Photographer: Events, Weddings, Portraits – Austin, Texas

Archive for May 5, 2011

How To Get a Free AT&T Phone Charger (and a free backup battery)

I wanted to blog about my recent experience of trying to get AT&T to fix or replace my phone and share the frustration I felt. But I also thought that it would be fun to make lemonade out of lemons by sharing what I learned. Although it was not really helpful for me, it might help you get a FREE phone charger (and maybe a battery). Here’s how…

I normally write about my experience as a wedding and event photographer, but this blog is sort of off topic. Like many photographers, my work phone is a cell phone – meaning that the phone number that I depend upon for business needs (i.e., new photography clientele) is attached to a cell phone – and only works when the battery in the phone works. Lately, my cell phone has been on the blink, so I went to AT&T (my service provider) for help.

I purchased a new, basic (non-smart) phone about 6 months ago, to simplify my life and to have a dependable, yet simple, (see my blog about simplicity and smart phones) cell phone for communicating with photo clients. Unfortunately, in the past week my cell phone lost its ability to charge, which can mean lost business opportunities for Austin Americana Photography. I contacted the AT&T representatives via their 800 number and was transferred to the warranty department. They told me I needed to go to a brick-and-mortar AT&T store, and they gave me the address where to go here in Austin. So I visited the recommended AT&T store, and the representative basically blew me off (there was an attractive female that required help from both male reps at the time, which left me twittling my thumbs – but who could blame them, right?!).

cell phone photo of bride

Bride at Wedding Being Photographed with Cell Phone Camera

The less-than-helpful rep quickly ushered me off to the AT&T device support center, which was about 10 miles away. This is where the free charger part of the story starts. I told the new AT&T rep that when I plug my phone into the wall to charge, the phone display shows the phone is charging. But after hours of waiting for it to charge, the phone battery, in fact, does NOT charge and actually drops in charge. She quickly looked at my phone and told me that they didn’t have batteries or chargers for my phone onsite and that she would arrange for AT&T to mail a new (free) charger to my home. She indicated that I could also request a new battery if the charger didn’t work.

Now the bad news for me is that I’m still walking around with a cheap phone that won’t charge. And after speaking with 4 different AT&T representatives and driving to 2 separate locations in Austin, I still don’t have a working phone. I searched online for the replacement battery and charger specifically for my phone and found the charger costs around $4.99 and the replacement battery costs only $10.99 (plush S&H). Now you might ask, well why don’t you just purchase the replacement parts yourself? And to that I would ask why I have to purchase replacement parts on a 6-month old phone that is still under warranty and has been well cared for.

I suppose it’s the principle of the matter. I’ll wait for my new phone charger to arrive and go from there. So when did life get so complicated?! All I want is a basic cell phone that works. I guess sometimes we just have to admit that we don’t have the power to affect change for the day. We’ll see what tomorrow brings…

Some important AT&T Phone Numbers:

AT&T Customer Service: 800-331-0500

AT&T Warranty Service Center: 800-801-1101

AT&T Phone Insurance (Asurion): 888-562-8662