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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

July 25, 2007 at 3:54 PM

AT&T apologizes for iPhone bundling

This is a lilypad in the great lake of iPhone news this week, but it could mean a lot to affected customers.

Late last week AT&T regional Vice President Mike Maxwell sent a letter apologizing to iPhone buyers who waited in line June 29 at some AT&T stores, only to be told they couldn’t buy the phone unless they also bought $50 worth of accessories.

Maxwell’s letter said it was a mistake, apologized and said the accessories can be returned for a full refund.

It’s funny, someone at the AT&T store on Capitol Hill called me three week ago, apologized and said the price would be refunded automatically on my account and I could keep the accessories anyway. I still took them back.

Here’s how Maxwell characterized the situation:

“We have become aware that in isolated incidents at a few of our stores, certain customers may have received the impression that they were required to purchase accessories with the iPhone. Please know that was not our policy. If you were under that impression, we extend to you the optionof returning the accessories to the store of purchase to receive a full refund.”

It wasn’t an impression. The clerks at the Capitol Hill store at least wouldn’t hand over the iPhones unless you bought the accessories. I protested at the time and they wouldn’t budge.

I don’t think I was getting a special letter from Maxwell. It was sent to my house, using the name on the AT&T account I set up to try the iPhone.

But AT&T did get its revenge for my publicizing the forced iPhone bundling.

Our floors were refinished last week so we were away from home when the letter arrived on Saturday. It came through the mail slot and embedded itself in the freshly applied Swedish finish, leaving a semi-permanent reminder that I’ll see every time I walk through the front door.

Comments | More in | Topics: Apple, Gadgets & products

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