October 7, 2011

Phone Service Fail

I am an AT&T "subscriber" I don't know what I'm subscribing to expect for half-assed service and poor reception.  I had AT&T years ago and they screwed me over by making me pay out the nose for a "free" phone.  I got an early "smartphone" on my birthday way back in 2001 from a company rep that was working through the Fred Meyer stores.  Even though my phone was supposed to be free, they charged me $200 for it.  I was told not to pay the bill and it would show up on my next bill.  It didn't, nor did it the bill after that.  I went ahead and paid for it anyway, figuring that I'd just get a nice big credit and not have to pay my bill for months later.  Two weeks after they cashed my check (ie, I had a current account) they shut off my phone for "non-payment of services" and then sent me a bill for $300 for "early termination".  It took forever to get things sorted out, but by then I had moved on to Cricket.

In those days Cricket was for the local market only, no national plan, which suited me fine since I didn't travel.  When I started travelling I switched to Verizon and I loved that service.  Before my contract was up though, my employer mandated I switch to his carrier, AT&T and carry a company phone 24/7.  He paid for everything but he was adamant that I only have one phone.  Fine.

In the course of my job I'm not kidding when I say I've bought probably 15-20 cell phones in the last 3 years or so.  I deal with one guy at one store and he's been great.  Everything else with AT&T sucks.  My neighborhood has great service with several local towers, but for an area of about one block around my home service is terrible.  No joke, I've seen the coverage map, there is a small circle around my home with poor coverage.  I have to go outside usually to be able to make or take a call and the call drops too easily.

Not mine, this one lights up correctly!
The best AT&T can offer is to have me spend MORE MONEY on buying a Microcell tower.  If not for the fact that Carolyn loves her iPhone and iPad and we have a grandfathered unlimited data plan, I'd be dropping AT&T like a hot rock.  Instead, I bought their Microcell and have spent the last day trying to get it to work.  I've followed all of the instructions, opened/forwarded the appropriate ports, etc.  I've restarted my modem and Microcell just under 20 times now.  My internet connection has tested adequate for the devices needs......it just cannot connect to AT&T.

Calling their tech support line was not helpful.  All they did was run me through their checklist which is the same as the one I've been following.  The fun part was where they left me, which was to take my router setting information and give it to my ISP.

Seriously?  Way to go customer service.  Nice fail.

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