My horrific experience buying an iPhone with AT&T

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Aug 10, 2007
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#1
:( AT&T is the sole reason why my experience in buying a iPhone was horrible. In the months after the introduction to the iPhone, I studied the product, watched the keynote, 5-6 times, and checked the Apple site daily. The day of the release, I was number 2 in line at a Apple store, at 7:15am. Waiting for the iPhone didn’t bother me, its what I dealt with with At&t that lead me to cancel my service, port my number back to Verizon and take back my iPhone. The following list is my problems with Big Blue.

1.)Ringing up the purchase of the iPhone took many attempts. I was waiting at the counter for 25 minutes while they called 2 managers to process my transaction.
2.)I synced my iPhone at 6:50pm on Friday the day the iPhone came out, only to find that I had to wait for an email from AT&T to use any part of it. It took till Sunday to actually use my phone.
3.)Wait times to talk to a representative ranged from 5 minutes to 45 minutes. I called repeatedly approximately 25 times get the status of my activation of my iPhone. You can check my records. When I would talk to a representative, they said that all my information was correct and all I had to do was wait for an email saying that my iPhone was activated. So I waited and waited and waited and waited. It was like Christmas getting a gift and not having the batteries for it.:(
4.)Cell phone service on the GSM network was awful. When I would get a call from an AT&T wireless customer, the call was clear. When I would get a call from a Lan line, the call was clear also. When I would get a call from a Verizon customer on the CDMA network, it would disconnect and I would hear nothing from the other end.:(
5.)Call Waiting was never enabled with AT&T until I called them, even though I would change the settings through the phone.
6.)Call Forwarding was never enabled with AT&T until I called them, even though I would change the settings through the phone.
7.)Conference Calling was never enabled with AT&T until I called them, even though I would change the settings through the phone.
8.)The AT&T Edge network was garbage. It’s like a bad dream of using dial up once again.:(
9.)In my home, I was not able to use my phone. I would see a call coming in, I would have to run outside and then try to talk on the phone. If I was on my couch in my living room, right next to the window, I still would not get service.
10) AT&T had the nerve to send me a bill in the amount of $260 dollars for the first month’s service. Apparently they had made a mistake and put a $150 cancellation charge on my bill when I was never a AT&T customer in the first place. Another call to customer support for this one too!

11) If that wasn’t enough, when I went to return my iPhone to the At&t store the guy at the counter had the nerve to ask me where the plastic wrapping was? And where the black earbuds were. I told him that there were no earbuds and didn’t save plastic that only protected the cover. Even though I had a receipt, he initially said I couldn’t return it because I didn’t have everything, (plastic and earbuds) and then after talking to a manager took it back.
12) $60 restocking fee was more than a smack in the face after all of the problems that I had.
13) At&T turned off my service immediately the day I took back my iPhone, not allowing Verizon a chance to port back my number. I had to call AT&T to turn back on my service, and then port back my number.
14) My last call to an AT&T rep was to pay my bill for usage time and make sure my account was disabled. She told me that my coverage area wasn’t the greatest for the iPhone and that if I lived a couple miles away, I wouldn’t have had the same problems that existed.
15) In my contact list, 2 people out of 90 names have AT&T. so what does that say about AT&T coverage in my area. I know this because I have there mobile addresses in case in need to send out a txt message through email to accounts like vtext.com


Its funny when I see commercials for AT&T and them not hearing the other person on the other end. That was my experience with friends and customer support. No one can hear you using AT&T. With Verizon, I can be in my grave with my cell phone and still get better coverage then I would with AT&T anywhere.

The iPhone itself was a work of art. :laugh2: I just wished it could be on a better service provider like Verizon.:(
 

Zanthe

#apple
Gold
Aug 9, 2007
2,630
314
83
#2
Just a question: So you didn't check out AT&T's coverage area map BEFORE you bought the phone?

Also I have no idea why anybody would buy something like this on day 1 -- wouldn't you expect problems?

Not to be an a-hole but I think you experienced about what I would expect. Along with being 'first' comes a lot of risk and you have to expect to be a helper for working out the bugs. The whole process was new to everybody; Apple, AT&T and customers.

Just my 2¢. :D
 
Aug 10, 2007
10
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#3
Reponse in regards to AT&T

No I didn't check the coverage map. I live in central NJ and expect to get coverage in this area. If I was in Kansas, then I would check the coverage map.

I expected problems, but not of this magnitude.

Point taken, and I agree, I was a helper, however when you spend $600 for a phone, $39 for activation, and $60 for monthly service, you should expect that the phone service works. I shouldn't have to run outside everytime I got a call. I could be under a rock and still get a call with Verizon.




Just a question: So you didn't check out AT&T's coverage area map BEFORE you bought the phone?

Also I have no idea why anybody would buy something like this on day 1 -- wouldn't you expect problems?

Not to be an a-hole but I think you experienced about what I would expect. Along with being 'first' comes a lot of risk and you have to expect to be a helper for working out the bugs. The whole process was new to everybody; Apple, AT&T and customers.

Just my 2¢. :D
 

Zanthe

#apple
Gold
Aug 9, 2007
2,630
314
83
#4
No I didn't check the coverage map. I live in central NJ and expect to get coverage in this area. If I was in Kansas, then I would check the coverage map.

I expected problems, but not of this magnitude.

Point taken, and I agree, I was a helper, however when you spend $600 for a phone, $39 for activation, and $60 for monthly service, you should expect that the phone service works. I shouldn't have to run outside everytime I got a call. I could be under a rock and still get a call with Verizon.
Fair enough.

But, this is why I have waited. I have been reading and trying to figure out the best way to see if the iPhone will work for me with the least possible damage.

At this point I feel like I know what the issues are. Unfortunately they are widespread and not common to everybody. So armed with that information I can better assess if the problems exist when I get the phone.

I'm thinking the best way to do this is just to buy the phone and activate since I am not an AT&T customer. If it works I'll just cancel the service within the first 30 days and then reactivate the service a week later having AT&T port over my cell number from Sprint. That seems to be the best way to minimize my exposure. IF all else fails I'll pay the restocking fee and wait for v2.0 or whatever.
 

Silverado

New Member
Bronze
Jul 6, 2007
332
0
0
#5
That was an awful experience.

I share your initial activation problems, some of your call quality problems and some dropped calls (a lot more than I had with T-Mobile, despite the "fewest dropped calls" false advertising, and I live in Boston). I also miss T-Mobile's customer service which was MUCH, MUCH better.
 

Jagger97

New Member
Jul 30, 2007
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#6
Yeah, I haven't gotten an iPhone yet myself, been taking the backseat and feeling out user response before I shell out $600 I really don't have...

Seems to me one of the biggest problems people have been having with the iPhone isn't with the unit itself, but with that horrible draft of misfortune called the exclusive carrier deal. I mean, this is probably the only thing keeping AT&T afloat, I've heard nothing but bad things about their service. Oh, unless you count the commercials that rave about it.
 

iPastor

Member
Bronze
Aug 10, 2007
95
0
6
Virginia
www.myspace.com
#7
I agree AT&T has a long way to go in the coverage and customer service area, your woes are not atypical. I've been chomping at the bit to grab up an iPhone. I'm holding out a bit longer to see if the iPhone can be unlocked and successfuly ported to another service provider.
 
#8
I had the opposite experience at my local AT&T store. When it was a Cingular location half of their displays were broken and the service was so-so. When I went in to buy my iPhone that gave me the best service in any store I have received in a long time and the interior of the store looked great.
 

Zanthe

#apple
Gold
Aug 9, 2007
2,630
314
83
#9
I had the opposite experience at my local AT&T store. When it was a Cingular location half of their displays were broken and the service was so-so. When I went in to buy my iPhone that gave me the best service in any store I have received in a long time and the interior of the store looked great.
This is the point I was trying to make. The reviews are all over the board. Some customers love everything about it and others hate everything about it.

The only way to know for sure is to get one and try it and see what the results are for YOU. That is what I intend to do. The timing is still undetermined. :p
 

Kolder

New Member
Jul 14, 2007
29
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#10
This device is first and foremost a phone. If they don't have a solid network in your area, simply don't buy it. You will never be happy with a crappy network. Fortunately for me I live in a totally covered area where 90% of people have AT&T.
 

theotherallen

New Member
Bronze
Jun 16, 2007
68
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#11
While AT&T works in some places very well, Verizon is horrible. That's my case. Thank GOD the iPhone wasn't on Verizon, because then I would have to deal with horrible service to use it; or not use it at all. All of my friends have AT&T and only a few have Verizon, and those people are switching once their contract is up. Just because YOU live in an area with crappy service, doesn't mean AT&T is a crappy service provider.
 
Aug 10, 2007
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#12
What state do you live in?


While AT&T works in some places very well, Verizon is horrible. That's my case. Thank GOD the iPhone wasn't on Verizon, because then I would have to deal with horrible service to use it; or not use it at all. All of my friends have AT&T and only a few have Verizon, and those people are switching once their contract is up. Just because YOU live in an area with crappy service, doesn't mean AT&T is a crappy service provider.
 

aggieman

Zealot
Gold
Jul 6, 2007
4,053
85
48
Dallas, TX
#15
I so far have had a great experience with AT&T. The network isn't quite as great as Verizon, but here in Texas they are all pretty good. And the EDGE speeds are not bad at all when you have a good signal. Sorry to hear your experience was so bad. With me, my number was ported and iPhone activated within 10 minutes, the longest part of which was downloading and installing iTunes.
 
Aug 10, 2007
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#16
AT&T thread

Like I said the iPhone is a work of art. I have nothing but great things to say about Apple. It really comes down to the service in your area. I should have never ported my number over and tested this for 2 weeks.

Lesson was learned.



Shouldn't this be moved to the ATT thread?
 

Tinman

Evangelist
Gold
Jul 16, 2007
4,334
183
63
Aridzona
#17
No I didn't check the coverage map. I live in central NJ and expect to get coverage in this area. If I was in Kansas, then I would check the coverage map.
That's your argument for not checking coverage first... Jersey?! My only question is, what exit? :p

Seriously, I would never--ever--change carriers without checking coverage first. You didn't and apparently paid the price for it. The iPhone had nothing to do with it.

Around here Verizon coverage is horrible (Sprint is better here) and indeed I had (still have) Sprint. But before buying an iPhone I thoroughly checked AT&T's street-level coverage map.

My house, heck most of my city, was listed as being in a "moderate" coverage area. It doesn't get any lower than moderate, unless you consider "no coverage" lower. So I knew I would need to pay close attention to coverage--and I didn't port my number right away. Turns out my iPhone works just as well as my Sprint Treo, as far as coverage is concerned.

That said I am really no fan of any cellphone carrier. I had terrible CS at the AT&T store where I bought my iPhone. Nothing major, but they tried to hit me with a restocking fee for a (non Apple) case that I returned (in original packaging). This after I explicitly asked if there was a restocking fee on accessories and was told, "no." Still, I could tell you horror stories about Sprint Stores too.

It's obvious AT&T cannot work for you. Forget it and move on.



--
Mike
 

Tinman

Evangelist
Gold
Jul 16, 2007
4,334
183
63
Aridzona
#18
I'm thinking the best way to do this is just to buy the phone and activate since I am not an AT&T customer. If it works I'll just cancel the service within the first 30 days and then reactivate the service a week later having AT&T port over my cell number from Sprint. That seems to be the best way to minimize my exposure.
Whoa there. No need to cancel AT&T and then reactivate to port. You can keep the same line of service and port later on. That is what I intend to do with Sprint.

Also, there is a 14 day return period, not 30, for the iPhone. Unless you live in CA and CA law trumps the 14 day window.


--
Mike
 

Silverado

New Member
Bronze
Jul 6, 2007
332
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0
#19
It's true that it's extremely important to check coverage before joining a mobile network. However, doesn't it make sense for the mobile carrier to tell you when you put your home address in that you can't really use their service in your home? I think it makes perfect sense... won't happen any time soon, but, if you really think about it, it's kind of crazy that they don't. You're getting a personal plan (not businesss) and you're supplying your home address. Unless you're committing fraud and that's not really your home, they know that in 99.99% of the cases you will want to use their phone in your home and they really owe you at least a warning telling you that the phone won't work (or will marginally work) in your home.
 
Aug 10, 2007
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#20
Thanks again

What sparked me in writing this was Apple's Share your iPhone Story that I saw today.


http://www.apple.com/iphone/share/


I am sure that my message went into a black hole with Apple, but I figured I would share this experience with everyone else.

If this phone could be on Verizon's CDMA, I would buy the phone back immediately. Its all about if you can make a call and actually hear the other person on the other end.

Does anyone know of a good forum of which States have better coverage areas of Wireless service?


Whoa there. No need to cancel AT&T and then reactivate to port. You can keep the same line of service and port later on. That is what I intend to do with Sprint.

Also, there is a 14 day return period, not 30, for the iPhone. Unless you live in CA and CA law trumps the 14 day window.


--
Mike