AT&T: No data plan credit for iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by rizajj, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. rizajj macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2008
    Location: I’m located right outside of Boston, MA, USA. Somerville, MA, to be exact. We have solid 3G coverage, according to the AT&T coverage viewer on their website.

    Short version: I called AT&T last night complain about inconsistent 3G speeds, as well as lack of complete lack of 3G in some spots on my commute (despite their coverage map saying otherwise.) I was told that they could not issue a credit on the data plan specifically for iPhone users.

    Long version:

    So the first AT&T customer support rep I spoke with, Jessica, was very nice, but all she could do was verify that 3G was in fact ‘up’ in my area and there were no apparent problems. I tried to tell her that despite getting 4 or 5 bars, the time it took to load webpages was still often abysmally slow, and barely better than EDGE. She didn’t know what to do, so she connected me with iPhone support at Apple. She said she’d call me back in an hour to see if my issue was resolved to my satisfaction.

    She connects me to Apple iPhone support. I speak to a nice fellow named Charlie, who seems very understanding of the issue and problems. He can’t say anything specific, but I can tell he knows it is an issue in general for both Apple and AT&T. He says he can open up a line to “Level 2” tech support at AT&T, and that he’d stay on the line with me.

    So now the two of us are on the line with a tech specialist at AT&T named “Jeff”, who is not a very nice fellow. Jeff immediately says that my phone probably has a problem and that there are no issues with the network. When I try to explain that the coverage map shows “solid dark blue” for 3G data in the area of my commute, even though I am on EDGE for most of it, he tells me that buildings, foliage, etc can interfere. I politely explain that I understand these things, but I’m in a car and it’s not just a few spots, but entire 1-2 mile stretches of road. Major roads at that (Rte 16 between Cambridge and Watertown, MA). He continues to tell me that there is nothing wrong and it’s probably something I’m doing wrong or my phone.

    Then I try to explain to Jeff that sometimes my 3G speeds are very slow. Web pages sometimes take upwards of 12 or 15 seconds to load, even though I have 4-5 bars of 3G and am stationary. Jeff asks me if I use WiFi and I tell him that my WiFi works fine, but this is much much slower. He then tries to tell me that WiFi is much faster than 3G and that I cannot expect 3G speed to be nearly as fast as WiFi. I try to explain to him that the specs for 3G are not really that much slower than WiFi (which Charlie backs me up on, thankfully). Jeff is clearly annoyed at me. He asks me “What do you want me to do?”. I tell him I think I should get a credit for this so-called “data plan” that is not really providing what has been advertised. He said “What advertising are you talking about?”. I pointed out that I see iPhone commercials nightly advertising “Twice as fast!” and “only from AT&T”. He doesn’t have anything to say to that except he thinks I should get the phone checked out and possibly a new SIM card. Charlie sets me up a Genius bar appointment for Saturday, though he concedes that he doesn’t think the SIM card is the issue, and doubts it is a phone issue, but thinks it is worth ruling out. I politely thank them both and then say goodbye.

    So that whole discussion took about 55 minutes. 45 minutes later Jessica calls back as promised, and asks if my situation was resolved. I tell her that it wasn’t, and that I didn’t feel like Jeff was taking me seriously and was borderline rude. She apologizes profusely and says she will credit me for 1 month of data. I say “that will be great, thanks Jessica”. She puts me on hold. About 45 seconds later she comes back and apologizes again, saying “Sorry, my manager just told me that we cannot issue credits for any iPhone users”. I pressed for more detail but she didn’t have any more information than that. So she credits me 200 rollover minutes for the time I spent talking to support. She actually feels bad and ups it to 300 rollover minutes. I don’t really care since I never even use that many minutes anyway, but it was a nice gesture so I thank her and tell her she’s done a good job and it’s not her fault.

    So that’s my long winded story. I don’t know if I’ll actually keep my GB appointment, as I don’t feel like trading in my phone at all. I really don’t think there’s a problem with it—when 3G works, it works well. But it’s horribly inconsistent and the coverage I’ve seen is nowhere near as good as what the maps on the website tell me.

    Anyway, I think it’s interesting that AT&T is telling me “no credit for iPhone users”. What’s that about? She was about to grant me the credit when her manager stepped in. Strange, no? Also, neither of the AT&T reps mentioned anything about 3G issues in the New England area, as another post reported after speaking with them. Seems that even internally, AT&T is inconsistent.
  2. ChiChi2727 macrumors newbie

    Aug 28, 2008
    Very well written post, I felt like I was on the phone instead of you!

    I must say, every time I call AT&T with a problem, (Never been an iPhone problem) they are more then accommodating and I have been very pleased with them, so far!

    Good luck with your issue, I hope it's resolved to your satisfaction.
  3. Scallywag macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2007
    Keep calling and keep complaining. I got my entire first bill refunded, though I live in NYC, and the network problems here are impossible to deny
  4. abijnk macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Hm, that is odd. I had a similar problem when I first joined Cingular back in 2006 and they credited my bill for portions with no issue.

    It seems to me like AT&T and Apple are refusing to take responsibility for the fact that things with 3G are so horribly wrong (and truth be told, I personally feel it is an AT&T problem, not an Apple problem).

    Good luck! :eek:
  5. lakaiordie macrumors 65816

    Jun 17, 2008
    you do not deserve a refund because you're not paying for 3g

    you're paying for data service. if edge works, then you're still getting data.

    if neither is working then you have the right to complain.
  6. rizajj thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2008
    you know, if they had said exactly that, then I wouldn't have wasted 45 minutes on the phone with them. Instead they tried to BS me about how nothing is wrong with thier 3G network, which is clearly not the case.
  7. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    Well CNET has been reporting that right now the problem is related to power demands by the iPhone. 2.0.2 was to fix that, and it works, but so many people haven't upgraded to 2.0.2 that they are still causing problems for those who have. The go on to say that if all iPhone 3G users were to upgrade to 2.0.2, then a large percentage of these network issues would go away.

  8. ec51 macrumors 6502

    Jun 28, 2008
    This is exactly right.

    Although I would argue that you are paying $15 more because of the new 3G plan. Not necessarily because 3G costs more (as we all know is not true, because my old Razr used 3G at no extra cost)...but you are still paying more. I would argue you are at least entitled to a $15 credit.
  9. Warbrain macrumors 603


    Jun 28, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    I would argue the opposite. The same price data plan can be found for phones that use EDGE only. To think that this plan warrants you 3G usage no matter what is ludicrous.
  10. rizajj thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2008
    Anyone that got the first gen iPhone with EDGE only has a data plan for $20/month. It's not possible to get a new iPhone with EDGE only anymore, so I don' t see how it is the same price? Can you explain your logic further? Thx.

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