Mobile can offer me any incentives."
Her: "Let me check on that one more time, sir. [Typing] Okay sir, I have put a note on your account to waive the activation fee for your new phone purchase."

I hate having to make threats to get things accomplished -- it really makes everyone's life hard. Nonetheless, that's what it took to get them to waive the activation fee for a loyal 8-year customer who is out of contract.

She said I had to order the phone, and then before the first billing cycle closes, to call them and have them remove the activation fee, but that there is a note telling them to remove it. So I still technically have one step left, and who knows what kind of fiasco it might be getting them to actually waive it, but she assures me there is a note telling them to waive it. Hopefully that's the end of it, but I'll report back if I have trouble getting them to actually take it off my bill.

cjwheeling
05-17-2011, 11:07 AM
Call back and get a different rep. Last time I went through this, I got them to:
1. Waive activation fees on new phones
2. Give me the first month free!
3. Got 2 free phones ( I have 4 users in my house)

Dave 330i
05-17-2011, 11:38 AM
!

Dave 330i
05-17-2011, 11:40 AM
Epilogue:
I first tried the AT&T store, and, like someone suggested, those people are useless. I basically told the guy that, since I was out of contract and had been a loyal customer for a long time, I was looking for a reason to stay with AT&T and was hoping they would waive the activation fee on two phones. The guy said he had to talk to his "manager." The manager, who looked like he was about 26 years old, and who was sporting a faux-hawk and way too much bling for someone who doesn't have a recording contract or Gatorade endorsement, talked to the guy in the corner for the store for a few minutes. I thought the manager would want to talk to me, but no, it was like a game of telephone. The original salesperson came back and said that they were willing to waive the fee on one phone, but not both. I thanked him for his time, said I would see if another carrier could do better to woo a new customer, and left.

Then I picked up the phone and called AT&T ordering hotline. After working through a few menus, I was finally able to talk to someone. This person could possibly have been the least intelligent person on earth, but a polite woman nonetheless. Anyway, she finally got that I was asking her to waive the activation fee on two new phones. Here's how the conversation went:
Me: "Yes, I was hoping you could waive the activation fee on the next two phones I order for my wife and I."
Her: "Let me check your account. [Typing] Okay sir, I have checked your account and I do not see a note instructing me to waive the activation fee."
Me: "Yeah, well, that's what I was calling about. I've been with you a long time and I am out of contract and was hoping you would waive it for me to buy a new phone and re-up for another two years."
Her: "Well sir, unfortunately I do not see a note on your account allowing me to waive the activation fee."
Me: "Well, I was really looking for a reason to stay with you, but since I'm out of contract I might go see if Verizon or T-Mobile can offer me any incentives."
Her: "Let me check on that one more time, sir. [Typing] Okay sir, I have put a note on your account to waive the activation fee for your new phone purchase."

I hate having to make threats to get things accomplished -- it really makes everyone's life hard. Nonetheless, that's what it took to get them to waive the activation fee for a loyal 8-year customer who is out of contract.

She said I had to order the phone, and then before the first billing cycle closes, to call them and have them remove the activation fee, but that there is a note telling them to remove it. So I still technically have one step left, and who knows what kind of fiasco it might be getting them to actually waive it, but she assures me there is a note telling them to waive it. Hopefully that's the end of it, but I'll report back if I have trouble getting them to actually take it off my bill.

It really shouldn't be that difficult where you have to force them into accepting a fee waiver or lose a customer. Next time you call the voice activated service line, just keep repeating "customer care" . You will received the following responds... "Sorry, I did not get that", and finally, " OK, I get you to customer care". You want to talk to a live person from the get go. You don't want to go through all the question prompts.