Why I Hate Salespeople: AT&T Pisses Me Off

Yesterday, I was hoping to find an iPhone 3G (duh). I drove past the local AT&T store a few times and always found quite a line. Decided I’d wait until it died down before going in. “Surely,” I thought. “The Apple Stores would be 100x as busy on a day like today.”

I came back to the AT&T store at 2pm, finding no line at all. The madness must’ve subsided. I traipsed in, thinking there’d still be a few people waiting inside. I was approached by a clerk almost immediately, and I asked the inevitable question. “We’re out, but I can put your name on a list and we’ll order one for you!”

“Nah,” I said. “I’m going to check to see if the Apple Stores have ’em first.” I should have stopped right there, walked out to my car, and drove away. Instead, I decided to listen to the commission-driven jacka$$ and his presumptive logic.

“By now, all of the stores around town have likely sold out as well.” He had an awkward look on his face, as if he was showing genuine empathy. Unfortunately, his statement seemed plausible enough for me to stop the search and just put my name on the list. I decided to put down the money for two iPhone 3G units (one for me and one for Ponzi), thus cutting off any possibility of getting the phone elsewhere. You can’t cancel this order, my friends. That’s AT&T’s policy, which I do fully understand.

It was my fault for listening to a salesperson. It was my fault for not trusting my own instinct. It was my fault for not looking elsewhere. But why wouldn’t that guy have called around for me, if he was really trying to provide customer service? Why wouldn’t he have suggested I look elsewhere, knowing that I’d have to use AT&T with the iPhone, anyway? Why would I, as a long-standing AT&T customer… nevermind.

Long story short, as of 9pm last night, several local Apple stores still reported having 16g iPhones in stock. I could’ve had one yesterday, or I certainly could have had one today. Instead, I have to wait for an *INDETERMINABLE* amount of time for AT&T to get the phone shipped out to one specific store. That could be a week, that could be two weeks, that could be a month, that could be two months – that could be as long as it takes, and I can’t back out of the deal.

So, here I am… really pissed off at AT&T’s idea of customer service, and REALLY pissed off at myself.