Response to ATT 3G Problems (And Apple's Bizarre Behavior)
I posted this originally on the Apple forums, and they immediately took it down. (This is the 2nd time a post of mine was removed from the Apple forums. I had previously posted a heartfelt complaint and question about iTunes, received a response, thanked the person who was trying to help me, and stopped subscribing to the thread. A while later I was informed that my thread was taken down because it had turned into a rant, and suggested that I had framed my original posts in a way that made the rant more likely. Both times Apple has taken down my threads, I received a "make the most out of iTunes" and a "make the most out of your iPhone by getting apps" emails within minutes. Freaky.)
Anyway, this is a serious question about Apple 3G network availability. I'm astonished that literally hundreds of man hours has gone into talking about 3G reception, comparing experiences, testing the iPhone 3G's antenna in Sweden (three times), etc. and both ATT and Apple barely acknowledge the issue. Here's my original post. The photo is from the Boston MBTA Subway system, just earlier today.
I think it's become increasingly obvious that there's nothing wrong with the iPhone 3G's hardware, and that the problem lies with ATT's network. Like anyone else who has the iPhone 3G, I've just signed a 2 year service contract with ATT, in which I must have a 3G data plan for $30, that is actually $43.
My interpretation of recent announcements from ATT is that their policy will be to not directly address the iPhone 3G users as a group, to offer excuses and rationalizations, to announce plans to work on their network at some unknown pace, to issue no timelines and to deny their ability to give timelines because of their inability to test and monitor their network accurately at all, and to give out service credits for those people who can consistently make a claim that ATT will accept regarding poor service and network drop-outs, leaving it to the individual customers to spend their time in order to not be charged for services that are not available more generally.
My feeling is that this is not appropriate behavior for ATT with respect to the iPhone 3G users as a group. Their common-sense obligation to us in relation to 3G calls and data usage should be greater because we were in particular signing up for a 3G phone with 3G data access, and all of the relative benefits that affords, including higher bandwidth and the ability to use data and phone services simultaneously, not to mention basic phone connectivity where the network is available. These things are in the advertisements for the phone -- data speed is part of the marketing campaign -- and we were provided with one option (i.e., no choice) with respect to data connectivity. No argument including the idea that "you can just switch to EDGE and it will work," or "but they've doubled the EDGE speeds in the past couple months," or "they're working as fast as they can and can't do anything because they can't monitor the problem" are sufficient to address the fact that their 3G networ
k cannot accommodate the people that they're selling contracts to for this phone.
I'm thinking about ditching ATT, and hence the iPhone 3G, even at a significant cost. I can't personally justify paying money for services that are not consistently available on this scale.
I am thinking about telling ATT that if they don't address the situation financially, that is, in substance, within let's say one month, I will terminate my contract because of this matter.
I was wondering if others feel that this is a worthwhile decision, or a waste of time, or an over-reaction to the situation. This is not a rant, this is an important and unpleasant decision I am contemplating, and I'd appreciate any feedback.