Reader Gets AT&T To Admit It's Their Towers That Suck, Not The iPhone

Melissa couldn’t get any reception around her home on her iPhone, despite living only 25 miles from downtown Chicago. Zero bars. It wasn’t just annoying to always miss calls, it was also damaging her rental business. But thanks to a detailed, and snarky, email to the CEO of AT&T, she was able to get the wireless provider to reset its towers and fix the service around her house.

At first AT&T told her the problem was with her phone. All the problems would disappear once she upgraded from her iPhone 3G to an iPhone 4. She did, and they didn’t. Then AT&T tried to tell her that it was her car that was interfering with the signal. But she would step out of her car and there would still be low reception. Since she could drive to her parent’s remote lake house and have perfect reception, it really seemed like the problem was localized around her home. (If you have a low vulnerability to motion sickness, you can watch this shaky and blurry Flip cam video of Melissa having zero bars inside her house. The text on the screen, referring to the speed of the text messages, says “They go fast inside. Just can’t hear you.)

It wasn’t until she sent the following email to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson that she got real action:

Dear Randall,

I know I said yesterday I would stop with the emails but today was not a good day for me and the iPhone 4. Also I would like to mention that I spoke with Katria this morning. I would like to say that the phone conversation was very pleasant, funny and very, very helpful. Seriously. I really mean that. She was very very helpful.

So here is what’s going on today. Maybe this will help your tech’s figure out the problem. Maybe there is actually a problem. I still believe it’s New York all over again where you had to stop selling them. The Apple store even said that but no one at AT&T will admit that.

loading1.jpgTaken in Munster, IN (25 miles from downtown Chicago). These are taken today and the time is CST. This was while sitting in my car outside. Maybe my car is at fault.

loading2.jpgYep, still in Munster IN in my car. Still won’t load. Again, maybe it’s my cars fault.

loading3.jpgWow, look it loaded finally. And hey, congrats to my brother on getting that barfly badge on yelp. I told him to add it to his resume. It shows commitment and follow through. BTW he posted that to his Facebook yesterday so really no new news. Still in Munster IN.

loading5.jpgStill in Munster IN. Still not updated. Still really proud of my brother. BTW he’s 25, I remember being 25. Good times.

notupdated.jpgWow, have to be connected to a network, that’s shocking! Still in Munster IN.

justgotmy.jpgNow please let me explain that the doctor is really not asking her to sample actual shit. It was pills to make her back feel better. I would never recommend a doctor that makes you sample that. Back in my home town of Whiting IN.

Also had a great call with my lawyer today at 12:29pm again I believe maybe Munster or Highland IN. They couldn’t hear me. BTW lawsuit has nothing to do with you. I was injured. I’m not suing. Just want my phone to work. Anyway, again, another important phone call while driving and THEY COULDN’T HEAR ME!

Also Randall, My cousin Amy who is not taking the what we talked about before came over last night and we put our iPhones side by side. She had sent me a text message that never came through. I was unable to take a picture of this. I’m going to suggest to Apple that their next new iPhone model can connect two of them together and some how take a picture. Randall, I suggest if they do make this product you only sell it on the moon. I believe they may have good reception there.

So here we go again. Another day, more lost calls and texts. But I just want you to know I sleep good at night that I upgraded and you got that money and I added internet to my second line and you get that money. I really really really hope you spend it on jet fuel to get around. That would mean a lot to me.

All My Love,


After she sent this out, AT&T called her to tell her the information in it had helped them diagnose the problem. They were going to reset several towers in her area. Melissa noticed a change. She had more than one bar on her phone and people were able to hear and understand what she said in phone conversations. Amazing! AT&T also credited her $79.99 for her troubles.

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