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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

CEO Admits AT&T Struggling to Support iPhone Network

at&t call failed

Tired of dropped calls? You can't blame your friend's Sprint (NYSE:S) service anymore. AT&T (NYSE:T)is finally taking the blame for all those dropped calls you've been experiencing on your iPhone lately.
During the past few weeks, my connection dropped so many times, I began to wonder if there was something physically wrong with my iPhone.
Thanks to national talk show host and consumer advocate Clark Howard, I know I'm not alone. Today, Clark posted an article on his blog titled:AT&T fesses up about network issues

An excerpt for the article reads:

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has now admitted that the company's network is not up to snuff with the rollout of all the iPhones. In addition, the honcho has pledged that AT&T will spend billions of dollars to get it together with increased speed and capacity.


To compensate, AT&T is expediting its plans to implement its 4G network earlier than expected, within the next two years. With Palm Pre set to release on Saturday, AT&T's confession couldn't have come at a worse time for AT&T

By Matt O'Hern at 03:40 PM | Comments (6)

(6) Thoughts on CEO Admits AT&T Struggling to Support iPhone Network

I am a business columnist and couldn't be more disappointed with both AT&T and Apple at this point. I think they are both case studies of the NON example of customer service which to me is unthinkable in this recession. They make a great pair, one points fingers at the other and neither resolves your problem. The previous responses are correct--if something happens to your iphone (like say dropping it in the bottom of our boat which had about an inch of water in it which deadened the phone) you are SOL. It cost me several hundred dollars for a replacement phone (which I now find out is one of their "reconditioned" ones). Took it home and it immediately dropped just about every call in/out of my home. Took it back, they replaced it (this time without charging me)which meant of course I then had to once again to through the hassle of setting it up again (now 3rd time). Took it home and SAME PROBLEM. Dropped calls right and left. Called AT&T now who said, "Oh come into our store you probably just need a new sim chip"--so on down I drive to their store. They replace the chip,I drive back home and SAME PROBLEM--one dropped call after another. Now I call AT&T main customer service tech people. They put me through to a "tech" expert who proceeds to tell me they have had tower issues in my area (FYI-Sammamish, WA one of the major population areas in the Seattle area!) and are in the process of installing a new tower that "should fix the issue". I said, so when can I expect to have a working home at my home? "Oh we can't tell you that, we don't know", I said incredulously --"as in next week, next month, in a few months?" "When will I have a working cell at my home?" He didn't know. He said they would look into it and call me back. That was about ten days ago. Three days ago I call the local AT&T store again (Issaquah, WA), my call was answered by a woman who breathlessly said, "we only have two employees in the store right now and we are jammed, can I call you back?" I said, I will only be here for another hour, she said, "no problem, you will hear back from us within the hour". Needless to say no call back was made to me. Not within the hour. Not ever. Yesterday, I made what is now my 5th trip in my vehicle to either an AT &T or Apple store over this issue. Their response--you probably need to return the 2nd replacement phone back to Apple, you know they only give you reconditioned phones, its probably the phone. No I am not kidding. At this point, I suggested they get me in touch with someone (anyone?) who actually cared and might help me figure out whether or not there is actually service coverage at my home (since this seems to me anyway to be the obvious problem as the phone calls don't drop when I am driving down the freeway). I was on the phone with them (standing at the AT&T desk) for over an HOUR. I want you to know the issues is STILL UNRESOLVED. They tell me there is a "case" with resolution date for Friday--I'll let you know but I am not holding my breath. Its hard to believe in this recession these companies care this little about customer service. Oh and I forgot to add--the woman manager in charge in the Bell Square mall Apple store who initially handled my first phone dead in the water request treated me like total ----. Surely this isn't how Steve Jobs wants his customers treated? This after, foolish me, I have purchased at least 6 to 8 ipods over the years.

Comments by Maureen Moriarty : Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 12:12 PM

Amen . Same problem here 4 to 5 iPhones in the last 2 years plans totalling over 10k a year with AT&T . New York 80 % of my calls are dropping to where I have given up . Im on 3gs and it's worse than ever with no real 2G signal at all . Are we supposed to suck it up? This is not apple's fault passed complete moronic treatment by a few apple store lackies ! AT&T has really boned us all while acting like no one else is having the issue. I smell class action law suit .

Comments by Dean Coleman : Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 02:24 PM

I also have had the same issues. Spending over $2,500 on phones in the last two years b/c of lack of warranty, poor technical assistance in some cases, "upgrade" qualifications, etc. On top of the hardware issues I have always had issues with dropped calls. As of recently with my new 3gs, I drop on average 10-15 times a day. Colleagues and family are annoyed at getting into any real conversation as they know it will drop. Last night my phone was in an apparent "dead zone" in front of my building for 10 minutes for no apparent reason or explanation. I have a wonderful little ridiculous conspiracy theory that AT&T has found a way to force dead time b/c of late bill payment:) On my way to Apple again......

Comments by Melissa Smith : Wednesday, July 22, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Same problem in Los Angeles. Constant call drops. Couldn't even hold a call at the office in Burbank. Got the same lame excuses 'working on a cel tower' 'oh it must be the SIM chip' I compained out here to the California Public Utilities Commission. AT&T called me from the "Office of the President" When I asked the caller who the president of AT&T was, they didn't know, then confessed that the name "Office of the President" is in name only. Just set-up to field complaints so I guess the we're supposed to feel like "Oh, the office of the president called.' Then they said they couldn't tell how many dropped calls I had because that information wasn't stored anymore. This was less than 3 weeks after I terminated service. Then they told me they tested my number and it was fine. When I asked them which number they 'tested' It was the wrong number. I am a long time Apple customer, but have to wonder what Apple was thinking when they got in bed with these guys. The most frustrating Apple product experience I have ever had. I can't believe Steve Jobs puts up with this nonsense.

Comments by Phil Weinstein : Friday, August 14, 2009 at 04:53 PM

This issue is not just in heavy urban areas, I live outside of Nashville, TN and suffer constantly from dropped calls. The only "solution" is to disable 3G, which is absurd to say the least. I am switching back to Tmobile ASAP, despite having a year and an half left on my contract.

Comments by Justin Duncan : Monday, December 21, 2009 at 03:01 PM

The worst part is, this problem isn't just with iPhones, its AT&T's entire network. I used to be a CellOne customer until AT&T bought them out, and my service, in every aspect, has gone down hill fast. Dropped calls, terrible coverage, super slow data, terrible customer service. I travel in the Pittsburgh area, and through several sparsely populated rural areas, and in either situation, be it big city or small town, AT&T is consistently unreliable. Where i had 5 bars one day, i have none the next. One of my favorite things about AT&T is their after-hours support center. You can't access it through the usual 611 system, but must dial a completely separate number. When you dial this number, often times it tells you to call back during regular business hours, then disconnects you. I have never been more dissatisfied with a service or product than i am with AT&T, and dont know why i have bothered to remain loyal to them for as long as I have.

Comments by Matthew Harris : Thursday, January 07, 2010 at 12:46 AM

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