If 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.