My Endless Tech Support Calls to AT&T

call failed

I have an iPhone. It’s my only phone, so when it fails me it’s serious. I’ve been with AT&T for years – no jailbreaking involved. For all those years, I’ve had great service in my house.

About 3 or 4 months ago, my service in my house went bad. Dropped calls, failed calls, calls that never happened, voice mails received days after they’d been left. A mess.

I called AT&T. Little did I know that I would make probably a dozen such calls over a period of weeks until I finally got satisfaction.

I want to share some of my agony with you, because it might help you solve reception problems of your own.

The first few calls I made were difficult. The people I talked with didn’t speak English very well, and could do little more than read through a series of scripted steps for me to take with my phone.

I went through all those steps several times with several different tech support people. It didn’t help.

Each of the tech support people pulled up a map of my coverage and told me I had towers all around my house and I should have great reception. I didn’t.

I received calls back to check if any of it helped. It didn’t.

Finally, I started connecting with people who spoke American English and I could understand what they said. And I could tell they were actually talking with me, not reading a script.

One of those support people suggested connecting me with a second level support person. I felt a glimmer of hope.

The second level support person pulled up the map of my coverage and said it looked good. But then she asked me if I was using the 2G or the 3G setting on my phone. I said 3G. She said I was right on the edge of the coverage region for 3G. I was smack in the middle of a 2G coverage region.

I disabled 3G and immediately had 5 bars. So now I use 2G in my house. If I’m going somewhere else and want to switch to 3G, it only takes a second. My phone is now ringing, calls are not failing, and I’m a happy AT&T customer once again.

I don’t know if only the second level support people can tell whether the coverage maps they are looking at are for 2G or 3G, or if I finally connected to somebody smart enough to figure it out.

I learned two things.

  1. Try 2G if your 3G coverage sucks.
  2. Ask for a second level support person if you call a few times with no results. I should have done that myself much sooner.

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