I always enjoy reading tech blogs the day after a big announcement. Not because I want to see coverage about the previous days event but because I I love seeing all of the weeping and moaning about what “failed” with said announcement (even though all of the expectations were rumors and speculation) and I like seeing the people who were so gung-ho about the event suddenly drop down and go back to their old crap. I’ve seen the posts about the “failure” of the Verizon iPhone, and now I’m seeing the posts about “sticking with AT&T.” Again, that’s totally fine of course; don’t switch companies for a single phone, but if you have various complaints and problems, isn’t that enough to switch?
This post by Mel Martin on TUAW, The Unofficial Apple Weblog, really confused the hell out of me. I saw the title “Why I’m Staying with AT&T” and was expecting to see things like “I haven’t had the issues everyone talks about,” or “I like their customer service!” No, what I found was a long list of complaints with some reasons why he’s sticking with AT&T through all of his problems. Let me break this down a bit more.
I admit, AT&T has been sloppy and at times downright incompetent. Who can forget the massive foul up when the first iPhone came out and literally millions of customers couldn’t get AT&T servers to sign them up? It happened again with the 3G iPhone and the iPhone 4.
There’s the really nasty rate of dropped calls, lousy or inconsistent reception, and how AT&T always seemed to put endless roadblocks before developers who wanted to use the iPhone in the way it was designed. Months of delays on the SlingPlayer app, no Wi-FI tethering, and more delays delivering a 3G tethering plan that was overpriced and forced you to give up your unlimited data plan. Oh yes, AT&T dropped unlimited data so it could start enabling some of those features that might force you to go over AT&T’s newly imposed limits. Nice. The list goes on and on.
Let’s see. That is a list of eleven complains or problems faced on AT&T with the iPhone, not to mention that he put “the list goes on and on” at the very end, meaning there are more complaints! Any normal, competent person would have tossed their provider out on their ass a long time ago with this list, I know I would have, but that’s because I actually like being able to make and receive calls and texts and data anywhere I like. This is a VERY bad list of complaints for any cell service and sticking with someone this bad is just insane.
Now, with this list of eleven you figured there would be a much longer list of good reasons he’s straying with AT&T, right? Let’s take a look now, one by one, and try to keep count!
Big Fee to drop my AT&T plan. Way too much. $325 for those who purchased after June 1, 2010, and $10 off of that for every month of completed contract.
This is a good reason! Why would you want to pay a fee to drop your cell company only to have to pay another $200 to buy a new phone which you already own! Let’s hope a trend of smart follows.
Coverage. We all know that AT&T coverage is generally worse than Verizon, but AT&T ponied up and let me have a MicroCell device for free. It solves the ‘no coverage at home’ problem, and after some initial growing pains it works well
There goes the smart…out the window. This is where I start getting very confused. You’re claiming you want to stay with AT&T because of their coverage but you say in the very next sentence that they generally have worse coverage than Verizon? And because you had such bad service they gave you a personal 3g device to make calls in your home? So you’re sticking with AT&T because they have bad coverage but solved your home service issue? Why bother have a cell phone then? Isn’t the point of a MOBILE PHONE to be able to use it…mobile-ly?
Competition is good. I expect AT&T to step up and compete, not because they want to, but because they have to. Maybe there will be a reinstatement of unlimited data plans. Maybe FaceTime will finally work on 3G.
Another stupid point. While I agree that because Verizon now has an iPhone that AT&T will have to step it up, AT&T has always had this problem and still haven’t resolved it for the most part. Why would they all of a sudden just start to “compete” now? Haven’t they been competing in the past, or were they just riding the dollar waves of the Apple fanboys turning a blind eye to their crappy service just to have an iPhone? Not to mention that you’re basing this on speculation that “maybe” something will happen. I don’t know about you but when I’m paying for something now I want it to work now, not “maybe” in the future.
Simultaneous voice and data are huge. I often fire off an email or web link when I’m on the phone. Going to Verizon means I kiss all that goodbye.
Okay, a valid reason to stay on AT&T. CDMA cannot do voice and data simultaneously and if that’s a big issue for you then you should have no questions to ask, just don’t switch. That’s two instances of sanity.
Speed. At least here in Arizona, I get really fast data on the iPhone. Yes, the Verizon voice network is more reliable, but in local side by side tests on the data side, my AT&T phone really is faster than a Verizon smartphone.
Speed is another thing that I have trouble viewing as a major issue to switch cell carries. For one, the difference in speed isn’t really that much, unless you’re using 4G on a device. Now, I would say that this is another good reason if you really need that speed, except for the fact that you point out AT&T’s flaw right in the next statement. You say AT&T is faster than Verizon (true) but Verizon is more reliable. Tell me, what’s more important to you: getting something done quickly while praying that you keep a steady connection, or getting something done a little slower, but knowing it’ll get done because you have a strong, reliable connection? If you say anything other than the latter, you’re a moron.
New iPhones. There will likely be a new iPhone this summer. I expect it will be a lot easier to talk AT&T into an upgrade than Verizon.
Guess what, you’re probably right! It really doesn’t take a genius to figure out Apple’s release schedule. But I also think that if someone wanted to upgrade early they will pony up the dough. If they switched to Verizon and paid the fees they won’t have an issue upgrading their device. Not to mention that so many people will probably wait for a new device before switching to Verizon anyway.
And that’s the end of his list. Five reasons he’s staying, five. And only two of them are valid.
Explain that to me please: 11 complaints vs. 5 reasons (of which only 2 of them are valid in any way). How can someone who apparently knows something about technology see this as a good decision? If I had half the list of complaints this guy has, I’d drop Verizon like a bad habit. I have maybe two complaints about Verizon and neither of them has anything to do with service or call quality (mainly cost and devices). His entire post seems to me like he’s sucking the AT&T pee pee all the way home while getting his free cell service too.
I should also point out that I have called TUAW out on a very misleading title in one of their other posts and they responded by sending me tweets to rumored stories about the iPhone 4G on Verizon. It seems they do not understand the concept of a rumor. Over there they seem to be a bunch of AT&T and Apple fanboys…and dealing with fanboys is a hard thing to do.
Sound off in the comments if you have anything to say!
Update note: I found this post on a blog I frequent (The Adventures of Systems Boy!) and I was so happy to read it. Three sentences and it’s already the best post on the Verizon iPhone. Thank you, Systems Boy!