AT&T Says They'll Give Me Signal Booster, Changes Mind

Kirk says he lives in an AT&T dead zone, rendering his iPhone basically useless. After haggling with customer service, he convinced a company rep to give him a MicroCell signal booster. The CSR’s superior overruled the request, offering a $50 credit instead.

Unhappy with the switcheroo, Kirk writes:

I recently moved to Central Florida. Up until this point, I’ve never had an issue with AT&T coverage and have actually stood up for them when others have complained. Now, however, I see where the complaints have been coming from. I live in a very populated area, yet have almost no coverage anywhere near my home – inside or outside. To be able to get enough coverage to hold a conversation without constantly dropping the call, I must travel a couple miles in any direction. I have called AT&T customer support a couple of times since moving here and both times got the answer that the iPhone 4 has antenna problems and that I need to make sure I’m not covering the antenna with my hand. I was also told to take the phone to Apple for verification. After trying to tell the customer service representative that I have done all of the troubleshooting and talked to Apple techs to confirm what I already knew (that it wasn’t the phone), they insisted that I hadn’t really contacted Apple. One rep even went so far as to look at my account notes and tell me that he can see that I haven’t talked to Apple as there aren’t any notes on my account about the issue.

Not appreciating the fact that AT&T was implying I was lying, I ended the call and proceeded to explore other avenues of reaching a competent rep. I finally received a call from Larry from AT&T customer care who profusely apologized for my poor experience with customer service. Larry also wanted to look into my coverage issues for me while on the phone. He pulled up a coverage map and agreed that the area around my home was basically a dead-zone and confirmed that the signal was fine if I were to travel mere miles away from my home. I inquired if he had any information on new towers in the area or if he knew if something could be done to improve the service in this area. I was told all I could do was to hope for the best. Larry continued apologizing and asked what I would like for him to do in order to at least somewhat make a positive out of the situation. I asked about a Microcell, but informed him that I shouldn’t have to pay to make up for AT&T’s poor coverage in my area. Larry agreed that the MicroCell would be a great idea for getting me coverage in my home and said he would have to get approval from a superior, but that it shouldn’t be a problem at all. This conversation occurred end of business day on a Friday, and Larry informed me he would follow up on Monday confirming that my MicroCell would be coming at no charge.

Monday came and went with no call, Tuesday as well. By Wednesday, I was curious and put in a call to Larry’s direct line. I received no answer, but left a voicemail asking for a follow-up. Thursday and Friday passed with no call, as did the following Monday. Finally today, I received a call from Larry informing me in a surprised tone that, while he thought he would have no problem getting me the MicroCell, his superior denied his request, stating “They really aren’t wanting to just give those things out.” The best thing Larry could do, I found out, was an appx. $50 credit on my bill. That’s it? That’s all you can offer me when I can barely use my phone? My voice plan alone is $59.99, then add on the data and text package, I’m paying close to $100/month for something I can barely use and you’re offering me a very small, one-time discount? No thank you AT&T. I don’t appreciate when someone implies that I am lying, I don’t appreciate being lied to, and I certainly don’t appreciate a slap in the face for an apology.

According to AT&T’s site, the MicroCell costs $150 with a $100 mail-in rebate and an optional $20-a-month voice plan. The credit should cover the after-rebate cost, but it would be a lot easier on Kirk if the company just sent hm the device.

If you’ve bought a MicroCell, has it performed to your expectations?