Android Central

AT&T seems poised to cut its no-commitment return window on purchases to 14 days, down from 30 days previously. Starting tomorrow, October 7th, new AT&T customers will only have two weeks to decide if their new handset is what they're looking for. After your 14 days are up, you're liable for the full burden of your contract -- that means an ETF (Early Termination Fee). The only people that may not be affected by the change are select AT&T business customers, who will still have the complete 30 day return window.

So what do you think? Does having a larger return window encourage you to go and try a different carrier? Let us know in the comments.

Source: PhoneScoop


Reader comments

AT&T cutting device return window to 14 days starting Oct. 7


Verizon already does this 14 day thing. It's perhaps long enough to fully test a new phone and decide if you wish to keep it. But I still like 30 days more than 14 days. I'd just like to hear that a large company continues to focus on great customer service. That's not happening here.

Two years is a long time for for those unwilling to break their contracts. You can have a happy customer for 2 years or one that resents you for 2 years. Why not have a happy customer?

I don't blame T or V for this. I blame abusive customers. Repeat offenders judging from multiple postings in the forum. If you can't decide in 14 days (even 7 days) it indicates you are pretty ambivalent about the phone.

There were far too many people going in, getting the new phones, playing with it for a month, then taking it back, and sticking with their old phones.

Carrier is left with a phone they can't sell as new. They should probably think about a loaner program (credit card backed, of course) instead of a purchase, and return.

Or worse...getting a phone, using it for 30 days, returning it for the latest phone, using that for 30 days, returning it for the latest phone, using that for 30 days...etc etc etc.

Literally having a new phone every month (Android phones are constantly being pumped out) and never locking into a contract.

It doesn't work like that. You get a phone and have 30 days to exchange it but your 30 days always starts from the day you upgraded and not the day you exchange. And you will pay at least a $35 restocking fee.

You could return your entire contract within 30 days and then re-upgrade and get another phone but that would result in a $35 restocking fee plus another $36 upgrade fee on the bill. Plus at&t will only let you do 2 exchanges before you have to return everything.

Full disclosure: I am an at&t sales rep.

Common monkey see monkey do. All At&t does is copy Verizon and all Verizon does is copy Ass t&t. They both are an industry joke. I am glad I tossed Verizon in the garbage can June and never ever wanted Ass t&t. They both are exactly what's wrong with the carrier business today..

There's a difference between not wanting to pay for, and not wanting to afford. I wouldn't want to waste money on a company that has terrible practices either. That's why I like having Sprint, they don't mess with their customers, arguably because they need satisfied customers, but still.

No reason to justify why you switched carriers to anyone as it is a personal choice. However behind T-Mo, Sprint is one of the worst carriers in the states. Never had a problem with AT&T, and the 14 day return window doesn't really change that either.

I'd leave VZW, but i'm a hostage to their network, having unlimited still. If they ever take it away, I'm gone to sprint. I only get 12mb down and maybe 6 up on vzw 4g/lte in st.louis and i'm in between 2 4g towers both 8 miles away. Sad, but that is the fastest speeds around st,louis unless you live a half a mile from a tower. My wifi is 10 down and 2 up. I hope sprint's lte goes up fast, they are already 6 months ahead of schedule and should be branching out to st.louis soon from KC
Seriously sad on vzw's part, st.louis is almost a thousand square miles, 2 million + people with all of st.L counties and the city, and only seven 4g Lte towers, wtf?

Trust & believe you won't have that much luck with Sprint. Technically they are ahead of schedule, but ask how many people actually get good LTE speeds on their network. It's so sad, they can't get it together.

"never ever wanted Ass t&t." And yet, you've bragged about having service on all 4 major carriers, owning a Galaxy SII Skyrocket for no more than 3 weeks. -_-

I've had the 14 day period pass in the past without realizing it and without fully testing my device due to other things that popped up unexpectedly and usurped my time. 14 days is simply to short. I always thought AT&T had it right with a 30 day trial period. Notice that both big carriers have doubled the early termination penalty too.

14 days is more than enough time to decide if a service or device works for you. I make my decision within 2 days.

to be honest you only need 2 week days and the weekend to fully test the phone I think 14 days is more than enough time 30 days to get the procrastinators a little more time but honestly for a 14 days is enough

Q: What can we do?
A: Nothing.
These companies could give a rat's tail about the consumer, there only concern is to get your money. Just think about it what other monthly billed service requires a 2 year contract? The cellphone company business model is corrupt And in need of reform.

"Just think about it what other monthly billed service requires a 2 year contract? The cellphone company business model is corrupt And in need of reform."

Directv, Dish, Xfinity, some alarm systems, etc...

The cell phone companies have dug themselves into a hole by offering subsidized phone pricing and 2 year contracts are the only way to recoup those costs.

At&t and Verizon provide a premium service with great devices and the largest coverage area.

Yes a main concern is revenue because these companies are in business to make money. Do I agree with all their practices? No. Do we have a choice to choose our carrier? Yes.

So in answer to your question of what we can do, we can choose what carrier suits our needs and affordability the best.

Q: What can we do?
A: Nothing.
These companies could give a rat's tail about the consumer, there only concern is to get your money. Just think about it what other monthly billed service requires a 2 year contract? The cellphone company business model is corrupt And in need of reform.

And yet you buy a car based on a 10 mile test drive, and return is not really an option.

You make a big noise over nothing. If you are still undecided in 14 days, then the phone is NOT right for you.

Exactly. If you don't love it, leave it. If you're not 100% right off the bat, you won't be in a year and a half.

I certainly don't like shortened return windows but it will not change which carrier I choose. What it will do is make me more picky and likely to return a phone sooner if I'm not 100% in love with it. With a 30 day policy, I'm much more likely to get used to and eventually accept a phone's shortcomings.


I had my HOX for exactly 15 minutes when I knew it was the phone for me.
Drooled over the screen, shot some video and stills, uploaded, called a friend, played some music. Done.

If you can't decide in 5 days, move on.

Sometimes it's not about a decision of wanting to keep it. Back in May I got the Evo4GLTE I absolutely loved the phone. Within 2 weeks I had to return it. The signal would do more backflips then a Russian Gymnast. I was hoping to keep it but within the time I had to decide. HTC and Sprint both denied that there was an issue. With that and no hope of a fix in the foreseeable future I had to return it.

Now I got GSM Gnex on Tmo and I'm a happy customer.

Theres quite a difference between a buggy, and defective phone, and not liking a device. Most phones have a 1 year warranty which covers general defectiveness. That's different than buying an HTC One X, and then realizing 2 weeks later, you wanted a Galaxy S III instead.

This policy does not effect upgrade eligibility or early termination fees which remain $325-$10 per month you complete the contract for smartphones

This does not bother me at all, 14 days is plenty of time to decide if you want to keep the device or not!

14 days is fine. I get a new phone and its set up and running all the apps I want in the first 3 days. Plenty of time to decide if I want to keep it.

I'm really not very put off by this. I honestly don't feel entitled to a trial period at all.

I'm an absurdly careful buyer and before I drop any money on a phone I'll have spent hours researching it and playing with it in the store. If I haven't decided to stick with it after two more weeks of ownership, I'm just not paying attention.

What if you got to do this with everything you bought? I can't see returning a brand new truck after two weeks of off-roading and putting 2k miles on it; "meh, I didn't really like it."

Short of a manufacturing defect, I don't understand why you should be ENTITLED to return it at all. If you're not happy with it, do your homework better and buy something else next time.

I do still believe a trial period is necessary for coverage testing. Maps don't tell the whole story and no one wants a 2 year lock into a service that doesn't reach their home, work, or some other frequently visited location.