Kudos – Just Because It’s Fair

One sure-fire way to have a popular post is to complain about a big company tromping on the rights of individuals, a.k.a. their customers. Since I never shy away from such a post, it seemed only fair to give some kudos to a company when the service is better than expected.

A couple years ago, we bought new cell phones. Mine is an iPhone 7. It wasn’t the latest model when I bought it, and it certainly isn’t the latest model today. It does seem to be just about the latest model iPhone that has a fingerprint reader – I love that feature! The Apple rumor mill says the iPhone 13 might bring back the fingerprint reader, but that won’t be until this fall. Clearly, I digress.

When we bought our phones, we opted for AT&T’s insurance policy. I’m not normally a fan of device insurance, but those phones were expensive. In 2019, I needed a new battery. AT&T paid for the battery to be replaced at Best Buy. That was nice, but at that point, I had paid more than the cost of a battery in monthly premiums.

Last month, I noticed that the lightning adapter wasn’t always making good contact. Sometimes, the cable would fall out while charging (on a desk, overnight). I tried different cords, but it was the phone. The jack was broken, probably because I dropped it at some point while the cord was connected.

I asked a representative in the local AT&T store what could be done. He gave me the URL for the claim page. I answered about half-a-dozen questions – none of which asked how the damage occurred – and I pushed “Submit.” A few minutes later, I received a text message asking me to confirm the fact that I had submitted the claim. One minute later, I received a text:

You’re all set—we’ve approved your claim! We’ll ship your replacement phone soon and email you when it’s on its way.

AT&T

My replacement phone arrived the next day, complete with activation instructions, a new cord, a new charger, packing material and a prepaid label for me to return my broken phone.

The activation process was really cool. Some may say creepy, but to a geek like me, cool. With both phones plugged in, I turned on the new phone. It detected my old phone. The new phone displayed a fuzzy circular shape on its screen. The image was moving. The instructions said to take a picture of the circle with my old phone. My old phone was displaying a circular target, and the camera was active. I moved the camera until the image on the new phone was inside the target on the old phone, and the transfer process began. I kept the two phones proximate to each other for a couple hours and everything was transferred over.

The new phone even upgraded itself so the operating system would match the old phone.

Before I could use the new phone, I had to enter my passcode. I also had to enter a password for all the security software that had been copied over. When I plugged the new phone into my car’s CarPlay jack, Creedence Clearwater Revival “Bad Moon Rising” began playing, just where it left off when I parked my car the day before.

I know that AT&T is simply using features available on any iPhone. I also know that they didn’t have to make it this easy. They made everything about the claim process as easy as possible. I appreciate that.

82 comments

    • The proximity detection features are kind of creepy, and are already being used in ways I don’t like. It was just good to see someone use it for a helpful reason. Perhaps it is a Bad Moon Rising.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I think you’re the first person I’ve ever known who had a good AT&T experience. We had them when we lived down south and it was a nightmare to disengage when we moved up here where Verizon rules. Bunny is looking quite well fed these days.
    😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad your experience with AT&T was a good one. Not always the case!

    Bunny and Smokey look well-fed and content. Don’t think either will be moving out soon…..if ever.

    Will we ever see our girl MiMi out of her hammock?

    Maddie once again steals the scene. That poor bumblebee!! Murphy was here cheering her on!!

    Hope this is the start of a great week for you.
    Ginger

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ginger. That cradle is the only place I can get a good picture of MiMi. When she does move, she’s like a whirlwind. She scampers from place to place and then disappears.

      Both the bunny and one of the Smokeys had had their babies and are trying to recover. Momma Smokey saw me on the porch this morning and actually came and tapped on the door. I think she’s ready to kick the kids out and smack Mr. Smokey if he gets any closer.

      I have had my share of bad experiences with all the tech giants, but I felt like it was the right thing to give them credit for getting one right.

      I hope you guys are off to a great week. Stay cool when necessary.

      Like

  3. I had a 7 and loved it. It is always good to sing the praise of a company who gives good service, plus my hubby worked his entire career for an arm of AT&T. 👏🏻 Now, if WordPress would just deliver your posts to me, I would sing their praise as well. :-) Lovely photos, and I bet Maddie’s deck is pretty warm these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So far, there aren’t any features in the new phones that I want bad enough to convince me to give up the fingerprint deal. I’m not interested in facial recognition, and the idea of typing a 6-diget passcode every time I need to enable something that is set up for Touch, doesn’t appeal to me.

      We’ve had AT&T cell service since it was Cingular back in 1989. For the 31 years I was in charge of technology, we used AT&T as our primary communications provider. We had engineers flying all over the world with AT&T cell phones, and we never had a coverage complaint. The company made some blunders and bad decisions, but the people working for AT&T were always good to us. My AT&T sales rep (from mid 90s to ~ 2010) is one of the nicest people I’ve ever known.

      WordPress just doesn’t seem to get it. They say they’re working on this problem, but I can’t imagine it taking this long.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, fair’s fair: kudos when deserved. I agree with The Art Blogger above — there’s a certain creepiness about these gizmos and what they do. As for your description of the transfer, how can I not think of the dying Spock with his Vulcan fingers on McCoy’s head? All that aside, I congratulate you on the happy ending.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha – I’ll give you 500 bonus points for the Star Trek reference. I understand the creepy factor, and it’s already entered the realm of disturbing with the Apple Air Tags. Hopefully, they find a way to remove the actual creepy behavior from those. Still, technology does improve, or at least move forward, and when someone does something good with it, it’s worth pointing out.

      It was a happy ending.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Frank! Of course, maybe there is a technological Bad Moon Rising, I’m just reporting today, not offering commentary. Apple may not be doing the world a favor, but AT&T deserves credit for making the replacement process easy.

      Like

  5. I’m pleased to read that you had a good experience with your new phone. I’m one who hopes for the best with technology, but attempts to accept the worst with a bit of grace. Doesn’t always happen. Love the black squirrel photo. Cute

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ally. The problem with technology is that improvements can be used for good or for evil – that’s the way it has always been, and nothing is going to change that. Still, I think we have to applaud the good, rare as it may be. Smokey says thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The phone activation process sounds weirdly very cool. Your flowers are so pretty! Oh, I had to laugh at Maddie and the bumblebee. Poor little thing never stood a chance….

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you see the cool, albeit the creepy is close behind. The top half of the bumblebee remains intact, separated from the empty body, and without antennae, but it still has its stuffing. It’s amazing how much stuffing was in the bottom.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, that does seem really easy! I hope when I finally upgrade my iPhone 7+ it’s just as easy!

    The reflections in the river are lovely. Thanks for sharing the images of the park and river. I missed seeing them too.
    I had a laugh reading about Maddie’s new toy and seeing the aftermath of it not long after receiving it.
    Diva Dog used to do that with all but one stuffed toy. Her pink pig purchased while on a road trip. Oh, how she loved it. It was the only toy she didn’t destroy to get the squeaker out, and she carried it everywhere like it was her pup. I miss her so much but I can think of her now with more smiles rather than sadness today. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maddie has a few toys that she hasn’t destroyed. She has a few historic toys that we won’t let her destroy. But almost any new toy meets quick and complete destruction. Ironically, the bee was in two parts, connected by a ribbon. She cut through the ribbon and destroyed the big bottom half. The top is still intact, including the squeaker. We’ll wait and see. I miss your stories and comments about Diva Dog, that seemed like such an appropriate thing to call her.

      I like being able to visit the park when I can. Unfortunately, after several large and destructive gatherings last year, including one where a person was shot, they lock the gates at sunset and keep them locked until after sunrise. So, if I was still working, I wouldn’t be getting my night reflections in the river.

      I hope you guys have a good week.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve had a similar excellent experience with Amazon and my Kindle. When the charging cord failed, I had to buy a new one, but Amazon refunded the entire cost of the Kindle. Then, when I forgot to keep it plugged in and it died without hope of resuscitation, they replaced it with a new one. I’m sure there are those with Amazon horror stories, but I have had nothing but excellent service from them.

    The rhododendron is gorgeous and I said a burial prayer for the poor bumble bee. Have a wonderful week, Dan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Doesn’t it feel good when big companies seem to care about people and not just money? Thanks for the bee prayers, Mary. The top half still has its stuffing. We’ll have to wait and see how long that sticks around. Faith gave Maddie a squirrel holding a stuffed acorn years ago. The squirrel is long gone, but the acorn remains one of Maddie’s favorite toys. It’s hard to figure animals out (as you well know).

      I hope you have a good week and are able to get back out on the trails.

      Like

  9. Sounds like a perfect experience, Dan. It is an easy process these days although the last time I got a new phone my password wouldn’t work no matter what I did and no one could help me. I ended up having to initiate everything like a new phone. I had to use the backup from my computer but in the end ai got most of what I needed. They just don’t connect like all my other apple devices do. Isn’t it great to have a new phone though? Lots of those spinners in these here parts too. Most people hate them i still love them 🤷‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do love seeing the spinners, and I always think of you when I see them. You did some amazingly creative things with those, Cheryl.

      The new phone works perfectly. It’s the phone I like – I have no interest in the face-recognition process – so I’ll stick with it until I have a better option, or until Apple refuses to support this one.

      Like

      • I have a new one that is an 8 case with 11 guts. It has the camera of my 6 SE and a bit more.I really don’t want a bigger one but I love the camera action on my son’s Android. Enjoy yours Dan. I don’t care about face recognition either.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow! Great customer service! I’m not a fan of iPhones (Android geek here — love that li’l robot), but that’s some serious good service from AT&T. Thanks for the beautiful pictures of flowers, critters, and destingified bumblebee.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We were never allowed to use Android devices at work (actually, that was my decree) do to the more limited security on apps, and the more inquisitive nature of engineers. The service was good, and I am grateful for that.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I love the features the iPhone.has making it so easy to transfer information. We never opted for the insurance, but sounds like it was a good deal for you. I just love those black squirrels. I keep hoping to get a picture of some of our white squirrels, but they stay a little further north.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Given the length of time we’ve had these phones, I think the insurance has paid off. I know we’ve paid the premiums the whole time, but I was happy with the outcome.

      I’ve only ever seen white squirrels in Pennsylvania. They are stunning.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks for sharing this, Dan. I’m glad it ended well. I had multiple bad experiences with Verizon. Every time I called with a problem, they gave me a sales pitch. Like that was going to improve my mood… (eye roll). Now I just have a Tracfone. For my needs it’s much more economical than anything the big companies had to offer.
    The gallery is gorgeous. I wasn’t expecting the boat, and it’s a charming photo. It looks like Maddie had fun with her bee. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am long past the point of wanting the latest features in a phone. I know people who buy every new model as soon as Apple releases it. I am years behind, but I know what I like/need and spending a fortune on a phone every year isn’t in the mix.

      I was surprised to see the boat. They only opened the boat ramp two weeks ago.

      I hope your week is off to a great start.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I like that song and it does sound easy.  My fam all have iPhones w ATT because it has the best reception in CO but I had Verizon and liked it better.  Almost all functions now work on the washer dipped iPhone that was handed down to me. Now even the sound has come back on.  I think I’ll have my grandson put the SIM card back in and see if it totally functions—a miracle😂

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

  14. That was beautiful of AT&T. Especially since it involved insurance. You can never be sure about insurance. The closest I have come to such respectable customer service as you experienced was when my car got hit at a junction in January 2020. The other driver was liable for the accident. He entered the junction without stopping to give way, entering like a batshit crazy driver 😂. His insurance was to pay me. My car was written off, and to my surprise, I was paid the full policy amount despite having driven the car for a year. I drove that car for exactly one year. From Jan 2019 to Jan 2020. (Kind of spooky to me. Like it had drawn a timeline for me, given me an ultimatum.)
    Otherwise, my experience with customer service in this country is one filled with despair, anger, and total sadness. Total loss.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad that one experience was good, Peter. Customer service in this country is generally sub par. Most companies don’t really care. I was pleasantly surprised with this one.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I love to hear a success, as opposed to failure, story, Dan! In January, I bought a spare package of watercolour paper from Amazon. I didn’t need to open it until this weekend, and was very disappointed to discover that somehow the wrong type of paper had been put into the right package. My window for making a claim with Amazon (returning or replacing) closed in March. But the paper wasn’t cheap, and I needed some! So I contacted Amazon.ca’s customer service using the “chat” feature on the website. It never hurts to ask, right? 20 minutes later, a new order popped up in my account and my email for a free replacement package of paper.

    In a world where fewer and fewer people want to do even the bare minimum of their job, it’s more important than ever to highlight those who go above and beyond. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m still chuckling at Maddie. And MiMi is precious. I’ve not used AT&T but I’m glad they were so helpful. We’re in Prescott and it is sunny and beautiful. I hope the same for you and yours today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m working outside, Gwen, do I’m happy that we’ve backed off our 90° days and are looking at a high in the low 70s. I hope you’re having a good trip.

      Like

    • I think I could live without the home button, but the fingerprint reader is a deal breaker. Rumors are that the iPhone 13 will bring back the fingerprint reader, but that it will be under the screen, not in a home button.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Hi Dan – well that’s a good post to read … I was waiting for a tale of woe – but not to be … that’s good. Poor bumblebee … but all critters look rather well … and Maddie obviously much loved. Thank you – Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Hi Dan, it’s nice to read a post about good service. It is true that we record our complaints more often than our satisfaction when it comes to service. My husband sorts all this out for me and just gives me the phone when its all done.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I had the same good experience (with a few false starts) but with iPhone 5 Legacy -> iPhone 5 on Consumer Cellular.

    It’s Apple, not the phone company. iPhones detecting their predecessor is Apple’s way of making customers happy. It sure works!

    Liked by 1 person

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