Originally Posted by Bageljoey
...an AT&T authorized reseller--not a corporate AT&T store. They couldn't do the return for her and she was pissed--not understanding the difference between a corporate store and an authorized reseller. Anyway, the interesting part was when the woman behind the counter came out and told her, point blank [in quotes for clarity, but this is paraphrased]: "I would have sold you an iPhone--they do not have the issue you describe and people never bring them back unhappy. But the resellers work on commission and so they push other phones."
I do not know if this is true, ...
This is absolutely true, and I can also list off several other things resellers do that the corporate store doesn't do, and a few things the corporate store will do that calling customer service won't do.
Resellers have been known to
1. Push the device with the largest commission, they only get their commission if the new subscriber stays on service for a minimum of 6 months.
2. Make the buyer sign a contract that they will pay them damages if they cancel before they get their commission. (This is why you have to go back to the reseller to do everything correctly.)
3. "Pay off your old contract" by calling in as your mother or spouse and saying you died or went to Iraq. BTW, this no longer works, don't try it.
4. Call in to CS as the customer, and try to get illegal promo combinations attached (because they get more commissions for every bolt-on.) Likewise calling in as the customer to cancel service or change promos without permission after the commission is credited.
Corporate stores do all of the above as well, but it's easier for CS to see who is trying to pull something since their name will be all over it. Corporate stores are more known for calling into customer service to get "CS blamed" for something instead of themselves. This happens, but CS can't file complaints about corporate store reps because it's too much work. The unwritten policy is that corporate stores can do everything CS can do, as they have the same tools. Only resellers don't have any tools, and thus have to call their reseller contact (not CS) with their reseller ID to do anything.
If you want to make sure you're not getting ripped off, you have to buy the phone direct via the website (the computer gets no commission.) Even the phone direct sales people are known for bad bolt-on combinations for commission fraud. There is actually no reason to buy phones at stores since you'll be pressured into something you don't want.