AT&T has debuted an iPhone app that will let AT&T/iPhone users submit reports when they experience poor phone service. This will be a popular app.
The new “AT&T Mark the Spot,” available via the iTunes store, lets customers inform AT&T when they suffer dropped calls, failed calls, no coverage, data failure, or poor voice quality. The iPhone’s GPS features are used to provide location data so AT&T can see all the various places in DC and New Orleans where I can’t check my mail. Users can also report whether this happens once, seldom, often, or always. A screenshot of the app at the iTunes store has the “once” option being selected, which is cute.
I downloaded the app to test it out. It’s useful if you’re having problems in an area where you usually have service, but for places where there is never any service there’s an obvious catch-22: you need some kind of connectivity to geolocate yourself and submit your report of no service to AT&T. You can get vaguer location information by connecting to Wi-Fi, if available. I did that, and told AT&T it’s ridiculous that I don’t have reception in downtown Washington, where there are four AT&T stores within a half-mile radius. The app responded that they’ve sent me a text confirming they received my complaint, although I of course didn’t get the text, because I have no service.
It’s unclear, even doubtful, whether this will have any effect on AT&T’s coverage, but, like the bug reports that pop up when my computer crashes, there’s a feeling of satisfaction from filling them out, especially using the “additional info” text box to voice my displeasure. The app is free, and available from the iTunes store.