Free Micro-cell Tower?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by KBP, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. KBP macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2010
    Most of you have probably heard the rumors about AT&T giving out "free" Micro-cell towers, I know at least I did. If this was true I felt I deserved one, so I gave them a call. (I get "No Service, Searching, and if I'm lucky, one bar.)

    I was first directed to customer care, where I explained how tempting it is to get the iPhone 4 with Verizon, with the great coverage and unlimited data plan.

    She then told me she had head of "Free Promotion Micro-cell Towers." She first insisted that I talk to Technical support first, to send updates to my phone, and power cycle it. I said fine.

    After waiting 5 minutes, I was connected to a lady who indeed did have me power cycle my phone, and apparently send out updates to it. She told me that there was no reports of bad coverage, and that my area showed up fine on the map. I explained to her that I indeed do not have 3G coverage, and I am lucky if I get 1 bar of EDGE. She tried to make it like it was a faulty phone. I explained to her that their are 2 other AT&T customers, with different phones, who only do indeed receive one bar at best.

    I asked if she could transfer me back to customer care, but she said that she can't transfer... After some hesitation, she could all of a sudden connect me to her manager. I waited 5 minutes for her manager to come to the phone, and then was told that her manager is "Checking if their are any promotions." Another 3 minutes pass and the rep informs me that I can buy a Micro-cell tower at an AT&T store, and get the money credited to my bill. So I guess this indeed is a free Micro-cell Tower. I told her I didn't want to make a commitment at the moment, so she noted it to my account.

    What do you think I should do?

    BTW, I got my unlimited data back :rolleyes:
  2. Fresh1 macrumors regular

    Oct 22, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    I think at this point, if you play hard to get, you'll get (almost) anything you'd like, haha.
  3. saving107 macrumors 603


    Oct 14, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    I have the same exact story as you, minus a free Micro-Cell.

    I have complained in person and by phone several times now for the past few months, I've spoken to managers and I've gone through the same "Power Cycle", "OTA Updates" and technical support. I take screen shots of my phone showing 0-1 bars (searching) and dropped calls, as well as "Marked the Spot" several times. This is not just happening to me, but to my neighbors as well.

    We have a tower like 3 blocks away, and 2 more not even a mile away (in opposite directions) and it doesn't matter if I am indoors or outdoors, we get crappy service here at my house (apparently our block is a dead/weak zone).

    That being said, anytime I bring up the word Micro-cell, they tell me "Oh, if you want to buy one it is only $149 and it will give you full service in your house." When I say that I don't think I should have to buy one, they say "sorry, their is nothing I can do, that is the price"

    Why do I stay with AT&T, because as soon as I go 3 blocks away from my neighborhood, I get great service and I travel for work, and everywhere I go I get good service, just not at home. My home solution is to use a land line or FaceTime as often as possible. Do I still want a Micro-Cell, Nope, not if they make me sign a 12 month agreement to stay with them.
  4. klamse25 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 25, 2009
    They sent me a free one.

    I just got an email a few days ago and they said it shipped.
  5. KBP thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Did you have to call, or was it a promotion email?
  6. TXCraig macrumors 6502a


    Jul 2, 2007
    Houston, TX
    I hear they don't work very well

    I would like to know if these help. I have seen lots of reports about them not working well unless you are in a read dead area with no service at all... please post you experiences...
  7. det2004 macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2007
    I believe that you have to sign a 12 month agreement with AT&T if you want the free Micro-Cell, but that it does not affect you phone upgrade eligibility and if you want to get out of your contract before the 12 months are up, you just have to give them the Micro-Cell back. I can't remember exactly where I read that, but I'll look for the link again.
  8. Missjenna macrumors 6502a


    May 10, 2010
    I managed to get mine 50% off from the at&t store little more then a month ago. I just told them that my mom has MS and my boyfriend's mom and dad have various medical issues and that it was crucial to have consistent phone service. No contract or anything.
  9. KBP thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2010
    I thought so to, I just called the Ohio center, and they told me that it is not true. You only have to sign a contract if you sign up for the "Unlimited Talk Plan, or its sisters.

    Im heading off to the store today to pick mine up!
  10. ZipZap macrumors 603

    Dec 14, 2007
    Bought one on ebay for $100.

    Worked perfectly....1 bar to 4/5
  11. ZipZap macrumors 603

    Dec 14, 2007
    To get the rebate (or the free one) you do. But at $20 a month for the unlimited service I dont think its worth it.

    Thats $240 for the year, in exchange you get a $100 rebate (or $150 if you got offered a free one), and pay $150 for the unit. Thats a net cost of $290 (or $240 if free) to you for the year.

    I have so many rollover minutes that it just did not pay to get a plan. I paid $100 and I get perfect service at home, I dont care if the VOIP counts against my minutes.
  12. weisjt macrumors 6502a


    Dec 8, 2010
    Southern Pines, North Carolina
    so you just bought the unit off ebay and plugged it in and thats it? you didt have to call or anything like that?
  13. topmounter macrumors 68020


    Jun 18, 2009
    FEMA Region VIII
    This is the first I've heard of such a thing... Do they install the Micro-cell Tower in your yard or on your roof? How tall is it? What if you live near an airport?
  14. ZipZap macrumors 603

    Dec 14, 2007
    Yes WEISJT.

    Make sure the present owner unregisters the device (frees up the device number located on the Microcell) unless its a new one that has never been used.

    Plug it in, connect to your network, go through the device registration process.

    30 min later you'll get an email that the device is set up.


    you need to do some searches on the ATT Microcell.
  15. jthomp macrumors regular

    Apr 4, 2008
    the 717
    I inquired about a MicroCell as 3G service is hit or miss in my house/basement, and they pretty much blew me off. First they told me how great the MicroCell is, then told me no coverage issues reported in my area and that it must be my phone. BUT, if i wanted, I could buy the unit for 199.99, and if I ad the 19.99 unlimited domestic voice feature (whatever that is), I will qualify for a 100 dollar rebate. Followed up by for me to please call and have a tech "work" with me over the phone. Their email sounds like a really bad cut and paste disaster. Nah, i'll pass. I don't mind ATT, but i'm not paying them any more money...
  16. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Jan 16, 2008
    Bristol, UK
    I think it's a jibe at the term "Cell Tower".

    That term is used incorrectly so often.

    Using it to describe a Microcell is clearly wrong!
  17. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    It's about the size of your standard cable/DSL modem or router, maybe a hair bigger, and plugs into your internet connection, and has a range not much further than your average size house. Unless your house is at the end of a runway, I think you should be OK ;)
  18. antman2295 macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2010
    When i went to the at&t store, all i could get out of them was $100 off aka 50% off. I told them that i only got 1 maybe 2 bars on edge, still nothing better... They said it goes by your address, so if someone that was successful with getting one based on their address, please share, then they "could" give me one based on the "address" :)
  19. iceterminal macrumors 68000


    May 25, 2008
    Dallas Tx.
    I've got great signal where I'm at. But I am curious about this micro cell stuff.

    It plugs into your internet connection, and it uses your net conneciton and converts it to 3G?

    So basically, they're using your internet...that you pay for...for free? But then they charge you for this micro-cell hardware?
    Ok, so how much are they paying you to use your internet..that you pay for?
    You have to pay your ISP to use the connection, so why should AT&T pay you for using it?
    You pay to use their cell signal, right?

    I know I'm not correct on the details, but it seems to me that they're getting people to pay twice for things. Its a racket, I'm in the wrong job.
  20. Kblakeshot macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2008

    You just have to know how to talk to them. My Uncle has two family lines & received $225 in credits, 2 new sim cards, and a FREE (well $9.95 for shipping) Micro-Cell yesterday.

    But he was fed up with dropped calls and other things, and more than likely sounded like he meant business. Although it did take 2+ hours on the phone throughout the day.

    If you talk to them soft, they will probably treat you soft. Just saying.
  21. drummingcraig macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2007
    "Armpit of the South"
    It is a VoIp device. So I have no problem with AT&T selling it. There are other VoIp devices out there (such as the Ooma) and I don't hear other folks making the same argument against them. It would be like saying that since I pay for my electric bill, Sony should give me a free flatscreen because it uses the electricity that I pay for. :rolleyes:

    Now whether or not AT&T should provide these free of charge to customers who have little or no signal is another discussion.

    Also worth nothing that there isn't a monthly service fee on the Microcell UNLESS you want the unlimited minutes. Which again, I don't see the issue as its an extension of your current service. I personally would never opt for it.
  22. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Jan 16, 2008
    Bristol, UK
    The real cost to AT&T here will be in them connecting your calls, forwarding your data and delivering text messages.

    The bandwidth between your home and their systems costs virtually nothing.

    Skype is free to use if you just want to call another Skype user because you and the recipient of the call are paying for the bandwidth. It's not free to use Skype to call a number (a landline or mobile) because it costs Skype to route and connect your call to the recipient. Skype isn't charging you for the bandwidth between your computer and their servers.

    The same principle applies with a cellular network.
  23. weisjt macrumors 6502a


    Dec 8, 2010
    Southern Pines, North Carolina
    i went down to the att store today cause i moved into a area with horrible reception in north carolina, i got 1 to 2 bars and edge at my house, i walked in told them i had bad reception they asked what my address was and 5 minutes later no questions asked i was handed a micro cell at no cost with no plans or contracts. it seemed like they have a map of eligible areas that get them free and if you arent in that area you pay for it, lucky me its working well for the past few hours so i am happy.
  24. Resist macrumors 68030

    Jan 15, 2008
    I see no point in using this device. Since it uses your own internet connection, you might as well just use the free Whistle phone app in your home instead. It uses your home wireless network and in the same way but doesn't charge you for calls, including long distance.

    Granted this app gives you a new number, but still is perfect for making outgoing calls with.
  25. Jordan921 macrumors 601


    Jul 7, 2010
    Bay Area
    You would if you live in an area with bad at&t service. My brother got a free micro cell for our house and we are getting better service.

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