iPhone 4s unusable in my apartment

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Vikinguy, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. Vikinguy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    #1
    My signal is usually between 1 and 3 bars in my apartment...but if I am anywhere but in my recliner I drop calls almost immediately. It's gotten to the point that I can barely make calls in my house. I "chatted" with "support" today and they said I needed to call and order a 3g micro cell for 200 bucks.


    I find it absurd that I should have to throw down any extra funds just to be able to use my phone in my own home. I live in a fairly large city...not out in the middle of nowhere. Do they ever comp these microcells? I'd rather cancel my contract and go with a better carrier than pay these folks more just so my phone will do what it's supposed to do to start with.
     
  2. cababah macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    #2
    I called AT&T and complained and threatened to leave them for a similar reason and they sent me a microcell for free.
     
  3. AlphaVictor87, Nov 17, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2011

    AlphaVictor87 macrumors 6502a

    AlphaVictor87

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Location:
    Saint Louis, MO
    #3
    I had the same issue with mine. I got 4 or 5 bars if i'm out on the grounds of my apartment complex, but the moment im inside my apartment it dropped from 1 to 3 bars.

    This could be the fact that i'm on the 2nd floor of a 3 floor building. I tend to really only be able to make calls if i'm near the open side of my apartment. Means no calls in the kitchen, or hallway.

    However recently they've gotten better and i don't drop calls anymore, but i still have the same amount of bars on the display.

    EDIT: i agree with cababah, especially if you can prove that according to their coverage maps you are in a good coverage area.
     
  4. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #4
    Yep, they offered me a free one for my old house. Problem was my Internet was a Verizon USB modem & a Cradlepoint router, so microcell would not have done me any good (it reroutes your call as VoIP through your Internet connection).
     
  5. Vikinguy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    #5
    So do I just call normal customer service? I think the worthless chat guy gave me sales. 1-800-331-0500.
     
  6. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #6
  7. silverblack macrumors 68030

    silverblack

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    #7
    Select the prompt to go directly to the cancellation department. When you get there, ask them about your option of canceling an existing contract (any fees, how soon can you do it). They will always ask you the reason. You tell them you want to switch to a carrier because you have a roommate with the same iPhone but get great signal with another carrier.
     
  8. Vikinguy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    #8
    Ugh...I'd rather end my contract...sell my 4s and go to verizon lol.
     
  9. jbachandouris macrumors 68040

    jbachandouris

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    #9
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Just so you know, you mentioned a word that no one has caught: recliner. I have had issues using various phones in the same spot. For some reason the recliner doesn't seem to like cell phones. I've had it happen in more than one residence. As for the micro cell, I received a free one from AT&T also. Call them or visit a corporate store.
     
  10. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #10
    I Hate To Tell You

    But if you read the customer review on any site and Verizon is top. At&T are at the bottom for a reason.

    I'm moving back home from the UK to NYC in the New Year, and I'm really not looking forward to the lack of choice and the lockdown you all get back home.

    I phoned Verizon to see what I could do with my (sim free phones) Nope. Have to buy a new one, but Verizon seem to com out on top in all the surveys and I won't have any problem selling my 4 and 4S when the time comes.

    The lack of choice at home is really going to annoy me though....So used to just being able to drop a new sim in if I have to.

    Tmobile get number 2 in the service signal and coverage ratings, but my UK phones just won't work. Oh well, NYC in January? Slush and cabbies...Can't wait:)
     
  11. AlphaVictor87 macrumors 6502a

    AlphaVictor87

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Location:
    Saint Louis, MO
    #11
    He said he drops calls anywhere else BUT the recliner. Meaning he can get calls fine there. ;)
     
  12. Vikinguy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    #12


    Well..I wouldn't say fine. The "last straw" was dropping back to back calls last night within five minutes of eachother WHILE ON THE RECLINER. I mean...this is absurd.
     
  13. dccorona macrumors 68020

    dccorona

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #13
    I believe reading somewhere that part of the way contracts are written allow you to get out of them if the service provider is unable to provide you service where you live.

    That being said, I know for sure that on at least a few occasions (that were reported by members here), AT&T has been known to give people a microcell for free, you just have to throw enough of a fit. You could for example say that for $200 you could cancel your service and go over to someone else who can provide you acceptable service in your home. They'll be more likely to extend you an offer like a free microcell to keep you around if you do that
     
  14. seemac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    #14
    How we did it

    Try going into a AT&T store, tell them the problem, and above all be civil.

    We recently bought a great old house in an beautiful area that turned out to have very poor coverage. If we were lucky to get signal at all it would only be 1-2 bars inside and out. I knew about the microcells and I knew that some folks had got them for free so this is how we did it.

    We first called Customer Service and complained about the signal, the guy on the end wasn't really interested in helping at all, but offered a discounted microcell. He did say we'd have to go into a store though. I wasn't planning on paying ...

    Before we went in I primed my wife with what to say and to act 'dumb' about what we really wanted (she's not stupid at all, just a much better actor than me!). She told the guy we talked to that we had terrible service, that we had called CS and they had "said something about getting a micro-something from the store ...?". He asked a bunch of questions about signal strength and looked up our details. Presumably he could see we had called about it and that we were long-standing customers. Might have helped that we have 4 phones on our plan and that we were all out of contract (this was a few weeks before the 4S release). We made vague comments about maybe going to another carrier (although I knew that Verizon has bad coverage there too ...). He told us that normally he could offer us a discounted microcell, but in our case he was going to make an exception and gave it to us free.

    Result, we now have 5 bars inside!

    I'd say the secret is NOT to storm into the store and demand one. Don't give away that you know exactly what a microcell is, act like a 'regular' person and not an uber geek. It might also be a good idea to have some evidence in the form of results from the AT&T app or a speed test app etc.

    Note that he did tell us that not everyone can get a microcell (even if you pay) as they can interfere with regular cell tower signals. I don't know, but this may be a factor if you're in an apartment.

    Good Luck!
     
  15. BiggAW macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #15
    Well, the iPhone 4S is one of the best phones out there for reception, so you must have pretty bad service in your house.

    People have been getting free M-Cells. That didn't work for us, and we ended up buying one. I'll see how it works with the iPhone tonight, as I'm going home for Thanksgiving. It is a weird device though. It's buggy to get up and running, and it adds quite a bit of latency. If I were to do it again, I probably would have gotten a Wilson electronics repeater years ago, since they will work with any type of phone, not just contract AT&T phones with 3G, and that wouldn't go out with Comcast for a week after every storm.
     
  16. Vikinguy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    #16
    Well, I called and the guy gave me 100 dollar rebate and 100 off my bill. Just need to go pick one up. We'll see. I hope it's not a nightmare to set up.
     
  17. BiggAW macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #17
    It's not that horrible, it's just irritating, because it doesn't tell you what it's doing. If you leave it for a few hours, forget about it, and come back it would probably be fine. I had to death grip my phone, as it was getting 3 bars of macro, but once I death gripped it, it grabbed onto the Microcell with no issue, and it's been on it ever since. The latency isn't as bad as I remembered, but it's still slightly higher than with Macrocell.
     

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