AT&T Sucks – How to Survive with an iPhone in Denver

Image courtesy of Ardenswayoflife via Creative CommonsIf you have an iPhone in Denver, or simply service from the craptastic AT&T, you’re in for months of spotty service (read this article from Channel 9 News for details). Case-in-point, it took me 5 (dropped) calls to AT&T’s Customer Service department this past Sunday to get any sort of answers and account resolution. My point? Why am I paying $130 a month for cell phone service I can’t use? I can’t even call another AT&T customer without the call being dropped. I started issuing an over/under at 8 am each morning on the number of calls on average it would take me to complete one call.

In case you didn’t know, a cell phone provider is the only “utility” provider out there that is not obligated to provide service. Per your contract, service may be unavailable at times. Apparently, that’s tough cookies for you – Joe and Jane Consumer. We’re obligated to give AT&T $130 a month for the most technologically advanced phone on the market and in return, AT&T simply says “We’re sorry you’re having problems.” All I know is that if my electricity is out, cable is out, internet is out, water is out…I get a prorated bill. Cell service is big business – apparently cell service providers count on the fact that we love our Apple porn so much that we’ll put up with an endless supply of crap just to suckle at the iPhone teat.

Here are two tips on how to survive the complete crap service we’re enjoying in Denver while they update the 3G network. They are both tried and tested – see what works for you:

  • Be blunt. I explained that I wanted to know what my termination fee would be and what the process was for rolling my phone number over to another carrier. I also explained that I was appalled that, as a small business owner, their cell service was the lifeline to my livelihood and their failure to provide a service for which I’ve paid was threatening my ability to generate revenue. Thus, they were costing me business, which impairs my ability to pay my AT&T bill. Helluva catch-22, no? After my 5 calls to Customer Service (4 dropped due to the spectacular 3G service), I was issued a 100% credit for my voice plan month-to-date.
  • Kick 3G to the curb until the upgrade is complete. Go to Settings/General/Networks on your iPhone. You’ll see Enable 3G. Turn that to OFF. That switches you to the Edge network. You can still get all your internet, data, SMS messages, etc. The bonus? No more dropped calls. I haven’t had a single one since Sunday where I was previously having about 4 per day.
23 comments
Czech
Czech

I just had my mother switch from Verizon to AT&T and bought her the iPhone for her Birthday. What a disappointment. I have the older iPhone and haven't had any problems. She has been completely losing contact with the world. You call her and it goes right to voicemail, you text her and she never gets it. She has to turn off the phone and turn it back on to get the thing to work, and this only happens when she goes through Denver. I had her turn off the 3G hoping this will fix things for the time being. I hope this fixes this problem. If anyone else has something like this, please let me know. Czech

Czech
Czech

I just had my mother switch from Verizon to AT&T and bought her the iPhone for her Birthday. What a disappointment. I have the older iPhone and haven't had any problems. She has been completely losing contact with the world. You call her and it goes right to voicemail, you text her and she never gets it. She has to turn off the phone and turn it back on to get the thing to work, and this only happens when she goes through Denver. I had her turn off the 3G hoping this will fix things for the time being. I hope this fixes this problem. If anyone else has something like this, please let me know. Czech

Joe
Joe

More AT&T stupidity - I had a personal iPhone 3G with a phone number I've had for *years*. I now have a corporate iPhone 3GS. AT&T does not have the ability to port the number between one iPhone and another. I was even willing to pay for this and yet they still refused!

Joe
Joe

More AT&T stupidity - I had a personal iPhone 3G with a phone number I've had for *years*. I now have a corporate iPhone 3GS. AT&T does not have the ability to port the number between one iPhone and another. I was even willing to pay for this and yet they still refused!

NL
NL

I'm in San Francisco and have been experiencing the same problem. Just turned my 3G network off and am hoping that will fix the problem. Thanks for your article.

NL
NL

I'm in San Francisco and have been experiencing the same problem. Just turned my 3G network off and am hoping that will fix the problem. Thanks for your article.

Kath
Kath

Whoa, I'm one of the lucky ones. Since buying my iPhone last April, have only had 3 dropped calls. I live in Denver, work in Broomfield and the only place I have sucky reception is at Coors Field. Ironically, 2 of my 3 dropped calls happened when I called AT&T :-)

Kath
Kath

Whoa, I'm one of the lucky ones. Since buying my iPhone last April, have only had 3 dropped calls. I live in Denver, work in Broomfield and the only place I have sucky reception is at Coors Field. Ironically, 2 of my 3 dropped calls happened when I called AT&T :-)

Ted Pearlman
Ted Pearlman

I've gotten out of three cell phone contracts without a charge (Verizon once and Sprint twice). So, if you need a way out, let me know... Ted

Ted Pearlman
Ted Pearlman

I've gotten out of three cell phone contracts without a charge (Verizon once and Sprint twice). So, if you need a way out, let me know... Ted

Abel
Abel

[...] This post wws mentioned on Twitter by Justin Hart. Jusyin Hart said: RT @redheadwriting: Denver iPhone Service - How to Survive the 3G Upgrade http://bit.ly/1QJDTA #denver #iphone [...];

Abel
Abel

[...] This post wws mentioned on Twitter by Justin Hart. Jusyin Hart said: RT @redheadwriting: Denver iPhone Service - How to Survive the 3G Upgrade http://bit.ly/1QJDTA #denver #iphone [...];

Doyle Albee
Doyle Albee

I'm getting ready to launch a blog for Denver/Boulder people on this very topic. I have great coverage in KC, where the iPhone isn't as prevalent. After some angry tweets, AT&T got back to me and was, I thought, working to be helpful. Today I get this email from the person I was working with: "I have passed your concerns on to the network team. We are planning network upgrades in the coming weeks that will include work in the Denver and Boulder areas. We'll have details on the upgrades as the date gets closer." So, now I've been told, depending on how you chat with at AT&T, (a) you've been having trouble because we just made a change, (b) the change is happening as we speak, that's why you're having trouble and (c) above, we're planning upgrades. If guessing is the customer service, you all can call me and I'll throw some guesswork your way! This is crap, and we need to make noise. Sadly, we just can't do on our iPhones because the call will drop!

Doyle Albee
Doyle Albee

I'm getting ready to launch a blog for Denver/Boulder people on this very topic. I have great coverage in KC, where the iPhone isn't as prevalent. After some angry tweets, AT&T got back to me and was, I thought, working to be helpful. Today I get this email from the person I was working with: "I have passed your concerns on to the network team. We are planning network upgrades in the coming weeks that will include work in the Denver and Boulder areas. We'll have details on the upgrades as the date gets closer." So, now I've been told, depending on how you chat with at AT&T, (a) you've been having trouble because we just made a change, (b) the change is happening as we speak, that's why you're having trouble and (c) above, we're planning upgrades. If guessing is the customer service, you all can call me and I'll throw some guesswork your way! This is crap, and we need to make noise. Sadly, we just can't do on our iPhones because the call will drop!

Lauren
Lauren

That really sucks! I have AT&T in Salt Lake City, and it works just fine. Hopefully they will get it all ironed out soon.

Lauren
Lauren

That really sucks! I have AT&T in Salt Lake City, and it works just fine. Hopefully they will get it all ironed out soon.

Caleb
Caleb

I will have to keep this in mind next time I'm using my phone in Denver :) That's awesome they refunded you money. It's amazing what they will do once you start talking termination.

Caleb
Caleb

I will have to keep this in mind next time I'm using my phone in Denver :) That's awesome they refunded you money. It's amazing what they will do once you start talking termination.

Kate C
Kate C

Ooooo, this explains a lot. My friend who have upgraded from gen 1 iPhones to the 3Gs in the last few months have been telling me not to do it. They say they can't complete a call. I talked to others in California and the midwest who had no problems with the upgrade and told me to stop waiting, it's totally worth it. Well, evidently, worth it if you don't live in CO.

Kate C
Kate C

Ooooo, this explains a lot. My friend who have upgraded from gen 1 iPhones to the 3Gs in the last few months have been telling me not to do it. They say they can't complete a call. I talked to others in California and the midwest who had no problems with the upgrade and told me to stop waiting, it's totally worth it. Well, evidently, worth it if you don't live in CO.

Nielle
Nielle

Very helpful advice thank you. And talk about irony in the catch-22! Nice to have that logical explanation documented so when we're fuming mad, we have sound reasoning to refer to...

Nielle
Nielle

Very helpful advice thank you. And talk about irony in the catch-22! Nice to have that logical explanation documented so when we're fuming mad, we have sound reasoning to refer to...

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Justin Hart. Justin Hart said: RT @redheadwriting: Denver iPhone Service – How to Survive the 3G Upgrade http://bit.ly/1QJDTA #denver #iphone […]