On November 24, 2009, I called AT&T to cancel my wireless service, because after a year, I have had it with their poor cellular coverage. AT&T "customer service" transfered me to their Technical Support Department. They checked the coverage map and confirmed that 3G coverage is poor in the area where I live. Their advise: get rid of the iPhone and get a 2G phone; it will be cheaper too. I explained that I just wanted to close the account. They said that because the problem was due to poor cellular coverage, they would waive the Early Termination Fee (ETF); however, because I had an iPhone, I would have to physically take the phone to a Corporate AT&T store. I drove the 11 miles to my nearest AT&T store.
At the store, they claimed that they do not deal with closing accounts or giving refunds, this was something that could only be handled by the Customer Service Department via phone. They were kind enough to dial the phone for me. At the store, I was on their phone for over 1 hour and 40 minutes on a single phone call in which I dealt with two managers and two Technical Support people. During the phone call, I was told that stores do not give refunds, then I was told that for some strange reason, stores are not aware that they are the only ones authorized to waive ETFs. I had the manager who told me this on the phone speak with the store manager. The store manager told me that what the manager on the phone made no sense to him. The manager on the phone then put me on hold for an additional 20 minutes only to come back and tell me that he was wrong, there was no way AT&T could waive the ETFs.
In review, AT&T told me to go to an AT&T store in order to have their waive their ETFs. I drove all the way to Emeryville AT&T store only to waste over 1 hour and 40 minutes on their phone for them to change their response several times and come out empty handed.