Just My Luck
Okay, so I thought my luck had changed since the last update, since I could cancel my contract and switch to another carrier if necessary. Wrong! First, I spent several days trying to contact AT&T customer service to confirm that they did indeed cancel my contract and that I was free to port my number. And then, shortly after my last update, on April 17th (a Saturday night no less), AT&T suffered a massive outage. Nobody could call me, and I couldn’t call anyone either. Same thing with my girlfriend, and other AT&T Wireless customers: there were tons of complaints from them on AT&T’s forums and other wireless forums on the web. Of course, AT&T never acknowledged nor apologized for this incident. To me, this was the last straw. No more waiting to see if AT&T’s service would improve. On Sunday, I put in an order at Amazon.com for new service with T-Mobile. My plan was to get the new service, port over my number, and then use my existing phone, since T-Mobile uses the same technology as AT&T (GSM1900).
As luck would have it, Amazon.com suffered “technical difficulties” while handling my order, and today they cancelled my order and advised me to place the order again. Unfortunately, the excellent service agreement that I originally purchased is no longer available on their website. The agreement was 1000 anytime minutes and unlimited night and weekend minutes for $39.99 a month, plus a $35.00 activation fee. Talk about a deal. And now, it’s gone. To Amazon.com’s credit, their customer service has been refreshingly excellent, unlike AT&T. They reply to their emails within 24 hours, and answer their phones within minutes. Right now, I am waiting for Amazon to email me back about the situation, but they told me that they couldn’t guarantee that I could get the same plan again. So, we will see.
There is no other explanation for my wireless telephone woes other than luck. Either that, or wireless phone service in the United States is just plain inferior. I remember from one of my college economics classes that in the United States, nobody in the government bothered to regulate wireless phone service, and as a result several different standards came into use. For example, Sprint built their PCS network, and another company invested in CDMA, AT&T used TDMA, and of course there is GSM. Basically, it’s a mess. Nobody concentrating on and perfecting one standard results in a patchwork of sub-par “solutions” that only work for some but not others. I guess I fall into the latter.
Finally, I want to comment on some of the losers that inhabit AT&T’s forums, and I do mean, literally, inhabit. As I said, I posted my story there, and I was pretty surprised at how angry some of the users were. They didn’t read my story in its entirety and jumped to conclusions and blamed me for the problems I experienced. Most of these people have thousands of posts on AT&T’s forum and if you have that much time to spend in a moderated forum pretending that you’re a wireless expert, then you really are a loser. When I say moderated, I mean that if you say something negative about the company, the forum administrators delete your message. Sad, isn’t it? What’s more sad is that these people have learned to live with poor quality and service. They love AT&T so much they think that if there’s a problem, then it must be the customer’s fault. In replying to my situation, they advised that I should have done my homework beforehand (which I did) and that because I made this “mistake”, I should be patient and live with my situation. They see absolutely nothing wrong with a company not providing the service it’s supposed to. It’s frightening to see their blind allegiance AT&T. Needless to say, I won’t be posting there anymore.