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Old Sep 14, 2012, 03:52 PM   #1
Siciliano611
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anyone ever had luck getting a free AT&T 3g microcell extender because lack of signal

I've been living in the same apt now for 2 years and its hit and miss in my apartment on signal...but somedays its way worse than others. a co-worker said she got AT&T to send her a free microcell home cell extender (works very well from what ive heard) by threatening to cancel service with them. Anyone have experience with this device and/or got AT&T to send them one free (its like $200+ on amazon).
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 04:14 PM   #2
misdy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siciliano611 View Post
I've been living in the same apt now for 2 years and its hit and miss in my apartment on signal...but somedays its way worse than others. a co-worker said she got AT&T to send her a free microcell home cell extender (works very well from what ive heard) by threatening to cancel service with them. Anyone have experience with this device and/or got AT&T to send them one free (its like $200+ on amazon).
I actually tried this last week. I moved recently and can't get signal in my apartment, so I contacted AT&T customer support. They told me that they were not able to give me a free Microcell. Here's what customer support said:

I have looked into your emails and can understand your request for a
microcell at no cost, however, this is not something that we can
provide. AT&T developed the microcell device for customers in your
situation who have moved outside an AT&T coverage area. There is a cost
associated with the device though, since AT&T could not possibly provide
all customers in this situation with a device at no charge. In
addition, the microcell is not available for us to order and ship out
through customer care even if a customer wished to purchase one. They
are only available in our stores.

I went to the store, but the representative suggested that I try my luck with the LTE of the iPhone 5. I couldn't get a Microcell there either, despite being an AT&T customer for over three years. I ordered the iPhone 5, but if I don't get signal, I'll return it and switch to Sprint or Verizon.
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 04:20 PM   #3
jclardy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misdy View Post
AT&T could not possibly provide
all customers in this situation with a device at no charge.
LOL, sorry, but maybe if they spent some money on their towers they could cut customer service costs.

My house is in a "service area" but I only get service when upstairs. Downstairs it is either one bar or no service.

I haven't attempted to get a microcell yet though.
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 04:24 PM   #4
webworks415
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When I was on AT&T some select customers were getting coupons for free ones...as a longtime customer I called in to ask if I could get one and that my signal inside the house was bad...after some arguing, they offered to credit my bill and I only ended up spending $50 on the Microcell. Just insist that they give you one free or a credit, ask for a manager, be persistent and say you might have to cancel because of this issue.
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 04:29 PM   #5
db67fm
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My wife and I just switched to Verizon for our IPhone 5's because AT&T wouldn't give us a microcell for free.

I think in the long run AT&T lost money on this deal...
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 04:30 PM   #6
Jordan921
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My brother complained and we were able to receive a free microcell. It works pretty well if you are in close range of it.
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 04:33 PM   #7
Beau10
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I think this was something they did in the early days.

I argued pretty heavily for this (I live in a downtown area awash with AT&T towers yet my signal dies pretty quickly as I move inside my loft)... the best they could do is give one month service for free, so I got it about half off.

The sad thing is because the service is pretty strong in my area that it would constantly switch over between the microcell and the actual service, which would many times end up in dead calls. If AT&T could have gotten this issue handled properly I probably wouldn't be switching to Verizon... service everywhere else was great *except* for my home.

I was an AT&T customer for 9 years.
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 04:33 PM   #8
taedouni
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Thank you for posting this. Yet again another reminder why I didn't go back to AT&T.
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 04:44 PM   #9
bearsbears
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I got a free microcell tower about a year and a half ago. I didn't even ask for one, AT&T just sent me an email offering it to me so I claimed it at an AT&T store. I didn't even have bad signal in my apt, so I'm not sure what prompted them. I think they stopped giving free ones out. I'm switching to to Verizon with the iPhone 5, so maybe I'll sell my microcell. I'm sure a lot of people are switching so maybe you can find a used one for cheap?
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 09:18 PM   #10
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I was offered a free Microcell today after calling Customer Service and complaining about the lack of a reliable signal in my area.

The person said that although they can't ship me a free Microcell that they can credit my account the $200 that it would cost me to go and buy one at a local AT&T retail store.

Unfortunately they said they're unable to cover the taxes on the item, but I'm fine with that. Will pick it up tomorrow hopefully and test it out and see how it works.

Proof:

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Old Sep 14, 2012, 09:29 PM   #11
hulfordp
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Ebay

My wife and I tried to get a free on from them, but we were told that we would have to rent it at $30 a month. We were told due to the fact that we lived in an area that on their map had coverage that we should get signal. Guess what we don't! We found one on ebay for like $75 and plugged it in and its all good here....until I walk out to my car and then I have no coverage from my driveway to the end of my road. Annoying, but we have unlimited data with them, so its hard to leave.....
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 09:31 PM   #12
philipk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by db67fm View Post
My wife and I just switched to Verizon for our IPhone 5's because AT&T wouldn't give us a microcell for free.

I think in the long run AT&T lost money on this deal...
At least with AT&T you have a microcell option.

I live near Youngstown Ohio Airport/US Air Force Reserve Base. All the cell carriers are poor due to tower and power restrictions. Their phones work OK outside but poorly inside.

I have two microcells. One is from Sprint and the other is AT&T. I got the Sprint one free because my Blackberry is part of a commercial account with 15 lines.

I couldn't get the AT&T for free but it was worth the fee for our iPhones to work well. In fact we recently got rid of our landline.

My parent and brother have Verizon. Their phones do not work inside my house.

Thus when I upgraded to iPhone 5, Verizon wasn't an option with no microcell option.

BTW, in the Youngstown area, AT&T has the best coverage. Sprint has the worst.
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 09:42 PM   #13
Flash69
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I also HAD bad signal in my house. At the time I had 4 iPhones on my account. ATT said the same thing, they could not ship me a free unit however they did credit my account $200.00. This was over a year and a half ago (maybe 2 years ago). I planned to go purchase the microcell however that is when everyone started complaining about the microcells not working well.

While at work talking to some co-workers I was told about a cellular booster. I purchased and installed a zBoost 545. The antenna goes in the attic and the electronic part has to be 30 feet from the antenna (on the version I have). In the living room where we used to get 1 or 2 bars and constantly drop calls we now have 4 full bars and don't drop anything. If I were to get in the attic and move the antenna more I could most likely get 5 bars, however I have not had time to do this.

Now there are several things about these boosters.
1. They don't work with Sprint's radio spectrum. Not sure if there is a specific version for that spectrum.
2. The one I have does not work with LTE., however I understand the companies are starting to make LTE boosters too.

There is NO way I would trade this booster for a microcell. The booster works as an amplifier so it boosts ALL the spectrums that it supports and works for anyone with a phone on that spectrum. Once it's installed, no fuss no muss!
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 10:00 PM   #14
iPhone Addict
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flash69 View Post
I also HAD bad signal in my house. At the time I had 4 iPhones on my account. ATT said the same thing, they could not ship me a free unit however they did credit my account $200.00. This was over a year and a half ago (maybe 2 years ago). I planned to go purchase the microcell however that is when everyone started complaining about the microcells not working well.

While at work talking to some co-workers I was told about a cellular booster. I purchased and installed a zBoost 545. The antenna goes in the attic and the electronic part has to be 30 feet from the antenna (on the version I have). In the living room where we used to get 1 or 2 bars and constantly drop calls we now have 4 full bars and don't drop anything. If I were to get in the attic and move the antenna more I could most likely get 5 bars, however I have not had time to do this.

Now there are several things about these boosters.
1. They don't work with Sprint's radio spectrum. Not sure if there is a specific version for that spectrum.
2. The one I have does not work with LTE., however I understand the companies are starting to make LTE boosters too.

There is NO way I would trade this booster for a microcell. The booster works as an amplifier so it boosts ALL the spectrums that it supports and works for anyone with a phone on that spectrum. Once it's installed, no fuss no muss!
Good insight Flash69. I also have a zBoost booster in my house and although it has helped somewhat, it doesn't seem to make a huge difference. I get 5 bars up on the roof where the Zboost antenna is placed and 5 bars in my attic where the zBoost base station is, but then down in the house it is just 3 bars or so, even if I'm directly beneath it.

Wondering if the Microcell and the zBoost can co-exist simultaneously in the same place and if there's any synergy from using both...
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 10:28 PM   #15
krick
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Here's how it went for me:

I requested one and AT&T said "We've checked and you are not in a weak signal strength area so we cannot provide you with one for free."

I said "Then why does every single person with an AT&T phone who comes to my house have signal problems?"

They said "It must be your house."

I said "Well it's cheaper for me to change carriers then it is to change houses, so I would like to terminate my service effective immediately."

Pause, followed by being put on hold for a few minutes, and then "Would you like to pick up your microcell or have one shipped to you overnight?"

The great ****** irony of this is that the microcell absolutely sucked - constant audio drop outs - and I disconnected it after a week.
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 10:57 PM   #16
mlpsponzischeme
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Complained to BBB

I got a free microcell last month because I do not get a signal in my apartment near downtown Minneapolis. AT&T refused to give it to me which pissed me off since I had been a customer for over 7 years and my contract was about to expire. I filled out a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. AT&T responded within a couple of days. I spoke with someone in a department that handled BBB complaints. He was extremely knowledgeable and knew that there were a ton of people in my apartment complex with microcells. He simply had one sent overnight to me. Works great. I always have 5 bars. I put in my complaint that I would need to switch carriers if they did not provide one which was true and I'm sure they could see I was at the end of my contract and a long term customer. Hope this helps.
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 11:15 PM   #17
noteple
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The microcell who gets a free one and who doesn't is a mystery, the eighth wonder of the world.

They knew when they were juggling frequencies and tower leases who's signal level was going to far lower than 'more bars in more places'. They all got proactive coupons for a free microcell.

ANYBODY else who's signal sucks but it may be corrected in a future tower build, or backhaul and radio upgrade got nothing. Even if that upgrade was 2 or 3 yrs out, nothing.

For those who did get a microcell you provide the backhaul using your own INTERNET and they still subtract your cellular minutes.

Some even pay AT&T additional money to do this for unlimited minutes.

Such a deal

Oh and if you have a slow DSL internet connection and folks are using it the microcell sounds like a first generation VOIP connection.

It's not all sour grapes,
it works quite well for some, however the vast majority are better off without one.
Bottom line if you cannot get signal switch carriers if that would help.
Its not much of a deal if it doesn't work.
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 11:43 PM   #18
dwreck
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I was offered a free one via a letter that just showed up out of the blue. But I had to agree to return it if I terminated service.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bearsbears View Post
I got a free microcell tower about a year and a half ago. I didn't even ask for one, AT&T just sent me an email offering it to me so I claimed it at an AT&T store. I didn't even have bad signal in my apt, so I'm not sure what prompted them. I think they stopped giving free ones out. I'm switching to to Verizon with the iPhone 5, so maybe I'll sell my microcell. I'm sure a lot of people are switching so maybe you can find a used one for cheap?
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 11:46 PM   #19
jrlepage
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siciliano611 View Post
I've been living in the same apt now for 2 years and its hit and miss in my apartment on signal...but somedays its way worse than others. a co-worker said she got AT&T to send her a free microcell home cell extender (works very well from what ive heard) by threatening to cancel service with them. Anyone have experience with this device and/or got AT&T to send them one free (its like $200+ on amazon).
Yes I actually e-mailed a rep from my local store (had his business card from a previous visit) who forwarded my request to his manager. The manager replied within 24 hrs. and said "come by tomorrow and I think I can work something out." He told me to keep it on the down-low, but said that every store has some "discretionary funds" for things like this. You definitely have to talk to the right person at the right time, was the impression I got. Works great though! Glad I tried.
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Old Sep 15, 2012, 12:16 AM   #20
mr1581
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yeah..i went into a retail store and asked the manager. it was around a year and a half ago as well
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Old Sep 15, 2012, 12:33 AM   #21
phinsup
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I called and complained because our service has been degrading at the house, to the point where I have to stand at the back corner of my yard to make a call. They offered the micro cell and the way they pitched it at first was like "oh well we have a solution for that, do you have internet" yes i do "ok well we can send you a microcell and you will have full signal in your home". OK I said sounds good, does it charge me minutes when I'm using my internet? "yes it still charges minutes and there is a fee for the microcell" HA OK no thanks I'm not going to pay to fix your problems.

It borders on Racketeering, they have a problem with their service and want to make a profit off of the solution. There is absolutely no motivation for them to fix the issue.

I used to be able to start a conference call at my house and drive to work during the entire call, about 10 miles distance, I can no longer do this is there is a spot with no coverage at all about a mile into the drive. We now have a running joke on all conference calls when there is a bad connection "looks like we've got an att user on the call"

i wasnt even planning on buying the new iphone 5, wife came home today and said I don't care what it costs. having this "f'n" att phone is about as useful for making calls as kids phone filled with candy. She jokes that it's a pager because it never rings and voicemails show up. I have had my account since 1995, first it was cellular one, then cingular, then ATT, they didn't care at all when i said i was canceling.
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Old Sep 15, 2012, 12:35 AM   #22
bearsbears
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwreck View Post
I was offered a free one via a letter that just showed up out of the blue. But I had to agree to return it if I terminated service.
Oh yea they said I'd have to return or pay for it if i terminated within a year, but since I still had like 16 months left on my contract that wasn't an issue.
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Old Sep 15, 2012, 12:51 AM   #23
knux11
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when i was in an apartment with no signal, they wouldn't give me a free microcell, but they gave me one for $100, plus $150 of bill credits. So basically better than free if you can front the $.
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Old Sep 15, 2012, 01:19 AM   #24
lot of apples
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I received one of the first coupons for one. This was after complaining to ATT off and on about bad reception in the house for about six months. I finally got tired of complaining and gave up. Then, about six months later, received a coupon, out of the blue. This was after they had just come out.

It's made a world of difference in reception. All of the dead spots in the house are covered now.

It was a bit kludgy to set up at first, but has been very, very reliable since then. Only had to call ATT once to reset it, when it wouldn't recognize that I upgraded to a new iPhone model.

Kudos to ATT for good customer service on this one. I'd recommend trying one if you live in a spotty reception area. I've been very happy with mine.
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Old Sep 15, 2012, 01:26 AM   #25
wesk702
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Yeah it was pretty simple. They just offered it before I even asked. Only thing that sucks is if you are using the microcell and you leave the house, it disconnects the call when you are out of reach of the microcell.
It doesn't transition automatically.

I believe if you don't get reception at your primary residence and they can't do anything to resolve it, you are eligible to terminate your contract with no expense to you.
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