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.