AT&T fiasco: nice people who can’t solve my problem

In May 2009, Tim and I switched to AT&T. He got a fancy new iphone that he could use on our mission trip to Europe, and I got a shiny new red phone. It’s a Samsung a777, I think. Or maybe it’s a737. Anyway, it’s red.

I wanted an orange one, but they were out of orange ones. So I decided that I would take a green one, but they were out of those too. So I was stuck with red.

Anyway, my red phone worked beautifully, for approximately 1 year 2 weeks. Just after the warranty expired, my phone started dropping calls. Like crazy. Sometimes, it would drop the call before it even had a chance to go through.

Since Tim’s phone was still working fine, we assumed something was wrong with my phone. I called AT&T on June 16, and talked to Harley. Harley was very nice and friendly and he “re-registered my phone with the local tower.”

That did nothing.

So on June 17, I called AT&T and talked to Nikki. Nikki was very nice and friendly, too. She tested my SIM card, reset my SIM card, and offered to send me a new (free) SIM card.

That was a good thing, because nothing else helped.

When my new SIM card arrived, it didn’t help either.

Finally I decided that perhaps it would help if I talked to someone in person. So I went to the AT&T store on Haywood Road, where I talked to a nice sales guy, and a manager.

They decided that there must be something wrong with my phone. Since it was out of warranty, I was out of luck. They also offered to sell me some device that would use my internet connection to improve the signal in my house.

I explained that my phone had started having problems right around the time that the warranty would have run out, and that I hadn’t even used my phone for the first 10 weeks that I owned it because I was in Europe. I also explained that I didn’t understand why I should buy a device to improve the signal when the signal was fine a few weeks ago, and apparently was still fine enough for Tim’s iphone to work.

They decided to replace my phone.

Very nice people. Really, I was extremely appreciative. I thought about asking if I could have an orange phone instead of a red one, but didn’t want to push my luck. Especially since they were so nice.

Too bad it didn’t work.

My phone continued dropping calls. I had to use Skype any time I wanted to call someone. It was really embarrassing when someone would try to have a 5 minute conversation with me and we would get cut off 4 times. Very embarrassing. I can’t even order a pizza without getting cut off. It wouldn’t be so bad, except that my cell phone is my only phone. I don’t have a home phone, and I work from home, so I don’t have a work phone either. I had to open a Skype account.

After a few more weeks of hoping the problems would go away, I was out running errands on Wade Hampton, and decided to visit the AT&T store there. After waiting a long time, I talked to a very nice, but very overworked sales lady. She assured me that I had just gotten 2 bad SIM cards in a row. Surely a 3rd one would fix the problem.

It didn’t.

So I went back. I talked to a very nice manager named Rick. Once again, the idea of purchasing a device for my house came up. I explained that my husband got great reception in our house, and so did I. Until this summer.

I still don’t understand why AT&T thinks I should purchase something to fix their problem.

Rick submitted a ticket to an engineer. He said that if I was still having problems, I should come back, and he would call the engineer, and things would happen.

In the mean time, my phone continued to masquerade as a brick. It’s even appropriate, because bricks are red.

The next time I was out on Wade Hampton, I went back and asked for Rick. He wasn’t there.

So I talked to another nice sales guy, who was very sympathetic to my problem. Not sympathetic enough to call the engineer, though.

He was sympathetic enough to offer to sell me another phone. It would be a great deal, and they would even give me an early upgrade, which means that I have to extend my contract another 2 years to get an affordable price on the phone.

I explained again that I didn’t understand why I needed to spend more money to fix AT&T’s problem. Also, after trying 2 phones and 3 SIM cards, how would I know that a new phone would fix things? Finally, there was no way I wanted to extend my contract when I didn’t know if I would ever be able to talk on my cell phone for 10 minutes in a row again.

He was very sympathetic. He took my name and number and told me that Rick would call me.

Rick has not called me.

Meanwhile, I totally don’t understand what’s happening.

I really don’t think my phone is messed up. It works fine when I’m driving on Wade Hampton. Actually, it works fine almost anywhere except my house, and the 385 / Haywood exit.

If there are any AT&T engineers out there reading this, please message me! I would tell you to call, but my phone will almost certainly drop your call. If you send me a number, I’ll call you on Skype.

P.S. Engineer? I don’t care if you’re nice to me, as long as you solve my problem. Thanks.